Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Patio Table Confessionals

I moved into my current home two years ago.  The favorite "room" for me and the kids to gather and talk is the screened-in back porch.  It has a patio table much like the one pictured, and several chairs surrounding it.  That table has been dubbed "The Confessional".  I've spent many, many nights sitting at that table these last two years, talking and listening to my kids.

As many of you know, my kids aren't "kids" anymore.  They range in age from 16 to 24.  It's during those ages that it can be hard to know what's going on in their lives or what their feelings are.  That's where "The Confessional" comes in.

I don't know quite how it started but it became an unwritten rule that meaningful, deep-rooted talks could be done at that table.  I've heard about Allyson's adventure aspirations and Adam's parties with friends.  I've seen Logan's heart break over a breakup and Shelby's anger over mistreatment.  Some things I've found out have darn near caused my jaw to hit the floor.  I've learned more about my six kids' lives, dreams, wishes, and wants more over that table than I have at any other time.  Sometimes, it's just one kid out there.  Other times, it could be three or even all six.  When we're out there, we listen and give advice.  We talk of our experiences regarding the same situations.  We even talk of things that they wouldn't normally feel comfortable talking to me about. 

That space and place has become our sanctuary.  A bonding time.  A way to cry, talk, yell, and heal.  I love bonding over patio table confessionals.

As you can see from the looks on Shelby and George's faces, it's not always all seriousness at the patio table!

Do you have a special place that your kids feel comfortable talking and venting?

How to Host an Ice Cream Social - Go Organically Fruit Snacks Giveaway

National Ice Cream Day was July 15th.  You may have missed out on it but can still enjoy ice cream any other day of the year. (I sure do!)  Go Ogranically has some creative ideas on how to host an amazing ice cream social:

Host an Ice Cream Social

Set the Scene

Once you've picked a date and sent out invites, it's time to assemble everything you need for your party.

The setup: Summertime is the perfect excuse to be carefree, so keep things simple! Do a buffet-style setup with bowls, spoons, napkins, toppings, etc., so kids can make their own sundaes in an assembly line fashion. Add paper tablecloths and balloons in cheery, pastel colors to mimic an old fashioned ice cream parlor. Display a chalk board to welcome guests and announce the day's flavors.

The ice cream: Stick to classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry since they'll serve as a great base for all the toppings you'll have on hand. Consider adding one carton of a popular "fun" flavor like chocolate chip cookie dough or cookies 'n cream, but don't feel the need to overdo it with options. If you're hosting the party outside, keep your ice cream cartons in an ice-filled cooler to prevent them from melting.

The toppings: Fill colorful little bowls with kid-approved toppings like chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, rainbow sprinkles, crushed peanut butter cups and, of course, Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks. Don't forget the chocolate syrup and whipped cream!

Put Together a "Sweet" Playlist

Set the mood by creating a playful music soundtrack themed around sweets and treats, with a mix of nostalgic, kid-friendly songs. Suggestions to get you started:

 "Ice Cream Man" by Tom Waits
"Peppermint Twist" by Joey Dee & The Starliters
"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by Marvin Gaye
"Tutti Fruitti" by Little Richie
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" by The Four Tops
"Blueberry Hill' by Fats Domino
"I Love Rocky Road" by Weird Al Yankovic
"Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles
"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond

Play a "Cool" Game

Delight little ones by adding an ice cream-themed game to the agenda. We love "Pin the Cherry on the Sundae"—a riff on the classic party game "Pin the Tail on the Donkey."

Draw a picture of a large ice cream sundae on a poster board, or simply print out an oversize photo.
Give each kid a construction paper cherry with double-sided tape on the back.  One by one you'll blindfold each guest, spin them around, and instruct them to place the cherry as close to the top of the sundae as they can.  The guest who places the cherry closest is the winner and gets to make their sundae first. YUM!

Be sure to follow Go Organically on Facebook for more family-friendly ideas!  Made with real fruit, Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and a  great choice for your on-the-go life.

Win It!

One person will win two boxes of Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks (one box of Mixed Berry and one box of Fruit Medley).

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

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.

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IHOP Deal: 60¢ Short Stack Today

Celebrate 60 years of pancakin’ with a 60¢ short stack on Tuesday, July 17th at IHOP.  Offer is valid for dine-in only from the hours of 7 am to 7 pm.

My Mighty Magnet - Magnetic Photo Cables Review

I like to display pictures in my home, showing special memories, people, or events.  My Mighty Magnet is a perfect way for me to do that, without putting holes in the walls or changing out frames.

Each My Mighty Magnet comes with a 57" inch cable and nine strong, mighty magnets.  The cable can be hung vertically or horizontally, and has a loop on top and a weight on the bottom.  My Mighty Magnet can be hung with a command hook so they don't damage walls.  I have mine looped and hung on a window rod in my living room.

There are over 60 different designs of gems for My Mighty Magnet.  I received the clear gem set.  Designs range from black buttons and basketballs to emojis and hearts.  I've hung nine photos on My Mighty Magnet.  They've stayed on great so far.  All you have to do is place a photo or whatever you want to hang at the part of the cable you want it to be, then take one of the mighty magnets and place it there.  I love that I can display special photos in a prominent place and easily change them out when I get the inclination.  

My Mighty Magnets can be used virtually anywhere! From hanging up your pictures and holiday cards at home to decluttering your office at work, these photo cables are an essential part of any room.
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.

First Half of July Winners

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

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

The winners of The Dating Project DVD giveaway are #1, Brandi Swanson and #20, Ken Ohl.

The winner of the Go to Sleep, Sheep! children's book giveaway is #65, Kerry P.

The winner of the God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers children's book giveaway is #24, Marilyn.

The winner of the Saving Each Other paperback book giveaway is #30, Sand.

The winner of the Hotel Transylvania DVDs giveaway is #97, Tammy Iler.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to enter the other currently active giveaways I've got going on, listed at the top left hand side of this blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Easy and Fun Outdoor Obstacle Activities for Kids

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Being a parent of six kids, I sometimes had to entertain them in inexpensive ways when they were younger.  I'd set up different obstacles, using everyday items, and keep them busy outdoors.  Here are just a few ideas for obstacles that I've used throughout the years:

Obstacle #1:  Use a mini golf club to put a golf ball into a hula hoop.

Obstacle #2:  Throw a frisbee into a pool of water.

Obstacle #3:  Use a croquet set and weave a croquet ball in and out of the stakes.

Obstacle #4:  Throw a hula hoop over a bucket.

Obstacle #5:  Using a long piece of wood and standing it up, stack four pieces of wood on top of it.

Obstacle #6:  Dump a mixed variety of puzzle pieces out of a basket and sort the pieces to finish one puzzle.

Obstacle #7:  Set up a table and set several glasses filled with water on top of it.  Try to knock down the glasses of water with a tennis ball inside a pair of pantyhose tied to your waist.

example of obstacle #7

With a few objects that can be found almost anywhere, an obstacle course can be set up quickly and made into a fun past time for kids.  Or even adults, for that matter.

What ideas do you have for fun outdoor obstacles for kids?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Natren Probiotics - Review and Giveaway

a variety of Natren Probiotics for the entire family

Whether they're sharing an ice cream cone with the dog or eating gum off the sidewalk, kids can get into "uh oh" situations that can lead to digestive upset or illness. After all, kids will be kids, but isn't that what makes being a kid so much fun? Fortunately, Natren has them covered! Natren Probiotics has a line especially for children, and their products are proven to help reduce occasional digestive upset and support your kids' natural defenses. So kids can have fun while keeping their tummies happy and trouble-free.  Natren is acclaimed by the medical world as an outstanding probiotic product for toddlers and growing children.

Good bacteria, known as probiotics, can help eliminate the bad bacteria that cause stomach distress.  Probiotics support a child's health by creating the proper balance between good and bad bacteria in their digestive tract.  Research has shown that good bacteria can alleviate occasional digestive distress while supporting a child's natural defenses.  When kids feel good, they do amazing things!

For those who are unfamiliar with probiotics and its benefits, countless clinical studies have shown a balanced gut to be directly or indirectly helpful in broad health conditions and specific digestive conditions ranging from skin problems and fatigue to heartburn and indigestion.

Natren, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical grade quality probiotics.  In addition to providing probiotics for toddlers and children, they also offer them for women, men, and pets.  One system that they carry is the Healthy Start System that is suitable for adults and children age 8 and older.  Powder probiotic options are available for younger children.

The Healthy Start System is a box containing three bottles, each one with a different, gentle serving of one probiotic super strain.  Natren keeps each bacteria species in the Healthy Start System® in separate bottles to guarantee probiotic product potency.  A 30-day supply is available for $51.95.

The Healthy Start System contains three powerful strains that support relief from occasional gas, bloating and indigestion.  It also helps with regularity, proper nutrient absorption, and digestion of complex carbohydrates and proteins.

With the Healthy Start System, you are to take one pill from each bottle once a day.  They may be taken all together.  Or Step 1 can be taken in the morning, Step 2 at noon, and Step 3 in the evening.  It is recommended to take the capsules before meals to optimize digestion and take them at least two hours apart from herbs, garlic and prescription medication.  It is also recommended that you take the capsules with unchilled, filtered (chlorine free) water.  That's because the chlorine and fluoride in tap water can harm the beneficial bacteria in the probiotics.  

Natren is different in other probiotic companies in that they package their products in dark glass bottles with tin lids to protect them from harmful light and moisture.  The products are shipped in thermally controlled boxes to keep them cool and extend their lives so they have guaranteed potency through the printed expiration date.  Natrene recommends that their probiotics be refrigerated to keep them at max potency.

I've had digestive issues since I was a junior in high school.  My gut has hated me most of my life.  I do take a prescription pill that has alleviated some symptoms but I also take OTC probiotics. By taking the three capsules daily in the Healthy Start System, I've noticed that I'm more "regular" and I'm not near as bloated.  

I won't make any medical claims regarding the probiotic capsules and I can't guarantee they'll solve your problems.  I recommend seeing a medical doctor or specialist if you have digestive issues or medical problems.  What I can say is that I'll continue taking Natren Probiotics because I've seen a positive change in how my digestive system works.  
Win It!

One person will win a Natren Probiotics Healthy Start System (30-Day Supply).

*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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Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 130

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears 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 130.  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.

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.
–1 Timothy 2:8

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Scandic Beauty - Skincare Products Review

I know the reality of it, I'm not getting any younger.  Wrinkles and under eye circles, along with lackluster skin, are starting to catch up with me.  I don't believe any product can completely reverse the signs of aging but there are some out there that I've found to be beneficial in giving my skin a more youthful, radiant look.  Recently I've been using a couple skincare products from Scandic Beauty.

First there's the Ren/Pure Pre-Serum.  It's formulated to hydrate, protect, and firm.  Hyaluronic Acid, honey, botanical stem cells and 'heavy water' deliver deep moisture replenishment to rejuvenate, calm and gently exfoliate.  Then there's the Ung/Young Line Smoothing Serum, formulated to restore, firm, and revitalize.  The power of four potent peptides provides immediate and long-term firming and reduction of wrinkles.  It also provides the naturally soothing effects of Chamomile, Lavender and Orange peel oils, along with a plethora of botanicals to nourish the skin back to health and youthfulness.

As part of a daily skincare routine, I first apply the Ren/Pure Pre-Serum to my face after it's been cleansed, then I put on the Ung/Young Line Smoothing Serum.  The two-step process creates better results than using just one product or the other.  The Ung/Young Line Smoothing Serum has a dropper, and it's recommended to apply 5 to 7 drops of the serum to cleansed face and neck.  You can also use the Ren/Pure Pre-Serum as a spritzer after applying makeup.  

I've had no skin reactions from either product but the company does advise that the ingredients are very potent.  It's recommended that the Ung/Young Line Smoothing Serum be used only once a day for the first week to test for any skin adversity.  

Having been introduced to Scandic Beauty, I'm pretty impressed with the results.  Scandic Beauty is not the Fountain of Youth, but their skincare products have been favorable and I've noticed some improvement on my face.  

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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Fireworks and Swimsuits

Randomly random ramblings have a spot at Random Tuesday Thoughts, hosted by Stacy Uncorked.

I went swimming and sun bathing for the first time the other day.  My bestie came down from Iowa to visit with her parents.  Parents happen to have an amazing pool.  Don't think I didn't jump in the vehicle as soon as I got the invite.  Don't have to ask me twice!

yard sale swim suit

Speaking of swimming, I purchased two swimsuits online from Rosegal.  I also bought a bunch of shirts.  It was my first time shopping from there.  The clothes fit okay but the swimsuits were horrible fits.  As one would have it, the swimsuits are non-refundable.  
(I understand the reason why I can't return them.  But they still had the clear sticky tape in the crotch. Oh well.)

I ended up giving them to a friend.  Not long after, I found a brand new two-piece swimsuit at a yard sale for only $3. And it fits like a champ!
Jason and I made a huge purchase last week.  We sprung for a Serta memory foam mattress.  I hate spending that much money but the mattress we'd been using was over ten years old and was way past its prime.  We also purchased an adjustable frame.  Which means the head and feet can be raised up or down via remote, according to preference.  

Jason and I don't share the same preferences.  See the problem there?!  
Sometimes working opposite shifts has its advantages.  He can have the head raised when he's in bed and I can raise the feet halfway to the ceiling when I'm sleeping.
Jason and Allyson
(Take note of the bowl in Allyson's lap: grapes soaked in vodka and sprinkled with dry Jell-O mix. 
I may have had a few...and then a few more.)

We celebrated 4th of July with a private company affair, thanks to Allyson and her mom.  Both work for Kohl's, and the company blocked off their parking lot for employees and family.  We could see the fireworks perfectly from where we were at without being in the throng of madness at the riverfront.

Kohl's was also kind enough to feed us, and even include a Blue Bunny ice cream cart.  
Hope Allyson and her mom work there next year too!

Logan watching fireworks

Juliann and Emma

Emma turns 16 years old in two days and Logan turns 20 in five days.  #AllTheFeels

Emma's bio mom hosted a Sweet 16 party for Emma on Saturday and we attended.  It's only been the last couple of years that all parents from all sides of this crazy blended family can come together and celebrate the kids, all in one place.  We don't have to do a party here and a party there.  You don't even know how much this means to me.  Life's too short to be petty or malicious.  Besides, it cuts on costs!!

For her 16th birthday, Emma's aunt paid for her to get her hair cut and colored.  Emma's never had her hair colored before.  I'm in love with it!  Think she'd find it weird if I went with the same shade of red?!

My son-in-law and my son

With the kids being older, I take every opportunity I can to spend quality time with them.  I'm glad they don't require my constant care and attention anymore but I want my bond with them to remain strong.  I got my three kids, husband, and son-in-law together the other day for lunch at El Rancherito, a Mexican restaurant.  It's the simple things....
How did you spend 4th of July?
Been swimming yet this year?
What's your randomness?

God's Blessings Day by Day - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

God’s Blessing Day by Day is a trustworthy devotional compiled by renowned pastors and church leaders. Edited by Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, this devotional is the perfect way to introduce your children and grandchildren to a legacy of faith.

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 God's Blessings Day by Day devotional is a great resource to get kids interested, and keep them interested, in the life applications of God's word.  Each page of the book is intended to be read one page a day, for a total of 52 weeks.  The words are written in a way that capture children's attention.  The illustrations and working are age appropriate, without deviating from the Scripture.  A white ribbon bookmark keeps place of the page you're on.

  In this devotion are valuable lessons on such topics as thankfulness, obedience, trusting God, being kind, loving others, and many more. This book will teach young children the value and joy of spending time with God every day.

Children are impressionable, and instilling words and lessons about Jesus at a young age will help instill a stronger spiritual approach when they get older.  This hardback book is a 52-week devotional that will engage children and captivate them to act out the deeds, rather than just hear about them. Each day contains a verse, a devotion, a prayer, and a truth about God.  A pastor or church authority from different denominations around the country are in charge of each week. For instance, week 12's devotions are from Pastor Jeff Crook of Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Georgia.  God's Blessings Day by Day is a great way to instill the love and works of Jesus to your child.
Win It!

One person will win a God's Blessings Day by Day children's devotional book.

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

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

I always encourage my kids to play outdoors.  I believe that they need the physical exercise to promote a strong and healthy mind and body.  Wham-O, the toy company that has been producing some of the most trusted toys in the market for 70 years, has reinvented the way the Frisbee® and all other discs will fly in the future.  The new Frisbee Sonic encourages physical activity involving skill and exercise.  

The Sonic a completely unique Frisbee® experience.  According to the company, it actually works better than the traditional Frisbee®. The square-like, sine wave shape mimics many things in nature. The alternating twists and turns of the design resemble a bird in flight as it spins through the air.  It is available in two colors - red and green.

I have a large back yard and have been using it this summer as an area to play outdoor games with my older kids.  Me and Logan have especially taken advantage of the nice weather to get outside and throw the Frisbee Sonic back and forth.  It's amazing how something so simple can be so much fun.  With the right throw and aim, the Frisbee® Sonic flies far.  It can be thrown using different hand variations to give the speed, direction, and distance you want.  It has an easy-to-grip contour.  Logan's better at throwing and catching but I enjoy the time to bond and get some exercise.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Masterpiece Robot - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

Masterpiece Robot pays tribute to the power of a child’s vivid imagination, which can transform a suburban autumn backyard into a futuristic battleground and Laura’s lively siblings into unwitting but enthusiastic participants in a fight for a planet’s survival. We begin in Laura’s bedroom where she is struggling to find her way into the story she wants to write, and we end there with Laura putting the finishing touches on her triumphant tale.  

When Laura―a.k.a. Masterpiece Robot―heads into the backyard with her little sister Molly―a.k.a. Sidekick―her active imagination places them instead on patrol around the perimeter of a dystopian city, guarding against super villains. Then older sister Amber―a.k.a. Valerie Knick-Knack―throws handfuls of fallen leaves at them, unknowingly initiating a battle for the ages.  

The transitions back and forth from suburbia to dystopia in this story within a story are deftly rendered with contrasting palettes. The rollicking interactions of the sibling heroes and villains make Masterpiece Robot pure fun to read.

My Review:

As far as book genres go, comic books aren't normally my thing.  But I was interested in the premise of Masterpiece Robot: And the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack, and decided to read it along with my granddaughter, Rahjae.

A story within a story, Masterpiece Robot is packed with comic book panels of a family playing together in the leaves and of superhero children battling villain, Valerie Knick-Knack.  It takes the powers of Laura (aka Masterpiece Robot), her sidekick Molly, and Roman (aka Lord MekMek) to bring down Valerie Knick-Knack.  

This story ultimately shows that a child's imagination during free play can be used to concoct adventures and escapades.  The kids playing in the leaves weren't doing just that; They were also imagining what it would be like to be superheros.  Masterpiece Robot is a book recommended for kids aged 7 to 10.  Rahjae is eleven years old and enjoyed reading the action-packed adventures.  There are a handful of words that I had to explain to Rahjae because they were unfamiliar to her but, other than that, Masterpiece Robot is an entertaining, fast-paced story.

Win It!

One person will win a hardcover book copy of Masterpiece Robot.

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

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.
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Escape Your Grocery Bill: Play the Great Coffee Break

Eight O’Clock Coffee is providing more than fuel for busy parents-- the brand is giving them a chance to win a pick-me-up for their grocery tab while participating in a fun activity with their kids.

Families are invited to play The Great Coffee Break, the first Augmented Reality-triggered digital game created by Eight O’Clock Coffee and Escape the Room. The Great Coffee Break will run through to August 11, 2018 at www.GreatCoffeeBreak.com, and eight people will win the grand prize: free groceries for a year.

The Great Coffee Break is the first Augmented Reality-triggered digital game designed by Escape the Room and can be launched by scanning any Eight O’Clock Coffee package with the Shazam app – or by going directly to GreatCoffeeBreak.com. Set in a fictitious animated roastery, players will solve coffee-themed puzzles to help bags of Eight O’Clock “escape the roastery.”

Players of the Great Coffee Break will explore different virtual rooms within the roastery to find clues, solve puzzles, and complete the mission. Eight O’Clock Coffee’s game is designed to facilitate the satisfying feeling of discovery that players experience in physical escape rooms – which may be the reason that they have grown in the US from 22 in 2014 to about 2,300 today.

I've signed up to play The Great Coffee Break and am on a mission to solve the puzzles!

*Each Grand Prize of is a year of free groceries, defined as $8,000 awarded in the form of a check. No purchase is necessary to enter. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States or D.C., age 18 or older. 

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.

SkinKick - Acne and Blemish Skincare Review

Logan has been battling acne for the past few years.  He's almost twenty now.  The problem seems to worsen in the summer months. The most difficult area is his face and he's tried a few different products, some with results and some that didn't have much of a positive effect.  The acne breakouts are an embarrassment to Logan and he was open to the opportunity of trying SkinKick, a 2-step blemish relief system.  

 The 2-Step Kick Kit includes:

3 oz Face Wash – Natural daily cleanser and exfoliator that removes impurities and prepares skin for renewal.
.5 oz Blemish Lotion – Calming lotion that clears appearance of blemishes and soothes problem skin without irritation or redness.

You can make a one-time purchase of the kit or do a monthly subscription.  SkinKick is Naturally Smart(R) Skincare that combines nature with skincare science. The ingredients in SkinKick are natural and real scientists are behind the formulations.  SkinKick scientists created B3 Technology with cat’s claw extract, dragon’s blood resin and black willow bark extract to clear the appearance of blemishes and eliminate the need for benzoyl peroxide from their formulations.

I admittedly wasn't sure what dragon's blood resin or cat's claw extract were so I did an online search.  The names are cool and all but I wanted to know for sure what they were.  Come to find out, dragon's blood resin is a resin produced by the rattan palm tree and cat's claw extract is taken from a woody vine found in the tropical jungles of South and Central America.

To use the SkinKick system, you first apply the face wash and then use the blemish relief  lotion.   SkinKick’s Face Wash is a daily cleanser and exfoliant that uses finely-ground coconut shell and botanical extracts to remove impurities and balance oil on the skin. It’s strong enough to remove dead skin cells, but gentle enough to use twice daily without irritating the skin. Some of the natural ingredients in the Face Wash are caviar, apple, mandarin orange, and green tea extract.

SkinKick’s Blemish Relief Lotion clears blemishes while also soothing and renewing the skin. The lotion’s BeautySkin™ technology acts like a second skin, protecting from harmful substances like pollution and makeup while keeping botanicals in contact with the skin to enhance blemish relief and skin renewal.  Some of its natural ingredients include pequi oil, andiroba, tea tree oil, and passion fruit.

Logan's acne breakouts aren't severe.  But they are noticeable and irritating.  Since using SkinKick he's noticed even less breakouts and he admits his face seems to feel softer and healthier.  He also hasn't had near the dryness or redness as with previous acne treatments.  He and I believe that using SkinKick's acne system has created positive results for his skin.  

It is recommended that a person use SkinKick for a minimum of 60 days for optimal results.  To be transparent, Logan has only used it daily for under one month.  His acne isn't completely cleared up but it's much better than before he started using SkinKick. 

Do you suffer from acne breakouts and blemishes?
Does your current skincare regimen cause redness and dryness?

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.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 129

I believe in a God that hears 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 129.  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.

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
–Colossians 3:5

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Once Upon a Farm - Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

Now raising their four-year-old daughter, Indiana, alone, after his wife Joey’s passing, Rory Feek digs deeper into the soil of his life, the unusual choices he and his wife made together and the ones he’s making now to lead his family into the future.

A raw and vulnerable look deeper into Rory’s heart, Once Upon a Farm: Lessons On Growing Love, Life, And Hope On A New Frontier is filled with powerful stories of love, life, hope and the insights that one extraordinary, ordinary man has gleaned along the way.

About the Author:

Rory Feek is a New York Times Bestselling author, and GRAMMY-winning singer and songwriter. He is most well-known as one-half of Joey+Rory, a country music duo he began with his wife, Joey. The couple captured the hearts of many as Rory chronicled their love story, the birth of their daughter Indiana and Joey’s cancer battle on his blog, This Life I Live, as well as their preparation for her passing in March 2016 at age 40. Since, he’s released a documentary, To Joey, With Love and a memoir, This Life I Live: One Man's Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever (Thomas Nelson). He has three daughters and lives on a farm south of Nashville with the youngest, four-year-old Indiana, where they garden vegetables, raise animals and live a simpler life.  

A few of the pages show photos of the author and his family, both past and present.

My Review:

I've never been familiar with Joey+Rory as the country music duo.  I rarely listen to that genre of music so I knew nothing of them.  Until....

One day I stumbled upon an article that spoke of Rory and Joey Feek's blog.  The article told of a couple who was going through so many moments and so many emotions as they prepared for the death of Joey who had terminal cancer.  I became intrigued and started paying more attention to articles related to the family, wanting to know how they were doing.  Joey ultimately died in March 2016.  

The story of the couple with an astounding love for each other and a great faith in God tugged at my heartstrings.  Further yet, they had a small child with Down Syndrome.  Rory Feek continues to live in the farmhouse he shared with Joey and their children, where he is busy raising Indiana, their daughter who has Down Syndrome, and where Joey has been laid to rest in the family cemetery on the farm that she loved.

Be ready to embark on a life then and a life now when you read Once Upon a Farm: Lessons On Growing Love, Life, And Hope On A New Frontier.  Author, Rory Feek, takes readers on a journey of his life as he continues to raise Indiana, and stories of experiences he had with Joey.  Rory also talks about his two older daughter, Hope and Heidi.  He exhibits great love to them, even if their lifestyle doesn't align with his.  The feelings are raw and tender, and the stories are heartfelt and inspirational.  Rory reminds us to keep strong in faith and turn to God regardless of what season of life we're in.

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

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Crapchute: Durable and Eco-Friendly Bags - Review

Although trips to the beach aren’t QUITE as relaxing with kids in tow, we never pass up an opportunity to spend a few hours with our toes in the sand and a book in our hand. The only part we don’t like? THE STUFF.

When I'm looking for a bag to use on a swim trip or to take on any other trip, it's important that they're roomy and made to be sturdy.  Crapchute bags are both! 

Crapchute founder and owner, Jonathan Zar,  wanted to bring his passion for air sports, craftsmanship, and the strength of parachute materials to the public in the form of handy collapsible bags for everyday use. After lots of testing, a versatile, light-weight, resilient and incredibly strong catch-all bag was born. 

Crapchute bags are built from one continuous piece of fabric sewn together for extra strength. The parachute fabric used is a special boxed weave design which gives it tear resistant characteristics.  Crapchute bags are one of the lightest bags around with one of the highest weight ratings.  

There are two different kind of Crapchute bags available - The Hand Bag and The Shoulder Bag.  The difference between the two is the handles.  Other than that, both are crafted the same.  Crapchute bags have two usable pockets, one with a zipper.  Because of the material they're made with, the bags resist tearing and are water-resistant.  They are also mildew resistant.  

If you'd like to fold the bag up in itself to make it smaller, all you have to do is turn the zippered pocket completely inside out and stuff the remainder of the bag into the zippered pocket.  Close the double sided zipper and you've got a portable bag!

What a Crapchute bag looks like when folded up in itself

I received both a hand bag and a shoulder bag.  One is in tiger print and the other has a pineapple motif.  I prefer the shoulder bag only because I prefer to have bags that way, to keep my hands free.  Our family has found several uses for Crapchute.  I've taken them to the store with me to put groceries in.  That keeps me from having to use a store's plastic bags, which are not good for the environment.  We've also taken them with us when swimming.  Our towels and swimsuits go in the bags after a swim and we don't have to worry about mildew.  My granddaughter, Rahjae, is going to attend church camp later this month and is going to take the tiger print bag with her to store dirty clothes in.  

Crapchute is dedicated to saving the environment and giving back.  Every purchase helps preserve our oceans.  With the purchase of each Crapchute bag, Crapchute Inc. will donate part of their profits to either SurfAid, The Ocean Conservancy, Surf Riders Foundation or Preserve the Oceans.  They will also donate their time to clean up local beaches in California.  

Take it to the beach, take it to the market, take it to the park, use it as a diaper bag, use it as a wet bag, use it to garden, use it to transport your snow gear. Whatever your task, Crapchute is your go to bag!

Great bags + supporting a great cause = a great company.

I received products for review from Crapchute.  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.