Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's About Relationship, Not Religion

a bracelet I often wear

Read my Bible ✔
Put money in the offering bucket ✔
Dress up in my Sunday best and attend church ✔
Read a Bible story to my kids ✔
Know all the Ten Commandments ✔

Those are all great and grand but....

Matthew 23:1-39 ESV 
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. 

Just because you claim to know Jesus doesn't mean you actually do.  You can know and recite the laws all day long but what really matters is where your heart is in relationship with Christ.

I was a tween when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  That's always the first step.  I attended my fair share of Vacation Bible School and church camps.  And I'd go to Sunday school when I could catch a ride. 

It wasn't until my adulthood, about six years ago, that I learned being a believer is more than automated motions.  I can say The Lord's Prayer day in and day out, but it doesn't mean much if I do it just to "check it off the list". 

Jesus, of course, wants all of us to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.  John 3:16 is the Gospel in a nutshell.  You have to believe and confess Jesus as your savior.  That's just the beginning.

You don't have to believe in Jesus and just leave it at that.  As the Senior Pastor at my church says, it's about having "an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ".  (although I admit I'm weirded out about the word intimate in the same phrase). 

Jesus wants us to:
LEAN on Him
RELY on Him
TRUST Him
TALK to Him
BELIEVE in Him
THANK Him
BEFRIEND Him
and so much more.

Jesus is not some abstracted character that can't be bothered by you.  He wants to be a part of your life, all of it.  Although you can't see our great Lord, you can talk to him and rely on him like He's your closest confidante.  Don't be afraid to be real and be raw with Jesus.  Reach out, even during the darkest of times. 

Doing all the "check mark" stuff is secondary to having a personal relationship with the one who created you.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

*You are encouraged to post your comments with your opinion on the matter, but please refrain from posting comments that are hurtful or snide in nature.*

Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in Karon Beach - Review and Giveaway

PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet has officially been named the Pantone Color of the Year.  The color is described as being a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade that communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

Enigmatic purples have long been symbolic of artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Now you can too while getting a head start on the trending color with Cargo Cosmetics.

Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in Karon Beach ($18 at Kohl’s/Kohls.com and Ulta.com)


I love to experiment with different colors of eye pencils.  I'm not afraid to break out of the norm and wear green, blue, or purple.  The Swimmables™ Eye Pencil from Cargo Cosmetics is made to be waterproof and smudge proof.  No girl wants eyeliner running down her face!

I have a Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in the Karon Beach color.  It is more of a darker plum color than ultra violet but it's still pretty.  It definitely makes my eyes pop.  The eye pencil can be sharpened when needed and application is effortless.  I can't say I've necessarily cried a river or been in a downpour while wearing this, but the color has stayed in place for several hours without smudging or causing any streaks.  



Win It!

One person will win a Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in Karon Beach.

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

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

Stunt Double for Pet Cemetery


It may look otherwise, but I think my grandkitty loves me!

First Winners For 2018

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

The winner of the Adventure Force Light Command Dart Blaster giveaway is #97, Miz Vickik.

The winner of the Petmate Diggin' Diner giveaway is #61, Jennifer Reed.

The winner of the Strong Self(ie) Subscription Box giveaway is #1, Peggy.

The winner of the Go Organically Fruit Snacks giveaway is #113, Rose Santuci-Sofranko.

The winner of the 100 Favorite Bible Verses for Children giveaway is #31, Edye Nicole.

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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

THE STAR - DVD Review and Giveaway




I went to the theater and watched THE STAR with my daughter and son-in-law.  Because of that, I can't speak for any of the bonus materials included when the DVD comes out.  But, to speak of the film, it's one that families can watch together to get a glimpse of Jesus' birth.  THE STAR features expressive animation of animals who follow Mary and Joseph on the journey that changed their lives.  Although the film sometimes sways from the true telling of the real story, it stays mostly on course from the beginning of Mary being told by an angel that she was pregnant to the birth of Christ in a manger.  I'd recommend THE STAR as a delightful family film.



From the studio that brought you MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN & CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS comes the timeless tale about faith, friendship, and the importance of believing in yourself.

AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures Animation’s THE STAR arrives for the first time on Digital on February 6 and on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital February 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The heartwarming animated comedy follows a small but brave donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead”), who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth (voiced by Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”), a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, Friends From College), a dove with lofty aspirations, along with three wisecracking camels voiced by Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”), Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Bo and his new friends follow the star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told.

Rounding out the all-star voice cast including Gina Rodriguez (“Jane The Virgin”) as Mary, Zachary Levi (“Chuck”) as Joseph, Grammy® Award-Winner Kelly Clarkson as Leah the horse, Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) as Zach the goat, Ving Rhames  (Mission Impossible) as Thaddeus the dog, Gabriel Iglesias (Coco, Ferdinand) as Rufus the dog, Patricia Heaton (“The Middle”) as Edith the cow, Emmy® and Tony® Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the mouse, and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) as King Herod.

Bonus Materials Include:

 Star-aoke: Sing-Along with Bo & Friends: In this all new song, sing along with your favorite characters including Bo, Dave, Ruth and the unforgettable camels
"Life Is Good" Dance-Along: Shake your tail feathers and move your hooves in this fun dance along
Lyric Sing-Along Videos: Enjoy the eclectic and inspiring music of THE STAR with these colorful lyric videos that allow you to sing along with your favorite recording artists
“The Star” by Mariah Carey
“Can You See” by Fifth Harmony
“Children Go Where I Send You” by Kelsea Ballerini
“We Three Kings” by Kirk Franklin
“Life Is Good” by A Great Big World
Sweet and Sparkly Stars: Create star-themed cookies to be enjoyed year round
Star Mason Jar Votives: Let the light of THE STAR shine with this simple yet stunning craft
Faith All Year Round with DeVon Franklin: A children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and how to keep the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day
An All-Star Cast: Meet the stars of the film and explore the exciting voice cast who bring these amazing characters to life

THE STAR has a run time of approximately 86 minutes and is rated PG: for some thematic elements

Win It!

One person will win THE STAR on DVD.

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

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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dryness and Security for Men with SwampButt Underwear - Review


I'm not a man so I can't say I know the first thing about wearing men's undergarments.  But, lucky for me, I've got a husband and one teen son at home!  They'll give me their opinion if I ask.  And I'm the "blessed" woman who gets to do their laundry.

Logan's a little more pickier on brand names for apparel but Jason is way more into comfort and fit.  Jason was my guinea pig for SwampButt Underwear.  (Gosh, I love that name!)


Men’s Performance SwampButt Underwear is perfect for the guy who has sweat issues south of the belt or just likes to be comfortable. These drawers were created to draw sweat away from the skin and are made with 91% polyester and 9% spandex.  Additional benefits and features include: 

Form fitting with natural coverage
Wicks away moisture for improved wearability
Quick drying
Extends to mid-thigh
Great strength and resilience
Signature logo on waistband
Machine wash and dry


SwampButt Underwear is available in five colors and four sizes.  I went with Jason's usual size, large.  The one and only complaint Jason had about this underwear is that he wish he'd gotten them in X-large.  They fit him great around the waist but are pretty snug around his thick legs.  

SwampButt Underwear covers the backside, so your man won't have a plumber's crack.  It also extends to mid-thigh so your guy doesn't have to worry about getting a full-blown wedgie from the playground bully.  As a girl who sees her guy wearing SwampButt Underwear, I like how they accentuate my, ahem, man and I like the feel of them.  Let it be noted, men, that the underwear has the pee-pee opening in the front for when you need to do a #1.  

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.

Join Similac® StrongMoms® for Advice and Support



Join Similac® StrongMoms® for up to $400 in benefits* Whether you plan to breastfeed or formula feed, StrongMoms® provides you with expert nutrition advice and support for pregnancy and beyond.

*Offers may vary. For U.S. users only.

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

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 104

Photo by Jametlene Reskp 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 104. 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.

It's a new year and a time to start fresh.  Don't think you're not worthy enough to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  He wants you as you are, right now.  Accept Him into your life and let him lift you up with hope, humbleness, joy, and love.  It's a New Year's resolution that will change your life forever.

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
– Matthew 7: 24

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wordful Wednesday - New Year's Eve

I looked way better in the beginning of the night than I did at the end.

Jason and I traveled to Iowa on New Year's Eve and gathered with a group of friends.  A party bus was rented to take us from place to place.  The bus itself wasn't bad.  The driver was cool and the party elements of the bus were pretty stellar.  But it hadn't been that cold since eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death.  The bus couldn't keep us with the freezing temps so we all huddled and snuggled in blankets.

Maury, Bridget and Alaina

The bus took us to four bars and we spent about an hour at each one.  All had a band playing.  I like to dance, even if it's as bad as hot fudge melting on ice cream.  There's no shame in my game.  

I lost pounds from dancing and shivering, but it was a perfect night to ring in the New Year!
The Girls - Abbey, me, Alaina, Bridget and Annette

Alaina's given me friends by proxy.  She moved to Iowa in July and I'm up there at least once a month, if not more.  Her people have become my people.

our group hanging out on the party bus

How did you celebrate the New Year?

God Bless My Family - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

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.


Book Overview:

Thank you, God, for family! It is so special to have mommies and daddies, grandmas and grandpas, and brothers and sisters and cousins who love each other. Keep us close and safe, Jesus. God Bless My Family!

These furry families are enjoying each moment together. Whether splashing in puddles with cousins after a rainy day, going on a walk with Grandma, or having a fun summer picnic, everyone has a special place in the family!

My Review:

A board book with a soft padded cover, God Bless My Family is filled with darling dog illustrations and engaging rhythmic tempo.  Dogs and puppies of all breeds are depicted showing the great things that families do together and covers many relatives.  This book has a strong emphasis on family and how spending time with them doing quality things is rewarding.  Kids will see dogs snuggling, jumping, dancing, holding hands and more with their next of kin.
Win It!

One person will win a God Bless My Family board book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Flossing Made Fun: New Challenge Encourages More Families to Floss in 2018

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.

Did you know:  More than 50 percent of consumers say their parents didn’t teach them how to floss and only one third of parents say their children floss every day?

According to a recent survey conducted by DenTek and Propeller Insights, the leader in oral healthcare, the brand uncovered surprising findings surrounding family flossing habits and dental hygiene including that eight-in-ten parents say their children would be more likely to floss if offered an incentive.


Just in time for 2018, DenTek is providing the reward families need with the 30 Day Family Floss Challenge and the chance to win an array of great prizes to motivate families to make flossing a part of their oral care routine including movie tickets and gift cards, with one grand prize redeemable for $2,500!

To kick off the challenge, the Eh Bee Family shared a custom rap video on their YouTube channel called “Floss Like a Boss” teaching parents about the importance of flossing, while inviting viewers to join the DenTek 30-Day Family Floss Challenge.

How to Enter: Entering is simple and easy! All you need to do is visit the DenTek 30 Day Family Floss Challenge site, download the calendar, take a family selfie with those super flossed teeth and post the photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, and tag it with @Dentek #FamilyFlossChallenge – for a chance to win amazing prizes.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Food and Fires

If you're looking for a fun linkup check out Random Tuesday Thoughts, hosted by Stacy Uncorked.  Just post all your randomness for the week, and link up at her site.
------------------------------

Thought to ponder:

You know it's cold outside when.....
you go outside and it's cold!
-----------------------------

my sisters, Sandy and Traci

My sisters actually don't live too far away from me so I get a chance to see them sometimes (although not real often....always excuses on both ends).  I got the pleasure of going out to eat with them the other day (along with my son, Logan) at a BBQ joint.  They woke me up out of a dead sleep to go and I had exactly ten minutes to get ready, but I made it.  #MessyHairDontCare

The food was phenomenal.  We sat there long enough that I think the waiter was wondering if we'd ever leave.  That's what happens when you get to gabbin' and laughin'.

Interesting fact about my sister, Traci: She got pregnant at the age of 15, got married, then had the baby.  Even with a teenage marriage and motherhood, she's still with her man.  Long marriages are a thing to be celebrated, even with those circumstances.

green beans and roast beef gravy dinner from Riverside Smokehouse
----------------------------------

Got a picture of my cat taking a picture 
#NowThatsTalent

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I watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle at the theater last night with Logan.  I wasn't a super big fan of the first one, but this one had me crackin' up.  You should go, if just to see a blonde popular high school girl turned into a middle aged man played by Jack Black. 

As if I wasn't glutton for punishment enough on Christmas Eve, I went back to my sister's house last weekend for a game of Farkle.  I think I'm finally getting the hang of the game.  I played Left Center Right too and ended up losing my ass....and a lot of quarters.
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When it's too cold to play outside, just hang up some tarps around your back porch and start a fire in the pit.  Never mind that your eyes are in tears from the smoke.  Just enjoy the company.  #CampKelley
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How are you handling the winter weather?
Have you seen the new Jumanji movie yet?
What's your randomness for the week?

The Doux is A Must Do - Hair Care Giveaway

I received no products 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 Doux® (pronounced The Do) is a “new school” modern hair care system with an “old school edge.” With packaging that is bold and bright and product titles inspired by 90’s hip hop, The Doux is poised to kill it with those seeking a way to smoothing curly, kinky, and wavy hair into both, curly or straight styles. The product is now available at Target making it the newest product to try for anyone looking to manage natural curls of all types and textures.

Created by Maya Smith, a 25-year celebrity stylist and International Curl Master, The Doux was first launched in Europe in 2011 in response to her passion for helping people master the hair they were born with. STRAIGHT, NATURAL, CURLY, or RELAXED, according to The Doux, if you grew it, it’s ALL GOOD. “I was living in Germany at the time, had my own salon there and my specialty was helping clients to transition to a relaxer-free lifestyle. I’m obsessed with people maximizing the potential of the hair they were born with. Mastering curls is my passion and purpose,” explains Smith.

 The people felt her passion through her products. The Doux blew up overseas so much so that it caught the attention of media in the USA. “Once we started getting press in the states the demand for The Doux was incredible. I had to return to the states and see this vision through,” Maya Smith explains. In 2014, Maya opened The DOUX Salon™ in Macon Georgia’s historic Downtown district and started selling her professional grade products at her salons and on-line.

Fast-forward three years and a lot of work and dedication, The Doux has arrived in Target stores; no easy feat for an indie brand. “We are so excited to bring The Doux to the masses. It’s 20 years in the making. We listened to 20 years of feedback from actual clients from Minneapolis to Morocco. We listened to what people wanted, a salon grade, high quality product that delivered on its promises. Helping people to manage and maintain their natural hair and celebrate their own bold, unique style is what the last 25 years of my professional life has been about,” Maya Smith shares.

The Doux also redesigned its packaging, with the intention to disrupt the category. It’s bold with bright colors, which is the opposite of the more subdued look you see on the shelves currently. “I’m a fan of 90’s rap so I wanted to incorporate lyrics and titles in the packaging,” adds Smith. With titles such as Bonita Afro Balm, Mousse Def, Sucka Free, Fresh Rinse, and The Light, The Doux will most definitely catch the eyes of Millennials and Gen X’ers alike.

 THE PRODUCTS:

Shampoo and Conditioner:

*SUCKA FREE™ Moisturizing Shampoo, *FRESH RINSE™ Conditioner

Sulphate & Paraben-free Shampoo and Conditioning Duo with Shea Butter & Sea Silk. A gentle cleansing system for thick, dry, or color-treated hair. Ultra-hydrating conditioner has amazing slip for easy detangling. Sea silk smooths the cuticle, leaving hair frizz-free and full of body. MSRP: $12.99 each.

Stylers:

*BONITA AFRO BALM™ Shine Enhancing Texture Cream Delivers shine and manageability for pixies, Afro's, tapered cuts, and twist/braid/coil sets. Certified organic botanicals, alcohol & paraben free. MSRP: $15.99.

*MOUSSE DEF™  Texture Foam Non-flaking mousse gives definition to curly styles without stiffness, cloudiness, or crunch. Soy proteins and natural humectants make this humidity-resistant styling aid ideal for thermal styling as well. MSRP: $14.99

*THE LIGHT™ Shine Mist Preserves color and protects hair from heat styling. Reduces drying time and delivers weightless shine to finished looks. Adds natural luster to natural styles. Infused with Black Cacao, Passion Fruit, and Palm Oil. MSRP: $14.99.


Win It!

One person will win SUCKA FREE™ Moisturizing Shampoo.

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

Join Me At the Bear Den with #TeamSnuggle

This post contains a referral link.  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.


Bear Den


I've been a part of the Bear Den community for over three years now.  As a member, I've had the opportunity to connect directly with the Snuggle brand.  I receive special offers and announcements, share new ideas and get insider access to new content or product information. Being part of Team Snuggle in the Bear Den is an opportunity to share feedback and opinions on all things Snuggle. In addition to "missions" you can complete surveys that help them better understand you, the consumer, as well as participate in discussions and share ideas tailored to various topics.  If this sounds like something you'd be interesting in doing, sign up for free at the Snuggle Bear Den Community.

Points are the virtual currency of Team Snuggle. You can earn points for almost everything you do in the Bear Den, and earn badges for completing various activities. This includes participating in surveys, sharing on social media and participating in discussions. Points and badges increase your chances of receiving future missions and helps qualify you for special offers from the makers of Snuggle.

The Bear Den is a place to have your voice heard, and share your Snuggle experiences with your friends. You can even earn points and badges for participating. Being a member is always free. I encourage you to join now.

I enjoyed the holiday season with Snuggle Bear! 
#BEARyHappyHoliday

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How To Make A Proper Deep Dish Towels Pizza


pizza with one lone piece of pepperoni

Here's a recipe that your teenage kids will love!  First, start out with a frozen pizza.  Jack's is the norm for us.  Place it directly on the center rack in the oven to cook.  Keep the cardboard at the side so you can gently place the pizza on it when ready.

When the kitchen timer goes off, grab a potholder from the bottom drawer.  Keep drawer open.


This is the point where the dish towels soak up some of the grease and toppings.

The potholder is just for looks.  Set it to the side.  Take your bare hands and try to grab the pizza to quickly throw it on the cardboard.  Do this just long enough that your fingers start to feel the heat.  Let the hot sensation register to your body and drop all toppings (minus one piece of pepperoni) into the dish towel drawer.

Thumbs up for this "taco" pizza

Call in your teenage son and tell him supper is ready.  Let him grab whatever toppings he can salvage from the drawer and throw them back onto the pizza crust.  Fold crust like a taco and eat away.

Yeah, I'll allow you to Pin this recipe!

On-The-Go Oatmeal for National Oatmeal Month - Giveaway

I will receive products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.


January is National Oatmeal Month.   What better time of year to incorporate this nutritious breakfast and snack food into your diet?  Oats are beneficial for providing carbs, protein, calcium, fiber and iron.

 This month, put Munk Pack's ready-to-eat Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes on your radar!  Packed with whole grains and real fruit bites, Munk Pack's Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes are certified gluten-free, non-GMO, certified vegan and high in fiber. The best part? There's no prepping, cooking or cleaning required, making them the perfect quick and easy breakfast or snack for adventurers on-the-go.

Munk Pack's Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes are available at Target, Whole Foods, Amazon and MunkPack.com for $2.49 per pouch.

The Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze snacks are available in five flavors:
Blueberry Acai Flax
Apple Quinoa Cinnamon
Raspberry Coconut
Maple Pear Quinoa
Peach Chia Vanilla


Win It!

One person will win Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze snacks.

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

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 103

Photo by Corinne Kutz 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 103. 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.

Philippians 4:12 
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wordful Wednesday - ROOTS Christmas

Jason with his Star Buddies

Our church has started a fairly new program called ROOTS (Reaching Out for Opportunities To Serve).  It pairs volunteers up with the special needs population and has them come together for activities.  The first ROOTS Christmas Program took place this December.

Jason and I attended this event and had such a good time.  Jason was paired up with two guys who kept him super busy.  I had Donna and Steve, who were a little more chill.

Me and Donna

The first thing everyone did was stuff our faces with pizza and Oreo cookies.  Then each volunteer helped their Star Buddies decorate boxes with wrapping paper and stickers.  I don't do very well in the crafty department but we ended up making a couple boxes that were nice enough.

volunteer helping decorate a box

Once a box was wrapped and decorated, we filled them with food.  Stuffing, gravy mix, cornbread mix, pumpkin dessert, and green beans were just some of what we put in the boxes.  One of Jason's Star Buddies was in a race with himself to see how many boxes he could decorate and fill.  And he laughed his heart out each time Jason would talk about "being kept busy on his feet".  

Santa and Mrs. Claus even made an appearance.  No one was excluded from sitting on Santa's lap and telling what they wanted.  The night ended with Christmas songs and dancing.

The boxes may not have been Pinterest worthy, but they sure had a lot of heart and soul in them.

The finished boxes were distributed throughout the community to needy families so they would have a decent meal to cook for the holidays. 

I honestly wasn't sure if the ROOTS program was my wheelhouse but I had an amazing time with my Star Buddies and am excited to see what the next event will bring.

Even the pastors believe in Santa!

Bioré Skincare’s Acne Collection - 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.
In case you are unfamiliar with the brand, Biore products are known for helping keep your skin clean and beautiful. From deep cleansing to complexion clearing and even make-up removing, Bioré products help keep your skin clean and beautiful.

I have two teens who suffer with acne.  Logan and Juliann are no strangers to Bioré skincare products.  They use them often to help clear up acne and unclog pores.  The Bioré baking soda and charcoal acne fighting products will calm your skin to achieve a clearer complexion in just 48 hours.

Bioré Baking Soda Acne Scrub is a daily cleanser for combination skin which gently removes pore-clogging dead skin cells while also banishing existing breakouts with salicylic acid.

Bioré Charcoal Acne Scrub for oily skin contains exfoliating beads and skin-polishing micro crystals that clear away dead skin cells without irritating skin or stripping it of moisture, while also soaking up sebum.

Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser is a refreshing daily liquid cleanser for oily skin formulated to achieve a deep, pore-clearing clean without over-drying. Natural charcoal absorbs oil, while salicylic acid treats existing pimples and prevents new ones from popping up.

As far as effectiveness, all three products do a pretty decent job at cleansing faces and removing any makeup or dirt.  I wouldn't say it completely gets rid of acne but it does clear it up for the most part and seems to keep them from resurfacing as often.  And, for that, Juliann and Logan are grateful.