Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Holiday Lights and Betta Fish

This is the last Random Tuesday Thoughts of the year.  If you wanna link up, be sure to head over to Stacy Uncorked.
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me with friend, Anya

I'm a little late on the uptake in posting, but something I wanna remember anyway.  Our Life Group got together in the middle of November for our 2nd annual Friendsgiving.  We had good food and good conversation.

And, we all had good intentions of keeping together during the holidays.  Didn't happen.  If there's one thing I'm glad about the holidays being over, it's that our Life Group can start getting back together again on Tuesdays.  Miss my peeps.

yummy, yummy to my tummy
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This happened in October but the memory randomly popped in my head recently.  Me, Jason and a couple of friends went to IHOP to eat supper.  Sitting down, our friend noticed the waiter's name tag.  DIRK DIGGLER!  Either his mom has a sense of humor or the waiter has an, ahem, big ego.  (For those not in the know, Dirk Diggler is a mockumentary based upon a well-endowed male porn star.)
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Our town went on a 5-year hiatus and quit operating the Avenue of Lights during Christmas.  Thanks to new "owners", it's back in business.  It's several miles of lights and animatronics throughout a local park.  I went one night with my niece and her kids.  It was pretty amazing.  
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Adam with Helen last month

As many of you know, my dog mauled and killed our kitten.  As upset as I was (and still am) I couldn't see myself euthanizing Helen or giving her to just anybody.  I also didn't want her to go to anyone with kids or other animals, lest it happen again.  Thankfully my son, Adam, is coming from Tennessee at the first of the year to take the dog home with him.  This makes me feel much better, knowing Helen will be in good hands.  
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I got together with some volunteers at the church and packaged up a bunch of boxes with food.  The next day, my husband and other staff took them to 30 families in need.  We didn't have near the help as we've had in years past but we managed to get it done in time.
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It definitely doesn't take the place of my kitty, but I got a Betta Fish.  His name is Bigsbee.  He's a cool enough guy.  
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What's your randomness for the week?
How were your holidays?
Hope you have a great New Year! 

The Instant Pot Diabetes Cookbook - Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

November 2019 | $19.95 US / $25.99 CAN

The ultimate Instant Pot cookbook for people with diabetes, from the diabetes food and nutrition experts!

This Instant Pot–authorized cookbook from the experts at the American Diabetes Association contains 90 easy and healthy recipes made with simple ingredients. Inside, you’ll find nutritious, flavorful Instant Pot recipes that will easily transform into mouth-watering meals. Each recipe includes detailed instructions to walk you through every step of cooking with your Instant Pot. Recipes include family favorites as well as a wide range of options inspired by Mexican, Italian, Thai, Indian, and Cajun cuisines. Whatever you have a taste for, you’ll find it in this book! Additionally, each recipe meets the nutrition guidelines set by the American Diabetes Association.

Other features of the Instant Pot Diabetes Cookbook include:

Pressure Pointers to help you understand how your Instant Pot works and what it can do
A table of cooking times for a variety of ingredients from grains to veggies to meats
Essential kitchen equipment and ingredients to have on hand to make diabetes-friendly cooking with your Instant Pot a breeze
Complete nutrition information with each recipe to make diabetes meal planning easy

About the Author:

Nancy S. Hughes is a bestselling author and leading food consultant. She has written more than 20 nationally published cookbooks and developed recipes for 60 additional cookbooks with over 7,500 published recipes to her credit. Nancy has been honored to work with clients across the U.S. and Canada. She works with major corporations, health-focused organizations, magazines, and web-based clients including: the American Heart Association, Cooking Light, Better Homes and Gardens, Betty Crocker, Del Monte Foods, the Canola Council, National Processed Raspberry Council, Rice Federation, eMeals, and Nestlé.

My Review:

I do not have diabetes but was recently informed by my doctor that I need to make some health changes.  The Instant Pot Diabetes Cookbook has been a great tool for delicious meals that aren't laden with fats.

I received an Instant Pot in December 2018 from my husband and we've used it many, many times within the last year.  The Instant Pot Diabetes Cookbook has given us even more recipes to cook in one of our favorite kitchen appliances.

The cookbook is divided into sections:
Sweet Enders
So-Simple Protein Based Entrees
Sides: Starchy and Nonstarchy
Soups, Stews, and Anything in a Bowl
Hot 'n Cold Appetizers and Snacks
Combo Main Dishes
Breakfast Dishes: Mains and Sides
Protein, Veggie, and Grain Main Dish Salads
Sandwiches: Open-Faced, Wrapped, Stuffed, and Between the Bun

So, as you can tell, there's plenty of meals to make.  And, if you're intimidated by the Instant Pot (like I was in the beginning) there's a wealth of information on what it can do and how it works.

Whether you have diabetes or not, I definitely recommend this cookbook as one to add to your collection if you own an Instant Pot.

Win It!

One person will win The Instant Pot Diabetes Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Healthy Home Cooking.

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

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Why Do We Say Good Night? - Children's Book Review


Book Overview:

Going to bed and turning out the light can be a hard time for many children. Award-winning author Champ Thornton wrote this beautifully designed and illustrated book to help parents comfort their children with three truths about God. As a mother and her little daughter talk, they remember together that God made the night, he sees in the dark, and he watches over them just like a shepherd protects his sheep. Children and parents will want to start a new nighttime tradition of reading together about why we can say that the night is good.

In this important, engaging children's book, parents can bring comfort and encouragement to their children, reminding them Jesus is near.



My Review:

Young children thrive on routine and rituals.  Bedtime can be a precious time of connection for you and your kids. Enjoy those snuggly moments together as you read this bedtime book while exploring all the goodness of God even when it's dark.

This book is delightful way to open children's eyes to the many ways that God shows His love and watches over us.  It's also a good way to show children that there's no reason to be afraid of the dark.  A short narrative told in rhythmic form, Why Do We Say Good Night? talks about the goodness of God and how we are well-protected at all times.  The illustrations of "monsters" show that our imagination can run wild at night but that there's no reason to be scared.  I love the message this story conveys.

I received book for review from New Growth Press.  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.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Heck of A Christmas 2019: Round 1

my granddaughter, Aryana

Aryana was kind enough to let my oldest daughter wear her crown while getting a picture with her new Air Fryer.

When you have no room to hang nine stockings, you compromise and zip tie them to the curtain rods.

Wow, Christmas was a whirlwind this year!  Having six kids who live in different places and work different hours, we had to do Christmas in split shifts.  

son-in-law, George

my granddaughter, Rahjae, with our dog.  

Our first gathering was held in my home for my oldest daughter, her husband, and my two granddaughters.  Jason cooked deer/beef chili and we catered to Aryana's request of a tea party.

me donning a Rudolph onesie

My daughter gifted me these two VHS tapes.  She located them at a thrift store.  These two shows were on endless loop when the kids were young.  I don't even own a VHS player now, but I love the memories it brings back.

Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil - Blu-ray Giveaway


She Gives Evil a Good Name

Ring in the new year with Disney's most iconic villain when Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning and Michelle Pfeiffer, arrives on Digital and Movies Anywhere December 31 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD January 14, 2020. The thrilling sequel to 2014's Maleficent will include brand-new bonus features, extended scenes, outtakes and an exclusive extra for Digital consumers.


Directed by Joachim Rønning, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” carries on the story of Disney's most iconic villain. The years have been kind to Maleficent and Aurora. Their relationship, born of heartbreak, revenge and ultimately love, has flourished. Yet hatred between man and the fairies still exists. Aurora's impending marriage to Prince Philip is cause for celebration as the wedding serves to unite the Kingdom of Ulstead and the neighboring Moors. But, when an unexpected encounter introduces a powerful new alliance, Maleficent and Aurora are pulled apart to opposing sides in a Great War, testing their loyalties and causing them to question whether they can truly be a family.

Feature Run Time: Approximately 118 minutes
Rating: PG in U.S.

Win It!

Two people will each win Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

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

I will receive product for review.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Final Winners for December


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

The winner of the DCappella Rockin' Holiday Album giveaway is #29, Amy Tebow.

The winner of the Despicable Me 3 Blu-ray giveaway is #8, Lisa Williams.

The winners of the Bernie the Dolphin 2 DVD giveaway are:
#20, Kelly Nicholson
#15, Robin A.
#35, Sam M.
#14, Jan Lee
#6, Lisa Williams.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  As always, keep an eye out for any active giveaways I've got going on.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Yippee: New Streaming Service for Families - Review and Giveaway


Yippee is a new steaming service for families and the only place to stream the brand new VeggieTales episodes, including The Best Christmas Gift and all 45 of the original classic VeggieTales.

There are so many amazing shows on Yippee, like:

• New VeggieTales
• 45 Original Classic VeggiesTales
• Jay Jay the Jet Plane
• Owlegories
• Timbuktoons
• The Adventures from the Book of Virtues
• And hundreds of other episodes hand-picked for your family!

About Yippee:

A new streaming service for families.

From VeggieTales to Youtube shows, we have something for the whole family from toddlers to ten year olds. Now you can enjoy a secure, curated environment that ensures your kids start out in a safe place and then stay in a safe place. Built on the best tech, it just works! No laggy streams and apps for all your devices. Watch where you want, when you want to, including offline downloads.

https://www.yippee.tv
https://www.facebook.com/yippeetv
https://www.instagram.com/yippeetv/


As many of you know, my 7 yoa niece and 4 yoa nephew come to my home quite often.  When watching movies or shows, I want to expose them to content that is appropriate for their age.  Yippee, a new streaming service, is perfect for the kiddos.  I don't have to worry about what they view and they get good-quality content.  The service is easy to use and you can browse for shows and movies that appeal to your youngster.  So far, Jay Jay the Jet Plane and Topsy Turvy have been favorite shows for Harley and MaKynzee.  I definitely recommend Yippee as a streaming service for safe, fun, clean content. 




Win It!

One person will win a Yippee prize pack that includes:
3-month subscription to Yippee
Yippee coffee mug
Yippee tshirt
confetti blaster

Each household is only eligible to win Yippee Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  This giveaway is 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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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Santa Fake: New Holiday Film for the Family



There's some people who watch Christmas movies only during the holidays.  Then there's those who watch them year-round.  Whichever of the two you are, I think you'll like Santa Fake.  Add it to your  collection as a holiday film to watch with the family.

AVAILABLE ON DVD AND DIGITAL


SYNOPSIS:

A classic Christmas movie full of holiday music, sentimental romance, family-friendly comedy, and colorful holiday spirit, SANTA FAKE brings holiday cheer with top-notch musical numbers and brilliant performances by a delightful cast that will enchant the whole family.

Pat Keeley (Damian McGinty, “Glee;” Celtic Thunder), an undocumented Northern Irish immigrant has made his way to NYC where he is taken in, unwittingly, by a crime boss (John Rhys-Davies). Asked to deliver two mysterious briefcases, naïve Pat in a panic ends up in the wrong destination: Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe gives him a home and a job as the shopping mall Santa Claus, allowing him to hide in plain sight from both the authorities and the gangsters he is trying to evade. As Pat gets wrapped up deeper into the spirit of Christmas and his role as Santa Claus, he finds that the phony white beard and big red suit are more than just a handy disguise, but instead his real destiny.

SANTA FAKE features an all-star cast including Damian McGinty (“Glee;” Celtic Thunder), Heather Morris (“Glee”), John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones), Judd Nelson (“Empire;” The Breakfast Club; St. Elmo’s Fire), Jeff Fahey (“Lost;” Alita: Battle Angel, Machete), Tony Amendola (The Legend of Zorro; “Stargate;” Blow; Annabelle), Gary Farmer (Dead Man; “Longmire;” “The Red Road”), Soledad Saint Hilaire (Real Women Have Curves; Ocean’s Thirteen), and Pancho Moler (“Ray Donovan;” “American Horror Story”).

Also on its way in Santa’s sleigh, as companions to the film, are the EP “Songs of SANTA FAKE” by Damian McGinty, “SANTA FAKE: The Movie Soundtrack,” and the children’s picture book: SANTA FAKE: You Are Never Alone at Christmas, which is available in e-book and print.

Run Time: Approx. 86 minutes

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Twitter: @SantaFakeMovie
Instagram: @santafake_official
Facebook: facebook.com/SantaFakeMovie/
Hashtag: #SantaFakeMovie

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

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Characters In The Park






Having a great-niece and nephew living so close by has its advantages. With my kids being older, I can vicariously live through them.  Like, when I want to go to the park and see costumed characters.


I did just that on Thursday.  Grabbed up Harley and MaKynzee, and took them to Washington Park for a walk around to see characters and get pics.  Wreck-It Ralph, Anna and Elsa, Meridia, and many more were there.  I also let them play in the snow and throw snowballs at each other.  They had a blast doing that until it was time to get in line to see Santa and The Grinch.  Harley decided his hands were getting cold and was ready to go to Burger King...to get ice cream.  Hands weren't too cold for that!  

Jack Skellington is actually a guy I work the night shift with

Not only did he have ice cream, Harley also licked my cup of ketchup clean!

Free App: Show Santa in Your House on Christmas


This year, parents looking to surprise the kids with evidence of Santa’s Christmas Eve visit can use the free Santa in Your House app. 

The new release of the Holiday season’s highest rated app now features high-res Santa images that are more realistic than ever. Once the app is downloaded to an iPhone or Android, parents just snap a photo of a room in their house and insert one of the app’s realistic Santa images to surprise and delight the kids Christmas morning!

Click iPhone to get the app free at the Apple Store or Android to get the app free from Google Play.


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.

Saving Ivy - YA Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

Paperback – November 5, 2019
by Emily Reilly

What happens when your life crumbles at the tips of your fingers? Ivy Hazeldine, a fifteen-year-old girl, finds herself in a world of deterioration when her mother gasps her final breath.Ivy’s Aunt Wiley takes on the challenge of raising Ivy, hoping time will help heal the withering pain from such a sudden and tragic loss. But time seems to be working against them as their lives become further deranged and twisted with chaos.Ivy’s mind becomes dark and contorted, pushing her closer to the edge of doom. Aunt Wiley is seemingly powerless against the thoughts clouding Ivy’s mind, but she isn’t one to give up easily. She dedicates her life to rescuing Ivy from the hands of hell, but are her efforts to help Ivy see the silver lining in her tragic life enough?

My Review:

Saving Ivy tells of a high schooler who is not given a very good lot in life.  Ivy struggles with a lot more than what a normal teenager her age goes through.  Her thoughts, though, seem pretty realistic in comparison with her peers.  The story packs a punch right from the beginning and goes on to the very end.  The narratives are told from the perspectives of four people - Ivy, her mother, her father, and her aunt.  Although I'm not a big fan of stories being told this way, I was able to easily discern between the different characters without confusion.  

The ending is not what I expected.  I was mind blown and left with a whole slew of emotions.  I wanted to be mad that it didn't have the normal happy ending but I have to give kudos for the twist that I didn't expect.  I'm not an advocate for how the ending happened but I can almost see why things happened the way they did.  Although this is a YA book aimed at, well, young adults I think it's appropriate to mention there is mature writing of rape, murder, and suicide.  


Win It!

One person will win a Saving Ivy paperback book.

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

I received book for review from Mascot Books.  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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Friday, December 20, 2019

Legend of the Snowflake

Bought this little poem and golden snowflake at a craft show.  Thought it'd be cute to share:


Legend of the Snowflake

Long ago a gleaming Star led the way from afar.
All through the night it shown bright,
to guide us to the Holy Light.
Legends say that snowflakes are pieces of that Special Star,
to remind us of Jesus wherever we are!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 195

Photo by Tim Mossholder 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 195. 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.

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.
–1 John 5:4

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Bernie the Dolphin 2 Now Available on Digital and DVD


A heartwarming adventure for the whole family, Bernie the Dolphin 2 is now available on DVD, Digital, and On Demand from Lionsgate. Starring Kevin Sorbo and Patrick Muldoon, the film is approved by the Dove Foundation for all ages. The Bernie the Dolphin 2 DVD is available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.


OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS:

Kevin and Holly are thrilled that their dolphin friend Bernie has come back to the harbor. But so has their old enemy Winston (Kevin Sorbo, TV’s “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”), who’s just gotten out of prison. As the kids have fun with playful dolphin Rascal and sassy parrot Mango, Winston is forced by his old partner to help kidnap the talented Bernie. Can Kevin and Holly uncover the scheme and save their splashy friend before it’s too late? This charming family comedy also stars Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers).


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

Monday, December 16, 2019

Another Birthday in the Books


Friday the 13th was unlucky for some but, for me, it was a day of nothing but good!  I celebrated my 43rd birthday, yo!  As per usual, my husband invited people over to hang.  We had family and friends over for drinks and carrot cake.  

Jason purchased me a George Foreman Grill & Panini.  I requested it so I could make fancy sandwiches.  I even created deli ham and provolone cheese sandwiches the next day.  Pretty good!  My sister got me two pair of leggings and Ghiradelli chocolates.  I also got a couple bottles of Jagermeister (which literally knocked me on my butt...got the butt bruise to prove it!)  

leggings from my sister

Check out this sweet post my oldest step-daughter posted on FB:

Happy Birthday to the coolest stepmom a girl could ask for! Our first 10 years were far from perfect but I wouldn’t trade our relationship now for anything. Thank you for loving me and my sisters, thank you for always supporting me, giving me 3 more siblings to love, being a listening ear, making me laugh, crying with me, and most of all.. thank you for just being present in my life.

I hope you had the best day! I love you so much! ❤️

Awwwwwwwwwww, all the feels!

Exergen Smart Glow TemporalScanner - Review and Giveaway

Most people don’t realize the difference between a cold and the flu is that with the flu, you have a fever. That’s why you need the Exergen TemporalScanner™ for the whole family, and especially for your baby. It’s perfect because you can take a baby’s temperature without disturbing him or her:

·      A softly illuminated display makes it easy to read in any light – perfect for checking the temperature of a sleeping infant in a darkened room

·      A quiet beeping sound indicates scanning can be turned off or on to avoid waking a sleeping child

·      It automatically retains the last eight temperature readings for instant recall to check on fever progression

Made in the United States, the Exergen Smart Glow TemporalScanner™ is the number one preferred thermometer by both nurses and pediatricians and is backed by more than 70 clinical studies proving its accuracy.

My Review:

Well, color me informed - I didn't k now that you have a fever with a flu but not a cold!  Now that I've been enlightened, I'd like to tell you about the Exergen Smart Glow TemporalScanner.  It checks for, you guessed it, a fever!  It reflects the temperature of the skin's surface over the temporal artery, a main artery of the head.

Having a thermometer on hand is always convenient.  But having a thermometer that provides extra features is even better.  The Exergen Smart Glow TemporalScanner is packaged with a battery, which will need to be inserted before use.  It is pretty easy to use this thermometer but I suggest reading the instructions first to get a feel for all the functions and readings.  I like that I can get a reading quickly and accurately, and it isn't invasive.



Win It!

One person will win an Exergen Smart Glow TemporalScanner.

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

I received product for review from Exergen.  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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