Friday, April 19, 2019

God, I Know You're There - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

*Ages 3-7

*Even if you cannot see God, you can feel Him—just like the wind! God, I Know You're There, by bestselling author Bonnie Rickner Jensen, reminds children of the nearness of God. This lesson in faith is paired with the vibrant art style of the talented illustrator Lucy Fleming. 

*Each page will help children understand the many things in the world we can't see, touch, or hear are just as real as God is. And even if God feels distant, He is real and He is near.



My Review:

Without getting into the doctrine of it all, there are times when even believers of Christ may feel like He is not there for us or not with us in the middle of a situation.  Realistically, we should know that to be false but it's comforting when we can be silent and take stock of the many ways God is showing He is always with us.  This book is an ideal way for children to do that.

Told in rhythmic form, God, I Know You're There is a short book that reassures children of God's presence.  Even if we can't see God's love at all times, we can feel it.  This is a board book with just a little over 24 pages that bolsters and builds up a kid's confidence in knowing God is with us, even in ways we may not initially realize.


Win It!

One person will win a God, I Know You're There children's 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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

HP Deals at the #HPWAREHOUSESALE & $500 Gift Card Giveaway - #ad


Right now HP is having a big Warehouse Sale with savings of up to $800 on PCs, now through 5/1/19. A new computer would be fantastic in my home.  The one we have works okay, but it's been around a while. 

My personal preference is the OMEN by HP - 15-dc0011nr which has some pretty fantastic features and a sleek design.  Right now it’s on sale for $849.99 (reg. $1399.99).

Browse the circular below to see some other awesome savings:



HP Savings.com Rebate

In addition to the savings, you can get up to a $50-$200 rebate on orders over $500! Spend $500 or more at HP and fill out this rebate form for a $50 rebate off your purchase of $500 or $200 off your purchase of $1500 or more ($100 off qualifying HP Business Notebook, HP Business Desktop, or HP Z Workstation purchase), available through 1/1/20 or while offer lasts.



#HPWarehouseSale Giveaway

Be sure to enter the #HPWarehouseSale giveaway.  Enter now through Tuesday, April 30th at 11:59 pm PT. Five winners will each receive a $100 gift card from HP! All you have to do is submit your email address. The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Wednesday, 5/1 via the email address they used to enter.

Are you in need of a new PC?  Now is the time to get one!

This post contains affiliate links.  This is a sponsored post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

It's The Week to Celebrate My Profession


I've been a 9-1-1 Public Safety Telecommunicator for 14 years now.  This is the week to celebrate me, and all others in my profession, who field and dispatch calls for sheriff, fire, police, and ambulance.  It's a thankless job (aren't most!) so it's nice to be recognized one week out of the year.  Our supervisors will be "thanking" us this week with cookout, pizza party, and tons of other food.  I may gain a few pounds, but I'm gonna take full advantage of it!

The Adventures of Jurassic Pet - DVD Giveaway


An adventurous teenager summons the courage to help a friendly dinosaur escape from the clutches of a mad scientist in The Adventures of Jurassic Pet, arriving on DVD, Digital, and On Demand April 16 from Lionsgate. David Fletcher-Hall, Kyler Beck, and Ben Hall star in this live-action adventure “that the entire family will enjoy” (The Dove Foundation) and has been awarded the Dove Seal of Approval for all ages. The Adventures of Jurassic Pet DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98. 

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

In this thrilling family adventure, a teen boy adopts and hatches a baby T. rex, but then must rescue the creature from a mad scientist who wants to clone a whole new breed of dinosaurs.


Win It!

One person will win The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 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

Six More April Winners

Photo by IIONA VIRGIN on Unsplash

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

The winner of the Animal Noses children's book giveaway is #30, Lynne.

The winner of the You Are Never Alone children's book giveaway is #28, Donna B.

The winner of the If A Mummy Could Talk... children's book giveaway is #18, Leela.

The winner of the How Do You See the World? game giveaway is #1, aperry.

The winners of the PawParazzi DVD giveaway are #25, LeAnn Harbert and #29, Nikki Harvey.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out and enter the currently 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, April 11, 2019

Stop the Magnet Madness

This is NOT okay.  Nephew, Ozzy, rearranged the magnets the other day.  Kid's lucky I love him.

My momma says I was born with OCD.  Rather than being a normal child, she claimed I'd wake up in the middle of the night to brush my teeth or change clothes.  Dirt was my enemy and I'd scream bloody murder if a stain so much as made its way to my garments.  I rarely slept, instead worrying about how my dolls and toys were lined up. 

I still have some very quirky traits but it's settled down over time.  My house no longer has to pass the white glove test.  I think having six kids in the house helped me give up on that one. 

HOWEVER, there are some things you just don't mess with.  My fridge magnets being one of them.

There's nothing fancy about my magnets and they probably make my fridge look cluttered.  But darn near everyone who knows me knows not to mess with them.  Which, in turn, makes them want to do it just to see me sweat. 

The magnets have a place and a purpose, all lined up nice and neat.  Is it so much to ask for a little harmony?!


How it's supposed to be!

River Rescue - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

When oil spills, workers hurry to clean the land and water. But oil spills can also affect every animal that lives in the area. Who helps these wild animals? On the East Coast, a team from Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research rushes to the scene to save as many as possible. Follow along to learn how these experts capture oiled animals and treat them quickly and safely so that they may be returned to the wild. This illustrated nonfiction is based on the extensive experience of the Oiled Wildlife Response Team at Tri-State.


My Review:

Oil spills are extremely harmful to animals and their environment.  Thankfully, there are a handful of specialized teams who care for the animals who have been affected by oil spills and other harmful environmental factors.  River Resuce is a book that tells about the Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.  Although the pictures are colored illustrations, the story tells the trueness of how this team works to save animals.  This is an interesting account of the work and dedication that goes into rescuing animals, especially birds.  It takes a lot more than just "washing the oil off".  Reading this book gave me a bigger appreciation of these experts and what they do to save wildlife.

The 'For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book further educates children with information on preventing oil spills and helping animals.  As an example, we should dispose of cooking oil by letting it cool and putting it in a container with a lid.  A Wildlife Identification page shows pictures of animals that were helped by Tri-State.  There's also a very interesting Q & A with Tri-State Executive Director Lisa Smith.

River Rescue is a Spring 2019 book release by Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win a River Rescue children's book.

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

I received book for review from Arbordale Publishing.  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

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 167

Photo by Josh Applegate 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 167.  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.

"The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."
–Mark 12:31

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Cream Cheese Bacon Dip - Recipe




If you're looking for a low-fat recipe, this isn't it.
But if you're looking for a delicious party dip, you've come to the right place.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup sour cream

1 cup cream cheese, softened

21/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, split

1 cup cooked bacon bits

1/4 cup chopped spring onions

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, mix together sour cream, cream cheese, 2 cups cheddar cheese, bacon, spring onions, salt and pepper.  Transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes then remove foil and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread, chips, or crackers.

Check It Out: Savings.com #SpringIntoHomeDepot Giveaway



Savings.com is giving away ten (10) $50 Home Depot gift cards to help bring awareness to the Home Depot Spring Black Friday Sale.

Giveaway starts on Tuesday, April 9th at 12:00 AM PT
Giveaway ends on Wednesday, April 17th at 11:59 PM PT
The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Thursday (4/18) via the email address they used to enter.



During Home Depot's Spring Black Friday Sale, here are just some deals you can shop for:

Magic Chef 6-Bottle Wine Cooler - Sale Price: 56.99
(originally $64.28)

RYOBI 16 in. ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Push Lawn Mower - Sale Price $199.00
(originally $299.00)

Frigidaire 20.4 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator - Sale Price $648.40
(originally $899.00)

RYOBI 15 Amp 10 in. Sliding Miter Saw with Laser - Sale Price $129.00
(originally $219.00)

Sale ends April 17, 2019.

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

Monday, April 8, 2019

When You Find Out Your Sister's Not Your Sister

Sandy with our "dad"

You know those DNA Ancestry kits that are all the rage these days?  Yeah well, eff 'em all.  They're great for catching the Golden State Killer.  But not so great for families who are okay with how things are.

I won't go into the whole long family lineage but I have a half-sister, Sandy, who is 56 years old.  She was in town a couple weeks ago for a family birthday party but I was several hours away helping my son move.  While I was away, Sandy threw out the truth bomb.  I got to hear about it days later through my other sister.

me and Sandy

I don't know all the details and I'm not sure I want to know right now.  But Sandy found out through one of those stupid DNA kits that our dad is not her dad.  In fact, her real dad is dead.  (Her mom died many years ago.)  

My dad knew this.  He knew he wasn't her father.  And he took that secret to his grave.

Sandy even found out she has a sister - a real blood sister.  Something I'm not anymore.  
They plan to meet sometime soon.

Sandy deserved to know the truth and I hope she gets the answers she needs.  But I'm not going to let a DNA kit tell me she's not my sis.  She has been for 42 years and it's not about to stop now.

The Long and Short Tail of Colo and Ruff - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

Colo the cougar and her friend Ruff, the bobcat, jump and play together, but Ruff can't jump as far as Colo. Ruff doesn't have a long, swishy tail like Colo does, to provide balance on long leaps. Ruff's tail is much shorter. He is sure that something is wrong with him. Sympathetic, Colo suggests they find a tail that Ruff would like better, so off they go. As the two kittens explore the variety of tails worn by other animals, they make the best discovery of all

My Review:

This story tells of Colo, the cougar cub who meets up with Ruff, a bobcat cub.  When Ruff sees that Colo can jump far because of his tail, the two set off to find Ruff a new tail.  They come across a skunk, a lizard, a bird, and other species.  In the end, the two determine that Ruff's tail is just right for the cub.  It's a cute tale about tails!

Along with the playful tale of two cubs are facts about animals on each page.  For instance, kids will learn that birds can adjust their tail feathers to the shape they need for fast flight, making turns, or landing.

The 'For Creative Minds' section after the story further educates and entertains.  There's maps that show the four types of wildcats in North America.  There's a Cat Comparison chart of the cougar, bobcat, and house cat.  Additionally, there's information on Tail Adaptations and a Match the Tail matching game.

The Long and Short Tail of Colo and Ruff is a Spring 2019 book release from Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win The Long and Short Tail of Colo and Ruff children's book.

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

I received book for review from Arbordale Publishing.  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

First Winners for April

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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

The winner of the How Do You Say Good Night? children's book giveaway is #36, Charlene S.

The winner of the Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray/DVD giveaway is #98, Lauren.

The winner of the Second Act Blu-ray/DVD giveaway is #42, Deborah Wellenstein.

The winner of the Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix giveaway is #53, EclecticZebra.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out and enter the current active giveaways.  They're always 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.

Mom In A Box - Review and Discount Code


Being a mom is one of the most rewarding, and hardest, commissions ever.  Mom In A Box knows that moms need pampered and has taken that concept into creation with their care packages.  You can sign up for a monthly subscription box, or make a one-time purchase.

Know a mom with the sniffles?  Send her a Sniffles Box
Know a mom having a birthday?  Send her the Birthday Box.
Are you a mom and want to treat yourself to some goodies?  Get yourself Mom In A Box. 

I received a Spring Box.  It has a purchase price of $59.99 and included:

Goal setting pamphlet
Adulting To-Do List
Detox Tea bags
Individual packets of honey
Detox Bath Soak
Chapstick
Homemade Lemon cookies
Homemade Trail Mix cookies
Cards of motivational quotes
Magnolia seeds
Small flower pot
Package of potting soil
You've Been Mom'd mug

It was fun unboxing all the goodies and putting them to use.



Exclusive Discount Code:

Enter code BRS0419 at Mom In A Box checkout for 15% off purchase.  Offer is valid through Mother's Day.

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.

Friday, April 5, 2019

That's What I Get For Cleaning


My husband lost a book he wanted to loan out to someone.  So, while I was looking for it, I took upon the task of cleaning.  Really cleaning.  I got out the supplies and went to town.

Then I started to tackle the hallway closet.  Standing on a kitchen chair, I started to move items around to look for the book and get rid of stuff I no longer used.

Somehow, someway I managed to topple over the kitchen chair.  My left leg suffered "rug burns" from scraping against the chair.  And my right ankle slammed against the entertainment center.  Knickknacks started toppling over so I'm trying to keep myself from falling further while minimizing damage to broken items.

All that took away my cleaning mood real quick and in a hurry.  Maybe I'll resume again next week.  Maybe not.

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo - Review



It’s incredibly common for moms to get so busy that washing and styling your hair just becomes too much! When we’re busy with kids, work, and other responsibilities, our hair is the last thing on our to-do list. The introduction of dry shampoo allows us to go a little longer in-between washes, so that us moms can handle business and look fabulous doing it.

I personally started using dry shampoo about a year ago.  Although I'm no stranger to the brand itself, I was recently introduced to Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo.


This particular Dry Shampoo is sold every six seconds!  Let me repeat that.  In the time it will take to read this paragraph another Clean Freak dry shampoo is sold.  So it's no secret that this spectacular formula is everyone's choice for an instant pick-me-up that performs.

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo is fragrance-free and formulated with oil-absorbing properties.  It helps stop the dreaded oily hair ponytails and keep that blowout looking fresh for a few more days.  Spray it in your hair and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Then, massage it into your roots and head out the door! 

I received product for review from Not Your Mother's.  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.

Slammers Snacks - #FueltheFun Review and Giveaway


School is in session, and we want to make sure our kids are prepped for the day--armed with all of the tools and healthy snacks to power through fractions, reading, and after-school sports.

Packed with organic, vegetables, and superfoods, Slammers Snacks by Kids Gourmet are a fun, easily digestible alternative to sugary snacks, bars, and chips normally geared towards kids.  Slammers organic snacks come in six different fruity flavors that introduce kids to mango, acai, yumberry, kiwi, and pomegranate.  

Awesome - packed with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, beets, açai, and amaranth - is Slammers’ bestselling flavor, and now available as a 12-pack at Costco for $7.99.  Not only do Slammers taste great, but they’re a good source of essential vitamins and minerals to keep kids in tip-top shape. 


Slammers come in four squeezable pouches per box.  Some kids balk at fruits and veggies, but the packaging of Slammers is genius enough that kids want to try them.  The pouches have kid-friendly designs, with neat graphics on the front and pictures of the fruits and veggies on the back.  The way they work is that the caps twist off and the kids eat right out of the pouch.  I liken Slammers to having the same consistency of applesauce or pureed food.

All of the ingredients in Slammers come from certified organic farms and contain no added sugar or artificial ingredients.  I think Slammers are a clever way to get kids to eat the good stuff

Win It!

One person will win a case of Slammers Snacks in the Awesome flavor.

*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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Minted: 25% Off Save the Dates


Minted is a company known for unique art, stationery and home decor.  Now through Monday, April 8th, Minted is offering 25% off save the dates with code ENGAGED25. All save the dates at Minted are gorgeous and completely original - perfect to reflect the individuality and love of each couple. Bring your dream wedding to life with unique designs from Minted's community of independent artists.

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

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 166

Photo by @Matthew_T_Rader 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 166.  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.

"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities."
–Luke 16:10

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Jelly Bean Blessings - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

*Ages 0-4

*Jelly Bean Blessings is a cheery seasonal board book that celebrates all springtime blessings! Kids will be drawn to the charming cover and whimsical art, and they'll love the idea of exploring the many reasons we love spring.

*From picking flowers to jumping in puddles to eating delicious jelly beans, these activities are a fun way to thank God for the beautiful parts of the season that we get to enjoy together!


My Review:

Spring has sprung!  And with it comes new growth and new beginnings.  It's a time to reflect on the good things that Spring brings. Told in rhythmic form and teeming with cute animal critters, Jelly Bean Blessings is a comely book for this season.  Younger children will delight in seeing the animals fly kites, go on hikes, eat jelly beans, and revel in the novelty of a budding season.  This is a perfect board book suitable for children up to four years of age.



Win It!

One person will win a Jelly Bean Blessings children's 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordful Wednesday - My Son's Big Move

Riding in the back seat of a truck, using toilet paper and clothes as a pillow.

Most of my family lives fairly close.  Very few of us are further than three hours driving distance.  A lot of us even live in the same town.  Leave it for my kid to be the one to take off on new life adventures...12  hours away!  #HappyForHim #SadForMe

Adam getting gas in Kentucky

Last week's Wordful Wednesday highlighted some of the touristy stuff we did.  I feel like we drove more than anything but it was nice being able to get Adam settled in his new home. 

It's not a dead body, just a sleeping Shelby

At one point, we were bushwhacked and decided to take a nap in a Virginia Wal-Mart parking lot for an hour an a half.  I find it odd that not one person found it odd that something resembling a corpse wrapped in a sheet was in a passenger seat of a truck.  
  
Also not a dead body.  Just Shelby (again) taking a nap on Adam's floor.

Adam is a bachelor so he doesn't own a whole lot.  We were able to take it all up with his dad's truck pulling a U-Haul trailer.  Advice for movers: Drive a truck with power steering.  It will save tons of headache and expletives.  #LessonLearned
Also note: Sectional couches are heavy as hell.

Adam laying on the sectional couch that was almost the death of me

A few months ago, a friend of a friend asked Adam's dad if he knew any experienced welders.  Lo and behold, Adam fit the bill.  Thus, the reason for the move.  Living in Tennessee and working in Virginia.  Just a few hours into hitting TN, Adam met with a landlord and started rent on a two-bedroom house.

I'm all for going there from time to time to visit, but it sure is different than having him live in the same city.