Monday, March 30, 2020

How We're Keeping Busy During Social Distancing

Bristol having a good ear day

Just like darn near everyone else, we're in sort of a lockdown.  The state of IL has ordered a "stay at home" mandate.  We can still go out, but not hang out.  All non-essential businesses have closed.  As a 9-1-1 Dispatcher, I'm considered an Essential Employee so I'm still doing the night shift.  As you can imagine, it's been slower than usual.  The weekend bar fights have ceased, so that's a plus! 

Jason and I have been keeping occupied working on a few projects around the home. 

Jason built me, my oldest daughter, and my sister easels so it's easier to work on our diamond art kits.  He has three more to build for other friends.

I've been working forever and a day on this diamond art kit.  

I repurposed this standing photo frame.  My mom purchased it for me over 15 years ago.  The frames got jank over time so I took them out and stapled twine to each section.  Then I hung pictures to the twine with miniature clothespins.

Our big project has involved ripping the carpet out of the office room and guest room.  We replaced it with vinyl wood.  It's so much prettier (and easier to clean).  If we keep in quarantine much longer, we're going to start on ripping the carpet out of the front room and replacing the flooring.

So, as you can see, we've been productive.  Training a pup has kept us busy too!  But, I have to admit, I'm ready to start hanging out with my homies again.  I'm getting socially needy.

How have you been keeping busy?  
How has the COVID-19 affected you?

Dylan's Candy Bar: 20% Off Easter Collection

Get a taste of everything spring with Dylan's Candy Bar Easter 2020 Collection featuring their Signature Tackle Box, Foiled Chocolate Bunnies, Baskets, and lots more. Their Easter Indulgence Gift Basket is all the essential Easter treats in one sweet package.

Receive 20% off the Easter Collection at  Use code SUGAR2020 to save through 4/12/20. Also, receive free shipping on orders over $25 every day.

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

Final Winners for March

Photo by Ambreen Hasan on Unsplash

The winners of The Adventures of A.R.I: My Robot Friend DVD giveaway are:
#9, Jessica Peeling
#5, Monique S.
#44, lilyk
#14, Gina Ferrell
#15, Antoinette M.

The winner of the Creek Critters children's book giveaway is #21, Sandra Watts.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  As always, there's no limit to how many giveaways you can win or how many you can enter.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Blu-ray Giveaway

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams’ riveting, inspiring conclusion of the seminal Skywalker saga, arrives on Digital March 17 and Blu-ray March 31. The in-home release comes with over two hours of bonus material, including a feature-length, making-of documentary and behind-the-scenes access to the cast and filmmakers who brought the epic scenes and characters to life!

Bonus material includes a feature-length, making-of documentary, which goes behind the scenes with the cast and filmmakers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and explores the legacy of the Skywalker saga. Bonus features also dig into the film’s Pasaana desert scenes, including the thrilling landspeeder chase, and the ship in which Rey discovers family secrets as well as a new little droid named D-O. Plus, fans will hear from Warwick Davis, who reprises his role as Wicket the Ewok, as well as the creature effects team that created a record 584 creatures and droids for the film. Digital consumers will receive an exclusive feature highlighting legendary composer John Williams, who has scored every episode in the Skywalker saga.

Bonus features include*:
The Skywalker Legacy – The story lives forever in this feature-length documentary that charts the making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase – Dive into the making of the movie’s epic landspeeder chase and discover how this spectacular sequence was brought to the screen.
Aliens in the Desert – See what it took to create the Pasaana desert scenes, from the sheer scale and complexity of the shoot to its colorful details.
D-O: Key to the Past – Explore the ship that connects Rey to the mystery of her missing parents and get to know the galaxy’s newest, irresistible droid.
Warwick & Son – Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dons the Ewok costume once more; this time joined by his son Harrison.
Cast of Creatures – The team behind the film’s memorable creatures reveal the puppetry, makeup, prosthetics and digital magic that bring them to life!
Digital Exclusive:
The Maestro’s Finale – Composer John Williams reflects on his body of work for the Star Wars saga and shares insights on scoring Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.

The ninth and final episode in the Skywalker saga welcomed the return of original characters Luke Skywalker, General Leia Organa, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Emperor Palpatine and Lando Calrissian, along with the latest generation of heroes and villains, including Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, Maz, Rose, General Hux and Kylo Ren. Newcomers include Jannah, a new ally of the Resistance; Allegiant General Pryde of the First Order; and smuggler Zorii Bliss.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is packaged several ways to ensure fans get the most out of their at-home viewing experience. The Multiscreen Edition includes Blu-ray and a Digital copy, giving viewers the flexibility to watch the film on different devices. Those with 4K Ultra HD capability may opt for a 4K UHD Ultimate Collector’s Edition, including 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a Digital copy. 4K Ultra HD provides four times the resolution of HD paired with fully immersive picture and sound and Dolby Atmos audio, allowing viewers at home to practically feel the Force.

On March 31, coinciding with the physical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, eight Star Wars films are being released on 4K UHD for the first time: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

FEATURE RUN TIME: Approximately 142 min.

Win It!

One person will win Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Blu-ray.

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

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

Thursday, March 26, 2020

JUDY - Digital Film Code Giveaway

Studio:  Lionsgate
Rating: PG-13 for smoking, substance abuse, thematic content, some strong language
Run Time: 118 minutes
Released on Digital: December 10, 2019

Directed byTony®nominee Rupert Goold (2019, Best Direction of a Play,Ink)and written for the screen by Tom Edge,Judy stars Oscar®winner Renée Zellweger(2003, BestSupporting Actress,Cold Mountain), Jessie Buckley (Beast,WildRose,TV’s“Chernobyl”),Primetime Emmy®nominee Finn Wittrock (2018, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace),PrimetimeEmmy®nominee Rufus Sewell (2019, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series,“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), and Golden Globe®nominee Michael Gambon(2003, Best Actor in a Miniseries or aTelevisionMotion Picture, “Path to War”).Sheddinglight on theiconicJudy Garland’s final years, the film features timeless music including performances of classic songs like "Over the Rainbow", "For Once In My Life", and "Come Rain or Come Shine".  

Thirty years after rising to global stardom inThe Wizard of Oz, showbiz legend Judy Garland (RenéeZellweger) arrives in London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. While preparing for the shows, Garland battles with management, reminisces with friends and adoring fans, and embarks ona whirlwind romance with soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deansall while bravely struggling to overcome intensifying anxiety and physical decline. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the unyielding spirit and matchless talent of "the world's greatest entertainer".  

Win It!

One person will win a digital code for the JUDY film.

*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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Using Diamond Art Club to Create My Personal Masterpiece - Review

Early this year, my sister introduced me to diamond painting.  I've been hooked since!  It's a newfound hobby that I find to be peaceful and brings out my creative side.  I've completed one diamond art canvas and my husband built a frame to hang it on my wall.  Since then, I've purchased a small handful of kits.  I'm still working on one (and like it) but a couple others have been a disappointment.  I've quickly learned that not all kits are the same.  

Diamond Art Club sent me a diamond art kit for review and, although I'm not finished yet, it's already exceeded my expectations.  

the partially completed project

For those not yet in the know, diamond painting puts you in the artist’s seat and enables you to create  masterpieces in the comfort of your own home. This meditative craft involves placing hundreds of sparkling resin rhinestones, one-by-one, on an adhesive color-coded canvas to create a vivid, shimmering work of art.  It's somewhat tedious and definitely time-consuming but the end result is worth it.  Once you’re finished, you can frame or mount your masterpiece onto a canvas to showcase your diamond painting in style. Diamond paintings make stunning gifts for family and friends, or to display in your home to brighten up any space.

So, now, back to Diamond Art Club.  I received the Alice in Wonderland 20.5" x 23.2″ (52cm x 59cm) / Round With 45 Colors kit.  To put it in perspective, it's big!  All kits come with everything you need to get started, including the wax, tray, and applicator.  (On a side note, I personally recommend purchasing little baggies or plastic containers to keep the rhinestones contained.)  
rhinestones, wax, tray, and applicator pen included with the kit

At some point I may type up a post with more detail on what diamond art is, and tips and techniques I've learned.  Right now I'm going to focus more on the company of Diamond Art Club and why I recommend purchasing from them.  Like I said, all kits come with what you need.  The art is on premium velvet tarpaulin canvas that’s soft to the touch.  I haven't found that with a kit from any other company.  Cut with 13 and 26 different facets to reflect more light and made with 100% epoxy resin for richer, more jewel-like colors, Diamond Art Club™ diamonds shine bright.

an example of what is included in a diamond art kit

Diamond Art Club offers three different types of diamonds including round diamonds for easy application, square diamonds that fit edge-to-edge for a total mosaic look, and AB diamonds that have an iridescent coating that mimics the glow of the Northern Lights.  My personal favorite are the round diamonds.  Their canvases also feature a transparent adhesive covering, allowing you to see the entire painting at any given time.  I like the transparent covering so much better than the ones that are overlaid in a white covering.  The transparent covering feature alone makes me super happy, not to mention the other things that make Diamond Art Club kits so great.  The company works directly with artists to license and create paintings to suit any taste and decor. You won’t find these original diamond art paintings anywhere else.  Another thing that I really like is that Diamond Art Club offers "oops" accidental insurance.  This means that they will replace your diamonds for free (up to 8 bags) if something were to happen.  Thankfully, I haven't had to use the insurance but I can see why it is needed and think it's a great benefit.  
close-up that shows areas I've completed and ones I haven't

And that's not all!  The company offers a Diamond Insider Rewards program that you can sign up and use for free.  You can earn points for free store credits and gifts.  Not all diamond art kits come with clear, complete instructions but this company makes sure you have just that.  If you have one, or several, diamond art kits that you love, there's a wishlist option to have your favorites all in one spot.  I'm in love with several of the designs so my wishlist is long!  

canvas laid flat with transparent covering

It has taken me forever and a day to work on my diamond art canvas.  My husband built an easel and I have it hung from there.  I usually work on the canvas when I am in the front room chilling or watching TV.  I'm still far from finished but am excited at what the outcome will be and love working on the piece.  

additional sheet that shows what completed picture will look like and coded graph showing which colors correspond with which symbols

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.

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 203

Photo by Joshua Eckstein 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 203. 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 let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
–Galatians 6:9

Check It Out: #SpringIntoHomeDepot Giveaway

Win a $100 Home Depot e-gift card! is giving away five $100 Visa e-gift cards from Home Depot!  But hurry and enter -
Giveaway ends on Thursday, March 26th at 11:59 PM PT.

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

Monday, March 23, 2020

Petmate: Free Shipping Sitewide


PetMate is passionate about pets and their families. As a worldwide leader of solutions and excellence in the pet industry for over 50 years, they’re committed to providing fun, trusted, quality products to enhance the lives of pets.

The health and safety of Petmate’s customers is their utmost priority during this difficult time, which is why they are now offering FREE shipping sitewide. Stay home, stay safe & shop online.
No coupon code needed.  Offer expires 3/31/2020.

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

Conquer Your Hunger with Old Trapper Smoked Snacks

Spring break is all about sun, sand, and drinks. But what about food? Old Trapper meat snacks can deliver solid nutrition with each bite while you're soaking up the sun. Old Trapper Smoked Products are handcrafted from the most savory and highest-quality protein. The end result is a take-anywhere healthy snack that is low in calories yet high in protein - the perfect fuel or recovery snack. Each 1 oz serving contains only 70 calories, 0 grams of fat and 6 grams of carbs.

The ingredients behind the company’s 50 years of success are as short as its actual ingredient list: lean high-quality meat, quality seasonings, real wood-fired smoke and a hands-on manufacturing process. Couple that with an affordable price point and Old Trapper’s ability to outlast the competition becomes obvious. 

Varieties include: Old Fashioned, Peppered, Hot & Spicy and Teriyaki

MSRP: $6 (3.25 oz bag), $14 (10 oz bag)

Available at grocery and convenience stores nationwide and online at

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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Woke Up To A New Furbaby

When we gave Helen to my son, I was't in the least bit in the market for getting another dog.  Cats are more my thing.  Jason would bring it up here and there about getting another canine but I'd divert his attention.

It just so happens that Jason was talkin' to a friend who had some German Shepherd pups for sale.  I wasn't home when the convo took place but Jason messaged me a couple times.  I thought Covert Divert had been accomplished again, but nope!  

Jason woke up up from sleep Saturday afternoon to announce we are the proud owners of a 3 month old German Shepherd.  The blood vessel in my eye immediately burst. I kid you not!  

pic my niece took of her "new fur cousin"

It's been a few days now and things are going better than I thought.  Bristol Wonky Heck is a lovebug that is always by our side.  He's only chewed on one thing (a box) and he does well around people and other animals.  Since Jason decided to get another dog, I will give him kudos for getting one that, so far, has been pretty cool.

I Am Allosaurus - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

Written by Tim Bradley
32 pg, Ages 3-7

What would it be like to live as a dinosaur? Young readers will discover that dinosaur lives had many similarities to present-day animals: they hatched, ran, hunted, hid from predators, and grew to adulthood. However, the world these creatures from the far past inhabited was very different from that of today; a great example is that a simple thing like grass didn’t yet exist. Repetitive sight words make this a great story for beginning readers and dinosaur enthusiasts alike.

My Review:

A Spring 2020 release from Arbordale Publishing, I Am Allosaurus is ideal for early readers. With visually exciting illustrations and words that are understandable to young readers, I Am Allosaurus shows how the dinosaur goes from being born to being an adult to being extinct.  Allosaurus is an actual type of dinosaur that lived, and this book would be a good base to talk to children about dinosaurs or that particular species.  

The 'For Creative Minds' section of the back of the book further educates with many facts about the Allosaurus.  For instance, you can learn that it was almost as long as a school bus.  There's also timeline and location information about the Allosaurus.  There's even more to learn about with the pages on Allosaurus Skeleton and Restoration, and 'What Colors?'

Win It!

One person will win I Am Allosaurus children's book.

*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.

Spies in Disguise - Blu-ray Review

Street Date: March 10, 2020
Running Time: 102 minutes
Rating: PG for action, violence, and rude humor

Join Will Smith and Tom Holland on the mission of a lifetime. Bring home the adventure on Digital, Blu-ray™, and 4K Ultra HD™ now.

In  this high-flying animated comedy, super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is none of the above. But this unlikely  duo  must  team  up  for  the  ultimate  mission  to  save  the  world  when  a  “biodynamic  concealment” experiment transforms Lance into a brave, fierce, majestic...pigeon!Experience the hilarious thrills of SPIES IN DISGUISE, which is Certified-Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes™, from the comfort of your own home, along with Blu-rayTMbonus features including multiple making-of featurettes and two awesome music videos. Additionally, the Blu-rayeditionof SPIES IN DISGUISE includes “Super Secret Spy Mode,” an immersive, in-movie experience that takes you deeper into the story with Easter eggs, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes insights into the making of the film.

SPIES IN DISGUISE Digital & Blu-ray Bonus Features:

Super Secret Spy Mode
Infiltrating Blue Sky Studios
The Top Secret Guide to Gadgets
“Then There Were Two” Music Video
“Freak of Nature” Music Video
Making the Soundtrack “Then There Were Two”
Making the Soundtrack “Freak of Nature”
“Lunch Break”*Digital Exclusive
Color Keys and Moment Paintings
Character Designs
Props and Gadgets Concept Art

My Review:

A family-friendly film full of action and adventure, Spies in Disguise tells of a guy named Lance who makes inventions in order to make the world a better place.  Lance goes on a mission and finds out he is being framed for stealing by the bad guy he was just with.  They meet up and Lance is accidentally turned into a pigeon.  They go on an adventure to clear the agent's name and try to turn him back into a human.

This film had plenty of laughs.  The agent was a "one-man team" type of guy and ends up opening up and becoming friends with the kid.  The inventions were wacky and imaginative, like the glitter bomb that shows an image of a kitty to distract the hard criminals.  The kid is trying to make the world a better place without violence and ends up finding a way to do so even though everyone told him he couldn't.

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.

Check It Out: #SaveAtPaperMart Giveaway

Win a $25 Visa e-gift card from Paper Mart! is giving away ten $25 Visa e-gift cards from Paper Mart!

Ten (10) winners will receive a $25 Visa e-gift card.  Giveaway ends on Sunday, March 22nd at 11:59 PM PT.

While you're waiting to find out if you've won, browse Paper Mart's selection of Organza bags, and get 10% off with coupon code 10BAGS.

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

Monday, March 16, 2020

Connect Accessories to Your Keychain with MagConnect - Review

Have you ever been to the car dealership only for them to tell you that your keychain is too heavy and is bad for your ignition? Or do you have those accessories that you only need sometimes, but are a pain to take on and off of your keychain? Well, now you don’t have to. 

From the makers of KeySmart comes the MagConnect, which lets you easily connect or disconnect accessories from your keys. Compatible with your KeySmart or keychain. The MagConnect quickly attaches and detaches from your KeySmart or keychain, and is great for car-key fobs or accessories, such as a pocketknife or pepper-spray. Secure and reliable with a strong magnet, the MagConnect is only $9.99 and promotions are offered with the more you buy. 

My husband and I have two vehicles but usually drive the newest one.  He uses it during the day for work and I use it at night for the same.  Because he is the maintenance man/janitor at a church, Jason usually keeps the truck key on the same carabiner clip as his umpteen work keys.  Which works well for him, but not so much for me.  Having a MagConnect allows me to have the truck key without all the extras just by pulling apart the strong magnet.  When Jason wants to have work and truck keys all in one place, he can easily reattach the two pieces of the MagConnect together.  It's a handy gadget that helps simplify the opposite way we want to keep our keys.

truck key and work keys attached by the MagConnect

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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

My Update on the "I Might Become A Grandma" Post

Shelby scrunching up her nose at me in the 
recovery room

A couple weeks ago I posted the possibility that I Might Become A Grandma.  There were some complications and uncertainties that didn't get answered until recently.  The very short version answer to that post:  I'm not.

And, now, for the longer version:

Shelby waited several days to miscarry on her own.  Never happened.  We went back to the dr. for another ultrasound to make absolutely certain that the baby wasn't viable.  It didn't take any time at all to come to the conclusion that there was no heartbeat.

The dr. talked about the next option, a D & C.  (Dilation and Curettage).  It is a brief surgical procedure where patient is put under and the cervix is dilated so the tissue (aka baby) can be removed.  And that's where things started getting crazy...

In the middle of the convo, Shelby stated she wasn't feeling well and started to pass out.  I jumped up so she could fall over onto the bench.  I was then instructed to get a nurse.  One came in, then a whole herd of them.  Shelby's pulse ox leveled out at 85%, her heart rate lowered to 30 beats per minute, and her skin was yellow and waxy.  When she finally did come to, Shelby started vomiting profusely.  Her body went into shock as a "fight or flight" response to what the dr. had been telling her.

After a long time in the dr.'s office waiting for Shelby to recover, we were able to leave.  The next day was just as taxing.  It was surgery day.

After taking meds to help soften the cervix and maybe help miscarry (didn't), Shelby went in for surgery the next afternoon.  She and I cried intermittently, and I tried to calm her through the nerves.

The procedure itself didn't take long.  Getting prepared for surgery and recovering from was the majority of time taken.
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Dr. Kagumba was amazeballs.  She said something that rang truer than I ever imagined: "In my 20 years of practice, I've learned that it doesn't matter if a woman miscarries at 5 weeks, 15 weeks, or carries to full term.  The grief is real and raw regardless.  It's an actual grief and an actual process to get through."

I'm not glad it's over, but I'm glad it's over.  I wish my baby could've had this baby.  But this has been a super rough 2.5 weeks with a bunch of unknowns.  And my heart has hurt for my child who's hurting.

The next day after the surgery, Shelby posted on FB:  "Just wanna give a shout out to the best mom and girl could ask for. We’ve had our good times and our bad. But when it gets real I know I can count on her to be there for me. Thanks for living all the ups and downs of the last two weeks with me and helping me to make it thru. I literally couldn’t have done it without you. You’re my hero 🥰🥰"

(Gave me all the feels.)

So, for now, I will continue to love and adore the two granddaughters I'm blessed to have by marriage.

Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash