Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Blaylock Falls Creek Walk

Rebecca walking among the rocks

Before heading back home from Arkansas to Illinois last Monday, Rebecca and I stopped by Blacklock Falls in Umpire, AR.  Her little car almost didn't make it through the rough roads, but "the little engine that could" got us there. 

The waterfall surrounded by a creek was nature's beauty.  We took our shoes off and gathered some river rock.  I looove the sound of rushing water; it is so soothing.  There is a swimming area and a rope swing but we didn't get that adventurous.

Monday, May 30, 2022

There Are Moms Way Worse Than You - Book Review and Giveaway

 Book Overview:

 THERE ARE MOMS WAY WORSE THAN YOU: Irrefutable Proof That You Are Indeed a Fantastic Parent (Workman Publishing, April 26, 2022). 

THERE ARE MOMS WAY WORSE THAN YOU is trending with mommy bloggers right now who are ready for a good laugh and is currently in the top 5 of all bestselling books on Amazon!

THERE ARE MOMS WAY WORSE THAN YOU is a hilarious and reassuring gift for every mom: because we’re all doing the best we can, and the natural world is filled with moms worse than you! Written by Glen for her sister who is a new mother, the book encourages nervous new moms to reject perfectionism and embrace “my best is good enough” by offering examples of the worst parents in the animal kingdom. With an uplifting message and an unapologetic attitude, this book is a great fit for all the hardworking moms of this world and makes a perfect Mother's Day gift too! 

Glenn herself is a hilarious improviser, lightning-fast, charismatic, and a sweetheart. In addition to being a debut author of the bestselling hilarious adult picture book,  THERE ARE MOMS WAY WORSE THAN YOU, Glenn is currently a comedy writer for  CONAN and has written for Comedy Central’s  Light’s Out with David Spade and the Hulu talk show  I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman, among many others. 

My Review:

First off, let me start off by saying I have three bio children.  The oldest swears I was the hardest on her (I was) and the youngest swears I was the easiest on him (I was).  Personally, I feel like first-time parents think they have to have it all together.  No, just no!  Do what works for you and your child.

In this hardcover book told in rhythmic form, There Are Moms Way Worse Than You explores the animal world and humorously tells what they do to their offspring.  For example, a koala mom will feed her kids poop.  (Can't say I've ever done that, so there's a win!)  

There are some expletive words and captions in this book but I think it's great for reminding moms they don't have to "know it all and do it all".  The appendix in the back of the book does delve a little deeper into why certain animal parents do what they do.  This is a fun book to give to a new mom to remind her that she is okay just the way she is.

Win It!

One person will win There Are Moms Way Worse Than You hardcover book.

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

I received book for review.  The opinions within this book 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

Friday, May 27, 2022

Free Salonpas Patch and Latest Giveaway Winners

In the next couple of weeks I will be posting a review and giveaway for Salonpas.  Until then, be sure to request a free patch.  To help bring awareness to their products they are giving away 100,000 free Salonpas Pain Relief Patches and up to $9 in Salonpas coupons

In concert with an active sampling awareness program on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Hisamitsu America ran a television ad which encouraged consumers to request a sample of the Salonpas® Pain Relief Patch by visiting TrySalonpas.com. This patch contains two powerful pain fighting ingredients, menthol and methyl salicylate (an NSAID – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that provide powerful relief for muscle or joint pain that lasts up to 12 hours.


In other news, two of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.  

The winner of the Elda's Kitchen Sauces giveaway is #9, Edye Nicole.

The winner of the Blue's Clues DVD giveaway is #2, Lisa Williams.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

PAW Patrol: Rescue Knights - DVD Giveaway

No pup is too small to become a knight in Barkingburg kingdom! Join the PAW Patrol as they go on enchanted adventures in a medieval land in the brand-new DVD release PAW Patrol: Rescue Knights. Available on June 7, 2022, this DVD features 6 magical adventures with your favorite PAW Patrol pups, airing on Nickelodeon and produced by Spin Master Entertainment. Join the PAW Patrol as they befriend baby dragons, defend the princess, and defeat the trouble-making pup Claw!

PAW Patrol: Rescue Knights will be available on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment on June 7, 2022, for the suggested retail price of $10.99. 

 PAW Patrol: Rescue Knights episodes:

Quest for the Dragon’s Tooth

Pups Save a Dozing Dragon

Pups Save a Tournament

Pups Save the Baby Dragons

Rescue Knights Break the Ice

Pups Save the Bone in the Stone

 PAW Patrol: Rescue Knights synopsis:

A baddie pup named Claw, riding a dragon, Sparks, has descended upon Barkingburg, and it’s up to the PAW Patrol to protect the kingdom!  No rescue is too big, no pup knight is too small! With new Dragon Knight Vehicles and suits of Dragon Knight Armor, our team take to land, air, and moat to stop the trouble-making Claw and his mischievous Dragon.

 PAW Patrol: Rescue Knights fast facts:

Street Date: June 7, 2022

Running Time: 2 hours 19 minutes

Win It!

One person will win PAW Patrol: Rescue Knights on DVD.

*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

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

My Crater of Diamonds State Park Visit

A few months ago, a co-worker/friend asked if I wanted to go in vacay to Arkansas with her.  It didn't take me long at all to say YES!  I've never been to AR and wanted to experience some of its wonders of nature.  One place we visited was Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro.

No idea what I'm doing, but guess I'm dressed for the part.

Admission to the park is $10 per adult and you basically go out into this vast wasteland of eroded volcanic crater in the hopes to find a diamond.  Visitors to the park search a 37-acre field for a variety of rocks, minerals, and gemstones.  Any rock or mineral you find is yours to keep. You may bring your own mining equipment to search with or rent tools from the park.  We brought our own buckets but rented the rest.  In the quest to find a diamond, you can also discover amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, quartz, and more rocks and minerals.

some supplies we needed for the dig

You start out by finding a spot where you want to dig the dirt and clay with shovels.  It all looks the same and I'm not sure if one spot is better than the other.  I honestly can't remember the exact term for it, but Rebecca and I first started out at a somewhat primitive area to sieve the rocks.  It was muddy, back-breaking work.  The first couple hours were hot and I was ready to call it quits.

ready to sift the mud and clay to find rocks and minerals

We finally meandered to a spot that was a lot more accommodating.  The troughs to sieve weren't near as muddy and you could see the rocks/minerals much more clearly.  It was a popular spot so we took turns digging in the dirt while the other sieved the mud and clay.  This allowed us to keep our spot at the trough.

You can't be afraid to get a little dirty.

It takes a "spy eye" to look through the rocks and potentially locate one that is worth something.  Some people brought forks or tweezers, and that's something I wish I would've thought of.  We spent approximately five hours at the park.

people at the main troughs

Once we were done, Rebecca and I took some of our finds to personnel to help identify what we found.  Diamonds were definitely not in our findings, but we did get calcite, jasper, lava rock, and other minerals.  I'm not 100% sure I'd go back, but did find the one-time experience to be interesting.

just a small section where people can dig

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family - Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

Test your knowledge of the British royal family—from fun facts like the names of the Queen’s corgis, to the heartbreaking story of the late Princess Diana—with this ultimate trivia book perfect for fans of The Crown or anyone royally obsessed! 

From Queen Elizabeth II to Prince George, there’s a lot of news to keep up with regarding the royal family. This fantastic compendium of fascinating facts and stories about the British monarchy will keep you in the know about your favorite modern royals. From iconic weddings, fashion moments, philanthropic events, and the birth of new royals, this book has the latest and most interesting tidbits perfect for any enthusiast. Inside you’ll find the royal scoop, including:

The official line of succession to the throne
The royal family’s favorite designers and artists
Amazing details about coronations, weddings, and other ceremonies
Jaw-dropping facts about the Crown Jewels
And much more!

Print Length: 280 pages
Publication Date: December 21, 2021

My Review:

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a fangirl of the Royal Family.  That doesn't mean I'm not interested; It means I don't know the "ins and outs" of how it all works.  This small hardcover book has enlightened me on how the system operates and who is responsible for what.  In Royal Trivia you'll learn things such as why the queen stopped wearing the Imperial State Crown in 2016, why it took so many months for Princess Diana and Prince Charles to come to an agreement on the terms of their divorce, to why Prince Harry broke tradition on his wedding day to what he wore.  The book is broke down into different parts, from The Cambridges to the Sussexes to the Queen.  Although I'm not a Royals fanatic, I found all the information to be quite interesting and informative.

Win It!

One person will win a hardcover book copy of Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family.

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Merle's Pearls and Book Giveaway Winners

Since I have a number of giveaways going on right now and quite a few coming up, I thought I'd start posting winners again.

The winner of the Merle's Pearls giveaway is #8, Tracy R.

The winners of the Whitney Wins Everything book giveaway are:

#6  Maryann D.

#12 Meghan B.

#15 sunshinehdfan

#1  aperry

#18 Julie W.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  I have several giveaways coming up and a couple going on right now.  Be sure to enter to win!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

My Mark Twain Cave Visit

entrance to the gift shop 
Right behind it is where the entrance to the tour starts

On May 1st, my niece and I went to Hannibal, MO and visited several of the Mark Twain museums.  While there, we also took a tour through the Mark Twain Cave.  I've been a couple of times in the past but it'd been several years.  The times I went before, people were only allowed to take pictures in one specific spot.  This time, people were able to take as many pictures as they wanted.  So, you bet I did!

The Mark Twain Cave tour is based upon both factual history and fiction inspired Mark Twain’s famous work, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  A tour guide takes you through the hour-long walk and weaves both the fiction and non-fiction together.  There are also several interesting stops along the route.

Mark Twin Cave was discovered in 1819.  Although you can't go through the initial discovery spot, visitors can see where it is located.  This is Missouri’s oldest show cave, containing 260 passageways.  Not all passageways are accessible on the tour, but the hour-long tour still takes you on several of them.

Here's some fun facts regarding the cave:

1.  Bats used to be quite plentiful and visitors will notice blackened spots on the cave ceiling where bats used to hang out.  There are still a few here and there but you'll rarely see a bat now due to all the people that travel through.

2.  The cave is 52 degrees year-round and some of the passageways are electrically lit so visitors can see.  There is one spot during the tour where the guide turns out all the lights so you can get an idea of how dark it really is.

3.  Norman Rockwell rendered a Tom and Becky painting while actually painting in the cave. 

bat markings

4.  There are several autographs that line the cave walls.  Before the cave became a National Landmark, people would use soot or sharpened tools to put their names and dates on the walls.  Very few "autographs" are past 1972 and that's because it's now illegal to add any writing to the walls unless given special permission.

5.  Jessie James signed his name in the Mark Twain Cave which is dated September 22, 1879, sixteen days before he robbed a train in Independence.  Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) also signed his name in the cave many years ago but it was only recently discovered in 2019.  Both names have been authenticated.

6.  Joseph Nash McDowell bought the cave in 1847 and was the owner during Mark Twain’s childhood. He is infamous for putting his recently deceased daughter into a copper cylinder and placing the cylinder in the back of his cave hoping to further his theory of human petrification. When Hannibal residents learned of this act, they begged him to remove her and bury her as was deemed proper.

The red line marks the path that visitors take

The Mark Twain Cave is a stop I highly recommend.  It's visually astonishing and quite the learning experience about the cave itself and about Becky Thatcher/Tom Sawyer.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Blue's Clues and You! Let's Learn With Blue - DVD Giveaway

lue into lots of play-along learning with Blue and Josh in the brand-new DVD release, Blue’s Clues & You! Let’s Learn With Blue. Available on May 24, 2022, kids will search for Blue’s Clues while playing active skill-building games along the way to help them learn their ABCs, 123s, colors, and science in four play-to-learn episodes.

 Blue’s Clues & You! Let’s Learn With Blue will be available on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment on May 24, 2022, for the suggested retail price of $10.99.

 Blue’s Clues & You! Let’s Learn With Blue episodes:

ABCs with Blue

123s with Blue

Science with Blue

Colors Everywhere with Blue

 Blue’s Clues & You! Let’s Learn With Blue synopsis:

Join Blue, Josh, and their friends for clue-filled learning games! First, Blue will help kids learn their ABCs … and practice letter recognition and sound too. Next up, Josh is COUNTING on preschoolers to help him with his 123s as he counts Blue Dollars and figures out what Blue wants to buy at the store. By asking kids direct questions like he always does, Josh invites them to learn about science: examining the world through a magnifying glass, meeting the Sun, and learning the Planets Song too. And preschoolers will learn clue into colors and even color mixing as they help Josh and Blue paint a picture of their friends. Kids will love to learn and play the Blue’s Clues & You! way!

 Blue’s Clues & You! Blue’s Big Baking Show fast facts:

Street Date: May 24, 2022

Catalog: 19132922048 (US), 191329220498 (CN)

Running Time: 1 hr 30 min

Win It!

One person will win Blue's Clues and You! Let's Learn With Blue on DVD.

*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

Summer's Eve Active Line - Review

I don't consider myself an exercise enthusiast by any stretch of the imagination.  But, I would consider myself active.  I keep busy and am on the move quite often.  I also spend a lot of time outdoors, especially during weekends.  I don't mind being in the heat but I'm one of those gals that perspire from every pore of my body.  If the sun's out, I'll start sweating like a cow in a slaughterhouse.   That's why the Summer's Eve Active Line is perfect for me.  The products help keep me feeling fresh and cleansed.

Summer’s Eve Active Cleansing Wash elevates freshness and keeps feminine areas feeling their best. This wash features a blending of cooling oils helping to relieve you of sweat-induced discomfort.  I keep a bottle of this in my camper shower and use it after being outside for most of the day.  The wash contains a blend of eucalyptus and mint essential oils.

These individually wrapped cloths are made with Acti-Cool, a blend of eucalyptus and mint essential oils to deliver a cooling and refreshing burst of freshness.  I keep a few in my purse at all times and use them when I start to break out in a sweat.  They're quite handy and help cool my skin.

For those who experience leggings or running shorts induced chafe, you no longer have to say no to a workout due to discomfort! Summer’s Eve Active Chafe Gel goes on clear, is safe for daily use and can be used on inner thighs, bikini area, under the tatas and underarms.  This small tube of gel goes a long way and has been a saving grace at times when the underside of my jugs start to get dank from the heat.

The Summer's Eve Active Line helps me feel fresher and a whole lot less grimy and sticky from sweat.

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, May 6, 2022

Elda's Kitchen Sauces - Review and Giveaway

Parmesan green beans with almonds and caramelized onion, smothered in Korean Style Sesame sauce

With almost every meal that we cook, we add spices and sauces.  Sometimes it's what's called for in recipes and sometimes it's just whatever we feel like adding in to give our meals extra flavor.  Our pantry has no shortage of sauces or spices and we always like to try different varieties.  

 Almost all of our meat is seasoned in some way, shape, or form when we cook.  The sauces from Elda's Kitchen that I received for review were all delicious and added extra tasty flavor to our food.

grilled chicken legs glazed with Kentucky Bourbon sauce

Elda’s Kitchen sauces are small batch, artisan-made sauces that are vegan friendly, gluten-free, verified non-GMO and contain no preservatives, msg or high fructose corn syrup, so you can grill (or cook) without the guilt!

Did you know that May is actually National Egg Month? Elda's Kitchen has a scrumptious Garlic and Herb Quiche and other great breakfast recipes…along with dozens of grilling recipes, snacks, dinners and more.  You can use Elda's Kitchen sauces for your own dishes that you create, or go to her recipe section to get inspiration and ideas.

Elda's Kitchen has over a dozen different sauces available.  All of the sauces are versatile, meaning they taste good in many eatables.  My personal favorite is Garlic & Herb, especially when it's used to marinate chicken.  My husband is very keen on the Theo's Steakhouse sauce and likes how the mesquite flavor blends well with meats.  Elda's Kitchen sauces have made the way to our dinner plates several times now and will continue to do so. 

Win It!

One person will win a variety pack of sauces from Elda's Kitchen.

*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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

My April Amazon Prime Purchases

my mud boots

April was a busy month for Amazon.  I purchased quite a bit from there.  Here are just a few of the items I ordered:

K KomForme Women's Waterproof Rain Boots

I'm going on vacation with a friend in a couple of weeks to Arkansas.  We will be spending time hiking, exploring, and digging in dirt.  I bought these boots to wear when I'm in muddy areas.

I'm hosting a baby shower in June for my oldest son and his lady.  They own a Corgi dog that's spoiled rotten.  I purchased these bandanas as a gift to the pup.  He's gonna make a great "big brother".

Several years ago I went through 'Experiencing God' with a ladies group from church.  There's "homework" for every day in this 13-week study about knowing and doing the will of God.  My husband has participated in this study three times and just recently completed a full session. I  just purchased four more of these books.  Myself, along with my husband and two friends, are going to go through it together on Saturday mornings at camp.  You know it's a good book when Jason's willing to go through it for a fourth time!

I needed a new blanket like I need a hole in the head.  I've already got my fair share, but this one caught my eye.  It's fairly lightweight but oh-so-soft and keeps me warm.  It's my new "napping blanket".

My son, Adam, is 22 years old.  That's old enough not to need an Easter basket.  But he pointed me the other direction when he jokingly posted on FB that he was gonna call the police if he didn't get anything for Easter.  So, what's a mom to do with that "threat"?!  I made the right choice and ordered this shirt and a big bag of Easter candy for him.  I had to have it shipped to his addy in Ohio.  So he did, in fact, get something for Easter and didn't have to call the police!

I'm not 100% in love with this foundation but I've purchased it three times now, so there must be something that keeps drawing me to it.  I don't like that I can't purchase the foundation without the brush (I'm starting to get a collection of them) and the foundation itself has a somewhat dense/weighty feel on the skin.  I do like the color and how it blends with my skin tone, and it gives great coverage.

Do you recommend any Air Brush Foundation brands that work for you?

Have you gotten any fun or handy Amazon purchases lately?

Monday, May 2, 2022

My Visit To Mark Twain Museums

 I only live half an hour from Hannibal, Missouri and pass through there often.  But, I'd never visited the museums that surround the history of Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain).  My niece and I decided to take a tour of them last Sunday.  There are seven museums total, all within walking distance of each other.

Becky Thatcher's House

The seven places we visited were the Interpretive Center, Huckleberry Finn House, Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Becky Thatcher House, J.M. Clemens Justice of the Peace Office, Grant's Drug Store, and Museum Gallery (the best out of them all).

a Tom Sawyer outfit from a representative back in the day

Some of the museums took longer than others.  A handful were just room showings and a few signs to read.  Others were more interactive.

Fun fact:  Every year middle-school kids try out for Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher.  Five of each are winners every year to represent their hometown in-state and out-of-state.  It takes an extensive interview, an essay, and a 120 question exam to be in the running.

Another fun fact: Samuel Clemens had a son who died at the age of 19 months old.  He had a bust made out of his face.

I said NO to the dress!

At the Museum Gallery, visitors can try on period clothing.  Unfortunately, it didn't fit me very well.

Ashley in a stagecoach that played a time-period showing.

I feel like the entire experience was interesting and learned a lot about Samuel Clemens.  I feel like there could've been more in each museum, to heighten the participation and exposure but am glad I went at least once.