Monday, March 31, 2014

The Story of Jesus *Review & Giveaway






The life story of Jesus in a package perfect for a child’s Easter basket! 

This board book is a wonderful way to introduce the life of Jesus to young hearts. Sweet, rhyming text and adorable illustrations will engage children as parents and grandparents read about the story of the Savior, especially at Easter time. The padded cover is a soft but durable format for little hands, and the “carry-me” handle makes it easy for kids to tote this book to bed, to church, in the car, and on-the-go!


 Nicely illustrated with colorful designs. I love how the text waves around the page.
Key words like blessed, Jesus, disciples are in bolded letters. This is a board book and geared for young ones ages 0-3.
 Beginning with the birth of Jesus and ending with his resurrection. This is the perfect Easter book, but works wonderful for the entire year! Cute illustrations and details like patterns throughout the story make this eye appealing for the youngest learner.

Enter to win a copy of this book
US Only
Ends April 12





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God Bless Our Easter *Review & Giveaway


Hannah C. Hall
Illustrated by Steve Whitlow


 I just love Easter! I love that Jesus is celebrated as the Resurrection and savior of the world. I enjoy reading books to my young children, that share the truth of the gospel message.
Spring has arrived for the animals as they all see the newness around them. Each animal from piglet, duckling, fish, and silly goat recognize the signs of spring and God's love.
This board book is full of animals that little ones will recognize and love. See the baby animals kick up their heels in celebration of spring.
This book will be loved long past the holiday season. I loved the playfulness of the silly goat getting into the tulips. I have experienced this first hand!

Easter is so much more than bunnies and candy. This book is a perfect way to share early on with your toddlers and infants, the true joy that Easter brings!

Enter to win a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson!
US Only
Ends April 12






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The 5 Factions T-Shirt from Cafe Press *Review & Giveaway





Have you seen Divergent yet? I can't wait to get to the theater to see it with my teens (they are on a mission trip this week so we have to wait a little bit longer). What faction will be your favorite?
The 5 Factions T-Shirt  from Cafe Press, gives you the opportunity to show off the symbols for all 5 of the factions from the movie.

This is made out of organic cotton and is so soft!! I love this shirt. My teen son has worn it several times and loves the attention he gets from it. Divergent the Movie is all the rage right now. Dakota has read all of the books in the series and super excited to see it.

 Cafe Press has a complete selection of apparel and gifts for all the factions! Can't decide, there are more gifts that include all of the symbols. T-shirts, phone cases, mugs, bags and more! Show your Divergent spirit and watch it lead to discussions for sure.

Want to win a T-shirt like we reviewed? You know you do, especially if you have seen the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, hopefully this shirt will tip the scales for you.

Enter to win below
US Only
Ends April 12th




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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Congratulations Spin Master! Toy Supplier of the Year Award



Spin Master Ltd., Canada’s largest children’s toy and entertainment company, announced today it is the proud recipient of the “Toy Supplier of the Year” award from Walmart, one of the nation’s largest retailers. The award was presented at Walmart’s annual supplier summit in Orlando, Florida on March 13, 2014.

 “We are so honored to have received such great recognition from Walmart,” said Ben Gadbois, Global President & Chief Operating Officer of Spin Master Ltd. “Our goal is to collaborate with all of our retail partners to be a world class supplier and deliver high quality and innovative products. Walmart’s ‘Supplier of the Year Award’ exudes excellence in the business and we look forward to continuing our work with Walmart for many years to come.”

In addition to winning “Toy Supplier of the Year” for 2013, three Spin Master toys were featured on Walmart’s “Chosen by Kids” hot holiday toy list, a list that was chosen by 1,000 kids who tested, played with and ultimately chose the top toys for the season.  
The specific toys included on the list were the 
Air Hogs Elite Helix X4 Stunt
Flutterbye Fairy 
Zoomer.




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Dress Your Sweetie in Biscotti this Easter! *Review



Easter is one of our most celebrated holidays. It is one where we toss aside the jeans and casual clothes, and go elegant in celebration! Biscotti has a beautiful collection of dresses for your toddler and young girls. Check out this Easter Basket Dress, gorgeous!


Very light pastels make this the perfect spring design. The beautiful flowers on the bodice are made of  a fluffy netting in the pastel colors, making the dress really make a fashion statement. Very light weigh and airy, this dress just shouts "Spring is Here"!
The back has a pastel pink tie to help tighten the bodice in front. This helps add to the fluffiness as well. 


The dress is layered, again in the pastel colors. The dress just flows, and twirls just as little girls should. The length of the dress is perfect, keeping it modest, yet practical in length as well.

This dress has a nostalgic charm to it, and is simply eye catching! It could even be used as a flower girl's dress in an upcoming wedding, it is that gorgeous!

This dress is easy to pair with a light sweater if you live in cooler climates, or that cool Easter morning. Just about any pastel color will match easily.

The Biscotti and Kate Mack brand are amazing dresses that keep my 'little girl' still young, yet give her a fashion statement that is in style and flattering for her age.

An entire new collection of dresses for the spring collection at Biscotti. Be sure to check out the Digital Dots, Precious Ponte, and Meadow Roses just to name a few.


Biscotti has captured the enchantment of childhood with romantic and charming dress collections since 1986.  Biscotti and Kate Mack styles have been featured in many leading publications such as Vogue Bambini, Women’s Wear Daily, The Wall Street Journal, Child Magazine, Us Weekly, and Teen Vogue.  Their exclusive designs and elegant silhouettes have become favorites among celebrity moms including Katie Holmes, Victoria Beckham, and Heidi Klum.
 
 

Check out Biscotti and Kate Mack on these social media sites
Facebook Biscotti & KateMack
Twitter @BiscottiKateMac 
Pinterest Biscotti Kate Mack 
 




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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Sheep Walker's Daughter by Sydney Avey *Review



About the Book:
 A Korean War widow's difficult mother dies before revealing the identity of her daughter's father and his cultural heritage. As Dee sorts through what little her mother left, she unearths puzzling clues that raise more questions: Why did Leora send money every month to the Basque Relief Agency? Why is her own daughter so secretive about her soon-to-be published book? And what does an Anglican priest know that he isn't telling? All this head-spinning breaks a long, dry period in Dee's life. She might just as well lose her job and see where the counsel of her new spiritual adviser and the attentions of an enigmatic ex-coworker lead her. The Sheep Walker's Daughter pairs a colorful immigrant history of loss, survival, and tough choices with one woman's search for spiritual identity and personal fulfillment. Dee's journey will take her through the Northern and Central California valleys of the 1950s and reach across the world to the obscure Basque region of Spain. She will begin to discover who she is and why family history matters

My Thoughts:
This book had a huge family theme, which is interesting as the main character doesn't have a strong family back ground. Dee never knew her Father, or her family's history. Her mother Leora, would refuse to talk about it.  Dee was not close to her own husband, as he worked in the military and Dee wanted to keep a stable environment for her own daughter Valerie. Even with trying to maintain a sense of family for Valerie, the two weren't that close. Dee's husband passed 3 years ago and Dee moved in with her Mother. Leora had secrets that she just refused to share with her daughter. It was interesting finding these out slowly after Leora dies.
Valerie has secrets herself, knowing more than her own Mother does. When Valerie travels to Spain to promote her book, she discovers much more of her heritage. It seems that Valerie wants that connection, while her Mother is slowly coming to terms with her own loss.
The relationships Dee has grow and improve after she starts visiting with a priest, Father Mike. He is the ear she needs to work through so much abandonment and secrets in her family. I love how Father Mike is not pushy, he is a good listening ear, and an encourager.
I enjoyed seeing the relationship with Dee and Valerie improve, and to see Dee stick her self out there and try to make friends, and even a beau.
The history of the Basque region in Spain was very intriquing, ,many of the people having been shepherds.
I really enjoyed this book!

About the Author
Sydney Avey lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a lifetime of experience writing news for non-profits and corporations. Her work has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine). She has studied at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
Sydney blogs at sydneyavey.com on topics related to relationships, legacy, faith, and the writing life. Her novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter, will be released from Hope Springs Books,  Chalfont House in December 2013.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hope Springs Books in exchange for my honest review through Book Crash. 

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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey *Review


About the book: For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man's untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride's body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since---Philip didn't kill himself that day. He was murdered.
Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly's sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.
Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake's dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . Between truth and lies.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/ux3hc 
 
My Thoughts:
I had a hard time getting into this book, it just had such a darkness about it. I really wanted to like the mystery and try to figure out what the Hollow held. The characters hold such unforgiveness, and have hidden sin that is keeping them in the dark. The lies and sin keep the book in a dark light in the beginning and you have to plug through that to get to the end. There is definitely generational sin keeping people stuck in their ruts. You have to be in the right mood for this style of book.

About the Author: Billy Coffey's critically-acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Learn more about Billy at: http://billycoffey.com



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Bamboosa Organic CottonBaby Essentials *Review






Made in the USA

Bamboosa was founded almost 10 years ago with the goals to create opportunities for displaced US textile workers, to make products that were environmentally forward thinking, and to act as good corporate citizens. Dedicated to the environment, quality, and a healthy work force, Bamboosa is a top notch company not only for baby products but clothing for Moms and Dads as well.

I was very excited to feel these textiles first hand when Bamboosa sent me a onesie and a hooded towel for review. Talk about softness!
I would love to try the Mommy sleep shirt, I can imagine the similar softness of the onesie being multiplied in this sleeping attire!

R is for Recycle made from 95% organic bamboo and 5% lycra, this onesie is extremely soft and cuddly! They carry solid color onesies as well, but I really love their selection of prints! As we approach summer I know my little ones always lived in one piece outfits like this. They are creative and eco friendly minded in their print styles.

The baby hooded towel made of 80% viscose from organic bamboo and 20% recycled polyester (recycled soda bottles). This terry cloth towel measures 30 by 30, an ample sized towel for newborns and infants! I love when the coziness of the towel wraps my little ones in warmth. Nothing worse than a mini bath towel for a baby. This towel is perfectly sized and excellent at absorbing moisture.

Additionally, Bamboosa carries other bamboo products like toys,

 Be sure to check out Bamboosa on these social media sites
Facebook BamboosaUSA
Twitter @Bamboosa
Pinterest Bamboosa



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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cherie Blossom from Harvey Prince *Review & Giveaway




The latest in the exceptional lineup of Harvey Prince scents.. Cherie Blossom!

"Cherie Blossom is the epitome of both rebirth in Japan and the power of a classic French seductress. Sweet, soft hints of Somet Sakura mingle with pink grapefruit and vanilla. A cool musk adds a touch of sophistication. Together, these fragrant notes play a song no man can resist. The woman who dares to wear Cherie Blossom feels timeless, and in truth, we look the way we feel."

Notes: Somei Sakura (Cherry Blossom), Pink Grapefruit, Cool Musk, Vanilla
Style:  Delicate. Young. Passionate.

Reawaken your youth with Cherie Blossom. This scent is perfect for spring!

 To me there is much more to a perfume than scent. Of course that is important, but also is the environmental concern as well as health in what I am exposing my body to with the product. Harvey Prince is crafted locally in the USA, using the finest essential & natural oils from around the world. They are 100% cruelty free, not testing their products on animals. Their products have no phtalates, parabens, sulfates, benzene, GMO's or triclosan.

Harvey Prince seeks to tell a story with their scents, to invoke the senses and bring out joy in the wearer. I have been a long time fan of Harvey Prince since I first reviewed for them a couple years ago. I continue to wear Harvey Prince as my very favorite! This new scent Cherie Blossom definitely ranks up there with my favorite for the spring season!

You can enter to win a Tall Spray Cherie Blossom from Harvey Prince by completing the Giveaway Tools below! 
US and Canada
Ends April 5th

We will be giving away 3 bottles!!




 Be sure to check out Harvey Prince on these social media sites
Twitter @Harveyprince
Harvey Prince on Pinterest
Facebook Harvey Prince
Instagram Harvey Prince




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Friday, March 21, 2014

Sage Stone Botanicals Organic Moisturizing Skin Care *Review




Sage Stone Botanicals was opened in 2005 to share healing soaps and lotions with customers who desire natural, organic ingredients. The soaps and lotion use only natural ingredients that are safe for the entire family. Paraben and sulfate free ingredients for a healthier skin.
I was impressed with the unique scent line up of the Sage Stone products. I have reviewed natural products in the past, with a very limited scent selection. There is definitely a benefit to having the basic scents that everyone seems to like, peppermint and lavender for example. Both of which Sage Stone Botanicals does carry, but for us adventurous types I love the smell of Tangerine Lemongrass and Jasmine. The latest scent Muscat had peaked my attention as well! (which just happens to be 20% off right now!)


Can you see the thickness of this lotion? Tangerine Lemongrass Hand Cream ($6) is a rich, creamy lotion that goes on smoothly and immediately moisturizes your skin. I love when a product has the rich nutritional value, and isn't watered down with.. water! It of course has some water in the ingredients, but not to the extreme that so many watered down products seem to have.  I was so glad to see nice, thick products from Sage Stone Botanicals. The hand lotion is a bit thicker than the body lotion. This creme is meant to get deep down into those tough to moisturize areas. You can use this for dry, cracked heels, knees and more. Not for hands only!


It is difficult to show moisture in a photo, but I figured I would try at least. Just wish you could scratch and sniff the screen to smell it! The Tangerine Lemongrass was a citrus delight!



The Jasmine Organic Body Lotion ($5) was also a rich, thick cream designed for your whole body. I think either of these products would do good on your hands or all over your body. The scent was definitely jasmine, without being too obnoxious and overwhelming. It didn't have the 'fake' scent that too many manufactured lotions have.

Sage Stone Botanicals also sells lip balm, shower gels and hand soap.

Follow Sage Stone Botanicals on these social media sites
Twitter @Sagestonenow
Facebook Sage Stone Botanicals


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The Legend of the Easter Egg *Review


 One April morning when the air was soft and sweet, a boy and his sister went outside to gather eggs. 'Easter's coming,' the sister said. 'Let's pretend we're hunting Easter eggs.' 'What are Easter eggs?' the boy asked. When Thomas's older sister Lucy falls ill, Thomas goes to live with the Sonnemans in their candy shop. He gets to eat peppermint sticks, fill candy jars, and weigh chocolate on the tippy scales, but he misses Lucy. When Easter comes, Mrs. Sonneman gives Thomas his first chocolate egg and Thomas learns the true meaning behind Easter eggs, the empty tomb, and the hope found in Jesus. This classic story of faith, love, and wonder is sure to be a treasured reminder of the miracle of Easter.

Beautifully done story with emphasis on the true meaning of Christmas. The illustrations are outstanding and very entertaining.
Poor Thomas has to be away from his sister while she is sick, and the Sonnemans keep him busy, while he waits it out. His thoughts aren't far from his sister though. I thought the relationship between these too was beautiful!
This is a must for your Easter!

Purchase this book in time for your Easter celebration on Amazon


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A to Z Reveal... Unit Study Themes with Five in a Row Books


I have really been needing to find something to work with to get blogging more. Life gets so busy, yet I want to keep blogging. I decided to take on a challenge for April!
Blogging from A to Z along with like 1400 other people! I might get traffic from it, but probably not. But what it will do is help get me in the blogging mood again and get my thoughts flowing!

http://vidyasury.com/2014/02/a-to-z-challenge-theme-reveal-blogfest.html

I just happened to find this challenge today, and it happens to be reveal day!! So I figured that was a great time to jump in. I have had approx 15 minutes to think on my theme. I wanted it to be educational in theme. I have been working with the kids on homeschooling through the ABC's. Perfect for this theme! We are only through letter J, but I already have a list of what we will be doing the other letters.

Each letter will have a Children's book (or more) as the main book we use, and either the Title of the book, or one of the main components of the book will line up with the Alphabet. Most of the books come from the Five in a Row curriculum.

I had started this style of theme through a weekly ABC hop, but I always was behind, and didn't want to post if we hadn't actually done the book yet. This go round we are posting for future books as well as one with books we have already done. It will help me as well to keep information in one place so when we do get to that letter in our school, I can easily find it!

This kicks off April 1st, and we have Sunday's off! Looking forward to sharing some excellent books and themes with you!


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Friday Family Film Fest- When Calls the Heart




 When Calls the Heart : Lost and Found



Nashville , Tennessee- When Calls the Heart, Produced and directed by Michael Landon Jr. and inspired by the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young high society teacher receiving her first classroom post in a prairie town in the Western Frontier.  Also stars Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton, a widow and mother whose husband, along with a dozen other miners, was killed in an explosion at the local mine.  When Calls the Heart- “Lost and Found” is a feature length film from the first two episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series.  The When Calls the Heart television series debuted on the Hallmark Channel to more than 3 million viewers, making it the No. 2 for the night on all of cable for the primary telecast at 9 p.m and No. 3 overall in households.   Distributed by Word Entertainment, The DVD will be available to purchase in Christian Retail February 25th, 2014.

Synopsis-  “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion.  The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a 19th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

My Thoughts:
 


 This film started out much the same as the first film and it had been awhile since I saw that. I was confused as I watched it and then realized how nicely they mirrored the first movie showing Elizabeth's Aunt coming to Coal Valley and getting to work as the teacher. This film starts with Elizabeth's arrival, with just the clothes on her back! She shortly after arriving burns down the teacherage, and is taken in by one of the widowed wives of a coal minor, Abigail. 
Elizabeth struggles to find her way among these loosely educated children. I loved her fortitude to stick with it, even when the Mountie challenged her that she couldn't handle it. She may have been raised with kid gloves, but she quickly learns to be successful living without much. 
This was a great family friendly film. I believe there will be at least one more in the series as this one kept us hanging! 


Read my review on the first in the series When Calls the Heart here

Michael Landon Jr. – Director:  Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.


Brian Bird- Writer/Producer : Brian Bird is co-founder with partner Michael Landon, Jr., of Believe Pictures, a film and television production company.  He was co-executive producer and writer on the successful television series, Touched by an Angel.  Adding to Brian’s success, he had also written and produced episodes of Evening Shade, Step by Step and The Family Man.  Most recently, Bird wrote and produced Gametime, a two-hour television pilot for NBC, The Shunning, inspired by the novel by best-selling author Beverly Lewis, for the Hallmark Channel, and Not Easily Broken, adapted from the novel by T.D. Jakes and released theatrically by Sony/TriStar.

 
About Word Entertainment:  A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, Barlow Girl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.






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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Literary Addicts Weekly Meme



http://literaryaddicts.ning.com/group/weekly-book-meme/forum/topics/literary-addicts-weekly-meme-for-the-week-of-march-19

Where do you buy your books?

I am an Amazon nut. I buy pretty much all of my books from Amazon, including for my kindle and the kids. I do buy homeschool curriculum from Rainbow Resource. 
As a review blogger I get many books free for review which has been a huge blessing, but that doesn't stop me from purchasing books either!
 

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