Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Are You Smarterer Than You Think?

First of all let me assure you that I know Smarterer is not a real word in the dictionary. However it is the name of a website that is gaining popularity, and it does prove to test your knowledge.



So what exactly is Smarterer you want to know?

Smarterer is a platform designed to score individuals on their digital, social, and technical skills. You can show to the world your knowledge and prove to just about anyone how smart you really are on such subjects.

There are various tests including but not limited to:
 



*Facebook
*Twitter
*Google
*Photoshop
*JavaScript
*PowerPoint
*Excel
*Social Media
You can also create your own tests for others to take, and in turn you can take others tests they have created.
Now you may be thinking to yourself that this will be a piece of cake, but let me assure you the description doesn’t do it justice. It IS a challenge. You are only given a limited time to answer each question. Kind of like those minute tests they do in schools. But it is exciting, and you can compare scores with friends. I am so surprised at how much I actually DON’T know about a lot of the sites and programs I use on a regular basis. Some of them I would’ve previously considered myself a pro at. Smarterer proved me a tad wrong on this assumption. If you get an answer wrong it highlights in red, and the correct answer highlights green. This makes it easy to learn the right answer and so you will know better next time and learn what you didn't know before. I actually thought it was fun, and if you like to test your knowledge or are just curious to see how much you actually know about a site or program I urge you to give it a try. It’s pretty fun to try and beat the clock, and they give you badges you can show off to friends if you choose to. Show them how smarterer you really are, and invite them to test their knowledge as well. Then compare scores. What fun.
Here are a few of my scores, even though I'm a bit embarrassed to post them. I took some tests on the sites/programs I use frequently, and threw in a Twilight Saga test just for fun since I am fascinated with the series. Here's what I got:


There's a bit of everything on there, and you can even create your own tests, and test your friends knowledge! Interested? Try it out today:
CLICK HERE: http://smarterer.com/



Disclaimer: As a BzzAgent I had the opportunity to try out Smarterer for myself. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, December 26, 2011

We Wish You A Merry Christmas...

I must admit, when you are a child, Christmas is a magical time. However, as an adult it is a bit stressful! LOL
Still we had lots of fun, and enjoyed being with family. The best gift of all was seeing my boys faces as they lit up with excitement over every little thing.

Our Christmas Eve was a bit stressful. My four year old just would not go to sleep no matter how tired he was because he wanted to see Santa. He actually had Santa a gift, why shouldn't Santa get a gift he said, (a notebook and crayon to keep his naughty and nice list in) wrapped that he wanted to personally give to him, despite me telling him that Santa would only come when he was asleep so as not to reveal all his magical ways. Finally at around 3am he crashed and me and Daddy set to our task of wrapping some last minute things. What gets me about wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve is that every year me and the hubby say we are going to be ahead of the game. We say we will not only have our Christmas shopping done at least a week before Christmas but that we will have the gifts wrapped ahead of time as well. This...NEVER...happens. We are always scrambling on Christmas Eve trying to ready gifts, do last minute preps to the house, and get things prepared for the following morning.
So anyway after getting only a few hours of sleep we all got up and went to church. After all Jesus is who Christmas is about. It was a good sermon, and we sung Happy Birthday to our Christ. When we got back home our boys started opening their gifts. They got a few things for fun, a few things to wear, and a few educational things each. Then while they played and Christmas cartoons played on the TV we set about cooking. In the middle of cooking we played with the boys, spent time with family, and before we knew it everything was done and it was time to eat.
We had a crammed house this year so I have no pictures to take of a nicely set table. We had about 18 in our house and we just sat wherever we could find a place. The only table set was the kids table. haha
At the end of the day when all the wrapping paper had been bagged, and the boxes thrown away, dishes scraped and washed, baths taken, we were all worn out and every one of us promptly fell to sleep.
All in all it was a very good day. I loved being around family and friends since we don't all get to come together very often.

One funny thing on Christmas Eve that happened is this: We laid out the traditional milk and cookies for Santa. However my son decided that Santa didn't really need the cookies after all so he himself ate the cookies. He left Santa two potatoes to take and bake in replace of the cookies. He said after eating everyone else's cookies all night maybe Santa would like to make himself a baked potatoe when he got home! LOL   Kids say the craziest things!

How did you spend your Christmas? Did you have lots of fun? Did your children do anything funny?

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and hope you all have a Happy New Year. Stay tuned for giveaways, some of which I will be launching this week!


Sincerely,
Tori

The Littlest Elf Review



Christopher e. Cricket isn’t like most crickets. He dreams of a place with bright lights, warmth, and festivities. Unlike his cricket friends Christopher admires the humans with their cozy houses and green lawns.
As winter approaches, his cricket friends urge him to start building his den.
Christopher refuses and declares he is going to stay out to see what winter is really all about. Sure that he will freeze they plead with him to reconsider, but he doesn’t relent.
Eventually with winter’s arrival comes snow, and Christopher finds himself colder than he could ever imagine. However a glimpse in a window shows him a beautiful Christmas tree, glowing lights, and carols that warm his heart. The humans sing of Christ and it fills his little heart with warmth. However the cold gets to him, and he falls into a deep sleep.
He awakens on the lap of none other than old St. Nick himself and sees the elves all around the room decorating the tree and frolicking about.
Filled with many questions about Christmas, Christ, and St. Nick he gets all the answers he could ever hope for and then some.
 
My Thoughts:
When I first found this book, judging from the cover, I took this to be a book about an elf. Not only because of the title, but the cover shows four elves decorating for Christmas. I felt this was misleading since the book is about a cricket, so somewhere on the cover should have depicted a cricket. However, that’s why we should never judge a book by it’s cover right? After reading the synopsis of the book we do learn it is indeed about a curious cricket.
I did enjoy the story plot itself, but the story did seem to skip around a lot. However, the story itself still held together well despite that. Even though it did skip around a bit I didn‘t feel lost. I would not recommend this book for young children under the age of seven since there are so little pictures to go along with the story. Out of 30 pages there are only like 6 pictures. The majority of the pages are just words which was a shame because the pictures were very well done. I think this book is better suited for children aged 8+ who are learning to read books by themselves. It would make an excellent starter book for new advanced readers.
The pictures were well drawn and very colorful. It would have been wonderful had there been more colorful pictures to enjoy with every page.
What I loved most about this book was that it combines Christ and St. Nick in a great way. Since both are a huge influence on children it was nice to finally see the two combined. Especially since it touches base on the true meaning of Christmas. Plus something a little extra that touched me is that big hearts can come in small packages. :)

If your interested in this book you can CHECK IT OUT HERE


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc. (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434912450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434912459

Friday, December 23, 2011

The UGLee Pen Winner Is...


Check your email for my message. If you don't find it in your inbox don't forget to check your spam or trash folder. You have 48 hours to respond before I will have to choose another winner, however since it is the holidays I will wait until 8:00pm EST on Monday 12/26/2011 to hear from you. Congratulations on your win and I hope the UGLee Pen will benefit you as much as it has me. I hope you enjoy, and thank you for entering this giveaway!
~

*For those who didn't win this contest stay tuned to my blog for others. I have some great upcoming reviews and giveaways.
~
Happy Holidays to everyone, and thanks to all who entered!



Sincerely,
Tori

* I used the random number generator to choose the winner of this giveaway.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Lucky $50 Gift Card Winner Is:

First I would like to give thanks to the Chicago marketing firm Straight North for hosting this wonderful giveaway for my readers!
And without further ado it's time to announce the winner: (drumroll)

LESLIE!


I will be in contact with you shortly to get the necessary information needed. You will receive an electronic voucher within 2 business days redeemable for a $50 gift card of your choice through icardgiftcard.com. In the meantime you can browse through the options to get an idea of which giftcard you want. Happy Holidays!


*I used a random number generator at random.org to choose the winner of this giveaway.

Again you can follow Straight North on both FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

I thank all the participants who entered into into this wonderful giveaway. Happy Holidays to everyone! Hope you'll visit me again at Mommy's Musings soon. :)

Sincerely,
Tori

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cook'n Recipe Software Review


I have always filed my recipes two different ways:

*On index cards where they reside in my recipe box
*On my favorites tab in my browser under the recipe folder


Admittedly things tend to get a bit disorganized this way. It can be time consuming to flip through/search through for that right recipe. Particularly if I’m in a hurry. But now thanks to the Cook’n Recipe Organizer my life has changed! Cooking has become so much simpler!



It simplifies cooking, and there are so many luxuries that this software has for everyone whom loves cooking.
I love to browse the internet for new recipes to try when I have the time. And my favorite thing about Cook’n is that when I find that right recipe there’s a capture button that completely captures the recipe for you. From the ingredients to the directions it creates a new recipe card instantly for you to file away. You can even create your own cookbook and file your own recipes with ease!
If that isn’t fantastic enough it helps you with meal planning and will adjust the serving size of any recipe. You have a wonderful recipe that serves four, but you want to serve it for a party of twelve? Just type that in and Cook’n will automatically adjust the amount of ingredients.
You can also create a shopping list with ease! You can simply click a recipe and then click “List” and it will automatically compile your ingredients, amounts needed, and even estimate the cost for you.
As a busy mom Cook’n is a blessing to me. It makes meal planning and recipe organizing a breeze and frees up more of my time. I have been glued to the program, and while I am still learning the ropes there is a great intro video that take’s you through everything step by step. I can’t wait to use this software to make my Christmas dinner recipes easier to follow! Especially because we will be tripling our guest list this year!
There are so many wonderful time saving features and perks about this software. Here’s just a few:


*Cook'n features an embedded web browser with advanced recipe search capabilities so no more scouring through tons of search engine results for that perfect recipe
*You can capture internet recipes with one click and save them into your personal cookbooks providing quick and easy access later on.
*Users can scale and e-mail recipes
*You will also soon be able to sync recipes and shopping lists with mobile devices and to a Cloud service
*You can even publish recipes into family cookbooks!
*Plus new customers get a free cookbook with purchase (over 130 to choose from!)
Want to learn more about this great recipe software? Plus satisfaction is 200% guaranteed!

Plus here's a little Demo you can watch:





I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm & Lots Of Lashes Mascara Review

I have to admit that as a mom of two young boys I don’t much wear make-up anymore. Who has the time? It's all I can do to break in a couple of potty breaks throughout the day. I admire the other momma's I see out and about with their make-up carefully applied and wonder how in the world they do it! But I do still enjoy make-up, and as every woman does I like to feel pretty. Anymore though, when it comes to make-up, I like to keep it basic and simple. Something fast, easy to apply, and that will provide the desirable effect and last! My favorite make-up choices include:



*Eyeliner
*Eyeshadow
*Mascara
*Lip Balm/Gloss
My main issue with cosmetics is they often don’t last very long. After a few hours they wear off, and I don’t have time to excuse myself continuously to go re-apply, busy moms are on the go and chores are never ending. So I am always excited to try new products to make my life a little easier while still helping create “that look”.
And…lucky me….I got to try out these two new products!
 

Maybelline Great Lash-Lots Of Lashes


Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm w/SPF 20
 
They are from Maybelline, and they are both amazing!

The mascara lasts all day and then some! It did make me appear to have more lashes, which I loved, and I never once had to re-apply that day. It also didn’t make my lashes feel overly sticky like most mascara’s can sometimes do. My lashes didn’t feel weighed down in the least. The only issue I had with this mascara is that it boasts no clumps, but I did indeed experience clumps. Not very many mind you, mainly upon first application. After that it glided on smoothly. And the brush for this mascara is truly amazing. It’s sort of heart-shaped which surprisingly made a difference as far as the application process. The perks about having this type of brush is due to the various size bristles it allows you to reach ALL your lashes! Total perk huh? I was pretty impressed.
 
The Baby Lips Lip Balm was my favorite of the two. I received five of them in these scents: Peppermint, Quenched, Cherry Me, Fruit Punch, Pink Punch, Pink Kiss.

Now they don’t taste like their scents, it doesn’t really have a taste at all, which if you ask me is better because I’m not wanting to chew my lips off throughout the day.

The Baby Lips Balm made a difference to me after the first application. While it didn't last all day it was easy to reapply when needed. The tube fit nicely in my pants pocket, and it glides on easily. I found myself only using 2-3 applications a day which if you ask me isn’t bad. That's only like every 8 hours or so. It moisturized and re-hydrated my otherwise dry cracked lips! Particularly since it is winter! I always have trouble with my lips getting dry and chapped around this time of year. It has a lip renew formula with SPF 20, and it's clinically proven! Oh my dear heart be still. LOL

My own personal favorites were the peppermint and quenched. I’m not into lipstick colors such as peach or red and the other lip balms I received, when applied, did indeed apply to that color effect. This would be great for all you lipstick lovers out there who want the lip color perk, but also desire smooth, hydrated lips.

I would recommend giving each of these products a try as they are each affordable, can be found almost anywhere (Wal-Mart is usually cheapest on prices, and they sell these products there), and they each reach the desirable effect. In particular I recommend the Baby Lips Lip Balm. I have been recommending that left and right because I am THAT impressed with it. It really is my new favorite, and who knows maybe it will be yours too.
 
Sincerely,
Tori

Disclaimer: As a BzzAgent I have been provided with a complimentary product mentioned above for review purposes. All opinions expressed are HONEST and are mine alone.


~




***If you haven't already entered into my $50 dollar gift card giveaway you have only one day left to enter! Click Here for details and/or to ENTER GIVEAWAY***


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

$50 Gift Card Giveaway- brought to you by Chicago marketing firm- Straight North!

~THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED-WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN & WILL BE ANNOUNCED~
The holidays always leave everyone a little strapped for cash. No matter if your money is going for gifts, a big Christmas dinner for the family, or bills in general it is never enough around the holidays. Now your in luck…
Straight North, a Chicago marketing company, is giving one lucky reader of Mommy’s Musings the chance at winning a $50.00 gift card!

The winner will be able to choose a gift card of their choice from icardgiftcard.com when you redeem the voucher. Here's a complete list of the gift cards you will be able to redeem for:

http://www.icardgiftcard.com/gift-cards/default.aspx

Straight North is a Chicago based company that helps businesses grow through internet marketing, websites, and branding.
They excel with middle market, growth-oriented B2B firms in need of a reliable partner that can support a full range of Internet marketing services. They manage programs that are local, national and global. They are also full service. Their teams include strategy, web design, web development, SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing, copywriting, and print design.
And best of all is they give back to the community in so many ways.
You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.
The rules for this giveaway are simple and easy:


*You MUST be 18 years of age or older
*Open to US residents only
*Follow Straight North on Twitter or “Like” on Facebook. Leave me a comment telling me which one you did. If you choose to do both this will give you an extra entry into the giveaway. Be sure to leave your name, email address, and face book name and/or twitter handle in your comment.

If you can't click on the above links for Straight North's social media pages you can copy and paste these links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/StraightNorth
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StraightNorth
* I will be using a random number generator to allow everyone a fair chance at winning, and I will announce the winner on Tuesday December 20th, 2011 on Mommy‘s Musings. If you are chosen as the winner you will have 24 hours to respond before I will have to choose another winner. If chosen, when you receive your email from me, you will need to send me your contact information (e.g. Name, Address) so I can send the information to the company for you to collect your gift card. Winner will receive the gift card redemption code from Straight North within two days after contest closes.

*Again contest is open from today: 12/14/2011 - 12/19/2011 WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED 12/20/2011 so entries after 12/19/2011 will not be counted.

NO PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL BE SHARED WITH ANYONE BESIDES MYSELF AND STRAIGHT NORTH
 
 
 
Disclosure: I received a $50 gift card from Straight North for hosting this giveaway.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Best Forgotten by: Paula Vince Book Review

Best Forgotten will NEVER be forgotten!
 
 
When a young man gets hit by a car and flung on the side of the road it’s a miracle he even survives. But upon awakening he remembers nothing, not even himself.
As he is rehabilitated to his family and loved ones he can’t help but to feel out of place, and most disturbing is the feeling that something is right on his heels.
His mother is highly un-approving of everything he does, he’s had nothing to do with his dad in the past, and his previous appearance baffles him. How could he like skulls, goth, and a band that calls themselves Satan’s Angels? As he begins to learn more about former self he begins to hate the person he was, and starts on the path of reinventing himself. As tidbits of memory comes back to him he can’t help but wonder if he would be better off without knowing his past. After all why would he want to become someone he now hates?
Even his so called girlfriend seems to be hiding something from him, and he can’t pry from her whatever it is.
As he learns more about himself he can’t help but wonder if everyone wouldn’t be better off if he never recovers from his amnesia. In particular he is afraid of what he may find out about himself if he does.

~

This book kept me fully intrigued and interested from the beginning to end. This book doesn’t at all lag, and the writing style flows very easily. I want to say it’s a relaxed read, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat with a turn of any event.
It has action, mystery, faith, romance, suspense, family issues, identity crisis, and thrill all woven together under one cover. I love how you only get tidbits here and there throughout the story and you will be amazed at how many different conclusions you will draw. I found myself thinking that I knew what was going to happen and then promptly finding myself in the wrong with another twist of events. It definitely kept me excited to turn the pages.
It touches base on troubled families and troubled youth, and shows how faith can change everything for the better. It doesn’t make you feel as if you are being preached to, but gives undemanding examples of faith that you can‘t help but to admire. It will draw you closer to God and make you second glance your own relationship with Him.
All of the characters are very well prepared, and almost every character will touch your heart in some way.
My favorite part of this is how thrilling of a read it is. It will keep you guessing, trust me on that. It is one of the most unpredictable books I have EVER read, and I LOVE that rarity.

I HIGHLY recommend this read to everyone!


To purchase this book or learn more about it CLICK HERE
See my STAR RATING on Goodreads by CLICK HERE



Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Updates and Upcoming

This is just going to be a short update, a multitude of things have been going on, and will be upcoming.
I apologize for my absence. I have been suffering from my second bout of mastitis and the medication they prescribed does not sit well with me. It highly upsets my stomach and makes me feel terrible to put it plainly. However breastfeeding doesn't give me many options so luckily I am almost finished with them. I am determined and I'm not going to give up. I breast fed my first baby the entire year and not once did I get mastitis nor did he get thrush. This time around I have developed mastitis twice in the last couple of months and my baby has thrush. It's all new to me so I have been reading up on all I can. I'm sure all you fellow breast feeding mama's know exactly what I'm talking about, or have heard of it.

We didn't get our tree up until late (even though, as you remember, I couldn't wait to decorate for Christmas). We have pretty much gotten all of our Christmas shopping done, and I am still working on some handmade gifts thanks to Pinterest. Every year we have sort of wasted money on toys for our son that he never even played with often before he lost interest. When he was two my husband bought him one of those air hog helicopters that are remote controlled and fly in the air. Let's be honest he was too young for that. It was more of a gift for daddy than baby. ha ha
As we speak he still can't fully work it all alone yet and he is four. So since this year we have two to buy for we are keeping things simple and being careful not to jump the gun on spoiling. It is hard because I love to see their little faces light up with excitement, but I think they will be just as pleased. I'm proud to say we have only bought what they can benefit from educationally and just a couple of toys each they can actually play with. Besides too often we forget the true meaning of Christmas.
 What about you? Do you like to keep it simple for your children or go all out?

Hopefully I won't be overwhelming my readers but I will be posting a lot of reviews and giveaways within the next couple of weeks. I do have some fantastic giveaways upcoming though so I hope you'll stay tuned and enter in. I like to keep my giveaways fairly simple and I don't do the whole rafflecopter thing at least not for awhile. I do host a fair giveaway and use a random number generator so all is fair. Hopefully you will all stay tuned as I don't want you to miss a thing.

Also in case you haven't checked out Mommy's Musings Facebook page I am all up for anyone who wants their blog button featured on this blogs sidebar. I love to support other blogs. Any who I must get off here and lay down, sour stomach again. Sorry this post is sort of all over the place and choppy. I can't wait to post more often and have tons to catch everyone up on. I will be posting personal posts between reviews/giveaways to keep everyone updated, and feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to hear how all of you are doing despite all the holiday rush and fuss.
Hope this time isn't too stressful, and hopefully you are all excited about the upcoming holidays!

Sincerely,
Tori

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Deal For You!

I have a special treat for all my readers who enjoy Amish fiction.
Remember my book review of Cindy Woodsmall's book The Christmas Singing?
Here's a bit more about that book:




Here's a peek at the first chapter:

The Christmas Singing (Chapter 1 Excerpt)


If you like it, and trust me it is a FANTASTIC read, Waterbrook Multnomah is offering 30% off PLUS FREE SHIPPING on The Christmas Singing (and any other title) to the readers of Mommy's Musings. Just visit their website @ http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/
Readers need to use the promo code: CHRISTMAS11 at checkout. The coupon code expires on December 20th, 2011 so hurry on over and get started! Makes for a fantastic Christmas gift!


Happy Holidays!


Sincerely,
Tori

This Little Prayer of Mine Book Review



In a world as unpredictable as the one we live in today it is ever most important to make sure our children have a relationship with God.
I feel that this book helps us, as parents/guardians/grandparents, achieve that goal.
I love reading this book to my children, and I am going to be recommending it to our church as well.
The story is so simple, and yet so heartwarming. The lessons and examples are packed into such small phrases! I loved that the words just flow with little effort, and your children will immediately find themselves drawn in!
This book covers the majority of what children deal with in their young lives, such as: being afraid, sadness, mixed emotions and hard choices, being ornery/disobeying rules, feeling alone especially around peers, etc.
It also points out certain things to be thankful for in our everyday lives as well. It is a great portrayal of God’s love for us, and let’s children know that God is always there to talk to as well as his forgiveness. It encourages children to become closer to God, make the right choices, let them know they are loved no matter what, and show them that forgiveness is but a prayer away.
We were also pretty impressed with the illustrations. The pictures alone tell such a great story. The pictures not only follow the words, but they follow their own as well. They were very well done, and very colorful. We loved finding little hidden things on the pages. It’s the little details that children notice the most and this book is jam packed with them! It’s very exciting!
Whether your child is the type to get immersed in a story itself or the illustrations, this book meets both expectations.
Out of all the children’s prayer books I have read this one takes the cake!
I think this is a perfect book for children. A way to encourage daily prayers, and a way for them to stay close to God. I enjoy reading this to my sons and lately we have been reading it at least twice a day. We all really enjoy it. I would say the ages that would get the most out of this book would be ages 4 +. The book isn't very long and the it is well split up so you aren't overwhelmed with either more pictures or more words per page. It's a hardcover book with paper pages so it is durable. It's light and easy to hold. The illustrations are extremely detailed and there are all sorts of things to find in the background. The words are easy for children to understand and pass a good message through at the same time.
It truly is a magnificent read. Enjoyable for both parents and children! It would especially make a good Christmas gift to one lucky child!

To learn more about this book: CLICK HERE
or
See my star rating for this book on Goodreads: CLICK HERE
 
 
Disclaimer:
Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks (Confessions of April Grace) Book Review



April Grace Reilly finds herself smack dab in the middle of a terrible year. Old friends become new strangers as they all embark upon middle school. One of her best friends starts a clique called the Lotties, and April is not a part of them. The Lotties meanly run the school and pick on anyone in their path.
As if that wasn’t bad enough home life becomes the most strange and worrisome for April. On top of dealing with her overly dramatic sister Myra Sue and obnoxious live in guest Isabel St. James, April’s grandma finds herself in the midst of a love triangle. If that isn’t the icing on the cake for April her mother begins acting strangely, and April wants to get to the bottom of it. And instead of crying and whining to get her way, April brings you along on her journey as she stoically gets to the bottom of it all in her honest/humorous fashion.

~

This was truly a fun read. It is one of the most humorous novels I have read in a long time. I was constantly laughing out loud, and even found myself sharing funny quotes or sayings I came across with those around me. This book is in no way dull, and I was immersed in it from the beginning. There is always a new twist, mystery, or event happening at the turn of the page. Intrigue around every corner! It makes this book hard to put down.
What I really enjoyed about this book is that it touches point on so many different lessons and hardships that a tween will often find herself dealing with. From a new addition to the family, to dealing with difficult siblings, to dealing with mean girl cliques in school, hardships with faith, finding someone’s true person instead of judging them from the outer layers, and so much more!
The novel is set in the late 80s, but it doesn’t really make much of a difference as I believe all tweens will be able to connect with April Grace.
It would especially be a good read for a mother/daughter duo. I know I sure enjoyed it despite my age, and I am definitely going to be getting the third book to come out in the Confessions of April Grace series. The words flow so smoothly and easily, before I knew it the book was over. I was sad for it to end, but can’t wait to revisit April Grace and the other characters. Every character comes alive in this novel. There is no small character, even the ones that don’t appear often seem so alive! I highly recommend this series to any mother with a tween daughter, or even pick up a copy and read it for yourself. It will take you back to your middle school days. Another interesting perk is being older you can pick up on lots of other interesting details you probably wouldn’t have noticed had you been younger. I’m looking forward to book three for sure, and if you want more info on this book just check out the links below:

For more info on this book: Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks (Confessions of April Grace) CLICK HERE
Want to be friends with April Grace on FACEBOOK? CLICK HERE
For more info on the Confessions of April Grace series CLICK HERE

 
DISCLAIMER: I was provided this book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

UGLee Pen Review and Giveaway!




As much as I use my computer on an almost daily basis, I just can’t function without my pens. I have always had a fascination with pens anyway and for as long back as I can remember it has always been my writing tool of choice. I remember being five years old pretending to write a journal with my mom’s blue ink pen.
These days I still keep a daily journal, I write “old fashioned” hand written letters, as well as grocery and to-do lists, post-it’s, and keep my very helpful and needed planner.
I do keep my appointments and such on the computer or on my cell phone, but sometimes it dies, doesn’t want to work, or something gets deleted. Thus I always keep a back-up planner which is what I really rely on. That said I keep faith in pens and paper. The only problem is that I use my hands A LOT, and over the years this has caused a bit of discomfort. Besides writing constantly by hand I crochet, sew, knit, cook, draw, paint, etc. And that said my hands tend to cramp up quite often. I find myself writing a couple pages as a journal entry and then my hand is cramping and uncomfortable. I still refuse to give up my pens, and I try to split up my writing time so I can still write without my hand stiffening up on me.

However, now I have truly been given hope and satisfaction! I have been lucky enough to try a truly relaxing pen! It is this:

 
When I received the opportunity to review The UGLee Pen I was a bit skeptical and yet curious. I knew that I just had to try this pen. I am very picky about my pens. I spend forever in the office supplies aisle checking out the different pens, and I am always disappointed with the grip that most pens are made with now. The grip is suppose to be for comfort, but to be honest it just makes my hand hurt worse or makes the pen more heavy. But that is luckily NOT the case with the UGLee Pen. I have truly found my pen of choice! This pen is light, and the grip not only makes the pen easier to hold, but provides comfort! Not just between the fingers either like most pens, this grip actually extends up the body of the pen! So the grip fits your whole hand. I let my husband try out this pen as well. He has to do paperwork on a daily basis at his place of employment. He has trouble with his fingers cramping, as he suffers from arthritis. He said he had no trouble at all while using the UGLee Pen and breezed right through all his paperwork. Usually he says he has to persevere through the pain and just shove on. He wants his very own set to keep at work.

Aside from the fact that it is comfortable to write with, the ink is smooth and glides easily. It writes with ease! That is a high point for me, as I’ve said I’m picky and my main preference for a pen is that it writes well without effort. All in all this is a fantastic, brilliant, innovative invention and I definitely recommend it to just anyone. To me this is THE ergonomic pen. Even if you don’t have arthritis or hand-issues it is still the most comfortable pen I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. I think it would highly benefit those who have to do hand-written paperwork, college students would benefit greatly, high school students, even small children learning to write will love these pens! My four year old recently requested the use of mine to write a letter to Santa. You should've seen his face when he did. He said the pen was so soft and felt good in his hands! If a four year old likes this pen, you know it's good. You can't get any more honest than toddlers. lol. Plus with Christmas coming up this would make a great gift to anyone who loves writing, or uses pens often.

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Here is a bit about the UGLee Pen:
The UGLee Pen is a revolutionary ergonomic pen that is designed, created and used by a real physician. This Doctor-inspired grip pen is redefining the way people view pens and writing.
The UGLee Pen is good for everyone who writes (even just a grocery list), and is especially helpful to people who experience pain and discomfort when writing, for example those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.,. It's also the best writing utensil  for children who are learning to write and are developing fine motor skills, as well as helpful for special-needs children who find holding a pen or pencil properly difficult. And for high-school and college students who have to take copious notes, this pen helps keep hands and fingers from cramping.
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And the best news of all is that is giving the readers of Mommy’s Musings your very own chance to win these wonderful pens! I urge you to enter, you won’t be disappointed! I will be running this contest from now until December 22nd, 2011 Thursday! Winners will be announced first thing Friday morning December 23rd, 2011. I will give the winner 48 hours to respond before choosing another. Here are the requirements for entering the giveaway:

1. LIKE UGLee Pen on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UGLeePen)
2. And/Or  FOLLOW in Twitter @ugleepen (http://twitter.com/#!/ugleepen)
3. Tell me one thing you have learned about the UGLee Pen by going to the web site (http://www.ugleepen.com/)
4. Must be a U.S. resident
5. Make sure to leave me a comment on this page telling me you have done all the above/meet all the requirements, and don't forget to leave your email address so I can let you know if you've won!

*This giveaway is currently only open to U.S. residents only.


Disclaimer:
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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