Monday, January 27, 2014

Puffs Plus To-Go Packs

I really love this product. It's one of my favorites and so convenient. As it's winter season (and an especially harsh one at that) runny noses, colds, etc., are inevitable. You can't escape it. But most tissues are so rough on your nose and skin. I especially have trouble using certain tissues because I have sensitive skin. But Puffs to go has been the perfect product for me and my whole family! It's even gentle enough for my little ones. They are so soft and durable which is a wonderful thing in a tissue. The to-go packs are so convenient and easy to fit anywhere whether in a purse or pants pocket making them easy to use anywhere. And they have lotion which makes them that much easier on your delicate skin. A must have! I have started carrying a couple packs at a time around with me just in case. You never know when you may need one, or when someone else does! :)

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product which is mentioned above from Influenster to try.

Thursday, January 23, 2014



Finally a supplement that is fun for adults to take and tasty too! Airborne has a wonderful blend of vitamins, antioxidants, herbs, and vitamin C to give you that extra boost in your immune system. I love that the gummies are sweet and fun to take. As an adult it's rare to have a fun supplement to take but Airborne has sure proved that statement wrong for me at least.
I love that because Airborne has so many things in one I can eliminate other vitamin supplements saving money while keeping things fun.
I'm also eager to try the Airborne chewables as they look just as delicious as the gummies. Besides, as I believe in keeping my immune system up I think it should be more fun and less headache. Why not have a tasty flavor while we are at it???

Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned product for free as a Smiley360 member in exchange for my unbiased review/opinions. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Burning Sky by Lori Benton - Review

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307731472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731470

Captured at a tender young age Willa Obenchain is taken captive and is raised among the Mohawks for the next several years. While bitter at first she eventually accepts her fate and settles among the Mohawks, taking the name Burning Sky. She accepts the Mohawks as her new family.
But when devastation strikes she finds herself yearning for her former life. With no more ties holding her to the Mohawks she sets out to find her former family. On her path back to a former life Willa stumbles upon a fallen Scotsman, Neil, whom is in desperate need of help. Feeling obligated to tend to this strange man, Willa sets on the path ahead of her with determination.
Finding her family missing and stuck nursing Neil back to health, many obstacles present themselves to Willa. As many of her former friends find that Willa is back to claim her land she finds that her home is threatened with a rumor of her parents being Tories hung over her. Her former betrothed, Richard Waring, comes back a changed and sinister man much different than she remembers and with claim on the Obenchain land. People in town do not easily accept a woman back into their culture that spent time with "savages", and are not as accepting of Willa as she would have expected.
Her Mohawk brother, Joseph Tames-His-Horse, comes to her in search of answers as to why she would rejoin the white world when they obviously would look on her differently and not accept her. He urges her to rejoin her Mohawk family and leave the un-accepting white world behind her forever.
But Willa is torn between her former lives and wants to rebuild the Obenchain land that has fallen into disrepair.
She soon finds her safety threatened and cannot ignore her growing feelings for Neil MacGregor, the Scotsman who worms his way into her heart and mind. But neither can she ignore her pulling feelings to her previous life. As God works to show Willa that there are many blessings in front of her she struggles to let go of all the negative horrific things, but will she ever be able to fully heal her broken heart and move forward? Or will her confusion take the upper hand leaving Willa unable to make a decision, let the alone the right one?

::My Thoughts::
I am a huge fan of novels written on Native Americans, colonial times, etc. One look at the cover of this book had me instantly intrigued and reading the summary I knew I could not wait to read it. This novel did not disappoint me in the least. It was everything and more than I thought it would be! Faith is the core of this book, but the author does not lecture or preach faith, rather it comes out of the book and grips you without climbing a mountain to get there. The way this novel has been put together makes you get instantly lost in the events as they are told, and everything flows together nicely. It is very well researched and depicts how most things were after the Revolution.
This book had everything from romance, tension, drama, and friendship. I was on the edge of my seat and couldn't wait to read what would happen next. There were so many frustrating moments where I almost found myself screaming at some of the events in the book and that is obviously a great read when the reader can become so invested in the characters lives and actions.
I was sad when the book came to an end, but although everything did not turn out exactly as I had wished I did very much enjoy the ending and was very pleased with it.
Clean written but not to a prudish point there are sexual scenes but they are tastefully written and not vulgar.
There are many scriptures scattered throughout the novel which brings the Christian aspect to the novel continuously in a way that fits well with the story at hand while delivering a message to the reader without preaching.
I felt this book is a great example of overcoming trials and tribulations, letting God heal your heart, and standing your ground while holding onto God's hand. With God anything is possible and no trial is too big to overcome if you hold onto your faith.
I greatly enjoyed it and I would highly recommend this novel. I cannot praise it enough and it has found a permanent home on my favorites shelf.

Check out the PODCAST below with Lori Benton speaking about her novel Burning Sky

You can also go HERE to get a sneak peek of Burning Sky by Lori Benton

Purchase this book in:   Print   Kindle   Nook

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday 01/13/2014

Hello, I hope everyone had a good weekend. This is our first "normal" week in quite some time. The kids are back in school, the roads are clear of snow, and the weather isn't quite so bitter. It actually feels warm outside compared to what we did have. Due to the crazy weather last week and that arctic storm that came through our schools were cancelled for a week straight! As a kid that would have been my dream come true. haha I loved snow days, and the peace of it. I still love them but as an adult no matter how beautiful you have to worry about the other complication that come with the beauty of it all. Especially when talking driving anywhere, power outages, etc. Phew. But we made it through without losing our power completely so we were blessed in that. While our power did go out a few times it wasn't off longer than a few minutes before it came back on thank goodness. We got to -45 in temps even! But back to Happy Homemaker Monday :)
I join in with Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom so if you would like to join in head on over to her page and join with us all. :)

PHOTO CREDIT: Sandra @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

::As I look outside my window::
A little snow is on the ground, but most of it has melted away. The trees no longer bear the burden of having tons of snow piled on their leafless branches, but are bare once again. I do admit I think the trees are beautiful in winter with a little snow on the branches.

::Right now I am::
Sitting beside my youngest on the couch while he watches Umizoomi on Nick Jr. It's one of his favorite shows and he watches it every morning so it's a good time to get my blogging in.

::Thinking and Pondering::
I'm actually thinking ahead to Valentine's Day today. For the first time ever I bought my son's Valentine's to give out to his class early. haha. He wanted Power Rangers this year so now all I have left is to buy some candy to attatch and bag them up. That though can wait a little longer since it's still a month away. I just wanted to make sure I bought the Valentine's while they had them. Last year we had an awful time finding certain characters he wanted because we waited at the last minute and of course when stores run out they don't get more in stock.
Every year me, hubby, and the kiddos do something special for Valentine's Day. I know it's supposed to technically be for couples but that is very unrealistic when you have young kiddos. Finding a sitter that is reliable, making plans, it all becomes a hassle. So every year we do something special as a family. Usually I make a steak dinner or we go out to eat followed by a movie at home or the movie theater. I make a Valentine's Cake usually also. This year however we are thinking dinner, movie, and bowling. :)
Also thinking about how my little man will be turning three in just a month and a half. I'm not ready for it. The time goes so quickly it's unreal. It seems like in the blink of an eye. We for the most part already have plans in place for his special day aside from picking out the cake, getting gifts, and sending invitations but that will be done come February. I can't help it I have to plan ahead. I've had to much experience waiting until the last minute and that's when things get way too hectic and crazy.

::On my bedside table::
In 1461, Alix Givet, the daughter of Queen Margaret's physician, is forced into a loveless marriage with a Northumbrian baron's cruel son. When he unexpectedly dies, she flees over the border into Scotland, and into the mercy of a brooding laird. If she can warm his cold heart, it might provide the everlasting love of her dreams?

::On my TV tonight::
I recently found this television series that I find I LOVE immensely. It has me laughing, shrieking, and covering my eyes in horror at the same time. It's called Panic Button and it airs on truTV. A team of two people enter this top secret facility. They have no idea where they are at all and a voice talks to them the whole time. They have to face their worst fears through three terrifying levels and make it through and then put their relationship to the test. 
So tonight I'll be catching up on the episodes on demand I haven't got to see yet.

::Listening to::
Nothing at the moment besides listening to my little man next to me count along with Umizoomi. :)

::On the menu for the week::
Monday- Salisbury steaks, mashed potatoes w/gravy, broccoli
Tuesday- pigs in a blanket, macaroni and cheese, peas
Wednesday- Cheesy Beef Pasta, loaded baked potatoes, corn
Thursday- Spaghetti w/meat sauce and garlic bread
Friday- shopping day
Saturday- see above
Sunday- see above

::On my to do list::
I have been battling a cold the past few days and while I feel better I'm still feeling run down. So today I'm going to take it as easy as possible, and keep to only the daily chores. The rest will wait until later in the week.
So today I'll be only
  • Vacuuming floors
  • Sweeping kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Putting away laundry that I washed yesterday, folded, and shamelessly stuck back in the laundry baskets for the time being. At least it's all folded right? And I did iron them before folding and even hung up all the shirts so that has to count for something I hope...maybe??? LOL

::Plans for this week::
Karate with Lucas Tuesday and Thursday, grocery shopping and running errands on Friday, and going through toys eliminating ones no longer played with to make space. Of course my children never want to get rid of anything and a toy they haven't played with in a year is suddenly their favorite once you want to get rid of it.
So my plan of attack is to do it while Lucas is in school and Levi is napping. They will have no idea and won't even realize the toys are missing which is how it usually happens.

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating::
Sewing a new dog bed for our little Gizmo who isn't so little anymore really. He's almost bigger than his bed now so it's time for a new one. I seen some ideas on Pinterest I'm going to tinker around with. I can't believe he is a year old already. 

::My simple pleasure::
Reading books with my little ones. I love seeing their smiles, reactions, delight in looking at pictures, hearing stories, guessing what will happen next, and finding out their favorite books and stories.

::Lesson learned the past week::
When times get stressful just take a few steps back, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself of your blessings. It really does help matters. 

::Looking around the house::
Breakfast dishes are all washed in the kitchen, some birds are hanging out on the patio, Levi is finishing up Umizoomi, and there's a few toys in the living room that needs putting away. Other than that everything is peaceful outside and clean inside.

::From the camera::
nothing this week

::Prayer list::
Friends and family members going through a rough time or getting back on track. Some have suffered some huge setbacks due to last week's winter storm so just praying for an easy transition back into some normalcy. Or normal as we know it anyway.

::Bible Verse/Devotional::

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.   In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140168761X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401687618

::From the back of the book::
The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun.
Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold.  But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.
To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt.  Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.
Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together  mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.

::My Review::
I have to admit I loved Charlotte. She was a very admirable woman whom I could not help take as my favorite character. Concerned about keeping her promise to her father and bring her dreams to life of restoring Fairhaven she also put the needs of others before her own often, and had a very kind heart. No matter what hurdles are thrown her way she perseveres, and stands her own ground. Meek but firm and loving but careful, she is no fool in any matters.
Nicholas was an equally lovable character although he did frustrate me at times. I will admit it is refreshing to see a dedicated father in a historical novel. Most fathers in novels pay little attention to their daughters especially. However Nicholas doted on his daughters and it was easy to picture the love for them. I also love how Nicholas paid little attention to other women and even though he didn't let it publicly be known clearly held Charlotte in his favor among all.

Love is in abundance in this book. And it shows how God really wants us to be on helping thy neighbor and showing love and understanding to all who may need it. This book is the perfect example of life having it's ups and down but keeping your faith rooted in God always. No matter what set backs Charlotte faced, no matter what was going wrong in her restoring her family plantation she kept her faith and accepted what was. She still held to hope and she strives to find the truth of matters. She is a careful planner and a wonderful example of great women everywhere. 
The scenes in the story are all very easy to picture and I was swept away in this novel. Historic details were right on point and I felt as if I was right there with the characters throughout. I couldn't wait to see what was happening next, and felt as if I was there through all of it.
There were many interesting characters in this book, and my only complaint was that it had to end. I liked to epilogue at the end and it was nice to see how a few things ended up for Charlotte although a little insight into the other characters would have been equally as nice. Especially Nicholas's young girls. Still I loved this book immensely, and if you love historical fiction then this is a book for you.
In a time when women were not seen fit to run their own plantation Charlotte did all she could and cared not what anyone thought. A wonderful read!

Here's a little preview for all of you who are curious to get reading it yourself. :)

This book is available in:  PAPERBACK   KINDLE   NOOK

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book mentioned above from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Kroger's Time Saving Meals

Life as we know it can be extemely hectic at times. I'm always having those types of days where there just isn't enough time in the day to get done what I need to without worrying about preparing a meal. As a mom of two I'm always seeming to run here or there, doing this or that, and there's some days where dinner just seems to stress me out. I used to go to fast food places once a week or once every couple weeks (depending on what was on the agenda for said week), and realized how much we were spending on food we knew very little about. Even though we tried our best to keep it healthy you can't always put much stock into fast food places.
I love cooking for my family, sitting around the kitchen table, and talking over a nice home cooked meal. However, sometimes there just seems so little time for that. But as a BzzAgent I've found another way!
Kroger Skillet Meals, Kroger Garlic Bread, and Fresh Selection Salad Kits have easily solved my dilemma. Kroger Skillet Meals come in many varieties including (but not limited to): Tuscan-Style Penne, Sausage Rigatoni, Penne with Grilled Chicken, Shrimp Lo Mein, and Chicken Fajitas. They take only about ten minutes to cook and come with a healthy two servings per bag. Now if your a family of four or more then I highly suggest getting an extra bag, but you will be glad you did because the ingredients are so fresh and tasty.
Pair them up with Kroger Garlic Bread and Fresh Selection Salad Kits and you have a full meal in under 30 minutes that you can cook right there in your own home. So no more sacrificing dinner around the table with your family members and stressing out about the cost of out to eat.
Kroger products are very fair on pricing which I really like, and my kids love the Kroger Skillet Meals, Kroger Garlic Bread, and Fresh Selection Salad Kits. I loved them as well. So fresh and tasty, priced decent, and a brand I've come to trust explicitly. I highly recommend them, and couldn't wait to share the news with all my fellow moms out there who have those same stressful days where nothing seems to be getting done. This is an easy quick solution to those dinner dilemmas, as I like to call them. No need to sacrifice quality and taste when you don't have to! Our lives are hectic enough! But so worth it! :)

Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned products for free or discounted in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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