Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Enjoy EVERY moment in your wedding gown. You can't stay in it forever...SO UNFAIR!!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Mayhem - Thom's 8 Words Meme

Thom's 8 Words Meme

Welcome to Monday Mayhem
This week's Monday Mayhem is brought to us by Thom-
You know- this guy :)

Directions: Copy and paste this into a blog post.
In Exactly 8 Words and 1 picture Describe:

1. Your love life


A scary chaotic start with a tasty finish.

2. Your worst habit


I'm often distracted by my own inner dialog.

3. The city you live in


The place for craft fairs, parades, and tourists.

4. Your pet peeve


It's not the product--I hate the commercials.

5. Your parents


Totally King and Queen of the road trip.

6. You favorite dessert


Anything covered in chocolate that is not crawly.

7. Your worst vacation


My worst vacation is still better than work.

8. Yourself


A dork happily married to her soul mate.

Thanks for playing....we'll see you next week!

(feel free to submit your meme if you would like to be featured)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giveaway Moment

Check out the awesome Wii Fit Plus Giveaway at All Because Two People Fell In Love. Doesn't the title just make you sigh? Got to love a romantic title. And what a great giveaway! Wii is a great way to play and get a workout in. The Wii Fit Plus giveaway is a fabulous giveaway because not only does it include the Wii Fit Plus BUT you will also win Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010! This giveaway rocks and is open until 12/5

Do you love Sam's Club? I am crazy about them. I never tried them for holidays before, but after checking out the review and giveaway at Outnumbered 3 to 1, I am giving it another thought. I love to bake and make gifts for the holidays. Sam's is a great place to get all those ingredients in the larger quantities I need for those baking gifts. You should check out their Holiday Helpers page. There are lots of great tips. But first...head on over to Outnumbered 3 to 1 for a giveaway for a $50 Sam's gift card! What a way to save! Giveaway ends on 12/7!

I am not sure if I have mentioned this here, but I am a coffee lover down to the bone. One of my favorites is Dunkin' Donuts. Their coffee was THE staple of my diet back in Rhode Island. I nearly did cartwheels when I found out that Dunkin' Donuts opened in Phoenix! Well, I am cartwheeling again, because Second Time Around is blessing one of their readers with a $10 gift card to Dunkin' Donuts! *sigh* You definitely want to get in on this chance. This giveaway ends on 12/14!

Be sure to also run, and I do mean run to Me and My Boys for her review and giveaway of everyone's favorite Flirty Aprons. I just love their color combinations! No more wearing your ratty tops when you are cooking, because Flirty Aprons really make keeping tidy in the kitchen cute again! Hurry though, because this giveaway ends on 11/30!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giveaway $25 Gift Certificate for Apericots Organic Children's Clothing


I am very excited to have the opportunity to offer a SWEET giveaway to one of my readers thanks to the wonderful people at Apericots! Apericots is an awesome online children's store that specializes in high quality, customizable, eco-friendly/organic products. Besides the total win-win of having baby clothes made out of 100% organic materials...I just love the fact that you can totally customize the baby clothes. Soooo cute! The possibilities really are endless, and the prices...VERY reasonable.

Here is a little detail directly from their website:

Your Baby. Your Way.

Go green while wearing pomegranate! Apericots lets you customize your organic baby clothes or purchase predesigned children's clothing all while helping to take care of Mother Earth. We use the latest technology and highest quality products to produce 100% organic clothing for your children. Every design is printed with eco-friendly, water-based ink because we care about the planet and the kids that play on it. The only thing more natural for your child is the skin they were born with. Choose from any of our earth-lovin’ products in a variety of colors predesigned by us or create your own using our custom apparel design tool. Your Baby, Your Way.

Apericots From One Parent to Another

Apericots was founded by a group of parents, creative minds and friends that united to form an environmentally conscious and unique alternative to all the lame baby clothes out there. We love our babies, we love our planet and we love our products! We know you will too!

Sounds pretty great, doesn't it? Parents who want the environmentally best for their babies and yours too. I had a lot of fun looking about, and even trying out the customization. Here is a little bit from Apericots that struck me as baby perfect!

Here are a few things that I thought were pretty spectacular:

This adorable 100% Organic Bubble Tree long sleeved shirt looks so cute in cotton candy, but it also comes in Sunshine, Iceyberg, Natural, and Saltine! I think with the cooler weather this is just perfect!

This absolutely perfect lil thermal with the holiday perfect Snowflake design is adorable here in Tree Bark, but equally darling in Pea Soup, Iceyberg, Natural, Cotton Candy and Saltine.

They also have fabulous little bum covers! Bum covers? Okay, actually the cutest customizable cloth diapers from bumGenius. And Apericots has adorable little designs or you can customize them. I am just amazed at how awesome these diapers are and really how safe. No worries about pins, no worries about covers, and they hold 12 ounces of fluid! Check it out:

Quick Overview (from their website)

Cloth diapering has never been so easy!

All-In-One cloth diapers by bumGenius offer an industry first - tabs that stretch for a perfect fit. Until now, cloth diapering involved folding, scary pins, an extra cover, or a dizzying array of snaps.

But don't worry, now we have stretchy tabs combined with hook and loop fasteners that make cloth diapering as easy as using disposables. The simple one-step system of our all-in-ones is an ideal solution for families with a child in day-care or family members resistant to cloth diapers! It really is as easy to use as a disposable diaper. Put it on your baby, wash, dry and re-use. No extra steps. No folding. No stuffing. No cover required.

No pinning! NO folding! NO COVER!!!! How awesome is this? And you can customize them yourself, use Apericots adorable predesigned diapers, or got for the simple colors. Really these are just awesome. I have found that the initial investment for good cloth diapers is well worth the benefit to your baby, the environment, and in the long run...your wallet.

At this time, Apericots is having a 25% off sale on their online store! This is a perfect opportunity to pick something up for a significant savings! There is also FREE shipping on orders totally $50 or more!

A big "THANK YOU" to Eric from Apericots who was kind enough to send us a super soft short sleeve t-shirt with their cute little astronaut design in Disco Purple to review. Too cute! Let me tell you, the color is vivid and the shirt is snuggly soft. Even after washing, it was too beautiful!

Apericots has many other fabulous items like bibs, hats, short sleeve t-shirts, and onesies. I could go on and on, but how about getting to the contest.

One lucky reader is going to win a $25 gift certificate to Apericots online store!

MAIN ENTRY: This must be done FIRST in order for any other entry to count.
Visit Apericots and come back and tell me one of their designs you like best other than the designs I already posted. Please leave your email address in your message if it is not attached to your blog and especially if you do not have a blog.

EXTRA ENTRIES: Do one or more just do the main entry first. Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

+2 Apericots has a section where you can learn more about going organic with your clothing. Follow this link: Learn More and tell me something you learned.

+2 Visit Apericots and tell me what you would buy with your $25 gift certificate. Would you use your creative juices or pick up one of their awesome designs?

+1 Stay in the Loop with Apericots and sign up for their newsletter to be in the know as they continue to produce new items and offer new specials!

+1 New followers of this blog.

+2 Old followers of this blog.

+1 Follow me on Twitter and Tweet this giveawaway (can be done once daily). Come back and leave me the link. You can copy this:

"Win a $25 Gift Certificate for Apericots Organic Clothing at EnRoute To Life #organic #giveaway #eco #win"

+1 Follow me on Networked Blogs (left sidebar). I just joined up.

+5 Blog about this giveaway.

This giveaway will run from today, November 28 to December 12th at 12:00 pm PST. I will announce the winner on Sunday, December 13th as well as email them. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or an alternate winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!

Although I was provided a t-shirt for my review. My opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Some Giveaways To Be Thankful For!


There is another opportunity for us moms or dads to get ourselves fit the Wii Fit Plus way thanks to Sports Authority and Coffee With The Mrs. Wouldn't it be great to start the New Year off with Wii Fit Plus as your get-fit tool? Check out the announcement at Coffee With The Mrs. You know you want to get in on this! I think a online game is the one way I could handle Jillian! Talk about tough!!!! This ends on 12/2!!!!

Not only that, but Coffee With The Mrs. has a review and a giveaway for BearPaw Boots! They are gorgeous! Bearpaw has boots that are practical but still highly fashionable. You definitely will want to show these beauties off! The don't have just great boots, but other great footwear too like moccasins and clogs. They have adorable baby footwear. You definitely are going to want to enter this awesome giveaway which ends on 12/4!

Coffee With The Mrs.
is also hosting THE cutest game giveaway on the block (or would that be blog?)! The giveaway is for My Baby First Steps for the Nintendo DS from South Peak Games! It is absolutely adorable, and the perfect virtual baby play! To be honest, I am in such a nurturing mood, I'd probably love it, but I am actually thinking my cousin Danielle would get a real kick out of it. She just loves her baby dolls. This awesome giveaway is going until 12/9!

Another awesome giveaway can be found at The Nurse Mommy who happens to host some pretty awesome giveaways! This giveaway is for an Artistry Microdermabrasion System, and The Nurse Mommy gives this system a GLOWING report. Being uncomfortably in my 40s, I am definitely ready for some extra help! This would be sublime! Take a moment to enter this fabulous giveaway. Giveaway ends on 12/5!

Would you like another chance at the Artistry Microdermabrasion System? Let's not kid ourselves...of course you do!!! Who wouldn't? Well A Working Blogging Mommy is hosting a giveaway too! What a wonderful opportunity to get your beauty on! Not only that, if you entered The Nurse Mommy's giveaway you will get an extra entry at A Working Blogginig Mommy, AND if you enter at A Working Mommy blog, you get TWO entries at The Nurse Mommy. Got it? If not, how about you just get on over to A Working Blogging Mommy for more details? :) Ends 12/4!

Five More Lovely Giveaways

If you have a little down time this Thanksgiving, you might want to check out these giveaways!

It is so cool that The Sports Authority partnered up with Nintendo and has been promoting a fitness that many of us can easily get behind. Another cool thing is so many fabulous bloggers are extending an opportunity for us readers to win a Fitness Ultimatum 2010 and a Wii Fit Plus board. Moody Mama Says is one of the kind bloggers involved in this awesome giveaway AND TWO readers will win! This is an incredible opportunity so don't pass it up! This giveaway ends on 12/2!!!!

Another fantastic giveaway involves one of my favorite treats...COFFEE! The Give-Back has an amazing review and giveaway for Joe Van Gogh. This is a company that takes giving back seriously. You definitely will not just want to read the review, but peruse their website, because it is going to definitely wow you! This giveaway ends on 12/5!

Have you seen the wonderful Make a Wish campaign going on at Macy's? If not you should definitely check it out, and I have the place to go to do just that! Head on over to
Not Just 9 to 5 and enter the awesome giveaway for a $25 Macy's gift card! What would you buy? Think about it while you head on over! This giveaway ends on 12/2

I love to indulge with sweet scented lotions, bath gels, body oils, and scrubs. I have been known to buy up to 8 bottles of Vanilla Bean Noel at Bath & Body works around Christmas time, because it truly is my favorite scent, and just having it around keeps me moisturizing. BUT that is not the only scent that gets me giddy. I also like Sweet Pea and Warm Vanilla Sugar which makes it awfully convenient that
The Morris Tribe is hosting a giveaway for a Bath & Body gift set in Warm Vanilla Sugar! This set includes lotion, shower gel and fragrance! I truly believe that it is easier to take some time with moisturizing when you have a good product, and Bath & Body Work fits the bill for me! This giveaway ends on 12/10!

I have always been fascinated with marbles. My brother taught me how to play as a child, and I still enjoy it. I have a few sitting in my Zen garden (I've had them forever). There is something just so perfectly pleasing about them. Maybe it is the memories. I don't know. What I do know is I simply HAD to enter the absolutely cool giveaway at
Connected 2 Christ for a unique Copper Vortex marble from J Winterbower Glass Art. You should see how stunning his work is. And, let's just say creativity is in the genes, because Lindsey from A Kindred Spirit's Thoughts is his daughter! She is a doll. Check her blog out too, because I know she is hosting a giveaway as well. But for now! Head to Connected 2 Christ and take a peak. If you don't want to enter the giveaway because you have to just own one of these gems now...head over to J Winterbower Artisan Gallery Glass and Wearables. Have fun! Giveaway ends 11/30

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Five Fabulous Giveaways at The Dirty Shirt!


With Christmas coming, it is really nice to find all these blogs who have awesome gift guides to inform you and some pretty awesome giveaways too. I thought that I would give you a little peak and five from one of the sites I love. Trust me though, there are many more, and I plan to show a few more in the days to come. First though, let's start with The Dirty Shirt. The Dirty Shirt has great product reviews that always seem relevant to what I am looking for. And right now there is a great Holiday Gift Guide. Be sure to check it out. There are a lot of giveaways there too, but here are the FIVE I thought I'd focus on.

The Dirty Shirt

I am hoping to do a serious fitness turnaround in the upcoming year. One of my big hopes is to get my hands on the awesome Wii Fit Plus and Jillian Michael's new Wii game Ultimate Fitness Challenge 2010! Talk about a motivator! The Dirty Shirt just happens to be hosting a giveaway right now thanks to the Sports Authority who is partnering with Nintendo to seriously help us all make some fitness headway. Enter now, because this giveaway ends on 12/2!

I love board games. Actually my whole family does. One of my favorite things to do is to kick back and just enjoy some family time with a good game. It can be Monopoly, Cranium, Scattegories or really just about anything that gets the family going. This is the reason I jumped for the giveaway at The Dirty Shirt. The game is called Blurt, and my son will LOVE it. He loves games that are fast paced. I love games that involve words. Blurt is totally a win-win. This giveaway ends on 12/08

When I was a little girl, I loved to make believe play. I use to save up macaroni and cheese boxes and other items to make up my pretend kitchen. I had some plastic goodies too and a little pantry. Recently I was perusing the other fabulous giveaways at The Dirty Shirt, and I found Pretend Play Kitchens! They specialize in high quality wood playthings! They have everything your child will need to have some serious fun! They have kitchens and simple accessories. I cannot wait to show these items to my husband! Right now you can enter to win a cupcake stand set. This set is high quality construction, but totally cute as can be! This giveaway ends on 12/6

The next giveaway I'd like to highlight from The Dirty Shirt is for a $100 gift card to BevShots. When I first saw the posting. I thought it was for some kind of online liquor store. I read on and was wowed by what I saw! You have to check this out. BevShots are prints of beers, wines and cocktails photographed under a microscope and turned into art! I thought I'd see gigantic bubbles. Oh definitely NOT! Check this out. You will not be disappointed. Giveaway ends on 12/01

I need a getaway. I love road trips, and I guess it is from my Griswold kind of upbringing but road trips are my ideal vacation. There is nothing like taking a trip across the country and seeing another neighborhood, town, and another way of life. This is the main reason I HAD to enter The Dirty Shirt giveaway for a one night stay at The Holiday Inn Express. Check out the review! It is pretty darn nice! The Holiday Inn Express also has a great breakfast start! This is an awesome giveaway that you really should take a chance on. Giveaway ends 12/2!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pearl Girls by Margaret McSweeny

This wasn't one of my reads, but I did want to share.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Pearl Girls

Moody Publishers (July 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Amy Lathrop of the Litfuse Publicity Group for sending me a review copy.***


Margaret lives with her husband and two daughters in a Chicago suburb. Her book, A Mother’s Heart Knows was published by Thomas Nelson in 2005. Go Back and Be Happy, a co-authored book will be published by Lion Hudson in July 2008. Margaret has been featured on Greg Wheatly’s “Prime Time America,” TLN’s “Aspiring Women,” and LeSea’s “The Harvest Show.” Margaret writes freelance articles for The Daily Herald, the largest suburban Chicago newspaper. Notable interviews include Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Kinkade, Susan Branch and Dr. John Gottman. Margaret also wrote a feature article for With a master’s degree in international business, Margaret became a vice president in the corporate finance division of a New York City bank and worked there from 1986-1993. Supporting charitable causes is important to Margaret. For the past five years, she has served on the board of directors for WINGS, an organization that helps abused women and their children get a new start in life. Margaret would love to meet you too.

Visit the author's website.

Pearl Girls from Michael J Garvey on Vimeo.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers (July 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802458629
ISBN-13: 978-0802458629



By Susan May Warren

Ephesians 4:32: (ESV): Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Angels of Forgiveness

I felt as if I had been slapped. I gaped in horror as I stared at the empty storage room and tried to comprehend my mother-in-law’s words, “ . . . and we even made $200!” She had sold all my worldly possessions without my permission. She was trying to be kind, but in doing so, she plowed a cavernous furrow through the garden of our friendship. I knew it would never bloom again.

Our family had just returned home after serving as missionaries for four years in Russia. We still hadn’t found a place to live, and my mother-in-law wanted to help by clearing out room for us in her unfinished basement—in the space our hundred boxes of lifetime treasures once occupied. She’d sold everything from hand-knit sweaters to homemade

quilts. Only a forlorn crate of John Denver records and a bag of used mittens remained.

The money she handed me from the proceeds of the sale felt like blood money. I had waited for four years to unwrap my wedding china, greet my books and knick-knacks, and slip back into my fine dresses. I couldn’t believe I had put so much value on possessions, but I had, and now I was stripped.

Then I discovered she’d sold my Christmas ornaments. Every year since childhood my mother had given me a special gift at Christmas, a new and unique tree decoration that symbolized my life for that year, as well as her love for me. The box of heirloom ornaments I had so carefully packed had been sold for a dollar; my memories traded for the price of two cheeseburgers.

A ball of anger swelled in my heart. As I curled in my bed, sobbing out my grief, the ball gained momentum and became an avalanche, burying any tendril of love I had left for the mother of my husband.

Christmas loomed close and everywhere I saw beautiful, glittering Christmas trees. My tree was naked, its arms bare against the white lights. Where was the golden star with my name etched on it, or my tiny porcelain piano? How could she have done this? I felt entombed by my anger.

Sometime in January I realized I had missed the joy that came with the advent season. It couldn’t penetrate my icy heart. I could barely look at my mother-in-law, despite the fact she begged my forgiveness. “I didn’t know how much this would hurt you,” she said, weeping. “I was just trying to help.” I turned a stone heart to her plea. Frost laced the edges of our conversations and although I said the words, “I forgive you,” my soul

was an iceberg and I knew I had not.

In the past, my mother-in-law had been my greatest supporter, encouraging me, helping me pack, babysitting, and stuffing thousands of newsletters. She had cried with me, prayed for me, and tolerated me living in her home. I missed her and knew that if I wanted warmth to reenter my heart, I had to forgive her. But nothing could ease the ache of losing my memories. I avoided her and resolved to live with the pain.

When we moved away in February, I slammed the door on our relationship and didn’t talk to her again. Three days before the following Christmas, a parcel arrived at our

front door, my name etched on the front. Mystified, I opened it. Then, surrounded by my family’s astonished gasps, I unwrapped, one by one, a collection of angel ornaments.

From bears with wings and halos to gilded crystal angels holding trumpets, I hung a choir of heavenly hosts on my tree. Finally, I sank into the sofa as my children examined the

decorations, oohing and aahing.

“Who’s it from?” my husband asked. I retrieved the box, dug through the tissue, and unearthed a small card. Merry Christmas—Love, Mom was scrawled out in my mother-in-law’s script. Tears burned my eyes and, as I let them free, my icy tomb of anger began to melt. My mother-in-law was not able to retrieve the past she had so carelessly discarded, but she was hoping to build a future, our future. And it would start with these angels, proclaiming the love and forgiveness that entered our world. If God could forgive me, who stole His Son’s life, certainly I could forgive my mother-in-law for stealing my . . . stuff.

Easter arrived and with it forgiveness finally flowered in my heart. We descended upon the in-laws for a visit and I wrapped my husband’s mother in a teary embrace. I had lost the little stuffed bunnies my grandmother had knit for me, but I had gained something better—the fragrance of forgiveness, and the everlasting hope that love can warm the coldest heart.


I received this award yesterday from Vicki at Reading At The Beach! I am truly thrilled that she kindly chose to give this to me, and I just can't wait to get started. Be sure to drop by and say hey to Vicki. She has some awesome reviews up, some giveaways and some fabulous photography. Plus...if you log in and just shut your eyes, you will be transported to the ocean thanks to her soothing beach sounds.

The rules of this one is to list ten honest things about me and then pass the award on to ten other book bloggers.

1~ I am a huge fan of reality television like Survivor, The Biggest Loser, and Big Brother.
2~ I am not a fan of reality television shows like Real Housewives of anywhere, Bad Girls, and the like.
3~ I love sunflower seeds in the shell.
4~ I long to go on a cross country trip like I did when I was in my teens.
5~ I love to de-stress by coloring in vintage Barbie coloring books (her hair isn't so big in them).
6~ I really have a need to nurture and wonder if it is because my son is 14.
7~ I was an extra in a movie once. We watch it and play "Where's Kelly."
8~ I love playing shoot em' up zombie video games.
9~ If I am overly tired, I will talk in my sleep and wake up because I hear how odd I sound.
10~ I miss 80s fun music.

I'm passing this on to:

Kalea Kane@ EnRoute To Life
Irene@ Irene's Desk
Colletta@Colletta's Kitchen Sink
Luanne@A Bookworm's World
Indigo@Outside My Head
Sandra@Musings Of A Book Addict
Zia@My Life In Not So Many Words

Wins That Will Make You Grin! Fab Giveaway Post!

As They Grow Up is hosting a review and giveaway for a beautiful 7.5 to 8.0 mm Pink to Peach Freshadama Pearl Bracelet from Talk about beautiful. The color is magnificent, and who wouldn't want to wrap a lovely pearl bracelet on their wrist? This awesome giveaway ends on 12/5!

My husband and I have often thought about changing out showerhead to something that is more environmentally responsible. The problem is, we are clueless. I was especially interested in the review and giveaway for a Waterlily Showerhead review and giveaway from Evolve at Piece of Me. The Waterlily is efficient and gorgeous in brushed nickel or chrome, and what is better than knowing you are not wasting our water (a true valuable resourse). This giveaway ends on 11/28!

One of the TOP items on my Christmas wish list is a cute little apron from Flirty Aprons. I have just drooled over these beauties. The trouble is...we are doing Christmas very small this year, and I don't know what my husband is going to actually pick for me. I figured why not take a shot at the amazing giveaway that is being held at Heck Of A Bunch! These aprons make cooking more fashionable! Giveaway ends on 12/2!

Another great giveaway you have to check out is at Amanda A Stay-at-Home Mom's Point of View. She reviewed the very cool Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System and now she has an update WITH a giveaway for a Clarisonic Mia. The pictures of how clean you can get your skin really makes one want to rush out and get one. Go take a peak and take a chance! This giveaway ends 12/5!

This year my wonderful husband picked me up a Wii! I was beyond thrilled. It is so much fun to play with AND it is great for getting exercise. You know what would make me even more happy? Adding Jillian Michaels’ new fitness game for the Wii and a Wii Fit Plus board! My husband may consider it, but for now I am totally taking a chance and you should too by heading over to Santa's Picks because they are teaming up with the Sports Authority for this awesome giveaway. Yes! One lucky reader is going to win the new Jillian Michael's fitness game for Wii and the Wii Fit Plus board! This giveaway ends on 11/27! Get moving!

There are a few other bloggers spreading the good news of the fabulous Wii Fit Plus board and Sports Authority! Many are also offering a chance to win. One of those is Rockin' Mama (got to love that name). She got super fit after her pregnancy with the use of the Wii Fit. And now she is also offering her readers a chance to win the new Jillian Michael's fitness game for Wii and of course that rockin' Wii Fit Plus board! Head on over, because this giveaway ends on 12/3! What a Merry Christmas it would be!

Who could use some extra cash? With all the Christmas expenses looming, I cannot imagine who would not want in on this one. Saving Money Plan is having a giveaway for $50! Yep...FIFTY DOLLARS CASH! Not only that but Saving Money Plan has some great money saving tips and a coupon course. Go for the win, but stay for all the information that will help you become more financially savvy. I have no idea when this ends so you might want to get to steppin! :)

When I was a little girl, I had a favorite yellow umbrella. I liked it because it reminded me of the girl on the salt box. I also did not have a lot of choices. I did have a friend who had a clear umbrella. Now that I am all grown up, I am continually thinking "If only..." when I see all the advances and, let's face it, cool stuff for kids out there. Check out Kidorable Umbrellas. They are colorful and perfectly child friendly! Fun and Funky Mommy has a wonderful giveaway for a Kidorable umbrella. I have someone in mind who would just love this. How about you? Giveaway ends 12/5!

Another fabulous blog is offering a fabulous Kidorable umbrella giveaway. Head on over to Mommies With Cents for your chance to win. This giveaway ends on 11/26! While your there, you might want to check out their coupon page for printable coupons from Smartsource. There are lots of great deals right at your fingertips!

In a prior post I glossed over the fact that I really want to win James Patterson's "I, Alex Cross." Okay...nope...I didn't gloss over it at all. I do really want to get my hands on it, and I have every intention of it. I just have to either wait until after Christmas to purchase it or win it from Karen at Bookin' with Bingo! That is right! Thanks to Hachette Book Group, Karen has FIVE copies to giveaway! Who wouldn't want to dig into a James Patterson novel for the holidays? Go now, because this giveaway ends on 11/30! This is beyond awesome!

I spent 20 minutes just stretching out the kinks with new exercises I found. Lovely way to start my... #win5000

Make a Proclamation and be entered to win $5,000 to pursue your dream! Enter daily and bring friends to increase your chances of winning. There are weekly prizes too. No purchase necessary.

Monday Mayhem! - The Top 5 Meme

Welcome to Monday Mayhem!
Today's meme- The Top 5 Meme
Join in at Monday Mayhem (thanks so much Harriet for all the fun!)

What are the first 5 things that entered your mind?
1. Are those red things plumgers?
2. Those are some tiny little bunny-like turkeys (don't ask me why).
3. Glad I'm having a ham that I am not even cooking.
4. I remember when we raised turkeys and they were terribly obnoxious. They used to bump my mom over when she gardened.
5. Powdered donuts (again, don't ask why).

2. Family Gathering
What are the first 5 things that entered your mind?
1. Why is it men always fall asleep on Thanksgiving? Seriously I have dozens of pictures of sleeping uncles on the holidays.
2. I could go for a turkey sandwich with stuffing right now.
3. I would like to watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on Thanksgiving.
4. Then again, what movies are going to be out? Is that John Cusack 2012 movie out yet?
5. Why on earth was I thinking about that John Cusack movie?

3. Eat the whole thing?
Tips on not eating everything this holiday season.
What are the first 5 things that entered your mind?

1. I am definitely eating anything I want on Thanksgiving.
2. In order to make a good New Year's resolution, one really has to overindulge to feel the proper amount of guilt in order to make up some lofty goals.
3. I could definitely eat less pie.
4. I suppose the best way to not overindulge is to take periodic trips to the bathroom to slap your tummy or just give it a glance really.
5. Totally thinking of my Black Friday shopping plan at this point. This is where I NEED to use serious strength.

assessing your weight

What are the first 5 things that entered your mind?

1. I don't dare, and thanks for bringing up the scale!
2. I have to say that those toes are creeping me out, but beyond that I want to slap that 120 pounder in the shnoz.
3. Is that how you spell shnoz?
4. Okay...New Year's goal is forming.
5. I need a scale that tells me a joke when I get on it. It would put me in a better mood. Or maybe a Far Side scale. Yeah, that might work.

Rushing the door

What are the first 5 things that entered your mind?

1. I'm brave enough. I'm an woman who lived half her life on the East Coast. I have a very intimidating aura when I am shopping in crowds. I don't know exactly what it is, but people MOVE out of my way.
2. My goal is to pick up a PS3 (that is what me and my hubby have decided to get each other).
3. It is kind of scary how people are supposed to be shopping to get something nice for their loved ones, and they are truly so very obnoxious. Not all, but enough.
4. If I get everything done on Black Friday, I am going to make a huge batch of rum balls. No idea where that came from, but doesn't it sound yummy.
5. That lady in the pink scarf is kind of creepy. No offense meant. I am sure I look creepy too when I am entering a mall with my mouth wide open.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Yesterday my husband and I spent most of the day indoors. There wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for getting out and about. I woke up at 4:00 am Thursday and Friday and worked from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm at the studio because we had special guests from Food for the Hungry. We finally decided to get out of the house for three reasons:

1- Get the mail. I hate leaving mail in the box because our boxes are in a collective at the end of our street.

2- Fill up his car with gas.

3- Buy a lottery ticket or two. Yep...every now and then we throw caution to the wind and buy a ticket. It is nice to dream a little bit.

4- Browse Costco.

My husband loves the electronics, and I love the books. First, we checked out all the flat screen monitors and video games. Then we moved to MY section. :) While browsing I saw two books that literally screamed my name. Okay...maybe literally is a little bit away from the truth. I definitely felt the call deep in my bones.
First: James Patterson's I, Alex Cross

I couldn't not want this book. James Patterson's Alex Cross books are probably my all time favorite for a series. I devour them. I also have a soft spot because they are the books that my dad and I both love. It is a family thing. Here is a little detail about it:

This description is from the Hachette Book Group website:

You can't run

Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim.

You can't hide

The hunt for her murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain--they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

Alex Cross is your only hope to stay alive

As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable--a revelation that could rock the entire world. With the unstoppable action, unforeseeable twists, and edge-of-your-seat suspense that only a James Patterson thriller delivers, I, Alex Cross is the master of suspense at his sharpest and best.
The next book was HUGE. It was Stephen King's Under the Dome.
I love Stephen King's work. He has been my go-to author for all things wiggy! I will never forget the first book I read (The Shining). It literally scared me so much that I had to put it down again and again and again just so I could get back to reality.

I eagerly picked up Under the Dome fully thrilled to see a new book that appealed to me from the get go! What was it about? Who will the lead characters be? I picked up the heavy tome and opened it up. There was no clue on the jacket at all as to what this book was about! Well there was the cover. I couldn't believe it! I handed it to my husband. He said "Hey, cool! What's it about?" I shook my head and shrugged. He then told me he was heading off to look at the jeans. I kissed him, and then turned back to the book. I opened it again and read the first page. I loved it! I had to have it!

Kelly's inner dialog (as best as I can recollect it):

"I have the money. I can get it now."

"Yes, but Thanksgiving is this week and you have dinner things to buy AND BLACK FRIDAY to contend with."
"It is just one book. I'll buy it for Christmas."

"Since when do you buy yourself something for Christmas?"
"Does that really matter? Is life really about what you want? You have books to read. You can wait."
"This blows. I want the James Patterson book too."

"Don't go there."
"Let Scott know you would like it."


This was followed by me resolutely setting "Under the Dome" down and quickly meeting my husband by the slacks. I smiled up at him and said. "I really want that Stephen King book!"
Just that. The seed is planted. Maybe he'll get it for me for Christmas. When I got home, I immediately looked it up. I had to know more. Here is what I found from the Simon and Schuster website:


On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

I also checked out the website for Under the Dome and the link to the Chester's Mill website. What a great way to get into a book! I had fun just checking out the links. Though since I work at a Christian radio station, I was a little bummed at the tune playing on the Christian radio website. What? No Switchfoot? The song playing does actually fit what I would expect though. Check it out: Chester's Mill

Lastly, I listened to Stephen King reading from the novel: Here' hoping I get my Christmas wish! :) PS- This posting was entirely of my own volition because of just being thrilled at the prospect of these two books. It was completely unsolicited.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I enhanced my life today by allowing the indulgence of window shopping without spending a dime! #win5000

"What did you do today?"
Make a Proclamation and be entered to win $5,000 to pursue your dream! Enter daily and bring friends to increase your chances of winning. There are weekly prizes too. No purchase necessary.

A Giveaway To Make You Go -- Wii!!!!

I can't help but be corny and goofy about this awesome giveaway! I just found one of THE coolest giveaways on the block for a Wii Fit Plus Board AND a copy of Fitness Ultimatum 2010 to one lucky winner at Mommy Blog Reviews! I love The Biggest Loser, and I have always daydreamed about having a trainer whip me into shape! And truly, the Wii Fit Plus is pretty awesome! They have lots of new updates for maximizing your Wii workout! This giveaway will not last long! It ends on November 23! I ask one thing of you...please, please let them know I sent you because I'll get an extra entry (that is Kelly B from EnRoute to Life). You don't have to, but I would appreciate it. And then make sure to spread the word too, because the same works for anyone you send! Goooooo!!!! :)

Stunning Quilt Giveaway from Geta's Quilting Studio

Stunning. Absolutely stunning. I am fully blown away by the talent so many bloggers possess. I long to weave together something beautiful with some soft organic yarns or sew a magnificent gem such as the one above. Sadly, I didn't come from a crafty family. My family was a family of performers. This has always made the holidays interesting and warm in their own way, but ooooh to add a nice crafter to the family...that would be a dream!

But I digress with all this talk. What I have to fill you in on is that YOU can get your hands on this lovely quilt from Geta's Quilting Studio! While you are there you should check out the fabulous tutorials on her blog! This giveaway ends on 11/23!

Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie Montana by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

My Review will follow sure to come back!!!!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

Love Finds You In Lonesome Prairie, Montana

Summerside Press (December 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Amy Lathrop of LitFUSE Publicity Group for sending me a review copy.***


Tricia Goyer was named Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference "Writer of the Year" in 2003. Her book Night Song won Book of the Year from ACFW in the Long Historical Fiction category. Her book Life Interrupted: The Scoop On Being a Young Mom was a Gold Medallion Finalist. Tricia has written hundreds of articles, Bible Study notes, and both fiction and non-fiction books.

Visit the author's website.

Ocieanna Fleissis a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer's historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. Connect with Ocieanna on Facebook!

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Summerside Press (December 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935416294
ISBN-13: 978-1935416296


The sound of little girls’ voices and the sight of the sun streaming through the tall, second-story window of the Open Door Home for Destitute Girls, a privately owned orphanage on upper Manhattan, told nineteen-year-old Julia Cavanaugh that the day had started without her. Julia, an orphan herself, now running the place for the owner, brushed a strand of dark hair from her eyes. She submitted to a second yawn as a twelve-year-old girl hopped onto her bed.

“He’s gonna ask her to marry him, don’t you think, Miss Cavanaugh?”

“Oh, Shelby.” Julia wiped the sleep from her eyes and smiled into the freckled face staring eagerly at her. “Give me a moment to wake before you go asking such things.” Julia stroked the girl’s cheek, her heart seeming to double within her chest with love for the youngster.

The embroidery sampler she’d fallen asleep working on still lay at the end of her bed. She picked it up and eyed the image of a small house she’d copied from Godey’s Lady’s Book. Above the house, she’d stitched the words Home Sweet Home in fancy script. Gazing around the broad room lined with small metal cots and bustling with little-girl chatter, Julia noted the embroidered pillowslips, carefully pressed—albeit dingy—curtains, and dandelions smiling from scavenged jam-jar vases. She’d done her best to make the room pleasant for the girls—and herself. She glanced at their faces and smiled, gladly embracing her role as caretaker.

A less-than-subtle “ahem” from Shelby reminded Julia she’d been asked a question. She glanced at her young charge, still perched on the end of her bed. “What did you ask?”

“Finally.” Shelby eyed her with mock frustration. “I said, do you think they will get married—Mrs. Hamlin and Mr. Gaffin? Haven’t you noticed the way they look at each other?” Shelby’s cheeks hinted of red. Her golden hair was already fixed in a proper bun, her hands and face washed, and her simple dress clean and pressed despite its patches and stray threads.

“Shelby Bruce.” Julia shook her head, as Shelby’s two-year-old sister Beatrice wiggled onto Julia’s lap with a squeal. Julia planted a firm kiss on the top of Bea’s head.

“Married? I don’t think so,” Julia continued. “Mrs. Hamlin would’ve told us—told me—if she was being courted. Mr. Gaffin’s just an old family friend.” Julia wondered where on earth the girl got the notion that their headmistress wished to marry.

Although they have been spending a lot of time together. Julia pushed the thought out of her mind as little Bea shuffled to a stand, planting her pint-sized feet on Julia’s thighs. “Fammy fend!” She pointed a chubby finger at her older sister, Shelby.

“All right, Bea.” Julia plopped the toddler on the floor and swiveled her toward the small bed she shared with Shelby. “Time to straighten your bed.” Then Julia eyed the twins. “Charity, Grace, would you two virtuous girls fetch fresh water for the basin?”

Shelby pushed away from the bed, wrinkled her brow, and thrust her hand behind her as if to support her back—a perfect imitation of their middle-aged headmistress. “Now where did I put my spectacles?” Shelby clucked her tongue as she waddled forward.

Laughter spilled from the lips of the girls around the room. Encouraged, Shelby scratched her head. She plopped down on her bed then hopped up again as if surprised, pulling imaginary spectacles from under her rump. “Oh!” she squealed. “There they are.”

The laughter grew louder, and Julia pursed her lips together to smother the impulse to laugh along with them. She planted her fists on her hips. “That’s enough. All of you know what must be done before breakfast.” The girls’ laughter quieted to soft giggles hidden behind cupped palms as they scattered to do their chores.

Shelby lingered behind, her form now straight and her eyes pensive. “Maybe she forgot to tell you, Miss Cavanaugh.” The young girl gazed up at her. “The way they look at each other—it’s like my ma and pa used to, that’s all.”

Julia folded a stray sandy blond curl behind the girl’s ear. “Don’t worry, my sweet. If Mrs. Hamlin was getting married, we’d be the first to know.”

Julia hoped her own gaze didn’t reflect the sinking disquiet that draped her. Mr. Gaffin was a rich world traveler. If there was any truth to Shelby’s suspicion, Julia couldn’t imagine he’d let Mrs. Hamlin continue to work with orphans. Perhaps they’d get a new headmistress.

Or maybe the girls would be separated, moved to new homes…

If Mrs. Hamlin got married, all their lives would be radically changed. And if Julia had to leave the orphanage, she had no idea what she would do. Julia swept that painful thought away and steadied her gaze at Shelby. She couldn’t hide her true feelings from this girl. Julia took Shelby’s hand and answered as honestly as she could.

“I don’t think she’ll get married, but if she does, God will take care of us, like He always has.” Julia lifted her chin in a smile. “And really, Mrs. Hamlin may be forgetful, but no one could forget that. I sure wouldn’t.”

Ardy, a shy Swedish girl, removed her dirty sheets from a small bed and then approached, taking Julia’s hand. “Don’t ya think you’ll ever be gettin’ married?”

“Actually, there is something I’ve been wanting to tell you all….” Julia leaned forward, resting her hands on her knees.

The two girls eyed each other in surprise, and Shelby’s brow furrowed.

“Come closer.” Julia curled a finger, bidding them.

“What is it?” Shelby asked, her eyes glued to Julia.

The girls leaned in. “I’d like to tell you…that there’s a wonderful man who’s asked me to marry him!”

The squeals of two girls erupted, followed by the cheers of nearly three dozen others who’d been quietly listening from the stairwell.

“There is?” Shelby reached forward and squeezed Julia’s hand.

Julia let out a hefty sigh and giggled. “No, you sillies. Well, at least not yet. Someday. Maybe.”

Shelby pouted “But you said… ”

“I said I’d like to tell you I had a man. I’d sure like to, but of course since I don’t, I’m happy to stay here with all of you.”

The girls moaned.

The squeak of the front door down on the first floor of the Revolutionary War–era home-turned-orphanage drew their attention. They waited as Mrs. Hamlin’s familiar chortle filled the air, along with a bash and clang of items—hopefully food and supplies that she’d picked up.

“Julia!” Mrs. Hamlin yelped. “Julia, dear, where are you?”

“Coming.” Julia hurried down the stairs to help the older woman.

Julia neared the bottom of the steps and paused, trying to stifle a laugh at the sight of the twinkly-eyed woman sprawled flat on her back. Scattered boxes and bags covered the donated rug.

“Mrs. Hamlin! What on earth? Why didn’t you get a steward to help you?”

“Oh, I didn’t want to be a bother.” She cheerfully picked herself up. “I was in such a hurry to show you all what I’d bought. And to tell you my surprise. Such a wonderful surprise.” Julia eyed the boxes and noted they were from R.H. Macy & Co. More than a dozen boxes waited to be opened, and she couldn’t imagine the cost.

“I found just what the girls need, and on sale!” the headmistress exclaimed.

What they need is more food—vitamin drops, too—and maybe a few new schoolbooks. But Julia didn’t dare say it. And somehow God’s hand of providence always provided.

“New clothes, I gather. That is a surprise.”

“But only half of it, dear.” Mrs. Hamlin rubbed her palms expectantly. “I also must tell you my news. The best news an old widow could hope for.”

Julia followed Mrs. Hamlin’s gaze toward the idle youngsters who’d gathered on the staircase to watch. Her eyes locked with Shelby’s, then she quickly looked away. “News?” The muscles in Julia’s stomach tightened.

“Girls,” Julia shooed them away with a wave of her hand, “you know better than to eavesdrop. Off to chores with you. We’ll have breakfast soon.”

The girls started to scurry off, but Mrs. Hamlin halted them with her words.

“No, no,” her high-pitched voice hailed. “Come back. This news is for all of you.” They circled around her, and she tenderly patted their bobbing heads.

“What is it?” Julia wasn’t sure she’d ever seen Mrs. Hamlin’s cheeks so rosy or her eyes so bright.

“I’m getting married!”