Wedding Day

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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I AM SO FRAZZLED! Here are a few thrifty tips anyway....


This is how I feel. Not really how things are though. I am just dramatic. :)

I apologize for not getting this posted at my usual time (at the station I have this up by 8:10 am), but I have been kind of in non-stop mode. We are heading off to the Women of Faith conference today. I had to pack this morning, put laundry away, get my son set for school, and inform him of what he needs to do for tomorrow (as he will be heading off on his own to the bus). My husband will be home for backup, but as a mom, I worry. And as a mom, I will probably be calling or texting my son tomorrow to make sure he is okay. Ahhhh me...such is life. :)

For the past few weeks, I have kind of dabbled in prepping for Christmas. Last week, I talked about getting some seasonal jobs. This week I thought it would be a good idea to bring up one of my favorite Christmas links. Organizing Your Way has a free Christmas Planning ebook as well as some fabulous printable planning sheets that can really take the edge off of your Christmas planning. There is a To-Do list, a Christmas Card List, a Shopping List, Budget Planner, Baking Planner and more. I mentioned this fabulous resource last year, and I wanted to give you the heads up again. All of these will really help you get it together for Christmas. I highly recommend checking these out. The holidays go so much more smoothly when we take a little time to just plan.

Organizing Your Way Christmas Planning Printables



ZonePerfect is giving away Cookie Dough Nutrition bars through their facebook page starting at 3pm ET (we are talking noon in AZ) to their first 40,000 fans to sign up. :)

LINK: ZonePerfect

You can get free chips and a regular fountain soda at Quiznos when you buy a regular sub, large sub or a regular chopped salad! Follow the link to print your coupon which also has all the details. This coupon expires 10/10/2010.

LINK: Quiznos Coupon


Check out the Dollar General's facebook page for a printable for $5.00 off the purchase of $25 or more! This coupon is only good for 9/30, 10/01 and 10/02.

$5 off $25 Dollar General


Get a free 10-day supply of Get a free 10-day supply of your ideal liquid foundation shade from Estee Lauder starting October 1st to October 31st. The offer is of course good while supplies last so I wouldn't hold out too long. For locations go here: For more info check out their facebook link below.

LINK: Estee Lauder


Okay this is a freebie you give. You can send a friend, loved one, or even a co-worker a package of Kleenix. I suppose this may seem kind of silly, but let's face it, cold season is hitting, and who wouldn't like a little box of Kleenix on hand. Again this isn't a freebie for you, it is a freebie to give. Of course you can ask someone to send you one. :)

LINK: Kleenix Softness Worth Sharing

Earth's Best Organic has a free sample of their baby formula. Just like them on facebook to get the deal. This is again the kind of freebie that comes in handy for say...the diaper bag. Follow the link below.


Earth's Best Organic Formula

Get a Beechnut Stage 4 Toddler Welcome Kit when you sign up for Beechnut's newsletter.

LINK: Beechnut Toddler Welcome Kit


FreeCCM's new download for the week is "Sometimes A Begger" by Caedmon's Call. And you can still get free downloads from Bart Millard, Disciple, The Afters, Phil Wickham and Sara Groves.

LINK: FreeCCM has a download of "Real Life" from Lincoln Brewster and Jesus Is My Denomination by Mike Abrams.

LINK: iTickets

Sign up for the Hear It First newsletter and get free music downloads every week. This week I got Michael W. Smith's "You Belong To Me" and "Children of the Light" by Lecrae.

LINK: Hear It First


Want to check out Michael W. Smith's new CD "Wonder"? You can listen now at New Release Tuesday.

LINK: New Release Tuesday


Head on over to Walgreens website to order a free 8 x 10 Collage Print. Use the code FBCOLL at checkout and set it up to pick up at the store so you pay no shipping. :) This is good TODAY only (10/01). Well it was good yesterday, but I'm not on the air on Wednesday. This can make a really cute gift for grandparents. :)

LINK: Walgreens 8 x 10 Collage

That is all for today folks. I have something special cooking up for next week though. See you then!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Biggest Loser - I love this show, but boy it makes me self conscious



I love The Biggest Loser, and I absolutely look forward to each season. I seriously just fall in love with these people and absolutely cheer for their accomplishments. Most of the time I love them all. Occasionally, and really very rarely there is a contestant or two that I am not terribly fond of. I am not going to name any names. I imagine they know who they are. I really don't believe I am the only one that has felt a bit negative about a few. But that is life though isn't it? I think the hardest part of the show is seeing people eliminated. I wish they didn't let people go so early on. It would be nice to see someone get the guidance to make some real long term changes for a few weeks before the AXE falls on them.

The Biggest Loser also gives me the reminder of making my own changes. I tell you, there is nothing worse than seeing a contestant who started the show at over 200 pounds start coming down to your weight and then moving on down. OY!!!! That WILL NOT happen this year. I have made some weight changes already. Thanks to my hypothyroidism being diagnosed and my medication is beginning to work. I am finally on the move to losing some of the weight that I gained thanks to my thyroid. It is nice to watch what you eat and actually see results again (especially for me a formerly body conscious freak). I have lost 13 pounds so far. I figure I am going to work it hard core so that no one goes flying past me in the weight loss competition.

More working out is my newest step. Everyone has been talking about the 30 Day Shred. Well, thanks to SWAGBUCKS (referal link) and Amazon Mom, I was able to order The 30 Day Shred DVD with the Amazon gift cards I had earned through Swagbucks and got it shipped FREE thanks to Amazon Mom and the free three months of Amazon Prime Shipping! What a huge blessing! I didn't have to take the time out of my day to hit the store. I just logged on in and bingo! It was at my home in just a few days!

Now this is a 30 day program in three sets of ten. I am really excited about starting it, and I plan to report my progress, BUT I am not starting until next week. I am not putting this off in order to have a last hoorah (though THAT would be divine). I am putting it off until next Sunday when I can actually devote the time. This weekend I have out of my town work obligations that will make working out to the DVD a bit of an inconvenience.

This weekend I am going to the Women of Faith Imagine Conference! My station goes every year, and that means I am going to be having a working weekend. I'll be hoteling it, drinking massive quantities of coffee, and probably noshing on less than healthy food. I will get some walking in though. I am sure I can do some laps of the US Airways Center on my breaks from our booth. When I get home. I will get started. :) Yay me! No seriously, I am pretty excited for myself. Of course I would be even more happy if I was some celebrity who some kind of diet place would totally take care of for the endorsement opportunities, but THAT isn't happening. And sadly there just aren't any shows hi-lighting women who just want to drop about 20. I imagine they think there isn't enough drama. Truly I think they are wrong. That last 20 or 10 SUCK, and I have been quite a whiny little brat over weight issues. Nah...I am a peach all the time. Just ask my hubby. ;)

Where was I? Oh yes...I was going nowhere fast. Why don't I tell you a little bit of the coolness that will be happening at this year's Women of Faith conference. This year one of the Women of Faith speakers will be Michelle Aguilar who was I believe the winner of season 6 Biggest Loser. I am definitely interested in what she will be sharing. There will also be music by Natalie Grant and Mary Mary. Other speakers include Sheila Walsh and Luci Swindoll, Lisa Harper and special guest Marcus Buckingham among many others. It is always a great event, and really uplifting. For us it is a great chance to hear some amazing speakers and become inspired, meet other Christian women from all over the state and from several other states, and it is a great chance to meet with our listeners on a more personal level. If you are a Christian woman and you have yet to go, you just might want to give it a shot sometime. :)

Okay, back to business. Am I the only one who gets totally guilted out but loves The Biggest Loser?

WOW am I tired

Seriously, I am fading fast. I just spent the better part of about two hours reading blogs and checking out the awesome posts on Meet Me On Monday brought to all us bloggers by the lovely Java of Never Growing Old.

It was awesome learning about the other bloggers, and I cannot wait to read more. It was also surprising to me how many people had to learn how to change a flat tire in order to get their license. My father never made that an issue, but I did have to learn the other aspects of vehicle maintenance. I am thinking I probably should learn, but then to make the hubby feel needed right? He needs to keep his macho side of this relationship flexed as much as I need to keep my feminine side catered to. :)

There are a couple of quick deals I wanted to go over before I sign out of bloggy land for the day.

Send a pack of Kleenix to someone you love. Yep. The cold weather is coming and our noses are all a runnin'. Wow. Someone stop me before I embarrass myself. But really I thought this was really need. Kleenix has this awesome promo where you can share some softness with a loved one, and maybe they can send someone to another friend. Or perhaps someone will hook you up. Follow the link below to share with someone you care about!

LINK: Kleenix Softness Worth Sharing

I will have to come back and add more later. It is bedtime! Time to snuggle up with my fabulous hubby!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Awesome Salute To Heroes $200 Sears Gift Card Giveaway

I just had to share this giveaway. Living Out Loud is hosting a wonderful giveaway that is going to be a real blessing. Go to Living Out Loud to enter if you or a loved one is a member of the military, a veteran, police officer, fire fighter, teacher or hospital staff member, and you just might win a $200 Sears gift card! I am not entering this contest, but I had to share it! Isn't that just the coolest thing to do for our heroes? :) LINK: Salute to Heroes $200 Sears Gift Card Giveaway at Living Out Loud

Meet Me On Monday

This is my first time joining in on Meet Me On Monday. Looks like a lot of fun. :) It also seems like a great way to get to know other bloggers. Ready to get to know a little bit more about me?

1. How many TV’s do you have in your home?

We have two TVs in our home. One is in my son's play room and one is in the living room. We won our living room set. It is one of those big flat screen LCD thingamabops that we won at my husband's company Christmas party a few years ago. It was a nice win for us, because just a month before our home was broken into. It was a bright spot after that violation.

2. What is on your bedside table (nightstand)?

I have a very cluttered nightstand. There is a lamp with a pull chain that drives my hubby nuts because when you release it, the string bangs against the lamp's body and goes "tinka tinka tinka tink." My nightstand also has a container of ear plugs as my hubby snores. You will also find a bottle of water, lavender essential oil, and a bottle of jojoba oil that I added several essential oils to that works as a natural relaxer and sleep-in-conditioner. Lastly there is a little light my son gave me and a music box with a Norman Rockwell sculpture of the little girl looking in the mirror. Told you it was cluttered. OH! I forgot, there is also a playdough girl my son made me one year for Christmas and a Christmas tree.

3. How many pair of shoes do you own?

This is kind of tough. If you include sandals, I have about 30 pairs of shoes. Take those out of the equation and I have seven.

4. Can you change a flat tire?

No. I am sure I could figure it out if I had to, but I haven't done the job yet. Here's hoping that I never have to. I have been one of those women who so far has always had road trouble in convenient places. Well, except for this one time on 95 North in downtown Providence at around 3:00 am. I was fortunate to be within walking distance of a Holiday Inn, and made it home with little trouble.

5. Do you prefer sweet treats or salty treats?

If I have recently had something sweet, I will most likely want something salty and vice versa. Really I love all treats. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Son Is a Riot - How things are going with his allowance


Recently we have reintroduced the allowance in our home.

This was based on careful thought. My son has chores that he does in order to do his part at home. In the past when he has wanted to buy something, we have found other jobs that he can do and paid him according to those jobs. Now he is a sophmore in high school, and he is finding that he wants a little more pocket money. He also texts like a....well, like a teenager, and in order to have enough available texts, he has to pay the difference.

After hours of conversation and more hours of thought, I decided that if I am going to pay him to do extra chores steadily around the house, then he is going to do something that takes the load off of my back. So he now vacuums the house twice a week and does two hours of yard work a week. I picked the yard work because it gets him outside and doing something physical.

So far, Alex has done a great job. He vacuums on Wednesdays when he gets out of school early and then again on Saturday. The yard work he does on the weekend, and he usually takes his PSP with him and listens to pod casts while he works so time goes fairly quickly for him.

This does take 60 dollars out of my budget every month (15 a week), but on the bright side:

He is paying the difference for his upgraded texting.
He is learning how to budget his money (even taking coupons with him to school).
I don't have to vacuum or weed!
He isn't asking me for money to go off campus with the guys.
He is learning necessary household skills.
When he wants to buy something when we are out, he checks his wallet and not me.

He is also learning how what one person does effects another person. The other day we were in the kitchen, and I was making a salad. A piece of lettuce that I was shredding hit the floor.
"Are you going to pick that up?" he asked.

I looked at him and said "No. I'm making the salad, and I am not going to dirty my hands in order to pick that piece up. I'll get it when I am done."

"No mom, you need to get it now. Do you have any idea how dirty this kitchen floor gets if you just let these things go? I am always vacuuming up garbage off this floor."

I laughed so hard! Seriously! He is seeing how what one person does effects the next. He has always been good about putting his dishes in the sink and things like that, but he has been oblivious about dropping stuff on the floor (I have crunched my bare feet on many a potato chip thanks to his drop-and-leave habits). It was also just pretty funny hearing him sound like a mom. LOVED IT!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Free Sample Garnier Fructis Dandruff Shampoo


Walmart has a new free sample. Garnier Fructis has a new dandruff shampoo. I think it will be interesting to find out if it can take care of a dandruff issue, but actually leave your hair looking soft and healthy looking. It says it gives 48 hour dandruff protection. We'll see how it goes. Get yours too by following the link below.

LINK: Garnier Fructis Dandruff Shampoo Sample

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Surprise Me! Secret Santa Gift Exchange!

Oh I love Christmas so. First and foremost because it is the celebration of my Savior's birth. After that it is really just such a fun time of year. There is a lot of stress, but there are also lots of smiles, warm hugs, Christmas music, Christmas cookies, yummy treats like egg nog and tasty meals, and of course presents. Who doesn't love presents? I am a present freak. I love giving and of course love getting them. I have always enjoyed wrapping them all all cute. So when I was over at Shelly's Bits and Pieces and read about the "Surprise Me!" Secret Santa Gift Exchange with Simply Stacie and Survey Junkie, I knew I had to get involved. And you can too! Here's the details directly from Survey Junkie's blog: Surprise Me! Secret Santa Gift Exchange is a gift exchange/swap for bloggers. Each participating blog will be a Secret Santa & also receive a gift from a Secret Santa. There are No Sponsors for this event, it's just like one big office party. After you receive your gift you can tell everyone all about it on your blog.

$15 gift(s) + shipping = $20.00

Each Secret Santa will spend $15 on their gift. This can be one item or multiple items that total $15. We want everyone to enjoy the swap and their gift so we have added category choices for you to choose from on the sign up. This way it helps the Secret Santa have an idea of what you like and so that everyone enjoys their gifts.
Sign up will be open for 2 weeks and will end on Wednesday October 6th
If you are interested in participating in the Secret Santa Gift Exchange simply
Fill out the form and we will add you to the list.
After you sign up snag the button and let your readers know that you are participating & thath they can too..

After sign up closes we will notify everyone by email to let you know :
Who to ship to, What gift idea they like, When to ship by & Where to ship gift to..

We will email you updates, shipping deadlines and all other information needed after the list is closed. No one will know who is who's Secret Santa is so shh.. it's top secret :) Back to my voice. :) Doesn't it sound awesome? I definitely think so. :) Join up! It will be lots of fun!

Posting From The Day Job - Kelly's Thrifty Tips - Looking For Seasonal Work?

It has been a bit of a slow blogging week for me. Sorry about that. I will be back in more full force in a few days. In the mean time, here is my posting from my day job.

As many people know, I have been looking for those ways to make ends meet during the holidays, and last week (though I didn't post it here) I talked about entering contests. The week before I talked about starting to plan for Christmas and the other heavy duty family holidays coming up. This week I thought it would be a good idea to cover making money in preparation for the holidays by looking for seasonal work.


Now is the perfect time to start looking for some seasonal work. Some people use seasonal work to make a little extra money for the holidays, but it can also be a good way to get your foot in the door.

Places to look:

The mall. Retail stores are always a good place to start looking, and no time is better than now. Many stores begin hiring around October in order to get that needed extra staff for the upcoming Christmas season. Don't just think about clothing and gift stores either. There are lots of purchases made in electronics retail locations and craft stores as well.

Restaurants are often busier around the holidays, especially establishments in and around the mall. So be sure to give those a check as well.

Courier companies like FedEx, DHL and UPS also often hire people temporarily. They have jobs like package handlers, drivers, dock workers and mechanics.

You can also find lots of jobs through temporary agencies. I did all kinds of temp work one holiday season from working through a temp agency.

Photo studios have a higher influx of pictures taken in the holidays so don't forget to check with these places.

Another great place to look is with your seasonal recreational areas. You might find something good at Arizona Snow Bowl perhaps.

Cleaning services. With busy work schedules, holiday planning and shopping. There will be more opportunities with cleaning services.

Don't forget to check with catering companies, restaurants that cater, hotels and restaurants that do banquets to take advantage of business Christmas parties.

How to find those seasonal jobs.

1 - Go directly to the source. When at the mall, check in with the various stores and food court shops. Don't just rely on signs saying that they are hiring. Ask at the service desks. Talk to the employees. Be friendly.

2 - Check online. (lists seasonal and hourly jobs and has great job hunting tips)

Your area newspaper will usually have online listings. In fact that is how I found my job. (type in seasonal in the search box) is also another great place to find seasonal jobs (hold onto it for summers too!)

3 - Ask around. Now this one is kind of obvious, but seriously take advantage of your network. Ask friends and family if they know of any places that are hiring seasonally.

Now onto some freebies and deals.

Saturday, September 25th is the 6th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. You can print out a ticket (one per household) that will enable you and a guest to have free admission. You must have the ticket in order to get in. Follow the link below for more information.

LINK: Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

Here is the list of museums I found on their page for Arizona.

Amerind Foundation Museum


Arizona History Museum


Arizona State Museum


Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum


Casa Grande Valley Historical Society and Museum

Casa Grande

Cave Creek Museum

Cave Creek

Challenger Space Center


Deer Valley Rock Art Center


Desert Botanical Garden


Desert Caballeros Western Museum


Fort Lowell Museum


Heard Museum


International Wildlife Museum


Jewish History Museum


Mesa Historical Museum


Phippen Museum


Pioneer Museum


Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park


Rim Country Museum


River of Time Museum

Fountain Hills

Sharlot Hall Museum


Show Low Historical Society Museum

Show Low

The Bead Museum


The Mini-Time Machine Museum of Miniatures


University of Arizona Museum of Art


Zane Grey Cabin


As I do with free entries, give the museum of choice a call to see what restrictions they may have. The above are all links to the Smithsonian's pages on each museum.

Okay...I hate to say this but, I am beyond devastated. I just spent HOURS on listing some freebies and deals, and everything somehow got erased. Sooooo now I have to redo it. Unfortunately I have to go to bed so I will redo most of the freebies tomorrow. Here are a few that I can slip in for now.

If you are a Costco member you can sign up for a free sample of Bausch + Lomb Biotrue contact lens solution. I love this stuff, because my son can bring it to school for those little emergencies that can happen to a contact lens wearer. I also love that it is free. :)

LINK: Bausch and Lomb Biotrue

Redbox has a promo code for a free movie rental. It says that it will last until 11/30 (of course one time use per account). Here is the code:

While supplies last, hook yourself up with Mariani Cinnamon Raisin Bread Raisins. It sounds like a bit redundant, but they have really tasty dried fruit snacks.

LINK: Mariani Cinnamon Raisin Bread Raisins

Okay this is really cool, and it is the last thing I am going to mention before I hit the sack. Amazon has a group you may want to join. It is called Amazon Mom. You do not have to be a mom to enter. You can be a dad or a caregiver to a child. With it you will get 30% off diapers and wipes on Subscriber save, AND three months of Amazon Prime which translates to free 2 day shipping! YAY! I already tried that out myself today and ordered a workout dvd with some of the credit I saved up from my Swagbucks Amazon codes. With the free shipping, I paid nothing out of pocket! Get details at the link below.

LINK: Amazon Mom

I'll be adding more freebies as the day goes on so be sure to check back.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Free Sample of Cream of Wheat Cinnabon and Sweepstakes!

I love hot cereal. I haven't always loved Cream of Wheat, but they have been coming out with some great flavors, and that has changed my mind. Now they have a yummy Cinnabon flavor that I can't wait to try out. You can too by following the link below. You can also enter the Break the Breakfast Boredom Sweepstakes going on for a Apple iPad 3G or an iTunes gift card! I would love to win that for the hubby!

LINK: Cream of Wheat Cinnabon

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FIRST Wild Card Tour - Heart of the Lonely Exile by BJ Hoff

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:

Heart of the Lonely Exile (Book Two in The Emerald Ballad series)

Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


BJ Hoff’s bestselling historical novels continue to cross the boundaries of religion, language, and culture to capture a worldwide reading audience. Her books include Song of Erin and American Anthem and such popular series as The Riverhaven Years, The Mountain Song Legacy, and The Emerald Ballad. Hoff’s stories, although set in the past, are always relevant to the present. Whether her characters move about in small country towns or metropolitan areas, reside in Amish settlements or in coal company houses, she creates communities where people can form relationships, raise families, pursue their faith, and experience the mountains and valleys of life. BJ and her husband make their home in Ohio.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736927891
ISBN-13: 978-0736927895


Friends Old and New

Youth must with time decay…
Beauty must fade away…
Castles are sacked in war…
Chieftains are scattered far…
Truth is a fixed star….

From “Aileen Aroon” GERALD GRIFFIN (1803–1840)

New York City
August 1847

It was a fine summer evening in the city, the kind of sweet, soft evening that made the young delight in their youth and the elderly content with their lot.

On this evening Daniel Kavanagh and Tierney Burke were indulging in one of their favorite pastimes—stuffing themselves with pastries from Krueger’s bakery as they lounged against the glass front of the building. As usual, Tierney was buying. Daniel as yet had no job and no money. But Tierney, with a week’s pay in his pocket from his job at the hotel and a month’s wages due from his part-time job at Patrick Walsh’s estate, declared he felt rotten with money and eager to enjoy it.

It had been a good day, Daniel decided as he polished off his last sugar kucken. His mother was visiting, as she did every other Saturday, delivered as always by one of the Farmington carriages. Every Saturday without fail, a carriage either brought her to the Burkes’, or came to collect Daniel for a visit at the Farmington mansion uptown, where his mother worked.

In truth, Daniel thought he preferred the Saturdays he spent at the Farmingtons’, for then he could visit with his friend, Evan Whittaker, and the Fitzgerald children, as well as his mother. He enjoyed his temporary living arrangement with Uncle Mike and Tierney, but often he found himself missing the daily contact with his mother and the Fitzgeralds—especially Katie.

The thought of Katie brought a smile to his face and a sting of worry to his mind. Katie was both his friend and his sweetheart; they would marry when they were of age—that had been decided long ago.

So committed to their future plans was he that Daniel paid little heed to Tierney’s relentless teasing about his “lassie.” The fact was that Katie Fitzgerald had been his girl from the time they were wee wanes back in the village, and he did not mind who knew it. But Katie had ever been frail, and the famine and the long, horrific ship crossing had taken a fierce toll on her.

Daniel could not help but fret about her health. He would have thought the good, plentiful food and proper medical attention she was receiving at the Farmingtons’ would be enough to have her feeling fit by now. Instead, she scarcely seemed improved at all.

Still, as his mother had reminded him just today, three months was not really so long a time—not with all the troubles Katie had been through. “You must be patient, Daniel John,” she had cautioned him. “You must be patient and faithful with your prayers.”

He was trying to be both, but it was hard, all the same, not to worry.

Shifting his weight from one foot to the other, Daniel turned his attention to Pearl Street. Although darkness was gathering, most of the neighborhood seemed to be in no hurry to return to their cramped living quarters. The sultry August atmosphere carried the sounds of children playing, mothers scolding, dogs barking, and men arguing. Most of the voices were thick with Irish brogue, although German and an occasional stream of Italian could also be heard.

Almost as thick as the cacophony of immigrant voices were the odors that mingled on the night air. The ever-present stench of piled-up garbage in the streets had grown worse with the recent warm temperatures; the fumes from sewage and animal droppings were more noxious than ever.

Still, there was no spoiling the pleasure of such a fine evening. Besides, Daniel was growing accustomed to the aroma of New York. Indeed, the smell rarely bothered him at all these days; it was negligible compared to the stench of Ireland’s rotten potato fields and the countless dead bodies lying alongside the country’s roads.

“So, then,” Tierney said, downing a nut kipfel in one bite before wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, “will they tie the knot soon, do you think? Your mum and my da?”

It was a question Tierney seemed bent on asking at least once a week, a question that continued to make Daniel feel awkward—almost as if his mother were somehow under an obligation to marry Uncle Mike. More and more Tierney’s prodding put Daniel on guard, made him feel the need to defend his mother—never mind that he secretly harbored the same question.

“I don’t suppose it’s for either of us to guess,” he muttered in reply. “Sure, and Mother does care a great deal for Uncle Mike.”

Tierney gave a curt, doubtful nod, turning the full intensity of his unnerving ice-blue stare on Daniel. “If that’s so,” he said, “then why is she still holding out?”

Daniel bristled. “It’s not that she’s holding out,” he protested. “She just needs more time, don’t you see? They haven’t seen each other for more than seventeen years, after all! She can hardly be expected to jump into marriage right away!”

Tierney regarded him with a speculative look, then shrugged. “You’re right, of course,” he said cheerfully, shoving his hands into his pockets. As if no friction whatever had occurred between them, he tilted a quick grin at Daniel. “I expect I’m just impatient because I’m wanting to see them wed.”

Not for the first time, Daniel found himself disarmed by his quicksilver friend. The older boy had a way of making abrasive, outrageous remarks, then quickly backing off, as if sensing he had caused Daniel discomfort.

Tierney had an incredible energy about him, a tension that sometimes made it seem that any instant he might leap from the ground and take off flying. He was impatient and blunt, decisive and headstrong. Yet he had an obvious streak of kindness, even gentleness, that could appear at the most unexpected moments.

Living with him was akin to keeping company with a hurricane. Wild and impetuous one moment, eager and conciliatory the next, he was entirely unpredictable—and a great deal more fun than any boy Daniel had ever known.

He liked Tierney immensely. In truth, he wished his mother would marry Uncle Mike so they could be a real family.

“If they do get married,” Tierney was saying, watching Daniel with a teasing grin, “you and I will be brothers. How do you feel about that, Danny-boy?”

Daniel rolled his eyes, but couldn’t stop a smile of pleasure. “Sure, and won’t I be the lucky lad, then?”

Tierney wiggled his dark brows. “Sure, and won’t you at that?” he shot back, perfectly mimicking Daniel’s brogue.

Avoiding Michael’s eyes, Nora stared at the flickering candle in the middle of the kitchen table.

The silence in the room, while not entirely strained, was awkward, to say the least. Nora had sensed Michael’s impatience early in their visit. She thought she understood it; certainly, she could not fault the man for wanting more of a commitment than she’d been able to grant him thus far.

On the other hand, she didn’t know how she could have handled things between them any differently. From the day of their reunion—Nora’s first day in New York City—she had done her best to be entirely honest with Michael. She had told him then—and on other occasions since—that she cared for him deeply but could not marry him for a time, if ever.

In the weeks and months that followed her arrival in New York, Nora’s life had changed radically. All that she had once held dear, everything familiar, had been mercilessly torn away from her. She had lost her home and her entire family except for Daniel John. Yet much had been given to her as well.

God had been good—and faithful. Daniel John had a home with Michael and Tierney, and she and the orphaned Fitzgerald children were safe and snug in the Farmington mansion with Lewis Farmington and his daughter, Sara—people who must be, Nora was certain, the kindest human beings God ever created.

Aye, she had fine lodgings—even a job—and she had friends, good friends: Michael, Evan Whittaker, Sara and Lewis Farmington, and Ginger, the Farmingtons’ delightful housekeeper. There was more food on her plate than she could eat, and a fire to warm her bones for the coming winter. Had any other penniless widow-woman ever been so blessed?

Yet when it came to Michael, something deep within her warned her to wait, to go slowly. There were times when she wanted nothing more than to run to the shelter of the man’s brawny arms and accept the security he seemed so set on offering—the security of a friendship that dated back to their childhood, the security of marriage and a home of her own. But in the next instant she would find herself drawing back, shying away from the idea of Michael as the solution to her problems.

She needed time, perhaps a great deal of time. Of that much, at least, she was certain. Time to heal, time to seek direction for her life. God’s direction.

And time to forget Morgan Fitzgerald…

“The Farmingtons seem more than pleased with your work for them,” Michael said, breaking the silence and jarring Nora back to her surroundings. “They cannot say enough good things about you.”

Struggling to put aside her nagging melancholy, Nora smiled and made a weak dismissing motion with her hand. “Sure, they are only being kind,” she said. “ ’Tis little enough they allow me to do. I suppose they still think me ill, but in truth I’m feeling much stronger.”

“I can believe that,” Michael said, studying her with open approval. “You’re looking more fit each day. I think you might have even gained a bit at last.”

Surprised, Nora glanced down at her figure. She did feel stronger physically, stronger than she had for months. “Indeed. Perhaps with all this fine American food, I’ll grow as round as Pumpkin Emmie,” she said, trying to ease the tension between them with reference to daft Emmie Fahey, one of the terrors of their youth.

“You’ve a ways to go, there,” Michael said, meeting her smile. “But you are looking more yourself, lass, and that’s the truth.”

Unnerved by the way he was scrutinizing her, Nora glanced away. “Our sons are becoming good friends, it seems.”

Michael, too, seemed relieved to move to safer ground. “Aye, they are,” he answered eagerly. “And I couldn’t be happier for it. Your Daniel is a fine boy—a good influence on that rascal of mine.”

“Oh, Michael,” Nora protested, “I think you’re far too hard on Tierney! He doesn’t seem nearly the rogue you paint him to be.”

With a sigh, Michael rose from the table to put the kettle on for more tea. “I’m the first to admit Tierney’s not a bad boy. Nevertheless, he can be a handful. And unpredictable—” He shook his head as he started for the stove. “Why, I don’t know what to expect from the lad one minute to the next, and that’s the truth.”

“It’s not an easy age for him, Michael. Don’t you remember how it was, being more grown-up than child, yet not quite either?”

Nora could have answered her own question. Michael had never seemed anything but a man grown, had never appeared to know the meaning of childishness or uncertainty, at least not in the time she had known him.

Returning with the kettle, he offered Nora more tea. When she declined, he proceeded to pour himself a fresh cup. “What I remember most about being a boy,” he said with just the ghost of a smile, “was trying to keep you and our lad, Morgan, out of the soup.”

Nora glanced quickly away. “Aye, you were like a brother to the both of us,” she said quietly.

“It wasn’t a brother I wanted to be to you, Nora,” he said pointedly, pausing with the kettle suspended above his cup. “That was your choice, not mine.”


He looked at her, setting the kettle down between them. “Is it still Morgan, then?” A muscle at the side of his mouth tightened. “Is he the reason you cannot bring yourself to marry me?”

“No! No, Michael, it is not Morgan! I’ve tried to explain all this before. I thought you understood…”

His gaze on her didn’t waver. “Nora, I have tried. But I’m not blind, lass. I see the way things are.”

Nora looked away, but she could still feel his eyes on her. “What do you mean?”

“I mean that Morgan Fitzgerald still occupies a large space in your heart—perhaps so great a space there will never be room for another.”


He waved away her protest, saying nothing. Instead, he went to stand at the window, his back to her. He stood there for a long time in silence. At last, he drew in a deep sigh and said quietly, “We’d be good together, I think. We could build a fine life, a good home—watch our boys grow to manhood.” Stopping he turned to face her. “Perhaps we could even have more children…”

He let his words drift away, unfinished. As he stood there, his gaze fixed on her face, the frustration that had hardened his expression earlier faded, giving way to a rare tenderness. The grim lines about his mouth seemed to disappear, and his eyes took on a gentle smile.

“We go back a long way, you and I,” he said softly. “And our boys—why, they’re well on their way to being brothers already. Ah, it could work for us, Nora! You must see that.” Shoving his hands down deep into his pockets, he stood watching her. “I know I cannot offer you much in the way of material things just yet, but we’d have enough, enough for us all. And things will improve, I can promise you that. I have prospects on the force—”

“Oh, Michael, you know none of that matters to me!”

With three broad strides he closed the distance between them. Bracing both hands palms down on the tabletop, he brought his face close to hers, his eyes burning. “What, then, Nora? What does matter? Tell me, lass, for I’ll do whatever I can to make this work for us. I swear I will! Tell me what I can do to convince you to marry me.”

Nora remembered he had asked her that same question once before, when he was still a young man preparing to go to America. He had done his best then, too, to convince her to be his wife.

That had been seventeen years ago. Seventeen years, and her answer was still not what he wanted to hear.

“Michael, you know you have ever been…special…to me.”

He said nothing, simply went on searching her eyes, his large, blunt hands now clenched to fists atop the table.

“I do care for you…” She did. She was not immune to Michael’s appeal, his almost arrogant handsomeness, the strength that seemed to pulse from him. But more than that, and far deeper, were the memories that bound them, the friendship that even today anchored their affection for each other. She could not bring herself to hurt him, but neither could she lie to him!

Suddenly, he stunned her by grasping both her hands in his and pulling her up from the chair to face him. Holding her hands firmly, he drew her to him. “And I care for you, Nora,” he said, his voice gruff. With one hand he lifted her chin, forcing her to meet his relentless gaze. “I have always cared for you, lass, and that’s the truth.”

Trembling, Nora held her breath as he bent to press his lips to hers. Irrationally, she almost wished Michael’s kiss would blind her with love for him, send stars shooting through her. Instead, she felt only the gentle warmth, the same sweet, sad affection she had felt for him all those years so long ago when he had kissed her goodbye, regret brimming in his eyes, before sailing for America.

He knew. He said nothing, but she felt his knowing as she stood there, miserable beneath those dark, searching eyes that seemed to probe her very soul. Gradually he freed her from his embrace, setting her gently away from him with a sad smile.

“You have been through a great sorrow,” he said huskily. “And I am asking too much of you, too soon. I’m sorry, lass. Perhaps it’s just that I’m anxious for you to realize that when you’re ready, I will be here. I will wait.”

“Oh, Michael, please—don’t…”

He put a finger to her lips to silence her. “Enough sober talk for tonight. Why don’t we have us a stroll? We’ll go and find the lads and see what they’re up to.”

Relieved, Nora nodded, managing a smile. “Aye, I’d like that.”

Michael smiled, too, watching her with infinite tenderness. Framing her face between his calloused hands, he brushed his lips over her forehead. “Remember that I am still your friend, Nora Ellen. No matter what happens—or does not happen—between us, I will always be your friend.”

Nora could have wept for gratitude at his understanding, his gentleness. “Thank you, Michael,” she whispered. “Thank you for being the man you are. And thank you,” she added fervently, “for being my friend.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

FIRST Wild Card Tour Joseph Christiano's Bloodtype Diet

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:

Joseph Christiano's Bloodtype Diet:

Type A

Type B

Type AB

Type O

Siloam (September 7, 2010)

***Special thanks to Anna Silva of Strang for sending me a review copy.***


Joseph Christiano, ND, CNC, a naturopathic doctor and certified nutritional counselor, has spent forty years developing individualized diet and exercise programs for Hollywood celebrities. Trainer of Miss America, Miss USA, and Mrs. America pageant winners, Joseph is a former Mr. Florida and award winner in the Mr. America bodybuilding championships. His health and fitness coaching expertise has resulted in helping school aged kids be more physically fit. He is the author of several books, including the best-selling Bloodtypes, Bodytypes, and YOU.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

Type A:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616380004

ISBN-13: 978-1616380007

Type B:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1599799995

ISBN-13: 978-1599799995

Type AB:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1599799820

ISBN-13: 978-1599799827

Type O:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1599799626

ISBN-13: 978-1599799629

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: (All the first chapters of the Blood Type Diet are the same)

Blood Types: Your Foundation For Health

DNA. Genome. Cellular profiling. Stem cells. Cloning. Blood types. What is it all about? Is the existence and physiological makeup of humankind just a mixture of theories, personal points of view, and yet-to-be proven truths? Are we dabbling into mysterious areas that should be left alone, or are we finally beginning to learn more about ourselves?

In man's conquest to survive, questions arise every day: What role do genes play in determining health, disease, longevity, bodily function, and performance? What is the origin of man—where did he come from? Do we all come from one main gene pool, or are we descendants of individual generational ancestry? Did we evolve from nothing to crawling on all fours to an eventual upright position, or did Yahweh (God's proper and personal name) create us? Is man degenerating because of cellular mutation, becoming less than what he started out as, or is he a result of an evolutionary process, making him far superior to what he was at the beginning of time? Why do some people enter life with blue eyes and blond hair and others with brown eyes and brown hair? Are certain body genetics designed for physical and athletic superiority while other body genetics determine the run-of-the-mill hopefuls? Do the ABO blood types react differently to the same foods? Is there a link between red blood cells and your health?

Although phenomenal advancements have been made through modern-day discoveries in technology, science, and medicine, it will still take eternity to unravel the amazing intricacies of man. The world's best scientific minds have made amazing discoveries, but in the light of all that we still do not know about ourselves, technology seems to move at a snail's pace.

Whether you believe that Yahweh created every human being or that our existence is a result of some theoretical development of nothingness into something, the answers to our questions lie far beneath the surface—with our genetic foundation.

Our genetic makeup is the foundation of all that is life. Nothing relating to our ability to survive our environment; to fight off illness, infection, or stress; to supply our bodies with nutrition; or to make physiological adaptation is a matter of happenstance. It is no coincidence that our bodies are programmed with the innate ability to defend us from uninvited invaders such as parasites, viruses, and bacteria by creating an army of antibodies.

Our genetic foundation is a mixture of trillions of cells with codes that identify, program, and link everything in our existence—the color of our hair, our bodies' susceptibility to disease, and foods that are compatible to our potential life span and capability to survive.

Some people would rather merely swim in shallow water than go below the surface to discover answers to the questions and issues of life. But there is a bottomless sea to dive into for the inquisitive and health-conscious individual who seeks knowledge of the role genetics play in our lives.

For example, did you know that . . .

Gene therapy is now being researched intensively in most developed countries—for a host of very good reasons. Instead of treating deficiencies by injecting drugs, doctors will be able to prescribe genetic treatments that will induce the body's own protein-making machinery to produce the proteins needed to combat illness.

Researchers succeeded in making artificial copies of human genes that could be manipulated to produce large amounts of specific proteins. Such genes can be introduced into the human body where, in many cases, they substitute for a defective gene.

In a study that could lead to new treatments for diabetes and provide guidance on the use of genes in treating disease, scientists show that a common genetic variation increased the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.

Australian scientists have identified a new gene responsible for controlling appetite in humans—a discovery experts say could lead to the first gene-based drug to treat obesity and diabetes.

In the not-too-distant future, scientists may be able to grow replacement organs and new blood vessels to replace clogged ones, eradicate diseases as diverse as Alzheimer's and cystic fibrosis, and tell which medication to prescribe.

Gaining more knowledge and understanding about the complexities of our genetics humbles me—and convinces me of the existence of One much greater than man, with infinite creative wisdom that stretches far beyond the finite knowledge of man. The fact that man has the ability to make scientific advancements and acquire information about the genome of man serves only to prove how much greater his Creator must be.

The Discovery of Blood Groups

I also find it amazing that what the majority of us now know about our genetic makeup has only been discovered in recent decades. Experiments with blood transfusions began centuries ago, but without an understanding that there are different blood groups (also called blood types) many people died. At that time, no one knew that the blood clumping (agglutination), which caused toxic reactions and even death after some transfusions, was the result of mixing blood from two people with different blood types.

Then in 1901, an Austrian named Karl Landsteiner discovered that blood clumping was an immune system reaction that occurs when the receiver of a blood transfusion has antibodies that war against the donor's blood cells. His discovery led to the classification of different blood groups, making it possible to conduct blood transfusions much more safely. Landsteiner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930 for making this remarkable, life-saving discovery.

So, what is it about the blood that makes one blood group different from another? The differences in our blood are based on the presence or absence of antigens and antibodies. Antigens are located on the surface of the red blood cells, and antibodies are in the blood plasma. People have different types and combinations of these molecules, which are inherited from their parents.

There are more than twenty blood group systems known today, but since the ABO system is the one most people are familiar with, I'll stick with the ABO blood group system for our discussion of blood types in this book. As you're probably aware, according to the ABO system, there are four different kinds of blood groups: A, B, AB, and O.

Blood group A

Since you purchased this book, I assume you belong to blood group A. As a member of this blood group, you have A antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and B antibodies in your blood plasma.

Blood group B

People in this blood group have B antigens on the surface of their red blood cells and A antibodies in their blood plasma.

Blood group AB

People in this blood group have both A and B antigens on the surface of their red blood cells and no A or B antibodies at all in their blood plasma.

Blood group O

People in this blood group have neither A nor B antigens on the surface of their red blood cells, but they have both A and B antibodies in their blood plasma.

How Did Different Blood Types Occur?

People who believe in Creation often ask: How did such a variety of ethnic groups and diverse races arise from one human pair?

Research is revealing more and more about the origin of blood types. Much of this research points out the possibility of the emergence of all known blood types from our common ancestors, Adam and Eve. In his dissertation titled “Blood Types and Their Origin (Answering the Critics),” Jonathan Sarfati tells us:

There is one gene in humans that controls the ABO blood type. There are three versions of the gene, or alleles: A, B, or O....For a husband and wife to pass on all alleles to their children, they need to, between them, have the A, B, and O alleles. . . . If Adam and Eve were genetically AO and BO, for example, their children could have had AB, AO, BO, or OO genetic makeup, giving AB, A, B, or O blood types. Indeed, about 25 percent of their children would have been of each type.

There is so much more to be discovered about man and our genetic makeup—birthed in us at the moment of conception. Although scientists are discovering new things about our genetic structure daily, there is much more that remains unknown. One scientist has observed:

Data supporting the complexity and design of life at all levels, and especially that of man, loom larger than was previously supposed—as large in fact as the enormous “gaps” in the fossil record. . . . The further we look into the complexity to the real world of man and his living companions, the more baffling and unexplainable, at least in standard evolutionary theory, the whole complex becomes. . . . To the skeptic, the proposition that the genetic programmes of higher organisms consisting of something close to a thousand million bits of information...containing in encoded form countless thousands of intricate algorithms controlling, specifying, and ordering the growth and development of billions and billions of cells into the form of a complex organism, were composed by a purely random process is simply an affront to reason.

It has taken gifted scientists years upon years to discover the things they know about man today. But it will take hundreds of more years to understand how to apply the new information.

It is when we are willing to be taught and are open to more knowledge that we continue to grow. I am growing daily in my own knowledge, particularly in my knowledge about the link between blood types and nutrition. Since authoring the book Bloodtypes, Bodytypes, and You, I have discovered new studies about the origin of blood types. These findings lean more closely to my personal beliefs in creationism.

My purpose for mentioning this is twofold: First, I humbly admit that no one has all the answers. But as long as we are willing to be open to greater learning and understanding, progress can be continual. Second, since I happen to believe that Yahweh is the Creator of all creation, it stands to reason that I would embrace studies that line up with my beliefs. As we learn more about the complex design of man, it just makes good sense to me that Someone greater than you or I is in charge of this whole thing.

Regardless of where you stand concerning the origins of blood type, one thing we can agree on is that eating foods compatible to our blood type and avoiding foods that are not compatible is a more accurate and individualized approach to eating than anything man has experienced.

As a naturopathic doctor, and not a scientist, biochemist, or genealogist, I'll leave the research and discoveries to them and concentrate my efforts on helping you to be healthier. My interest is to help you reach a basic level of understanding about your body so you can take care of it in a way that will contribute to living a healthier and more balanced life.

During my summer vacations from school as a kid, I remember going with my father while he worked a few hours a week for my cousin, who owned an excavation and construction company. I watched the construction workers build the foundations for new buildings, or as they called it, “pour a cellar.” It was quite a process. The first thing they did was excavate the land and prepare the ground. Then they measured out the area where the foundation would be laid. After determining the proper elevations and measurements, they began to set up the forms.

Until I saw the entire process completed for the first time, it was hard to understand why they were using all those heavy planks to make a huge square in the dirt. But I learned that those planks played a very important role in the next part of the procedure. When the huge cement trucks were ready to pour the concrete, they poured it into the wood forms, which shaped the foundation of the building.

I learned that each foundation differed in size, shape, and materials. Certain job sites required the forms to be dug deeper in the ground, while other forms were extended higher. The deeper or higher the forms were laid, the thicker the concrete base or foundation would be. The design and composition of each poured foundation determined the size and weight of the structure that it could support.

Each building structure, whether a residential home, a high-rise building, or a strip mall, required a unique foundation that functioned as its basis for structure, stability, and support. Similarly, our ability to survive, support, and improve our structure will be determined by the mixture of the material found in our foundation. Our foundation, of course, is our genetics.

Consider yourself as a general contractor who wants to redesign or custom-build a house. In this case, the foundation of the house you want to construct, or reconstruct, is your genetics. Instead of brick, mortar, and wood, you are using the materials that comprise your body.

The amount of time and effort you put into customizing and building your “house” (your body) will help it to last for many years. By understanding the purpose of a strong “foundation” (your genetics) and by using the proper “tools and materials” (the proper nutritional and exercise applications and methodologies), you can assure a healthy, happy future.

You have a specific biological makeup that was given to you at conception. It's the genetic substance that makes up your entire existence.

I have three daughters—Amy, the oldest, and twin daughters, Jenifer and Cara. Amy's genetic foundation has given her facial features that resemble mine, while genetically Jenifer and Cara have their mother's facial features.

But your genes are not limited to your facial characteristics. Your genes not only determine if you will look more like your mom or your dad and what color your hair and eyes will be, but also how susceptible you are to certain diseases and illnesses.

Your cellular profile and the way your body responds to certain foods, viruses, and bacteria are determined by your genes also.

One very important consideration can greatly help you maximize your genetic potential. This is providing your body with the best nutritional program for your specific genetics. Let's take a look at this consideration in the next chapter.


To understand the importance of your blood type, remember the following:

1. All of us are made up of trillions of cells. We function by our cells.

2. Our genetic foundation can help us determine today and tomorrow how to prepare ourselves for potential illnesses and diseases.

3. Understanding the role our genetics (blood type) play will help individualize the dietary remedies we need to improve survival.

4. Your body at the cellular level responds differently to the same foods than other blood types may.