Monday, September 30, 2013

A Month of Pumpkins

I have decided to make October the month of pumpkins!  Every day this month I am going to attempt to share a pumpkin based recipe!  So far I have recipes coming for a pumpkin spice creamer(oh heaven), pumpkin cake for new bakers, pumpkin pancakes, and oh so much more!

Below you will find the linky for these pumpkin recipes.  Feel free to link up your pumpkin recipe, but I would appreciate a short link back in the post you link up.  This will help all of us get our pumpkin recipes noticed this fall season!

Now let the love of pumpkins begin!  I have created a Pinterest Board and will be pinning all the recipes there as well so feel free to visit it!

Make sure to check back daily for new pumpkin creations!

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The Nurse's Secret Suitor by Cheryl Wyatt -CFBA Review #bookreview

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Nurse's Secret Suitor
Love Inspired (October 1, 2013)
Cheryl Wyatt


Not even Cheryl Wyatt’s closest friends would dream that this sweet, shy intercessor plots mayhem during announcements at church. She is a Registered Nurse turned stay-at-home-mom, wife and writer who loves Jesus with all of her heart.

Joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. She is convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentines Day destined her to write Inspirational Military Romance.

Cheryl loves to laugh and to make others laugh, so she often plans comedic moments for her defenseless characters in spite of their grumbling. She says it’s payback for when they refuse to obey the plots she’s set out before them.

Prior to publication, six of Cheryl’s manuscripts placed in ten RWA Contests. Two of Cheryl’s stories also placed First in ACFW’s Noble Theme Contest 2005 (Contemporary Romance Category), as well as ACFW‘s Genesis Contest 2006 (Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Category).

She currently writes for Love Inspired. Her Wings of Refuge Series, about a team of USAF Pararescue Jumpers and the ladies who capture their hearts, can be purchased anywhere books are sold.


A Strong-Willed Heart   Trauma nurse Kate Dalton can handle any challenge—except love. The combat veteran dreams of settling down, but heartbreak is one risk she won't take. Then a chance encounter opens her heart to a masked stranger…who might not be a stranger after all! Caleb Landis, the army medic behind the disguise, has always admired Kate, even though she only saw him as her best friend's brother. What will it take for Kate to discard her fears and discover the man she's always hoped to unmask?  Eagle Point Emergency:  Saving lives—and losing their hearts— in a small Illinois town

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Nurse's Secret Suitor, go HERE.

My thoughts:  I loved this book.  I loved re-meeting characters from the Eagle Point Emergency.  I enjoyed catching up with all the activities in their lives as well as getting to know other characters as well.  Kate is dynamic!  And of course you have Caleb. . . the masked stranger.  Oh and how handsome he sounds!  Keep reading and you'll watch who actually ends the "masked" relationship and what becomes of this cute couple!  Sigh, sigh, sigh, oh yes it was a great book.  I loved reading it and of course it ended too quickly just like the rest.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg -CFBA Book Review #bookreview

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Made to Last
Bethany House Publishers (September 15, 2013)
Melissa Tagg


A Word From The Author:

I’m a former reporter turned author who loves all things funny and romancey. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to my nonprofit day job, I’m also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists.

It all started when my dad, at the ripe old age of sixteen, picked up my mom up for their first date. She was thirteen. Thirteen!* Dad drove a cherry red car up the lane to my grandparents big ol’ green house and honked his horn…whereupon Mom jumped out of the apple tree she’d been waiting in and off they went…fishing. True story. (I’d give more details, but I’m saving it for a novella I plan to entitle Two Leaves. Mom, I really hope you read this.)

Four years of college, a few trips abroad and a stint as a reporter later, that dream is soon to be a reality. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, is now out from Bethany House. Book two, Here to Stay, comes out on May 1, 2014.

In between writing and staring out the window brainstorming, I also work as a grant-writer at one of Iowa’s largest private nonprofits and serve as the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists founded by Susan May Warren.

And I love, love, love talking about finding our purpose and identity in Christ. (And well, okay, food, old movies, boots and scarves, my awesome nephew Ollie, and, fine, Tim Tebow, too.)


Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Made to Last, go HERE.

My thoughts:  Swoon!  I love the characters.  I love the plot.  I love the end.  Yeap, it's unanimous, I love the book!  I can't remember ever reading anything by this author before, so now I'm going to have to do a search and find for anything else she may have written.  Yeap it was that good.  I am already waiting impatiently on book two!  Oh and did I mention she has another book in the works too.  Sigh.  As you can see I have a problem with books.  I love them too much.  I can't wait to read more ab out Miranda and her "struggles".  They're just the thing to bring a smile and a laugh to this mama of 9 and help me get a bit of relaxation at the end of a day.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jovial Foods Diced Tomatoes and Olive Oil Review #kissinthecook

I love to bake.  Really it's a compulsion.  It's like I have to bake.  I have to have yummy goodies on hand all the time.  That leads to a bit of a problem though.  I used to use a lot of butter in baking, but now we're dairy free so I can't use butter.  I have learned how to substitute in coconut oil or olive oil for butter.

That brings me to this review!  As part of my pizza party giveaway I needed olive oil!  I love to brush a fresh put together pizza crust with olive oil so that it browns nicely and seals in all the goodies!  I also use olive oil in the crust instead of butter.

Olive oil is a great oil for our body and a natural one.  You do need to make sure that it is pure olive oil and not synthetic or mixed with less undesirable oil.

I received a bottle of Jovial Foods olive oil along with 3 jars of diced tomatoes to use.  For the tomatoes I found several uses.  Of course, I did use them on my pizza(I love a supreme pizza with everything on it).  I also took all the juices off the tomatoes and made the sauce for the pizza from that.  It's really fairly easy to do and very good!  I also used some of the diced tomatoes in my stuffed burger post(you can see it here).  Some other uses for those yummy tomatoes were on a piece of breadstick with some cheese(dairy free of course).

Jovial Foods also sells and makes some wonderful goodies!  You should definitely check them out.  Oh how good those gluten free cookies sound and I do have to confess I've tried their fig filled cookies and find them to be wonderful.  When I was pregnant with my last I was craving fig newtons and found a package of these fig cookies.  They satisfied my craving perfectly!

Now back to the olive oil and tomatoes.  The olive oil is 100% extra virgin made exclusively in Italy.  It is USDA certified as well which just adds to the great resume of this oil.  I also must add that I love the lovely glass bottle that it is in.  The oil stays out of direct light with the tinting in the glass.  I can see this bottle getting reused in it's future.    The oil also works wonderfully in our bread recipe.  Take some oil and add some Italian seasoning, now you have a great little dip for your warm bread.  Oh yum, makes me hungry just thinking about it!

The lovely tomatoes.  Oh yes they are lovely.  As I stated before the juice/sauce off of the tomatoes can be thickened to make a great pizza sauce.  You don't have to take my word for it though, go ahead and make your own!  Yum!  I decided these diced tomatoes were perfect for adding onto my pizza, or simply bulking up a casserole.  They went(juice and all) into my sutler's beans and my kids ate them without complaint!  This is a treat because some of my children regularly refuse to eat tomatoes!

Besides running an allergy friendly plant, I love Jovial Foods for their stance against plastic.  Their oil and tomatoes were both in glass jars.  Yes glass can break in shipping, so they took extra precautions to make sure that didn't happen!  Nobody needs to be eating out of plastic(in my opinion) and glass to me is one of the only safe options.  I'm so glad to see a company taking the same stance.

You can see all the other great things Jovial Foods has to offer by visiting their website.  Don't forget to follow them on facebook and twitter as well!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Disney Dreamers Academy for our Teens


E! News host and actor Terrence Jenkins takes a moment to pose with Mickey Mouse, his mother Lisa Gonzalez, actress Lauren London, Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus and current University of Southern California student Princeton Parker and a group of mothers and their children at an empowerment session hosted by Disney Dreamers Academy at Disneyland Resort on Saturday. Jenkins is a speaker and ambassador for Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine held annually at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and just released his first book The Wealth of My Mother's Wisdom. Each year Disney Dreamers Academy brings 100 high school students from across the U.S. to Walt Disney World Resort to experience a 4-day program that inspires and fuels their dreams, helps them dream bigger, discover a world of possibilities and get a jumpstart on making those dreams come true! Applications for Disney Dreamers Academy are open at through Oct. 31.


 Disney Dreamers Academy will accept applications for the 2014 program beginning July 2 to October 31, 2013. Potential Dreamers may apply for a chance to be one of 100 students selected to participate in the program. Students must be between the ages of 13–19, live in the United States, and be enrolled in high school grades 9–12 when applying.

Disney seeks students with a winning combination of attributes that reflect strong character, positive attitude, and persistence to take advantage of opportunities. Does this sound like someone you know? Disney is looking for Dreamers for next year’s Disney Dreamers Academy, so they can get the tools to help make their dreams come true. Follow #DDA on Facebook and Twitter for updates. You can apply online also! Read more HERE and Download the complete list of official rules.  

A blogging friend was invited to cover the 2013 Disney’s Dreamers Academy this last March. I think this would be an awesome experience and would love to be a blogger covering it this year!  I really feel that our teens need more positive encouragement and need someone to step up to the plate.  I believe this is what Disney is doing and would love to view it first hand! This is an awesome program and opportunity for our young people. You can read more about the 2013 event HERE! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Military Spouses #sponsoredpost #vistacollege

Which career is best for me?

I have to say I have a deep respect and admiration for the spouses of military personnel.  The military may be the ones out there fighting the war, but it is their spouses and loved ones back home that fight another war.  A war of worry.  A war of concern.   They deserve medals too for what they do to keep a positive outlook on what is happening back home to make sure their loved one is not distracted from their duty.

It is not just our military that are examples of courage and determination, but those that stand behind them, behind the scenes as well.

This post  is a paid post. I was paid by vistacollege to include the info graphic but all words and thoughts are my own in this post.

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Raw Edge by Sandra D. Bricker -CFBA Book Review #bookreview

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Raw Edge
Abingdon Press (September 17, 2013)
Sandra D. Bricker


For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The Big 5-OH! was released by Abingdon Press in the Spring of 2010, and the novel was very well-received, garnering a couple of nibbles from Hollywood.

Always the Baker, Never the Bride was released by Abingdon Press in September 2010. With its phenomenal reviews, the novel spawned a series of three more books based on the popular cast of characters at The Tanglewood Inn, a wedding destination hotel in historic Roswell, Georgia. The series cemented Sandie's spot in publishing as a flagship author of Laugh-Out-Loud romantic comedy for the inspirational market.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"


Grayson McDonough has no use for teal ribbons, 5k runs, or ovarian cancer support groups now that his beautiful wife Jenna is gone. But their nine-year-old daughter Sadie seems to need the connection. When Annabelle Curtis, the beautiful cancer survivor organizing the memory quilt project for the Ovacome support group, begins to bring out the silly and fun side of his precious daughter again, Gray must set aside his own grief to support the healing of Sadie’s young heart. But is there hope for Gray’s heart too along the way?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Raw Edge, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

My thoughts:  I have said before that I love quilting and quilting books and I have really enjoyed the Quilts of Love series.  This is no exception.  I love the author's way with words(this is the first book I've read from her) as well as the characters and the depth they have.  Little Sadie is a special favorite though I'm glad none of my girls have those riotous curls to deal with!  Annabelle is definitely a free spirit and just what Gray needs in this stage of his grief.  I loved this book and can't wait until the next quilt.  Makes me wish for cooler weather and making my own quilt again!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Get Smart About Budgeting #sponsoredpost #SmartBudget

10 Tips To Smart Budgeting!
Envelope budgeting is an age-old way of keeping  track of your funds by dividing it up into envelopes dedicated to categories of expenses. One for car expenses, gas, lunch money, bills, dining out, etc. This concept works particularly well to teach young couples and students how to manage their money.

While some people have found this works, others find that envelopes of cash are just too tempting, and they cheat a little here, a little there, and suddenly bills don't get paid. In this post I'm going to give you some quick tips to budget wisely and use the envelope budgeting concept the modern way, with a pre-paid Visa®  card.

  1. Buy a coffee maker. The average American spends $1,092 at coffee shops.  I know I don't spend this much, but I do use my coffee maker.  I love those coffee shop drinks though and am glad I have found ways to make them at home!
  2. If carrying cash around in an envelope makes you nervous, try loading up a PayPower™ Visa® Prepaid Card with the funds you have to spend. You can pay your bills online for free, and unlike a credit card there is no credit check and you can track your spending online and reload the card any time.
  3. Roll over any unused fund on your pre-paid card to use the next month or into an emergency or fun fund.
  4.  Schedule bills to be paid from your card at different times of the month instead of paying them all at once to give you better cash flow.
  5. Don't be discouraged if you don't perform perfectly the first month or tow. Getting used to following a budget takes time.Be persistent and you'll succeed.
  6. Set aside a portion of your budget for fun. Reward yourself for reaching your budget goals. It gives you something to look forward to!
  7. Pre-paid cards for each member of the household gives them a feeling of taking charge of their money and also teaches them about budgeting.
  8. Give the kids a re-loadable Visa®  card and then load it up with their allowance monthly. They'll learn how far their dollar goes.
  9. 50% of Americans have less than one month of savings saved for emergencies. Direct deposit a set amount into a re-loadable card every month and set it aside for emergencies.
  10. Set up electronic payments for your bills directly from your pre-paid card. No more lost or stolen check and you can easily view which bills are paid online.

Learn more about the benefits of prepaid cards here

Get smart about how you manage your #budget with these tips to use your money wisely! The idea of envelope budgeting works with your PayPower Card too!

This is a sponsored post for which I am being paid.  Nevertheless, I do not post material that I do not feel fits this blog so please read and decide if this works for you!  Information in this post was provided to me for the posting.
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Tuesday's Good Eatin' Recipe Hop 9/24 #goodeatinpl

Welcome to the Good Eatin' Recipe Hop
hosted by
The 'Pitch List' Bloggers

Every Tuesday you can join us to share great recipes.........
There are no specific themes. 
Add your recipe of choice to the linky.
No Giveaways Please...all giveaways will be removed.
We Love Comments! Please Share!

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Seed Sowers Book Review -TOS Crew #hsreviews

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Recently through the TOS Crew Review team we got the chance to review a new book called Seed Sowers.  Seed Sowers is by Gwen Toliver and full of stories about going forth and planting the gospel.  You can find the book on the Seed Sowers website or for purchase on the Grace and Truth Books Site.  The book(softcover) retails for $13.95 normally but is currently on sale at the price of $12.50(this is current for this time and not for future reference, see original pricing).  You can also purchase a hardcover version($30.95) or ebook/kindle($3.99).

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I first read this book to myself.  I wanted to know what I would be reading to my children.  Afterall, that is the reason of reviewing the book as a homeschool mom, to share with my children.  After reading it myself I decided that this would be the perfect new book for us to use as our evening reading.  We like to read a book while everyone is just finishing supper and before parting to do chores and start getting ready for bed.  I thought the topic of this book, going forth and spreading the seeds of the gospel so that all may know Christ, would be a good discussion one for this time.  We have previously read and discussed books such as the Chronicles of Narnia.

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See above.  Isn't that an awesome picture!  Would you be able to cross a bridge like that?  The bridge being the only thing between you and that long drop to the waters below?  Oh my.  That might be very scary!  The fun thing though is that that bridge was not the only thing holding this man up as he spread the gospel.  I have a feeling there were angel wings right there with him the whole way and we're not just talking about his trip across this bridge!!

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I should mention that while some of the stories tell you the true name of the missionaries it speaks of, others are false names to protect those still in service of the Lord.  So, you might want to read the entire chapter including the disclaimers at the end before you share.  I know I was reading one story and found it so wonderful and my children had thought to include them in our prayer time.  It said the names had been changed of course as they are still out there spreading the gospel.  So we prayed for them, not by name, but by location and that they may be protected as they continue their work.  It took a bit of explaining to get my kiddos to understand why we didn't have their real names and why we couldn't pray for them by name.  Now they understand how dangerous it can be to be a Christian in some countries.

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These stories inspired me as to what people are willing to do for God and to what ends they will go to share His word so that no man may die in ignorance.  Of course, they also made me feel guilty.  Guilty that I don't do more to share the word.  Even here in our little piece of Midwest USA there are people who do not know God, people who need to know God!  We don't have to go to the ends of the Earth to share, we should start by sharing where we are.

We found this a great book and a great compilation of stories of the people who have gone to share.  My thanks to Gwen Toliver for writing and sharing these stories so that all may know.

This book can be enjoyed by the whole family as we have done.  It can be used for Bible credits for homeschooling, or for history/geography credits if you're finding and learning about the many places the missionaries went.  It can also just be used as a literature read alone for your 6th grade and up child.  We used it as a read aloud only.  Though I think once we get more into world geography we will use it again for that.

On an end note, please make sure you don't anger the wrong witch doctor, or run into a tribe of cannibals or race down the rapids, but if you do, know that God is with you and will see you through just as he did the Seed Sowers in this book.

Please stop by the main crew review page and read the reviews of other crew members.  I received a physical copy of this book for review but others also received ebooks as well.  Check out what everyone else got from the book as I'm sure we each picked up on something different.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Cover Reveal!!!! Tough Love by Marcie A. Bridges


Tough Love

Janessa knows she should run in the other direction when Brendan enters her life. Her squeaky-clean upbringing is in direct opposition to his piercings, a myriad of tattoos and the rumors that surround him. But she doesn’t run. Love, betrayal and lies become the foundation of their lives, but one heartbreaking confession makes Janessa question everything. After a devastating diagnosis, Janessa’s world crumbles around her. When she can no longer ignore the reality of who Brendan really is, she must choose between those who love her and the only one she has ever loved.

Coming October 1


Marcie Bridges has always wanted to be a writer, from the time she started keeping a diary in seventh grade. Since then, she has earned a master’s degree in education from Cumberland University while teaching some wonderful children with special needs in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.
While she will always bleed scarlet and gray (GO BUCKS!), she now lives south of Cincinnati with her husband and daughter. When Marcie isn’t writing, she can be found reading, watching her favorite TV shows, listening to music, or browsing her favorite websites.

Follow Marcie Bridges
Facebook Author Page: 
Twitter: @marcie_ann Blog:
Pinterest Personal:
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fired Up by Mary Connealy -CFBA Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Fired Up
(Bethany House March 1,
Mary Connealy


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.


Rollicking Wild West Adventure and Romance from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she's terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner--never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.

Glynna can't help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna's diner into Dare's back. Are Flint's cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna's son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fired Up, go HERE.

My thoughts:  I have read the previous book and loved it so I knew I'd love this one too.  This is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!  This book did not disappoint of course!  While I knew of the avalanche from the previous book, the fire was new!  And poor Dare getting picked on.  I love the characters in this series and can't wait for the next book!

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ItsySparks Giveaway US only ends 9/27

ItsySparks are a team of educators and moms with a passion for igniting young minds. They are dedicated to nurturing the natural curiosity that children have, with encouragement and thoughtfulness. They love to spark children’s imagination and creativity with their carefully designed ItsyKits so that they’ll enjoy learning while having fun and being entertained.
Ever get stumped trying to come up with new activities to do with your kids? Need new ideas for interactive, engaging projects for your kids? Check out ItsyKits – craft boxes filled with DIY projects that are fun, learning experiences!
ItsyKits contain 3-4 projects, designed around a specific theme each month. ItsyKits include all the necessary materials in addition to “Sparks”- thoughtful recommendations for books, recipes, kid-friendly experiments, and more!
ItsyKits are delivered directly to your door, and shipping is always free!
Did you know that 800 million people don’t have life’s basic need – clean, safe drinking water? ItsySparks is joining charity: water to help change that.
ItsySparks is launching their #ChristmasInSeptember campaign. For every order received in #September, a portion of the proceeds will be donated towards bringing clean water to the villages in Orissa, India.
What’s really cool about charity: water is that 100% of the money donated will directly fund water project costs in the field, and they’ll prove every single dollar. When the project you help fund is complete, they’ll send a digital completion report with GPS coordinates and photos of the community you helped. Watch this story from charity: water to learn how clean water changes lives.

Prize: 3 months of ItsyKits + More, delivered straight to your door, free of charge!
How to enter: Use the Rafflecopter form below… good luck! 
Rules: Giveaway ends 9/27 and is open to the US only.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by ItsySparks and they are responsible for prize fulfillment.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta -CFBA Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Born of Persuasion
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2013)
Jessica Dotta


Born in the wrong century–except for the fact that she really likes epidurals and washing machines–Jessica Dotta writes British Historicals with the humor like an Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte.

She resides lives in the greater Nashville area—where she imagines her small Southern town into the foggy streets of 19th century London. She oversees her daughter to school, which they pretend is an English boarding school, and then she goes home to write and work on PR. Jessica has tried to cast her dachshund as their butler–but the dog insists it’s a Time Lord and their home a Tardis. Miss Marple, her cat, says its no mystery to her as to why the dog won’t cooperate. When asked about it, Jessica sighs and says that you can’t win them all, and at least her dog has picked something British to emulate.


The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Born of Persuasion, go HERE.

My thoughts:  This is some author!  But I'm mad at her.  Seriously.  I want the next two books NOW!!!  Yes they are that addicting and yes I can't wait to finish them!  This series is off to an awesome start.  I could not put the book down and felt myself drawn to Julia and her sweetheart even after she's married.  But wait was her father her father?  Ack!  Mystery and intrigue!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Tuesday's Good Eatin' Recipe Hop 9/17 #goodeatinpl

Welcome to the Good Eatin' Recipe Hop
hosted by
The 'Pitch List' Bloggers

Every Tuesday you can join us to share great recipes.........
There are no specific themes. 
Add your recipe of choice to the linky.
No Giveaways Please...all giveaways will be removed.
We Love Comments! Please Share!

Pin It Now!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Logic of English Foundations -TOS Crew Review #hsreviews

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Do you want to make learning fun for your little ones?  Logic of English has many great programs for your kids.  We reviewed their Foundations A level which is geared towards budding learners ages 4-7.

Foundations A is a complete learning experience for reading, phonics, spelling, and handwriting.  You can choose whether you'd like manuscript or cursive handwriting as well.  We're doing manuscript because I think cursive is too advanced for my crew at present.  Not even my 2nd graders have started cursive yet!  We did receive a cursive handwriting chart for reference though.

Logic of English employs the see the phonogram, hear the sound, touch the card principle to help appeal to multiple senses at once.  I think this works really well with children who have some learning disabilities.  It is easier for them to grasp a concept if they can have it tactile.  If they can put immediately a sight and a touch to the sound that they are hearing.  Add to that lots of fun learning games and you've got children begging to do their reading as soon as they wake up. . . . it's too bad for mommy if that time is 5am and mommy hasn't had her coffee yet.  It's been a few weeks where I've been thankful for that programmable coffee pot!

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So for this review we received the Foundations Level A Manuscript Teacher's Manual($38.00), Foundations Level A Manuscript Student's Workbook($18.00), Cursive handwriting chart($10.00), Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards($10.00), Blue Bookface Phonogram Game Cards($10.00), Basic Phonogram Flash Cards($18.00), a whiteboard($12.00), and the Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Tactile Cards($28.00).  This ends up being a $144.00 value.  You can buy these items individually or all together in a Level A and B set.  You can also build your own sets with other components as well.

I mentioned above that this program is designed for children ages 4-7.  I want to throw in that if you have a struggling child a bit older this is good for them too.  We have an 8 year old that has some developmental delays and there were areas that she hadn't totally grasped with phonics.  I went ahead and let her advance to 1st grade this year, but she still struggles.  I decided to let her sit in and play the games as well as listen and touch with the other children.  We only received one student workbook so that was given to my beginning schooler starting his first year of kindergarten(age 5) and another workbook was purchased for my other 5 year old just starting kindergarten.

I did not have any 4 year olds to try this out with, but I do have a 2 year old(almost 3) who really loved to play the games with us and picked up quite a bit from just listening.  I would have to say if you have a gifted or fast learning 3 year old this might even work for them.  They don't say this on their site and of course there are studies that show formal schooling shouldn't start until the child is older, but I find my little girl learning so much just by listening in to "school" in our house that if she asks to learn along I can't say no!  I could very easily see myself purchasing a workbook for her in the next year or so.

I had no problems getting my kiddos to want to do this program.  They fell in love the first day of learning and were always begging to do more!  I love it when kids love to learn and this program really seems to make them want to learn and to continue to want to learn.

I, as the mommy and the teacher, like that there are some online resources and videos that I can watch if I'm having any troubles teaching.  Let's face it, it's been a long time since I learned these letter sounds/phonics and I want to make sure that I'm pronouncing them correctly before I teach my children and have them saying them wrong for life!  There is a great resource on the Logic of English website entitled Free.  From there you can find a drop down menu of videos, downloads, etc.  It's a storehouse of information that I loved having access to.  Definitely helpful.  You can find spelling lists, spelling rules, phonogram help, and so much more!  I loved having access to spelling lists by phonograms to use for our school.

Now other Crew members also received the Foundations Level A to review as well as other programs from Logic of English.  Make sure you pop on over to the Main Crew Blog to see what they have to say about their experiences with the program.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Good Cook Bacon Press Review #goodcookkitchenexprt + Recipe!

So I love cast iron and we love eating bacon.  We recently got to try out the cast iron bacon press from Good Cook along with our cast iron grill pan.  It's in conjunction with the Stuffed Burger Post and recipe I posted a bit ago.  Make sure to check out that post and cast a vote for my burger!  You can vote 3 times per day.

My computer is in the shop so biscuit pictures can't be uploaded until it comes home, but I'm including my recipe for you tasting pleasure!!  I did already have some bacon press pictures so enjoy those!  Super yummy who doesn't love biscuits with cheese and bacon!

Cheesy Bacon Biscuits
1 cup cheddar cheese(we use Daiya)
1 cup bacon pieces(cook your bacon and then chop up into bits)
6 eggs
1-1/2 cup almond flour(I use honeyville brand)
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk(or coconut milk)
3 Tb coconut oil(melted)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  You have a choice here.  I like to bake at 350 degrees and often do these at that temp but you have to watch them a bit closer to know when they're done as baking time is longer.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

In a smaller bowl mix together all the wet ingredients.

Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Now add in the bacon and cheese.

Now you have a choice.  You can try to roll out the dough and use a biscuit cutter or you can mold this into biscuits.  I love to roll out my dough!  This is more difficult to roll out though so I just mold them if it's easier.  This should make between 18-20 biscuits.

Bake approximately 15 minutes.  Do watch them and take them out when browned.

These are really good!  Trust me on this or make your own!

I loved how crispy the bacon became with the bacon press. I really like crispy bacon but often don't have the time to make sure it gets cooked to perfection for me since I'm chasing kids and cooking pancakes and eggs as well normally!  That crispy bacon is perfect for these biscuits!  To me these are heavenly!  Paleo, GAPS friendly, gluten free, and dairy free.

Like what you're seeing of the bacon press?  Make sure to take advantage of their coupon code BaconLovers for 25% off Burger tools including the bacon press.

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Tuesday's Good Eatin' Recipe Hop 9/10 #goodeatinpl

Welcome to the Good Eatin' Recipe Hop
hosted by
The 'Pitch List' Bloggers

Every Tuesday you can join us to share great recipes.........
There are no specific themes. 
Add your recipe of choice to the linky.
No Giveaways Please...all giveaways will be removed.
We Love Comments! Please Share!

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