Friday, February 28, 2014

The A-Z of C.S. Lewis Book Review & Blog Tour

I have a new book to share with you today, The A-Z of C.S. Lewis by Colin Duriez.  Now, this book is different from all that I have previous reviewed in that it is an encyclopedia all about C.S. Lewis' life and writings. 

I think this is a super fun book!  While I personally have not read this book cover to cover (and don't necessarily plan to in one sitting), I happen to love C.S. Lewis and everything of his that I have read up to this point.  I remember about this time last year discovering The Screwtape Letters.  I didn't even know they existed prior to that and it made me wonder what else of C.S. Lewis works that I was missing out on. 

This is such a great reference book and a great way to discover more about Lewis and his works.  I have enjoyed flipping through it and with its comprehensiveness I can make my list of other works I want to read!  And while I haven't made my way through this entire encyclopedia yet, I do plan to.

Read more about this book and author below.  You can visit the full blog tour here.  And you can purchase your own copy of this book here.

About the book:  Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis's death, this complete guide covers all of Lewis' works, from his literary criticism to Narnia.  C.S. Lewis's work is widely known and regarded, but enthusiasts are often only aware of one part of his work - his children's stories and his popular theology; and yet he wrote so much more, including science fiction and literary criticism.  This volume brings together all aspects of C.S. Lewis's life and thought.  Arranged in alphabetical order, it begins with The Abolition of Man - written in 1943 and described as "almost my favorite" - to Wormwood, a character in The Screwtape Letters.  This book will delight anyone who is interested in C.S. Lewis and wants to learn more about him, his thought, his works, and his life.

About the Author:  Colin Duriez was for many years a commissioning editor at Inter-Varsity Press UK.  He has subsequently appeared as a commentator on DVDs of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, and BBC television's The Worlds of Fantasy.  He is also the author of The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Story of Their Friendship, and Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed to definitive reference works relating to Tolkien such as The Tolkien Encyclopedia (Routledge).

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Litfuse Publicity Group for allowing me to be a part of this tour and providing me with this book to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Talking Anya Dress-Up & Pet Puppies App Review

Have you heard of Talking Anya Dress Up & Pet Puppies?  It is a fun and cute entertaining app for little girls.  Talking Anya Dress Up & Pet Puppies is by Sprite Labs and is a FREE Universal App available on both the iPad and iPhone.  You can find this app on the iTunes App Store here.  Sprite Labs does a fabulous job blending technology and art to create this memorable app.

D loves to tickle Anya.

In this App, little girls can play with Anya by dressing her up, tickling her and watching her respond to many user interactions.  Not only can you dress her up in many costumes (Summer, Winter, Christmas, Halloween), girls can also change her eye color and Anya's hairstyle!  The kids loved talking to Anya and having her repeat it.

Meet Anya

And here is Anya after D dressed her up a bit.  She loves the blue hair and hot pink, heart glasses.

Another fun feature is that Anya has little puppies to play with - the puppies do tricks, dance and can be dressed up as well.  There are 5 puppies in all and they can be purchased for a small price.  It should be noted that all purchases are behind a parent gate so there aren't any accidental purchases.

 D enjoys watching Anya dance!

 Bubble Popper Game

The Bubble Popper game is also a hit with the kids.  Anya blows bubbles and your job is to pop them.  There is a counter at the top of the screen so you know how you are doing and how many bubbles you have indeed popped!  Kids love this.

You can also give Anya treats - cupcakes and strawberries.

If you have little girls that like puppies and dress-up, they would love this app.  What are your thoughts?  I would love to hear them!

Disclosure: Thanks so much to Sverve and Sprite Kids for selecting me to participate in this campaign.  Compensation was provided.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Toopy and Binoo

Disclosure:  I received Toopy and Binoo products in exchange for a post about the show.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you heard of Toopy and Binoo?  It is a fun animated series that follows the adventures of Toopy (a tall and friendly mouse) and his best friend, Binoo (a tiny and lovable white cat).  This series inspires preschoolers ages 2 to 6 to expand their creativity while reinforcing positive values such as friendship, good manners, creative thinking and humor (even my older kids enjoyed watching Toopy and Binoo).  Already a hit in Canada, Toopy and Binoo is now available for the first time ever to US audiences exclusively through their official YouTube channel:  This channel features more than 100 full, five-minute episodes, each with laughs and stories the whole family will enjoy. 

 E with our Toopy and Binoo plush dolls.

Binoo, always logical and perceptive, is the perfect sidekick for Toopy and his vivid imagination and spontaneous zest for life.  Talkative Toopy loves to chat about the duo's fun adventures.  Thoughtful Binoo keeps his lips zipped but gets his point across with playful gestures and actions.  My kids loved that Toopy understands Binoo without him having to say a word!  And Toopy's imagination is stellar.  One of our favorite episodes is Pet Palace.  D loved all the imaginary pets, especially the Turtle Bird.  The kids and I enjoyed watching it together and laughed through most of it!  We look forward to watching more of the episodes together.

You can connect with Toopy and Binoo on their YouTube Channel here, twitter here and find them on facebook here.

And later today you can join Toopy and Binoo for a fun Twitter Party to learn more about the show and win wonderful prizes!!  The party is today, Thursday, February 20th at 1:00PM and is hosted by @ResourcefulMom.  Follow #ToopyandBinoo to participate.  I hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Marriage You've Always Wanted Book Review & Giveaway

I have a new book to tell you about in time for Valentine's Day, The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman.  Now, this is a book specifically for you who are already married - skip this post if you're single!

Chapman presents not only truths on marriage but an opportunity to enrich your own marriage specifically through "Your Turn" reflections at the end of each chapter.  The idea is to take the information, reflect on it, submit it to prayer, get your spouse involved and have a better marriage because of it!  I have completed the first part in reading this book.  Now I want to go back and complete the reflections with David.  I can definitely see a benefit not only in my own perspective but I am positive there will be a transference in our marriage and it will be better.  Of course, I think I have an amazing marriage as it stands but I am always willing to improve and have it be that much better.

Chapman discusses many topics including love, communication, family roles, decision making, sex, honoring our parents, money and budgeting to name a few.  I love that he includes real life personal examples from his own marriage.  It makes it easy to relate to and understand the specific concepts he is presenting.

It is sobering to think that 35% (or more) of marriages end in divorce, let's not be one of them!  Fight to preserve and grow your marriage, this book will help you do just that.

Read more about this book and the author below.  And be sure to enter the giveaway!


You can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn’t come easy.  Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons that the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness.  In The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels.  Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular.  Are you trying to change your spouse?  Do you know what it means to really love someone?  Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage?  Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page.

As anyone who has attended one of his marriage conferences knows, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years.  He is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships.  His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.  Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.

Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.  He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences.  He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

They even have small group curriculum available:

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own copy of The Marriage You've Always Wanted.   Enter the giveaway below and good luck!

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Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Give Your Skin a Boost with Dial & Giveaway

I have been using the New Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash as part of the latest Purex Insiders Campaign.  Who doesn't want to give their skin a daily boost of vitamins?
 My bottle

This advanced formula contains a moisturizing Vitamin Complex that helps draw moisture directly to your skin leaving your skin feeling both healthy and soft.

 This body wash is the same color as the bottle - kiwi green!

I normally don't think of myself as needing a moisturizer all the time but with this crazy weather we have been experiencing having a moisturizer in my body wash has been fabulous.  I can definitely tell a difference as my skin is clean and soft.

Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash lathers well and moisturizes at the same time!

Would you like to try the new Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash for yourself?  Two readers will win a Free Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash 11.75oz or larger Free Product Coupon (maximum value $3 and expires 6/30/14).  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck.

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Disclosure:  The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash  in exchange for a product review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  As part of this campaign I am eligible to receive prizes.

Sprinkled, Showered & Just Blessed

Over the weekend my friends gave Baby F and I a sprinkle!  But really, they showered us with so many gifts and so much love.  Our party was amazing, the details were exquisite (check out the photos) and I came home crying because I was overwhelmed with love.  I love you friends - thank you for celebrating me and my handsome addition.  Special thanks to Kendra (who took most of these photos)!

Flint and I with The Cookie Master

 Seriously, these are so amazing!

 Love his eyes

 Me and the Little Man
 Pin the Bow Tie on Baby F Game

So fun!  The girls made bow tie bookmark favors and we played pin the bow tie on Baby F - see the photo in the background.  I had a lot of fun!

 Tuxedo chocolate cups - delicious

 The cake - so fun!

 Look at the amazing diaper cake I brought home.  Sharon you rock.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Purex Crystals Review & Giveaway

You all know my love of Purex.  I have been a long time member of the Purex Insiders program and I really cannot say enough good things about it.  Not only do I get to try and experience their products and get entered to win awesome, one-of-a-kind prizes but I have found a community there and friends!  In this latest campaign I was given the opportunity to try the Purex Crystals in the newest fragrance - Fresh Mountain Breeze. 

 My Purex Crystals

Yes, you can escape your laundry room and take a trip to the mountains!  Can you smell the flowers, hear the birds singing and see the sun rising?  I sure can!  Regardless if you can or can't, I think these crystals will help put a smile on your face when your clothes are nothing but fresh.

I don't know about your weather but here in Texas it has been a little sporadic the last few weeks.  One day we can have snow/ice and the next it can be 75 degrees and running weather!

Like the day A made Snowy the Snowman.

 A few days later

And then the kids and I went on a walk, run, riding scooters and tricycle outing (in short sleeves).  So not only have I had a lot of laundry to do lately but a variety as well.  Purex Crystals have not only eliminated odor but have also freshened our laundry - all of it.  Am I a fan?  Absolutely!

After using Purex Crystals you may notice:
 - clothes smell fresh for weeks, not days
 - the absorbency of towels is not reduced and
 - this natural formula is safe for both your family and the environment

Purex Crystals at my local Walmart

You may be wondering, where are the Purex Crystals located in the store.  They are located in the fabric softener aisle at Walmart. 

Ready for a giveaway?  Three readers will each win a coupon for a FREE 28oz bottle of Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze (Maximum value $6.00 and expiration 6/30/14).  Just enter below and good luck!

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Disclosure:  The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze in exchange for a product review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  As part of this campaign I am eligible to receive prizes.

Valentine's Day Use Boogie Wipes and Really Smell the Roses Giveaway


I have a fabulous giveaway to tell you about, the Use Boogie Wipes and Really Smell the Roses Giveaway (also known as the MomsWhoBoogie Boogie Wipes Valentine's Giveaway)!  What better time to share our love of Boogie Wipes than Valentine's Day :).

Boogie Wipes are made with natural saline to dissolve mucus (aka boogies) caused by colds, allergies or anything else really!  They are extra soft, alcohol/phthalate/paraben free and come in a variety of scents including great grape, fresh scent, magic menthol and simply unscented.  My family loves them and I am sure yours will too (if not already).

 This is just a sample of my life and E with Boogie Wipes!  We use them daily.

As love is in the air, you may have been reading or creating poems.  Here is one for you - Roses are red, boogers are green, here are some boogie wipes to keep your nose clean!

Are you ready to really smell the roses?  Enter below to win an awesome Boogie Wipes Prize basket.  There are multiple ways to enter - you can follow the Boogie Wipes brand and MomsWhoBoogie on social media (facebook and twitter), share unique and creative ways that you use or would use Boogie Wipes, share your photos with us and even create your own Roses are red poems.  Please don't miss the fun and enter today.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

GIFTCARDRESCUE $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway

Along With

Proudly Brings You The

GiftCardRescue $50 Target Gift Card

1 - Winner will receive a $50 Target Gift card

Holiday Contest and Sweeps is honored to have the opportunity to bring you another great giveaway from Gift Card Rescue. If you have gift cards laying around or in your wallet that you never use and still has monetary value on them, then turn them into cash or trade them in for a gift card that you will actually use at over  350 merchants to choose from.


Gift Card Rescue pays consumers up to 90% cash back for your gift  cards that are not being used. There is no sense to let these cards collect dust when you can cash them in. On the other hand if you looking to purchase a gift card there is no other place that you will find a better deal than Gift Card Rescue. They have a huge selection of discounted gift cards to select from. Check out their website to learn more about GiftCardRescue and why you they are the webs premier gift card site.
It is very simple to use Gift Card Rescue, you simply log into their  website. Navigate yourself to the quote section and find out what the trade in value of your card is. Once you  agree to the transaction you simply place your card in a sturdy envelope via first class mail  through the United States Postal Service. Be sure to include your transaction reference number with the card. Also have the USPS include a tracking receipt with your card so that you can track it's progress until delivered, this will cost you only around eighty five cents. 

Gift Card Rescue will receive your card and then verify the value of it. Once this is completed they will send you a check within two business day. You will receive your check via the USPS first class mail within five business days after mailing. The great thing is they guarantee all transactions and is backed by the best customer support team in the country
Gift Card Rescue is as simple as 1,2,3.

This giveaway will be valid in the Continental United States.  Entrants must  be 18+to be eligible to enter. This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with any Networking Site. This giveaway will end 2/25/14.

Holiday Contest and Sweeps (or Cummins Life) did not receive any type of compensation for this giveaway.  GiftCardRescue will be responsible for awarding and shipping the Gift Card directly to the winner.  Big Thanks to Holiday Contest and Sweeps for letting me partner with them on this giveaway!

Stock Up February

 Looks like people are stocking up!

February is finally here and I wanted to give you a reminder.  Remember my post about Purex supporting Make-A-Wish, that is happening right now.  The kids and I headed to Walmart earlier to stock up on Purex for ourselves.

 We picked up a few of these bad boys.

Get the full details over here!  Hope you stock up too.

K5 Learning Program

K5 Learning has an on-line reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program (stay tuned for my review after we try out the program).  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an on-line learning review of their program.  See more at:

Purex Crystals Sweepstakes

I wanted to let you know about another great sweepstakes from Purex, this time the Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze Sweepstakes (otherwise known as the Over the Mountains & Through the Woods Sweepstakes)!  You can enter to win a mountain of cash!  Who doesn't like cash?

Just close your eyes and take a trip to the fresh, open mountains where flowers bloom, birds sing, and gentle breezes are sure to put a smile on your face.  Experience one of the most popular fragrances in the new Crystals format and enter to win the grand prize today!

One grand prize winner will receive $500 and 100 additional winners will receive a coupon for a free bottle of NEW Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze.

Go here and enter now!  And stay tuned, I have a review and giveaway coming up on the blog soon.

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to the Purex Insiders program for allowing me to be a part of this campaign and providing information about this Sweepstakes!  As part of this campaign I am eligible to win prizes!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Unstoppable Movie Review & Giveaway

I have a new film to tell you about, Unstoppable.  This film is more of a sermon than a feature film but it is good, really good (I just think you need to know that going into it though).  And the back cover states "this is a movie that families everywhere need to see" - I just want to be clear that I wouldn't show it to young children (some of the Biblical stories depicted on-screen include Cain murdering Abel and could frighten young ones like mine).  The Dove Foundation states that it is appropriate for ages 12+ and I completely agree with this assessment.

Cameron poses several questions like Why do bad things happen to good people? and Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering? throughout this film.  He uses scripture, his own life experiences, and artistic images to answer these questions and take you along on his sermon journey.  As a Christian it was easy for me to follow along with the Biblical stories spoken and depicted on-screen.  The story of his young friend dying of cancer along with the images of his friend's family and funeral drives the point home that suffering is indeed happening all around us, tragedy touches everyone at some level.  This film doesn't necessarily answer all the questions that it poses.  However, it does take us back to the beginning and shows us that God is there, He is here and He is faithful.

Read more about this film below and make sure and enter to win your own copy!

About Unstoppable
Inspired by the death of Cameron's close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and  hop-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: "Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?"  Going back to the beginning - literally - Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives...and our eternities.  Unstoppable will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope.  In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3rd 2013), Unstoppable: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars.  In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message - audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.  Kirk Cameron is best known for his memorable role as "Mike Seaver," a cultural icon of the 80's, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks.  More recently he enjoyed much success with the No. 1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental.  Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during their Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat (  Together, Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.

About Provident Films
Provident Films, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, produces, markets and distributes faith-based films.  The company is part of Nashville-based Provident Music Group, which has been one of the world's leading Christian entertainment companies for more three decades.  Films from the company have included Courageous, October Baby, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants.  More info is available at

Now, ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own copy of Unstoppable.  Just enter the form below and good luck!

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Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

My family gets crafty with Borax

I have already told you about the Getting Crafty with Borax Sweepstakes going on now (see my post here) and the fun pinterest board I have created (see my board here). 

The girls and I decided to make some of our own Borax crystal crafts.  Check out all of the fun we had in the photos below.  I hope they inspire you to pull out your own Borax and get crafting!

The basic process is simple.  We boiled water, filled up mason jars with the water and dissolved borax into them (I added extra Borax because I wanted lots of crystals).  Then we added our shapes and creations (we used pipe cleaners to create fun shapes, fake flowers and a starfish) to the jars.  Our creations were suspended by string and attached to pencils and chopsticks so that they weren't touching the bottom or sides of our jars.  We let them sit overnight and removed them in the morning.  The results were beautiful, Borax crystal creations!

We started with hearts.

We put one in plain water and one in water mixed with red dye.

Removing our hearts

The one on the left was the one dipped in dyed water.  There was only a slight variation in color - both turned out nicely.

We also tried a starfish!

 We had to use a bigger jar for this one.

Our crystal starfish

 A had a ton of fun making different shapes with pipe cleaners.

 Here she is adding her strawberry to the mixture.

 B got into the fun as well.

 Our finished flower - love the way this came out!

 Remember the strawberry?  Here it is!

What are you waiting for?  Go have some fun crafting!  And don't forget to enter the sweepstakes over here.