Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: Fierce Beauty

Fierce Beauty (Choosing to Stand for What Matters Most) by Kim Meeder Shepherd is an encouragement for Christian women not to conform to the things of this world but to be rooted in the Lord and know you purpose!  It made me think - am I really rooted in the Lord and do I know my purpose and act on it??  Meeder weaves in true stories of her own life.  She challenges the idea that how women look is more important than who they are.

This book is not just about stories, it is also a call to action - a call to pick up your own sword of encouragement and fight!  Questions are raised - What are you living for?  Do you know God?  If not, you can.  Are you answering God's call on your life?  I love the Scripture that is sprinkled within.  I enjoyed this book and would recommend it!

This book is divided into three parts and at the end of the book there are discussion questions for each part for those who are reading it as a study or want to dive in a little deeper.

Want a sneak peek of this book?  Click here to read an excerpt of Fierce Beauty or Read Chapter One. 

Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Klutch Club Review

Have you heard of Klutch Club?  It is a way to discover the latest and greatest innovations in health and wellness.  How does it work? 

First, you sign up and choose the membership you want (try it out for 1 month, 3 months or a year).  Second, you will receive your klutchclub box right at your door which will contain over $50 worth of products and services that fit your lifestyle.  Thirdly, you will gain access to members only benefits and have the ability to provide feedback (which has its own rewards system).

 This box of goodies came right to my door!

All the goodies inside - I received the Spring clean your body box

My box included
  •     A detoxifying Yoga workout from MTV Power Yoga star, Kristin McGee
  •     A brand new energizing drink product to kick-start your workout
  •     Post workout coconut water hydration to replenish electrolytes
  •     Soothing teas with plant based anti-oxidants to improve your skin
  •     A cleansing organic deep-pore facial wash
  •     Organic omega 3, flax and fish oil supplements in new flavors
  •     Satisfying healthy snacks and nutritious treats
  •     A gift from an organic yoga clothing company - $25 off my order
This was a super fun box to receive!  I absolutely loved the fruit and seed mix, a super yummy and healthy snack to boot.  I have not had a chance to dive into all of my goodies yet but I look forward to digging into some of the other products soon.  What a fun service - I love that Klutch Club exists and I hope it helps many people to think healthier and get healthier.  I know I want to be.  I really like that you get to pick your subscription too - customize it for you!

Disclosure:  I received a klutchclub box of my own for review.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Rock n' Roll Elvis Costume Review

Have you heard of Wholesale Halloween Costumes?  They have tons of fun and exciting costumes including Elvis Presley Costumes for adults, kids and even pets!  I was sent the infant Elvis romper costume for review.

  My Baby E as Elvis

My thoughts:  This is a really fun costume.  It is soft - 100% polyester and stylish.  I live in Texas and this wouldn't fly to wear during the hot months but it will be perfect for Texas October weather - Halloween time.  I really like the accent designs in the front and along the sides of the pants (creating a bell bottom style look).

Bottom of the legs

This costume is designed for children 6-12 months and I think that is pretty accurate.  It is slightly big for my kids in the 6-9 month range but I think it is versatile for this age and will be spot on for the 9-12 month range.  Actually my babies can probably get away with wearing it even longer, it will just be shorter.  I suppose Elvis is still the king even now!

 Side view

My favorite feature is probably the collar.  It just makes me think of Elvis.

 Sitting up, front view

I think I just need to get her a mic and she will be good to go!

Disclosure:  I was blessed to receive the infant Elvis costume for review.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Review & Giveaway

*** Giveaway Now Closed ***
Congratulations to Sue!
Have you heard of Tropical Traditions?  They have all kinds of quality products available for purchase including skin care products, healthy oils, household goods, and supplements just to name a few!

They also have some great recipes available on their site.  I chose to make the Beef Stroganoff recipe found here.  I made it without mushrooms which may seem silly but I am not really a mushroom fan.

 Sylvia and my Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil

 One of our dinners last week, yum!

My coconut oil was easy to use and I am looking forward to making many more recipes with it, maybe a baked good will be next!  Would you like to try out Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil for yourself?  Keep reading!

Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Win 1 quart of  Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America's source for coconut oil.  Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil? You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the  advantages of buying coconut oil online.

Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Now onto the giveaway!  Tropical Traditions has generously offered one of you  1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

Mandatory Entry:  Follow me on google friend, that's it!  Please be sure and leave your email so I can contact you if you win!

Extra Entries
, leave a separate comment for each extra entry.  As you can see, there are lots of extra entry opportunities!

1.  Follow my google+ page (2 extra entries)
2.  Follow my facebook page (2 extra)
3.  Follow me on Pinterest (2 extra)
4.  Follow me on twitter here (2 extra)
5.  Follow Tropical Traditions on twitter here (2 extra)
6.  Follow Tropical Traditions on facebook (2 extra)
7.  Follow Tropcial Traditions on pinterest (2 extra)
8.  Follow Tropical Traditions on google + (2 extra)
9.  Subscribe to Tropical Traditions newsletter (2 extra)

Giveaway will end on June 15th at Midnight. Winner will be selected using a random number generator and will have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response, I will randomly select another winner.  Open to US residents only.

Disclosure:  Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Post-Delivery Considerations for Baby

This is a guest post by Katie Moore.  Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy.  She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26May is Pregnancy Awareness month so I feel it is a perfect time for Katie's article to appear on my blog!  Take it away Katie...

 Photo of Katie

Post-Delivery Considerations for Baby

Taking baby home is an exciting moment in every mother’s life. Whether it’s baby number one or three, there is overflowing excitement and anticipation. Before a mother can enjoy the moment of bringing home baby there are pre-delivery preparations that have to be made, like setting up a nursery and taking classes, as well as post-delivery decisions for a mother to plan for as well.

Post-delivery choices to consider are procedures like circumcision and cord blood banking. For a son, circumcision is not required but does provide health benefits. Speak to the doctor about these benefits and how he or she performs the procedure, as there are a few ways it can be done.  Cord blood banking is an investment in the future of the family’s health. This process collects the blood from the umbilical cord and stores it for the family. Should the baby, or possibly a sibling be affected by a medical condition that can be treated using cord blood stem cells, the cord blood will be available to the family as a potential medical resource.

Most mothers decide before the baby is born whether they will bottle feed, breastfeed, or a combination of the two. For the bottle-feeding mom, it is important to get quality bottles and a variety of nipples to try out with the baby. Have plenty of formula on hand, but be careful not to stock up too much because an infant’s digestive system is extremely sensitive, it may take testing different formulas to find the one that settles best with baby.  It is also necessary to boil or sterilize any other equipment associated with bottle feeding. This includes: bottles, nipples, rings, or other things associated with feeding baby.

For the breastfeeding mom, most babies will nurse naturally by instinct. However, it may not be smooth sailing for every mom. Those who have health or other obstacles, breastfeeding may not come without its challenges. There is no need to despair; most mothers who desire to breastfeed are able to, either with
time or with coaching from a lactation specialist.

It is a wise decision to choose a pediatrician before delivery too. Ask your ob/gyn and other mothers for recommendations. It is important for an expecting mother to speak with a few pediatricians in advance to be sure that she will be working with someone she is comfortable with. Ask pediatricians questions about immunizations and other tests and screenings that they recommend. Questions like this will help a mother get a sense for the pediatricians mannerisms and will help in the decision making process.

Understandably an expecting mom may feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless checklist of preparations and decisions that need to be made, but it’s important for her to keep in mind that everything she does before the baby arrives is all for the moment when she opens the door and brings her baby into
her home for the first time.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy 40th Mom & Dad!

 My Mom and Dad (40 years ago)

Today is my parent's 40th Wedding Anniversary.  My Mom married my Dad when she was 16 and had three young children by the time she was 22!  That is so hard to believe.  I cannot imagine A getting married in 8 years :)  Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!  I hope you have many more years together.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Grow Flowers Grow

Today we did a little landscaping.  I say little because we have so much more work to do but we made good progress and had a lot of fun doing it!

Some of our helpers

 Our dead bushes - so sad

And now!  We are still going to have to add some grass here.

I am so happy to add some color!  Hopefully these will grow nicely.

 We had no grass here - literally none!

 So we added some - little by little we hope to have a full yard of grass soon.

 We are going to see if this grass takes and if so, add some more.

And my flower beds in the backyard now have flowers in them as well - yeah!  I will have to take pictures of those tomorrow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cowgirls N' Angels Review

I have a new movie to tell you about, Cowgirls N' Angels which will be in theaters starting today Friday, May 25th.  I was blessed to watch a prescreening online prior to release!

About Cowgirls N' Angels:
Cowgirls N' Angels is a heartwarming movie that tells the story of Ida, a feisty and rebellious young girl, who had dreams of finding her father, a rodeo rider.  While searching for her dad, she connects with the Sweethearts of the Rodeo, a team of young female rodeo riders run by former rodeo star Terence Parker.  Recognizing Ida's innate talent for trick riding, Terence recruits her for their ranks.  Accepted wholeheartedly by her new "family,"  Ida finds a new passion that redefines her life, and may also help her find the father she's been searching for.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie.  The acting is fantastic (and includes James Cromwell, Bailee Madison, and Jackson Rathbone).  I felt that every role in this movie was played well.  This movie also does a great job displaying a wide range of emotions - well done, and they never descend to vulgarities - which is huge in my opinion.  There are a few scenes that are more difficult to watch - specifically a few yelling scenes between Ida and her mother.  I don't think that we would let our littlest children watch this movie but we would let A watch it who is 8. 

Cowgirls N' Angels is about a young girl and partly her love of horses.  A lot of the film is girls riding horses; I think the target audience is probably 8-12 year old girls in love with horses.  A's favorite animal right now is the horse and she has horse pictures plastered up all over her room so she would love it!  I think she would be amazed at the stunts and trick riding performed by the Sweethearts.

You can check out the trailer for yourself here!

Disclosure:  I was blessed to see an advanced online screening of this movie.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

High Heels and Tag

I must admit that I own exactly one pair of high heels.  I do love them though!  And I wear them on occasion.  Why do I not wear them more - they are not as comfortable as other shoes.  For this reason, I was super excited to be picked for the Bzz Agent Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles campaign.

I received one pair of Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel insoles.

My heels!

With insoles

And of course, wearing them

My thoughts:  These insoles were super easy to apply.  They have a adhesive strip that you peel off and apply to your heels.  Each insole is clearly labeled left or right, and toe and heel - making application a breeze!  This unique adhesive keeps the insoles in place and is practically invisible.  I found the FabuSTEP gel to provide extra cushioning and I would say that my heels were more comfortable.  In fact, right after I took the above picture I went shopping.  While I did not forget I was wearing heels in the parking lot, when I was browsing in the store there were several times that I completely forgot!

What does Tag have to do with anything?  Well, I decided to put my heels to the ultimate test and play a game of Tag with the kiddos.  And you know what, it was really fun!  Ultimately, I did have to take my heels off - not because of comfort this time - just because I couldn't catch my kids!

Click here to see the full collection of Dr. Scholl's For Her products!

Disclosure:  I received the above items for free in participating in this campaign.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blessings in Motherhood (Review & Giveaway)

 *** Giveaway Now Closed ***
Congratulations to Lindsey!

A little over eight years ago, I became a Mom for the first time.  I remember heading to the hospital both joyous and petrified, a funny combination indeed.  I was so excited that soon I would meet my little one.  Boy or Girl?  We didn't know.  I can honestly say this about all five of my kiddos, only maybe I was slightly less petrified than the prior one.

In these eight years my kids have taught me so much.  This may surprise a few of you but I don't know everything, and you know what - I don't have to.  My kids have directed my eyes more to God than myself.  I have also come to realize that I am a model for them.  If my actions/behaviors/words reflect Jesus, they are more likely to reflect Him as well.

My kids have taught me to laugh more, play hard, and discover again.  Discover new things and marvel at God's creation - that is a gift beyond measure.  And something I hope to teach them - to Abide in Him.

I am abundantly blessed indeed!  DaySpring sent me not one, but two items for review!  I received both the Abide in Him Wall Art Piece along with the Lord Bless This Home piece as well - both are beautifully made.

David hanging our new wall piece

Final location

As David was hanging our wall art A asked, "I know that Him is God but what does abide mean?"  Great question!  Our answer to A, "It means to stay, dwell, remain, live".  And may we always!  Thanks to DaySpring we have a tangible reminder in our home.

We couldn't think of a better place for this piece!

Would you like one of these beautiful pieces for yourself?  The whole month of May, the Abide in Him piece is on sale for $20 off - how awesome is that?  Just click here - Abide in Him- $20 off!  Want to win one?  Keep reading...

Now onto the giveaway!  DaySpring and (in)courage have generously offered one of you an Abide in Him Wall Art Piece!  Note:  The winner will be sent a code for their piece which expires 8/31/2012 and shipping charges will apply.

Mandatory Entry:  Follow me on google friend, that's it!  Please be sure and leave your email so I can contact you if you win!

Extra Entries
, leave a separate comment for each extra entry.  As you can see, there are lots of extra entry opportunities!

1.  Follow my google+ page (2 extra entries)
2.  Follow my facebook page (2 extra)
3.  Follow me on Pinterest (2 extra)
4.  Follow me on twitter here (2 extra)
5.  Follow DaySpring on facebook (2 entries)

Giveaway will end on June 10th at Midnight. Winner will be selected using a random number generator and will have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response, I will randomly select another winner.  Open to US residents only.

Disclosure: DaySpring provided me with both wall pieces to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  A special thanks to DaySpring for sponsoring this giveaway.

AMF Summer Unplugged & Pass

Are you gearing up for this summer?  Trying to figure out what activities you and your family will be doing.  We definitely are!  Well, how about bowling?  Who is the best bowler in your house?  Right now, I think I am but we haven't really taken the kids yet but I think this summer just might be our chance.

AMF's Summer Unplugged is this summer's best bowling deal for kids!  And adults get in on the fun too with Summer Pass.

Summer Unplugged:
Zip, Zero, Zilch for Kids 15 and Under

At select AMF centers, two free games of bowling per day for kids 15 and under. (Shoe rental not included, but they’re worth paying for.)

  • Time: Free bowling until 8:00PM, 7 days a week.
  • Dates: Monday, May 14 through Monday, September 3 (Labor Day).
  • Parents go to to select a participating center (over 250 locations) and complete a simple registration form.
  • Free game coupons emailed every week starting May 14 – it’s that simple!
  • $3.29 Kids Meals
Summer Pass: Great Deal for Everyone 16 and Over

2 free games, per day for up to four people ages 16 and up (shoe rental not included).
One $29.95 Summer Pass is good for 2 games per day for up to four people all summer long - that's $7.50 per person! (Same dates and times as above.)
Available online at

If you would like to connect with AMF in more ways you can find them at the following links: AMF Facebook, AMF Twitter, and AMF YouTube!

Disclosure:  I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and am eligible for a prize drawing.  All opinions stated in the post are my own.

Happy Pancakes

Last night we had pancakes for dinner.  They weren't your typical pancakes, they were just fun!

 See what I mean?

 They are yummy too!

Special birthday dinner.

My kids typically don't like chocolate chip pancakes but they really like chocolate chips on top.  They just eat them plain and then eat their pancakes.  I love having breakfast for dinner.  Well, I just love having simple dinners.  This was a big hit because when we had a our prayer time last night the kids kept thanking God for the awesome dinner - woohoo!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday C

C is officially 5, woohoo!  Last night we went to The Round Rock Express game and had so much fun.  We usually sit in seats but last night we sat on the lawn area.  It was a great game and we ended up pulling off the win in the 9th, 6 to 5!  The outfielder threw the game winning ball onto the lawn we were at and a boy of about 12 caught it.  And then you know what he did?  He walked right over to C and gave him the game winning ball!  It was the coolest thing ever.

 The lawn

 What E was up to!

 C and the game winning ball

Yep, he slept with it :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spider-Man Success

We had C's Spider-Man party over the weekend and we all had lots of fun.  Tomorrow he officially turns 5 but as far as he is concerned the event has happened!

 C's cake!

 Along with cupcakes...

 I made spiderweb pretzels.
These were super easy to make and super yummy!

 C and E right before the party.

 All the kids got to wear Spider-Man masks (if they wanted) and then they could shoot their webs (silly string) at all the pictures set up.  This turned out to be a really fun activity.

 Another view

 My nephew :)

I love this picture.  It shows C super happy.

Thanks so much to everyone who was able to come to the party and all the gifts and well wishes.  C is so loved and he is so blessed indeed!