Carlito C. Caterpillar’s MathHouse Game Card set *Review & Giveaway*

It is so hard for me to believe that Amber is actually a preschooler now. Although her age group has been referred to as that since she turned 3, its still hard for me to believe she’s not still just my rolly polly little baby! As a family we have decided that we are going to home school our children, and because of that I’ve been looking around and gathering ciriculum so we can start doing preschool 2 days a week once we return to Boston (modeling it off of many of the 3 year old classes schedules in the area)

I’m the kind of person who wants a good combination of Montessori sensory learning activities along with good, old fashioned, sit down and do it out of a book lessons. The Carlito C. Caterpillar Math House Games is a perfect thing for me and my teaching style! Each card contains the “game” and instructions on how to do it, and also clearly spells out for you as the teacher what this is teaching and why it is important. I absolutely love it and will be using it as Amber math curriculum this semester. I love that it starts out with the simplest of ideas–sorting objects, etc. and builds all the way up to grasping division and multiplication principles in a way a preschooler/prek student could understand.

The most important thing of all is that Amber loves it! Above we’re playing the very first game “Which object doesn’t belong” She had a blast and kept wanting to do it over and over and over. She asks every day if we can play the caterpillar game again 🙂 So this product is most certainly “kid tested and parent approved!”

You can find out more about this game set and the other books on the Website Here and be sure to “Like” them on Facebook as well!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it 
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally 
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance 
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the 
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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What Is He Thinking?? by Rebecca St. James *Review & Giveaway*

It seems like every time you turn around there is another book out about Christian dating…or er…not dating. In a market that seems flooded with this kind of book it makes you stop and wonder if there is really a need for another book like this in the marketplace. I was happy to discover that Rebecca’s book actually did provide a fresh, new take on the “same old” material.

Some of the ways that it differed from other relationship books I’ve read is that it’s written by a (still single) girl in her 20s who is interviewing (still single) guys in their 20-30s. This is not your “dating in high school” type of book at all. It provides good answers and insight for those who went through college, started their jobs, and are still looking for a “good guy” out there. There was lots of things the guys interviewed talked about that I’ve heard coming out of my own hubbies mouth, so she did get to the root of what guys in general are thinking 🙂 (hint: a biggie is that guys are not attracted to girls who are not self confident, insecurity is a huge turn off to most men) Another thing I found cool is that in her interviews with successfully married men many of them shared the same things that I have found myself telling singles who asked about the key to my happy marriage. (nice to hear the same thing from 30+ year marriages as I said about my 5+ year one)

There were some topics and things that I felt were a little rehashed, and although she tried to pick a good sampling of guys due to her busy life and schedule she only interviewed 30 guys, and that shows. They came across to me as Coast boys who are educated, well off, and contemporary Christians. I feel that this colored the interviews in that direction–many of their ideas of dates and such would never come into the mind of my blue collar hubby 🙂

Overall this is a great book and what it offers is worth picking it up! I have passed it along to my single 18 year old sister, and would recommend it especially to anyone who is wondering if there really still are “good guys” out there!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services 
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I 
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Ginny Owens ~ Get in I’m Driving *Review & Giveaway*

Of all the people I know, I probably have some of the most diverse music tastes. I love many different genres and artists, and am always willing to give anyone a try. I really enjoyed listening to Ginny Owens “Get in I’m Driving” cd. Ginny is one of those artists who kind of needs their very own genre, because her style is so unique! In some of her songs she has a very cool and funky coffee house jazz type of feeling, while some of her softer songs were reminiscent of artists like Norah Jones. Her softer songs are definitely my favorites and two on the cd made the 5 star rating in my iTunes–I love them! The only thing about the cd I didn’t really care for is that it is not overtly Christian and most of the lyrics allude to God but are based about or around Him. For many people this will probably be a good thing, and I have no problem with it as long as it’s more marketed as a Cd by a Christian, and not so much a Christian CD, since there is definitely a big difference 🙂 I would highly recommend this cd, especially if you enjoy unique artists with a fresh twist to their style!

You can find out more about her on Her Website or find her album on iTunes.

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 “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:
“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Just Fashow *Review & Giveaway*

 Ok so if you’re a regular around here–(which I hope you all are, it’s no fun to just jabber on to myself 😉 ) you are probably tired of me gushing over jewelry. But honestly, how can I help myself!? It’s just one of the most fun things EVER! 😀

I’ve also mentioned before that I’m mostly an earring girl–I have 5 holes in my ears for them, for goodness sake! I really do love necklaces though as well, they’re probably my second love! I recently have fallen head over heels in love with Just Fashow–their earrings, necklaces, rings, and purses have done me in!

I seriously got all giddy when I was first looking around the website, and then I was agonizing because how on earth was I supposed to pick my favorites to review?! I finally settled on the 2 Piece Layered Necklace and the Doggy Tag necklace. Can I just say how much I just love-love-LOVE both of them??!! I was a little unsure about the Doggy Tag necklace as on the site it was hard to get a feeling for how large it was. I was super pleased with it, it’s the “perfect size” to be adorable and gorgeous without being huge and to blingy.  The 2 Piece Layered Necklace is now my very favorite way to really bring an outfit up to the next level. I will probably wear it on the date me and hubby go on after he returns from deployment–it adds an instant glam factor! Amber actually hijacked the smaller necklace for herself, but I just love the chain all by itself (as shown in the picture)

The pieces are super high quality and I think I will be able to wear them for years to come. I will definitely be picking out other items to add to my Christmas Wish List!

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Faith of Leap *Review & Giveaway*

I always cringe when it comes to writing reviews that are unfavorable. Though most of the time (as you can see) I receive products and books that I’m thrilled with, every once in awhile you end up with a product that just doesn’t work for you.  I’m afraid that The Faith of Leap ended up being such a book for me. Because I am dedicated with providing you all with my completely honest opinion, I am posting the following review.

When I received the book I thought that from the title, description, and cover art that I was about to read a book along the lines of Radical. A book that explored the need for the church to move out of their safety zone and into a passionate following of Christ.  And truly, I think that this indeed was the authors attempt. For me personally, however, it just fell flat though.

The book was a drastic contrast of one minute using pop culture references (Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Defiance) and then diving into deep theological type debates and using words like existentialism and eschatology. Add into this their own self coined phrases like “liminality” and “communitas” and you have a recipe for a headache and what I can only term as “brain whiplash”–the occurrence of being yanked back and forth between college text terminology and references to the movie you watched last night.

Another thing I disliked was the extensive use of quotes and lack of actual Bible verses. While quotes are great, in a book that is supposed to be focused on theology I was hoping for more depth and actual Bible use. The fact that they were focusing on a anthropologists views of an African tribe and how we should pattern the church after that, instead of perhaps using more extensively the dynamic of Jesus calling and taking the disciples away, was very odd to me.

Like I said–I feel that at the core the authors and I believe and think the same thing. The church does, indeed, need to be more serving, less self centered, more bonded towards our goal of Christ and less nitpicky about every little stupid thing. In my mind this book does nothing to help it get there.

All that said–I will mention that it has almost a 5 star rating on Amazon. It looks like people who enjoy reading complicated and deep books for pleasure, along with fans of the authors previous work, will enjoy this book. As I’ve mentioned before, just because I couldn’t get through something doesn’t mean that you might not love it! Since that is the case I’ve decided to proceed with the giveaway for this book.

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Smack Dab in the Middle Of God’s Love *Review & Giveaway*

Smack Dab in the Middle of God’s Love is a book that is as fun, light, and fluffy as the sopapillas that it talks about so much. Focusing on God’s love and how we can show His love through our actions, the book is well written with fun words and a good rhythm. I think I enjoyed it more than Amber did, as I believe it’s written more for grade school children rather than preschoolers and she got fidgety towards the middle of it. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t have much to it, and I think the questions that the children think God asked them could have been more focused and directed towards deeper spiritual truths. It is a nice addition to our library, though I don’t know that it will ever become a favorite. The pictures are vibrant and fun, and you can see that even Tyler enjoys them. I would recommend purchasing it, as I believe it is worth the price.

If you would like to get an idea for yourself you can go check out about half of the book Here in an online preview <--so super cool!

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My Pal Plush Toy *Review*

When I first heard about the My Pal and My Sibling Dolls website I thought that the idea was a great one. The My Pal website focuses on various different causes and provides a fun and easy way to introduce children to these. I especially love the My Patriot Doll, of course! I think this would be a *perfect* deployment for any military brat–especially one whose Daddy is currently deployed!

We were sent the My Pal Plush Toy for Back to School to review. This teddy bear is extra cute and extra soft! As you can see from the picture Amber loves to give him cuddles 🙂 If this is your child’s first year in a new school this teddy would be the perfect gift to help give that extra boost of confidence that they need.

A very cool thing about these dolls and toys are that by purchasing them you are actually helping to support adults and teens with disabilities by offering them employment in dressing and accessorizing their dolls and plush animals–how cool is that?!

Be sure to check out the MyPal Website, “like” them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. Such a great company with compelling causes can use all the support we can give it! For the month of September they’re offering a 20% discount on the My Peace Doll!

Boston Tourism Essentials Ebook *Review & Giveaway*

I’ve been so fortunate that every place my hubby has been stationed in the Coast Guard is a place that is considered a “vacation destination”. As newlyweds we lived near Washington,  D.C.; then came the Crystal Coast in North Carolina, and our latest “long term vacation” is our home near Boston, MA. I didn’t get to see much of the touristy parts of the city we live so close to until my family came out last fall. It was so much fun playing tourist and getting to check out all the amazing things just a few minutes away from where I’d been living. Although I was able to put together a good list of things to do and see from friends and the internet, having the Boston Tourism Essentials Ebook would have been a big help! It basically gives you a run down of all the biggest highlights that you’ll want to hit–the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, The Boston Gardens and Commons, and a list of the museums. I did appreciate the info she includes on navigating the T (we got a little lost our first time on it, got off at the wrong station to try to find our car, it was a bit of a mess!) I will be using the information on some of the more adult museums (aka not the Children’s/Science museum which we’ve already done) and hope to visit one during hubby and I’s special date when he returns from deployment 😀

The coolest part about this ebook is that you can get your copy for *free*! Yepp, you read that right! All you have to do is sign up for the Boston Tourism Made Easy – Boston Event Guide Newsletter

I hope that this will help you as you plan your trip to visit this *beautiful* and fun city I now call home!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Everyday Mom Ideas

So today I wanted to tell you a little about one of my *very* favorite blogs! Everyday Moms Ideas has an amazing combination of Recipes, Giveaways, and (my favorite) Free Digital Scrapbooking Kits. The best thing about her kits is that it is super easy to find pretty and frilly kits but to find kits to scrap boy stuff–well that can be quite the challenge! And with my little wild man pretty pages and cute embellishments just don’t quite cut it! Being a mom of boys herself she makes *fabulous* free kits that are perfect for using on boy pages. I really adore her stuff, she’s one of my favorite designers! So be sure to hop on over and stalk her err….follow her blog, on Twitter, and “like” her on Facebook! You won’t be disappointed!