February 25, 2024

Shopping for Fur Babies!


Let's face it, the pets usually get the short end of the straw when it comes to celebrating holidays and  gifts. 


You buy gifts for your mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, sister, brother, bus driver, nanny, childcare workers, teachers, maids, postal workers, bank clerks, coworkers, pharmacists, little league coaches, charities, employees, children and sometimes even yourself, but what about the pets in your life? Are they often overlooked? They deserve something special too, don't they? After all they provide you with love an affection no matter what is going on in your life. Can you say that about ALL the humans on your shopping list? I suspect not. :)

I especially like gifts that are multi functional. Like a dog treat that also freshens breath, or a cat mouse that also cleans their teeth! I also appreciate things that will last for more than  a second like long lasting dog chews or durable bones that won't disintegrate at first chomp.


There are gifts for playful pups, or laid back old dogs as well as the curious kitten or the cuddly house cat! Something for everyone!

Thank you to Responsival for sponsoring this post!

December 12, 2023

The Warsaw Sisters by Amanda Barratt

 

Description

On a golden August morning in 1939, sisters Antonina and Helena Dąbrowska send their father off to defend Poland against the looming threat of German invasion. The next day, the first bombs fall on Warsaw, decimating their beloved city and shattering the world of their youth.

When Antonina's beloved Marek is forced behind ghetto walls along with the rest of Warsaw's Jewish population, Antonina turns her worry into action and becomes a key figure in a daring network of women risking their lives to shelter Jewish children. Helena finds herself drawn into the ranks of Poland's secret army, joining the fight to free her homeland from occupation. But the secrets both are forced to keep threaten to tear the sisters apart--and the cost of resistance proves greater than either ever imagined.

Shining a light on the oft-forgotten history of Poland during WWII and inspired by true stories of ordinary individuals who fought to preserve freedom and humanity in the darkest of times, The Warsaw Sisters is a richly rendered portrait of courage, sacrifice, and the resilience of our deepest ties.

I really enjoy historical fiction novels. They bring history to life, which previously I found boring, but now I'm intrigued and want to know more. I love the way the author makes you feel like you're there and experiencing what Helena and Antonina are. It was a really well written story and I'm interested to read more from the author.

Many thanks to Revell and Netgalley for an advanced review copy of this book.

November 13, 2023

Journey to Bethlehem

Synopsis: A young woman carrying an unimaginable responsibility. A young man torn between love and honor. A jealous king who will stop at nothing to keep his crown. This live-action Christmas musical adventure for the entire family weaves classic Christmas melodies with humor, faith, and new pop songs in a retelling of the greatest story ever told—the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. A unique new entry into the collection of holiday classic movies, this epic Christmas musical is unlike any before it. See JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM in theaters beginning November 10.



Buy Tickets: LINK

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Many thanks to AFFIRM Films, Inc. for providing a sample of the product for this re- view. Opinions are 100% my own




September 21, 2023

Review: He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox

 


About the book:

Beekeeper Beckett Walsh is living her dream, working alongside her father in their apiary, until his untimely death sends her world into a tailspin. She suddenly finds she must deal with a new part owner of the family business--one who is looking to sell the property. Beck cannot fathom why her father would put her into the position to lose everything they built together.

When Callie Peterson is named in the trust of a man she's never heard of, she's not sure what to do. Her fledgling business has just taken wing and her mother has reentered her life asking for help getting into rehab for her lifelong substance abuse issues, making Callie's financial situation rather . . . precarious. She's sure she has no right to someone else's farm, but the money from the sale could solve her problems and give her the stability she's always craved.

As these two women navigate their present conundrum, they will discover a complex and entangled past full of secrets--and the potential for a brighter future for both of them.

My Thoughts:

This book was a very slow burn for me. A lot of time was spent building up the back stories about each of the women and their lives and struggles. It wasn't until about 40% through the book that I started to care about the plot and became interested in the new revelations and decisions that had to be made. Usually I give up on a book by then, but I'm glad I didn't.

Thanks to NetGalley & Revell for the review copy. #netgalley

September 19, 2023

Route 60: The Biblical Highway (& Giveaway)

Carving through the heart of the Promised Land is the biblical spine of Israel, sometimes referred to as the Path of the Patriarchs and officially designated as Route 60. A highway of deep historical significance while often the scene of unrest and violence, this 146-mile road of asphalt and concrete begins in Nazareth, Israel’s largest Arab city, and ends in Beersheba, one of Israel’s high-tech centers. Running north to south, Route 60 connects ancient Israel with modern Israel, Jews and Christians with Muslims, and Israelis with Palestinians.

Grab your tickets today to see Route 60!


WIN $10 Amazon Giftcard:

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment down below with a way to reach you! (This is limited to US winners only.)

Many thanks to TBN for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

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September 06, 2023

Making Goals Happen!

How many of us make goals, yet lack the plan to make these goals come to fruition? As a mom of four, my goal is often to eat healthier, get more sleep, take more time for myself, or exercise more, but how to do that with a part time job and four active kids? I think success happens when goals are broken down, and then plans are made!

Let's say my plan is to get more exercise. With three kids in school, one at home, and 2 that I nanny at home going to the gym is rare. I need something feasible I can do from home. Yes I could do YouTube workout videos, which I do from time to time. I could pop in a DVD or stream a class, which I haven't really tried before, but it's doable. Or something that I recently learned about is a seated at home exercise option like an under desk elliptical called Cubii. It's small and it allows me to do some cardio while sitting and doing what I normally do like streaming Netflix, folding laundry or planning my meals for the week. Great, right? It would also be great desk exercise equipment if you work at an office or away from home. So goal made, and I have a plan to reach that goal.

Let's say my plan is to eat healthier. There are food delivery services or meal delivery services that cater to certain dietary restrictions. We have tried them in the past and LOVED them. These meal services not only provided the recipes, but also all the ingredients needed to make the meal. They allowed us to select the serving size too. We could get a meal for 2 or 4 people or even larger I believe.  For others who don't enjoy cooking, perhaps they prep meals on the weekend and have ready to go healthy meals all week long. One day of agony in the kitchen, for a full week of easy healthy meals ready to go. It could look different for everyone. So goal made, and plan made to make this happen.

Let's say I want to take more time for myself. Perhaps this means putting the kids to bed 15 minutes earlier, or waking them up 15 minutes later in the morning. For some it may mean allowing the kids to watch an extra show so mommy can drink her tea or coffee while it's still hot (rare in my household, unless my husband gets me this much wanted gift). For those of you with childcare options, maybe hiring a sitter once a week so you and a friend can go out and unload all the weights you carry as a parent or as an adult. No one said adulting is easy, right? Sometimes you just need a mental break. For some it may mean putting on a good reality show and just zoning out to someone else's drama. Make a plan so the goal can be achieved.

Many thanks to Responsival for sponsoring this post!

August 14, 2023

New way to unwind

 If you've been following my blog for years you'll know that I am a mom of four. This keeps me quite busy, and I don't often have time to just unwind and relax, but I've definitely gone through my phases where I latch onto something and love it for awhile. In the past I've loved cake decorating and it was both a way to unwind and be creative. Next came makeup, which is a phase I am still fully in! Next came nail art. Again it was a way to relax, be creative and express myself. Finally, was the online gaming phase. I played the game Township on FB for about a year. I also played words with friends, so I am familiar with online gaming and how it can be an outlet to unwind. I recently learned about a bunch of games on this site, which is primarily a finance and mortgage site, but also has an entire game section which I've been enjoying exploring!

Since I loved faming games in the past, the first one I checked out was Farm Factory, which I didn't really enjoy. It involved clicking on chickens to collect eggs, and there may have been more to it than that, but I lost interest and started exploring other games, which lead me to the second game called Idle Farming Business. 

It is similar to games like Township and Farmville. I had to buy plots, plant crops, harvest them and sell them to make a profit. The profit could be turned around to purchase more land, or plant more crops, or enhance crop growth time with sunshine and rain. As you can see from the second image, some crops grow faster than others, and the longer grow time crops earn you more money. It's a fast paced game, so you don't have to wait hours or even days for things to grow unlike other farm games make you do. I could see playing this one often!

I also used to play this fashion retail game online where I had to keep shelves stocked, check out customers and clean cob webs off displays. Of course there was a time frame for each task. So when I found the game called Tap Supermarket, I had to give it a try. This was fun. You had to keep the checkout line short or non existent, and you had so much time to check each person our before they got upset. Each display had to be restocked, but you had to have enough money in the bank to restock the shelves. It was also a fast paced game, where things would reset within minutes and no need to wait overnight to continue playing.

It seems that there are a handful of fun games on this site to explore and they're FREE! Fun and Free, double win in my book. Check them out and let me know what you think.

June 29, 2023

The Baker’s Man by Jennifer Moorman

About this book:

In the Southern town of Mystic Water, magic is always in the wind—and in the ovens

Anna O’Brien inherited several gifts from her late Grandma Bea: culinary superpowers, a bakery in a charming Southern town, and a mysterious box with a note:

Open the box only when you need to. You’ll know exactly when you do, and you’ll know what to do with it. I love you.

The night her presumed fiancé crushes her dreams, Anna opens the box and finds “magic sugar” inside, along with a recipe to bake “the perfect man.” Encouraged by her best friend Lily (and maybe a wee bit too much rum), a heartbroken Anna sets out to do what she always does when she’s feeling blue: bake.

She hardly believes her eyes the next morning when a man—a breathing and rather handsome man—is in her bakery and seems to know all her likes and dislikes, her quirks and preferences. Elijah is everything Anna dreamed and nothing she expected. Where did he come from? Is he real? And when he fashions his own ideas about what makes a good life, can she let him go?

My thoughts:

This is a perfect book for a vacation read or if you want something light, happy and entertaining. While totally unbelievable (you can’t bake a man, as much as you may wish you could), it was a really fun concept and I breezed through this in less than a day. The characters were all very believable. I loved the trio of best friends, supporting each other, sticking with each other through good and bad. I loved the dilemma the main character had in determining what to do with her future. It was very realistic in that sense. Very good book!



May 03, 2023

The Black Friend - a book review

From the perspective of the friend everyone should have, Frederick Joseph offers an essential read for white people who want to be better about race—and people of color who long to see their experiences validated.

“We don’t see color.” “I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars!” “What hood are you from?” For Frederick Joseph, life in a mostly white high school as a smart and increasingly popular transfer student was full of wince-worthy moments that he often simply let go. As he grew older, however, he saw these as missed opportunities not only to stand up for himself, but to spread awareness to the white friends and acquaintances who didn’t see the negative impact they were having and who would change if they knew how.


Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter includes the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Tarell Alvin McCraney, screenwriter of Moonlight; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many of us need. Back matter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.

About the author: Frederick Joseph is an award-winning marketing professional, media representation advocate, and writer who was recently selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He’s also the winner of the 2018 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, given by Comic-Con International: San Diego, and was selected for the 2018 Root 100 List of Most Influential African Americans. He lives in New York City.

My Thoughts: I highly recommend this book for every single white person out there. Whether you think you know a lot about equality and oppression, or whether you think you might be a racist. Even those people that have people of color in their life still have more they can learn. As a white mom of black and brown children I know I still have so much to learn, but I am taking the steps to educate myself and learn how I can stand up for my kids and prepare them for the future. As a mom of a black boy, I am terrified about what he is going to be up against during his lifetime, which is why it’s so important that we change things now!!!

March 23, 2023

HIS ONLY SON - Movie Review & GIVEAWAY!!!

Moms, this is a movie you won’t want to miss! There are few things more powerful

than a mother's love for her son. Take your family to see this film, and be inspired

by Isaac and Sarah's relationship in His Only Son, coming to theaters March 31.

For the first time in a feature film, the controversial account of Abraham and Isaac will be brought to life, one that everyone can draw inspiration from.

His Only Son recounts one of the most controversial moments in the Old Testament—when Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on the mountain of Moriah. While traveling to the place of the sacrifice, alongside Isaac and two servants, Abraham is flooded with vivid memories from the years he and Sarah spent longing for the son they were promised—the son he must now lay upon the altar.


Buy tickets today to see HIS ONLY SON in theaters March 31st!

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WIN IT: $10 Amazon giftcard

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with how to reach you (email or @ig handle etc)

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