Thursday, December 13, 2012

Focus on the Family Radio Drama "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens Review


Tyndale House Publishers recently provided me with another of their great products to review. Being the traveling season of the year, holidays and all, I was excited to be receiving the latest radio drama presented by Focus On The Family Radio Theatre: "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens.

 "
to another place & time with this full-cast audio dramatization of the Charles Dickens' timeless tale set in 1830's London. This powerful story will not only entertain you, but draw you into the timeless drama of compassion, corruption and redemption as a single orphan changes the lives of everyone around him. Featuring cinema-quality sound, award-winning writers, an original music score, and a stellar cast of some of England's best actors. Radio Theatre isn't just storytelling or a book on tape. It's an audio movie that plays on the biggest screen of all...your imagination! Includes a bonus video documentary featurette with "behind the scenes" footage and stories of real, modern-day "Olivers". " ---Focus On The Family Website

Head over to the Focus On The Family website for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of "Oliver Twist"! Order by Dec. 24th, 2012 and receive a FREE Radio Theatre Christmas Carol download!

Radio drama is such a fun way to change up your traveling routine, or even a great change for your  family's evening routine. This is the perfect time of year to settle in with a warm cup of cocoa and let your imagination take flight with the help of Dickens and his classic tale. It's perfect for in the car after the sun goes down for the whole family or just for mom and dad who may not get to enjoy that DVD screen the kids have in back. We usually take my husband's vehicle to see his folks a few hours away, which has no DVD system anyway. The approximate 5 hours of "Oliver Twist" was perfect for a recent round trip over the Thanksgiving holiday.

I love radio theatre and as a family we have enjoyed other radio dramas from Focus On The Family. We knew just what to expect when we popped in the CD. The quality of the drama presented was amazing. Character voices and narration flow together easily, the sound effects are amazing and sound as real as if you were right there, or playing a movie instead of a CD. Passage of time is well indicated by musical breaks so you don't feel like you jump too quickly from one moment in the story to the next. The talent of the actors is also outstanding. We loved the accents and the different voices, each character had such personality.

The only downside is that the story can be depressing at times. Oliver does not live an easy life. My husband was brought down enough at points that he felt he needed a little break from the story for some lively Christmas music. I think this story would break up well into portions for evening listening sessions over a few days or weeks as a family. There is also much to discuss about the culture and the people, so breaks might be neccessary or welcome among adults and older children to discuss the portrait of humanity at that time as painted by Charles Dickens. We had a few things to say about it for sure. There are lots of great lessons to be found in this work.

Overall, we really enjoyed it and will be passing it around the family and recommending it to friends!

"Oliver Twist" is also available on Amazon 

***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of the product to try in order to write a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tech Lovers Giveaway!




 And a Special Thanks to our Co-Host: Route 249 | Mom Blog Society | Jackie's Reviews | Geeky Gamer Mom | Tinkle Monkey | Country Stew | She Informed | S.O.S Mom | Inside My Head | Building Carpenters | Mom Does Reviews | Aunt Maggie Rocks | A Medic's World | Spend With Pennies | Bay Area Mommy | Mom's Living Thrifty | Sister's Saving Cents | My Vegan Gluten Free Life | Always Searching For Savings | What's Up - Giveaways, Contests, Promos and Deals | Don't Make Me Nuts | My Style Spot | Wife Mom Work Life | Counting To Ten | Coupons In Motion | First Place Winner Xbox Bundle: Xbox 360 4GB Console
  • Xbox 360 has blockbuster games, HD movies and controller-free fun for everyone
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for easy connection to Xbox LIVE
  • Super quiet with sleek new design plus matching controller
  • Ready for the controller-free fun of Kinect
Microsoft Xbox Live Gold Subscription Card Boaderlands Game: In a distant future, the planets at the outer edges of the galaxy have become a beacon to fortune seekers and those yearning for a better life off world. 2nd Place Winner Google Nexus 7 Black Wi-Fi 16GB Tablet - ASUS-1B16 The Google Nexus 7 tablet computer is the world's first Android tablet that combines the latest Android 4.1 mobile operating system with a powerful quad-core processor for high-performance computing on the go. An eye-catching 1280 x 800 high-definition display is your touchscreen interface for this Google tablet. The Google Nexus 7 tablet computer's LED-backlit IPS panel is made from scratch-resistant glass to offer crisp images, wide viewing angles and 10-finger multi-touch support. 3rd Place Winner: Blue Hue" Laptop Bundle with optional matching accessories:
  • Blue Laptop
  • Case/Bag
  • Mouse
  • USB Flash Drive
  • Headphones
The event dates: 11/30 - 12/10 Open World Wide. If the winner is outside the use they will receive and online gift card in the prize amount in place of the physical prize. NO EXCEPTIONS.

 For a chance to win one of these three amazing prizes enter the Rafflecopter below    

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Your Heart's Desire, Book & Bible Study Guest Post #3

Featured authors


We Are on the Same Team and Fighting the Same Enemy
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach


learn more ▶

Think about what makes your heart melt when you watch a great love story. It's not the hero's physical strength or his beloved's beauty, is it? No, you and I are drawn to the power of true love and its inexplicable ability to prevail over tragedy and adversity. The greater the conflict, the stronger the love must be in order to resolve the issue. When the hero does whatever it takes to save the relationship, our hearts soar with renewed hope. Likewise, as we seek to truly listen and understand our men when differences between us create friction, we set ourselves up for more satisfying and loving relationships.

The Author of love and life and the Designer of our differences knew there would be conflict between men and women. The real problem comes, though, when we get accustomed to seeing relational problems solved in the time it takes to eat a bag of popcorn. Our hero and his beauty have less than two hours to defeat the dragons and overcome unspeakable challenges. You and I are not going to magically resolve deep relationship conflicts in our own wisdom and definitely not in less than two hours.

When I met my husband, Steve, I was sure we were a match made in heaven. In fact, we have had the privilege of being in ministry together for most of our marriage. I wish I could tell you it's been an effortless, wonderful life for the two of us, but I would be lying to you.

I learned to fight loud and strong by watching my parents. My brother and I would hide together in my bedroom as our parents tore into each other during arguments, often screaming and throwing things. Because of my broken family, when I first got married I was sure that every conflict between me and Steve would end our marriage.

Steve was raised by parents who had stayed married, so it was impossible for him to relate to my fears and worries. He was raised in quieter surroundings. His parents dealt with conflict quite differently from mine. There was no rage. No yelling. No broken furniture. His parents rarely fought—and never in front of their children. But his family also had no system to resolve conflict. That meant issues went unresolved—though not unnoticed.

Steve's and my fighting techniques were drastically different. However, neither of us had been equipped to deal appropriately with marital conflict. That led to major challenges early in our marriage whenever we attempted to resolve a disagreement. To make things even more difficult, when I married Steve I was a new Christian and had not yet learned how to channel my anger properly.

I tried everything to get him to react or resolve conflict with me, and as I waited, I became more bitter and he became more distant. One day I couldn't take Steve's calm, cool responses anymore. From my perspective, he obviously needed some lessons on how to fight for our marriage. I'd had enough of his "let's work it out peacefully by ignoring our problems" act. In my mind, he was being polite only to annoy me.

"Why don't you ever show some emotion and prove to me you care about our marriage?" I yelled.

Steve stood there quietly, shaking his head and looking down at the ground. Then suddenly, he turned toward the mirror on our bedroom closet door and kicked it as hard as he could, smashing it to bits.

Wow, I thought, what a performance. He sure learns fast.

Suddenly I began to laugh hysterically through my tears. I was so shocked I wasn't sure if I was relieved or ready to run from what I saw. His toenail was jutting out at a bizarre angle as he asked me, "Is that enough emotion for you? If it would help, I could probably throw myself on the floor and work up a good cry." We both began to laugh together as we attempted to pick up the glass fragments scattered all over our bedroom floor. In that moment I realized how much we had shattered each other just because we were different and had not been trained on how to resolve conflict. Our marriage was not the problem; it was our hearts. Neither of us had a teachable spirit.

It took several years, a lot of tears, and one expensive closet door mirror to repair the damage inflicted during those early years. We still have conflict, as all couples do, but we now understand that we are on the same team and that it's okay not to agree on everything.

After twenty-five years of marriage, we've decided it's worth letting go of the little things and fighting to understand one another. Conflict comes no matter who we marry. We may be fighting about different things with different men, but there will always be major differences between men and women. I once heard a pastor say that if spouses agreed on everything, only one of them would be needed. Let's not allow our differences to divide us any longer!

For a sneak peek of Sheri Rose's Your Heart's Desire Group Experience, or to learn more about her ministry, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.

Watch the trailer:

Watch the trailer

Friday, November 9, 2012

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway


I am so excited to get started Christmas shopping! My son's birthday also falls in December so he is deffinately at the top of my shopping list. I love to shop for Melissa & Doug toys for my son. I enjoy that their toys are educational, often made from wood, and most of all - FUN!

Melissa & Doug has just released their Terrific Twenty: Holiday Gifts for 2012 list and I am so excited that my readers and I will have an opportunity to enjoy my favorite item from the list!

Not only are we giving away a great toy here, but you can win over at Melissa & Doug's Facebook page! They are giving away a toy a day for 20 days from their terrific twenty list! (Promotion started Nov. 6th).

It was so hard to choose which toy to share with my son and my readers, they have everything he loves on their list! From trains and trucks, animals and fuzzy friends, to learning activities for as he grows, my choices were all so exciting! So what did I pick?! Well, I honestly couldn't resist sitting my toddler in my lap and seeing what he gravitated towards, and he really liked the Big Rig Building Truck Wooden Play Set:

 Enter to win on the Rafflecopter form below!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Paula Deen Thanksgiving Giveaway

 

Kaeli's Kiwis is excited to help bring you this giveaway!   The event dates: 11/3 - 11/13 Open World Wide, Sponsored by: Mom Blog Society | Geeky Gamer Mom | Route 249 | Mom Does Reviews | My Vegan Gluten Free Life | Oh! My Heartsie | Carries Rambles | Dirty Truth Reviews | Giveaway Bandit | Lovez 2 Read | This bakeware goes straight from the oven to the table

Paula Deen Cook Book

There's no holiday Paula Deen loves better than Christmas, when she opens her home to family and friends, and traditions old and new make the days merry and bright. Filled with Paula's trademark Southern charm and happy reminiscences of Yuletide seasons past, Christmas with Paula Deen is a collection of beloved holiday recipes and stories interspersed with cherished family photographs.

Paula Deen Cookwear

Professional Paula Deen Stainless Steel 10-Piece set with a fully encapsulated stainless steel disk for even heat distribution, dual riveted silicone comfort handles, tempered glass lids and durable nonstick coating for easy clean up. Aluminum skillets feature easy cleaning DuPont Teflon Select nonstick coating for long-lasting food release. Suitable for use on all stovetops including glass and induction.

Paula Deen Knife set

Get all the tools you need for down-home cooking with this 14-piece knife block set from Paula Deen, which includes 8-inch chef, 8-inch slicer, 8-inch bread, 6-inch utility, and 3-1/2-inch paring knives. It also includes a pair of kitchen shears, an 8-inch sharpening steel, and six 5-inch steak knives, all conveniently housed in a handsome hardwood block that's made from sustainable acacia wood.   For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. GOOD LUCK!

Your Heart's Desire: Book & Bible Study Guest Post #2


Featured authors














There Are a Lot of Reasons to Give Up, but There Are Greater 
Reasons to Finish Strong
The Grand Finale

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

learn more ▶


When you have dedicated your life to loving, encouraging, praying for, and pouring yourself into your husband, only to watch him, in a moment of weakness, destroy the foundation you worked so hard to build, you may feel as if your entire world has been wiped out. If this describes you, I invite you to read a real-life love story that I believe will give you the passion you may need to persevere under any and every trial. It will also give you a true picture of what love looks like when lived out with a legacy perspective. I call this story "The Grand Finale."

John and Marie were college sweethearts who dreamed of furthering God's Kingdom together. During the first decade of their ministry, God blessed them with a growing church, two beautiful children, and a strong and loving marriage. Because of their commitment to God and each other, they became one of the most respected couples in the community. Their marriage was a beacon of hope to other young couples who wondered what marriage could be. John loved the ministry, and he loved the life God had given him. He was passionate about the call of God on his life, and he truly loved his wife.

One day as John was busy working at the church, a young lady burst through the door of the church office. She was crying hysterically, and John came out of his office to see what he might do to help. As she struggled to catch her breath, she told John about her desperate attempts to escape from her abusive husband. She was sure he would kill her if he found her, but she didn't feel safe going to the police because they had failed to help her in the past. John quickly called Marie and asked her to take the young lady to a safe place. After Marie helped this distraught young mom gather her kids and some clothes, she brought them home to spend the night with her and John.

In a matter of days, Marie and John's love for this young woman led her to become a Christian. After spending a few weeks in their home, she seemed like a new person. She was hungry for God and at peace. John and Marie felt great, knowing they had made such an impact on this young woman and her kids.

When this woman and her children were still staying in John and Marie's home several weeks later, many of his good friends and family approached John and recommended that the woman find housing with another single mom. He was blinded, saying, "Marie is really helping her. I can't ask her to leave now; she may fall away from the Lord."

John's good intentions without wisdom and his unwillingness to heed the warnings of others left him unguarded against the enemy's attack. One night when Marie was out leading a Bible study, John was home alone with this woman. She had fallen for Marie's husband and was determined to have him for herself. Tragically, Marie walked into her home to find John and the young woman in their bed together. Everything John and Marie had built was destroyed.

Unable to handle his guilt, John felt like such a failure that he left his marriage, his children, and his church to marry this young, attractive woman. Two years into his new marriage, however, he was diagnosed with acute leukemia and given only ten weeks to live. His second wife, who was still in her early twenties, decided she did not want to take care of a dying man. After emptying his bank account, she left him alone to die. He had no family and no loving church body to rally around him. In fact, he had nothing to show for his years of hard work and dedication to ministry.

As tragic as this story is, the ending is proof of God's amazing grace. Marie decided that when John died, he should be free of guilt and shame. She went to his bedside, not gloating with condemnation, but offering to care for and forgive him. Her kids seemed almost angry at her for loving her ex-husband after all he had done. Her friends from church asked her why she was helping him. However, Marie wanted her children and church to remember, not how John had left them, but how she took care of him, never leaving his bedside until he drew his last breath.

On the day John died, his children and members from his church gathered around his bedside with Marie. They held hands and shared memories of how John had touched others' lives when he was walking with God. Marie got a greater gift. By her sacrifice, she began the healing in her own heart and in her children's hearts. Today they can all live free of regret and anger because they said a final good-bye to their father in a setting of God's glorious love.

Marie finished strong in spite of the devastation, and she gave John and their kids an amazing final gift: she gave him her forgiveness and the opportunity to finish what he had started, even if it had to take place on his deathbed after their marriage had ended.

If you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. (1 Peter 4:19)

For more teaching from the Your Heart's Desire book and Bible study, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.

Watch the trailer:

Watch the trailer

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Giveaway! Shutterfly Holiday Card Credit!

It's time to start thinking Christmas Cards! Planning photo sessions or combing through this years pictures now will save you time when you get ready to order those beautiful glossy (or matte!) keepsakes for your friends and families.

We love using Shutterfly for all our photo cards and other photo keepsakes. We have been more than pleased with how quickly our cards have arrived in the past, accompanied by envelopes, making it super easy for us to stuff and send in time for the holidays! Even when we waited till our son was born on December 4th, 2010 to get our photos, we still ordered our cards and had them to our relatives by Christmas!

Here is what our card from 2 years ago looked like:

 I love all the convenience features over at Shutterfly. Pricing is always very clear, and the more you order, the cheaper rate you get for your cards! I also love using the favorites feature to keep track of cards I like:



Here is my favorite card for this year:

 If you don't celebrate Christmas, they have lots of other seasonal selections, also be sure to check out their special offers!

Connect with Shutterfly, then enter to win $50 off order of $50 or more!
  (excluding tax and shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos (expire 12/14/2012 – no extensions)

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Your Heart's Desire, Book & Bible Study Guest Post #1

Sheri Rose Shepherd


Desiring a "Happily Ever After"
Fighting the Temptation to Give Up on Love and Marriage

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

learn more ▶

I don't know where you stand today with the man you love or loved—or if you
 are single, divorced, separated, or widowed. I can tell you, though, that if
you've been hurt, you can be sure Your heavenly Father knows how hard it is
to love and forgive the one who caused you pain. Yet regardless of the relational devastation you face, no one can keep you from finishing strong for God's
glory!

I was raised in a non-Christian home. My parents have each been married
 and divorced to three different people. As part of several blended families,
all I understood about marriage when I was growing up was "unhappily ever
after." But then I became a Christian at twenty-four and married my husband,
Steve, just a few years later. Because of my love for God and my husband, I
honestly didn't think anything could shake my own marriage or faith.

In the summer of 2007, however, my happily ever after was wiped out and my
faith was tested. The family foundation I had worked so hard to build and
protect was almost destroyed, along with my ministry, in that season of my life.
I truly believed that God had forsaken me.

I had just finished writing my book for mothers about raising sons to become
 godly husbands. As I excitedly ran upstairs to e-mail the manuscript to the
 publisher, I suddenly felt as if something dark hovered over me. My passion
for the book's message was drowned out by the fear of an attack from the
enemy that could come against me and my family if I stepped on his territory . . .
 young men and their future marriages.

I called the publisher and said I'd need to wait and pray for courage before
submitting the manuscript. I went to my son, Jake, who was eighteen years
old and a senior in high school at the time, and asked him if he had any
plans of rebelling against his faith once he graduated from high school. I
told him I was willing to give him freedom to find his own faith in Christ, but
 I didn't want to put out a book about raising boys if my own son was going
 to walk away from the Lord. He reassured me that he was strong in his faith
and that he felt I should publish the book. I decided to take the chance to
make a difference and sent in the manuscript.

The book began climbing the charts, and everything seemed to be going well.
I even began speaking with my son at conferences for mothers of boys. Then
 three months into my book tour, my fear of attack hit. My husband had taken
 a job that we had both prayed for. This job appeared to be a blessing; however,
his new position required him to violate some of the boundaries we had put in
 place to protect our marriage, and we ended up separated.

There I was in the public eye of ministry, fighting to save future marriages, and
 somehow my own marriage was falling apart. My son was devastated by the
 division between me and his dad. It was too hard for him to deal with all his
confusion, pain, and anger, so he took a break from his faith and began using
 drugs and alcohol to comfort himself. I had always known to run to God for
cover when there was a great attack, but now I felt like He had left me alone
 on the battlefield to fight for myself. It appeared that all I had believed about
 God and all my effort to build a strong foundation for my own family had
been shattered. My pain, my shame, and my life were an embarrassment.
 I felt as if I were battling an out-of-control fire that would burn up everything
 I loved and lived for. Every night I would cry myself to sleep as I struggled
to understand why God had not protected me while I was attempting to
accomplish something for His glory.

One night I could not take it anymore, so I fell to my knees and told God I
either wanted Him to fix my family or I wanted to quit the ministry. Then I felt
the Lord asking me a bigger question: Was My life, given on a cross for you,
 not enough for you to finish strong even if it means surrendering the life you 
wanted? For the first time I realized that my heart's true desire was to feel
 loved and secure, and yet no man on earth could love me the way my Lord
does. In that moment of crisis I found the true meaning of following Christ.
God had not forsaken me, but He did want to free me from depending on
others to give me my happily ever after.

That night I gave my heart's deepest desire to God and chose to follow Him
at any cost. In exchange, He gave me something so much better; He gave
me peace that was more powerful than my circumstances. My faith was no
longer in people; it was in Christ alone. Although nothing outwardly had
changed yet, I had been changed. Today, Steve and I have celebrated
 twenty-five years of marriage, and our son serves God with His whole heart.
He and his bride have given us our first grandbaby girl. However, to be
honest, restoring our marriage was excruciatingly painful and more difficult
than either of us expected. As hard as this trial was, it taught me a valuable
lesson: our Lord is the God of comfort and the author of a new beginning.
He can and will rebuild a beautiful life out of any broken heart willing to make
a change. He will use one sacrificial choice; one act of forgiveness; one
sincere, repentant heart; and one woman who is willing to step out in faith
and start rebuilding with His love for His glory.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help
comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

For more teaching from the Your Heart's Desire book and Bible study, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.

Watch the trailer:

Watch the trailer

Your Heart's Desire, A Book & Bible Study






Dear Readers,

Over the next few months as I heal from a broken wrist, I will be taking it easy blogging, doing a little less myself, but still bringing you a select few giveaways as always and some great guest posts. For the next few months you will find under the tab Your Heart's Desire guest posts from author Sheri Rose Shepard and her latest book and bible study. I hope you will read these and be encouraged!

There will be a series of 8 posts from Your Heart's Desire, so be sure to check back regularly for each one. If you enjoy the posts please pick up a copy of the paperback or kindle e-book!

***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post, or the guest posts. I did receive a copy of the book for my own enjoyment as a thank you. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced in any way.  ***

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hoppin' Halloween Giveaway Hop


Welcome to the Hoppin’ Halloween Giveaway Hop hosted by MamaNYC! We’re celebrating Halloween with an amazing event that’ll feature ALL sorts of prizes, which means there is going to be plenty of prizes you’ll want to get your hands on! With over 90 blogs participating, Hoppin’ Halloween is surely going to be a BLAST! This event will run from October 25-31st so you will definitely have plenty of time to enter all of our giveaways. Good luck and Happy Halloween!

 Seasons Harvest recently gave our family the chance to review one of their gourmet food gift packs. Seasons Harvest products are currently available in their Mother store in Harbert, Michigan and at the Farmer's Market in South Bend, or online. We choose to review the Temptation Classics Pasta Sauces, which can ship in packs of two or four or individually. Seasons Harvest gift packs make great hostess gifts or Holiday gifts. They offer a variety of gift packs such as sauces, condiments, salad dressings, dessert sauces, and even more. Each gift pack in a category is interchangeable as well, so you can arrange it exactly as you want! Wouldn't it feel wonderful to show up to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with a gourmet gift pack your host or hostess will surely appreciate?! You can also order any of their 63 products individually.

 Check out their sale on pasta sauce going on now!

Enter 20% off coupon code
PASTASPECIAL
at checkout when prompted through November 15 


We tried the pasta sauce pack of four which included 4 - 24 oz Temptation Classic Pasta Sauces including: Vodka Sauce, Tomato Basil Sauce, Portobello Mushroom, and Puttanesca Sauce. We enjoyed playing around with different pasta varieties as well as adding chicken or beef to enhance our dishes. I would have to say that I most enjoyed the Vodka Sauce, although I liked them all. It was different than most pasta sauces that I have tried since it wasn't a pure tomato base or an Alfredo sauce. It was somewhere in-between and a nice change. I also liked that the Portobello Mushroom sauce was hearty enough that I didn't need to add meat. I would recommend this one for vegetarians. My husband prefers homemade but thought the sauces were pretty impressive for throwing together a quick meal. Did I mention they are affordable too? Our pack of 4 retails for $32.50, or roughly $8 a jar. I am not sure I would ever buy this for myself, but I would definitely use Seasons Harvest for sending Holiday gifts to my hard-to-shop-for relatives such as my uncles. I am sure they would love a change from the usual sausage and cheese basket I send them.

My Husband enjoying some Portobello Mushroom Spaghetti
 
ORDER HOLIDAY GIFTS NOW AND SAVE!
FREE UPS GROUND SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS $60 AND OVER!

Seasons Harvest not only offers a wide variety of gourmet food products, the also offer corporate gifting and fundraising programs. You can also find some great recipes on Facebook and a cookbook available for purchase from Chef Lynn Miller, Seasons Harvest's own Corporate Chef.

Connect with Seasons Harvest’s Corporate Chef at:
Win a Temptation Classics Pasta Sauce Gift Pack from Seasons Harvest!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now hop on over to some other great giveaways!

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 ***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of the product to try in order to write a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way.  Please note that I  am not responsible for the delivery of this prize and can not be held accountable if, for any reason, is it not received.  ***

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blogger Opportunity! 1FREE Link & Referral Rewards!

Please let them know Kaeli's Kiwis sent you!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Progresso Soups Coupons & Weekend Flash Giveaway!

Progresso has released a new line of Progresso Recipe Starters sauces! Get a head start with dinner on busy weeknights this Fall with coupons for Progresso Recipe Starters. Get $0.65 savings off the purchase of 1 can of Progresso® Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce with this coupon. Then be sure to visit the website for great recipes for 1, 2, or the whole family! Also be sure to enter the giveaway on the Rafflecopter form below.

In addition, visit here to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of 4 cans of Progresso® Light soup. Progresso Light soups are a satisfying and delicious way to help control your weight. Varieties such as the Creamy Potato with Bacon & Cheese or the Chicken Pot Pie Style pack a flavorful punch in 100 calories!

I was recently sent both of the above soups from Progresso to try for myself and in addition I received some swag from Progresso as well! I got a water bottle, an insulated lunch bag and a microwaveable, BPA free, dishwasher safe soup cup with lid and spoon! These are sure to be helpful to my working husband, especially the soup cup. How convenient is it to have everything you need to make soup at the office?

I really enjoyed both soups, neither tasted like diet versions of the real thing. They were both creamy and filling and I felt like I could even throw in crackers or toast and a salad without maxing out my calories for lunch or dinner. The water bottle is a really neat design too. Thanks to Progresso for sending me one, I know my reader that wins this package will really enjoy the silicone pour spout and easy-to-grip bottle design.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Star Wars Jedi Adult Costume Review, Light Saber not included, neither is The Force.


WholesaleStarWarsCostumes.com recently gave our family the opportunity to review one of its costumes from the ever so timeless George Lucas Star Wars movies. We chose a Jedi costume for my husband to review since we had thought of doing a family Star Wars theme for Halloween, which is just around the corner! I can't believe summer is slipping away and fall is blowing in the back door. Pictured above is my husband, Jess, in a Jedi costume,which retails around $36 but can be bought at Wholesale Star Wars Costumes for less than $33. Light Saber sold separately. I think he looks quite handsome. I plan on going as Princess Leia with our 22 month old sporting a cute little Yoda costume. The costume is very light polyester and includes pants with attached boot tops, a tunic, and belt. While it is not the exact Luke look, it is a cool Jedi concept outfit. It could be worn for theme events, Halloween, conventions, or just the occasional Star Wars viewing party. Comment below if you've ever tried to watch them all (all 6, old and new) at once and let me know how far you got (I'm just curious!).

Rear view of the costume.
 Here is what my husband thought of his costume: The material is very thin polyester, and as someone who appreciates realistic costumes, a lightweight cotton would have been much better and closer to the movie, polyester can come off as kind of shiny. The shirt fits about as well as advertised, I am a size 42 jacket and I could easily see this fitting up to the advertised limit of size 44 Jacket. The pants seem to be for a shorter than average individual. At 5'8" I'm not exactly what anyone would call tall and the average height of an adult male in the United States is 5'9".  In order for the attached boot covers to sit on top of my shoes I would have to pull the pants pretty low on my hips, and I'm not going for a gangster look here. On top of that, I wear about a size 10 shoe, about average for a US male, and a good 3 inches of them stuck out past the boot covers.

Though the picture on the package seems to be of an average adult man, I would say that the standard size (for a 44" size jacket) is really more for a 5'5" person at the most, perhaps a preteen who may still want to go Trick-or-Treating. The costume is also available in XL and I would be interested to see if that fit better. Wholesale Star Wars Costumes has a no-hassle return policy and you have up to 10 days to return the item without a fee. You can also print a prepaid return label but they will take $5.99 off your return credit. You can ship it at your own expense for a full refund of the purchase price. I am happy that I could return or exchange it if I wished. Most temporary Halloween stores that set-up in our area usually have an all-sales-final policy.

One other note on this costume: on the package picture, it shows a long piece in the front of the shirt that hangs down almost to the knees, but on the actual shirt there is a split that starts at waist level, and there is no flap at all, so without some alteration, this costume is not exactly "family friendly" if worn by an adult man. Younger adults headed to an adult only party may not feel as self-conscious as I would at our annual trunk-or-treat at church. I feel as though I would need to find some other pants to wear and that doesn't really make me a satisfied costumer. If you are the kind of person who buys instead of makes a costume, you really prefer to be set, with the exception of shoes, upon purchasing an advertised full costume.

Jess uses "the force" to put away our clean dishes. :)
**Please note: I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review. I did however receive a sample of the product. All opinions expressed are 100% my own and were not influenced in any way.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA Review & Giveaway



Welcome to the Better Late Than Never Giveaway Hop hosted by Mom With a Dot Com in celebration of her one year blogging anniversary! A great group of bloggers have gathered together to give you a chance to win some amazing prizes!

Better Late Than Never will begin on September 1st and end on September 9th. As you are hopping around, I hope you will find some prizes that you love - maybe you will even win one! Each giveaway will have a prize valued at $25 or more! Our Prenatal Vitamin gift package from Nordic Naturals here at Kaeli's Kiwis is worth $34! 






As some of you know, I am expecting my second child in February 2013. Along with a proper diet and exercise, taking supplements like vitamins and DHA are a must-do for any pregnant woman. I have been pretty naseaus, so the diet and exercise part will have to come a little later, but I still make sure that along with my ginger ale and crackers, I get my vitamins and DHA every day. I am currently taking Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA which I received to review and will give away a bottle to one lucky reader!


Nordic Naturals' mission is to correct the global omega-3 deficiency. They are commited to bringing  the safest and most effective DHA to market. They have been setting standards since 1995 and third party tests show leading purity and freshness of their products. They also practice sustainability by using wild caught fish and production that protects the enviroment. Their products have been used for medical research and there have been 20 published studies in the last 4 years analyzing the use of omega-3 supplements for a variety of physical and psychological purposes. Research shows that even the healthiest western diets do not contain enough omega-3, making supplements important for everyone, so even if you aren't pregnant like me, you should still be taking DHA.

Why take Omega-3's? You've heard you need it, but you may still be wondering "what for?", what benefits are actually reaped by restoring balance to your system with omega supplements? Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) help combat diseases like arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few. EFAs help with weight management, improve vision, and sharpen your attention and focus. EFAs improve your immune system and circulation. They have shown positive results in studies with depression, dementia, autism, and aggression & anger management. Nordic Naturals has developed specialized supplements for a number of the above problems.



Prenatal DHA benefits my baby by supporting my developing child's brain, eyes, immune system, and nervous system. We all want to do what is best for our children, even from the very start, and there is nothing better at this particular stage of development than taking vitamins and DHA. We gave our son Nordic Naturals Baby DHA, and will continue to supplement both his diet and his future sibling's with Nordic Naturals Children and Junior DHA products which now include gummies. Another great thing about taking Prenatal DHA is that it not only supports my baby's health but has shown to be beneficial in promoting breast-milk production, positive mood, and well-being in the mother. It also contains vitamin D-3 which is also missing in a lot of people's diets. Nordic Naturals DHA is the official DHA of the American Pregnancy Association.



I really like using this DHA for the simplest of reasons, it is not a giant pill! It is smaller than the size of an average gel cap and even though I need to take two for the recommended serving, they go down a lot smother than the giant DHA caps I was using from another company. I have tried at least 3 brands of general or prenatal DHA and this is by far the smallest pill size. This is important to me and I am sure it is for some of my readers. Can't swallow pills at all? Nordic Naturals has both an Effervescent omega-3 product in a creamy orange flavor that is ideal for kids and adults or a flavorless powder that can be mixed with an food or drink. So now you have no excuse but to take your EFAs!

SHOP NOW: Visit the Nordic Naturals Website or purchase from a wellness retailer. I buy my son's Baby DHA drops at Whole Foods. Find a store near you!

WIN IT: Enter to win a bottle of Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA and some other goodies by filling out the Rafflecopter form below! Good Luck!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: "Abducted" by Janice Cantore, A Tyndale House Publication



I recently curled up with the latest novel by Janice Cantore, Abducted , a Tydale House publication. The book is the second in a series (Pacific Coast Justice), of which I have not read the first, but the second book stands alone just fine. I actually thought there was too much recap of the first novel that wasn't always relevant to the current story line. It was enough to spoil the outcome of the first book, so I didn't feel like I should go back and read it. I think the author could have left it a mystery, enough to make me want to go buy a copy of the first book. The second book, Abducted, revolves around police officer Carly and an investigation into the abduction of her patrol partner's infant son while dealing with her own personal life drama. After divorcing over an affair, newly found forgiveness and grace through Christ have led to the possible reconciliation between Carly and her ex-husband, Nick. Carly and Nick have both become Christians which has helped them change for the better.

The sub-plot includes a strained relationship between Carly and her roommate who doesn't know what to make of Carly's new found Christianity. There is also the new friendship between Carly and Alex, a reporter who once held all cops in a negative light, both personally and professionally. Alex may want more than a friendship which adds to the drama of Carly's reconciliation with Nick.

 Carly's relationship with God as a new Christian plays out in the book much as in any Christian's every day life. Carly prays for favorable outcomes both through inner dialogue and aloud with others. She seeks God's wisdom and turns to her bible for comfort in times of confusion and desperation. Although Christian messages like forgiveness and trust are present in the story line, they wern't spelled out in an unnecessary, hit you over the head with a bible sort of way. They were easy to recognize and the author left it at that. Even if the reader is not a Christian the author makes a good case for forgiving or even having pity on those who at first seem to be in the wrong. I thought it was a great way of reminding the reader of the humanity of all people or in this case, characters, meaning that we all fall short and sin sometimes and each character is not simply a good guy or a bad guy.

The book was a very easy read. It had short chapters and kept you wanting to continue reading from the very start. The dialogue flowed well and the plot line was well constructed. I liked the fact that I almost thought a twist ending was coming but didn't, in the main plot as well as the sub-plot, which I think the author meant to do. I was surprised when it didn't turn out as I expected and delighted because I wasn't able to predict the outcome. Although there is some satisfaction in being able to figure it all out as a reader, I prefer the surprise much more. As a former police officer the author could have filled the novel with lots of police jargon and shorthand but there wasn't too much and what was there was well explained. I feel a bit smarted now that I even know some of the short hand, it was like going for a ride along in the back of a cop car. One could easily finish this books 350+ pages in about a week, perfect for taking along on vacation and reading pool side. I give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

This book is available online through Amazon.

**Please note, I did not receive any compensation for this review. I did however receive a copy of the book to review. All opinions are 100% my own and were not influenced in any way.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Noxicare Review & Giveaway



I was recently given the opportunity to try out Noxicare Natural Pain Relief. Noxicare was developed by Dr. Ghorbani, a Harvard-trained, board certified Interventional Pain Management Specialist. Noxicare is ideal for artharitis, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, tension headaches, and diabetes. It combines seven natural and potent pain relievers for lasting relief of inflammation, muscle ache, and nerve pain. There are no known side effects and a prescription is not required. It is registered with the FDA as well.

So what's in it? Tumeric and Rosemary which both act as anti-inflammatory. Willow bark which has long been used to treat low back pain and tension headaches. Ginger which relieves muscle strain and acts as a catalyst, improving the strength of the other ingredients. Holy-Basil which inhibits inflammatory enzymes to help counteract arthritis and headaches among others. Alpha Lipoic Acid is known to combat numbness, burning, and pain associated with nerve-pain. Boswellia which relieves pain and promotes healthy inflammation response, reducing joint pain. Together these ingredients improve on the strengths of the others to boost the effectiveness of the pain reliever as a whole.

I let my husband be the test dummy for this product because the Noxicare website states that it is not intended for use by pregnant women (that's me as you may have read in my previous giveaway!) but I did give it a smell test and rubbed it on my husband's muscles that he could not reach. It is odorless and goes on just like lotion with no after film or greasy residue. As the pregnant one I appreciate not having to go to bed with someone who just slathered on a pain reliever that has so much menthol it goes up my nose, what a relief! You aren't going to feel the numbness and tingling that comes with those relievers, but you are also not rubbing chemicals or lab-created pharmaceuticals into your skin either. Many other products for pain relief act only temporarily and shouldn't be used in excess. Noxicare is safe to use everyday.

My husband can't really attest to Noxicare's effects at this point, and because he doesn't suffer chronic pain, it is hard to determine if his pain relief came from Noxicare or just a restful night's sleep, but the muscle aches he had after a long workout at the gym were gone the next day. In order to determine effectiveness for lasting pain relief, Noxicare recommends daily application, 2-3 times a day, for at least two weeks. It is also available in a supplement. After learning about this product I would have no problem recommending it to a friend, such as someone I know who has fibromyalgia.

BUY IT:  Noxicare Natural Pain Relief Cream

WIN IT: Win a bottle of Noxicare and a Noxicare T-Shirt. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below, please be patient and wait for it to load.

Moms Day Off Giveaway & Blogger Event Hop


“Welcome To "Moms Day Off" For A Great Giveaway”
"BLOGGERS: Event Hop To Add Your Own Events"

Moms Day Off 
Is being Hosted By;
Debs Sit-n-Shop | MommiesPoint of View
Live Laugh Love To Shop | Oh! My Heartsie |

Here is your chance to pamper yourself or a beloved lady! Enter the giveaway below and then check out our giveaway for another gift for mom HERE!

The event run August 20th through August 27th

"One Lucky Winner Will Receive"
Avon 
Country Gourmet 
Paparazzi Jewelry 
Enchanted Candles
Sponsors Mommies Point of View + Deb's Sit Shop + Oh! My Heartsie

Please be patient and let the page load
Enter on the easy Rafflecopter Below

Next Event Taking Signups!

 Mommies Point Of View and Live Laugh Love to Shop
Hosting The $100.00 ShopBop Gift Card Event Signup Here

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Upcoming Hop: Blogger Opportunity

  

Time has flew right by! As of this August, Mom with a Dot Com has been in business for a year now! She’s really excited and wants to thank her readers with a giveaway hop! Got something great to giveaway valued at at least $25? Join Mom With a Dot Com for the "Better Late Than Never" Giveaway Hop! Even though it's technically August still, the event won't take place until September... so we'll be a little late - but that makes it fun! Better Late Than Never will take place from September 1 - September 9. This event will feature a variety of giveaways. It does not need to be theme specific (just family friendly). 25 blogs are already signed up!

Details

  • Host: Mom with a dot com
  • Dates: September 1 - September 9, 2012
  • Minimum Prize Value: $25
  • Cost to join: Free (w/ a paid promotional options!) 

To Join:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Inspired Deals: Back To School with DaySpring Products

 


Heading back to school can be an exciting time for kids. They want the coolest backpack and the latest gear to start the year off right. For our family and many of our friend's families, that also means preparing our children for social interaction. This can mean making new friends, remembering to share and lend a hand, being comfortable with being U-Neek, and being a positive influence. As a Christian family, it also means preparing our children for the different world views of their classmates (especially if they are headed to public school) and equipping them to share and defend their faith. It can be really hard for kids to talk about these things, because they know they will find judgement, assumptions, and stereotypes as stumbling blocks. One easy way they can show who they are is by stocking those cool new backpacks with DaySpring back to school products such as notebooks, binders, and maybe even a cuddly buddy to help break the ice.


DaySpring has gear for girls and boys headed back to school like notebooks and binders in fun prints and designs that include "text speak" like "Jesus is my BFF" and "I Heart Jesus." DaySpring also has a line of U-Neek cuddly friends that can accompany a nervous young one back to school and remind them that it is ok to be themselves. We received Alliebird, a cute little hoot owl, which I am sure will be a new favorite friend for my preschooler. (Coincidental that Allie is a name we are considering for our next child? I like to think that's God's way of giving me something to smile about today!). We also received encouragement cards with clever sayings to match the cute creatures on the cards. We plan to share some of this great stuff with our friend's kids that are headed to school, perhaps for the first time, because we know that is a way we can show encouragement and love to our friends.

I am excited to fill these binders with early learning activity sheets, both of general and biblical knowledge, and know that they will one day accompany him to school, even if that may just be at the kitchen table of our future home-school. Who knows, we may spend many school days at area parks where others may get to see that "I Heart Jesus" notebook. You never know where you might plant a seed for God to water. I encourage you, fellow Christian, to visit DaySpring and support Christian businesses by purchasing their school supplies for your kids.

*Please note, I was not compensated for this post. I did however receive sample products. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: A Sweet Moment, Daddy & Son






Spectacular Back To School Shoe Deal at Famous Footwear!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.
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Getting ready to hit the stores and take care of your back to school shopping? Take care of all your shoe needs by shopping the large variety of shoes at Famous Footwear. They have hundreds of brand name shoes at prices you can afford! The store is designed for ease of shopping; you can be in and out with 3 pairs of shoes for the kids in twenty minutes. The staff is trained to be respectful of your time because they know you have a lot to do on your back-to-school checklist.
I love getting a great deal on shoes. I hardly ever shop at a shoe store unless they are running a sale and one of my favorite promotions is a BOGO or buy one get one half off sale. Well, Famous Footwear has hit the top of my shopping list with the great deal they are running right now. Not only can you take advantage of a BOGO sale, but you can now get an extra 15% off!
Want to save even more? That's right, I said you can save even more! Sign up to be a Rewards Member and that extra 15% will turn into 20%. The rewards program is FREE and you can earn a point for every dollar you spend, accumulating all the way up to $100 in rewards per year. You will also enjoy other perks such as special discounts just for being a member.
Want to take advantage of this great deal? Be sure to print off the coupon below to receive your discount and go use it by 8/18.  I know I will! I am looking forward to shopping for shoes in just one stop because even if they don't have the sizes I need in store, they can ship what I need to my door! I could even pre-shop at www.famous.com and have the shoes I want shipped to my store at no extra cost.
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