Posted in Giveaways

Giveaways 12/31 Happy New Year’s Eve

Win a Mia Melon Provocateur Coat

Giveaway: The Next Best Thing in 2015

win $200 from @ICMarkHopkins! Click here to enter today:

$50 Visa GC Giveaway
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2014 Reflections

Like any other year, 2014 brought with it good & bad. I supposed to expect anything else would be irrational. No matter how good, no year will ever be perfect & no matter how bad, no year could be all bad. But, hindsight is always 20/20 so we can’t really see it all balance out until we reflect on the year as a whole.

On one hand, our oldest son, turned 21 & achieved what everyone said was impossible: he got his driver’s license. However, this blessing didn’t last long as he also got into a near-fatal accident within 2 weeks on getting it. Minor injuries were the blessing in it & it reaffirmed to me how important it is to pray for our kids every night. If you were able to see the tree he hit when he lost control, there would be no doubt in your mind that God intervened mightily to save our boy.

Unfortunately, this accident resulted in some legal issues for him, but he’ll have to put on his big boy pants & weather it. He also decided to move out on his own & is enduring reality like we all have to do.

Also this year, my mom went through hip replacement right after being told she has Parkinson’s. We weren’t confident in doctor #1’s assessment but a second neurologist has insisted it is so. I went to these appointments with her, keeping to myself that I, too, had received a diagnosis: I also have Parkinson’s. I decided to keep it quiet until she was home from rehabilitation so that she was forced to concentrate only on herself. Then I told her.

So, within a week of each other, we received the exact same diagnosis. The difference is that she is probably stage 4 while I am early-onset, stage 1. Regardless, we’ve both decided that prayer is the way to go with this & I am utilizing nutritional information to care for myself. I’ve integrated coordination exercises into my workouts & am playing it smart.

Back in October, I had gone to a disability hearing, asking the judge to grant me disability due to Fibromyalgia & panic disorder. As this year drew to a close, I received my decision via snail mail: it is approved. Praise God! When 2015 begins, I know I will be able to care for my family monetarily thanks to God’s grace & the judge’s wise discernment.

For some, hearing that they’re disabled may be devastating. For me, it was finally, a respite from financial distress because I cannot work. Not being able to provide for the kids was more devastating than hearing those words. It’s a blessing to hear the determination.

2014 also brought my Aunt home to stay after around four decades of living in Maryland. She’s been a blessing to mom as she has done the bulk of the day-to-day for her sister. As always, she’s a continued blessing to my kids.

As the ball drops tonight & a new year begins, I know 2015 will bring its own issues. But, along with it is another year to be alive, another year of family, & God’s unwavering grace to see us through it all. Happy New Year!

Posted in Giveaways

Giveaways 12/30

Baileighs Sweeps

Win a pair of Polarized Sunglasses from Surreal®

Enter to Win a Gourmet Gift Basket from Mezzetta!

Sleep Spas

StayFit in the New Year!

#ResponsiblyWILD #WILDmovie contest by @PCTAssociation! #LifeIsWILD #PacificCrestTrail #PCT #hiking #backpacking

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT:Revelation: The Todor Trilogy, Book One

bookblitz bannerWe’re celebrating Revelation’s FREE kindle download TODAY, plus the audiobook version of the book is now available, too!


Revelation: The Todor Trilogy, Book One

By Jenna Newell Hiott

Genre: Fantasy


Book Synopsis


Do you love fantasy adventures? Let Revelation take you on a magical journey that will leave you questioning your own reality.

 In a land where magic was created through the spilling of blood, turmoil is looming. Grief and despair flood the land of Todor, and its creators–the omniscient Deis–consider destroying it altogether. That is, until a single spot of joy attracts their attention: the idyllic village of Aerie. Believing in the hope found there, the Deis give Todor one more chance. They place three infants within this village who are unknowingly tasked with ending Todor’s suffering and saving all creation.

As the three chosen ones grow, they discover that their beloved village is a haven of secrets, and nothing is as they believe. Can Gemynd, Soman, and Numa move beyond the secrets of Aerie in order to learn the truth about themselves and the world they thought they knew? With impending war, passionate love, and the heartbreak of separation facing them at every turn, will they do what is required to save Creation?

An imaginative fantasy debut from Jenna Newell Hiott, Revelation combines intrigue, passion, and magic to create a mythic tale like no other. The first book in the epic Todor trilogy, Revelation introduces readers to a unique fantasy realm, intelligent and layered with hidden truths, it will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.



Author Bio:


Author, healer, all-around kook, Jenna Newell Hiott boasts of having a limitless imagination, unless it’s nap time. While many of us had an imaginary friend as children, Jenna had an entire imaginary family—complete with a second set of parents and three siblings—all of whom lived in a make-believe world of Jenna’s own creation. One could say she’s been writing fantasy fiction since she was old enough to use words. And she never outgrew it. Out of this hyperactive imagination, Jenna created the land of Todor: a world of magic, intrigue, and power plays.



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Giveaways 12/29

RoomMates Weekly Giveaway (12-29-14)

Enter the Ruroc Lottery now for a chance to win! #RurocArmy #RurocLottery

New Year New Eyewear Sweepstakes

Win Two Tickets to the Penguins vs. Bruins Game!

Original Sprout Christmas Draw

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Posted in Book Reviews

The Annunciation: Ron Teachworth

_225_350_Book.1409.coverAs part of an art restoration project, a group of young, Catholic men & women are travelling to Florence, Italy. Together, they will assist in restoring some art work in the San Marco Convent. Olivia Gianetti is among them. Her entire life has been devoted to God & she plans to fulfill her call as part of the Felician Sisters. Among the seminarians is a young man named Finn. Unbeknownst to either of them, this trip will change their lives forever.

Not long after arriving, Finn & Olivia begin to become attracted to one another. Fearing repercussions, they hide their feelings. Soon, though, they’re madly in love. This whirlwind courtship will have to be delayed for a moment as things at San Marco begin to get interesting.

While the students are looking to the future, a group known as the Piagnoni is focused on the past. Devout Catholics who detest the more modern practices of Catholicism, the Piagnoni are determined to change the futre of the Church. Their plan is simple: assassinate the Pope. Lucky for them, the Pope is planning to visit Florence to greet the art restoration group. Quickly, they devise a way to get one of their members to infiltrate the convent. A plan is set in motion.

What follows will affect all the students in the project as well as the Catholic Church itself. Caught in the middle are the new lovebirds, Finn & Olivia. Can the Piagnoni be stopped or will the Pope lose his life? Can Finn & Olivia sort out their feelings in light of their impending calls to celibacy?

‘The Annunciation’ is a well-rounded read with a little bit for everyone. Despite the romantic angle, it is squeaky clean. Understandably, I’m sure it’s something more than one seminarian has struggled with in their lives. Not everyone is meant to be a nun or priest. They do move incredible fast & talk of marriage in less than a month. It makes you wonder how serious they really were about their calling.

The angle dealing with Church History was certainly fresh & has a Dan Brown feel to it. However, the historical facts were overdone. Not every character needed a complete biography, but received one anyway. It became a daunting task. I know there are many people serving the Church but they could’ve been a bit more irrelevant.

All in all, it’s a very enjoyable novel & I would recommend it with a 4 star rating. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.