Posted in Book Reviews, Holidays

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Love Big: Kat Kronenberg

I received the title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Pic/Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

SYNOPSIS: “Set in the heart of the African Savanna, Love Big follows moody Baboon as he discovers another powerful secret.

The once lush, thriving, African savanna has turned dry and desolate. Hungry, miserable, and mean animals seek only their own interests. Baboon watches as, one by one, Rhinoceros destroys Termite’s castle in his race to find food, Hare chooses not to share food with her family, and Lion steals food from his pride.

But after Baboon sees Rhinoceros give Hare his snack-on-a-stick, everything changes! Baboon realizes that a transformative power exists between the animals and the star-dust that surrounds them once they share smiles and truly believe in themselves and each other. When Baboon tries out this secret by helping Lion, they share a smile, and CATCH-M, The Magical, Mystical, Miraculous Star-dust that surrounds them, whooshes into their lives to wham! ignite the courage in their chests too. Read on to see if Baboon can save the savanna with this new secret and a very stinky, unlikely hero . . . ”

MY THOUGHTS: Today is a day to celebrate love. Unfortunately, I did not love this book. In all honesty, I didn’t like much about it. Understanding that the author is highly acclaimed, I expected a home run, out-of-the-park hit. What I got was a book I didn’t want to finish.

As always, I encourage readers to experience books for themselves. Apparently, some readers did enjoy it. I found it muddled and confusing, especially being that it is geared toward younger readers. The main character, despite those mentioned in the synopsis, is a literal piece of poop. In fact, there is a lot of talk about this poop. Termite uses it for his home and it becomes a main character.

Another issue I had with it were the ‘transformative’ powers of the star-dust. While I understood this to me a ‘mythological’ story, which is fine, this felt more new age, evolutionary to me. As a Christian parent, that’s a no-go. I hoped to find happiness in the illustrations, but found them to be a huge left-down as well.

I appreciate the message of kindness and the message of a strong community. But, the author tried to jam-pack a host of public service messages into one book. It didn’t work. I give it 2 generous stars.

Learn more about Kronenberg at http://www.katkronenberg.com

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Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas Reflections

For most of my life, Christmas was always a joyous time. I loved everything about it. But, in 2011, at 3:52 Christmas morning, my dad passed over into eternity. He’d suffered for so long that I took it as an honor that Christ had called him home on Christmas morning. But, when the grief set in, I realized that Christmas would never be the same.

Of course, the first year was the worst. But, here we are in year 7, and it hasn’t changed that crappy, depressed feeling. Sometimes, I miss him so much that it actually hurts. There were some rough patches between us as father & daughter, but, I got to be exceptionally close to him during his final 5 years. Maybe that’s why it hurts so much. We were making real progress in transparency and I wanted him to see my kids graduate.

Every year I try. I really do. Last night, I decided I was going to decorate today. Period. But, when I woke up today, I discovered that whatever I had felt last night was fleeting. I don’t want to hang things up. We haven’t even purchased a tree yet. When the boys were little, Christmas was fun. Now, our youngest will be 16 on Friday. Our oldest & middle are living their own lives and we don’t hear from them often. It’s unlikely either will make a Christmas appearance.

Now, mom is having extra health woes (besides her Parkinson’s). We’re all facing her mortality. My aunt, who has become more than an aunt, is in her late sixties and trying to pretend she is still 30. We all know that doesn’t work. Only 2 years younger than mom, she maintains 2 part-time jobs and an active social calendar. They barely decorated except for a small tree. Our youngest can’t be persuaded to be excited. He feels that since we NEVER have company, what’s the point? He doesn’t even care about a tree.

We’re still battling a losing battle to keep our home habitable. Roof issues and erosion are our biggest enemy right now. Continuous November rain left its mark. I had hoped to be in a new home by now. It was apparently not God’s plan. Apparently, He is saying, ‘Wait’. I will. But, honestly, what choice do I have?

Eventually, we’ll decorate. I can’t believe I haven’t yet. But, we will. I ask the Lord daily to change my attitude. I don’t want to be depressed. I want to be jolly. I know the Lord understands and will see me through. But, real talk, I just want it to be January.

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Hillary Hallah Untied the Knot: Cheryl Rosenbloom Levet

I received the title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine
SYNOPSIS: When Jameson and Campbell drift to sleep, they are brought to an enchanted valley where they meet characters that embody the Jewish spirit. These characters are preparing for the Jewish New Year.

Hillary Hallah’s overexuberance leads her to trouble and causes a fight amongst friends. Through Hillary’s sincere apology and her friends’ compassion, this eclectic cast learns that two wrongs do not make a right.

Throughout this entertaining narrative, children will be met with colorful illustrations, important lessons on friendship and the wonder of Rosh Hashanah.

The idea to write a children’s story about the magic of Rosh Hashanah first came to Levet while she served as part of the Training Wheels program, which taught young Jewish children about several different Jewish holidays through crafts, music and stories.

“A story about Rosh Hashanah rapidly came to me as I typed it. I always loved the story, but I wanted it worded in a more child-friendly manner, so I wrote my nieces and nephews into it and turned it into an enchanting children’s story,” the author said.

One Amazon reviewer gave high praises for the book, saying, “This adorable story tells us about the Jewish New Year and how children can reflect on their actions and the effects on others.”

“Hillary Hallah Untied the Knot” sparkles and glitters as young children begin to embrace their Jewish New Year.
MY THOUGHTS: Our author does a wonderful job explaining Rosh Hashanah. I’m pleased to see a number of new authors producing quality works that celebrate Jewish heritage. The colorful characters are sure to capture the attention of younger readers. I would recommend that this be more of a ‘together’ read so that caregivers can assist with any hard to pronounce words and/or explanations. It is definitely for the elementary set. I can see it becoming part of a regular Rosh Hashanah tradition. If you are a homeschooler looking for imaginative ways to incorporate Jewish history and/or cultures, this is a great addition to your library. I give it 3 stars.
Pic & synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher. “Hillary Hallah Untied the Knot: A Rosh Hashanah Treat You Are Bound to Repeat”
By Cheryl Rosenbloom Levet
ISBN: 9781504387668 (softcover); 9781504387675 (electronic)
Available at the Balboa Press Online Bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
About the author

Cheryl Rosenbloom Levet was born and raised in Richmond, Va and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina. She went on to pursue her master’s degree from Old Dominion University. Levet currently teaches first grade and has been teaching for the last 22 years. This is her first children’s book, based on her own daughter Hillary. She currently resides in Norfolk, Va.

Posted in Giveaways

Viatek Night Stars Landscape Lighting Premium Series (Red, Green and Blue w/Remote) Holiday Giveaway

Holiday Contest and Sweeps

Presents The:

Viatek Night Stars Landscape Lighting Premium Series
(Red, Green and Blue w/Remote) Holiday Giveaway

The MFRP is $ 199.00. There will be only One Winner. This giveaway will be valid in the Continental United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.

Start Time/Date:  12:00 AM (EST) 12/1/16
End  Time/Date:  12:00 AM (EST) 12/25/16

Prize Value- $199.99
IF YOU DON’T SEE THE ENTRY FORM THEN CLICK ON THE WORDS ‘A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY’ & A NEW TAB WILL OPEN.
Continue reading “Viatek Night Stars Landscape Lighting Premium Series (Red, Green and Blue w/Remote) Holiday Giveaway”

Posted in Giveaways

Holiday Giveaway Spectacular Week Five

Holiday Contest and Sweeps

Presents

Holiday Giveaway Spectacular Week Five
There will be one winner
Of a prize package valued at $1576.00

This giveaway is  only valid in the Cont USA and entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.

Start/Time Date: 12:00 AM (EST) 11/28/16
End/Time Date:   12:00 AM (EST)   12/12/16

IF YOU DON’T SEE THE GIVEAWAY FORM THEN CLICK ON THE WORDS ‘A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY’. A NEW TAB WILL OPEN.

Giveaway Prize Value – $1576.00
Continue reading “Holiday Giveaway Spectacular Week Five”

Posted in Giveaways

Holiday Giveaway Spectacular Week Four

IF THE GIVEAWAY FORM DOESN’T SHOW, CLICK ON THE WORDS ‘ A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY’ AND A NEW TAB WILL OPEN.

This giveaway will have only one winner. The Prize Package Value is $664.72

This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be
18+ years of age to enter.
Start Time/Date:  12:00 AM (EST) 11/21/2016
End   Time/Date:  12:00 AM (EST) 12/05/2016

<!–more–

1 – Winner

Holiday Contest and Sweeps is proud to bring you the 4th Annual Holiday Giveaways
this year. Along with a amazing group of Co-Host Blogs and Sponsors, this year is going
to bring One lucky winner a Holiday Prize Package they will be delighted to win. Each
week for five consecutive weeks from 10/31 to 12/12 a new winner will win a amazing
prize package.
Below you will find the prize packages along with a link that will give you a description
of each prize along with a image of each for week number four..

Grand Prize Package
1 – Ergo Chef Shinzui 8 inch 67 Layer Damascus Chef Knife
1 – Viatek Night Stars Landscape Lighting Celebration Series
(Red & Green Laser w/Changeable Tips)
1 – QMT Arias Elite 42″ Windchime (Choice of 4 Colors)
1 – Standard Concession Supply Set of 3 Lighted Gift Boxes Inflatables
1 – Bravo Cucina Italiana Restaurant $25 Gift Card
1 – JClaw Tek Zombie First Aid Kit
1 – Popcorn Factory 2 Gallon Merry Christmas Popcorn Tin
1 – Mill Creek Entertainment NASA Documentary DVD
1- Almondina Assorted Cookies Box
1 – Almondina Toastees Assorted Box
1- Zim’s Naturally-Based Skin Care Gift Set
3 Pack of Waterproof  AquaNotes, Love Notes and Boat Notes

Ergo Chef

Shinzui 8 inch 67 Layer Damascus Chef Knife


This 8 inch Chef (Gyuto) knife is appropriately named “SHINZUI™” to encompass it’s total composition. It’s the Japanese meaning for core, strength and essence. From the blade it highlights the super strong and durable VG10 “core” having super “strength” and to the look and “essence” in the form and functional design of this 8” Japanese chef knife to give you ultimate performance in your kitchen!

This new SHINZUI Series Chef knife was designed for precise slicing through all types of food product with our newly developed Japanese Super Steel blade. Crafted with our Patented design providing ultimate comfort and grip, abbreviated bolster blend into the VG10 Japanese Super Steel Core blade for durability. The Japanese VG10 Steel is known for long lasting sharpness & extreme durability in the kitchen. The Japanese VG10 steel blade has 33 layers of softer Damascus steel per side for a beautiful one of a kind pattern with each knife & a center core of VG10 Super Steel.
A Precision 15 degree cutting edge per side provides Samurai Sword like cuts through the toughest of vegetables, fruit, red meat, poultry, pork and fish. Add the SHINZUI Chef knife to your kitchen collection today and start enjoying meal preparation.

FEATURES:

Damascus Blade Made in Japan: VG10 Japanese Super Steel Core with Our Custom Damascus Layer Patterns – Each knife pattern will be slightly different. VG10 is a high carbon Japanese steel known for its samurai sharp edges and tough long lasting sharpness.
Edge: Double beveled 15 Degree’s per side for incredible strength and smoothest cuts through toughest foods.
Heat Treat: 60 HRC +/- 2 for superior long lasting sharpness and durability. Tempered to perfection.
Handle: Black G10 fiberglass resin composite with red G10 stripes down both sides of the full tang. A Mosaic center rivet and 2 stainless steel rivets complete the look and are polished for beauty. The G10 handle is one of the world’s strongest materials for lifetime of worry free use.

Blade Length: 8″
Blade Height: 2.25″
Blade Thickness: .090″
Handle Length: 4.9″
Handle Width: .880″
Handle Belly Height: 1.120″

Assembled in China to Ergo Chef’s exact specifications for your cutting pleasure and the best value priced performance for the high quality in our new SHINZUI SERIES.

Viatek Consumer Products

NIGHT STARS LANDSCAPE LIGHTING CELEBRATION SERIES (RED & GREEN LASER WITH 6 CHANGEABLE TIPS)

Night Stars Landscape Lights are decorative lights that are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It projects points of brightly colored lights onto walls, dance floors, landscapes, pools, gazebos, etc. Create an instant atmosphere for parties and entertaining or add a splash of color and interest to your home, yard, or garden. It projects red, green, or a combo of the two colors as well as an optional flash/pulse setting. The included Radio Frequency remote lets you control your Laser Light from anywhere in and around the house (not just close by to the light). The built-in timer runs for 4, 6, or 8 hours and is also programmed from the remote.
Specs & Features:
• Metal construction
• Up to 3000 sq ft coverage
• Advanced RF remote:
• Select single or combo colors
• Timer with 4, 6, or 8-hour daily cycle
• Flash selection with speed control
• Power button on back

QMT Winchimes

Arias Elite 42 inch Windchime

If you’ve been looking for a piece to be the heart of your yard, this chime is right for you! Made in the U.S.A. and hand-tuned, it is a great conversation piece, and its impressive size and resonant tones will set off any outdoor arrangement with an original, graceful style that combines tradition with modernity.


Set of 3 Elegant Holiday Red Gift Boxes with Green Bow Ties Decoration. This set is UL listed and furnished with 60 lights. For indoor or outdoor use


Bravo Cucina Italiana Restaurant

$25 Gift Card

This holiday season, you can have your Tiramisu and eat it too. With BRAVO Cucina Italiana’s chefs behind you and an atmosphere that’s just right for the holiday party of your dreams, you can be the “hostess with the mostess”. You don’t have to travel all the way to Italy to experience Italian food done right! Just visit your local BRAVO! to enjoy an authentic Italian menu like oven fresh pizza, fresh-made pasta and house specialties grilled to absolute perfection. Book your holiday party now and your guests will say grazie! Learn more at http://www.bravoitalian.com/events.

JClaw Tek
 
JClaw Tek – Zombie First Aid Kits

JClaw Tek – Zombie First Aid Kits

Be Prepared For Mishaps And More With The First Aid Kit You Can’t Forget
Even if the next zombie outbreak never comes, you’ll have a portable, durable, and well-stocked first aid and survival kit perfect for nearly any situation. Each kit is…
•Water Repellant, Made From 600 Denier Nylon
•Mil-Spec and MOLLE Ready
•Stocked With 62+ Medical Essentials
•Built To Customize And Carry Anywhere
•TSA Compliant

Click Here To Read Review & Info

Mill Creek Entertainment

NASA A Journey Through Space Doc DVD

The Thrilling History of America’s Space Program!

The exploration of our universe has achieved unimaginable feats with hundreds of missions stretching light years into the distant galaxy. This exciting documentary series takes you on the incredible journey of the past, present and future of NASA that shaped the 20th Century and will boldly go further in the 21st Century and beyond!

The Popcorn Factory

Merry Christmas 2-Gallon 3/Flavor Tin


For more than 35 years, The Popcorn Factory has been the “popcorn authority” with our impressive collection of crowd-pleasing gifts and great-tasting snacks. We start with the finest corn grown right here in the USA and transform each kernel into premium popcorn using 100% corn oil and infusions of the very tastiest flavors. The Popcorn Factory pops over 1 million pounds of popcorn per year, and all of our popcorn is Kosher OU-D.

Since 1979, we’ve been delighting customers with delicious, premium popcorn and impressive, all-occasion gift tins, baskets and towers. In all that time, we’ve remained committed to bringing you fresh product, unique ideas and above all, complete satisfaction. And we back this guarantee with our Popcorn Promise: You and your recipients must be absolutely delighted!

Their Merry Christmas Popcorn Tins offer a festive design and mouthfuls popcorn cheer. 3-flavor tins are filled with 32 cups of Butter, Cheese and Caramel.

Almondina

Assortment of Almondina Cookies

This  all-natural, crispy almond cookie has no cholesterol and no added fat,  salt, or preservatives. It is wonderfully crunchy and does not have to  be dipped. It is a delightful accompaniment for coffee, tea, soft  cheeses and fine light wines. The rush to eliminate fat from gourmet  foods too often has also eliminated most of the flavor, a fact which is  in sharp contrast to this enticingly delicious cookie.

Since  the introduction of the classic Original flavor, eight more distinctive  variations have been introduced, all of which continue to be packed  with roasted almonds. A recent innovation, Chocolate Cherry, combines  the almonds with dark chocolate and plump cherries.

Click Here For Review & Product Info

Almondina Toastees

A bite sized twice baked crunchy snack from the makers of Almondina Cookies.
This mouth watering Toastee comes in flavors such as Coconut Orange Almond,
Cranberry Almond, Lemon Poppy Almond , and Sesame Almond

Click Here For Review & Product Info

Zim’s Naturally-Based Products

Zim’s has provided a great gift package of three amazing skin care products.

Zim’s Max-Crack Creme Original Liquid Formula
Zim’s Original Liquid Herbal Formula 2.0oz Softens and Moisturizes dry, cracked thickened skin

Zim’s Max-Crack Creme Creamy Daytime Formula
Our original liquid and creamy daytime products are ideal for the dry split fingers often associated with dry atmosphere weather in wintertime or southwestern climates.

Zim’s Max Heels & Feet Foot Cream
From the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Zim’s CRACK Creme comes Heels & Feet Foot Cream. A NEW blend enhanced with L-Arginine to help soothe, moisturize and protect dry, cracked, tired feet.

Aqua Notes

3 Pack of AquaNotes,Love Notes and Boat Notes

If you find that some of your best ideas and insights are generated in the tranquility and solitude of the shower…then AquaNotes® is for you! These waterproof notepads help you capture and preserve your ideas before they’re forgotten!

Families are on the go more than ever! AquaNotes® provide a way to use the shower to organize your thoughts, to-do-lists, and errands for the day ahead. Leave reminders and messages for family members or relax by drawing, sketching, or doodling in the shower!

Click Here To Read Aqua Notes Review


A Big Thank You To All Of Our Sponsors,
Make Sure To Follow Them On Social Media
By Visiting Their Pages on The Entry Form.

This giveaway is in no way associated, endorsed or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter
or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway will also be valid in the
Continental United States only. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This event
will come to and at 12:00 AM (EST) 12/05/2016.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Holiday Contest and Sweeps did not receive any form of compensation for holding this
giveaway. Each sponsor will be responsible for the awarding and shipping of their own
contribution directly to the winner themselves. There is no guarantee that any of these
prizes will arrive for the Christmas Holiday.