October 31, 2011

Book Review: Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall

About Harvest of Grace:

Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, can Sylvia find relief from the echoes of her past…or will they shape her future forever?
Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family’s debt-ridden farm.
After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed’s failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron’s parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.
Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture— a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love.

My Thoughts:

We're going to change it up a little and I'm going to begin by telling you what I didn't like, it's a short list. I didn't like the fact that I had not read the first two books in this series first. Other than that, this was a book I loved! Amish have a very interesting culture to read about. I also love that this is a book I could easily hand to one of my children, provided they could read, and I would know it was appropriate for them. I remember loving this type of book as a young teenager because they were romantic but they were clean reading that I could take to school. I will be passing the book on to my sister who is currently in that stage so she can enjoy it as well. This is a book that would make a great Christmas gift!

Happy reading!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2011

Sunday Project: A Cute Snack

With tomorrow being Halloween I've been looking for something fun to do for our school lunches. I found these adorable clementines at The Princess and the Frog Blog. They are perfect! She uses clementines but all I have right now is full sized oranges. I could see the kids' faces when they open their lunches today.

Happy Halloween!

October 29, 2011

Saving Saturday - Not much shopping

I only shopped Wallgreens this week and only while I was waiting for C's prescription to be filled. With him being sick I didn't have energy to do anything else this week.

Total: $3.02
Saved: $18.58 (86%)

October 27, 2011

Trick-or-Treat Hop: Eye of the Crystal Ball

About Eye of the Crystal Ball:

When Sara was newborn her parents left her at the doorstep at Mr. and Mrs. Schneider’s house. When Sara was ten she discovered she was telekinetic. She began to move stuff around when she got angry just by her will alone. When Sara was twelve her real parents came for her and took her with them to live like the Gypsy that she was – or Romani as they like to call themselves. They told her she was going to fulfill a prophesy. That it was once said that out of the Romani people the greatest sorceress who had ever lived would be born. When Sara was thirteen she had a baby brother and when she was fourteen he got very sick with a strange illness. To save her baby-brother Sara sets off on a quest to find his cure – well knowing that it will cost her dearly. Soon Sara finds herself going through the Singing Cave, crossing Wild Witches Valley, talking to a ten foot giant snail, rescuing the Beads of Souls from the Hell-hounds, escaping a spell in Vamila, the Forest of Vanity, visiting the king at the City of Lights before she finally reaches the Black Castle where she is told the Eye of the Crystal Ball can tell her how to cure her brother’s strange illness. But nothing is free in this world - and as Sara soon will know - everything has a price.

Our thoughts:

E read this book and seemed to really enjoy it.  The only think he commented on was that there were some editorial issues. Other than that he said to tell you that it's a very good book and will be enjoyed.

Watch for a great giveaway of Eye of the Crystal Ball coming tomorrow.

*This product was provided to me by the company at no charge for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Trick-Or-Treat Hop: Slanket Review

About Slankets:

One subzero night in 1998 during my first semester of college I could not escape Maine's winter bite. While watching Late Night with Conan O'Brien I decided I needed to tear a hole in my sleeping bag so I could keep my upper body warm as I channel surfed during the commercial breaks. During Christmas vacation I commissioned the first Slanket to be made by my mother...and it was born.

Everyone behind The Slanket is on the same level when it comes to life. Besides creating a product to make people comfortable and warm, our life goals are not to accumulate mansions, SUV's, expensive watches and closets just for shoes. What we want in life is to travel the world and experience all its cultures while representing humanity positively. Whether surfing in Costa Rica, snowboarding in Austria, or studying language in South America and China, we love to spread our sleeves and let them flap in the wind, giving back in the process. BUT... there is nothing like coming home, wrapping up in The Slanket on your own couch and feeling the warmth of your friends and family.

Garys Signature
Slanket Creator

My Thoughts:

I honestly do not know how I ever survived without a Slanket and I am so glad Slanket is letting me share this awesome product with all of you! Please excuse the mess in this photo, E snapped it when I wasn't quite ready, but this is how I use my Slanket on a daily basis. After the kids are in bed it is perfect to use when I'm doing homework so I don't freeze. As you can see my computer, backpack, and water mug are all nearby so once I'm warm I am ready to work. When it's not quite so cold I also like to wear the my Slanket backwards. This works great for me because it leaves the opening in the front so I can still nurse baby D.

The Slanket has washed great! I have not had any problems with staining and other than E complaining that it is hard to fold it is wondrful!

Watch tomorrow for an awesome giveaway from Slanket!

*This product was provided to me free of charge by the company for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Adoptable: Buck

Meet Mr. Buck, the sweet senior yellow Labrador with the heart of gold. With his cheerful disposition, lively gait, and endless curiosity, it's hard to believe Buck is a day past 2. Buck is house-broken, healthy, and just a total delight. He would be a great addition to just about any home and gets along with all creatures. Buck has been loved and well-cared for his whole life. Unfortunately, his owner can no longer care for him, so City Dogs Rescue is helping him find a new home. All his records are available, including his AKC papers (yup, he's a purebred!). If you want a dog that will be your devoted friend for life, that won't chew on your shoes or pee on your carpet, and that is already trained and ready to go, Buck is your guy! Please contact adopt@citydogsrescuedc.org for more information on Mr. Buck. (Buck is not yet neutered but will be before adoption.) Please visit our website at http://www.citydogsrescuedc.org.

October 25, 2011

Toddler Tuesday: Owl Cupcakes

I found these adorable owls over at A Little Sussy. All you need is cupcakes, Oreos, and M&Ms. This would be such a fun treat for a school party and the best part is that it won't take you a ton of time. I think we're going to makes some and take to the neighbors for a Halloween treat!

October 24, 2011

Playful Planet Yoga DVD Review & Giveaway

About Playful Planet Yoga:

Just after the turn of this century, Karen and Bryan met, and soon realized, that in addition to sharing a passion for one another, they also shared a passion for using the power of media to bring knowledge and awareness to people’s lives. With Bryan’s 30 years of experience in both television and film, and Karen’s years of expertise in growing new businesses, they were a perfect match. The couple set out on a mission to create uplifting media that would both entertain and empower people.
Together they began developing ideas for programs, books, and films. But it was not until 2005 when a new inspiration, their daughter Lily, was born, that their focus sharpened into a single vision. Together, inspired by their desire for a better future for Lily, they made a commitment to help other families conquer the challenges of raising healthy children on a healthy planet.
The idea was planted in the summer of 2007 at a young girl’s birthday party where Karen met Ahmed Fahmy, a local kid's yoga instructor who incorporated storytelling into his classes. Other mom's at the party were intrigued, and asked if Ahmed gave classes outside the area.  He did not, and it was in that moment that the Playful Planet concept was born. Bryan and Karen began developing a series of programs and activities for families to enjoy together, beginning with Storyland Yoga, featuring Ahmed. They resolved that each of the Playful Planet programs would be unique experiences that connect the health and well-being of children with the health and well-being of the planet.
As the vision grows, so does the realization that much of what Playful Planet does is philanthropic in nature. The topics are timely, necessary and are meaningful on a global level. Playful Planet welcomes all to join their Community with the belief that together we can create a brighter future for our children and the planet.

My Thoughts:

Although Storyland Yoga is made for small children, B & C were not thrilled. I watched it with them and although they did recognize the animal names and a little about the stories, they were not at all interested in participating in the activity. The yoga itself was simple and I believe B could do it reasonably well if the DVD would keep his attention. I think for now this is not going to be a big hit with my kids but in a few years I think they will enjoy it very much.

Storyland Yoga has generously offered to to give one Kerrific reader their own copy of Storyland Yoga. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

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

October 23, 2011

Sunday Project: Halloween Surprise Cake

I don't know about you but I can get my boys to eat anything if I tell them it has a surprise in it they have to find. We do this with everything from yogurt covered raisins to meatloaf. They love it!

This week I found this cake that really does have a surprise inside. It looks super easy to make and it would be a big hit at any Halloween party you are throwing this week. You can check out all the details over at Created By Diane but here are the basics.


  • 2 white cake mixes & ingredients
  • 4 colors food coloring (she uses Americolor)
Basically she divided the dough, made each part a different color, layered it in the pan and swirled it. So simple and so fun. I can't wait to surprise all the guys at my house.

Happy Baking!

October 22, 2011

How To Pack A Giraffe by April Beker - Review

About How To Pack a Giraffe:

It is exciting when the circus comes to town and the elephant's parade around so everyone will know that they have arrived. People are busy caring for the animals and setting up the circus in a new town. There is a petting zoo and animal rides, and of course the performances. It is spectacular, but soon it is time to leave and move to another town.
One little boy wonders after the circus departs one night how this all works, how they pack up and move all the animals so fast but especially, how they pack the giraffes?
It is not until the following year when the circus again comes to his town that he finds the answer to his question.

My Thoughts:

The story line of this book is good. I love that it encourages kids to ask questions and keep looking until they find an answer. I did however find two big problems, for me, in this book. First is that it is too old for my kids. They like the pictures with all the animals but the story itself is still too mature and would be better for someone in the 8-12 age range. The second is the punctuation. The use of commas is simply awful and it was very hard to read when much of the punctuation was incorrect. Great story if you can get past that though.

EdenFantasys - Halloween for Adults

I'm sure by now most of you have some idea about what you're doing for Halloween but have you thought of spending some time dressed up in the bedroom. If you haven't here are some awesome ideas from EdenFantasys. They have so many fun costumes to share I am having a hard time picking just a few. Here are some of my favorites.

This pirate is simply adorable. This set comes with everything except the shoes, and who really needs those anyway. I think I love this so much because of the hat. Such an awesome combo.

This Eskimo is also adorable! I'm all about fuzzy hoods (I must be in a hat mood today). I love this costume because it looks warm and comfortable. The brown is a great color too.

This Medical Mary Jane would also be fun. It also comes with all the pieces you need. Right now you also have the option to buy it in a kit with other sex toys and get 20% off everything in the kit. That's a great deal on some great items.

I know what you're thinking at this point, what about my man, how does he get to dress up. Well EdenFantasys has something for him too. Check out this hot Firefighter suit! I won't post it here but go check out what comes with to go underneath. I know exactly what E's getting for Christmas.

Don't see something you love? Don't be discouraged. Go check out the rest of the costumes at EdenFantasys and you're sure to find something you can't live without. Remember there is a free item with every order and always the option for free shipping.

Happy Shopping!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

October 21, 2011

NanoStyle I Love You Pendant Review

About NanoStyle:

NanoStyle is a jewelry company established in 2009. They specialize in innovative jewelry that expresses the diverse cultures of the world through their art.

My Thoughts:

NanoStyle sent me a beautiful I Love You in 120 Languages Pendant to review. Although I do not wear jewelry on a regular basis, it tends to get broken with the kids, I love the simple elegance of this piece. When you first look at the pendant it looks almost like a thumbprint, it is not until closer inspection that you realize what you are truly seeing. This piece has so much meaning and would be the perfect gift for the love of your life.

NanoStyle has many different pendants and are just coming out with a new line of rings to match. Although I love the black onyx of my pendant, they do carry other stones as well for both the pendant and the ring. If you are interested in the rings make sure you sign up for the newsletter, found on the homepage, so you will be notified when they are available. While you are looking make sure you become a fan on Facebook and twitter so you can hear about all the latest styles.

Lastly, don't forget to let us know who will be getting a beautiful new piece of jewelry in their stocking this year...we won't tell.

Date Night: Seven Days of Love

When you need a simple way to tell your spouse you love one this is a perfect idea. It requires a standard 7 day pill box, small candies and the printable love notes found HERE. This is something that is perfect for any occasion but I think it would be extra special for those times when you are apart. It would work great to sneak in a suitcase or leave on the pillow. Be creative!

This great idea comes from The Dating Divas.

October 20, 2011

Adoptable Pet: Sid

Since Halloween is fast approaching I have to share an adoptable of one of the oddest breeds I've encountered. This is Sid, he is a Chinese Crested Dog. Most people think they are terribly cute, I think they are odd ducks. Sid sounds like a sweet little guy. He's about two years old. Obviously the biggest concern for him will be staying warm and avoiding sunburn. He's also quite small so a house with adults only is probably best. I'm told Sid knows how to play fetch and is very well mannered both in the house and the car. Sid is currently located in California. If you're interested in adopting Sid you can see more information HERE.

Thanks for thinking adoption first!

October 18, 2011

Hot Wheels Customs Review

About Hot Wheels Customs:

Our Thoughts:

When we were asked to review Hot Wheels Customs we were so excited! It was almost C's birthday so we figured we'd get him something fun. We ended up with this awesome car that helps him use his vocabulary. 

C really loves this bus. His favorite thing is probably that it is his and B can't take it from him without getting in trouble. Making it was fairly simple. The biggest problem that i had was choosing which photo I wanted to use. 

Delivery time did take a few weeks but for a custom car it was not overly long. It arrived in an awesome package that you could also customize for the occasion. The car itself is a great quality just as you would expect from Hot Wheels. This was an awesome gift for C and would make an awesome stocking stuffer for any Hot Wheels fan. Go check it out!

Chores for Tots

At the Kerr house we have the "problem" of having kids who want to help all the time with jobs they are not big enough to help with. I am constantly looking for chores that B and C are capable of doing that they can help with so they don't feel left out. Here are some ideas.

C (18 months - 2 years):

  1. Set the table - This is probably C's favorite job. The problem rises when he wants bowls and we need plates.
  2. Fold the laundry - He doesn't get to help with everything but he is great at putting the wipes, soakers and  covers in separate piles. 
  3. Picking up toys - He may not always want to but once we get him started he does a great job.
  4. Putting away groceries - At our house we have 3 locations for groceries, downstairs food storage, garage fridge, and kitchen. C's favorite ones to take go downstairs, just don't hand him anything that can brake.
B (3-4 years)
  1. Drying dishes - This is something new for B as we usually just use the dishwasher but he loves to dry the dishes with his very own towel and then put them away.
  2. Fold the laundry - B is really good at diapers and he can fold small, simple items like washcloths and hand towels.
  3. Bringing in bags from shopping - Be does a great job as long as the bags are not too heavy.
  4. Gathering eggs - This is something we love B to help with because in order to get the eggs you have to jump the fence and it's much easier for us to lift him over than to jump over ourselves. (Tip: only let him get one egg at a time, they bang together and make great sounds.)

October 17, 2011

Exciting Event coming in January!

We have an awesome giveaway coming in January. That's right, it's time for another ABE. We're already working on some great prize packs so make sure you stay tuned for more information. If you are interested in joining this event please see more information HERE or if you're interested in being a sponsor please contact me HERE. Thanks!


October 16, 2011

TI-Nspire CX Handheld Review & Giveaway

About T.I.-Nspire:

Stay mobile, continue learning – Transfer class assignments from handheld to computer (PC & Mac®). Complete work outside of school using student software. On the desktop at home or a laptop on the bus, at the library, coffee shop...wherever.

Watch the Video  
Visualize in full color – Color-code equations, objects, points and lines on the full-color, backlit display. Make faster, stronger connections between equations, graphs and geometric representations on screen. 
Real-world images** – Use digital images or your own photos. Overlay and color-code math and science concepts. Discover real-world connections.
Recharge with ease – The TI-Nspire Rechargeable Battery, installed with the handheld, is expected to last up to two weeks of normal use on a single charge. No alkaline batteries needed.
Calculate in style – The sleek TI-Nspire CX handheld is the thinnest and lightest TI graphing calculator model to date. It's also the brightest with a high-resolution, full-color display that makes it easy to see every exponent, variable and line.
3D Graphing – Graph and rotate (manually and automatically) 3D functions. Change the wire or surface color of your 3D graph.

My Thoughts:

Let me start by saying that I was so frustrated last semester going back to school because I am a math education major and my calculator, a TI-83 Plus Silver Edition, was lost somewhere in the get married mess. I looked for it all last semester and couldn't find it anywhere.

As I prepared for this semester I was thrilled that TI agreed to send me a calculator to review and share with all of you! The TI-Nspire CX they sent me has quickly become my right hand. E has often commented over the last few weeks about the fact that this calculator is never out of my sight.

There is so much I love about this calculator. I wish I could show you all the awesome things it could do but that post would take you days to read and most of you, that is unless you're a math freak like I am, would quickly give up reading because you wouldn't care. So let me just highlight a few of my favorite features.

The color screen is the first thing that really caught my attention. The fact that I can graph two lines in different colors and see which matches which function is simply genius! This is so helpful when trying to compare two functions.

The second thing I noticed was the way it displays your equations and answer, in real form! This drives E crazy when he uses it but for me this is awesome! I love that you don't have to try to figure out exactly what you put into the calculator because it shows it to you in exactly the same format you would use if you were writing it on paper. This is probably the part I am most excited to use in my classroom

One other feature I'm just discovered is that it can draw pictures and calculate angles, areas and other measurements. This is way cool because you can upload an image and then have students use the image to find an area, line, or length. I am so excited to learn more about this and use it in my classroom as part of our real world applications.

Now, I do have to tell you about the two things I don't like really quick. One is the fact that the only owner's manual for this is online. This is ok but can make it hard to figure things out when you are in class without a computer. The second thing will not be a big deal for most people, it is that every once in a while I get an error that says I need the higher version to complete the function (See image). For most people this will not matter but if you really want a calculator to use for life I recommend spending the extra $10 and getting the CAS version.

As a side note, all these images I made myself using the computer software that comes with the TI-Nspire. It looks just like the calculator and you can move all your documents from one to the other and do all these things in either place.


TI has generously offered to give one Kerrific reader a TI-Nspire CX Handheld of their very own. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.

Sunday Project: Pumpin-piller

This little garden friend from Better Homes and Gardens is just too cute. This is going to be such a fun way to use all those pumpkins that didn't quite turn orange. I can't wait to put him along my front walk! 
Happy Sunday!

October 15, 2011

Baby Bedding Zone Review

About Baby Bedding Zone

In 2004, Laura Abro, a work at home mom with her second child on the way, was frustrated by her lack of options when trying to find the perfect crib bedding for her daughter's nursery. With no time to run from store to store, she turned to the Internet, but was very disappointed with the available ecommerce stores. She found that they either had a very small selection of bedding sets or a poorly-designed and difficult-to-use website (often both!). She was inspired to build a better choice for new moms, and in early 2008, her dream became a reality with the launch of Baby Bedding Zone. It was an instant hit and is now one of the most popular nursery bedding stores online.
"Our customers are our number one priority, and our goal is to make their shopping experience an absolute joy. Whenever we make any decision about the future of Baby Bedding Zone, we always first consider how it will affect our customers. If it doesn't make their lives easier, we don't do it."
- Laura Abro
Baby Bedding Zone
We understand that choosing the perfect baby bedding can be a tough decision - that's why we work so hard to take the hassle out of the process with our easy-to-use website and unparalleled customer service. Combined with our ever-expanding selection of baby bedding and our 110% low price guarantee, there's no better place to buy your crib bedding.

My Thoughts - 

Baby Bedding Zone sent us these awesome curtains to review and we are in love! Our new home has beautiful big windows, the one pictured is in the master, through the whole house. I love the natural light it gives but now that it's getting colder we are noticing a faster drop in temperature too. The only thing I do not like about these curtains is that they are slightly long for our short ceilings. This is not really a big deal for us however as once they are tied up they barely touch the floor.

I really love these curtains because they are so heavy. The are grate at keeping both the light and the cold air out of the bedroom. It is amazing the difference they make with the sound from the road too.

The one thing I was a little concerned about with these curtains was the white color. The pictures on their site do not show the awesome texture these have that makes them just beautiful! After looking around Baby Bedding Zone I am so impressed with the many types of bedding they have. It is so hard to find cute bedding for little boys and  I love the choices they offer. Some of my favorites can be found under camo baby bedding, zebra baby bedding and western baby bedding. Don't you love all the choices!

Happy Shopping!

Saving Saturday - Pet Food & Toilet Paper

Not as good of a week as I wanted but I got some things we really needed and did some Christmas shopping. I was so glad toilet paper was on sale because we were down to just two packages and I only have about another weeks worth of vitamins left so that was needed too. Anyway, I shopped Walgreens, Target and Albertsons.

Total Spent: $39.11
Total Saved: $149.41 (79.3%)
Rewards Earned: $15.00