April 27, 2013


I had fun shopping this week. F went with me to Target and we did a pretty good job. I found some fun items and got some shoes that will be put to good use (darn men in my family walk really flat footed so they go through shoes faster then I can buy them).

Total Spent: $80.39
Total Saved: $247.83 (75.5%)
Rewards Earned: $20

April 26, 2013

Darkness Before Dawn by Ace Collins + Giveaway

In his latest novel, Darkness Before Dawn (Abingdon Press), Ace Collins leads readers on an emotionally charged ride from revenge to forgiveness.

There is nothing like a dramatic beginning for a good book. That is exactly what happens in Ace Collins' Darkenss Before Dawn. The story begins as is in the hospital hard at work as a nurse. While on her shift she receives news that her dreams are finally coming true, she's pregnant! Everything looks great until shortly after her shift ends when everything falls apart, beginning with a phone call telling her that her husband has been killed by a drunk driver.

This story is wonderful but is very emotionally charged. Don't plan on reading it when you have anything else to do because once you start you won't want to put it down! You'll just love Meg and following her struggle to make the best out of the worst situation. It's a novel you won't want to miss!

fb-rafflecopter iconAce is celebrating the release of Darkness Before Dawn with a Retribution v. Redemption 12-Day Giveaway!

Go {HERE} or click the button for all the details. Follow along for a new giveaway each day. (Moleskin journal, books, Starbucks gift cards and so much more!)

April 23, 2013

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund + Kindle Fire Giveaway

Old country, new country, or somewhere in between. It doesn't matter where Carl goes he's in trouble under his own name he is at risk of loosing his life. When he arrives in the new world Carl takes a new name and a new identity just before he meets Annalise, a newly widowed mother of one, who is waiting for her new groom to arrive. Annalise needs help and Carl needs something to do so they work together to make the most of their bad situations.
This is an incredible story of perseverance and faith. It's amazing what two people can accomplish and survive when they have each other. You'll want to be sure to read this one and find out what happens when the fire of challenge burns too close to home.

Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of A Noble Groom by giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 

One "noble" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

April 21, 2013

Angels Among Us and a Little Chicken Soup

I know I don't post very often on Sundays, right now it's the only day I can guarantee that E is home for the day so we like to spend the day as a family. Usually this consists of the kids taking naps and mom and dad curling up to watch a movie. It's one of my favorite times of the week. There's something special about those moments when everything is quite and all is good in the world. In all honesty, it's these moments that keep me sane. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, my businesses and the crazy world but it's those quite moments of healing that I feel best. It's amazing what happens with a little help from the perfect person can do, help from my angel if you will.
I am a strong believer that everyone needs an angel at some point. Sometimes our angels are mortal and sometimes it's a supernatural help that is looking out just for you. Without these messengers and helpers I know that my world would be very different. There would be many days that I wouldn't make it through and many more times that I would be at a loss on how to get through the next moment.
Recently I had the chance to read Chicken Soup's Angels Among Us collection. It's full of 101 inspiration stories that made me laugh, cry, and reflect. It's been amazing reading material and made me even more thankful for those moments of angel meddling that make even my roughest moments a little more bearable. This book brought me a great moment to reflect on the good and enjoy some peaceful quiet time. Life really is an incredible journey!

April 20, 2013

Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer + Giveaway

If you know me at all you know that my whole life revolves around children. Not only my kids but I also spend quite a bit of time cheering on other kids who need an extra cheerleader. Recently, I had the chance to cheer on sweet little Nicky in Kim Vogel Sawyer's Sweet Sanctuary.
This is an uplifting book about a young mother, Lydia, who is out to save the love of her life, her son Nicky. Although Lydia is a wonderful mother her father feels that Nicky needs a reliable father in his life and creates a crossing in Lydia and Dr. Hatcher's paths that comes just in time for Nicky's drug-addicted father to make a dreaded appearance in Nicky's life.
This is an incredible book full of love and sacrifice that you won't want to miss. Anyone with a heart for a child will love this sweet story!

To celebrate the release of  Sweet Sanctuary Kim Vogel Sawyer is giving away a Cupcake Club membership (monthly cupcake delivery!) from the amazing Magnolia Bakery in New York and hosting a Facebook Author Chat party {4/30}!

One "sweet" winner will receive:
    • Cupcakes from NYC’s Magnolia Bakery delivered to your door every month. (Eat them all yourself or share!)
    • Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer for you and four of your friends. (Start a book group — cupcakes and a "sweet" read!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Sweet Sanctuary" Author Chat Party on 4/30. Connect with Kim, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be fun giveaways - gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Sweet Sanctuary and join Kim on the evening of April 30th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Stress Test by Richard L Mabry, M.D. + Nook HD Giveaway

It's been a while since I did a review of a good mystery. I have a hard time finding mysteries that are good but don't have so much blood that it makes me sick. I just finished a great mystery by Richard Mabry called Stress Test that was a wonderful read and I'm so excited to share it with you!
This incredible, life and death book will keep you on your toes and turning pages through the very end. E can certainly verify that I've said "one more chapter" a few too many times this week as I read about the kindhearted doctor who has been accused of murder with no one to back his story of innocence. You'll be rooting for him every step of the way during this great read!

Richard Mabry is celebrating the release of Stress Test with a Nook HD Giveaway! Enter today.

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • A $15 gift certificate to BarnesandNoble.com
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 27th. Winner will be announced on 4/29/13 at Richard's blog.

April 19, 2013

Flashback Friday - Floaties, Kick Scooters, Skip It, and More

Have you ever had one of those moments that you said, “they just don't make things like they used to”?
Lately, the boys' therapist and I have been working on finding them some new summer activities  It's going to be lots of fun but it seems like every time we come up with a new idea it's something that brings me one of the “blast from the past” moments that seem somewhat strange.
We've only had a few warm days so far but we're taking every chance to play outside that we can get. So far we've tried hula hoops and jump ropes that have been big hits with the older two. It's so much fun watching them play with the same type of toys that I remember enjoying.
For D we want to get a kick scooter to help strengthen his legs and work on his balance. I think I'll just have to get three so they can ride them together. Can you say “way too much fun”? I can only imagine what people will say when they see us all racing down the sidewalk. It will be awesome!
Besides kick scooters, the therapist is also searching for a skip it and I really want to get the boys floaties so we can spend some time swimming (one of my favorite activities). It's going to be a great blast from the past summer at our house and I can't wait to share the fun with the kids. There is something great about toys that last the generations and promote physical fitness and development in children. If only all toys worked this way!

April 17, 2013

I Did It All By Myself!

School's Out, It's Time to Clean + Giveaway

Don't get me wrong, I love learning and going to school. What I don't love is that my house gets neglected during the winter. Yes, we have a small break for Christmas but the holiday of itself makes a big enough mess that any cleaning that actually gets done is counteracted by the mess of a family at the holidays. Now that school is finally over I'm excited to be able to clean and air out the house. We started this last week and I still have a long list but we're slowly making progress.
This week our big jobs include conquering the kitchen and the bathrooms. These are probably the two areas I clean the most often but twice a year I go extra deep and  do things like organizing the cupboards, moving and cleaning under the fridge and stove, and other such jobs that I just don't have time for every week. It's a nasty job but I always feel so much better when it's done! I just love things being clean.
Because I love clean one of my go to brands is Clorox. I love knowing that when I use their products I am getting a good clean. I can't tell you how many times Clorox has saved us when we've had sick kids (or animals) and needed to disinfect everything, something that seems to happen all to often at our house. This year when I purchased my spring cleaning supplies I was excited to find Clorox's new spray every drop bottles. They are so simple and yet genius because they really do allow you to completely empty the bottle without having to do the whole dump method. I am so excited to have these in my house! It's just one more way that Clorox is going above and beyond and giving moms the chance to have the clean they want on the budget they can handle. You can save $1.50 on these new bottles by visiting their website and watching a short video. And make sure you enter below to win a set of coupons to stock your cleaning closet with FREE bottles of Clorox!

April 6, 2013

Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell + Kindle Fire Giveaway

Romance and candy seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. It seems, however, that candy does not solve all of our romantic problems. In fact, in Siri Mitchell's Unrivaled, candy seems to create a few problems for a young couple. Lucy and Charlie meet as strangers on the street only to realize at a future date that their fathers are the owners of the rival candy companies in town. They are both honest people and their dislike for the tactics their fathers are using as they battle on the store shelves does not solve their problems. Can they work through their differences and allow the companies they will inherit to work together or will the candy be their undoing?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a great Sunday read for me. Both Lucy and Charlie were fun characters to get to know and I enjoyed watching them struggle with their love of candy and their love of each other. If you want a sweet read then this one is for you!

Celebrate Unrivaled with Siri Mitchell by entering to win a Kindle Fire and joining her on April 18th for a Facebook Author Chat Party!

One "swooning" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Vintage Candy Kit
  • Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell (one for you and one for a friend!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 17th. Winner will be announced at the "Unrivaled" Author Chat Facebook Party on 4/18. Connect with Siri, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books, vintage candy kits, and more!

So grab your copy of Unrivaled and join Siri on the evening of the April 18th for a chance to connect with Siri and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

April 5, 2013

My Spring Wardrobe and Camisoles

Easter came and went which means it's time to change wardrobes for all us ladies. This week I have spent way too much time pulling my clothing boxes out of the basement and exchanging my dark skirts, slacks, and sweaters for shorts, camisoles, and t shirts. It doesn't seem like a huge project but it always ends up taking longer than I planned because this is one of the two chances I take each year to completely gut my closet and get it clean and organized. The end result is awesome but it sure does take a while to get there so here are my tips for helping your closet stay looking beautiful.

  1. Keep it simple: whatever you do don't make your system overly complicated because as nice as things look organized by color the chances of it staying that way (at least for anyone who has kids or a job and no housekeeper) are slim so it's probably not worth your time.
  2. Don't be afraid of shelves: Most closets don't have shelves of any sort but don't be afraid to buy or make some. Even the fabric hanging shelves can work in a pinch. These are great for things like undershirts, bags, and pants that can be difficult to hang up.
  3. Buy only one kind of socks: I simplified my life a lot when I decided to only buy one kind of socks, half in black and half in white. I don't have to spend time matching socks anymore, I simply divide my drawer in half, one side for each color, and then grab two socks from one side each morning.
  4. You don't need to keep everything: if your closet space is limited, like mine is, don't be afraid to donate the things you don't wear more than once a year. Instead invest in items that work with five or six outfits. You'll still leave the house feeling cute and new without the stress of an overcrowded closet.
  5. Put clean laundry on your bed: the worst thing that can happen to your closet is to have clean laundry that doesn't get put away. My trick for this has been to put anything that is clean on my bed. This way I can't go to sleep until it's put where it belongs.

VW Stories

It seems like we all have some great car stories. Weather it's your own car, someone you were helping, or simply a great road trip there are some stories that just don't ever get old.
With three toddler boys in my house we really like cars (or at least I pretend like I do). This last summer the boys' Uncle A introduced us to a new piece of summer fun when he bought an old VW and started taking it to local car shows. We attended one when he brought it to our town and I have never seen the boys that happy to walk around and listen on a hot summer day.
Of course, they all had to pick their favorite. Generally they liked the ones with the bright paint jobs but there was one VW van that they had put a table in and had it all set for dinner. They thought that was pretty cool and asked Uncle A if that could be his next project for his car.
Right after the car show, we of course had to go rent Herbie (the old ones) for them to watch. It was a huge hit! We still don't own the movies but every time we go to the library to rent one that's what the boys ask for.
They also really like to pick out the “bugs” as we're driving around town. They've found some not quite authentic bugs but they get ever so excited when they see one. It keeps them entertained as we drive around town and I love knowing that they are paying attention to what is going on around them.
This summer hopefully we can take the boys to another car show or two. If not I'll take them to a dealer, like vw jetta chicago, so at least they can see all the cars even if they aren't old nifty ones.
I'm sure the boys will also spend some time with Uncle A fixing up his cars. C especially loves to go out and lay under the car with his uncle and get all dirty (yuck!). Thankfully they also like to help each other clean up when they're done.