Monday, December 17, 2012

Happier At Home

I will admit when my husband saw this book, he said "Happier at home?  I don't think so!  You need to work more.  That will make you (and me) happier!"  I know he was just kidding. 

I work away from home 20 hours a week. I think it is the perfect amount of hours.  It gives me three days each week that I can get stuff done while the kids are in school.  

One of my favorite things to do on a quiet winter afternoon is read.  So I was very excited when I got the chance to read Gretchen Rubin's newest book. This is the first book of hers that I have read, and I am really excited to share it with friends.
Each month, Gretchen picks a few goals she wants to work on.  These goals are things that have been driving her crazy in her home (like organizing her thousands of photos) or things she know she could do better (like holiday celebrations).  And then each month she gives an update on her progress.  

I love how she makes small attainable goals each month.  It is encouraging to me as a reader to realize that change is possible.  And if I work hard enough at completing a task, the end result is deeply satisfying.

I encourage you to check out Gretchen Rubin's website, The Happiness Project.  My favorite part of the site is the Daily Quotes section. I am a quote collector, and have found some of my new favorite quotes here!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No greater LOVE than Jesus!

I cannot believe Christmas is in nine short days!  I know Christmas comes every year on December 25th, but for some reason this year has gone incredibly fast.  I have done minimal decorating this year.  I have not really done much shopping yet.  It just feels like we have been busy busy busy!  I do know Christmas will happen if I am ready or not.  And I do know that for some reason this year we are choosing to focus more on LOVE this year.  

I think God has been trying to teach me about love since January.  There have been so many times that love has come up in conversation.  Our MOMSnext (a branch of MOPS International) theme verse this year is "love as if your life depended on it."  I have watched and listened to sermons about love.  As a wife, mom, leader, nurse, and friend it can be so hard to be loving.  I recently watched an Unglued video session by Lysa Terkeurst.  Her challenge was to choose the right thing (being loving) instead of the easy thing (reacting with sarcasm, anger, or other harmful emotions).  So this has been my challenge to myself.  And this Dayspring Christmas tree skirt is a constant reminder!

Greater love has no man than this:

To lay down one's life for one's friends.  John 15:13

To me that is what Christmas is all about.  Love like Jesus.  Love as if my life depended on it!  Love because it is the right thing to do, not the easy thing to do!  You are more than welcome to check out the DaySpring collection for yourself.  I think you will find reminders of what the Christmas season really is all about!

*DaySpring provided me with this Christmas tree skirt.  The picture and opinions are mine.*

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Torani isn't just for coffee!

Who doesn't love a hot cup of coffee on a cold day?  I know that is one thing I look forward to as the days get shorter and colder!  And I am now so glad to have Torani Gingerbread syrup to add to my coffee!  I start with about a 1/2 cup of skim milk in a mug and microwave it for about 30 seconds.  {Just enough to get it steamy.}  Then I brew a large Kcup of coffee. {usually breakfast blend by Green Mountain}  Then I add two splashes of Torani Gingerbread syrup and stir well.  This makes a perfect gingerbread latte for a lot less than the coffee shop prices!  Yummmy!!

Have you ever tried Torani syrups?  You can also use them to make flavored teas, Italian sodas, smoothies, and even cocktails!  There are over 120 flavors of Torani syrup and there are Regular and Sugar-Free varieties.

I engourage you to enter the Torani Holiday Cheers Contest! Torani wants to know how you use their syrups to turn your everyday coffee (and recipes) into an everyday treat!  Be sure to send your holiday recipe creations to - don't forget to snap a pic, blog about it and share it on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Be sure to tag Torani at @Torani and #Torani. Starting November 12th you’ll have the chance to win special Mr. Coffee prizes along with your favorite Torani Syrups each week! This contest runs till December 9th so we want to see all the recipes you have incorporating Torani.

This is a sponsored post for shespeaks and Torani.  The opinions are mine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Purex PLUS OXI is da bomb!

***Contest has ended!!  Randi & 1porkchop have been contacted by e-mail.  Thanks for entering!!***

Have you seen the new Purex PLUS OXI in the stores yet?  Well, I am here to tell you this stuff is amazing.  I am so excited to tell you about this detergent and give you a chance to win a free coupon for a bottle to try out in your home. 

This year my sixth grade boy made the travel basketball team.  He was beyond thrilled to be a part of the team.  It meant he got a whole uniform complete with jersey, shorts, pants, shoes, practice shirt, and a sweatshirt!!  I was not thrilled when I saw how much of his uniform was white.  I never buy anything white.  I am sure any mom with 3 boys can relate to this.  Or any person with kids for that matter!  So I decided to give the Purex PLUS OXI a try on my sons newly stained (from greasy pizza in between games, of course) uniform.  And I was so happy with the results.  The stains came out and it stayed white.  A big win for us all.  Except for at the basketball games.  We've had a rough start....his team is 0-6.  But we are having lots of fun, and his uniform is still white!!

Purex PLUS OXI works on over 101 different stains.  (I didn't know there were that many stains around)  There are three different stain-fighting enzymes in each bottle to work against the different types of stains.  You can use this as a pretreater on stains also by just rubbing a little bit on the stain and letting it sit for five minutes.  One less bottle to buy in the laundry aisle.  A win for everyone!!

Now for the fun part!!  I am a PUREX INSIDER and am giving away TWO COUPONS FOR A FREE BOTTLE OF PUREX PLUS OXI (maximum value $6.00).  I will pick two winners and mail them each one coupon!  To enter, just leave a comment saying what item of clothing in your house could use some Purex PLUS OXI.  This contest ends DECEMBER 7th at midnight.  I will contact winners by email, so please leave a way to get in touch!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Holiday Cards

*****UPDATE: Contest has ended!  Commenter #8 was the winner picked by my son :)  She has been notified by email.  Thanks for entering!!*****

It's cold and rainy here in the Midwest.  Tomorrow is Halloween and I am afraid our trick-or-treating is going to get rained out.  It's supposed to be the coldest Halloween in 10 years.  I have a Captain America and Thor who will be really sad if it is raining tomorrow evening.  With all this cold weather it makes me think of winter and Christmas and what I am going to do about our Photo Christmas Cards this year.  Because my oldest daughter got married in June, do I leave her and her husband out of the card all together, or do I include them in the picture and sign their names also?  What to do?  This is our family picture from her wedding and I LOVE it (except for the alien face on my one son, but if you know him, you totally understand!).  So I might just use this picture.  Or we could take a new one over Thanksgiving break because she and and her husband will be here.

Either way, I am going to check out Shutterfly!  They have an awesome new collection of merry and bright colors with a modern feel!  They also feature religious and scripture based cards which I love.

~Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:14~

You can also check out Shutterfly's Special Offers page and save some money on cards, photo prints, or even shipping.  As a bonus, Shutterfly is letting me giveaway a $50 off an order of $50 or more (excluding tax and shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos (expire 12/14/2012 – no extensions) to one lucky reader!  All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite Shutterfly card design.  Entries will be accepted until November 15th at midnight.

~This post and giveaway is being sponsored by Shutterfly~

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Sudden Glory

I am a girl who has lots of issues.  I am totally willing to admit this.  I have areas I really struggle in, and I have issues that I think I have all figured out.  Then something out of the blue creeps up, and I realize I really didn't have it all figured out!  I can be a very jealous person.  I compare myself to others way too much.  I see things that I want very badly.  I think I deserve more.  I wish life was easy for me.  I don't like struggling or working too hard.

All that being said, it is a little difficult for me to read a book like A Sudden Glory.  I am a fixer and after reading a chapter, I immediately go into fix-it mode.  When sometimes I need to just step back and let God work in my life.  I know.  Easier said than done!

Have you ever looked at someone's life and thought, I want to do what she's doing.  I want to have the impact on others that she is having.  I want the ministry she has. Unfortunately, I have fallen into that    trap many times.  But then God reminds me of His words: "I know the plans I have for you" (Jeremiah 29:11).  His plan for me is uniquely choreographed.  His plan for you is uniquely choreographed.... planned to a T.  Sometimes the choreography will make perfect sense in your limited understanding, and other times it may make no sense at all.  But be sure of this: God always has a plan.  (pages 126 & 127)

The study guide offered at the end of the book is an excellent resource if you are looking for a women's book study.  The study offers a lot of scripture references for a deeper understanding of each chapter in the book.

*I was given a free book in exchange for my review.  The opinions are mine.*


I wish I were twelve years old again (okay, not really).  But I do wish I could have read this book when I was twelve.  It would have helped me realize that a lot of my feelings and emotions were normal.  I think every twelve year old girl on the planet wants to know she is normal.
Have you ever thought....

There are a lot of scary things going on in the world.  Am I safe?

Why do babies die?  It's so unfair!  They didn't even get a chance to live.

How am I supposed to pray?  Some people want me to pray out loud, but I'm kind of embarrassed to do that.

How am I supposed to know what is true and what is a lie?

In this incredible devotion book by Sandra Byrd, she answers questions like these and more!  Each daily devotion starts with a great question, a short paragraph with an answer, then scripture to back up what was just taught, and a challenge for the day.  This would be a great gift for any tween girl in your life.

What exactly is a tween girl?  Well according to Wikipedia, a tween is preadolescent, that is, the stage between middle childhood and adolescence in human development, in the range of 10 to 12 years old.

*I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  The opinions are mine.*

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oral B Healthy Clean PRECISION 1000

I inherited the bad teeth gene from my parents.  I have two siblings and whenever my mom would take us to the dentist, they would have zero cavities and I would have seventeen.   Okay maybe not that many, but I always had cavities until the dentist ran out of teeth to fill.  Now that I am an adult, my old cavities are falling out and my teeth are starting to crack.  I have had two root canals, two crowns, and an implant.  All this for the girl who flosses every day faithfully!  And I brush three times a day.  And I try to stay away from Laffy Taffy (thats a hard one...especially banana).  I digress.

So when ModernMom offered a toothbrush for me to try out I was way excited.  I love to take care of my teeth and hope they stick around for a long while.  Here is the lowdown on the toothbrush I tried out:

~Oral-B uses clinically proven technology that pulsates to break up plaque and then oscillates & rotates to sweep the plaque away!

~The round brush design (much like what they use at the dentist's office) surrounds each tooth for precise cleaning!

~The brush stops pulsating if you are brushing too hard.  What technology!

All in all, I thought the PRECISION 1000 cleaned my teeth very well.  I loved how it hugged each tooth as I brushed it.  My back teeth have never felt cleaner since I started using this brush.

The one thing I would warn everyone is to make sure their lips are shut before they turn the toothbrush on.  If not, watch out for toothpaste spray!  Also this toothbrush comes with a charger that will need to sit somewhere on your bathroom counter which may be a drawback to some.  I go to the dentist in a couple weeks and cannot wait to see if this cuts down the time they have to scrape the plaque off my teeth.  If so, I will be happy!!

I was provided this toothbrush by ModernMom in exchange for my review.  The opinions are mine.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I am always on the look out for new household cleaning supplies that make my life easier.  There is nothing worse than having to clean the same thing more than one time because the product I used didn't work.  I happen to have an off-white kitchen sink that gets dirty very quickly.  It doesn't help when I leave my cast iron skillet sitting in the sink overnight.  Ugh!  What an awful rust ring in my sink.
 As luck would have it, I just so happened to get a bottle of Soft Scrub TOTAL ALL PURPOSE cleaner with bleach to try out.  One of the many benefits of being a Purex Insider!  So I decided to put this new household cleaner to the test.
The cleaning fairy must have been looking down on me with kindness this day, because look how awesome my sink looks now.  I let the cleaner sit for a few minutes, then used an old toothbrush and some old fashion friction, and then did the "Happy I have a clean Kitchen Sink dance!"  And my whole family thought I was crazy!
I do love a clean sink!!  Would you like to win a FREE PRODUCT coupon good for any Soft Scrub Total cleaner?  Leave a comment saying what in your house needs a good cleaning.  I will pick 2 winners on September 15th and mail you your coupon!!  

*Soft Scrub provided me with a free sample of their product so I could review it.  The opinions and pictures are mine.*

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Get Unreal

My boys love candy!  We call my middle son The Candy Man.  We buy and eat a lot of candy.  I grew up in a home that never had candy, so I tend to buy more candy than most moms.  We don't always have a candy dish out (too much temptation for me), but my boys know exactly where our candy stashes are.  In the cupboard, on top of the fridg, and in the pantry.  Candy doesn't last long in our house.  So when I found out about the new UNREAL Candy, I was very excited to try it.

I really think my boys will like the peanut butter cups the best.  My husband is a Reese's fanatic, so it will be interesting to see if he can tell the difference!

*After trying the candy, my boys love the UNREAL 41 candy covered chocolate pieces!  And the whole family loved the UNREAL 77 chocolate peanut butter cups.  I guess I will have to add these to my next grocery list!

Did you know that you can get a coupon for a free UNREAL candy bar (up to a $1.19 value) from CVS?  All you have to do is enter your CVS Extra Care Card number and they will email your coupon to you.   Easy Peasy!!

*I am a BzzAgent and was able to try UNREAL candy in exchange for my review*

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Brew Over ICE

It has been so so hot here in Indiana.  Too hot to drink coffee, but the perfect weather for iced coffee.  So I was very excited to be able to try out the new BREW OVER ICE coffee from the Green Mountain Coffee line.  It is so simple to make this yummy treat.

I just start with a cup of ice in my handy Brew Over Ice tumbler.  Then I grab an iced coffee K-cup.  I make the 8 oz size so it's not too strong for me.  Then I add Splenda and creamer, stir, and enjoy!!  How easy is that?

Did you know that Green Mountain Coffee is offering $2.00 off all their Brew Over Ice K-Cups, plus you will receive a FREE TUMBLER with the purchase of any Brew Over Ice K-Cup Box!!  Simply use the code QUENCH-COLD for this special offer on any of their Brew Over Ice flavors.  These K-Cups are also available at Target, Walmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond if you don't want to wait to try them.

*I am A BzzAgent and received a sample of Brew Over Ice K-Cups to try out and then review*

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shutterfly’s Long Live Summer Photo Contest

You can win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you can remember your vacation forever!  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo with a caption based on the theme of the week.  You can enter at any point during the 5 week sweepstakes.  






The prizes are:
       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Girl's Still Got It

Last weekend my daughter (by marriage) got married.  She planned a barn wedding and reception and was in charge of all the decorating herself.  I knew it was going to take all of os helping her to pull it all off.  And I knew emotions would be running high with family coming from New York (her mom), Colorado (the groom's family), and other parts of the country.  

In a sense I was kind of dreading the day and worrying way too much about what could go wrong (running out of food or cake, people complaining about the heat, emotions taking over, etc...).  When all along I just needed to focus on the beauty and meaning of the day.  Sometimes at the end of a hard day, I want to think of all the disasters, when the list of things that went right could go on and on.  I truthfully cannot think of one thing I would have changed on Saturday!
I have been reading a new book by Liz Curtis Higgs called The Girl's Still Got is all about the story of Ruth.  And just have to share some parts of the book with you all.
Whenever heartache, loss, disappointment, stress, or any of the other stuff we hate comes our way, it helps to remember that hard times are purposeful, meant to refine and redirect us.  They're not arbitrary or random, and they're definitely not cruel. If I'm going to suffer, at least let it be for a good reason.  Make that a God reason.  If we start thinking, A LOVING GOD WOULDN'T DO THAT, we miss the truth recorded in His Word and the seeds of hope planted deep in our parched soil: God loves us too much to let us starve spiritually.

The book of Ruth is all about trust.  Trusting God and doing what he says.  Trusting God with my whole heart and life.  Trusting God to forgive your past, handle your present, and provide for your future!  Trust and obey.  Sound familiar?  I have a great group of girl friends with whom we've talked about trusting and obeying a lot the last few months!  Maybe (BIG MAYBE) I am finally starting to scratch the surface to this idea in my life.
You can check out the author of this book, Liz Curtis Higgs, performing her righteous rap all about the book of Ruth here. It is worth listening to and will help you in your study about Ruth!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review*

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.
~Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games

Are you as excited about the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as I am?  I have many fond memories of watching the olympics we recorded on our VHS player over and over again.  I love watching the athletes compete, I love watching the medal ceremonies, and I love getting a little choked up listening to our National Anthem.

Shawn Johnson is no stranger to the Olympics.  She has won Olympic gold and silver medal in woman's gymnastics.  In her new book, Winning Balance, she informs readers all about her journey to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.  Being a girl from the Midwest myself, I loved hearing about how she became "famous" almost overnight and how she and her parents (she is an only child) handled this new fame.  She has an amazing competitive spirit, but she also has a healthy sense of balance in her life.  She knew she would not be a gymnast forever.  It is amazing the intense training she put her body through over the years!

If you are looking for a good inspirational story for yourself or young girls in your life, I highly recommend this book.  The last chapter in the book talks about her desire to train and ear a spot on the 2012 women's gymnastics team.  Ironically this week, she gracefully announced her retirement due to a knee injury.  She retires with three world titles, four Olympic medals, and one Dancing with the Stars trophy.  Not bad for a twenty year old girl from Iowa!

You can check out a video by Shawn Johnson all about her new book here.

*I received a copy of this book from Tyndale publishing in exchange for my review.  The opinions are mine.*

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Coupon Giveaway!

Comments 8 & 11 were the numbers chosen by my son. I will email and get your coupons in the mail!  Congrats!

I am giving away 2 sets of coupons!  Included will be:

FREE one box of POST Honey Bunches of Oats (up to $4.49)
FREE one bottle of any flavor Torani Syrup (up to $8.00)

and other surprise coupons I will throw in!

Just leave a comment to enter, and make sure I have a way to get in touch with you if you win.  Contest ends May 31st.  I will contact winners.

PORK Be Inspired!

Today is my children's last day of school, so I am tying up loose ends and plan to take the summer off from book and product reviews.  It is so hard to be productive when I become a referee, short order cook, and taxi driver.  Not that I'm complaining, but when school gets out, my productivity comes to a screeching halt.  That being said, I am going to talk today about pork.  It's what's for dinner!

Seriously, the National Pork Board has a new campaign called Be Inspired.  You can check out their website for inspiration all about pork.  They have all sorts of pork recipes for you to try out and tell you exactly how to cook your pork so you don't end up with dry crispy meat.

I thought I knew about pork, but after checking out the Be Inspired website, I received an education for sure!  My family will thank me the next time I decide to have pork for dinner.

*I received the Pork Be Inspired material from the BzzAgent.  I am writing this review and all opinions are mine.*

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted is Yummy!

Honey Bunches of Oats puts the smile back in us.

I am a big fan of Honey Bunches of Oats.  As a middle aged woman with high cholesterol, I am always looking for yummy cereals that have nutritious value in them also.  So when I learned about Honey Bunches of Oats, I just had to share my knowledge!

It tastes so good, it's easy to forget it's also good for you!!

10 grams Whole Grain*

6 grams sugar*

Provides 9 essential vitamins and minerals

Brings together 4 nutritious grains (wheat, oat, corn, and rice) into crispy flakes and even more of the crunchy granola bunches everyone loves!

Heart Healthy!
~0g Trans Fat
~0g Saturated Fat
~0mg cholesterol

*per serving

So if you are looking for a great new cereal to try, get to the store and buy a box of Post Honey Bunches of Oats!

*I was provided with a free sample of cereal in exchange for my review.  All opinions are mine.*

SOBE Flavors with Benefits

As a BzzAgent, I get the chance to try out all sorts of new products.  There are surveys they have their members take, so you can get invited to campaigns for products you like and use.  I was so excited to get to take part in the SOBE FLAVORS WITH BENEFITS campaign.  I got a kit from BzzAgent that included coupons to use at the store and a bottle of their new coconut water.   I let everyone in my family taste the coconut water, but I am saving the coupons to try out other flavors like black and blue berry, yumberry pomegranate, and fuji apple pear.

Here are some things I've learned about SOBE:

*There are over 25 flavors to choose from!
*They do not use artificial sweeteners!
*They have a zero calorie selection!
*You can find a great selection of flavors at the Kroger family of stores!

So I am so excited to stay hydrated this summer with SOBE.  We had a very mild winter here in the Midwest, so we are bracing for a hot and humid summer.  I plan on taking SOBE with me everywhere I go!

I am a BzzAgent and was provided a free sample and coupons in exchange for telling my friends about SOBE.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Heart Like His

I have been a long time fan of Beth Moore, although I have never heard her speak in person.  This is on my bucket list of things I want to do in the future.  But until then, I will have to settle with watching her on videos, listening to her on the radio, and reading her books!

So I was so excited to read this re-released book by Beth Moore, a Heart Like His.  This book offers 52 chapters about the life of David.  There are also discussion questions for each chapter at the end of the book.

The Bible identifies David as "a man after God's own heart", yet this book is filled with the problems, dilemmas, enemies, mess-ups, wrong choices, and failures in David's life.  I often-times wonder if God thinks of me as "a wife after God's own heart", or "a mother after God's own heart", or "a friend after God's own heart".  And the answer that echoes in the back of my mind is "No.  You are not loving enough, kind enough, respectful enough, friendly enough...."  And the list could go on and on.  

After reading this book and all the scripture verses included, I realize that one day I, like David, will be perfect in God's eyes.   In the meantime I can focus on my own heart and attitude and be the best I can be today!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  The opinions are mine.*

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Love Does

I am so excited to share this book with everyone I know.  I have never read one of Bob Goff's books before, but he now has a new!  It seems like for the past 4 months, God has been trying to teach me all about love.  Not just love for my spouse or my kids or the people who are easy to love, but love for total strangers, love for the difficult people in my life, and love for people I really don't want to love.

So after reading this book, I am even more convinced that I need to love!  I am more convinced that I need to love like God.  And I am more convinced I cannot do this on my own.

"The world can make you think that love can be picked up at a garage sale or enveloped in a Hallmark card.  But the kind of love that God created & demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice & presence.  It's a love that operated more like a sign language than being spoken outright.  What I learned about the brand of love Jesus offers is that it's more about presence than undertaking a project.  It's a brand of love that doesn't just think about good things, or agree with them, or talk about them."
~Bob Goff, Love Does, page 9

The life stories and lessons Bob shares in this book are great examples of love.  It is so easy to be cynical in today's world, but reading each chapter is a reminder of the hope and promise the love of God offers.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. The opinions are mine.*

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Let's Be Honest

My favorite laundry detergent, Purex, has launched a new campaign called Let's Be Honest!  You can see several videos from this series at the Purex website.  You can watch the videos as well as enter to win free Purex for a year!  That would make any day involving dirty laundry much better!  As a Purex Insider, I love sharing about this great company.  I hope to give away some Purex coupons in the near future, so come back soon!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In honor of Earth Day this weekend, you can make a real difference by joining the Tide COLDWATER and shespeaks Take A Load Off the energy grid and the environment by washing clothes in cold water.

Tide and Future Friendly have launched the Take A Load Off sweepstakes to encourage cold water washing. Make the promise to switch to washing in cold water on the Future Friendly Facebook page and you'll be entered to win a High Efficiency Washer and Dryer and a one-year supply of Tide Coldwater! You can enter once per day to increase your chances of winning. A new winner will be picked each week through May 13th. 

Did you know that when doing laundry, heating water can account for up to 80 percent of the energy used per wash load in the U.S.? If one household switched to washing in cold for one year, they would save enough energy to watch TV for 1,363 hours! Making the switch to washing in cold is an easy change to make with Tide Coldwater, which is specially formulated to get clothes clean in cold water.

Take A Load Off Sweepstakes info:
You can enter the sweepstakes now through May 13th by going here.  You can enter once per day to increase your chances of winning.  They will pick a new winner each week through May 13th.  The prize is a Maytag® Bravos XL® HE Top Load Washer and Dryer and a one year supply of Tide Coldwater!  I would love for one of my readers to win!!

This contest was passed along to me through shespeaks of which I am a proud member of!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Redeemed Collection

I am so excited to share the REDEEMED collection by DaySpring with my readers!

Redeemed how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
Redeemed through his infinite mercy.
His child and forever I am!
~I remember singing this hymn by Fanny Crosby growing up as a little girl in church~

The Redeemed collection celebrates the way God, in His generous grace, sews together every beautiful bit of our lives to form one masterpiece creation after another. I am so thankful for God's redemption and grace in my life. He has been so generous to me, even when I don't deserve it. That's the beauty of a relationship with God. Oftentimes I try to compare my Heavenly Father's relationship to earthly relationships. This gets me nowhere fast. I don't know of anyone on earth who is perfect, and everyone on this earth will sooner or later let me down. But God will never fail me. Over and over he gives love, mercy, grace, and redemption.

I love the little tags that come with the redeemed collection pieces. I have been using mine as bookmarks (I read a lot!) to remind myself that I AM REDEEMED!
I was also able to get one of the Truly Treasured Wallets. I cannot tell you how many compliments I have gotten on it this week. This wallet is too cute to hide in a purse. It is an adorable wallet to carry by itself.
I also love the Makeup Bag and the Antiqued Gold Finish Ring! Some of the Redeemed Collection items are 20% off this month. So if you are really wanting some cute accessories, I recommend starting here.

This month DaySpring is letting me giveaway one Redeemed Tabletop Mirror to a lucky winner. I will give the winner a code to order their mirror, however shipping charges do apply. (this cannot be combined with any other offers). To enter the contest, please leave a comment telling me whose face would be looking into the Redeemed Mirror the most! Contest ends April 27th and winner will be contacted by email.

*This review and giveaway was sponsored by DaySpring (I think they rock!)*

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quaker Oatmeal Squares

This is a cereal I have not tried in a long time! I forgot how good they taste and how good they are for you. They are:

*heart healthy*
*deliver 46 grams of whole grains,*
*5 grams of fiber,*
*and 6 grams of protein per serving*
*AND they taste good!*

If you go to facebook, you can receive a free sample of the new Honey Nut flavor. I received mine the other day and there is a $1.00 off coupon on the back of the box. My local grocery store has it on sale for $2.50, so with the coupon, I will get a box for $1.50! I'm so excited to share this new cereal with my family!

almost amish

Living in the midwest (central Indiana), I have always been intrigued by the amish community. There are several small towns in our state that are known for their amish roots. I always knew they were excellent bakers, quilters, and craftsman, but other than that my knowledge of their practices was very limited. After reading this book, it is amazing what could be applied to my everyday crazy busy life! You can learn a lot from the amish!

The author isn't comparing her family's lifestyle to the amish, instead she investigates the principles they believe in and how they can apply to her (and my) life. She looks at the following 10 different areas in her book:


I love how she says "The busyness of our modern life has a way of thwarting even the best of intentions". I have often said I have very good intentions, but very poor follow-through. This book has reminded that simple is often better.

~Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16~

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

stand by me

I love it when God brings two totally different people together. I see this in many different relationships, marriages, and friendships. It has been said before that opposites attract, and I am a firm believer in this fact. That is the premise of Neta Jackson’s newest book. The two main characters that are introduced in this story, Kathryn and Avis, are polar opposites; yet their paths keep intersecting and bringing them together at various places. It is through their story we learn God always has a plan. His plan doesn’t always look like we think it should, which is hard to comprehend when times are tough.

Near the end of the book, Avis has her defining moment when she realizes God has used Kathryn in her life in ways she would never have thought or dreamed.

"Oh God! Forgive me for judging that girl. Your Word says that all the parts of Your body are important. And that we need each other! I didn’t realize it, but You did, my Father. You knew I needed Kathryn, that she was the one You were going to use."

My hope and prayer is that my eyes would be open to God’s working in my life through people around me.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I am always looking for good Christian books to read with my twin boys. They are 1st graders and are becoming little readers themselves. So I was so glad to be able to read this new board book with them. The main character, Little Cub, and his grandfather have a great conversation about God's love while out fishing in the wild. My boys love to be outside, so the setting was great for them. The book talks about how hard it is to love sometimes especially when people upset us or are different than us. It gives great examples of sibling rivalry (something we deal with on a daily hourly basis) and moodiness too. The part my twins loved the best was when Little Cub talked about her twin siblings! They got so excited to be reading a book with twins in it.

As a mom, I appreciate books like this. It seems like I am constantly nagging at my kids to get along, to be kind, to stop fighting, and to love, love, love! This book drives home the message that God's love is the greatest example we have and that I should practice what I preach to my kiddos!

*I am a blogger who loves to read and review books. I was given a copy of this book by WaterBrook Press in exchange for my review.*

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

(in)courage (in)RL Beach Party

Have you checked out the (in)courage community? It is an awesome sight with some great writers, speakers, mentors, and encouragers. I love reading this sight every day. It is a great online community, but they are changing things up a bit this spring....

"We love the online world, but there's only so far a comment box can go to connect us. We're looking forward to stepping through blog posts and into each other's real lives - on April 27-28 and beyond. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of connecting (in)courage in real life." ~taken from their webpage~

They are hosting a day of (in)courage meetups all around the country and globe with a webcast for everyone to watch. They are encouraging friends to open up their homes and invite others to gather and watch live webcasts of (in)courage contributors and community. What an awesome way to connect with others who may be in close proximity to you! This event is called (in) Real Life and it takes place April 27th and 28th all over the world!

You can go here to register for the event or here to learn more about the event.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happily Ever After

It is often said that God's timing is always perfect. Over Christmas break, I was once again reminded of this fact that yes indeed God's timing is perfect. While the kids were out of school for 2 weeks, my husband was off work and I only had to work 2 days the entire break. So we all spent a lot of time together. A. Lot. Of. Time. We were really starting to get on each other's nerves. Fuses were very short, quick nasty comebacks were being said, and we found ourselves annoyed from the time we woke up to the time we went to bed. Then what should appear on my doorstep the beginning of the 2nd long week together but this book Happily Ever After. How ironic I thought!

I have to admit that so far my favorite section (so far) is the one on conflict resolution. I have been married 14 years and we have had our fair share of conflict. I can always use help in this area. I tend to be a conflict avoider until I erupt, then things get crazy!! This book is a great reminder of why conflict needs to be dealt with and not swept under the rug.

My second favorite part of the book is towards the end. There is a section called What I wish my wife would change & What I wish my husband would change. I read this part to my husband one night and it was uncanny how much it sounds like the "lists" we make in our own heads about each other! It is nice to know our relationship is normal and other couples feel the exact same way. This is designed to stimulate conversation with your spouse and to come up with ways to make positive changes in your relationship.

This book will definitely be added to my marriage book section that I share with girlfriends who are struggling with their marriages.

*I was provided a book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions are mine.*

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Purex UltraPacks

Have you heard of the new Purex Ultrapacks laundry detergent? Probably not, because they will not be on the store shelves until February 2012. As a Purex Insider, I was given the chance to try these little packs out before everyone else! I was so excited when my pack arrived. They are very convenient to use (no measuring laundry detergent and no spills). I was skeptical about the packet dissolving in water, so I checked the first one after adding it to my washer, and sure enough, the packet opens up and the detergent oozes out. Even in cold water! So easy, I would trust my 10 year old to start a load of laundry all by himself!! These Purex UltraPacks are safe for all washing machines including HE machines. One thing to remember is to make sure your hand are completely dry before handling the pack, otherwise there will be a mess. One more exciting thing about Purex, is that in mid February will be back up and running. So you can snag a free sample of Purex UltraPacks and see how great they are for yourself!

As a Purex Insider, I was given a free sample of their laundry detergent so I could write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Purex and Jockey....A Winning Combination and a GIVEAWAY!

**Contest closed** Congrats to the winner Jessika C.!!

You may or may not know that I am a Pure insider. What exactly does this mean? It means I get to try out the newest Purex products, give my opinions back to the company (which I love to do!), I get to tell my friends about Purex products, I get coupons to give away to my friends (you want to be my friend now, don't you!), and I get to post reviews and host giveaways on my blog! All of these are things I love to do.

So when Purex sent me a bottle of Purex Crystals fabric softener in the tropical splash scent and a Jockey Tech Terry Performance sports bra, I was totally pumped. It made me want to workout and get all sweaty and then wash my new sports bra with the tropical splash fabric softener! Which by the way, I totally did!

Here are some facts about Purex Crystal fabric softener:
*it is a natural way to freshen clothes that lasts for weeks!
*it goes in at the start of the wash
*the scent is infused with your laundry the entire wash cycle
*it does not contain oil, so it is safe for all clothing including my new Jockey sports bra!

Here are some facts about the Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra:
*has moisture-wicking to keep you dry & cool
*has a convenient key pocket
*has breathable mesh panels
*has a soft bottom band for comfort & support!

My other favorite thing about Jockey is that their spokesperson is the very talked about Tim Tebow! You can't go anywhere these days without people talking about Tim and the Denver Broncos...both of which I am a huge fan!!

Now if you've read through this whole post, here is the best part. I get to pick one winner to get their own Jockey sports bra and Purex crystals. Here's how to enter:

*Visit Purex and leave a comment with the scent of purex crystals you like the best
*Become a follower of Denise's Reviews for an extra entry! Just leave a comment stating that.

Contest ends Sunday, January 29th at 10 PM. I will email the winner on Monday.