6/30/12

Rock N Learn Sight Words Level 2 DVD - Review

Rock N Learn has just released a brand new DVD! These kids already know and love many of the Rock N Learn DVDs well, so they were so excited to receive this one. Educational material put to music has become one of their favorite ways to learn. Sight Words Level 2 brings back all the familiar characters with new words to learn.
The animation is so engaging to children and Rock N Learn alternates songs and games to keep them interacting with the material. Sight Words Level 2 is just over an hour long, but since these two are preschoolers about 30 minutes is enough at a time for them. They were actually disappointed when I told them it was time for lunch!
As a preschool teacher, I wholeheartedly recommend all the Rock N Learn DVDs and use them in my classroom regularly. Just this past week, these two sat at one of the tables in my playroom matching up letters from a capital letter puzzle board to some flip books with words written in all lowercase letters. He is four and she is three.
Consistent exposure to letter activities is essential to kindergarten readiness. You can purchase Rock N Learn DVDs and CDs at http://www.rocknlearn.com/. They also offer tons of free study materials for download at www.free-phonics-worksheets.com. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for their e-newsletter too. The code JQ7711 will save you 25% off any order.
Win your choice of any Rock N Learn DVD or CD!
To enter to win, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and live in the US. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries will increase your chances of winning. This giveaway ends at midnight ET on 7/15/2012. Good luck!

Stress Less Kitchen Tools from Trudeau

If you find yourself struggling with basic kitchen preparation tools, you'll be pleased to know that Trudeau has created a brand new line called Stress Less. Designed to reduce strain on hands and joints, these are ideal for those with arthritis or limited hand dexterity.
Each product is sleek and attractive, while providing everyone opportunity to enjoy cooking again with easier kitchen tasks. The handles are curved and comfortable to touch and hold. The turn handles turn easily and I especially like how fine the salt grates out of the salt mill.
Starting at just $12.99 for the pizza cutter, these kitchen tools are affordable and each one also comes with a lifetime warranty. We had the chance to try the pizza cutter last night since none of us felt like cooking after a long week of work. It works fantastic!
Tonight we're having bbq chicken nachos so my husband used the can opener to open the can of chunk chicken. He had no problem putting the can opener on the can, or turning the handle, but his first try the opener didn't quite cut all the way around so he had to go around again.
The garlic press works wonderfully. It's designed to work either in your hand or on the countertop for easier pressure. Inside the garlic press is an extra piece that provides a bit more push. Being all one piece it's easier to clean too.
The salt grinder, which can also be a pepper grinder, is my favorite tool. The Stress Less line of kitchen tools is a wonderful idea and these will make fabulous gifts for your parents and grandparents.
You can find Stress Less tools at http://www.shoptrudeau.com/ along with many other products for your kitchen. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter too!
Disclosure: I received these tools at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Norwegian Cruise Line "Kids Sail Free"

As moms, we love creating unforgettable memories with our families. When those memories come courtesy of an amazing deal, it just makes it all the more worthwhile! Kids sail free this fall on Norwegian Cruise Line! 
That means when you book a select Fall 2012 cruise between now and July 7th, kids under 18 sailing as a third or fourth guest in the stateroom sail free. Imagine your family on board a Norwegian Cruise Line ship this Fall, sailing to destinations such as The Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii and more! Like all good things, this promotion won't last forever. In fact, you have to book your cruise before July 7th in order to take advantage of this incredible offer. Click HERE to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity!
Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place.

Bloggers Can Earn With Soap Hope

Soap Hope has a wonderful blogger affiliate program that will provide you with a 10% commission and they donate 100% of their profits to empower women at home and around the world. Their amazing line of products includes almost 100 all-natural soaps from top makers, facial care including moisturizers and anti-aging creams, healthful and nourishing body lotions and massage oils, natural mineral cosmetics, shower gels and bath salts, and even safe and effective home cleaning products for kitchen, bathroom and laundry. I received a package of all the products below and they are very high quality products. The soap samples smell so good that I'm using them in as sachets in my dresser drawers!
Bloggers who share Soap Hope with their readers will receive weekly emails with advance notice of specials to share with readers and are also eligible for prizes, product giveaways and special sample kits. Interested? Go to affiliate.soaphope.com and sign up FREE!
Disclosure: I received these samples at no charge and am not earning referral fees for this post.

Organize All Your Small Electronics with Skooba

When we travel, it always makes me laugh at all the electronics that I feel are "necessary" for living while away from home. The phone, the music player, the charger, the solar recharger and of course each one has a different cord. I usually have one stuffed in each suitcase pocket with socks packed around them so they aren't sliding around. Skooba Design has the solution! The Cable Stable DLX is perfect for organizing all my accessories and their cords.
It's compact enough that I can slip it into my laptop bag, but big enough to carry all my stuff. Measuring 10.75"x8.25"x2.25" this organizer is even big enough to put a tablet inside. The exterior is made of nylon so it's easy to keep clean. The inside has zipper pockets, elastic pockets, elastic straps and loops that allow me to secure my stuff pretty much wherever I want. The nylon pack cloth inside won't scratch any of my screens.
The Cable Stable DLX zips closed and even has an outside zipper pocket. There's even a handle on the side. The black and green design is ultra-modern and appropriate for men, women, and kids. If you're a traveler, this is a perfect case for you. If you have a teen with a game system, this would also be an excellent place to keep a handheld game system and all those games. It even looks like it would be great for cosmetics as well.
You can purchase the Cable Stable DLX at http://www.skoobadesign.com. They have a huge selection of bags and organizers that you're going to love. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter so you're first to hear about special promotions and new designs!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

6/29/12

Hutto Texas Aims for $100K Grant for Recycling

Americans recycle only one-and-a-half pounds of the more than four pounds of waste they generate daily! 

The City of Hutto has announced their participation in the SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge, a nationwide contest that aims to increase household recycling participation in 50 communities across the United States. The community with the highest reported recycling participation will receive a $100,000 grant from SC Johnson to put toward a local sustainability project. The Challenge kicks off a new partnership with Recyclebank, the company that rewards people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals.

“The City of Hutto is thrilled to be representing Texas in the SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge as it is the perfect way to kick-start the new recycling rewards program and local participation,” said Debbie Holland, mayor of the City of Hutto. “We encourage everyone to get involved — residents will have the opportunity to protect the environment, invigorate the local economy and help keep Hutto clean, while earning everyday savings from Recyclebank and working toward the grant from SC Johnson.”

To participate, Hutto Texas residents need to sign up for a free Recyclebank account and report their recycling activity. Residents can visit www.recyclebank.com/greenchoices and follow the prompts to get started. Once a Recyclebank member, residents can report their recycling efforts each week to earn points by simply reporting their recycling efforts on the Recyclebank website. Residents can also use the Recyclebank smartphone app their iPhone and Android devices to report their recycling, check their Recyclebank Points balance and discover eligible reward offers. In order for a resident’s recycling activity to count towards the Challenge, residents must report their recycling efforts at least once a month. A leaderboard will track progress each month, and the winning community will be announced in January 2013.

The Recyclebank rewards-for-recycling program and the SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge begins Monday, July 2, 2012; residents can sign up for the free Recyclebank program at www.recyclebank.com/greenchoices. For more information on SC Johnson’s sustainability efforts, visit www.scjohnson.com/greenchoices, follow them on Twitter @SCJGreenChoices access its 2011 Public Report at www.scjohnson.com/2011report. For more information on recycling in Hutto, visit www.huttotx.gov or call 512-759-4000.

Summer Safety Tips

Heat Exhaustion: When temperatures rise so does the risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The warning signs – fatigue, sweating, nausea or dizziness – should not be ignored.

  • Prevention – Stay hydrated and take frequent water breaks. Take time to rest in the shade or air conditioning.
  • Dr. Patrick Crocker, medical director of emergency medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center, says “That rest in the shade will help dissipate the body’s extra heat and give them an opportunity to get extra fluids.”
  • Treatment – Take your child out of the sun, make them lie down and start replenishing fluids. If the symptoms get worse, such as vomiting or dizziness, it’s time to seek medical help.

Sunburn: Sunburns are not only uncomfortable and painful, but can also lead to an increased risk of skin cancer down the line.

  • Prevention – Avoid peak hours, and wear more clothes to stay covered if your child is going to be exposed for long periods of time. Always use waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF.
  • Dr. Crocker says, “Sunburns are not infrequent in children, but it’s easily preventable with a good sunscreen. Get one that’s SPF 15 or above and waterproof, apply it to dry, exposed skin before the child goes out in the sun.”
  • Treatment – Give your child a painkiller and soothe the burn with something cool, such as aloe vera gel. If the burn is severe enough to blister it’s time to see a doctor.
  • Dr. Crocker says, “Most sunburns are minor. Children can be made comfortable with Tylenol, Motrin, or ibuprofen, as well as something cool like an aloe vera gel, and staying out of the sun until the skin is healed.”

Dehydration: With an increase in temperature and outside activities during the summer, parents should be wary of dehydration. The warning signs are thirst, lethargy, headache and dizziness.

  • Prevention – Make sure your kids are drinking water before they get thirsty and avoid fluids with sugar and caffeine.
  • Treatment – To treat dehydration make sure the victim gets plenty of rest and start replenishing fluids.

Bites and Stings: Unless you live in the Arctic, you’re sure to encounter more bugs and insects throughout the summer. Most insect bites cause pain, redness, swelling and itching.

  • Prevention – Make sure you use the right kind of insect repellent (10% DEET or less) and avoid areas like hands and faces. Teach children what harmful insects look like and where any nests are located.
  • Treatment – Wash all bites or stings with soap and water. You can apply a cold compress and anti-itch cream to alleviate discomfort. Ticks and embedded stingers require extra care. If your child has never experienced a bite or sting before be extra cautious that they are not severely allergic. If excess swelling occurs seek medical attention.

Playground and Bike Safety: Kids love to play outdoors during the summer, but there’s a huge increase of injuries like abrasions, bruises and broken bones during summer months.

  • Prevention – Young children should be closely monitored when playing on equipment. Parents should enforce traffic rules and proper protections, such as helmets.
  • “Part of prevention is parents talking to their children about what’s reasonable and making sure they’re wearing a helmet if they’re doing activities like riding a bike or skateboarding,” Crocker says. “I can’t count the number of broken helmets but perfectly intact heads I’ve seen, versus the number of head bumps, concussions, serious brain injuries and lacerations that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet.”
  • Treatment – Bumps and bruises can be treated with pain reliever, ice and a triple antibiotic ointment. If pain persists and swelling occurs parents should take their child to an immediate care facility.
  • “If the pain is significant, an aspirin or Tylenol and ice bag can help a lot,” Crocker says. “If the area becomes infected, if there’s increasing pain or if the child can’t function normally, it’s a likely indication your child needs to see a doctor.”

Poison Ivy: Coming into contact with poison ivy or other rash-inducing plant toxins can be uncomfortable and itchy for kids in the summertime.

  • Prevention – Teach children how to avoid poisonous plants. The plants are almost always located in wooded, brushy areas as well as having three leaves and red vines.
  • Treatment – Try to stop the spreading of the rash by removing all infected clothing. Wash the rash with warm, soapy water and apply anti-itch medication. Medical care may be needed if the rash spreads around the eyes or if the child shows signs of fever and swelling.

Pool Safety: Swimming safety was the number one tip pediatricians agreed on in order to keep kids safe during the summer. Drowning is a serious risk among children.

  • Prevention – Parents and adults should always keep a close eye on swimming children to prevent drowning, even when life guards are on duty. If you own your own pool, make sure the pool is protected by locked gates, fences and pool covers. Children should take swimming lessons and parents should learn CPR – don’t rely on floatation devices.

Source: Angie's List

Planet Weidknecht Weekend Hop

Welcome to the Weekend Hop
hosted by Planet Weidknecht
and Beck Valley Books.
Link up your Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
then hop around and meet new friends.
Thanks for stopping by today!
Check out my giveaways while you're here.

Bundle of Joy Blast Giveaway

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Welcome to the 

Bundle of Joy Blast Giveaway!

heartThis Giveaway event features Gifts for New Moms, expecting moms and babies!
This giveaway is Hosted by Saved By Grace and is sponsored by many great blogs including Two Girl$ and $ome Coupon$, Going Crazy!! Wanna Go?!?!, Planet Weidknecht, Mommy Knowz, Tots and Me, Coupons Are My Cash,  Jenny at Dapperhouse, Freetail Therapy. Mommies Point Of View, It's a Guy Thing and This Girl's No Expert.


Planet Weidknecht is sponsoring three of the prizes in this giveaway:
JC Toys Lots to Cuddle Baby Doll ARV $30
God Loves You Baby Board Book ARV $18
Mom's Promise Journal ARV $24

This event will have THREE WINNERS
The prize packages are HUGE and will include:
Prize Group 1:
Making Babies Book and DVD set (ARV $110) From Saved By Grace
$10 Plum District Code from Going Crazy!! Wanna Go?!?!
Baby Girl Grocery Cart Cover from This Girl's No Expert
Hand-made Receiving Blanket set from Jenny at Dapperhouse
$10 Old Navy Gift card From Saved By Grace

Prize Group 2:
Udder Covers Gift set from Mommy Knowz
JC Toys Lots to Cuddle Baby Doll from Planet Weidknecht
God Loves You Baby Board Book from Planet Weidknecht
Mom's Promise Journal From Planet Weidknecht
$10 GC to Walmart from It's a Guy Thing

Prize Group 3:
Juppy Baby Walker from Two Girl$ and $ome Coupon$
$10 Restaurant.com Gift Certificate from Freetail Therapy
$20 in Usborn Books from Mommies Point of View

This Giveaway will run from June 29th til July 6th
In total we have over $300 in prizes!
More prizes MAY be added as it goes on! Some entries you can come back and do every day, so make sure you do to get maximum chances to win!
GOOD LUCK!

6/28/12

Tangerine Sky Productions Art and Book

Tangerine Sky Productions makes wonderful, inspirational and educational entertainment for families. Kevin and Kristen Collier have created a collection of intriguing characters that live through their books, videos and other merchandise. With titles for children, young adults and adults, you're sure to find several you want to add to your family's bookshelves.
I have several of their preschooler ebooks and the children LOVE for me to read them out loud over and over. Their website also has lots of free downloads of activity pages and coloring sheets. Check out all of their titles at http://tangerineskyproductions.com and connect with them on Twitter.
They have deemed Summer 2012 as the Summer of Giving and they are sponsoring a wonderful giveaway right here on Planet Weidknecht! One lucky reader will win an autographed book of the winner's choosing, plus an original signed character drawing, a prize worth over $100. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US to be eligible to win. To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway will end at midnight ET on 7/29/2012. Good luck!

Story at Nine and Ten and Eleven and Twelve and

With all of the issues facing Americans these days, I've been mulling over the future lately. I try very hard to focus on my family and my own little world most of the time, because looking past that tends to make me nervous. Since there is now access to news 24 hours a day, we are bombarded with current events and opinions on everything from dozens of analysts. It makes me wonder how the media outlets decide what we need to hear. Fox News tends to be more conservative and CNN has a more liberal reputation, so I try to listen to both channels so I can hear several perspectives before making decisions about how I feel about things going on in the world. I can't watch either station for very long though because I start getting depressed.
I've found it's healthier for me to pop onto a couple of news websites and check the headlines for stories I'd like to read more in depth. It gives me a little more control over what news actually sinks into my head, than sitting and listening to a constant droning of bad news on the television. I haven't touched a newspaper in years and actually laughed at the door-to-door salesman who tried to subscribe me to the local paper over the weekend. I remember liking the weekend comic strips and the coupon inserts, but other than that I never really liked getting all that ink all over my hands. My husband likes to listen to talk radio in the car, but I'd much rather listen to music. How do you prefer to get your news?

Movie Review: People Like Us

Grab a date and go see People Like Us. It's a movie about the realities and the complexities of the modern family. It is an intelligently written drama and it is masterfully acted. Every family has secrets and every person makes mistakes; People Like Us reveals the truth, the pain, and the healing. Sam's dad passes away and leaves a healthy cash fortune to his son, with a note to deliver to the sister he never knew he had. As funny as real life, this movie will touch all who watch it. Don't miss it. Starts today!

6/27/12

A Night at the Comedy Club

You know you're getting old when you laugh more during your pastor's sermons than you do at four comedians at the comedy club. The worst part about a live comedy show is you can't change the channel when the comedian isn't funny. The best part was the cheese sticks appetizer. Comedian number one and two were bad, number three was slightly amusing, and number four was almost funny. The funniest part of the evening was walking up to the club and seeing a guy standing there smoking a cigarette in the "leprosy" section and saying to him, "Did you realize you have two different color socks on?" He replied with, "Yeah, they're from the same package, but one is brown and one is white. I spent most of today just pulling my pants down a bit to cover them. I got away with it all day, until now." A night out with my husband is a gift. Free tickets from my neighbor was a blessing. Meeting a few of their friends was fun. The comedy, eh, not so much. Note to self - always drink at home where it's cheaper and you know the alcohol isn't watered down. Knowing your pastor really is funnier than comedians, priceless.

ePool Smart System - Review

I absolutely LOVE having a backyard pool. My husband hates cleaning, testing and maintaining it. With the ePool Smart System by GAME Products, we can both love the pool again! It was SO easy to get started! All we had to do was download the software, hook up the little receiver to the laptop, put four batteries into the floating sensor and toss the sensor in the pool. The floating sensor looks sort of like a jellyfish floating around the pool and it transmits the pH, Chlorine, and temperature levels 24/7 to a computer or smart phone. We now get email and text alerts letting us know what we need to add to the pool and when. No more standing on the hot pavement doing the testing! In addition to our regular pool, it will also work on salt water pools and mineral pools.
It's been in our pool almost a week now. The day we put it in, he discovered we needed to add some acid to the water. After he added the acid to the pool, he came back in to watch the sensor transmit the new numbers to his computer. As the temperature outside increased, the water temperature increased on his screen too. Since part of his job is being an analyst, he's really into numbers and charts anyway, so this is just his kind of thing. I think he had more fun OUT of the pool watching the new ePool Smart System program than in the pool swimming that day. I'm just happy to know our chemicals are being monitored all the time now. It has worked properly and consistently since we started using it. It also comes with free lifetime upgrades, free software support for a year, and a ninety day hardware warranty. We are both very happy with our easy to maintain, sparkling clean swimming pool. Find out more HERE and connect with them on Facebook too!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Win the ePool Smart System!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. One winner. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US. This giveaway ends at midnight ET on 7/14/2012. Good luck!

Coming Soon - Bundle of Joy Blast Giveaway

June 29-July 6
with Saved by Grace Blog
Planet Weidknecht is sponsoring the following prizes:
JC Toys Lots to Cuddle Baby Doll $30
God Loves You Baby Board Book $18
Mom's Promise Journal $24

Wedne$day Wealth Giveaway Link Up

May you be blessed with many wins today!

6/26/12

Stampa Art for the Man Cave by Stephen Campbell - Review and $200 Gift Certificate Giveaway

Every guy needs a "man cave" - at least that's what the guys tell me. So here at my house, we have a game room with a pool table, foosball table, and two videogame systems. My guys spend hours in there. I just don't understand it. I only go in there to clean once in a while. Stampa is a new website that specializes in unique artwork that is perfect for the office or the home (including the man cave). These limited edition prints of Stephen Campbell's hand-stitched art pieces are colorful and playful. From "5 Ties" to "Route 66" to "Royal Flush" Campbell's artwork has been featured in The New Yorker, InStyle, Travel + Leisure, Bloomingdale’s, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, and O Magazine. I'm very impressed at how realistic the print appears and the intricate details in Campbell's artwork.
Stampa showcases limited-edition prints by a roster of top illustrators, artists, and designers. The prints are made digitally, with archival inks and substrates; prices range from $100 for an unframed 8-by-10-inch print to $800 for an 18-by-24-inch framed print. Stampa is curated by Stephanie Pesakoff, founder of the Illustration Division of Art Department, the renowned commercial agency. Each one hand-selected by Pesakoff, these charming art pieces would make great home decor gifts for anyone. Their collections change on a monthly basis! Check out the current collections at http://www.stampa.us.com/. You can also connect with Stampa on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosure: I received this item at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Win a $200 Gift Certificate to Stampa!
To enter to win, please fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US to be eligible to win. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chances to win. This giveaway ends at midnight ET on 7/14/2012. Good luck!

Six Summer Health Tips for Moms

Guest Post from Carolyn Harrington, Founder of Maty’s All Natural Products

1. Stop eating sugar and simple carbs. Aside from the obvious threats that eating sugar pose, such as weight gain and diabetes, every time you eat some sugar, it cripples your immune system for a few hours after you ingest it. Therefore, to keep your immune system strong, eliminate it from your diet.

2. Supplement with Vitamin D. Recent studies have shown that most Americans are vitamin D deficient. Keeping vitamin D in our bodies at optimal levels helps our immune systems stay strong and ready to combat not only common everyday diseases like the cold and flu, but also many degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart disease. When supplementing, always take vitamin D3 which is the natural form.

3. If and when you get sick and develop a fever, let the fever run its course. A fever is one of your bodies last attempts at combating the disease. Bacteria and virus cannot survive at higher than normal temperatures. If you quickly reduce the fever by taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen, you may feel better, but you handicap your immune system by eliminating one of its strongest weapons. Our immune systems are like our muscular system, they need to be exercised. The more it is able to fight a common ailment, the better equipped it will be to fight off the next invasion. Of course if a fever gets too high, above 104 degrees, a doctor should be consulted.
4. Eat foods that are in their most natural state, which means to stay away from processed foods. This also includes eating more raw foods. Processed foods are loaded with unwanted ingredients like sugar and sodium. For instance, mashing your own potatoes is much healthier than eating the processed boxed type. Also, by increasing your intake of raw food, you are eating foods that are filled with nutrients and enzymes that help in digesting those foods.

5. Get enough rest and sleep. Studies show that getting enough sleep at night not only strengthens the immune system, it also helps control your weight. Another often overlooked aspect of rest is to take breaks throughout the day to clear your mind and let it rest. This can be accomplished with a short 5-15 minute meditation sometime throughout the day, or to just close your eyes and clear you mind to let your thoughts unwind and and your mind rejuvenate. It does wonders for your energy and overall well being.

6. Eat dirt. This does not mean to go outside and grab a tablespoon of gritty dirt and put it in your mouth. This means that when you wash and clean things, do not obsess over the cleanliness of the everything. A little bit of unwanted impurities in our systems helps to exercise our immune systems and strengthens them.

$600 Million Avengers


Marvel’s The Avengers is expected to cross the $600 million domestic box office threshold today, becoming one of only three films in history ever to reach this milestone. The Super Hero film’s global total is now an estimated $1,438.3 million, and it stands as the #3 film of all time globally and domestically. Marvel’s The Avengers opened in North America May 4 with a staggering $207.4 million – the biggest domestic debut of all time – and has been shattering domestic box office records ever since including the industry’s all-time second weekend record with $103 million; fastest film to reach $200 million (3 days), $300 million (9 days), $400 million (14 days), and $500 million (23 days); and highest Saturday ($69.5 million) and Sunday ($57 million) totals. It is the #4 film of all time internationally with $838.9 million. Among only 12 films that have grossed $1 billion at the global box office, Marvel’s The Avengers is one of five billion-dollar Disney releases, which also include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Alice in Wonderland, Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Chocomize Custom Chocolate Bars - Review


One of the most delicious things in this world is chocolate. White chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate...it doesn't matter to me what kind. Chocomize.com is the place to build your own ultimate chocolate bar. I had so much fun designing all kinds of different chocolate bars. It was really easy to use their online designer...just pick a chocolate and add toppings, then order. My treats arrived in just a few days, fresh and absolutely dreamy.
They use a high quality Belgian chocolate and I wanted to try their white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, so I could give you my opinion on each one. The hardest part was picking which toppings I wanted because they offer SO many different choices. My first is a White Chocolate with Junior Mints and Carmelized Rice Crispies. My next one is White Chocolate with Cinnamon, Banana Chips, and Butter Toasted Peanuts.
The chocolate bars are really big, so everyone in my family has just been breaking off a couple squares whenever they want a treat. The chocolate and the toppings are fresh and delicious! I also designed two with the Dark Chocolate, one with Diced Raspberries, Butter Toasted Peanuts, and Coconut Flakes. The other Dark Chocolate bar has Butterscotch Chips, Toffee Pieces, and Coconut Flakes.
Chocomize Chocolate bars would be such great gifts because you can personalize them to the exact tastes that someone loves. My first Milk Chocolate bar is topped with Potato Chips, Papaya Dices, and Pineapple Dices. The other one is Milk Chocolate with Reese's Pieces, Roasted Organic Peanuts, and Caramel Pieces. Honestly, I have no idea which one of these six is my favorite combination because they are all amazing.
Chocomize also offers gift certificates, gift sets, and a Chocolate of the Month Club. Plus every order over $40 gets FREE shipping. If you order less than that, it's a flat $4.95 shipping fee. My delicious order arrived well-packaged with no broken pieces. It arrived packed with ice and didn't melt a bit even in the Texas heat. I definitely recommend Chocomize.com!

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.

Today's Best Offers Around the Web

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6/25/12

Count Your Blessings to 100

My pastor gave our congregation the assignment this week to count their blessings to 100. Since my blog is my "journal" I thought I'd challenge YOU to the same task. *My answers are not in any particular order!

  1. Johnny, my husband
  2. Love
  3. God, my creator
  4. Jesus, my savior
  5. My faith in God
  6. Forgiveness
  7. Heather, my daughter
  8. Ryan, my son
  9. Johnathan, my bonus son
  10. My mom and dad
  11. Freedom to live as I choose
  12. Freedom of religion
  13. My sisters
  14. My Dog Buddy
  15. My home
  16. My job
  17. My health
  18. Paula, my mentor at church
  19. Laughter
  20. My daycare kids
  21. My daycare families
  22. Plenty of learning materials for my daycare
  23. Good friends
  24. Patience
  25. Compassion
  26. Living in America
  27. Living in Texas
  28. More money than we need
  29. More food than we need
  30. More material things than we need
  31. My blog
  32. My church
  33. My pastor, Steve Clem
  34. Time off when I need it
  35. The internet and electronic communications
  36. Enough income to share
  37. Air conditioning in the summer
  38. Heating in the winter
  39. An abundance of clean water
  40. Electricity
  41. Good neighbors
  42. Family
  43. A car and truck
  44. Friends
  45. Talent to teach
  46. Talent to organize
  47. Intelligence
  48. College degrees
  49. A refrigerator
  50. A stove
  51. A dishwasher
  52. A clothes washer
  53. A clothes dryer
  54. A computer
  55. A smart phone
  56. A clean house
  57. Access to television and news
  58. The ability to write
  59. The ability to see
  60. The ability to walk
  61. The ability to taste
  62. The ability to touch
  63. The ability to hear
  64. The ability to read
  65. The ability to cook
  66. The ability to think
  67. The ability to learn
  68. Creativity
  69. Determination
  70. Persistence
  71. Vacations
  72. An abundance of wins and prizes
  73. A love of singing
  74. A love of peace
  75. A love of nature
  76. A love of children
  77. A desire to inspire others
  78. A desire to motivate others
  79. A desire to be an example
  80. My backyard pool
  81. My gardens
  82. My past lessons
  83. A sense of humor
  84. Generosity
  85. Tolerance
  86. My memories
  87. My childhood
  88. My childhood friends
  89. A long life
  90. The chance to see my children grow up
  91. The chance to see my children succeed
  92. The desire to be a better person
  93. The desire to help others find God and Jesus
  94. The desire to give others a hand up
  95. The desire to bless others
  96. The desire to make others happy
  97. Dreams and Hope
  98. The Feeling of Security
  99. Times of Rest
  100. Moments of Peace

Nutrisystem Update - Week 32 #NSNation

Yay! I lost another pound!
25 pounds of fat, gone, gone, gone!
When I lose 5 more, I get another
Nutribear!
Thanks for all the support Nutrisystem!
Want to lose weight and get healthy too? 
Join Nutrisystem today by calling 1-888-853-4689 
or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog.

Get Grilling With Del Monte - Pineapple Chicken Kabobs #Recipe

In celebration of summertime and the delicious fruit that summer brings, Del Monte Fresh Produce is offering U.S. and Canadian consumers a special savings on Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet Pineapple.

The $0.50 off coupon is now available for download via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DelMonteFreshProduce/app_408395852546493 to anyone who completes a short form until July 15th.
Pineapple Chicken Kabobs Recipe
Makes 6 (2 kabob) appetizer servings)

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons lite soy sauce, divided
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into (24) 1-inch pieces
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups DEL MONTE GOLD® EXTRA SWEET PINEAPPLE Chunks
  • 1 medium Del Monte® red bell pepper, cut into (24) 1-inch squares
  • ½ large Del Monte® sweet onion, cut into (24) 1-inch pieces
  • Peanut oil

To make basting sauce, in a small bowl whisk together honey, 2 tbsp. lime juice, and 2 tbsp. soy sauce until smooth.

Sprinkle chicken pieces with remaining 1 tbsp. of lime juice and soy sauce. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Marinate 15 to 30 minutes.

Directions:
Preheat grill to medium-high. Thread chicken, pineapple, red pepper, and onion alternately on 12 (6-7-inch) skewers. Discard and leftover marinade. Brush lightly with peanut oil.

Grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning to cook all sides. Brush with basting sauce the last 5 to 10 minutes. Serve any remaining sauce over kabobs.

Note:
For a spicy variation, omit ground pepper and sprinkle chicken with Jamaican Jerk seasoning to taste.

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"My Dog Needs Glasses!" Contest

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Book Review: The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner

Theodore Weesner has penned a modern day classic. The Car Thief will grab you from chapter one and not let go. It's the story of a divorced dad and his teenage son, struggling to live their lives in Flint, Michigan. The father works the night shift at the local Chevy plant and copes with life by drinking. The son struggles with depression and an addiction to stealing cars. They both feel alone. It's a powerful, beautiful story, full of the sadness and reality of living in blue collar America. As I read The Car Thief, I found my emotions were rising and falling with those of the characters. It's written in a very plain language and is a great read for teens through adults. I could easily see this book added to book lists across the school system. I really enjoyed it. Put this one on your "must read" list!

Book Review: A Mother's Journey of Love, Loss and Life Beyond by Jennifer Scalise

This true story tells of a family vacation in Costa Rica that turns deadly for their twelve year old daughter. Jennifer Scalise shares her grief of her loss and the struggles she and her family faced following the accident. In the grips of trying to understand and come to terms with her daughter's death, the author chose to become stronger in her faith. She encounters event after event that convinces her there is life after death. It's fascinating to follow the story. Sometimes it's a very difficult read because reading about a child's death is horrible, but seeing Jennifer Scalise find peace is a great lesson in healing. This is a powerful story and I am blessed to have read it.
Have you been forced to face the reality of living after an unexpected death of someone you love? Jennifer shares some of her valuable insights:
  • Loss is inevitable, be prepared. Death should not be feared but instead understood.
  • Adversity is a means to grow. In the hardest times, we turn to God to find peace.
  • Death does not separate us from the ones we love. Their spirits and energy live on with us.
  • Grieve in your own way. Do not feel you need to conform to other's ideas of grief.
  • Treasure your memories. Recalling the good times triggers happiness and peace.
  • Appreciate every moment. You never know when your last moment will happen.
  • Time and people are your most valuable assets. Make the most of the time you have.
  • The world is a dangerous place so take precautions, both at home and especially abroad.


Disclosure: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

6/24/12

Red, White and Blue Birthday Giveaway Hop

Planet Weidknecht and Whatsername Jewelry are happy to announce the 
Red, White, and Blue Birthday Giveaway Hop.
Planet Weidknecht is giving away 
$20.00 cold, hard, American Cash! 
That's right, the winner will get 
a crisp $20.00 Bill in the mail!
To enter to win, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below.
Giveaway open to US residents only, ages 18 and up.

Whatsername Jewelry is celebrating its 7 year anniversary and would like to celebrate by bringing you some fabulous prizes from the best bloggers on the net. After you enter to win my giveaway, please stop by the other blogs to see how they are celebrating this event.

The Grand Prize is sponsored by Whatsername Jewelry and is a $100 Handmade Jewelry Package including a Red, White,and Blue Necklace and your choice of Bracelet and Earring Set from her collection.

The Red, White and Blue Giveaway Hop runs from June 25th - June 30th. Happy Hopping!!