Current Giveaways on Planet Weidknecht

Win $50 Amazon or Paypal - Sierra Book Blast

Sierra by Taylor Dean Have you ever been lost in the woods? Alyssa Fontaine’s life, loved ones—everything familiar and dear—are brutally taken from her. Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name. Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed. Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope.  


Google+ Users are Getting Renamed Links

I'm so excited that google+ links are changing!

No longer will we have to type out fifty digits in the URL!

You can find my "Lisa Weidknecht" page at https://google.com/+LisaWeidknecht

and my "Planet Weidknecht" page at https://google.com/+Weidknecht

Sterling Silver and Precious Stone Bracelet - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Is there someone very special in your life who deserves a stunningly beautiful bracelet? This gorgeous Blue Topaz and Diamond bracelet from Kranich's Jewelers is set in sterling silver. It arrives in a beautiful leather case that can be re-used for storing and protecting this precious gift. Their online store features fine jewelry of all kinds, including necklaces, wedding and engagement rings, earrings, watches and even mother's rings you can customize with their free platform.
I love this bracelet so much! The infinity signs between each blue topaz are accented with diamonds and it is very sparkly. The clasp is very secure, which is really important on a bracelet. I was wearing my bracelet when I was browsing at our local mall one day last week and wandered into a jewelry store there. The jeweler in the store commented on how beautiful it was, so I took it off and let him see it. His exact words were, "Wow, these are beautifully set! This is great work!"
Kranich's offers several other combinations of precious stone bracelets like mine: Created Sapphire and Diamond, Citrine and Diamond, Peridot and Diamond, Created Ruby and Diamond, and Amethyst and Diamond. Their designers include ArtCarved, Scott Kay, Verragio, Polenza and many more. Visit Kranich's website to see all their gorgeous designer jewelry collections!

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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.

Buddy's New Dog Biscuit - Ornaments With Love - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
My Christmas tree features several ornaments from OrnamentsWithLove.com and not only are they beautiful and very well made, they last for years. This year I decided to add a new ornament for Buddy and I found this darling Dog Biscuit ornament that says Bone Appetit! I decided I better not hang it near the bottom of the tree in case Buddy thinks it's real. Personalized ornaments are the best. This one is made of resin and accented with a tiny little jingle bell on a bow, plus it comes with a hanging ribbon for instant decorating. Ornaments with Love even includes a little gift bag with purchases so if you're giving one as a gift all you have to do is add the names to the tag.
They have a HUGE selection of ornaments to choose from, for babies, families, couples, grandparents, relatives, kids, teens, tweens, and friends. Their easy to use website even has categories for military, colleges, pro teams, pets, hobbies, travel, and job professions. You can see the family ornament HERE that I got last year. And HERE is the couples one I got for us the year before. My children also have some from Ornaments With Love. They are an excellent company to do business with and we've been very pleased with their products. I definitely recommend shopping with www.ornamentswithlove.com!
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Create Your Wishlist on Giftster - Review

It's time to get started on Christmas shopping! My family is spread out from coast to coast and sometimes that makes gift shopping really difficult. I want to buy them gifts they want and need, but often I end up wandering the stores or browsing the internet at a complete loss for the right gift.
Giftster.com is a free online platform that allows you (and your family and friends) to create wishlists and share them. My new account is protected with a password and I can set my wishlists to private or public. I've been browsing around their site and it's very easy to use. With the click of a button, I can create a new list, type in the name of my list (birthday, Christmas, etc.), and then add anything I wish for onto my list. To make it even easier, Giftster has a browser button for my toolbar. Anytime I come across something that makes me go, "THAT would be cool to have," I just click the browser button to add it to my list!
I can also create groups on Giftster and invite my friends and family to join in for free and create their online wishlists, so I know exactly what they want this Christmas. The member search lets me discover who has already created their account. There is also a calendar for adding events for up to the next 90 days. My Giftster newsfeed page conveniently keeps me updated in real time on activities of my friends and family.
If you don't want an ugly sweater or 30-year old fruit cake this year (or even if you do), get over to Giftster.com! Create your free account, make your list, and be sure to connect with me!

Glasstic Shatterproof Glass Water Bottle - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
My lemon ice water always tastes best from a glass. When I go for my daily walks, I always have to transfer my water to a plastic bottle and it just doesn't taste as good. My new Glasstic shatterproof glass water bottle is a glass bottle encased in a plastic bottle! I don't have to be concerned about any chemicals leaching into my water because the liquids are stored in glass. The BPA-free plastic surrounding it creates a double insulation to help maintain the cold temperature. I can use it for any liquid, but I try to stick to water because it's better for me.
It's so easy to carry with me on my walks because the flip up carry handle lets me slip a few fingers in and carry it down by my side. When I need a drink, it flips down out of the way. The bottle itself is even sized perfectly to fit in a cupholder in my car, so I can take it with me for shopping and errands. I love that I can throw it on the top rack of my dishwasher to clean it too! Although it's not designed to be thrown across the room, if I do drop it and break it somehow, any broken glass is contained inside the plastic and Glasstic will replace the glass insert for me for the life of the product at just the cost of shipping.
The lid is designed with a sliding locking system, so if I drop it I not only don't have to worry about breakage, I don't have to worry about spillage either. When the lid is securely closed, the bottle can be laid on its side or turned upside down, and liquids are contained because of the rubber seal. Glasstic comes in several color designs including cheerful bottle prints and different lid colors. I've been using it for several weeks and have had absolutely no problems with my Glasstic water bottle.
I think it's a great product! It will be perfect for when I go to the beach next summer! Check out all the colors at www.glassticwaterbottle.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
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.

That Place Between Parenting and Grandparenting is Such a Void

As I answered the door-bell over and over on Halloween, I realized there is a huge void between parenting and grandparenting. My Facebook page filled up with darling princesses, scary zombies and strong superheroes. I was compelled to browse through old scrapbooks today of my kids in their costumes many years ago. I wistfully reminisced over my children's old photos of pumpkin carvings, huge piles of candy, and homemade costumes.
On one hand, it's nice to be free of late night homework projects and arguments over bedrooms that never seemed to get cleaned. On the other hand, my time of making childhood memories special for them is over. It's been a long time since I've celebrated a holiday without kids at home and all those charming photos of everyone's children all dressed up for trick-or-treating left me feeling a bit empty.
But rather than feel sorry for myself, I've decided to find opportunities for upcoming holidays when I know that none of our kids (or future grandkids) will be here at our house. Maybe next Halloween we'll get dressed up and go celebrate at Austin's famous 6th Street bars. Maybe we'll buy some Wicked Tickets to see the musical that tells the untold stories of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch, set to the score from Stephen Schwartz. You can get your tickets to Wicked the musical from http://www.bigticketshop.co.uk/wicked-tickets.htm. We could also go visit some local haunted houses. I suppose it's time we start doing all those things we always wanted to do, but couldn't because we had children at home.
I guess I'm still adjusting to an empty nest. For the most part, I'm okay with it. I worry about all three of my children daily and wish I could be a "fly on the wall" wherever they are, but I realize they are now adults and I have to let them live their own lives. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in a hurry to have grandchildren, but the void is there and I can feel it. Maybe I just need to borrow someone's young child for a day!


TogetherBox Giveaway - Great #TurkeyEscape

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
It's time for the
Great Turkey Escape Giveaway Hop
where you can win fabulous prizes across
all the participating blogs listed below!

After you enter my giveaway below,
be sure to also enter the Grand Prize Giveaway HERE
to win a Tresanti Saffron Granite Kitchen Island!

~~~ My prize is a TogetherBox! ~~~
~~~ 2 Winners Will Be Chosen ~~~
A TogetherBox is themed activity kit filled with fabulously fun products to help children learn through play. My Bug Box came with a bug-catching net, a bug house, a colorful plush caterpillar, a bug scooper, a magnifying glass, crepe paper, sticky tape, chalk, a craft activity sheet, and activity cards full of great ideas for parents and children to do together. It would be a wonderful holiday gift idea that will be enjoyed over and over again!
I spent many years working with preschoolers and I am very impressed with the TogetherBox. Although they are designed to facilitate fun and simple learning opportunities between children and parents, they are also perfect curriculum boxes for home-school groups and home daycare groups. TogetherBox is available on a monthly subscription with no minimum and the ability to cancel anytime, or treat someone special to a 3-month or 6-month subscription. Buy it HERE. Save 50% on your first month with coupon code planet. Win it below!
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Win a TogetherBox!
($29 value)
TWO readers will win a TogetherBox.
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below.
Open to US residents, ages 18+.
Giveaway ends at midnight on 11/15/2013.
Good luck!

Pumpkin Patch #ThrowbackThursday Link Up

*contains affiliate link

It's Throwback Thursday!

Sponsored By:
Take a stroll down memory lane with us and join in!

Johnathan - circa 2002

Johnathan is my bonus son.
Others might call him my stepson,
but I've always considered him a bonus
that came along with falling in love and marrying Johnny.

Happy Halloween!

Link up one of your favorite memories below!

Make it a #SweetHalloween but Don't Forget to Brush

This post was created in partnership with Crest and Oral-B as part of the #SweetHalloween Program.

Time for Candy Overload!
Can you imagine a Halloween without sweet treats? 
This group of young trick-or-treaters was asked to try some healthy alternatives
to traditional Halloween candy and the results were...scary.

Here's a much better idea!
Dig into all that delicious Halloween candy and keep your teeth cavity-free with Crest toothpastes and Oral-B toothbrushes.
Check out Crest Pro-Health for dentist-inspired solutions for a healthier smile. And don't forget to visit your dentist to keep away the scariest monster of them all - tooth decay. That means more candy and whiter fangs for all! Grab some #SweetHalloween savings HERE!

Weddings Always Make Me Cry


Do you cry at weddings? I always do. Especially when it's someone in my family. Weddings are so beautiful and whenever I hear the vows repeated, it takes me back to when Johnny and I got married. The emotions well up inside of me and I just can't help but let go of some happy tears.

I recently attended my niece's wedding in the St. Louis area and it's been too many years since we've visited our family there. It was so much fun to see my mom and three sisters, and many of my sisters' children and even their grandchildren. Some of my sisters' grandchildren I hadn't even met yet! This handsome little guy is one of my niece's twin boys. The wedding was in a beautiful little country church with stained glass windows and beautiful paintings all around the sanctuary.

Although it was raining a bit outside, the joy in the church streamed sunshine all around us. Getting married in October means taking into account the weather. Outdoor weddings and receptions can be risky, so if you're getting married soon, planning ahead for things like wind, rain, or even snow is a good idea. Keep in mind that wedding venues tend to book up quickly, so leave yourself enough time following the proposal to plan your perfect day.

Many churches do not allow receptions onsite, so you may have to seek out a reception hall. A wedding venue usually offers facilities for both the wedding and the reception, as well as accommodations. If you are planning a wedding away from your hometown, either out of state or out of country, a wedding venue is probably the best way to plan for it. The Croft Hotel weddings venue in Darlington offers everything you need for the perfect England wedding, with fabulous wedding packages that can even be tailored to individual requests.

My niece's reception took place at an all-purpose clubhouse not far from the church. Our family is quite large and she has bunches of friends, so we easily filled the hall with love and laughter. There are few things in life that are as valuable as special events that bring people together to celebrate. A wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Since planning such a big event can be stressful, having assistance from family, friends, and wedding planners can help ease a bride-to-be's anxiety. The next wedding in our family might just be here in Texas because my son John just proposed to his high school sweetheart, and yes, I will cry at that wedding too.

BOGO-Half-Off at Brenda's Perfect Brittle

Brenda's Perfect Brittle is on sale!
Check out this Buy One Get One Half-Off promotion on holiday brittles:
Pumpkin Pie Brittle and Pecan Pie Brittle
No coupon needed!
This promotion runs through 12/31/13. 

The perfect holiday gift at a discount!
Check out my review HERE and purchase at the links below!



Stunner Pumpkin

Two More Winners on Planet Weidknecht

Congratulations to the winners!

Tabathia B - $50 Target Gift Card

Linda Meyers-Gabbard - Universal Cell Phone Car Mount

Enter more great giveaways HERE!

Cheese Thinables The ONLY Half-calorie Crackers - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
I love cheese crackers. Over my 25 years of caring for preschoolers, I've served cheese crackers at snack-time hundreds of times. I've also eaten my fair share of them. Fiber Gourmet has just released Cheese Thinables with half the calories and ten times the fiber than Cheez-It/Cheese Nips crackers! Best of all, they taste JUST like the fattening, low-fiber ones. Plus, my fingers don't get all greasy when I eat Cheese Thinables. I don't see any reason to keep buying the other ones!
Each 1 ounce snack bag of Cheese Thinables is a single serving and contains about 30 cheese crackers. Each serving contains 11 grams of fiber, which is 44% of your Daily Value. An entire snack bag contains just 60 calories. Cheese Thinables have no trans fat and only one gram of saturated fat, zero cholesterol, zero sugars, 7g of net carbs and only 190mg of sodium. We've made the switch to healthier Cheese Thinables at my house! Will you?

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.

Wednesday Wealth Giveaway Link Up 10/30

Thank you for stopping by today!
Link up your giveaways below and/or enter to win some fab prizes!

Zaycon Foods Chicken - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Zaycon Foods is a farm to truck to customer company. It may sound strange to consider purchasing your family's food from the back of a truck, but by cutting out the middleman (grocery stores) you not only save money, your food will be fresher by weeks (see the video of their product journey below).
Zaycon Foods was coming to my area and contacted me to ask if I would like to review their chicken. We eat a lot of chicken, so I was anxious to try it. I met Everal and Kyle from Zaycon Foods in the parking lot of a local church. Their big smiles and friendly attitudes were much better than what I've seen at our local grocery store.
Zaycon Foods chicken comes in bulk in a forty pound box. Their chicken is never frozen, but very very cold. They will even load it into your car for you! The chicken comes sealed in plastic but they take the extra step of lining your car trunk to ensure your car stays clean.
I also learned Zaycon Foods sells more than chicken. You can also order turkey, pork, beef, fish, bacon, sausage, ribs, ham, and more. They even offer fresh fruits and raw honey. It's so easy to place an order online for an upcoming event near you, then just drive through and pick it up!
Forty pounds of chicken is a lot of chicken! When I opened my Zaycon Foods box at home, I was shocked at how many huge pieces of chicken there were. I filled four of my largest bowls with the chicken as I cut them into smaller pieces, so I could package them according to my family's needs. I encourage you to be prepared with freezer bags before you pick up your order!
By the time I got my chicken trimmed, quartered, and packaged, my hands were quite cold. But my freezer was filled from top to bottom with chicken! Our first meal made with the Zaycon Foods chicken was spicy chicken fajitas. (Click here to see my Bruschetta Chicken Spaghetti recipe made with Zaycon Foods chicken).
The quality of this chicken is fantastic! There is an obvious difference in freshness compared to the chicken I buy at my local grocery store. I highly recommend Zaycon Foods. I won't be needing more chicken any time soon, but I can't wait to try their other meats.
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See the Zaycon Foods video HERE!