Thursday, April 23

When Calls the Heart 10 DVD Collector's Edition #Giveaway

I had the opportunity to prescreen the 2nd season of the Hallmark Channel's original series, When Calls The Heart. I've watched the first 2 episodes and they were charming!  The characters are wonderful!  The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West.  Alas, I don't have cable so I'll be doing my best to stream the series wherever I can find it.

When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.
One reader will win the set of When Calls The Heart Season 1 on DVD (I'm a bit jelly--I haven't seen it!)  Enter below by May 2nd at 11 pm anyone's time. I'll choose a winner the next morning.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, April 17

Calling All Book Lovers! #BookGiveawaysGalore

If you haven't checked out my bookshelf blog lately, you must!  I've just posted a ton of book giveaways there--a wide variety of books with more to come in the next few days.  Entries there are very low and easy to win so head on over!  If you don't want to miss the next round, sign up for my book blog e-newsletter (it's in the left sidebar at the book blog).  Newsletters only go out when there's a post which is about once a week. 

Tuesday, April 14

Blueberry Cove Beads #CraftingSubscriptionBox

Congrats to Maryann D, the winner of this giveaway!

I was so impressed with my first box from Blueberry Cove Beads!  The theme was Vintage Tea Party.  Blueberry Cove sends monthly bead boxes packaged beautifully in faux satin and filled to the brim not only with beads, but with many other crafting embellishments. One of my best friends makes jewelry as a profession, while I love to decorate gifts for my friends.  I used some of the items myself and created this vintage journal and used the little cakes and spoons (also beads) for my daughters' animal dollhouse tea party.  The jewelry creation pics will be coming soon!

Box 3 from Blueberry Cove - So many gorgeous items to inspire creativity!

Animal Tea Party via Blueberry Cove
Vintage Tea Party Journal
Bracelet made with the painted beads from Blueberry Cove
While Blueberry Cove offers "the monthly subscription for bead lovers", you can also purchase their past boxes which have themes like:
  • Art Deco
  • The Caribbean
  • Woodland
  • Vintage Tea Party
I imagine all of them are as full of quality beading supplies as my box was.  Each item was top quality and, if you're a crafter or Pinterest DIY addict, you would love this box!  It'd also make such a wonderful gift for someone you want to bless.

You Can Find Blueberry Cove Beads On

One winner will win 2 boxes from Blueberry Cove!  Enter below by April 9th at 11 pm anyone's time. 

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Blueberry Cove for providing us with this box to review!

Monday, April 13

Super Easy Lemon Sugar Body Scrub & Lavendar Bath Salt Recipes! #InstaNaturalEOs

It seems everyone is into essential oils these days!  I went to a  make-and-take party with one of my best friends a couple of months ago and while I loved making cleaning supplies, body scrubs, and bath salts, I couldn't believe the price tags on the very small bottles of oils!  I decided to shop around on-line for a more affordable option and the opportunity opened up for me to review InstaNatural's essential oils.  I've tried their beauty products in the past and liked them so I was excited to try their EOs with my favorite recipes you'll find below.  You can make these easily with essential oils and stuff around your kitchen.

The first thing that impressed me when I opened up my box of Lemon and Peppermint (also comes in Lavendar) InstaNatural Oils was that the bottles are huge!  A 4 oz bottle costs less than an ounce of the major EO brand!  These are 100% pure oils and I can imagine them lasting me for-ev-er unlike that other brand with the dinky bottles that cost a day's wages, not naming any names...  Now print out your recipes then head to Amazon--free shipping, too!  Note: At the moment, the Lemon oil is sold out but add it to your wishlist--they'll be getting more soon.

Peppermint Bath Salts
These are so wonderful for alleviating allergies!  Just pour a bit in the bath and relax.  

1 Cup Epsom Salt
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
10 drops InstaNatural Peppermint Oil
2 drops Red Food Coloring

Mix Epsom salt and baking soda in a bowl first.  Add your essential oils and food coloring and mix well.  Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.

Special thanks to the wonderful people at InstaNatural and BrandBacker for providing me with this review opportunity!

Sunday, April 12

Moulin Roty's Cinema Box #ToyGiveaway

Pass the popcorn! Moulin Roty's Cinema Box captures the spirit of open-ended play that engages, encourages and enhances young imaginations.  Imported from France by Magicforest, the enchanting let's-show-a-movie kit is designed for kiddos 3 and up.  Our friends came over, my little girl made up a story to go along with one of the 4 included shows, and passed out tickets.  The only drawback is that the "screen" is very small (about 8x10) so if you've got a lot of atendees, it's quite hard for all the little heads to see (this was our predicament--we had about 9 in the "audience" during our first showing).  It's also a bit hard to get the flashlight to project without a blurred image but we found that if you turn it all the way to the left, it's perfect.  I'd recommend this for sibling viewing, as it most easily accommodates 2-4 kiddos.  It's a neat toy and it definitely inspires creativity!  I'd love to see the same thing available for projecting on the wall with larger images!

One of my readers will win the Cinema Box!  Enter below by 4/20 at 11 pm anyone's time. I'll choose a winner the next morning via  Good luck!

You Can Follow Magicforest on  

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Kidstuff PR for this review and giveaway opportunity. 

Thursday, April 9

My New Super Cute Jean Skirt a la #KosherCasual!

My favorite new item hanging in the closet is my new jean skirt from Kosher Casual.  It's comfortable, goes with boots or flip flops, and can be paired with a sweater or tank top.  I love it!  It's not only modest like everything else from their store, but it is so incredibly comfortable!  Because their women's skirts are longer than their girls' (too long for this short girl!), I opted for a size 16 in the Denim Knee Length Skirt.  I chose navy, though it comes in traditional blue denim, too. It's got a soft, elastic waist and the entire skirt has a lot of stretch.  I can't tell you how much I love this skirt!  And I absolutely love that theirs is a store dedicated to modesty.  Modesty is beautiful and does not have to look frumpy, by any means!  

Kosher Casual also makes fashion basics for school, work, dress, play, working out, and life. Skirts, ¾ sleeve tops, layering shells, and modest accessories can all be found at their store.  The prices are great for the kind of high quality they are--my skirt costs $23 and I would definitely pay that for it!

They are currently running their bi-monthly sweepstakes for a Kosher Casual $50 Gift Certificate. The next drawing will be on May 31st. Here is a link to enter:  I'll be so happy if one of you win!  Come back and tell me here if you do!

You Can Find Kosher Casual On
Special thanks to the wonderful people at Kosher Casual for providing me with this review opportunity!

Wednesday, April 8

Introducing The NEW Educents Marketplace!

I just received an email from the founders of Educents, Kate and Kaitlyn, with some really exciting news. Until today, Educents was a website for parents and educators to take advantage of daily deals. But those deals expired... And there were only 50 deals available at once... I wanted saving money to be even EASIER. Kate and Kaitlyn agreed. So they created the new Educents Marketplace. It’s even easier to discover affordable educational resources that make learning FUN!

Thousands of new products - Educents Sellers can now offer ALL of their bestsellers on the new Educents Marketplace. There's a wide variety of worksheets, lesson plans, educational apps and toys. Shop The Young Scientists Club, Scholastic, Workman Publishing, Alpha Omega Publishing, Life of Fred books, hundreds of printable units created by educators, and more! Offers that NEVER expire - Sellers can offer our favorite educational products year-round. Once a deeply discounted Daily Deal expires, you can still find that product available on Educents at the lowest price. Discovery - It's easier to search on Educents. Search for your kiddos' interests like Minecraft or Frozen-inspired resources, and then sort by grade level, subject, brand, and more! 

I love Educents--I've shopped there quite a few times for my kiddos' homeschool items--and I hope you'll check it out!

Monday, April 6

How We Do Homeschool History the Exciting Way

Studying Ancient Egypt.  You may be asking "What's a bunny got to do with Egypt?"  Well, we love some unique creativity aroun here and there are jack rabbits in the Middle East!

There is almost nothing I like better than dressing up and reliving history!  I also love to embrace educating my kiddos by going all out with period food and ambiance.  Of course, good books are a must, too.  For elementary kids, I recommend "The Imagination Station" series, for girls "The American Girl" series is wonderful.  Movies like "Dear America" on Netflix are perfect add-ons, too.   "The Torchlighters" is an awesome DVD series that also comes with printables and lesson plans.  For middle and high school students, I recommend the book series "Heroes of the Faith".  There is a wide variety of exciting history out there! 

We don't spend a fortune on our costumes, by any means, though I have splurged a couple of times on something I really wanted.  We usually find out costumes on sale after Halloween, borrow from friends, or stumble upon great finds at Goodwill and other local thrift stores.

As far as the food goes, a lesson about Ancient Egypt is a lot more memorable if you do it while nibbling on some authentic Basboosa! (That’s bread sweetened with honey and lemon. Yum!)  And a lesson about the Civil War is a lot more memorable if you do it while nibbling on some authentic hardtack! 

The recipes in Cooking Up Some World History are historically accurate. There's a nice mix of snack foods, entrees, and even historically accurate deserts. We decided that first we'd like to learn about America during and after the Revolution.  We tried Firecakes (which Revolutionary war soldiers ate), Jumbles (old-fashioned donuts which were delicious), and Shrewsbury Cakes (a close second after Jumbles).  We went all out by dressing up in costumes from the time period--mine and my youngest daughters are both from The Wholesale Costume Club.  We officially reviewed these costumes a year or so ago but we always use them. As you can see, they're very well-made, beautiful, and hold up well over time.

Serving Shrewsbury Cakes and Firecakes, food of the American Revolution.

Jumbles, old-fashioned donuts of the American Revolution.

An Revolutionary-America smorgasbord!

Cooking Up Some World History includes recipes from:

Prehistory • First Civilizations • Ancient India • Ancient China • Classical Greece • Ancient Rome • Maya • Aztec • Inca • Middle Ages • The Muslim World • Renaissance • The Age of Exploration • Kings and Tsars • Industrial Revolution • Nineteenth Century • Communist World • World Wars and the Great Depression • The Modern World

Cooking Up Some American History includes recipes from:

Native American Foods • Spanish Colonial Fare • English Colonial Dishes • Foods of the Revolutionary War • Dining in Young America • Staying Fed on the Frontier • Foods Out of Africa • Soldiers’ Mess: The Civil War and Reconstruction • Foods of the Gilded Age and the Industrial Revolution • Dishes of World War I • Surviving the Great Depression • Foods of World War II • American Fare: the 1950s • The 1960s • The 1970s • Modern Meals

Dressing up for Thanksgiving week.  We also listened to the audiobook "The Legend of Squanto" and read "Imagination Station: Problems in Plymouth".

Hubby and I dressed up as we studied biblical history.

The California Gold Rush

A Little Patriot Girl.  The teddy-bear in this pic is not historically accurate. ;)

The 50's.  We dressed up, watched I Love Lucy, and learned some doo-wop songs!

What country or time period is your favorite?  Who's your favorite person from history?  Mine is Florence Nightingale, but Grace O'Malley was amazing, too--she was "the pirate queen"!  Google them both!

Studying China!  We baked Chinese desserts, learned how to eat with chopsticks (my kiddos are amazing after Youtubing it!), watched the movie "Gladys Aylward", learned how to write Chinese letters, and read picture books on China.

Sunday, April 5

My Dog Eats Soup! A Caru Pet Food Giveaway

Cutesie poochie patiently waiting!
"Hey, where's Lucy?" my little boy asked.

"She's eating her soup," was his sister's reply.

I had to laugh.  My dog is spoiled.  She eats soup.

Apparently people can eat CARU pet food, too--it's not only natural, it's human grade. Everyone who works at CARU has eaten their stew.  Now that is backing up your words with actions!  Their dog treats, though they smell like beef jerky, are not human grade, so I didn't feed any to my husband. One of the girls who works for the company always makes a point of eating the stew to show people how good it is when they're at tradeshows.  Her coworker just rolls his eyes at her and tells her to make sure she trims her tail!

Pamela, the one who sent Lucy her soups and treats, and I had a giggle or two as we swapped our dog food stories!  When I was in high school, I came home one night to see my brother eating what looked like a bowl of stew.  There was an open dog food can on the counter along with a dirty pot on the stove.  When he put his bowl in the sink, I said, "Did you just eat dog food?!"  Yep.  He did.  And he enjoyed every bit. That's what can happen when you combine a company who doesn't put a big picture of a dog on their can of stew and a hungry teenager!  Pretty sure if it had been CARU, he would've enjoyed it even more. ;)

One of my readers will win a selection of CARU dog food and treats for her pooch... or her self!  ;)  Enter below by April 11th at 11 pm anyone's time.  Good luck! 

You Can Find CARU On

 Special thanks to the wonderful people at CARU for providing us with this review and giveaway opportunity!

E.l.f. Cosmetics Discount! #GetTheLook

 Get 50% Off Makeup Bag Must Haves 
with any purchase of $25 or more! 
Enter code GETTHELOOK at checkout. 
Offer valid 4/5 - 4/13/15

Saturday, April 4

The Queen's Treasures: Enchanting Furniture for American Girl Sized Dolls! #Giveaway

1930's Style Stove by The Queen's Treasures
Congrats to Shannon, the winner of this giveaway!

My daughters are enchanted with their dolls' new 1930's style stove from The Queen's Treasures!  The stove is incredibly well-made, looks real and historically accurate, has little compartments that open easily but stay shut when you want them to with magnetic closures, has fine, painted details, and a little tray in the oven that comes in and out.  It doesn't come with the food but, as my daughter said, "It was so much more fun to make our own food with clay!"
And so we've been having so much fun playing pretend and even made a movie yesterday that you can watch below.  It's called "Julia's Tea Party".  Food continually falls on the floor, but Julia and her friends make the best of it and have a delightful time!

You don't have to be a royal to shop The Queen's Treasurers, this enchanting trove nestled high in the Pocono Mountains (I spent my honeymoon there!) where everything is miniaturized for the 18" phenomenon of dolls, clothing, accessories and especially furniture! All princesses, with their mums, can hold their pinkies aloft as they sip tea and browse the online shop at The Queens Treasures.

Food "baked" by her sister in their 1930's Queen's Treasures Stove

If clothes make the man then it's accessories that make the doll, especially when she measures 18". Girls ages 8 and above will be mesmerized by The Queen's Treasures for 2015 as she turns back the clock 100 years and spotlights life during WWI. My daughters certainly were enchanted and after browsing the store, they have made out their wish lists.  Outfits and accessories from the brave Salvation Army Doughnut Girls, vintage stoves and an antique sewing machine are a sampling of the 2015 Collection. Beyond clothing is the Queen's extensive array of miniature furniture. American style furniture includes cupboards, table & chair sets, kitchen, bedroom furniture and a huge selection of 18" doll storage trunks, wardrobes and armoires.

One of my readers will win the 1930's Style Stove from The Queen's Treasures (a $110 value)! Enter below by March 5th at 11 pm anyone's time. Winners must reside in the U.S. for this one. 

You Can Find The Queen's Treasures On
Special thanks to the wonderful people at The Queen's Treasures and KidStuff PR for this review and giveaway opportunity!