Thursday, July 30, 2015

DVD Review: When Calls The Heart: Heart And Soul

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, froWord Films, and Edify Mediafor review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

As you know we LOVE When Calls the Heart in our house, and friends circle!

While we're waiting to see if we get another season (fingers crossed), DVDs are being released from Season 2, as individual movies! YEAH!

When Calls The Heart: Heart And Soul cover


From celebrated author Janette Oke (The Love Comes Softly series) comes a rigorous and romantic adventure as epic as the wide frontier. Erin Krakow (Army Wives), Daniel Lissing (Eye Candy) and Lori Laughlin (Full House, 90210) star in When Calls The Heart

In this latest DVD installment, Further complicating their new romance, Jack and Elizabeth must part company so that Jack can return to Hope Valley and his duties as a Mountie. Elizabeth, however, remains in Hamilton, where she finds herself tending to her family and spending time with the handsome Charles Kensington. Meanwhile, back in Hope Valley, Rosemary has been offered a role in a play in San Francisco and makes preparations to leave with her two producers. When Jack learns that the "producers", have taken Rosemary in the opposite direction, for New York, he races after them to rescue her… a gamble that ends up being the talk of the town when they spend a night together


Check out a preview of this DVD:


Getting quality family entertainment, that the kids actually LIKE, is hard to find. My friends and I all have kids that are getting hooked on this show! this episode actually sets up many of the future plot arcs and relationships, so it was interesting to go back and watch it again, and see where Abigail and Bill started working together,  how Elizabeth's family started their attempt to keep her home (including using her ex-fiancee),  and how Rosemary and Jack got so close. Watching this series is like seeing old friends again,and the DVDs do a great job in tiding you over until the next season can start, Plus they are Dove Family Approved!

About Word Entertainment:  

A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

Campus Book Rentals is YOUR Budget Saver This Back to School Season!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: This is a paid, sponsored post, with info from Campus Book Rentals,  No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. All opinions are my own.

blast off back to school banner

Did you know that the average two semester cost for college textbooks is about $1,200 ?

That's the equivalent of 39% of tuition and fees at a community college, and 14% of tuition and fees at a four-year public university, according to a study done by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in 2014! 

Yup- it has increased 82% over the past ten years. Shocking isn't it?

Courtesy of Pixabay
I had NO idea either until the subject came up for a friend, whose child was on a 3/4 scholarship. By adding in additional scholarship money she had managed to get tuition and dorm covered and only had to pay for meals and books, add those pesky incidentals. Then she found out books were almost as much as the meal plan and just about had a literal cow!

I can remember paying about $250 a year for books, as I was taking the max case load, and thinking that was excessive!

If your kids are off to college, you might not have given much thought to the added expense of BOOKS! But a solution is at hand, that can save you valuable money and make their life easier too!

 campus book rentals logo has been around since 2007! They now have books for over 6,000 college campuses! You can RENT your textbook at 40-90% savings! Treat the book like you had bought it- even underline in it! It's ok!  They even have flexible rental periods, so you can rent for the time period YOU need to, not by what a website says you should! And they have FREE shipping- BOTH ways (rent and return)! They even have a 30 day worry free guarantee and return period! 

Check out how it works:

How simple to order online and have your books in your hands in the max of 2 weeks (less than 1 if you expedite). 

operation smiles logo

But the best thing, besides saving a whole LOT of money on textbooks, is knowing that every dollar you spend at Campus Book Rentals means a donation to Operation Smile! Knowing that your dollars are going to help a child in need is very special indeed! 

So when you're looking at trying to cut down on college expenses this year, check out Campus Book Rentals, you might be surprised just how much you can save!

Maker Studio Propellers Building Kit is the Building Block of STEM Fun for YOUR Kids!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Thinkfun, via Tomoson,for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Ah Summer...

For some of you, you still have 4 weeks left! For others, like us, the countdown is on!

So if you aren't thinking about kits to keep Summer brain drain at bay, start thinking about that little thing called Christmas...

I know, but you KNOW it's only a matter of weeks before Christmas items will be in all the craft stores! 

So think about getting the kids gifts that will KEEP on giving, every time they use them!

Thinkfun has been making toys and kits kids LOVE and adore for 30 years! This year has brought new innovations! “We’re on a mission to give kids an early advantage by cleverly disguising brain-building work as fun, exciting, and varied,” said Bill Ritchie, ThinkFun President and Co-Founder. “We continue to partner with the world’s greatest thinkers, track with educational trends like STEM, and innovate consistently to ensure we wow parents, their kids, and teachers.”

   Designed by engineers, David Yakos and Parker Thomas, for Budding Engineers Maker Studio Construction Kits are for kids who want to “build, do and explore!”. The kits inspires imagination and a love for engineering. In this set featuring propellers, your kids can transform recycled household objects into working, kinetic inventions, like a chopper, a biplane, a windmill and a plane. Once models are assembled, kids use problem-solving and creative thinking skills to tinker with their inventions and complete 10 engineering challenges. Examples are to experiment with friction, torque and propulsion as you engineer your solutions. Once they’ve mastered all four builds, they can get creative and design something that’s all their own!.

As you can see the Propeller kit comes with instructions, Engineering Challenge cards, a spool, an X-linkage, connectors, wheels, rods, hub caps, rubber bands,and hole punch, as shown all above. All you need are scissors and the recycled item for the body of your project!

The instructions are basic (think like certain plastic building sets are), as in you get drawings and NO written instructions. SIGH. As an adult, I could see where there might be some headache and there was on the Copter build. Initially I let Miss Grace start the build all by herself. The first setback came when she was sure where to place the holes, as there was no template, and she had misaligned two holes (my first contention with the kit - a printable template would have been very helpful). So I helped her to punch the holes in the right places. the included hole punch works great- sharp enough to punch the holes the right size in one punch, but not sharp enough to hurt the kids! 

The little hubcaps are pretty cool- as you can see above, they 'click' into place on the connectors, to lock them in place. Pretty ingenious! 

Again, because the holes were not exactly lines up right, Miss Grace had a bit of an issue in getting the rods through, but she managed and persevered on, It was helpful to have all the pieces laid out by sizes,so she could quickly grab what she needed.

The copter is starting to take shape- the tail frame is in, the bottom rods are reading for their linkage, and the rotor housing has been put in place.

One side down, and working on the other. notice at this point, Mom is just the camera person,and not helping...

And now Mom is needed to hold the copter in place as she tried valiantly to get the rubber band into place INSIDE the can, whose accessibility is blocked by the tail. SIGH. Then Mom tried. No luck.

This was where in the home stretch of the build, we realized there was an issue with the instructions. It would have been easier to put the rubber band ON the spool when the spool was installed and just pulled the rubber band up and out of the way, versus trying to put it in AFTER the tail was in place. Chip cans are only so big! So Mom helped her do a partial unbuild, put the band in place, and then helped to rebuild, so she could move on to the next step.

AHA, now the last steps are being completed...

And waa-la. One copter with moving parts, that actually can fly a short distance!
The kid was THRILLED!!!! 

Miss Grace LOVED being able to make the kit pretty much by herself, to make something that WORKS.She even attacked the Engineering challenges by herself! I love it when science can excite my kid! 

Miss Grace forgot to have someone take pictures of her plane when she built it next, using a plastic bottle and the same parts!  But it was just as easy and she really was impressed that she could recycle food holders into toys! 

These kits would be great for girls AND boys for birthday presents, Christmas presents, or for any special occasion. While the kids can pretty much make them themselves, they can also be perfect for some great family educational time! There are 3 kits available right now, Gears (which we'll be reviewing next week), Propellers (this kit), or Winches. ThinkFun will also be selling all parts and new expansion pieces, as well as offering free downloadable 3D printing files for more building ideas. You can purchase the Maker Kits on Amazon. they are well worth the $20 cost, for the hours of innovation and fun they provide your child!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator is YOUR Solution to Back to School Laundry Odors.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Febrreze, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

blast off back to school banner

Back to school is upon us, and that means for some we'll be needing to put away our Summer gear (others, like us will keep them out to oh, December? LOL) and for others, that means new sports apparel and accessories will be making their stinky arrival.

Our beach towels put up with the brunt of our summer adventures having to dry us off after a swim to creating a comfortable sun bathing experience. They absorbs the chlorinated pool water or salty seawater, sweat, sun lotion residue, sand and dirt from our bodies,  and end up smelling like garbage. Summer workout clothes, our gear from a weekend camping trip, even your favorite sweatshirt from a Summer night’s bonfire, will need some heavy laundering.

 We expect our Summer laundry to come out of the washer clean and odor free. But, this is not always the case. Scented detergents, fabric softener and dryer sheets can sometimes mask these type of deep down odors, but they cannot always do the trick. So Febreze came up with the perfect idea!

Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator

 To help get better smelling beach towels, Febreze has created Febreze Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator. It’s an in-wash solution that is used with regular detergent and it targets tough odors while detergent washes away dirt and stains. It has three times more freshening power than detergent and it focuses solely on giving laundry a fresh clean scent, no matter what odor it encounters on the laundry. 
While your detergent is cleaning away dirt, Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator is fighting tough odors.

Similar to a bottle of detergent, Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator has a cap that is also a measurable cup. As you can see above, you use how much you need! I used my sample on beach towels, swimsuits, stinky all day doing yard work jeans and t-shirts, sweaty dance practice clothes, and a towel that had accidentally been left outside for 2 weeks (ewww was the right word). I used a FULL cup per each load, anda scent free detergent to really see how well it worked. I was SO impressed with HOW well the odor Eliminator worked! It literally got out ALL the stinky smells and left the clothes with a light fresh scent! It worked fine in warm and cold loads! The outside towel was soft again and all odor was GONE! Woo hoo! I love how easy it is to use- just add with your detergent, easy peasy! 

Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator coupon

Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator is sold at Walmart, Mejier, HEB, Kmart, A&P, Pathmark, Stop&Shop and many other grocery, drug and mass retailers. Check out the Febreze in-Wash Odor Eliminator website for a special $2 coupon , so you can try out the Odor Eliminator before your Back to School stinky odors arrive!

About Nehemiah Manufacturing

Nehemiah was founded in 2009 with the mission to build brands, create jobs and change lives. Led by a team of seasoned consumer product good professionals, Nehemiah partners with Procter & Gamble and other consumer product goods companies to license and acquire small brands, to innovate new concepts and contract manufacture products that support the company mission. Nehemiah is committed to bringing jobs back to the inner city of Cincinnati to stimulate community development and economic growth. For more information visit:

Book Review and Giveaway: Weightless by Sarah Bannan

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from St Martin's press, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

blast off back to school banner

It seems only appropriate as we're taking a few last days of Summer to head to the beach for some sand and surf, but I wanted to share this coming of age novel about High School bullying with you, as it would be a great novel for teens to read before school starts!


When Carolyn Lessing moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the juniors at Adams High. Gorgeous, stylish, a great student and gifted athlete without a mean girl bone in her body Carolyn is gobbled up right away by the school's cliques. She even begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn's bitter romantic rival. When a make-out video of Carolyn and Shane makes the rounds, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut in an instant, with Brooke and her best friend responsible for the campaign.
Carolyn is hounded and focused on, and becomes more and more private. Questions about her family and her habits torture her. But a violent confrontation with Shane and Brooke in the student parking lot is the last attack Carolyn can take.


Ah, small towns in the South...

And there in a nutshell was the kernel of the issue in the book. Carolyn is different, she isn't from there. She isn't known to everyone, she has no roots in the community. With kids who have been together since kindergarten, different is not always good, or comfortable. It is something almost to be feared. And what is the easiest way to deal with fear? De-mystyify it by taking away it 's hold over you. In Carolyn's case, this means bullying and shaming. In many ways,the high school is shown as a microcosm of the real world, where fear equals hate for no reason, other than the unknown.

The author uses this idea in her narrative, having Carolyn's tale told from different perspectives,and the reader gets info like anyone else would- not sure what is truth, what is gossip and what are lies. As the story unfolds the reader can't help but to keep rapidly turning the page, wanting to find out the truth about what happened, and the results from it. As an adult reader, you'll be questioning why no one stepped in sooner to stop the inevitable 'train wreck', but you can also see why they were lulled by misdirection into not doing so. This is a really important book for mothers and daughters to read, and to discuss and make up plans of action, for when (probable) similar bullying occurs in their school/life!I highly recommend it!

About the Author:

Sarah Bannan grew up in New York, Texas, Florida and Alabama. She is the Head of Literature for the Irish Arts Council and lives in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband and daughter.Weightless is her first novel. 

flashing Win


One BTHM reader will win this review copy!