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Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Fresh Heir by Michael Reilly

** this giveaway is closed **


When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it might read more like a YA novel, but it had a certain quirkiness that intriqued me, so I asked to be part of the tour, and I am very happy I did !


fresh heir banner




Synopsis: Jamie is a twelve-year-old who has been labeled highly gifted. Good news, right? Except with it comes a cross-county car trip…with his ultra-obsessed dad…his annoying little sister…and a wacky educational consultant his dad has hired. Jamie could suggest better ways to spend his summer, and to live his life, if only someone would listen.As they set out on the trip to San Francisco, where Jamie will attend a summer program for gifted youth. His dad, Doug, can’t hear above the loud voices demanding nothing but the best for his son. Doug will do anything to give Jamie the leg up he needs to compete in a vicious world and get into an Ivy League school, Doug’s enthusiasm and hyperkinetic desire to enrich Jamie at every turn leads to hilarious complications and enlightening predicaments along the way.


About the Author: Michael Reilly is a writer and entrepreneur. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. His first published novel, Fresh Heir, was released in May 2011. He is also founder and chief executive officer of FitDivs Inc, a company that promotes and rewards healthy living. Michael resides with his wife and four children in Charlottesville, VA.

You can visit his website at www.freshheirnovel.com


Review: If you like your books with a side of quirkiness, then this is a great book for you! You will read this book with a smile on your face, or laughing, most of they way through! 
The book goes back and forth with narration by Jamie and Doug, and it was interesting to see how they played off each other and how depended they were upon keeping an 'even keel' in their relationship. Reilly does an excellent job in giving us a satirical look at how today's parents can be so utterly consumed by the pressure to give their children the best opp
ortunities for success, that they frequently lead to kids and parents buckling from the stress and missing out on inter-connectivity with one another.


Reilly's example of a hockey parent going to such extremes that he is kicked out of a tournament final game and his child who now detests the game itself, will ring true to many readers, who will know people who fit the example exactly. When did we stop letting kids ENJOY the game, and make it all about winning, the author asks in subtle ways. Jamie himself yearns to be a normal kid just going on vacation and not making everything a quiz. When Jamie connects with his grandfather, you truly see and hear a child's voice screaming for a simpler way of life. 


The author also does a great job in showing how 'generational anger' can funnel down into parents and influencing how they handle problems in their own relationships and how it in turn funnels down to their kids, especially during and after a divorce. Some readers may find the ending a bit 'too pat', but I think it fit perfectly with the book (and no I'm not going to tell whay happend and spoil the ending!). The book ends up being a cautionary tale in more ways than can be counted, and I highly recommend it to all parents, as a warning and reminder of what is truly important to our kids!




Shhhh...Welcome to Fall Ya'll .....



.... starts TOMORROW!

Are you excited now that FALL is officially here?

We are!

If you place the Welcome to Fall Ya'll button on 
your blog or Facebook Page
during the month,
you'll get FIVE extra entries for EVERY giveaway
this month!

How cool is that?

So pick up the button on the sidebar and get ready to enter
some great giveaways!

Guest Post: Healthy Breakfast for Kids: Yummy and Fun

rice cakes and pb


We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I never wanted my kids to go to school without having breakfast just in case they had a later lunch time. I did not want to be the mom who let her kids go to school with breakfast. However, I have never been a June Cleaver. I filled my fridge and cupboard with quick fixes like Pop Tarts, various cereals, cinnamon rolls and frozen waffles. All breakfast foods to fill their tummies but just that, fillers, not a healthy way to begin the day.
Now I realize that those breakfast foods may not have been the best choice. Most of them are full of sugar, unhealthy carbs instead of protein and healthy carbs. We still have fun breakfasts like french toast and cinnamon rolls from time to time but I normally fix a healthier breakfast or have quick healthy choices available when the mornings are hectic.
We've been pretty lucky with Kiddo- she WANTS a healthier breakfast like eggs and toast over Toaster Strudel or PopTarts. Plus, being Southern means she needs biscuits and gravy at least ONCE a week! I have to laugh, but at least it's a hot breakfast and filling!

Healthy Breakfast Food Ideas
  • If your kids like fruit and low fat yogurt, they will love a fruit smoothie for breakfast! The best thing about smoothies is the endless combination possibilities.
  • For a quick, on the go breakfast, try a whole grain fruit bar and low fat milk. You can also add apple or orange slices for this on the go breakfast.
  • Try brown rice cakes topped with natural peanut butter or cream cheese and fresh fruit like thinly sliced strawberries or kiwi.
  • On mornings when you have a little more time whole grain pancakes will be a big hit. Add fresh fruit to the batter for added yummy taste. Go a step further by using a cookie cutter to make fun shapes. Instead of drowning these healthy pancakes in syrup try unsweetened applesauce, apple butter, cinnamon, cream cheese or natural honey. (we like using jam on our pancakes! It's lower in sugar and the fruit taste is yummy!)
  • The traditional eggs and toast are still a healthy choice. Use egg whites and whole wheat bread for toast. Use apple butter or natural peanut butter to spread on the toast.
Use these yummy healthy ideas to give your kids a jump start to their busy school day!

What other healthy breakfast ideas can you think of?

By Robin Greene, kindergarten teacher for over 5 years.  Robin enjoys church activities, spending time with family and friends and freelance writing for My Baby Clothes dot com.  Put your little ones in unique baby clothes, tutus and baby hats that no one has ever seen before and watch as everyone gushes over the cuteness.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is The Weekend Here Yet?

Crazy Things Parent TextI recently reviewed Crazy Things Parents Text , and Sourcebooks was kind enough to send over some more excerpts to help us get thru the Thursday (aka 'Is the weekend here yet?) blues!


ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!


Me: I was offered a job!
Dad: Accept it before they discover their mistake.


Mom: R u home yet? Need U 2 GTD
Me: Mom, what the hell does GTD mean?
Mom: GET THE DISHWASHER
Me:…oh okay. You know, you can’t just go around making your own acronyms.

From Dad: If the cops are flashing their lights at you, they just want to see how fast you can really drive. Impress them.

Me: Please please please PLEASE don’t make me go on that fishing trip. I promise I’ll clean the house, I won’t talk back, and I’ll be a good child for the rest of my life.
Dad: ><\\\o>. ><\\\o>. ><\\\o>. ><\\\o>. ><\\\o>. 5 fisheez 4 u

Me: Jokes on you I keep submitting ur texts to “crazy things parents text”
Dad: I write your phone number on bathroom walls

Mom: Your father is driving me crazy when are you coming home!!!
Me: I’m out with friends so not till late sorry!!
Mom: Its ok I put Ambien in his tea… he wont be annoying me much longer.


Dad: You know I’m an equal opportunity hater

Me: I know, but you love me :D
Dad: Your mother says I have to

Me: You owe me $350 for the ipad.
Dad: Ok. You owe me hundreds of thousands for your entire life.

Me: What time are you picking me up?
Dad: Who is this?
Me: Your son.
Dad: How did you get this number?
Me: I programmed your phone, remember?
Dad: How do I delete people?




Thanks to Sourcebooks for the excerpts!

Book Review and Giveaway: J'Adore New York by Isabelle Lefleche

** this giveaway is closed **


Up today is one of my favorite books I've read in the past month!



J'Adore New York  cover
Synopsis: When Catherine Lambert, an effortlessly chic Parisian lawyer, receives an offer to transfer to the New York office of her prestigious firm, she unhesitatingly accepts. A dedicated follower of fashion and everything stylish, she is determined to conquer the high-flying world of Manhattan law -- and love. Catherine's dreams of glamour fizzle quickly, however, when she is faced with the hard realities of her profession. 

The pressure of billable hours, the incessant demands of her impossible bosses, the conspiracies of two malicious secretaries and the advances of the lecherous client prompt her to question her career choice. But then she meets Jeffrey Richardson, a powerful client, and her New York life takes on the romance she'd hoped it would -- until an unexpected request forces Catherine to re-evaluate the exclusive world she's chosen for herself. 

About the Author: Isabelle Lafleche worked for six years in New York City as a corporate attorney in a large law firm and on Wall Street. She worked four more in both in Montreal and Toronto. In 2005, she was responsible for the business affairs of a Quebec based fashion designer where she developed her penchant for haute couture. This is her first novel. She lives in Montreal, Quebec. Visit her website for more info.

Review:  I really liked how this book gives you the insider's perspective on the dirty deals and intrigue on Wall Street, high price lawyers AND New York's fashion scene! It's a world that most of us don't know much about, or have time to ponder about! In many ways it was like a stay-cation travel book-just to New York! The book is like reading an intellectual chick lit book! The author peppered the book with French words and phrases (as the main character is French) and doesn't always define them- making you think and translate. It was fun and easy for us Louisiana girls, as the words were ones we use down here. 

I finished this book in 2 sittings and was sorry to see it end! I wanted to stay with the characters and see how the new phases in their life pan out (can we get a sequel Isabelle?)! This a VERY lively read and you will find yourself passing it around to all your girlfriends when you're done- a sign of a wonderful read!

Giveaway: Activia Selects Yogurt Gift Pack

*** this giveaway is closed ***greek yogurtAdvertisement


If you've seen your doctor lately I'm sure they have recommended boosting your immune system and taking probiotics or prebiotics, to aid in keeping your inner systems working better.But with our busy lifestyles, taking any more pills, may not be applicable. BUT you do have to eat breakfast!


So why not treat yourself to one of the new tasty flavors of Activia yogurt, and get your probiotics the easy way?!

Activia is made with their patented Bifidus Regularis probiotic that naturally regulates your digestive system, when consumed daily for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. My dad has been eating it daily for almost a year and it has REALLY helped him! We give it to Kiddo as well, about 2 times a week, and it really seems to help her with her lactose intolerant lack of enzymes.She can digest milk products much better if she has the Activa weekly!



And now, besides their yummy berry flavors, Activia Selects offers French and Greek yogurt flavors to tempt your taste buds!  The Greek nonfat yogurt is thick and creamy, and comes in Vanilla, Strawberry,Mixed Berry and Blueberry and Pomegranate (my uber favorite!) flavors


The French yogurt is silky-smooth, and comes in 2 variations: flavored and with fruit chunks at the bottom! The flavors available are Blackberry and Raspberry (my favorite!), Cherry, and Mango and Pineapple flavors. The fruit bites mixes come in Mixed Berry and Strawberry.


The Acitivia Selects line also includes a Parfait line, that has granola on the top to add in! I've always added granola, so I was thrilled to see them! They come in Vanilla, Strawberry, Peach and Mixed Berry as well!


Not sure if you'll like them? 


Just go ahead and try them (they're super topped with fresh fruit!), and if you don't like them, Activia has a money-back guarantee (of $12) !!! That's a win-win situation for you!


AND You can click on the link above to get a coupon to try the new Greek or French Yogurts for FREE!


And Activia wants to help YOU get started on eating healthy this school year too!


They are offering one BTHM reader a special gift pack of:
An Activia lunchbox, tote bag and a mug with a spoon (sorry no picture).


Perfect for taking to work or school!

It's National COFFEE Day!

cup of coffee
Can I get a hoorah?


Yup, a day dedicated to the love of the java, the jo, the pick me up, the get me going, the brew, the liquid we all love SO much!


While checking out the National Coffee Association of the USA's website (see, the things I read for you! LOL), I learned some interesting facts about coffee STORAGE. If you're like us and paying $7 a bag for great coffee, you want it to LAST! So here they are:



  • Do NOT refrigerate or freeze your daily supply of coffee because contact with moisture will cause it to deteriorate.
  • Store coffee in air-tight glass or ceramic containers (the containers you purchase your coffee in don't work), in at dark and cool location. Remember that a cabinet near the oven is often too warm, as is a cabinet on an outside wall of your kitchen usually. it will keep ONLY for 1-2 weeks, before loosing freshness, after being placed in the container.
  • Small portions of coffee, wrapped in airtight bags, can be stored for up to a month in the freezer (in case you get an unbelievable sale and stock up).  Once you have removed them from the freezer, however, do not return them. Instead put them in an air-tight container, like above.
 
And here's some guidelines for making a great cup of java:

  • If you get your coffee ground when you buy it and then at home it tastes bitter, it may be overextracted, or ground too fine.  On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be underextracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse.  The next time you get it ground, have it changed accordingly.
  • If you want to grind your own beans at home, use a burr or mill grinder, because all of the coffee is ground to a consistent size.  A blade grinder will grind some coffee more finely than the rest.  (oops, we're guilt on this one!)
  • If you are using tap water let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot. This helps keep any impurities and odors from getting into your coffee!
  • The proper ratio of coffee to water is: 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water (NOT cups, ounces).
  • The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important factor affecting the taste of your coffee: in a drip system, the contact time should be approximately 5 minutes. So if you coffee maker is making a super quick pot of coffee, you may not be getting a good cup of coffee!
I don't know about you, but that was pretty interesting stuff!


And here's a super recipe from them, that can be used on many desserts, cakes and ice cream!



Coffee Rum Sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-½ cups (12 oz) strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold coffee
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons rum
Slowly melt sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Gradually add strong coffee, continuing to stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.  In a small bowl stir the cornstarch into the cold coffee and combine with heated mixture. Cook combined ingredients until they boil and thicken. Remove from heat.  Add butter and rum. Stir until butter melts. Let cool to room temperature.




Thanks to the National Coffee Association of the USA' for all the great info and recipe!

RIP......

catfish




aka, scratch the Wordless Wednesday post!


Yup, Nemo passed on as well. Ok, 4 sea burials in one week....


Kiddo has been convinced that we may need to WAIT on fish until we can set up a large aquarium....


SIGH....


At least she's taking it well! WHEW!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Winners this last Week of September!

classroom aquarium



1. Falling Together- #77 Nancy


2. Think, Love, Loose Weight Diet book- #25 Anita Y


3. Money Secrets of the Amish- #74 Amy




All winners have been notified by email!


Thanks to everyone who entered!


And we only have a couple of entries on Fast Media, Media Fast, so you've got some GREAT odds to win it! So run over and check it out!

Giveaway: Llama Llama Red Pajama Reading Party at Gymboree


av cover


You all know how much I support Jumpstart and their Read for the Record program, so I am THRILLED to be able to offer this great giveaway, as well as tell you about
Gymboree's wonderful involvement!




Llama Llama Red Pajama Reading Party at Gymboree for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record October 6th
Pledge to Read Today!

Looking for something fun, free and educational to do with your child?

Pledge with them to join Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a day when millions of families and celebrities read to promote early education, and come to your local Gymboree Play & Music for a free “red pajama reading party” on October 6th. In honor of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record day, Gymboree students at every location will read this year’s book, Llama Llama Red Pajamaby Anna Dewdney and participate in themed activities. Getting involved is simple. Pledge today to read at www.ReadfortheRecord.org and take advantage of your first free Gymboree class on October 6th, for a celebration of reading and learning.

For the past three years, Gymboree and Jumpstart have worked together on this event in the company of celebrities like Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado and Patti LaBelle, and families around the world, to raise awareness for the importance of reading early and often. Most parents don’t know reading to young children lays an essential foundation for literacy that’s needed before they ever set foot in a classroom. The reality is, 1 in 3 children in the U.S. begin kindergarten behind, and most will never catch up. The millions of children in the U.S. living in poverty are even more likely to fall into this statistic, as many grow up in homes without a single book.

By pledging to be part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, you can be part of a solution. Reading with your child on this day helps prepare them to be successful in school and in lifeand also helps Jumpstart provide educational skills and resources to thousands of low-income children.

So pledge today, at www.ReadfortheRecord.org and come out for the festivities at your local Gymboree on October 6th. Jumpstart has extended their giveaway entry deadline, so those who pledge before September 30th have a chance to win a $77 gift card to 77Kids by American Eagle. Thanks for doing your part! Sit down to read and stand up for children.


AND thanks to Ruder Finn, I am able to offer FIVE copies of Llama Llama Red Pajama to my wonderful BTHM readers! Even if you get the book AFTER the read-a-long, you can keep reading it with you child, as it is an adorable book! 


** **


Disclosure: I received these books for giveaway, from Ruder Finn Inc and Gymboree, free of charge, for blog review purposes. I received an offer of free classes at Gymboree in return for hosting and posting about Read for the Record Program. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post.Nor was I told what to say about the program or books!




Book Review: Reflecting Him, Living for Jesus and Loving It by Carla McDouga

reflecting him coverI shared a guest post from Carla earlier today with you, and now his my review of her book, and my stop on her Blog Tour for it this week!

You may remember Carla from her previous guest post on this blog about Back to School, Pray!

Synopsis: DO YOU SEE JESUS IN YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES OR SAVE HIM FOR EMERGENCIES? Reflecting Him helps you pulls back the veil so you can see how a true relationship with the Lord changes your life. As Jesus becomes a part of everything you do, you will soon be reflecting Him to those around you. In ten weeks, through Reflecting Him, you will:
  • Realize life is not about me, but all about Him.
  • See daily applications for lessons learned from scripture.
  • Understand how God is directing your life—often without you knowing it.
  • Learn the importance of prayer in your everyday activities.
  • Discover the joyful intimacy of a life filled with Jesus.
  • Realize how your personal relationship with Jesus changes when you make Him part of everything you do.
The study comes in small enough bites to digest, but deep enough content to stimulate change and growth. Carla McDougal’s refreshing authenticity and humorous style lifts you up and encourages you to dig deeper into the Word.





(Don't you want Carla's great hair cut and color? I know I do!)

About the Author: CARLA MCDOUGAL is founder of Reflective Life Ministries headquartered in the Houston, Texas area. She shares experiences from her own life to encourage women to live every day for Him. God is sending Carla around the world to speak to women from all walks of life. Through her weekly blog, Carla's Corner, she motivates and challenges the reader with her devotionals and inspirational stories. Carla and her husband, Fred, live in the Houston area where they raised three sons and one daughter. Read more from Carla at www.carlamcdougal.blogspot.com and 
www.reflectivelifeministries.org

Review: This is supposed to be a 10 week course, and it is VERY thorough! Our church is getting reading to start the Alpha program, and I see aspects of it in this study series as well. If your church can't afford the Alpha program, this study guide would be a great alternative, especially for your women's study group! The complete series is:

reflecting him series
Pretty impressive, huh?

Week One is an introduction and introduces Carla, and asks you to reflect on why you taking the course, and has group discussion aids, so everyone can get to know one another. Week 2 starts the course in ernest. You get the topic and Carla's article, then you have daily readings and questions to answer, about how your life is reflected in the passages, and providing reflections for every day at the end of the lesson. So you have a lesson and then 7 days worth of study, per week.

Weeks 3-9 continue the same way. Week 10 reviews what has been learned every week and offers more group discussion ideas. As Carla said in her guest post today, the course is really about letting go of the past and moving on with a clear mind and belief in God. Carla uses examples from her life to illustrate different topics and show how it can be similar to you own life. 

If you're not sure where your faith lies, and feel like some reflection would be good for you, I would suggest this book, as well as Carla's online posts (on both her blog and Reflective Life Ministries website). She is a great teacher, and like Joyce Meyers, really speaks to women and their lives!
Today I have 2 great opportunities for you!

1. Discount Offer!
Go to Reflective Life Ministries Online Bookstore, and purchase the items mentioned here for a 10% discount. Simply use the promo code: RHBLOG1


2. Grand Prize Giveaway:

      reflecting him prize pack

      Reflective Life Ministries
      Instant Leader Kit:
      Video Teaching Series
      Bible Study Book
      Leader Guide
      Music CD


      All you have to do is comment below, by October 7th, and you will be entered in the Reflecting Him Blog Tour Grand Prize Giveaway (of all the above products) sponsored by KSW, and hosted by all the blogs on the tour! At the end of the tour, on October 10th, one winner will be picked from all the comments on the Blog Tour Posts! 

      So what are you waiting for? 

      Tell me what you think about the series and be entered to win!





      Disclosure: I received this book, from Newman Communications, free of charge, for blog review purposes. I received no other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post.Nor was I told what to say about the book! 

      Book Review and Giveaway: Claim of Innocence by Laura Caldwell


      ** this giveaway is closed **


      Today we have a superb little mystery that introduced me to a new female lead character-Izzy McNeil. Now I need to go back and read the 3 previous Izzy books!


      claim of innocence cover
      Synopsis: It was a crime of passion—or so the police say. Valerie Solara has been charged with poisoning her best friend. The prosecution claims she’s always been secretly attracted to Amanda’s husband…and with Amanda gone, she planned to make her move.

      Attorney Izzy McNeil left the legal world a year ago, but a friend’s request pulls her into the murder trial. Izzy knows how passion can turn your life upside down. She thought she had it once with her ex-fiancé, Sam. Now she wonders if that’s all she has in common with her criminally gorgeous younger boyfriend, Theo.

      It’s Izzy’s job to present the facts that will exonerate her client—whether or not she’s innocent. But when she suspects Valerie is hiding something, she begins investigating—and uncovers a web of secret passions and dark motives, where seemingly innocent relationships can prove poisonous….


      About the Author: Laura Caldwell is a former civil trial attorney,specializing in medical malpractice defense and entertainment law,now Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Director of Life After Innocence, published author of several  books. She is published in over 22 countries and translated into more than 13 languages. Laura is also a freelance magazine writer. 

      Review: This book will have you hooked from the first chapter! I read it in 2 sittings, it is SO fast paced! The subplots are given equal time with the main plot and creative a very pleasing web of mystery. Everything has a domino effect and is linked! I liked how Izzy is confused and how her personal life overlaps into the case. She may be flawed, but she is a lead character you can relate to (and her mother will have all Southern girls grinning and nodding their heads!). By the time you finish the book, you want to go back and read the previous triology of books! it is not necessary to read this book, but you will definitely be hooked! This is a great book to read on a lazy afternoon!



      Wordless Wednesday: Meet the New Pets....

      goldfish




      Meet Mommy, Daddy and Baby!
      (oops he dies before I could get a pix)
      Aka the goldfish that Kiddo got as a
      GIFT for attending a classmate's birthday party!

      (Yes, I owe his MOM big time! We have 4 cats- this is gonna be fun...)




      Ok, plan B.
      After the third burial at sea, now let me introduce


      catfish


      Nemo, aka Sasquatch (don't ask, we have no idea either),
      the pixie catfish!

      Guest Post: Letting Go By Carla McDougal

      I'll be reviewing Carla’s book, Reflecting Him: Living for Jesus and Loving It, later today, but I wanted to share this guest post with you before I reviewed the book!


      reflecting him cover

      Do you remember the last time you opened the door to your junk closet? You know, the place where you
      put things you don’t want left out in the open. Maybe an item is old and worn out, so you throw it in this
      closet. Or, possibly it’s broken, and you don’t know what to do with it.

      In my Bible Study, Reflecting Him, I invite readers to take a guided tour through various rooms in our
      homes, and compare these areas to our spiritual lives. The first day of the tour focuses on the closet—
      that hidden, dark place no one enters but you. “Out of sight, out of mind” might describe those items
      tucked away in that small space; but couldn’t the phrase also depict the things we hide in the backs of
      our minds and hearts? Broken, worn out, or sinful thoughts weigh heavily on our souls, and we need to
      let go, so they can be replaced by God’s light of love, grace and mercy. June 23rd is National “Let It Go”
      Day. I encourage you to find something in your spiritual “junk closet” and let it go.

      Do you harbor bitterness for past hurts against you? Does sin linger in the crevices of your heart and
      mind? Are you in need of God’s forgiveness? We are all sinners, but we can be free from the closet of
      sin if we confess and ask for His forgiveness. Let go, and let God shine His light on you.

      Just like cleaning out the junk closet, once you let go of those spiritual messes in your life, you’ll be left
      with room for the new. God’s all about making things new. A new heart. A new life. A new you. It all
      starts with letting go of those things that fall short of His plan.

      When you organize a junk closet, you might choose to use special organizers or aids to make it all work
      together better. Or perhaps you even hire a professional organizer. In your spiritual closet, don’t forget
      that you can find all the assistance you’ll ever need through the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
      Are you ready to let God take the tour through the various rooms of your spiritual “house”? When you
      open the closet, what mess falls out? Give it to Him and see what happens!

      CARLA MCDOUGAL is founder of Reflective Life Ministries headquartered in the Houston,
      Texas area. Her true passion for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, shines brightly, whether
      she is speaking or writing. She shares experiences from her own life to encourage women to
      live every day for Him. God is sending Carla around the world to speak to women from all
      walks of life—those living in the best of circumstances to those who have hit rock bottom.
      Carla’s book, Reflecting Him: Living for Jesus and Loving It, pulls back the veil so you can
      see yourself and your Lord more clearly and reflect Him with transparency when interacting
      with others. This 10-week study exposes the dark corners of your life, opening your eyes and
      heart to what Jesus wants you to see. Carla’s refreshing authenticity and humorous style will
      lift you up from a heaviness you didn’t even know weighed you down.
      For more information on a growing number of products from Reflective Life Ministries go to:
      www.reflectivelifeministries.org


      This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. All other standard copyrights apply.

      Tuesday, September 27, 2011

      Guest Post: Tomboy Princess Picks


      Pirate and the Ballerina 1
      Now to me "Tomboy Princess" denotes a girl who is out
      in the sand playing with trucks one day, and twirling
      in tutus the next (or playing pirate AND ballerina at the
      same time. Basically any preschooler I know, 
      especially mine! 
      
      
      She's not into being a fashionista YET, 
      but we do have those days....
      
      
      Here's some great picks from Ashley! 
      
      
      In Honor of the super-cool Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, a beautiful tomboy with style all her own, I’ve taken the liberty of choosing some fun styles for little girls who’d rather climb trees and splash in mud puddles than twirl daintily in front of a mirror or play princess and dress up.
      Little girls’ clothes can be just as cool and stylish as their big brothers ensembles and these fun and funky pieces prove my point:
      
      The hat to be seen in – This quirky waffle knit hat is super hip and can be worn straight on or sideways, with jeans and a cool soft tee or a Sunday dress and her cowgirl boots.  Its wide brim hides her eyes for an ultra cool effect.
      
      Remember girls rock, too – Another great hat to crown her tresses, this black knit cap features an electric guitar appliqué and is a trendy accessory that kids are wearing season in and season out.
      
      The road less taken – Classic high tops are great with jeans and even those skirts that Mom sometimes insists on.  These too cool kicks are embellished with rockin’ rhinestones and zebra stripes for little girls who love to walk on the wide side. I fell in love with Kiddo's dollar store version of Converse's and am still trying to talk her into hi-tops- she's getting there!
      
      Football fanatic – Your sweet little lady will be ready to run and roughhouse with the big boys this fall with a pair of cool football inspired leg warmers.  Not only are they too cool for words, they protect her little knees when she plays hard. I wish I could keep leg warmers on Kiddo- she loved them when she was little, now, no go!
      
      Never fear, Moms:  Yes, her style is all her own, but your tomboy princess is making her own way and creating style with the pieces that make her grin.  Embrace the beauty of her choice and know that there will never be another little girl in the world quite like the one bounding down your back steps in her brother’s old jersey and your faux pearls… and you know you wouldn’t trade that image for a moment!
      
      By Ashley Justice, fashion freelance writer for My Baby Clothes dot com.  If you are in the market for great Fall baby clothes, beautiful tutus for any occasion and precious baby headbands then you have come to the right place!

      Monday, September 26, 2011

      Do you like Grisham????

      No, not Grisham from CSI Vegas- John Grisham, the writer!
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      If you remember I'm also a Bzzz Agent. and I'm part of their latest campaign!


      Next week I'll have a review and giveaway of Grisham's The Confession!


      So if you like Grisham, come back next week for your chance to win!

      Great Deals for YOU!

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