Monday, March 28, 2011

Giveaway Winner: Big G cereal and Hot Wheels pullback racers

Congratulations to the winner of the 36 hour giveaway of 5 boxes of Big G cereal with Hot Wheels pullback racers:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-03-28 12:58:46 UTC

Congratulations Jennah!

Jennah said...
I love Lucky Charms.. a guilty pleasure!

I will be sending you an e-mail. You have 2 hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner. Thank you to all who entered.giv

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scripture Sundays, Proverbs 31:15

Well I worked on introducing some new foods to my family over the past few weeks as I said I would when I wrote about Proverbs 3:14. We had mahi mahi, fresh papaya, and I made colcannon to go with our St. Patrick's Day dinner; all foods we had never had before. We did not care for the fresh papaya, but everyone enjoyed the mahi mahi and colcannon.

Now to continue on to Proverbs 31:15-

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

I like to sleep so this scripture will prove to be a bit more difficult for me to implement, but I will try my best.  To me, this says that a virtuous woman gets up before the day starts to prepare food for her family and those who work for her.  We do not generally hire others to work for us, but this could apply to guests or neighbors as well.  This week , I will try to get up before the rest of my family in order to prepare their breakfast.  I also will be having a friend sit with my kids on Friday night, so I will be sure to make an extra special treat to give her that night.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

36 hour Giveaway: Collectible Hot Wheels pullback cars and 5 boxes of Big G cereal

Did you know that you can get a collectible Hot Wheels pullback racer inside specially marked  boxes of Cheerios® 14 oz, Cinnamon Toast Crunch® 17 oz, Lucky Charms® 16 oz, Reese’s Puffs® 18 oz, and Cookie Crisp® 15.6 oz, and that each box also has a special access code to the Hot Wheels Racing Circuit?  My little guy loves cereal any way, but has especially enjoyed finding these fun cars in the box.  He likes driving them around the house, and he loves pulling the cars back and trying to beat daddy's car to the finish line.  I like that he can "gas and go", by fueling up on the cereal and then being able to get down and play when he is done.

One of my readers will be given a gift pack containing 5 boxes of Big G cereal (1 of each of the specially marked boxes, Hot Wheels included).

Mandatory entry:  Tell me your favorite Big G cereal

Extra ways to enter (leave a comment for each one you do):
- Share your favorite Hot Wheels memory
- subscribe to The Happy Wife
- follow The Happy Wife
- share this giveaway via your blog or other social networking site.
- Follow me on Twitter
This is a very short giveaway.  The winner will be chosen this Monday, March 28th, promptly at 9AM and they will have 2 hours to get back to me or a new winner will be chosen.   I apologize for the short turn around time, but I need to have the information to the sponsor by the end of the 28th.


General Mills and Hot Wheels® provided me with the same package of 5 cereals the winner will receive, the information, and the giveaway through MyBlogSpark.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winner: Pretty Neat

The winner of the Pretty Neat giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-03-24 14:31:46 UTC

Comment #5 is Cheryl F. (The Lucky Ladybug).  Congratulations Cheryl!  I will be sending you an e-mail very soon.  Please respond within 48 hours so that I will not have to choose a new winner.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review and Cruise giveaway info: The Mountains Bow Down

Back in the end of December, I had the privilege of reviewing The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello and stated how much I was looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Mountains Bow Down.  I was given the opportunity from Litfuse to review this book, the fourth in the Raleigh Harmon series, and was very happy to do so.  At the end of the review, you will find information on how you could win a cruise of your own.

About The Mountains Bow Down: 

Everything's going to work out. Time away always makes things better . . ..

That's what FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon believes as she boards a cruise to Alaska . A land of mountains and gems and minerals, The Last Frontier is a dream destination for this forensic geologist who's hoping to leave behind a hectic work schedule and an engagement drained of romance.

But when a passenger goes missing and winds up dead, Raleigh 's vacation suddenly gets lost at sea. The ship's security chief tries to rule the death a suicide, but Raleigh 's forensics background points to a much darker conclusion: Somewhere onboard, a ruthless murderer walks free.

Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis-perpetual ladies man Special Agent Jack Stephanson. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder, provide consultation for a movie filming onboard, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack-who might not be such a jerk after all.

And that's only her work life. Family offers even more challenges. Joined on the cruise by her mother and aunt, Raleigh watches helplessly as disturbing rifts splinter her family.

Like the scenery that surrounds the cruise ship, Raleigh discovers a situation so steep and so complex that even the mountains might bow down.

My review: 

I completely enjoyed this book for much the same reason I enjoyed The Clouds Roll Away.  Raleigh Harmon is a Christian woman with a good heart.  She tries her hardest to always do what she believes is right and offers prayers often.  That, as well as her disbelief in the magic of crystals and aura readings, is the only mention of anything religious in the book.  There are a few scenes that take place in a chapel, but that is simply the setting, there is no "preaching"  tied in to those scenes.   I also appreciated the crime story aspect of it and the way it allows you to experience all the "guts and glory" of investigating a murder, without foul language, explicit sex, or gory details.  

Another aspect of Sibella Giorello's writing that I love, is her ability to transport the reader to the scene in the book.  I could clearly see myself on the cruise ship and walking along the city "sidewalks" in Ketchikan, and Skagway.  I have always wanted to go to Alaska to experience the wilderness, but after reading this book, I will plan to take a cruise as well so that I may experience firsthand the beautiful scenery described in the book, from the whales to the mountains, to the icebergs and glaciers.

As I said, this is the 4th installment in the Raleigh Harmon series, however, as the previous book, this can easily be read as a standalone.  All the necessary background information is presented through the story.  Having said that, you will greatly enjoy reading the previous books as well.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime novels, Christian or not.  The minimal amount of religious discussion, including her aversion to the crystals, are not offensive in any way and I was impressed with how the author allowed Raleigh to see and love the people who believed very differently from her, even if it took her some time to do so.  If you love Alaska, or have ever wanted to visit, you will likely enjoy this book as well.  Even though it has increased my desire to go to Alaska, a small part of me truly feels as though I was able to experience a part of Alaska as well.

Giveaway Information:
Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Mountains Bow Down with a blog tour, a Cruise prize pack worth over $500 and a Facebook Party! Don't miss a minute of the fun.

One Grand Prize winner will receive:
  • A $500 gift certificate toward the cruise of their choice from Vacations To Go.
  • The entire set of the Raleigh Harmon series.
To enter click one of the icons below. Then tell your friends. And enter soon - the giveaway ends on 4/1! The winner will be announced at Sibella’s Raleigh Harmon Book Club Party on FB April 5th, 2011! Don’t miss the fun – prizes, books and gab!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

About the Facebook Party: Join Sibella and fans of the Raleigh Harmon series on April 5th at 5:00 pm PST (6 MST, 7 CST & 8 EST) for a Facebook Book Club Party. Sibella will be giving away some fun prizes, testing your trivia skills and hosting a book chat about the Raleigh Harmon books. Have questions you'd like to chat about - leave them on the Event page.

I received a free copy of the book from LitFuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Pretty Neat

Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection
Org porn has caused as much damage to womens' psyches as super models have caused to their self-esteem. Org porn is all the things, like magazines, tv shows, books, etc that showcase these perfect, serene, beautifully decorated and organized homes, sort of like the models in the girly magazines are presented as physically perfect. What we don't see is the airbrushing of the models or, in the case of org porn, we forget that those "homes" are often just sets somewhere that are not really lived in or they are real homes that have been cleaned and decorated specifically for that photo shoot. Instead, we are left with feelings of guilt and disappointment that we cannot achieve the same results.

Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection by Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch, helps the reader realize that perfection is not only impossible, it is also not necessary.  This book shares tips on delegation, family schedules, handling your own excuses, to-do lists, and tackling your in-box.  There are several exercises through the book that help you to set "good enough" goals for yourself and to help you get your house into a livable organized state.

I really enjoyed this book and found it to be an easy read.  I also like that this book can work for ANYONE.  It is not just for those who strive for perfect looking homes, but it is also for those, like myself, who have already accepted that perfection is not possible.  I recommend this for anyone who has any need or desire for a more organized life.  We are in the process of decluttering our entire home and I am enjoying each step of the process.  Currently, I am purging the clothing, but then I will be revisiting the chapter on taming the toy tsunamis.

I have a copy of Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection for one of my readers,.  The winner will also be entered to win a $200 gift card (same as cash such as Visa or AmEx) plus a selection of Buttoned Up products (ARV: $50) to be used towards her own reasonable organizational goals for her life.  The winner of the gift card and products will be drawn from all the winners from this and other blogs that participated in this review.  Mandatory entry:  Share your favorite tip for getting or staying organized.  This can be about organizing any area of your life.  Here's mine-  I keep all my cleaning supplies in a plastic carry-all.  This way they are all together and easy to bring from room-to-room.

Extra ways to enter (leave a comment for each one you do):
- subscribe to The Happy Wife
- follow The Happy Wife
- share this giveaway via your blog or other social networking site.
- Follow me on Twitter

The winner will be chosen on March 22nd and they will have 48 hours to get back to me or a new winner will be chosen. I will choose the winner at some point in the evening of the 22nd and entries will be accepted up until the drawing.

I received a free copy of Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review and Contest Info: A Trail of Ink

It is time for another blog tour from Litfuse Publicity Group.
Today, it is for the latest in the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, by Mel Starr, entitled, A Trail of Ink.

About the book:

An excellent medieval whodunit by the author of The Unquiet Bones and A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel
Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh's investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh's pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?
One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn t think so, but it will take all of his surgeon s skills to prove.
So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton . Masterfully researched by medieval scholar Mel Starr, the setting of the novel can be visited and recognized in modern-day England . Enjoy more of Hugh s dry wit, romantic interests, evolving faith, and dogged determination as he pursues his third case as bailiff of Bampton. 

My take:
I truly enjoy the genre of historical fiction, but I had never before read a book that was set during the medieval period, so I was a bit unsure of how much I would like this.  It did have a few things in it's favor, besides being historical fiction, such as it was a both a tale of mystery and romance and that it took place in an Oxford, England.  Although I have yet to visit England, my mother's side of the family came to the US from Coventry and I feel a strong connection to all things English.  

I found the story to be a a bit slow at first, but once it picked up, it held my attention.  The language can be a bit difficult for those who are not versed in 14th century English, but there is a glossary in the front of the book to help with many of the unfamiliar words.  Aside from that, I enjoyed this book.  It is important to note that this is the 3rd book in a series and that there will be more.  In fact, there is an excerpt at the end of A Trail of Ink for the 4th book.  I had not read any of the other books and did not have any trouble following along, but I would be interested in reading the first two in order to better understand the character of Hugh de Singleton.  I was also intrigued by how the medieval methods of solving crimes, performing surgery, and just life in general were so different from today, yet in many ways, still the same.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy whodunits, historical fiction and/or medieval England.  

About the author:
Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo , Michigan . After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage , MI , where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School . Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.
 Contest Info:
Kregel Publishers is graciously donating a $50 gift card for the Litfuse Blog Tour Contest! Woo-hoo (thanks Kregel!) All you have to do to enter is either tweet (see TWEET THIS below) or share the book on Facebook using this link:
TWEET THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. RT for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon! #litfuse
  • (and be sure to use the hashtag #litfuse to be entered into gift certificate drawing and no need to email that you tweeted - we'll be able to track it via the hashtag.)
FACEBOOK THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. Share on your wall for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon!
  • (email to let us know you 'shared'.)
I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publishers through Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.  As always, my opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Redbox Movies

Get ready to earn tons of FREE movies from Redbox! Now through St Patrick's Day,you can score free movie rentals with the "Lucky to Have Friends Like You" Campaign.
Here's how it works:
Sign up at Redbox will email you a unique web address. Share it with all your friends and loved ones. Every time someone reserves a movie online through your unique web address, you'll receive a credit for a free one-night DVD rental.
If it's their first time reserving online, they’ll also receive a credit for a free one night rental. It's a win-win!  
Email it, post it to Facebook, Tweet about it, Blog about it- whatever you can do to share the luck!

Rental credits are valid for ten (10) days after they’ve been deposited into your account.
Spread the word and you could be rolling in free movies this March!  You don’t get to hundreds of free movies, without the help of a few friends. So put your social network to work. Every time someone rents from your custom redbox link, you get a free one night DVD rental credit.Tell your friends, to tell their friends, and let the free movies start rolling in!

** Disclosure***
For sharing this post, I am entered to win free Redbox movies and treats through Mom Bloggers Clib.