Category Archives: Reviews

A Bargained For Bride: Book Review

a-bargained-200x300It is a rare occasion in which I finish a book (Well, technically a Novella) and feel at peace.  In other words, don’t feel like the story ended too soon or wasn’t enough.  This one gave me that feeling.  Not only did it give me a feeling of peace after reading it, I was happy.  Super happy for Jill and Boone, at the transitions they had adjusted to and the growing they had done as well as pleased with the way the story unwound itself.  Marcia Lynn McClure brought out deep thought and introspection in a very pleasing manner.  After reading A Bargained For Bride I slept peacefully and dreamt dreams of a woman who appreciated the love within her own life.  If you are looking for a book to read and don’t have much time, this book is perfect.  It will remind you how you truly feel about your loved one and give the desire for insight into the decisions of another time and place.

I truly enjoyed this book.  I loved that it was short and I truly enjoyed the whole gist of the story.  This is truly a good read, one that will help you relax.  So, get your hot cocoa and a blanket and curl up with this one!  You won’t regret it!

A Bargained-For Bride by Marcia Lynn McClure (Novella)

Excerpt

“You’re the sweetest girl in Mourning Dove Creek, you know?” Jack mumbled as he paused in kissing Jilly a moment.

Jilly smiled. “And you’re the handsomest man in Mourning Dove Creek, you know,” she flirted in return.

Jack smiled. “I do know,” he said.

Jilly giggled. Jack Taylor was so predictable—and a little conceited. He really did think he was the handsomest man in Mourning Dove—and he was, for the most part.

Secretly, however, if Jilly ever allowed herself to be completely honest about it (which she tried to avoid), there was one other man in Mourning Dove who always crossed her mind when the subject of the handsomest man in town arose. Yet there was no lingering on thinking of that man—no sirree! Not for a moment! Not for any reason—ever. And so Jilly just kept telling Jack that he was the handsomest man in Mourning Dove Creek. Besides, it was almost true—being that the other man lived outside of town and not right in town the way Jack did

Author Marcia Lynn McClure

marcia-237x300Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

Originally posted 2013-10-28 00:01:04.

Fruit Tote with Teether Toys

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Where is the first place every toy goes when the little one’s get their hands on it?  Why, in their mouth of course!  Nothing like that fun oral stage where every little thing must be tasted! This adorable little Fruit Tote with Teether Toys looks like it came straight from the market. The material is organically grown Egyptian cotton and it is made in Egypt utilizing the 13 Villages Project. Each of the pieces are handcrafted, which is always great! Looking over the product, I’m honestly in awe of their amazing ability to construct the pieces. They are insanely well made!

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Product Description

From the Company

As Seen in Mothering Magazine, Nov-Dec 2008 issue.

FOR AGES: The fruit toys are for newborn and up BUT The tote itself is for 2 years and up.

Your little one will have so much fun carrying their fruit teether toys in this cute little tote! Inside the tote includes: banana, grapes and watermelon. Made and stuffed with the finest 100% organic Egyptian cotton. Size of tote is approximately 6 inches long, 4 inches wide and 3 inches high. Size of fruit teether toys vary from approximately 4 to 6 inches.

13 Villages Project

Under the Nile products are made out of 100% organic, Egyptian cotton that assures their products do not come into contact with any pesticides or chemicals during the manufacturing process. The company also practices in fair trade towards all of the people involved with the manufacturing process from start to finish.  The company utilizes 13 villages through teaching and educting the villagers to make the toys. This project is providing health care and gudance for maintaining overall health. The goal is to help these communities lead healthier and happier lives.

Originally posted 2013-10-21 06:45:11.

Monster Cereals Review

IMG_4741When my husband saw the Monster cereals sitting on the counter, he was really excited. He grabbed the boxes and started reading them saying they were the same as when he was growing up. It was cute seeing him turn into a kid again for a minute, he is usually so serious! To his great disappointment he had to wait before he could try them, as I hadn’t taken pics yet!  LOL.

Daily he came home and said “did you take your pics yet?” After I finally got them done, he skipped dinner and had cereal instead. I saw him take the first bite, closing his eyes and reliving some good memory. He said it tasted like being a kid again! Judging by the look on his face, that’s a good thing. I know when we run out he is going to send me on a hunt to find more.  The retro Monster cereals are available exclusively at Target and up until October 31st if you buy three boxes you can get a Monster Bash magazine (which includes Recipes, Tips and Tricks for planning the creepiest, scariest, spookiest, most fun Halloween ever!).  You can find more info for them here also.

He has a lactose allergy so he doesn’t get to eat dairy products anymore. After reading the ingredients, we were very happy that there wasn’t any lactose inside! Bonus! There aren’t many cereals that he loves that doesn’t have dairy and he loves his cereal!

As I’m sure you can infer, we are very pleased with the Monster cereals! They all taste just like the original versions tasted and were great! If you are looking for a little nostalgia or just a yummy cereal for the kids, you’ll enjoy this one!

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  This was a sponsored post but all comments and opinions are my own.

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Originally posted 2013-10-18 00:01:39.

Skinny Pop Review

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We’re just a couple of weeks away from Halloween and there’s one thing that’s on everyone’s mind… treats! Welcome to the Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop, hosted by So Easy Being Green and Viva Veltoro! In this Hop, you’ll find lots of special treats to keep your entering giveaways until it’s time to go out and gather your own!

Be sure to hop around to all the giveaways in the Hop Linky below, and don’t forget the ultimate treat… the Treat Yourself Grand Prize!

We recently took Skinny Pop on a road trip.  From the South all the way to the East coast, well almost.  We were about 3 hours away from the edge of the country to the beginning of the ocean!  Would have loved to go all the way, but we were running low on energy and funds!  We did enjoy our Skinny Pop all the way!  And back!

We are fresh popcorn lovers around the Zoo.  So much so that, after much heavy hinting and a little shameless begging, we got our very own popcorn maker that looks like a smaller version of one that goes in a movie theater.  We tried for a big one, but those are super expensive!  Nothing beats a good movie and fresh popcorn.  You could have guessed that we are picky when it comes to our popcorn.

imageSkinny Pop has amazingly enough lived up to our love of movie theater popcorn without the butter yet held on to the flavor!  I don’t know how they did it, but they did!  The flavor is so amazingly close that I think if it were heated up we wouldn’t be able to tell much of a difference in a blind taste test, aside from the lack of greasiness.

As you can see by the Monkey’s faces, we loved the popcorn!  Skinny Pop is all natural, cholesterol free, zero trans fat,  free of dairy, peanut, tree nuts, gluten and GMO.  With all that healthiness, we can’t help but open up another bag!!!image

Find Them Here

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Originally posted 2013-10-17 00:01:53.

Green Golly & Her Golden Flute

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What an adorable and fun little book!  I love the story they have created in this one!  It made my imagination go wild!  That’s always great in a story!  This book stands out from others in that it has a CD and story stickers.  The CD tells the story along with a flute accompaniment while the story stickers enable you to use a mobile device or computer to listen to the story and hear the music as they go from page to page.  Each book comes with a CD, or the disc can be purchased separately.

Having won the 2011 Parents Choice Gold Award and getting rave rewards across the board, this story is one you’ll want to enjoy with the little ones over and over again!  The book can be purchased on the website and will be available on Amazon after the book is available for sale (October 15, 2013).

About The Book

The book was written and performed by Keith Torgan and Barbara Siesel and illustrated by Suzanne Langelier-Lebeda.

For Ages 4-10

Publication Date: October 15, 2013

Publisher: Eifrig Publishing

SRP: $19.99

Length: 52 page book, 57 minute audio

The Green Golly Project – Green Golly and her Golden Flute 

Find More Info

Originally posted 2013-10-15 00:01:00.

Imagination Play: Kaskey Kids Sports Toys Review & 20% Discount

Imagination Play: Kaskey Kids Sports Toys Review & 20% Discount Kaskey Kids makes adorable Sports Action Figurines.  You can get an entire kit of baseball, soccer (boys or girls), football or hockey.  The pieces areadorable and for a sport’s fan, it’s great fun to set up and play!  That’s why this one is making our 2013 Christmas Gift List!Imagination Play: Kaskey Kids Sports Toys Review & 20% Discount

The figurines aren’t limited to just toys, you can also use them to decorate for parties, bedroom decor, or even on cakes!  I love these little toys!  The fact that I can use them for decoration and then the kids can go crazy with them is quite pleasing!  No money wasted!  Our little soccer star will be having her birthday party full of soccer, no doubt, so the toys turning to decorations is definitely going to be a plus!  Of course, if your little future athlete is into football, basketball, hockey or some other sport, they’ve got plenty!

They are well made and you won’t regret buying them!  Well worth the money for the hours and hours of fun that will come out of them!  I love that the kids can work out plays with them also, for the more serious sports fanatics it’s a great way to visualize plays.

Discount Code

  20% discount

“Sports” 

Originally posted 2013-10-10 00:01:42.

Tego Audio- Sound You’ll Love!

IMG_4733With music being such an incredibly important part of our society, it’s crucial to be able to have great speakers!  Between that and the incredibly mobile world we live in, Tego Audio has created the product you aren’t going to want to miss!

The Cera Wireless Portable Speaker has amazing sound from such a small speaker!  You can connect via bluetooth or USB to enjoy your tunes wherever you are!  With a reach of up to 35 feet, you can wirelessly play your music as you go from room to room or work in your garden!

A perfect Christmas gift or treat for yourself!  Super simple to use so that even the newest of technology users can use it but those adept will love it too!  If you wanna get one now, or anything else from Tego Audio, use the code below for 20% off!

IMG_473520% Off Discount Code

20CraftyZoo

Originally posted 2013-10-07 00:01:38.

Rufus & Ryan Go to Church

IM_4586I love the age where I can sit and read a book to the little ones and they listen intently, then go back and try to read it on their own.  Adding in questions and commentary throughout the book, always great fun!  We really enjoyed reading Rufus and Ryan Go To Church!  It was super cute!  The book is perfect for new readers as there aren’t many words per page so there is a lot of room for conversing.

Rufus and Ryan Go To Church!

In Rufus and Ryan Go to Church!, four-year-old Ryan explains to his stuffed monkey, Rufus, what is happening as they attend church on Sunday morning. He lets Rufus know when it’s time to sing and to pray and to be quiet. Author Kathleen Bostrom brings a delightfully light touch to the text as she provides an introduction to an experience that most children are exposed to long before they understand why. And children everywhere will relate to the idea of explaining their surroundings to their favorite companions as they go about their daily activities.

This is just one of the first titles in a new series of inspirational books for preschoolers.

About the Rufus and Ryan

Rufus

Rufus and Ryan is a new series of books for preschoolers, featuring Ryan, an energetic little boy, and his stuffed monkey Rufus. Basic Christian and church concepts serve as the foundation of the series, with an additional focus on character traits and development. The text is presented in young Ryan’s voice as he teaches Rufus about the concepts he is learning himself. Each story is about 150 words, using age-appropriate vocabulary and themes.

Also available now, Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers

About the Author

Kathleen Long Bostrom is a published children’s author in both the Christian and trade markets. She has a Master’s in Christian Education and a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching, and she has worked in children’s ministry for many years. Kathy and her husband, Greg, have three grown children and live in Illinois.

About the Illustrator 

Rebecca Thornburgh began illustrating children’s books full-time in 1996 and today has almost 100 books to her name. Rebecca’s vibrant watercolors have been showcased in previous Ideals titles, including the new edition of The Story of Christmas. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters.

Rufus and Ryan Go to Church! 

Written by: Kathleen Long Bostrom

Illustrated by: Rebecca Thornburgh

Publisher: Ideals Books

Board book
$7.99
Available at IdealsBooks.com

 

Originally posted 2013-10-04 10:35:31.

Cera Wireless Speakers 20% Discount & Review

IMG_4733I’m sitting here writing this post while listening to the Cera Audio Wireless Speaker and I must say, it is now essential to my electronic necessities!  I’m not real certain how I ever listened to any of my devices without it!  I can frequently be seen walking from room to room with it, not because I can’t hear it in different rooms, but because it’s my personal ‘surround sound.’  LOL.  Oddly, my family is so use to my quirkiness that they don’t even say anything about how silly I look when I’m carrying around a tablet and speaker throughout the house.  LOL.

CERA Wireless Speakers come in 3 colors: black, white, and red.  They are compatible with most bluetooth devices and can also be plugged in via usb and line in jacks.  We’ve been using it with my tablet and our Android smart phones (both are Samsung, not that it matters).  It takes 2-3 hours to charge and you get 6-8 hours of play time!  I got two, because I’m so addicted I need to rotate them while the other is charging (it takes a whole 2 hours, but still!).  LOL.  Plus, you can link the speakers together and multiply the sound!  I took 2 out that were linked while working in the yard and put the speakers by a koi pond, which was blasting out the noise of not one but TWO very loud fountains, and could hear it clearly from across the yard (about half an acre) and could have probably heard it from even further, but the privacy fence halted me.  LOL.

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From the Company

CERA Wireless Speaker Product Features:

  • Powerful Wireless Portable Speaker with Version 3.0 Bluetooth® Technology for a faster connection with better sound quality
  • Compatible with iPad®, iPod®, iPhone®, MP3, MP4, Laptop, PC and most Bluetooth® enabled devices
  • Voice notifications when CERA is on, in pairing mode, and pairing complete
  • Simple pairing with most Bluetooth® enabled devices
  • Stream audio from your Bluetooth® enabled device from approx. 33ft (10m) away
  • Plugs into any non Bluetooth® enabled device with supplied 3.5mm (1/8) headphone jack as well
  • New Daisy Chain function allows an infinite number of CERA’s to play at the same time
  • Illuminated Touch Control Panel
  • 360° Expanding Sound Chamber illuminated with blue lighting
  • Internal Lithium Ion Battery recharges over USB
  • Up to 5-7 hours playtime on a full charge (approx. 2-3 hours to fully charge)
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty

Package Contents: CERA Speaker, Charging Cable, 3.5mm Audio Cable, Daisy Chain Cable, Carrying Case, Quick Start Guide and User Manual

Discount Code

20% off discount code: 20CRAFTYZOO

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Originally posted 2013-10-04 05:46:18.

September Foodie Penpal

IMG_4578I love the excitement when my foodie box arrives!  The mystery of what it contains makes me want to run into the house with my newly arrived surprise!  Of course…  I try very hard to walk normally to the door, slowly close it, then run to the kitchen to grab something to open my box!!!

Let me say before I get to the details, they ask that we always include something hand written.  My note was written on orange paper in the cutest hand writing!!!  I wish I could borrow her to write on some journaling sheets for my scrapbook!

This month’s box came from the lovely Mrs. Sheryl from Ohio!  I am super excited to try the wonderful snacks she sent!  Here’s a list:

Dry Roasted Edamame

Blueberry Blitz Organic Mashups

Almond Butter

Cranberry Almond Kind Bar

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Granola Bar

Marsha’s Homemade Buckeyes (an Ohio specialty)

White Chocolate Macadamia Mojo Bar

Stretch Island Fruit Co Strawberry fruit strip

Clif Organic Strawberry fruit rope

If you’d like to join in the fun and get your own foodie penpal, go here and get signed up!  I am super glad I did!  It’s fun to get to try new stuff every month!

The Lean Green Bean
You can check out some of my past boxes too!
Sadly, I missed August’s sign up.  🙁

Originally posted 2013-09-30 00:39:12.