Category Archives: For the Zookeepers

Quan Jewelry Earrings Review

Earrings4I received these earrings to review from Quan Jewelry and was very excited when they arrived.  They looked adorable on the site. Here are the product details from the company:

  • Open heart earrings with high-quality crystals.
    925 sterling silver.
    Butterfly clasps.
    Available in Pink and Silver.
    Perfect gift any time of the year.
    Packaged with loving care from the USA.

When they arrived, they were packaged in a cute little fold up paper gift bag, then in a small cinch bag containing the actual earrings.  Unfortunately, one of the earrings in the bag was broken.  The silver heart with the crystals on it had broken away from the earring base.  I contacted the company and they were completely gracious and quickly sent out a replacement pair.  Needless to say, I was very pleased with the amazing customer service.

I am the type of girl who leaves earrings in for a while, I don’t take them off every night or change them out frequently.  After about two months wear, the same thing happened to the new pair that was wrong with the original.  The part of the heart with the crystals came unglued and fell off.  While I did get a lot of wear out of them, I expect my earrings to last a good bit longer than two months of wear.  Perhaps if I hadn’t wore them constantly, they might have lasted longer, or I would have at least lost one before they had a chance to fall apart on me.

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Originally posted 2015-12-14 11:06:56.

#MercyMe Christmas CD: It’s Christmas!

mercymeMercy Me It’s Christmas​ CD will be available in Pizza Ranch locations beginning November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.  It has 4 exclusive songs that can only be found on the CD version being sold by Pizza Ranch.  Each CD will be sold for $5 plus tax.  Pizza Ranch will give away the CD with a $25 gift card purchase as well as sell the full album at each of its 200 locations throughout the Midwest and Great Plains states.  “We are so excited to debut our new Christmas album, MercyMe, It’s Christmas, with Pizza Ranch” said Bart Millard with MercyMe. “Pizza Ranch is a fantastic restaurant with a great mission to glorify God. It’s the perfect gift to give this Christmas season and the perfect CD to get you in the Christmas spirit.”

My Thoughts

Everyone loves Christmas music, right?  The only problem is that over playing thing they do around the Holidays.  So, before you get played out check out Mercy Me in their CD done for Pizza Ranch.  With great voices singing all these wonderful songs, you’ll definitely want to add this CD to your Christmas music collection!!!

PizzaRanchAbout Pizza Ranch:
Cultivating its mission “To give every guest a legendary experience” since its inception in 1981, Pizza Ranch connects with its communities in a way that provides bridges for friends, family and colleagues to come together. Today, Pizza Ranch is based in Orange City, Iowa and owns, operates and franchises over 190 locations in 13 states. Consistent growth has been a Pizza Ranch staple, as the brand has become a beacon of community involvement and exceptional food. The Pizza Ranch buffet features legendary pizzas, salads and desserts, and is delivered with an unmatched service quality.  “We are extremely blessed to have a very close connection with our guests,” said Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder and president of Pizza Ranch. “This project extends the brand’s essence to a new dimension beyond our four walls and into their lives. It’s a new kind of way for us to relate to our loyal fans.”

SOCIAL • CORNER

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Be Sure & Check Out These too:

Christmas Tracts & Ten Must Do Christmas Crafts

Christmas Love Letters from God 

Originally posted 2015-11-17 23:04:24.

Classic Kids Songs #LaurieBerkner

FavoriteKidsSongsAt the risk of sounding old fashioned, I miss the simple songs of my youth.  The ones sang with joy and happiness and no known sinister message or lesson.  It seems like these days the songs teach our children the wrong lessons, or at least the songs we sing with them from the radio and such.  I have greatly enjoyed hearing these kids songs, most from a much simpler time.  I think they’ll make you feel the same as you sing along with them.  Take the time to listen to this adorable collection and you’ll be singing and dancing along with your little ones without ever having to worry about any negative side effects (aside of course from constantly hearing the same song over and over, as children tend to do).  Check out the Laurie Berkner Band and you’ll find a new love for these old classic songs of our youth.

LaurieBerkner

Laurie explains, “I made my first recording, Whaddaya Think Of That? because I wanted families to have a way to listen at home to the songs I was singing with their kids in the classroom, especially the ones I had written, which they wouldn’t have know otherwise.  I included traditional songs, too, because I wanted some of the music to be very familiar.  With each consecutive album, my own originals became more and more of what the kids wanted to sing, so I got away from recording the traditional songs I grew up with.  Now, with Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs, I’m doing the opposite and exploring many of the songs that were so formative for me and helpful in my early days as a music teacher.”

A former preschool teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started marketing her music more than fifteen years ago from her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the “kindie” music genre and was crowned “the undisputed queen of kindie rock” by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, “Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups.”

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Originally posted 2015-11-16 00:01:49.

#FAITHOFOURFATHERS

Faith of Our Fathers Review & Giveaway

Faith of Our Fathers DVD

About the movie:
John Paul and Wayne are two young men in search of their fathers.  Problem is…their fathers have been dead for 25 years.  Eddie and Steven are two young men in search of their sons…whom they’ve never met.  In 1969, Eddie and Steven are with their squad deep in the jungle of Vietnam on a five-day mission to retrieve fallen comrades.  They write letters to their wives, often mentioning their love for their sons, one, who is an infant and one yet to be born.  In 1994, John Paul and Wayne go on a five day road trip to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC to see their fathers’ names.  Along the way, reading those letters, they begin to get an understanding of who their fathers were and how they died.  Trials and mishaps, both funny and sad, complicate the road trip for the boys.  The horrors of war and the testing of faith manifest themselves for the young men in Vietnam.  Ultimately, in parallel stories – 25 years apart – the fathers and sons are bound together forever.

Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Downes, David A.R. White, Rebecca St. James, Si Robertson, Candace Cameron Bure, Scott Whyte, and Sean McGowan.

My Thoughts

Faith of Our Fathers is a really great movie!  I sincerely enjoyed watching it!  I especially enjoyed the mishaps and craziness on their road trip, especially laughing at the comic relief brought by Si Robertson.  While Stephen Baldwin demonstrated his lack of ability to act, with some effort I was able to overlook him and get back into the story.  I sincerely feel like Baldwin took away from the story and overall film and wish they had chosen to go with a more talented actor.  The rest of the cast did a great job telling the story.  David A. R. White was amazing as Wayne, one of the two main characters.  I don’t think anyone could have played that role better!  Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to watch this film.  I love that Christian films are getting better and better!

Runtime: 96 minutes
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13 (for brief war violence)
Special Features of the DVD:
-The Heart of Faith of Our Fathers
-Honoring Father’s Day
-Commemorating Memorial Day
-Si Robertson Interview
-Stephen Baldwin Interview

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Originally posted 2015-11-09 00:01:40.

Pacific Rim Blu-ray

Go BIG or go EXTINCT!

Pacific Rim Uprising: Go Big or Go Home!

 

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim is an epic science fiction film set in the 2020s. Earth is at war with Kaijus; colossal monsters from an inter-dimensional gateway on the Pacific Ocean floor. Humanity unites to fight these huge monsters by creating the Jaegers: gigantic humanoid robots that are controlled by two pilots whose minds and memories are linked. The story takes place in the later days of the war, following Raleigh Becket, a former Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and paired up with newbie pilot Mako Mori in a final effort to defeat the Kaijus!Pacific Rim Uprising: Go Big or Go Home!

Pacific Rim is released on Blu-ray & DVD Oct.15!

Each household is only eligible to win 1 Pacific Rim Blu-Ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. The assets included within this message were delivered to Crafty Zoo with Monkeys to promote Warner Bros.  Crafty Zoo was not compensated for this post.

Originally posted 2013-10-09 12:06:03.

Sunshine Collective

Sunshine Collective

Sunshine Collective is a fun collection of happy music that simply makes you want to enjoy it.  Sunshine is definitely a good name, as it really does feel like you are listening to a little sunshine!  I’d definitely suggest this for Moms and daughters as it just seems to me music perfect for girl time on a beautiful day!  The various songs bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart as it lifts you up one song at a time.  To quote the song Up to Something Good, ” the world needs a smile and it’s here”.     That definitely sums up this album.  Check it out today.  It will be your next go to happy music!

Sunshine Collective creates an intricate and sophisticated vocal/instrumental tapestry that defines each track as a true musical composition.  Arbuckle and Richards don’t pander to low expectations of children’s listening abilities by simply laying “kiddie lyrics” on top of a basic 3-chord musical structure. Recognizing that children are responsive to music that has sonic complexity and lyric depth, the team purposefully delivers a break from typical kids’ fare, keeping it fresh, cool, and “adult ear” friendly.

Up To Something Good has a roll-down-the-windows, flyin’ free feel, but its summertime sweetness isn’t sticky or syrupy; it’s refreshing as cold fruit at a hot picnic.  The album’s powerful instrumental ensemble flexes its muscles while never intruding on Stephanie Richards‘ vocal tone and style or her crystal clear delivery of the lyrics.  Her eminently ear-friendly voice serves up mod pop and jazz-tinged tunes just as deftly as pop-country, four-on-the-floor, head-for-the-sun numbers.

The title track is pure pop heaven:  bold, brassy, and pulsating with life as Richards’ powerhouse soprano soars over a complex orchestration in a manner reminiscent of ’60s stars like Martha Reeves or Diana Ross.  The album’s non-hackneyed lyric landscape is best exemplified by the poetic poignancy of “Waiting To Say Hello Again,” a gently country waltz that explores how childhood often copes with parting.

Before launching Sunshine Collective, Brian Arbuckle and Stephanie Richards had an R&R pop chart hit with Stephanie’s debut single, “Get Use To It.”  Arbuckle’s orchestral compositions can be heard on trailers for Benchwarmers, Catwoman, and Spider, among others, as well as network promos for shows like Cold Case, Big Bang Theory, and 60 Minutes. He has mixed music for Sprout, Disney, Disney XD, and Nickelodeon, and he is currently in music production for a new Simpsons promo campaign.

CD Details:  Up To Something Good
Release date:  September 18, 2015
For all ages.
Label:  Mystefire Records
SRP:   $14.95
Running time:  38 minutes

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Originally posted 2015-11-06 06:02:00.

#HopeLives

90MinutesInHeaven

About the movie presented by Giving Films:
Releases in theaters everywhere September 11, 2015
Rating: PG-13 (for intense accident and injury images) 
Starring Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Kate Bosworth (Remember The Titans, Blue Crush) Michael W. Smith, Fred Thompson, Dwight Yoakam, and Jason Kennedy, 90 Minutes In Heaven is based on the inspiring New York Times best-selling book that has sold 7 million copies.  

About Giving Films:
Giving Films is passionate about sharing hope-filled movies and donating ALL of their profits to charities and ministries who serve those in need.  Beginning with their first film, 90 Minutes In Heaven, Giving Films is allowing all of us to be a part of making a difference.  Anytime you go to a Giving Films movie in theaters, visit http://www.givingfilms.com and select which charities you want to receive the profits from your ticket.  Their charitable organizations are Christian Alliance for Orphans, Faith Bridge Foster Care, Hire Heroes USA, Hope International, LifeWater, Street Grace, and World Vision. 

About the book:
Paperback; 245 pages
Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car.  Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes.  Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before.  Don was in Heaven.  
When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle!  Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened.  Heaven‘s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil.  With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life.  The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life – and death – will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it. 

Originally posted 2015-09-08 09:44:15.

#PATTERNSOFEVIDENCE

POE Image
My thoughts…  I can honestly say that I enjoyed the documentary.  It sought to prove or disprove, rather than to simply believe what the Word says.  I love that we have made discoveries that make this endeavor possible and was fascinated by the findings and theories of the various archeologists and the way that the video was put together.  In my opinion, it was a great documentary.  Factual, interesting and thorough.  If you are curious at all, or would simply just like to have a little more knowledge, you should take the time to watch this film.  It would definitely be a great conversation piece!
About Patterns of Evidence Exodus:
For more than 50 years, the vast majority of the world’s most prominent archaeologists and historians have proclaimed that there is no hard evidence to support the Exodus story found in the Bible.  In fact, they say that the archaeological record is completely opposed to the Bible’s account.  This view of extreme skepticism has spread from academia to the world.  The case against the Exodus appears to be so strong that even some religious leaders are labeling this ancient account as historical fiction.  Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney begins with the questions, “Is the Bible just a myth, or did the archaeologists get it wrong?”  He decides to tackle this issue wit a deliberate scientific approach.   After examining the details in the biblical text, he journeys across the globe to search for patterns of evidence firsthand.  The result is the most in-depth archaeological investigation into the Exodus from Egypt ever captured on film.   This scientific documentary’s goal is to communicate the TRUTH of the Bible and help equip believers with defending their faith and the Bible.
The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God’s Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
Releases on DVD August 4, 2015
Run Time:  119 minutes
Special Features:  Cast Profiles & 17 Extra Interviews
      Behind the Music
      From Film to Book
      Additional Books and Resources
      Host a Patterns of Evidence Movie Event
      Trailers
Genre:  Documentary
Rating:  NR
SOCIAL • C O R N E R  

Twitter:  @PattofEvidence

Official Website:  http://patternsofevidence.com
Official Website to Purchase:  http://shop.patternsofevidence.com

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. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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Originally posted 2015-08-04 15:47:06.

The War Room: In Theaters August 28

My Thoughtsanswered

Here’s the deal: this is a really good movie.  It’s not predictable like so many others and the message is a real and true reminder.  You won’t regret seeing this film.  It has touching moments as well as moments of humor.  While it does set out to give you a reminder, you’ll be entertained and pleased you spent your time and money.  The movie makes for great conversation for a date night, a girls night, guys night, or a group event.  You won’t regret spending you evening watching this film.  Make plans to see the premiere August 28th, the message you are given from the movie can change your life if you choose to implement it.

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About the Movie

Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have it all—great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth resigns herself to increasing bitterness. But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara, and is challenged to establish a “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth tries to fight for her family, Tony’s hidden struggles come to light. Tony must decide if he will make amends to his family and prove Miss Clara’s wisdom that victories don’t come by accident.

You can see more about the movie at their website

WarRoomTheMovie

You may tweet with and about them at

WarRoomTheMovie

And of course, on facebook as

*you guessed it*

WarRoomTheMovie

image7Disclosure: While I did receive free movie screening for this film, it was not with the expectation that I would advertise nor did it buy my opinion.  The opinions stated here are completely my own, unbiased thoughts.  While I hope that you will take the time to enjoy this film, that desire is not for the benefit of the film, rather the deepening of your Spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Father.  May God Bless You and Keep You.

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Originally posted 2015-08-01 00:01:16.

#PizzaRanch Hope CD

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Before reading the PR statements (listed below) I listened to the CD they put together.  To be honest, I thought ‘Pizza Ranch’ was some sort of silly band name, but it didn’t matter to me.  What mattered was how good the CD was, because that’s why I’m reviewing it, right? Initially, my post was going to start with telling you this compilation of music totally inspires a sense of hope.  Until I read it’s purpose, now it’s got to start differently.  Only, I don’t know what to tell you.

Guess I’ll just go….  On the three hour trip back to seeing our little blessing I began to listen to the CD Pizza Ranch has put out to inspire Hope, not knowing it’s purpose.  Let me tell you, after almost 7 months of our little one being in the hospital, imagining going home (that hope that things may get on to the ‘new normal’ soon) becomes harder and harder.  As a parent, I keep praying and waiting (and I know it will happen) but some days are hard, others harder and that trip back and forth to the hospital, living there and only visiting your home and pets, is taxing.  Frankly, I think I should be paid in advance, at least 20 years worth.  Regardless, by the third or fourth song in, I was feeling hopeful about life in general, about everything. The rest of the music brought the same good feelings of hope.

Although those at Pizza Ranch who took on this project and put it together may never know the effects of their project on everyone, but hopefully they read this and know that they did make a difference.  More importantly, I hope that you’ll buy the CD and it will bring you some hope and happiness as well.

Adrie Groeneweg had a dream that started in Hull, IA, in 1981, when he was just 19 years old.  It was simple.  Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza?  With just six specialty and single topping pizza recipes developed by Adrie’s mother, Lorraine, Pizza Ranch was born.  Pizza Ranch’s vision and mission is to glorify God by positively impacting the world and to give every guest a legendary experience.  They have 190+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.

LivingHope

On June 2, 2015, Pizza Ranch released a CD called Living Hope containing twelve songs from many of their favorite Christian artists.  Most of the songs are brand-new and written exclusively for this CD around the theme of Hope.  Artists include Colton Dixon, Francesca Batistelli, Ellie Holcomb, Sidewalk Prophets, Kevin Max, Bart Millard, Passion Band featuring Kristian Stanfill, Michael W. Smith, and Mark Schultz.
The CD will be available to purchase for $5 plus tax exclusively in Pizza Ranch restaurants or for download at pizzaranch.com/livinghope through August 31, 2015.
From Adrie Groeneweg, President & CEO of Pizza Ranch, Inc.:  “This album has a very special meaning for Pizza Ranch.  Although Pizza Ranch is not in the music business, many things have been happening, conversations have been taking place and doors have been opening for this album.  Through these events, I believe it was obvious that God has been behind this for His specific purpose and putting it on our hearts to collectively create this project.  As such, we call this our miracle album, Living Hope.”
SOCIAL • C O R N E R  

Twitter:  @PizzaRanch @PRServes

YouTube Channel (features images and videos of the artists talking about the story behind each song):https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE9lEnxuNzMyLfRyX8_tiLA
Press Release with additional information about the Living Hope CD project:  https://t.e2ma.net/message/7tnbk/7l1cgr

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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. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Originally posted 2015-07-19 17:28:40.