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Get Jammin with #Hallabaloo

Shy Kid Blues Giveaway US Ends 6/30There is something about that boogie little ones get when they hear music that they enjoy. It always makes me smile and of course ensures that I boogie on with them. The laughter and joy that babies find in music is such a pure happiness. I’m not convinced any normal human being could resist that! Recently I had the pleasure of enjoying my cousin’s little one and decided she would be the best reviewer of anyone! So, I put in the Shy Kid Blues by Hullabaloo and cranked it up. Wasn’t long past the intro that those little knees started bending to their own rhythm and those adorable arms followed! At almost a year and a half, this girl loves her a good beat. Dancing and singing and moving to her own drum with that beautiful smile and big blue eyes. I didn’t get a shot of her dancing, I was busy dancing with her, but if you’ve ever seen a toddler dance then you know what I mean!

Hullabaloo has received some great shout outs, including a raving compliment from Parents Magazine hailing them “As good as it gets when it comes to children’s music.”  One can’t resist that one, curiosity requires ya to check it out!  LOL.  Though I couldn’t find any songs from this album on YouTube, you can listen to them at their site.

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Originally posted 2014-05-27 10:55:47.

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk &

The Curse of the Yukon Gold

kittyKitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain ReadingThis first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon.

 

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. There are currently three books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, and a fourth to be released in 2014.

My Thoughts

I have very much enjoyed going on this first adventure with Kitty!  I really love that I can learn about the places she is at and be a more active participant in my book!  There are tons of detail and I’ve learned quite a bit about whales, Alaska and so much more!  More than once I’ve caught myself warning Kitty as I read.  LOL.  Something about her makes me want to climb in and make her follow that instinct we ignore when we are a little too curious for our own good!

If you know someone who loves adventure, this may be just the book for them!  It will inspire them to follow their heart and dreams!  I can’t wait to pass this book on to my niece, I think she will enjoy the adventure!

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Originally posted 2014-03-17 00:01:37.

Sticky Icky Booger Bugs

SIBB Book Cover SmallNot long ago I saw something in a tv show or something that made me wonder how a parent explains to their child when they have an illness that isn’t going to go away in a few days.  I couldn’t imagine at the time a way to do it, but of course I’m not a Mom who has had to face the need to do so.  It is in those situations where the love of a child sends growth and creativity that we may never have been able to imagine before.

Reading this book has been very interesting.  I’m not going to go into details right this second about the book, as it is down further as you read.  What I will say is that this book is a testament to the creativity necessary for children’s understanding of something they, in an ideal world, should never even have to know about.  The author and illustrator did a fantastic job of explaining in a manner in which a child could understand the chaos of dealing with Cystic Fibrosis.  If you have a child or know someone with a child who is dealing with this or really any other illness, this book certainly makes a way to help them understand what they are going through or that other kids go through it also.

More Info

(From the Company)

Sticky Icky Booger Bugs, by Sherry Frith, is the tale of a boy’s battle with cystic fibrosis as he attempts to avoid the hospital. Kory is just like any other kid. He loves recess, playing soccer, and exploring his neighborhood with his best friend. With every puff, cough, and sneeze, Kory keeps the sticky icky booger bugs away so he can have fun every day! Sticky Icky Booger Bugs is a picture book, illustrated by Caroll Newell Walter, for children ages 0 –7.

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. There are 30,000 children each year diagnosed and battling cystic fibrosis. There is no cure for this progressive disease.
Sherry wrote Sticky Icky Booger Bugs after her sons, Kory and Kevin, were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. She wanted to explain aspects of the disorder using words they could understand. Helped by colorful illustrations, and the knowledge they gained, they were able to deal with the sticky icky booger bugs using simple routines to keep their cystic fibrosis at bay. This story lets children know that they are loved, no matter what their medical situation may be.

Sticky Icky Booger Bugs was released on July 26, 2013 and is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sticky-Icky-Booger-Sherry-Frith/dp/148080083X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375730020&sr=1-1

Sherry FrithAuthor Sherry Frith is the mother of three boys and the founder of Helping Hearts, a nonprofit organization. She has patents and copyrights pending in various areas and lives each day full of new ideas and grace. Sherry lives in Bakersfield, CA, with her sons—Kyle, Kevin, and Kory.

Illustrator Carol Newell Walter majored in fine arts at Wayne State University and earned a BA and teaching credentials from California State University– Bakersfield. Now retired, Carol and her husband live in Bakersfield, CA, where she continues to create all kinds of artwork.

To learn more, visit http://beatsnot.com/.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.bsnot

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beatsnot

Please note: US winners will receive a physical copy (unless otherwise requested), winner’s from any other country will receive a digital copy.  Good luck!
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Originally posted 2014-02-06 07:56:32.

#UnstoppableDVD Review

unstoppable dvdBeing someone who frequently does reviews, I’ve come to a habit of ‘writing’ my review as I view, listen to or test a product.  It is hard for me, at this point, to forget that I’m supposed to be forming an opinion long enough to just experience what I’m doing.  Soon after this video began, my thoughts of anything but the contents of the film left my mind. In fact, beyond just my ‘reviewers’ mindset, I’m rarely able to focus  completely on a film.  I was filled immediately with a sense of awe, of pure fascination with completely focused attention.  I couldn’t tell you what my original thoughts on this one were, as my thoughts weren’t able to penetrate further than the importance of what I was hearing, and thoughts of reviewing passed into the recess of my mind, it was no longer important at all for that time.

Kirk Cameron wrote and narrated this this film as an answer to a question we as Christians all feel and I personally never know how to answer:

Where is God in the Midst of Tragedy and Suffering?

Prior to viewing this film, my answer was always that He was holding us.  A generic answer which doesn’t ever give comfort, nor is it convincing.  In all honesty, I’m not sure I ever had a real answer to the question.  I live on faith, knowing that He is there.   That is not enough for everyone or even myself particularly in times of dealing with grief, pain and sorrow.  Knowing God is there, feeling Him, hearing Him, seeing Him doesn’t give me the answer.  I’m still working on being able to productively be able to witness to someone, believer or otherwise.

In the film, Cameron is able to give an understanding to this dilemma that I’ve never heard before, one that in 30 years of going to various churches, hearing various sermons, I never was able to grasp.  His narrative takes the story of a young mans exit of this mortal coil and utilizes it to help us grasp just how much greater God’s plan is than ours.  I’m so in awe of the knowledge and overwhelmingly powerful realization of facts that I’m honestly having a hard time forming this review, but I have to share it.

I have a yearning need for you to see this film.  Not because Kirk Cameron is the be all and end all by any means, but because God gave us a means of understanding through this film that I have never been able to grasp before.  Cameron took stories I’ve heard my whole life, stories I’ve studied, and helped me to see things I have never seen before.  Not through opinion, through simply putting emphasis and thought to parts of the story that have been dismissed or overlooked time and time again.  I have no doubt that this film will move you, bless you and ultimately bring you deeper thought and understanding of why there must be suffering and death, as in them lies a beauty that has been hidden within the depths of grief that most of use would never grasp on our own.

ABOUT UNSTOPPABLE

 

Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”

 

Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope.

 

In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.

Kirk Cameron is best known for his memorable role as “Mike Seaver,” a cultural icon of the 80’s, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks. More recently he enjoyed much success with the No. 1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental. Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during their Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat (www.CampFirefly.com). Together, Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.

About Provident Films

Provident Films, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, produces, markets, and distributes faith-based films. The company is part of Nashville-based Provident Music Group, which has been one of the world’s leading Christian entertainment companies for more than three decades.  Films from the company have included Courageous, October Baby, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants. More info is available at ProvidentFilms.org.

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

Originally posted 2014-01-31 05:36:53.

#Naturepedic Organic Pillow

pillows_reviewA good night’s sleep can leave one feeling better than anything else.  So many people today are complaining that they either can’t sleep, are always tired, or don’t wake feeling rested.  While the environment one sleeps in plays a huge role in that, the tools one utilizes makes an even bigger difference.  Sleeping in a position that allows one’s body to rest in a natural manner is so essential that there are literally millions of combinations one can create with thread counts, mattress types, pillows and even pajamas!  The key is finding the right combination for you!

Finding that perfect combination can take years.  One thing that I have learned in my quest for the most comfortable night’s sleep ever is that one cannot *gulp* fully depend on sales and clearance to get that combination right…  I know, that one is hard to swallow for all you deal seekers like me out there!  That isn’t to say that you can’t find great deals, just a realization that the pillows I get at Christmas sales for $3 aren’t the most effective pillows for my quest of the perfect night’s slumber!  They will, however, work just fine for the guest bedrooms and kids to sleep on.  LOL.  So, don’t despair, there is no need to put that off of your list of things that you ‘need’ to go out on Black Friday for!

I mentioned I found my perfect pillow, I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to get to the details so here goes!  My husband and I sleep in very different positions.  He likes his pillows to be flat so that he can sleep with his arm under the pillow.  I however like to have my pillows thick so that I can prop myself up on them as I sleep.  There is a good chance that is weird, but then if you’ve been around the Zoo long, you know I’m a pretty weird cat!  LOL.

We each got a pillow from Naturepedic that fit our sleeping habits, my husband’s first reaction to his new pillow was “Sweet, I don’t have to break it in, it’s perfect!” After a few months of using it, it is still the same as it was when we first got it.  I had feared that it would flatten more and become uncomfortable, as pillows so often do, but I was happily proven wrong!

Now on to the comfortable one…  Um…  I mean mine.  LOL.  One thing I hate about pillows is that they so quickly become smashed down (at which point I’m ready to give them to the hubby and get another!)  Surprisingly, after three months of use my pillow is just as plump as when I got it.  If you think three months isn’t en0ugh to smash a pillow, remember that I have narcolepsy so I sleep way more than one’s average 6-8 hours.  I sleep about 14-18 hours.  Lame, I know.  It is plenty of time to get a pillow broke in though!

If you are in the market for some good sleep, I highly suggest getting yourself one or two of these fabulous pillows!  You will NOT be sorry!  I assure you!

Organic Kapok/Cotton Pillow

  • OUTER FABRIC
    Luxurious 300 thread count organic cotton fabric
  • FILLING
    50/50 blend of organic kapok and organic cotton
  • GOTS Certified organic
  • Spot clean only
  • Available Options:
    LS54: Standard Size (20″ x 26″)
    LQ54: Queen Size (20″ x 30″)
    LK54: King Size (20″ x 36″)

Organic Cotton/PLA Pillow

  • OUTER FABRIC
    Luxurious 300 thread count organic cotton fabric
  • FILLING
    100% plant based PLA fiber
  • Machine Wash & Dry (only if necessary)

Pillow Of Choice Giveaway

One lucky winner will have the choice of pillow type and size!

Good Luck!

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Originally posted 2014-01-20 11:50:32.

Shirley J Mugging Gift Set: The Perfect Gift for Anyone!

Mug recipes have become pretty popular, and these make it easy to understand why! Check out these delicious Shirley J Muggings!Hey everyone!  If you are ever in need of a quick sweet snack, you’ll wanna try Shirley J’s awesome Muggings!  Not only are her mugs adorable, the mixes are super tasty too!  We’ve tried all the ones pictured, not all at once though we did run out way too quickly…  Well, all except those two that I may or may not have ‘forgotten’ back for a ZooKeeper Pick Me Up Day!  These are great to have on hand for a quick snack, easy dessert or just a good sweet fix!  I think they’d be amazing gifts for college students too!  You can add things to the mixes or enjoy them as they come, either way you are gonna love having these on hand!  There are plenty of ‘in a mug’ recipes online, but I don’t think they hold a candle to these!  My absolute favorite was the Chocolate Brownie Cake!  I added some peanut butter chips to it and was in a momentary heaven on earth for a bit!  It hit the spot, that’s for sure!

Mug recipes have become pretty popular, and these make it easy to understand why! Check out these delicious Shirley J Muggings!We really loved the mugs, too.  Santa’s Mustache was quickly Monkey’s favorite and I am a sucker for a snowflake!  They are huge, so they’ve also become my favorite coffee cups as well!  Perfect for hot chocolate!  With all the mugging going on, it will be your new favorite baking mugging dish!  A quick couple of minutes in the microwave and you’ve got a piping hot cobbler, cake or even no-pan pancake ready to go!  They have one recipe that is gluten free also!  I’ve noticed lately that gluten free is getting quite big these days!

Let me just say, if I can get Monkey to type her thoughts on something, it must be good!  Writing is not her favorite thing, nor does she want to excel at it.  LOL.  So, to show you how wonderful she thought they were, here’s what she wrote:

Monkey’s ThoughtsMug recipes have become pretty popular, and these make it easy to understand why! Check out these delicious Shirley J Muggings!

The “Shirley J ‘S Mugging” ‘chocolate brownie cake’ was a very tasty treat. It actually tasted like a hot chocolate cake. It could be baked a little bit more but thats the only problem i had. i added some white  chocolate chips and they added some gooeyness. I suggest to get some icing for regular cakes and putting it on the brownie cake.

And it was good it had a profound taste and I felt like I was eating at a fancy restaurant!

Where to Find Shirley J

Newsletter ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ TwitterFacebook ~

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Originally posted 2013-12-12 01:11:56.

Kernel Season’s Gift Pack

Kernel Season's Gift Pack

Popcorn…  in my house…  it’s our addiction.  Monkey and I go through so much popcorn it’s insane.  We actually have a popcorn machine in the living room.  It doubles as useable decor.  LOL.  Whatever excuse I needed to have a popcorn machine.  I love that it is a healthy snack  with relatively small side effects…  Well, unless you add three tons of sugar, butter, or salt.  Doesn’t matter, we are addicted.

Having seen various seasonings at the theater, we were super excited to ks4have a set for our own movie theater themed living room!  Plus, you know we just HAD to have popcorn even more often, as it is only fair to do a thorough review!  LOL.  So, now that we’ve gone through a bag or two of popcorn kernels and maybe a microwave bag or two, I can honestly say that these seasonings are a must for any movie night!  Popcorn is great on it’s own, but add a seasoning or two and you’ll be addicted too!  Plus, it won’t cost 15 bucks a bucket!  😀

With little cost, these seasonings are a great addition to any movie or game night!  They will take your popcorn from good to over the top!  They have an amazing selection of flavors too!  Whether you like sweet, salty, savory or even spicy they have you covered!  Monkey loves the ones with jalepeno and bacon while my favorites tend to be the sweet ones!  Plus, there aren’t that many calories in a serving of seasoning!

Flavors We’ve Tried:

  • Bacon Cheddar
  • Butter
  • Caramel
  • Cheesy Jalapeno
  • Kettle Corn
  • Nacho Cheese
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Ranch
  • White Cheddar

There are many more great flavors on the site!  I love that they have such great gift sets too!  We have found a product that is to be stocked at all times now!  LOL.

 

KS1

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Originally posted 2013-12-09 10:12:56.

The First Christmas Night

first christmas
What a special story, that will be told forever!  I love the way this book was written, seems like it brings God back into a poem.  Nothing like making a story lyrical to remember it!  I don’t think that this story could ever be told too many times, and I love hearing the different ways from such creative authors!
About
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.  The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town

not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.

The moon shining bright in the heavens so high

gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.

The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places

with looks of contentment on each of their faces.

About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith is on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
 
About the Illustrator 

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal’s Children’s Books. Christine’s recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Who is it for?
Kids ages 4-8 – The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read
Family story time during the holidays
Children’s Ministers and Sunday school teachers
Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!

 

The First Christmas Night 

Written by: Keith Christopher

Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki

Publisher: Ideals Books

Hardcover: 32 pages
$16.99

Originally posted 2013-12-05 09:12:22.

Audrey Bunny: A Great Kid’s Story Book

Audrey_Bunny_coverI must really be getting soft these days because Audrey Bunny almost made me cry.  LOL.  It’s such a sweet story!  It reminds us all that those little flaws we fear are sometimes just what other people love about us!  Audrey Bunny is a beautiful story about a bunny who had an imperfection which made her feel like she could never be loved.  A very good reminder of how we are so very loved!

Included in the book is a Parent Connection in the back so that you can interact with your child a little more about the story.  It shares some good talking points and I think that any little girl would love to have this book read to them over and over again!  It will keep you all grounded in knowing that you are special, no matter what flaw you think makes you unlovable you are not!  I think that this story is a great confidence builder and is especially great to help with insecurities!

Audrey Bunny

From best-selling women’s author Angie Smith (I Will Carry You, Mended) comes this sweet children’s book about a stuffed animal named Audrey Bunny who fears her imperfections make her unworthy of a little girl’s love. She’ll learn the truth soon enough, and young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

About the Author

Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of MendedI Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.

 Details

Written by: Angie Smith

Publisher: B&H Publishing

Hardcover with jacket:  32 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2013
$14.99

Where to Find It

Publisher (Buy The Book!)

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Originally posted 2013-10-29 00:01:32.

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.