Tuesday, January 31, 2012
First off, he encourages young people to start living as mature adults, and taking responsibility. Many young people today want nothing more than to sit around the house on their Playstation or other video game, or hang out with their friends and really end up accomplishing very little, if anything. Boyer encourages teenagers to do just the opposite. "Reject the labels society tries to paste on the young and get on about the business of serving God..."
Then, after his invigorating opening, Rick deals with various issues in America and the Church today. Education-public, Christian or home school? The media, and how Satan is using the movies, music, etc. to blind and brainwash multitudes of young people. The family-even many of our "Christian" families are falling apart as attacks against marriage and the family get more and more blatant. The Church-can young people be actively involved in their Church in a grown-up role, rather than just hanging in the gym for youth group during Church services? The Courts-how even a teenager can be involved in the political realm, and help get the right people into office.
I was impressed with Rick's ability to speak clearly and concisely on these matters from a Biblical viewpoint in a way that will be appealing to young and old alike. Not only does he tell what is wrong with our society today, he gives us ideas and inspiration for how to change it for the better.
Whether you have a child or teenager of your own, you are a teenager, or just a concerned onlooker, this is a book that you will not want to miss. If you only read one book in your entire life (other than the Bible of course :) then READ THIS BOOK!
For more information or to order Take Back the Land, visit New Leaf Publishing Group.
Disclaimer: I received a free book from New Leaf Publishing Group for review. I was not monetarily compensated in any way. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Monday, January 30, 2012
One way I have found to incorporate some good-for-you foods is by making it colorful. Cook up some various vegetables and present it as a colorful side dish. Stir-fry is a wonderful way to do this, and most children enjoy eating the veggies when they're cooked in a tasty sauce.
Our family also likes to add rice with various meals. One of my favorites (and even the kids like it surprisingly) is a casserole-style dish made of rice (I personally enjoy wild rice, but the kids prefer white rice) topped with broccoli and cauliflower, and cheddar cheese melted on top. This is such a simple (and low-cost) meal, yet everyone who has tasted it thinks it is delicious! Obviously rice can be added to many casseroles for some added nutrition. It is also a wonderful base for various meats; there's a reason why Red Lobster and most steakhouses offer chicken, fish and steaks on a bed of wild rice!
Another way to encourage your children to eat healthy is by thinking outside the box. Everyone knows a garden salad is nutritious, but many children I know won't touch the leafy green lettuce! However, when you make a fruit salad or maybe add some different ingredients to your salad, children will be encouraged to at least try it out. Instead of serving french fries with dinner, offer your family some carrot, celery or broccoli with a dipping sauce. And if you design your veggies in a fun shape, eating vegetables becomes a happy time.
If you're looking for another way to encourage your children in healthy cooking habits, why not let them enter the Ben's Beginner's Cooking Contest? This contest is for children ages 5-12, and would be a fun way to get any kid excited about cooking healthy! For more information about Uncle Ben's and the cooking contest, visit the Uncle Ben's Facebook page.
And please share any tips you have for cooking healthy with your children! I am always looking for new ways to encourage healthy eating and cooking habits!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Not too long ago I was offered another opportunity to review some products from ENJOY Hair Care. The set I received was especially helpful for me, as it is the Curl Composure set; products for taming and styling curly hair! While I love my hair and wouldn't trade it for straight hair, I do find it frustrating at times trying to keep it frizz free and neat! I must admit, sometimes I receive a compliment about my hair, and I look at it and think "What a mess!". So, I was excited to try these new products; the Curl Shaping Lotion and Shine and Smooth.
After my morning shower I let my hair air dry for a few minutes, then applied a mixture of the Shaping Lotion and Shine and Smooth serum. I was impressed with how defined my curls looked, but knew the real test would be a few hours later, after my hair dried. I didn't use any holding spray, because I wanted to get the real effect of these styling aids without any extra products. To my surprise (and great joy) my hair looked just as good at 8:00 that evening as it did right after applying the product!
|Right after applying the products...|
|Later in the day|
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
The first piece of advice you should keep in mind is that cats love to get up to high places. The tops of bureaus, the upper edges of doors and the top shelf you never clean. If you have shelving, assume that your cat is going to knock everything off of them. You need to teach your cat to climb on their cat trees and not on your shelves. It will all end up on the floor and the cat will earn a special place in your heart that is now filled with hatred for cats. Make sure that they have safe places, like cat trees, to climb and that you discourage them from climbing anything else.
From cat scratching posts to real trees, we need to talk about house plants. You need to research every plant you are considering bringing into your house or that you may always have in your home. A surprising number of plants are toxic to animals of all kinds. Even things that are fully edible to humans may be very toxic to your new, furry friends. Do a little research and prevent the worst case scenario.
In the same vein, don't feed your pets people food. I know itís not a design suggestion. Itís just a good piece of advice. Look up what garlic does to a cat and you'll agree.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
While I am definitely a coffee drinker, I have started cutting back on the "gourmet drinks" I make at home, and trying to have something a little healthier. Additionally, the caffeine in my lattes and cappuccinos makes for a late night-whether I want one or not! I was recently given the opportunity to try a couple boxes of Celestial Seasonings teas, and I think I have found the perfect replacement for my coffee! (Don't worry; I'm not cutting it out completely, just cutting back a lot :)
I received the Tension Tamer Herbal Tea and Peach Blossom White and Green Tea for my review. I tried the Tension Tamer one evening before bed, and really enjoyed it! I added just a teaspoon of sugar for a little sweetness, and had a nice, hot drink without all the sugar, cream and calories of my usual hot beverage of choice.
The Peach Blossom is definitely my favorite, however. Not only does this tea have a wonderful peach flavor, but the aroma as it steeps is lovely too! The perfect blend of green tea, white tea and fresh peach flavor creates a wonderful drink for warming up during the winter. It's also perfect for a breakfast tea or bedtime drink.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
1. First of all, stay alert. As my Dad always told me, being aware of what and who are around you -at all times- is the most important part of staying safe on the road! Don't just concentrate on your vehicle, pay attention to the location of other vehicles, signs, merging lanes, etc. This way you are prepared if the car in front of you suddenly stops or swerves, and you aren't caught off guard.
2. Don't ever text while driving! This should be a given, but it is amazing how many people I see texting on their phones while driving, or stopped at a light. It is not safe! I don't even like talking on the cellphone while driving (and it's illegal in many states). If you have to talk, get a Bluetooth device so your hands are free to drive, rather than trying to answer a call.
3. Obey the speed limit and other road signs. These signs are here for a reason-to keep you and other drivers safe! Many drivers act like the speed limit is just a suggestion, and they can drive however fast they want. Then there's the numerous people I see who just slow down when coming to a stop sign. It's not a slow down sign, it's a STOP sign! An important part of teaching the children to drive is teaching them what the road signs mean. (We actually just discussed this today on the way back from Wal-Mart).
4. Don't drive when you're tired. If you're driving and start to feel drowsy, pull off and take a nap or trade drivers. Having a cold water or even a small snack to munch on can also help you stay awake if there's no one else to take over driving.
5. Keep your vehicle in good condition. No matter how good a driver you are, if your car is in need of an oil change, new brake pads, or a tail-light replacement, you aren't driving safely!
What about your family? Please feel free to share any driving tips in the comments below! For more driving hints and information about Esurance, visit the Esurance Facebook page!
With a wealth of easy-to-use online tools as well as 24/7 expert service, Esurance is making car insurance smarter from quote to claim. Everything we do is done with the goal of saving you time, hassle, hair-tearing-out, and oh yes, money too. Use the Esurance Coverage Counselor® to help you figure out the exact coverage limits you need. File a claim (and send pics of the accident) from your mobile phone. Call anytime — and by that we mean anytime — to talk to a friendly expert about discounts. Do what you need to do, when you need to do it. And do it with ease. That's what Esurance is all about."
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I'm sure you are all familiar with Gerber Gear. They make all sorts of neat tools, knives and survival gear. I have owned a small Gerber knife for a couple years now, and I clip it onto my waist just about every morning-I never go anywhere without this knife! After experiencing the Gerber quality, I was excited when they sent me a Fit Pocket Tool for review. This is a handy little tool the size of a pocket knife that will be a permanent addition to my purse or bag from now on! This compact multi-tool includes a blade (half fine, half serrated for multiple uses), scissors, tweezers, bottle opener, eye glass screwdriver, large flathead screwdriver, large crosspoint screwdriver, small crosspoint screwdriver, and a light. This is what the tool looks like opened:
The light is powered by 1 AAA battery (included when you purchase the Fit Pocket Tool) and is very powerful! Here's an example:
Not bad for a little tool, huh?! As I have come to expect from Gerber, the tool is very well made, and looks like it will last for a long time. There are so many everyday uses for this tool from adjusting somebody's eyeglasses to removing a splinter, or opening a package with the knife blade. And, we are planning some camping and hiking trips this year, and this will come in handy on those!
"Encased in smooth anodized aluminum, the Fit is a handheld 20 Lumen L.E.D. flashlight with folding multitool attachments. Outfitted with long drivers to reach into small spaces that other multitools can't, it includes a locking fine edge and serrated blade, bottle opener, scissors, tweezers and multiple drivers. It’s a compact, standalone flashlight with dozens of other daily uses."
Monday, January 23, 2012
You may remember a few weeks ago when I blogged about the chance to try some P.F. Chang's Home Menu meals. I recently learned that P.F. Chang's is celebrating the Chinese New Year (starting today) in some really great ways! First of all, they have a giveaway running on the P.F. Chang's Facebook page. Every day (through February 12) you can enter to win! 10 people per day will win a Daily Dragon prize, including a $25.00 gift card to P.F. Chang's or a gift certificate for a P.F. Chang's Home Menu Frozen Meal!! I already entered today, and I'll be checking back each day :)
You can also celebrate the Chinese New Year at your local P.F. Chang's, where they are giving out Red Envelopes to dine-in customers. These envelopes will contain 10%-50% off coupon, or a free appetizer or dessert!
P.F. Chang's sent me a couple coupons and a neat "Red Envelope" package so we could celebrate the Chinese New Year at home. The package included a T-Shirt and some Chinese Lanterns, as well as the coupons and a gift card. I tried the Garlic Chicken with Dan Dan Noodles, and Orange Chicken. I was impressed with the super easy 10-12 minute cooking time; these made for a super-fast dinner! The orange chicken was very good; it has chicken, water chestnuts, carrots and edamame in a spicy orange sauce. It's very simple to make, you just pour the bag into a non-stick skillet, and heat for 10-12 minutes. Everyone who tasted the Orange Chicken agreed it was very tasty, and a great meal.
My personal favorite though (and my favorite out of all the P.F. Chang's Home Menu meals I have tried so far) is the Garlic Chicken with Dan Dan Noodles. Again, simply heat on the stove for about 12 minutes, and you have a hot, fresh-tasting Asian meal ready to eat! The Garlic Chicken has white meat chicken, dan dan noodles, bell peppers and bok choy in a delicious garlic sauce. It is amazing!! I will be buying some Garlic Chicken with Noodles pretty regularly from now on!
|This is awesome!|
Friday, January 20, 2012
How many of you like something different for breakfast? Don't get me wrong, I am a cereal "addict", but sometimes I just want something hot for breakfast, or a little change of pace. Of course there are the other fast options-frozen waffles, pancakes and toaster strudels-but they just don't have that homemade flavor. I was excited when given the opportunity to review a Flip Belgian Waffle Maker from Oster, but even I didn't realize just how handy this little tool would be!
When the Waffle Maker arrived I immediately went online and started looking for that perfect Belgian Waffle recipe (I didn't realize there were recipes in the instruction manual :). See, after visiting a restaurant called The Belgian Waffle in SLC Utah several years ago, I have been craving a special treat I discovered there-Belgian Waffle Sundaes. I could hardly wait to try my re-creation, and went shopping as soon as possible to pick up the necessary ingredients. The pictures can describe the process best, so here goes:
|The red light means power is on; when the green side lights up, it means your wafflemaker is ready to cook!|
|A removable drip tray to catch any batter|
|Thankful for that drip tray! My first time I overfilled the holes :)|
|Made-from-sratch Belgian Waffle, ready to eat!|
|Belgian waffle, banana slices, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup|
|The strawberry version...YUM!|
Now, if you're thinking you don't have time to make waffles in the morning, don't worry. You can make them with pancake/waffle mix from the store. Or, you can do what I did. Make a double batch of waffles when you have some free time, and make them all up (about 16 waffles from my recipe). Freeze the cooled waffles, and then whenever you're in the mood, simply pull out a waffle and heat it in your toaster or toaster oven! A tasty, homemade breakfast - fast!
- Simple “flip” operation for evenly cooked waffles
- Durable Chrome housing with Black accents
- Adjustable temperature control for light and fluffy or crispy waffles
- Non-stick Belgian surface
- Cool touch handle with release button for compact storage
- Power On and Ready indicator lights
- Removable drip tray included for easy clean-up
- Space-saving, vertical compact storage design"
One of my readers will receive an Oster Flip Belgian Waffle Maker!!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
However, although these are the type of event I think of when I hear the term crowd control, many of our normal, day-to-day shopping centers and other places of business use some form of control. Take your local bank for instance. Most banks use stanchions to keep people in an orderly line.
Another common place you'll see crowd control being implemented is with political events. Of course, here you normally see the fancy posts and velvet ropes, but it is still just a form of keeping the crowd in line!
I'm sure all of you have some special pictures from the holidays. (I can't believe it's already the middle of January, and Christmas was almost a month ago!). If you're looking for a way to keep these memories fresh, why not hang them on your wall? I'm sure by now you're familiar with Gallery Direct, and know how much I love every piece of art I have ordered from them. But you're probably not aware of the amazing sale they have running through the end of this month.
Right now you can receive 75% off your Canvas Photo Print at Gallery Direct!! This applies to any custom "upload-your-own-photo" that you have printed on canvas, whether gallery wrap, framed or floating frame! That makes a small framed canvas print with your very own photo only about $50.00!! You can not beat this deal, and on top of that, Gallery Direct is super-fast about getting your print delivered to your door! To get the discount, simply use "photo75" in the coupon code box during checkout.
In case you're wondering how a photo canvas from Gallery Direct turns out, here's an example. I took a picture on my cellphone several weeks ago of my brother and I with our friend's little girl. We only get to see them 1 or 2 times a year, so it was something I wanted to print and frame. Then I decided to use Gallery Direct's canvas print service instead. I was a little unsure of how the photo would look, since it was taken on my phone, but went ahead with the order anyways. When the package arrived a week later, I could not wait to see how it looked.
Needless to say, the whole family loves the picture (especially E, my brother), and we now have a memory of fun with our friends!
Remember, photo75 is your key to a beautiful canvas print of your favorite holiday photos!! Only at Gallery Direct! (Coupon code expires 2/1/12).
Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this review; I did receive product for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I know from my own experience that seeing ads while working or shopping online can and has influence my purchases, whether it's a product or service. For example, after seeing an ad for a tax company offering free e-filing tax refund services, I signed up and started filling out the paperwork (it's taking longer than I thought to get all the information in!). Or, while looking for a new camcorder not too long ago, a banner ad showed up for a Sony camcorder, and following that link ended up leading me to the model I eventually purchased.
So am I a believer in online marketing? Absolutely! It has the potential to reach more people than just about any other marketing medium I can think of.
I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog for an internet marketing company and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Recently, however, Q-Tips improved on their already invaluable product by releasing Precision Tips Q-Tips. These are an ingenious little tool in themselves, and I am already planning to stock the cupboard with precision tips as well as regular Q-Tips from now on!
Precision Tips are pointed at both ends, and add a little more "reach" to the Q-Tips cleaning capabilities. I have started using these for cleaning my camcorder. I'm a little bit of a clean freak, and when it comes to my beloved electronics (MacBook, iPod and camcorder being at the top of the list) I am especially careful to clean on a regular basis. The Precision Tips work great to clean around the lens of my camcorder in those minutely small grooves!
|A great way to "get in the grooves"!|
For more great uses for Q-Tips and Precision Tips, check out the Q-Tips Facebook page!
Disclaimer: I received compensation and Q-Tips for review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Our shower head can be a little irritating at times. It's the kind with a pull-chain so if the water is left running too long, it automatically cuts off. I understand the reasoning behind it, since it prevents wasting water, but when you're taking a shower and the water suddenly stops running, it doesn't put me in the best frame of mind :) So, when I received a Monoglide Hand Shower for review from American Standard, I was excited about being able to replace the old one. Until I saw that the Monoglide arrived in 3 small boxes (very small boxes). I am not a plumber, and have almost no experience with anything pertaining to plumbing! However, I decided to at least open the boxes and asses the difficulty level before calling for help. When I saw that all 3 boxes only contained 1 piece each, I thought, "Okay. Surely I can do this." And sure enough, I could and did - in less than 5 minutes! Yep, in about 4 minutes, I had the old shower head removed and the sparkly new shower head involved. Score one for me!
|Step 1: Removed the old shower head.|
|Step 2: Screw on the socket/holder piece. (Told you I wasn't a plumber!)|
|Step 3: Attach the cord|
|Step 4: Screw on the Monoglide Hand Shower|
Now, what I love best about the Monoglide is probably the fact that it is a hand shower. So when we're bathing the dogs or our friends need to bathe their young children, it's super-easy with the option of pulling the shower head down!
Another great feature is the 4-function button. Full spray (the most-used in our family), aerated spray, massage spray and power mist are all easily turned on with the switch of a button! Watch the video below for demonstration.
One of my readers will receive an American Standard Monoglide Hand Shower!!
Monday, January 16, 2012
I of course knew that politicians and the media were downplaying much of the religious element of terrorism, but was unaware of the great lengths they go to to make Islam seem like a peaceful religion, with just a few fanatics. For example, when the Islamic terrorist went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood not so very long ago, the official Pentagon report failed to mention any hint of Islamic influence. Even though Major Nidal Hasan, the terrorist, shouted Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) while shooting and killing American military men and women.
After reading this book, I had to go back and re-read some parts. It is an amazing wake up call to all who care about America, and the great Nation she once was. More, it is a call-to-arms for all Americans who believe that the war on terror is not only fought in foreign battlefields. Although the authors are Christian, I believe that any honest citizen (not just Christians) who is concerned for the country their children will inherit would be benefitted by reading The Fight of Our Lives.
"Want to know the dirty little secret in the war on terror? Some of us have already surrendered.
To purchase The Fight of Our Lives, visit your local bookseller, or purchase online through Amazon.
Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this review; I did receive a copy of the book for review. All thoughts and opinions are mine. All quotes taken from the Thomas Nelson/BookSneeze website.
What woman doesn't love jewelry? Even though I'm more of the "tomboy" type (I'd rather be outside than inside usually), I still love adding a bracelet or necklace for a pretty, feminine look. I was given the opportunity to choose a piece from Fantasy Jewelry Box for review, and it was a hard decision! After going through my jewelry box and realizing I have double or triple the necklaces than bracelets, that narrowed down my search a little bit. And when I saw Kimber's Two-Tone Heart Link Bracelet, I knew my hunt was over-I had found the perfect piece!
As always with FJB, I was impressed with the fast shipping time, and the lovely presentation of the jewelry. It came in a small black box, tied with a silver bow.
This is an absolutely beautiful stainless steel link bracelet with gold hearts alternating between larger cut-out steel hearts. What I love about this bracelet is that I can wear it to a dressy event, or just use it to give a little special touch to my casual, everyday outfits.
"FantasyJewelryBox.com is one of the leading online retailers of celebrity and designer inspired jewelry. Although celebrity inspired jewelry is our specialty, we are also a leading online retailer for replica celebrity rings, fake engagement rings and faux wedding sets.
Our sterling silver jewelry collections primarily consists of high end genuine .925 Sterling Silver with high-quality cubic zirconia stones. We also proudly carry gold jewelry collections as well as fashion jewelry and costume jewelry for our more budget-friendly shoppers. Our cubic zirconia jewelry prices generally range from $10.00 to $500.00 so it is easy to see why our affordable diamond replica jewelry collections are so popular! Whether you are a financially struggling college student or a successful, wealthy woman who enjoys a good deal, our collections are perfect for you!
Although we specialize in women's cubic zirconia jewelry, our growing men's stainless steel and titanium collection is quite popular! We believe this is due to our competitive, substantially lower prices that is rare in today's jewelry market for men. Of course, that statement can be said for all the sterling silver jewelry within our collections! Our famous slogan says it all: "FantasyJewelryBox.com is Affordable Jewelry for Expensive Tastes!""
One of my readers will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Fantasy Jewelry Box!!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
For anyone not familiar with Silikids, they are a company that is dedicated to making safe products for children from...you guessed it...silicone! I'm sure many of you mothers out there have also been concerned for your children's safety when it comes to the every-day accessories they use. Well, fret no more, because with Silikids products, you can rest assured that their cups and bottles are safe.
I received a Siliskin glass for review, and I am so impressed! This is the perfect way to not only avoid the typical plastic sippy cups, but also make your child feel grown-up, using his/her own glass cup! Basically these are glasses with a silicone cover. The silicone helps prevent your child from dropping their cup, as it gives a better grip. And, it protects the glass inside from breaking! The silicone covers come in several different colors, so your child can have a colorful variety of drinking glasses.
One of my readers will receive a 6 oz. Siliskin Glass!!
Friday, January 13, 2012
You may have heard of the dispute going on between Walgreens and Express Scripts for the past year. I must confess I had not heard anything about it until just recently. It seems that the Express Scripts program has refused to extend their contract with Walgreens, so any members of the program are having to go farther afield, as it were, and find a new pharmacist to fill their prescriptions. Not only that, but with Walgreens being the largest 24-hour pharmacies in the country, for those who work long hours or have hectic schedules (and who doesn't?), finding the time to visit the new pharmacy may be more difficult than in the past. And, with all these negative aspects, Express Scripts has also stated that members will not see any significant savings from their excluding Walgreens! You can read the press release about Walgreens and Express Scripts here.
As if that were not enough, our military is also caught in the middle of this debate. Tricare (health and prescription drug program for our military) is one of Express Scripts clients. Walgreens went so far as to guarantee the lowest prices of any pharmacy in the Tricare program, and to contract separately for the Tricare program, but Express Scripts refused both of these negotiations.
After being excluded from the Express Scripts program, Walgreens came up with their own way to help their customers. Joining the Prescription Savings Club will give you a special discount on annual membership. Check out the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens for more details.