Archive for Gift Ideas

Matilda Jane Review and Giveaway

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<Matilda Jane Review

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If you are looking for different styles for you and your girls and don’t want to head to the store.  Matilda Jane Clothing is for you!  They sell their clothing line through hosted “Trunk Shows”.

Each year they release 2 collections in the Spring and Fall.  There are currently over 500 “Trunk Keepers” throughout the US & Canada.  Once you found a host, you can either attend a showing or have your own in home show!  You can also become a “Jane” to host your own shows!

Check out what they sent to us!  My daughter received  an adorable dress from their called “Roller Coaster Tiered Dress

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Made of 69% cotton, 28% nylon, & 3% spandex, you need to wash this dress in cold water and lay it on a flat surface to dry.

This dress is perfect for an active child in the summertime and very fun.  My daughter loves the colorful tiers. There are butterflies, bikes, flowers, shoes and bird on this adorable dress.  It is topped off with little yellow ruffled sleeves.

Click here and fill out the form to find your nearest  “Jane” for Matilda Jane Clothing!


Matilda Jane Giveaway

Would you like to give Matilda Jane a try? Enter to win a $50 Gift Card to Matilda Jane below! Ends 5/2!

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When The Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon

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When the Cypress Whispers

This review was done by my daughter B and contains affiliate links to support our family.

When the Cypress Whispers is about the daughter of Greek immigrants, Daphne. She was brought up to believe in the American dream. After a tragic event leaving her basically at rock bottom, she puts her all into opening a Greek restaurant. She returns to Erikousa, a magical Greek island she grew up visiting and to her Yia-Yia (grandmother).

When the Cypress Whispers is a good book. I would read it again. I figured out almost everything before the end, but I’m used to that now since I read a lot. I wasn’t even trying.

This book made me cry. The characters were good and well rounded. I loved the setting and the use of the Greek language. I wrote down four pages (small pages), eight front and back, from it.

There was a “oogie” part (Theresa here, I think she’s referring to a kissing or intimate scene), I wasn’t sure if it would become anything else so I skipped it.

Greece felt real, it was like I was there and it was amazing.

I loved the myth stories from ancient times, I’m big on that anyways. I loved learning about Greek mythology. I loved Daphne’s connection with her Yia-Yia (grandmother).

I didn’t think the end would happen quite like it did, but I was glad and liked the ending.

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Keep the Faith – Berenstain Bears Book Review

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This post contains affiliate links to support our family.

FFR Keeping the Faith book

If you spend any amount of time on my site you know we love books! I stopped getting children’s books to review just because we have so many books already but I couldn’t resist The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) book.

Our younger children all love this book and have asked to read it over and over again. The message is simple. Brother and Sister Bear come across a friend, Ferdy Factual, who does not believe in God and they are not quite sure what to do or say for that matter. They were kind to their friend, though they asked him questions. I thought Mama and Papa handled the issue quite well, though they could have done a better job of explaining what faith is themselves rather than going to Preacher Brown. However, I understand that may have just been there to help children know when mom and dad do not know the answer a member of the clergy is there to consult with on the tougher questions.

This book was a good reminder to me to help our children understand that not everyone believes the same way or the same things as we do.

I give it two thumbs up for Keep the Faith for any family of faith with young kiddos in the home.

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Kmart Layaway Dance Video

This is a sponsored post. I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own.

You’ll have fun watching this mash-up of customers doing the Kmart Layaway Dance! Dare we say it’s the latest dance craze? I know it caught my sons’ attention as they headed to bed! If you’re wondering what it is about Kmart Layaway that makes people spontaneously breakout in catchy dance moves, you should probably keep reading this. At Kmart, Layaway doesn’t start and end with the holidays. You can use Kmart Layaway all year round for celebrations such as birthdays, re-decorating or baby gifts. In addition, Kmart Layaway is available online and in stores. It’s simple: pick out the times you want, start with a down payment, make payments every two weeks (online or in store) and take your items home with you after your final payment (cue: Layaway dance)! Pro tip: Remember to give yourself plenty of time before you need the item, most Layaway contracts last about 8 weeks, so planning ahead is key! Plus, Shop Your Way Members get points on every Layaway purchase and exclusive Layaway offers.

Kmart Layaway Dance Video

Have an item in mind you’d like to put on Layaway? You know it’s about that time to start thinking grills and patio furniture! Get ready to practice your dance moves because you’re going to want to break out in a Layaway dance too! http://bit.ly/1hqSlD8

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Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Giveaway

Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared

Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Giveaway

If you haven’t met Ju-Ju-Be and their fantastic line of bags, it’s time you do. They offer a large selection of diaper bags, handbags, and backpacks to fit any of your needs. Each bag is made of high quality, machine washable, durable materials. Leaving you with a bag that will last you for years to come.

And we’re giving away one of their amazing bags, the Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared. This awesome diaper bag features:

  • Full zip-down mommy pocket for super access.
  • Unique main zipper closure system makes for easy access.
  • Memory foam changing pad included … nice ‘n comfy, super cushy
  • Picture pocket to keep photos handy when bragging to friends.
  • 2 exterior insulated bottle pockets … with Thinsulate by 3M. Keep it warm? Keep it cold? Sure!
  • Structured bottom with luggage feet.
  • Color-coded tabs let you know which pocket is for which child.
  • Tote handles can be tucked away and hidden when not in use.
  • Teflon … so stains don’t stick.
  • AgION Antimicrobial Linings … kills germs, mold, mildew, fungus, bacteria, and other bad stuff.
  • Crumb Drains … bye-bye mess!
  • Metal Hardware … we don’t trust any of the cheap plastic stuff.
  • Light-Colored Linings … you can actually see what’s inside, it’s not just a big black hole in there.
  • Quiet Magnets … Velcro’s noisy. Yuck!
  • Machine Washable … air dry.

Take a look at this video for a quick demonstration of everything the Be Prepared bag has to offer.

Win a Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared

Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Diaper Bag Giveaway

The awesome folks over at Ju-Ju-Be want you to fall in love with Be Prepared. They’re offering one lucky fan the chance to win a Be Prepared bag in the pattern of your choice! This giveaway will run from 2/11/14 to 2/25/14 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to US residents only. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Good luck!

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With Autumn’s Return

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With Autumn's Return

As you know from past book reviews, I enjoy Christian historical fiction. With Autumn’s Return by Amanda Cabot is one of those books. I wanted to read it because I have read the first two books in the Westward Winds series (Book 1 and Book 2). This book was about Elizabeth Harding, the youngest sister in the Harding family.

Elizabeth Harding is a female doctor in Cheyenne, Wyoming during the 1800′s. I appreciated her fortitude to do what she felt called to do despite the disapproval of many. Women doctors were not popular or accepted easily in that time in history. Dr. Harding’s fortitude is something I could use a good dose of on my bad days! Ha! I also related to her struggle as a working woman and her fears and concerns over having a family with her chosen profession. She had working mom guilt before she was even a mother, but I think many of us must struggle with this when we choose to work or are forced to because of circumstances out of our control.

Dr. Harding showed godly character when she chose to treat the ladies of one of the local brothels. She treated them with respect and dignity despite their profession. I think this is something lacking in today’s Christianity. As Christians or followers of Christ, we are called to love, yet there’s still so much hatred in the world against those who may be different from us and that’s not just outside the church it is within it as well.

I enjoyed the friendship between her and Jason. I think friendship should be the basis of any romantic interest and like it when it’s portrayed in that light.

The book wasn’t all a bed of roses. Mystery, murder and deceit were woven into the plot to spice up the book and make it more than just a romance novel. Don’t get me wrong it was not a mystery novel but it definitely those elements made it more than just another boring romance.

Was the book predictable? Admittedly, yes. Was it interesting? I’d have to say so since I like reading about that time period. Was it one of my favorite books to read? No, not really, but I enjoyed it and give it a thumbs up.

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$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Most people can use a bit of extra cash after the Christmas season or any time really, right? Five fellow bloggers and I have joined together to offer a $100 Visa Gift Card giveaway. Not only can you buy groceries or gas but it could be used for gifts too. A great way to get a head start on 2014 Christmas gifts. I’ve bought one small gift so far for each of our children. Even if I buy one thing per child per month, I will be that much farther ahead than I was last year. Here’s to better planning this year! Do I hear a “hear hear!”?

The giveaway will run from Tuesday, January 21, 2014 to Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:59 EST. So be sure to come back and enter tomorrow!!
An actual Visa gift card will be mailed to a winner. This is not an e-gift card.

Thanks to Katy over at MovingThroughLife.com for organizing and coordinating this giveaway.

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

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What would you use the gift card for?

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The Calling

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The Calling Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher is another great book by Suzanne Woods Fisher. It is the second book in The Inn at Eagle Hill series. It is a clean, all round good read.

As you all know, I am intrigued by the Amish and appreciate their deep sense of community and commitment to one another and this story exemplifies this in a very real and strong way. I cannot tell you how or I’d reveal part of the mystery of the book.

I really enjoyed getting to know Bethany’s character better. I loved how she played hard to get with her “friend” Jimmy. :) She also displayed wisdom and how she learned from her past mistakes.

The mystery, twists and turns surrounding Bethany’s mother kept me guessing and wondering. I also cried buckets over the revelation of that whole story line.

Another part of the Amish community I enjoy is the respect the younger have for the elderly. In this series, there is a group of five spinster sisters who stand out for their service and commitment to the community, but they also stand out for the way in which they care and interact with the younger generation. The younger in turn cares and respects them. It seems more rare than common in our society today.

I love Bethany’s sister Mim and how she secretly provides advice in her Mrs. Miracle column of the newspaper and how supportive Bethany was of her endeavor.

The growth of Bethany’s brother, Toby, was revealed in this book and I was relieved when he turned out to be a “good” person and chose to do the right thing in spite of the consequences. That’s not always an easy thing to do but it is the honorable thing to do.

The guest, Geena, who visited the Inn at Eagle Hill in this book was a central part of the book and I appreciated her struggle with her “calling” but also how she allowed herself to be used where she was and how she integrated into the Schrock’s family and community.

If you haven’t guessed already, The Calling gets two thumbs up from me!

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Wool Dryer Balls Giveaway

Remember the review I did of a local farm’s wool dryer balls? Well, I have an extra set I was going to donate to a charity auction but it fell through so I thought I’d offer you all a chance to win the set. They are Christmas colors though, just so you know.

Oh and I must add, I am still not sure if we have completely eliminated the static or if the dryer balls are missing some of our loads. Still working on figuring it out. Other than that we do still really like them!

And I fixed the tweet in the Rafflecopter! Sorry about that!

Wool Dryer Balls Giveaway

FFR Christmas Wool Dryer Balls

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Perfumes and Colognes

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I’m not a huge perfume fan but I have my favorite, which is also my husband’s favorite, but it is no longer made by its manufacturer. Boo hoo. I am on my last bottle of it. It’s been nearly 20 years since I bought it, at which time I bought like four of them. Let’s just say I have used it very sparingly and for mostly special occasions.

My husband doesn’t always use cologne or aftershave. Sometimes I even have to hint for him to put some on, other times he surprises me. I’ve loved my husband’s cologne since I have known him. He uses Drakkar Noir. Sigh. I get dreamy eyed smelling it on him! (blush!)

Men's Cologne Drakkar Noir

I actually bought him some as a surprise at Christmas time since he was getting low. It was a discount fragrance and an impulse buy while grocery shopping. I’m glad I got it for him because now he can wear it more often!

Did you get any new perfume for Christmas? What is your favorite perfume or men’s cologne?

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