Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book Review: The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

 2017 has started with a great book in fact I dare say this will be my favorite book for the whole year! Yes I'm saying that as we begin the year and but it is just that fantastic. This book starts off with a fantastic strong character Julianne Chevalier. She has raised her younger brother and even started a career as a midwife. While that might not sound impressive you have to keep in mind that it is set in France in 1719. That was quite a feat for a women of that time. Circumstances quickly change for Julianne and she finds herself going to the New World and eventually in New Orleans.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Trailer!

I have to admit I'm getting super excited about this one. It is one of my favorite stories, hopefully I can drag the boys with me for this one.


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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens in theatres everywhere on March 17th, 2017! received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cars 3 - Trailer

 Who is excited about Cars 3? I am! I can't wait for my littles to get excited about it because my oldest two loved the first two movies when they were little (they sure do grow up fast!) I'm sure we will be pulling out all our cars playsets and cars once my 6 year old sees this trailer!


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CARS 3 races into theatres everywhere on June 16th! received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2016 Favorite Products of the Year - FACE

 I know I'm probably the last blogger to share my favorites for last year but I took some time off to spend with my family. Sorry for the excuses but there it is! I was going to do one long postrather than breaking it up into categories but it became so long I decided to switch it up.(So forgive me for the group photo). Most of these products are things I use every single day. Some were my favorites last year and continued to be loved this year (Purity, Batiste). Also rather than using stock images I wanted to show you that I do own each of these products - they really are pretty amazing.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ordinary People Change the World series: I AM JIM HENSON #bookreview

 As a family we have been big fans of Henson's creations every Christmas we watch Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas and my husband even has collectible Dark Crystal figures. I knew my boys would be interested in Ordinary People Change the World new book - I am Jim Henson by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Junie B. Jones The Musical Cast Album #review

 Little girls everywhere are going to squeal with this new album - Junie B. Jones The Musical Cast Album. Featuring songs from Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler from the hit musical. These songs are fun and filled with that spunky Junie personality.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Word of the Year

After Christmas I started praying and asking God to give me my theme for 2017. The word that kept coming to mind was content. I think it had a lot to do with the kids and the wanting of everything this holiday season. Their appetites were insatiable. More was all they wanted. I was horrified to say the least but I started to notice I had similar thoughts. Every time I went to the store I saw 'things' I wanted. Not necessarily needed but wanted. Sales beckoned me at every turn and almost every time I opened my inbox online.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to pop on and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We've been spending family time at our house and I hope you all have the opportunity to do the same. I'll be posting my favorite things , resolutions and word for 2017 soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: Tinyville Town Books #bookreview

Looking for a last minute gift idea? How about a fantastic book that features the people from your neighborhood and some problem solving! Tinyville Town Gets to Work! by Brian Biggs features all the towns people from Tinyville - including the Mayor, trash collectors, and Engineers. When a traffic jam comes up the town works together to build a new bridge and solve the problem. This is an adorable book! We have really enjoyed it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Rolie Polie Guacamole - Live On The Fourth of July #review

My kids love to sing along to music and Rolie Polie Guacamole's new album is perfect for that. Songs like Mr. Sun and Row Row Row Your Boat are kid favorites. Their unique take on these songs is refreshing but not so far out that you miss that classic feeling. There are a few songs like Fire Truck that I haven't hear but my favorite from this album is Mary Had a Little Lamb - simple but updated with the addition of some silly voices it is a fun song for all. I think this album also has an important place in our kid's music education as today's youth are missing out on so many of the traditional songs. They are going to grow up without knowing titles like Itsy Bitsy Spider and I've Been Working On the Railroad - which is truly a tragedy. Recently my children and I were at the nursing home singing Christmas Carols for the residents and we saw that our children didn't know them nearly as well as the residents. One lady told me that she read, children who learn classic songs in their youth keep them through their whole life. Isn't that something fantastic? It made me rethink my children's education as far as deciding to add more songs from my youth. This album came at just the right time for me. It is enjoyable and serves a wonderful educational purpose too!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Stocking Stuffer Alert: Hard Candy Lip Stains #review

Let me tell you I LOVE these new lip crayons from Hard Candy. I was sent several colors in matte and Pulse in the Glossed Up variety (which is shiny with glitter and gorgeous!). I'm going to focus on the matte since I was sent a few different neutral colors. Let me tell you that they are long wearing. They are also very comfortable on the lip for a matte product. You do need to make sure your lips are healthy and have no flakes (just like with any matte lip) to get good coverage. They glide on and they stay a long time. In fact I love these so much that I plan to buy several more the next time I'm at Walmart! They are quick, easy and look great. I even enjoyed the glossy variety and I tend to do a more neutral matte lip for the most part - they were that nice! At $5 a pop it is affordable. If your looking for a great color to pop in your favorite gal's stocking try Stix and Stones which is a very nice nude color.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Periwinkle's Journey #bookreview

Periwinkle's Journey by Judy Petersen-Fleming and Suzy Spafford is a wonderful book about an adorable penguin named Periwinkle. Through the story Periwinkle worries about being different than the other penguins. Being blue colored is different. Her mother reminds here that it is not what is on the outside but the inside that matters. Through her journey to go to her cousin's birthday party in Antarctica she gains the confidence to see that it is okay to be different. This is such a sweet reminder. This book has a great moral but it is also a neat jumping point for geography and different species of penguins. As homeschoolers, we love books like this! They make learning fun and easy!

Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer Book Giveaway #review

What would Christmas be without Rudolph, Santa and all their friends? In our family these classic movies are some of the wonderful ways we celebrate. My kids will pull these movies out to watch all season long. I have two wonderful books to share with you featuring all your favorite characters!

Holiday Gift Guide: Tartan + Twine #review

Need a last minute gift perfect for your best friend? Then you should check out Tartan + Twine cosmetic bags. Not only are they beautiful to look at they make wonderful gifts for that person who doesn't need anything. If we are being honest most of us have enough bath stuff and candles but how often would we splurge on a new travel bag for ourselves. I often look at them in the store but skip getting one however when I'm traveling I think back and always regret not getting a cute bag for myself.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bold and Smoky Pepper Marsala Pasta Recipe with Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine

 Thank you to Holland House for providing this yummy recipe and product to facilitate this post.

 Holland House recently reached out and asked me to try out a new recipe  they created with Tatyana’s Everyday Food .  I'm a big fan of the Marsala flavor so I was eager to participate. I made a few modifications and the recipe was fabulous! Truly yummy. In the interest of making things simple I used jar roasted red peppers and my local store didn't have any shallots so I used about a handful of sweet onion. I think the shallot would have been a tad better but this was yummy. My tester - 14 year old son- enjoyed this meal as well!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Fun Sticker & Activity Book by The Berenstain Bears #holiday

 My son is a very busy little guy. He likes to be moving and going all day. This can be a challenge when I'm trying to get work done or trying to accomplish holiday wrapping. I love having things on hand that will keep him occupied when I need him to keep himself busy. When the holiday season comes along he will happily do anything that is Christmas themed. He has a love of all things Christmas just like his Daddy.  This month school is almost done for the year but learning doesn't stop in the Rup House. I've pulled out Christmas Fun - Sticker & Activity Book - which features our beloved Berenstain Bears for him to enjoy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

November's BoxyCharm Box

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This box is a being shared a little late but it is too fantastic to not share. Another nice sized palette and a blush that can go in the z-palette we got a few months ago. Not to mention that fabulous face oil. Those three products were totally worth the cost of the box at almost $118 for just those three! Then there are still two more products. Admittedly I haven't used the brush or the lip (it is a kiss-proof and my lips are way too dry right now for anything like that. I'm seriously thrilled!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Do You Know All Xfinity Has To Offer? #ad #XfinityMoms

Wow, Xfinity has a lot more to offer families than I knew! A big thanks to them for sponsoring this post. #XfinityMoms

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 Last week I was invited to the new Xfinity Comcast store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Upon walking in I could see that this new store was different. It had a clean, modern look. Customers come in and head over to the check in area. There, the friendly staff will ask a few questions, gather any equipment you have and set you in the line queue (if there is a wait.)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Three Great Holiday Reads for Christmas! Finding Father Christmas - Kissing Father Christmas - Engaging Father Christmas #bookreview

 I have three great story recommendations for this holiday season to share with you. The first is a two book omnibus which includes Finding Father Christmas and Kissing Father Christmas. In these stories we follow Miranda on her journey to find out who her father is. Along the way she happens upon some wonderful people who help her to discover her mystery. The second book is a continuation of the first story. I have to say these were simply wonderful reads with many complex characters that make the story just flow on the pages and keep you engaged. In fact Hallmark will be airing a movie version of the first book this coming week. (Find the schedule here.)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

An Engaging New Way to Study Your Bible with Art and Doodling #bookreview

Doodling and journaling are pretty much all the rage these days. I love the look of it all but I'm a bit doodle-challenged. That is where ScriptureDoodle comes in. April Knight has combined bible journaling, doodling, devotion time and art all into a unique bible study. She has published two books -  ScriptureDoodle and ScriptureDoodle God's Promises to take you on an experience that will lead you to discover your hidden art talents all while bringing you closer to the Lord during your devotion time.

I really like the way these books teach you some basics with lettering, colors and borders. Then the actual daily devotions give instructions and guidance. It will hold your hand if you need it and this is all new to you or if your more of a natural you can take off and make your own interpretation. It is really a unique way to engage in your studies. There is plenty of open space in the book so you can create with the assignments given. In the end you'll have a 6 week treasure.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Holiday Movies with NCircle Entertainment #giveaway

 The holiday season is in full swing and that means Christmas/Winter themed movie time! We actually keep a whole shelf devoted to our favorites so we can watch every year. I have three great titles to share with you and one non-holiday feature that is new and I think you will be excited about. Playmobil Welcome to Kingsland! features your beloved building toy on screen for all new adventures. My kids were really excited about this one because we have quite the playmobil collection and it already has renewed their toy interest.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Is Getting Your Little One To Sleep A Challenge? Time For Bed, Sleepyhead, Will Change That! #bookreview

 Bedtime routines usually include story time because cuddling with a book is a great way to wind down. What if your book was written with the goal of sleeping in mind. Just suppose the words, story and how you read it all help you towards the goal of a sweet and problem-free snooze for your little one? That is exactly what Time for Bed, Sleepyhead: The Falling Asleep Book by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. is all about.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

To Burp or Not To Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space #bookreview

 Children are naturally curious and sometimes they ask about some rather interesting topics. Having four boys bathroom questions come up a bunch! They want to know all the whys, wheres and whats with that whole process. It is no surprise that they have asked me what astronauts have to do. We have talked before but I didn't really know the answers until now.

To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to You Body in Space by Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti goes where no one has gone before - bathroom in space. While that is just one of the topics included in this book, I will tell you it gives you plenty of information about burping, liquid or solid waste and even gas. It also goes through food, basic hygiene and so much more.  This is a fun look at all those topics and it will really help answer those tough kiddie questions, the ones you haven't thought about but they have definitely asked you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Computer Science Education Week - Book Review, Resources and Giveaway #ad

 This week is Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11) and Brightly has set up a few post to share with their readers helping them to celebrate and learn all things STEM. I was recently sent two wonderful books from Brightly to share with you, my readers. Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky features 50 women who were pioneers in the science fields. As the title says they literally changed the world overcoming gender and race obstacles to become the tops in their fields. This book starts with a beautiful cover but then opens to a wonderful study on such amazing women. I personally had a hard time putting it down because it was so inspiring. I've been reading one a day to my children in our homeschool and we have been discussing how hard it must have been for these ladies in their time. While we recognized a few names most have been new to us which is also a nice treat. I would say this is a must have for bookshelves and for inspiring our youngsters to aim high with their educational dreams and future careers! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ready, Set, Find Christmas #bookreview

 My one year old loves to look at books. He is touch on them too so only board books for now until he learns to be a gentle reader. With the holiday season upon us we've been pulling from our themed books and Ready, Set, Find Christmas is a new book that has been a hit. It is a hidden picture type style with big tabs on the end of each page making it easy for little fingers to turn. There is the nativity story that unfolds as the book progresses. The bright pictures were a joy to look at and my youngest has loved sitting on my lap as I point out where the items are.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Royal Christmas to Remember #bookreview

 What if all those pretty princesses little girls were obsessed with had some true character. Giving, lifting people up, sweet spirits...those are the qualities I want for my children. A Royal Christmas to Remember by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson is just the sort of tale to help children think outside of themselves this Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Things I learned During Vacation! #disneyvacation

 Disney vacations take a lot of planning. Even if you plan out everything there will be some hitches and some times you have to go with the flow. I did a lot of research for our fall trip. I booked our meals and fast passes. I bought ponchos and comfortable shoes. Still things were not perfect the whole trip. Here are some things I learned.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bible Journaling Kit Review & Giveaway! #BibleJournalingKit #FlyBy

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Bible Journaling is the newest trend when it comes to daily devotions. I have to admit I'm a big fan. I love how I can personalize each verse with my own thoughts and doodles. I've been hesitant to do too much because I didn't have quite the right tools until I received the Bible Journaling Kit. The colored pencils included in this kit are creamy and glide on the paper. They are also very bright which makes them a fresh pop of color on the pages. The black pen is bold but doesn't bleed through the pages. The stickers are an interesting touch. Not sure that I will use a bunch of them but I like the idea of them. I've used this kit when studying my bible and in my journal that I keep for reflecting what I'm reading and have learned. Overall I'm pleased with it. The case works great for keeping everything together and the strap keeps it right where you can easily find it. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon #bookreview

 You know a book is going to be good when you find yourself saying you'll put it down in just one more chapter. That is exactly how it was reading Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon. This book has suspense, mystery and murder. It keeps you guessing through almost the whole book. The teen characters are typical but their life situations are not.  It was a different sort of story because of the murder, not what you expect in a teen book but Langdon did a great job of keeping it perfect for for the age level while not losing the edgy darkness of the story line. This story was well written with with very developed characters.  Willow was a likable character and you will root for her to find love again with her best friend.  If you are looking for a great gift for the teen girl in your life - this book is it!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Berenstain Bears Holiday Cookbook

 My little guy is 6 and he wants to be a baker when he grows up. He loves helping in the kitchen but I am sometimes at a loss figuring out recipes that he can help with. I was so excited to receive The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with An Adult  because it is designed for little hands with Mom or Dad's help.