Friday, August 29, 2014

Home to Chicory Lane #REVIEW plus $200 B&B Weekend Getaway Giveaway & 9/9 Facebook Party with Deborah Raney!

This book explores a new marriage and the trials that come with that.  Lead character Landyn is a newlywed of about six months when she realizes things are not how she thought they would be.  I love how this book has really introduced us to a whole family - which will seamlessly  lead to a whole series.  The family is unique, loveable and very real with their life and emotions.  The Inn which was a former family home lends to interesting characters popping up.  This book featured strong women who desired to follow God and learn to be submissive.  I appreciated their struggles with that and how they found their way to follow God and not lose themselves.  I'm personally looking forward to seeing this series expand!

You can purchase your copy of Home To Chicory Lane at your local book retailer and online at stores like Amazon


The first book in Deborah Raney's new Chicory Inn series, Home to Chicory Lane, introduces us to Audrey Whitman, a mother who has launched all her children into life and now looks forward to fulfilling some of her own dreams during her empty-nest years. However, not all of her children are ready to stay out of the nest quite yet.

Deborah is celebrating the release of her new series with a $200 B&B Weekend Getaway and a Facebook author chat party.

  One winner will receive:
  • A B&B Weekend Getaway (via a $200 Visa cash card)
  • Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 9th. Winner will be announced at the Home to Chicory Lane Author Chat Party on 9/9. Deborah will be hosting a heartfelt book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the Chicory Inn series!

So grab your copy of Home to Chicory Lane and join Deborah on the evening of September 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rest #abcblogging

Labor Day is fast approaching.  A day of rest for most of the working class people.  In New Jersey it is the last day of summer because almost all schools start from Tuesday - Thursday that week.  A day of rest is important.  In fact The Bible tells us God rested on the 7th day!  In our hectic, crazy, never-stopping, filling each moment, making it count - lives - we need to observe some rest time.

For me I plan on kicking up my feet this weekend and reading a few books.  I plan on not thinking about homeschooling, blogging or cleaning - AT ALL!  I'm going to just enjoy my family and our time off together.  I know that come Tuesday it will all be crazy again!

How are you resting?

Matthew 11:28-30 - Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Genesis 2:2 -  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

This post is part of 's blogging through the alphabet. Click on the image below to see what others are saying for the letter "R".

Ben and Me

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Studies in World History Vol. 1 7th Grade Curriculum #REVIEW #MASTERBOOKS

This month's review from Masterbooks is exciting.  It is a complete history curriculum for 7th grade.  While we are not actually schooling in August (in NJ our public schools go back in September) my middle son and I took some time to over view the books.

What we received:

Studies in World History Vol. 1 - Teacher Guide

- this book includes:

  • Answer keys
  • Daily Calendar
  • Daily Worksheets
  • Weekly Exams

Studies in World History Vol. 1 - Student book

This book includes 34 chapters with weekly reading lessons and discussion questions.  

My Thoughts:

I love the length of time this book covers.  You start with the Flood and end with Christopher Columbus.  It would be great for a child who hasn't spent a lot of time studying World History and needs to get a course in one year.  The readings are easy and informative.  Each page has fantastic pictures (which I think set this curriculum apart!)  The worksheets mostly writing exercises.  We did them orally for the few lessons we read just to save time.  Overall I was really impressed!


Creation Through the age of Discovery (6000 BC to AD 1500)
  • Chronologically based, but focused more on skill development
  • Meant to be a 20 to 30 minute experience every day
  • World history is combined with social studies in a one-year course.
The Jr. High School student will see history come to life no matter what their pace or ability. Developed by Dr. James Stobaugh, the courses grow in difficulty with each year, preparing students for high school work. This is a comprehensive examination of history, geography, economics, and government systems. This educational set equips students to learn from a starting point of God's creation of the world and move forward with a solid biblically-based worldview.
Volume I Covers - The Fertile Crescent, Egypt, India, China, Japan, Greece, Christian history, and more.

Studies in World History Vol 1 is available at Be sure to stop there to see  additional information about this curriculum.  

Don't miss the Moms of Masterbooks Facebook party on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 7pm CST.  We will discuss the book and there will be an awesome giveaway!  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekly Recap

Boy did this summer fly by!  I always feel like when my birthday comes around (August 18th) summer is basically over.  This summer really didn't feel like summer which is sad but it happens sometimes.  At least there is always next year! 

Anyways onto the bloggy recap:

Kabuki Brush #awesome #kabukibrushsimplyessentials

- This brush has become a favorite that I reach for daily for powder & buffing!



Happy Kids Songs #REVIEW

- These songs are designed to boost self-esteem, character and general happiness!


Odyssey Adventure Club iPad Mini Giveaway!


Q is for Quality #abcblogging

Quilts of Love ~ A GRAND DESIGN #bookreview PLUS Kindle HDX Giveaway & “Fall into Fall” Facebook Party!

Toy Story of Terror on Blu-Ray! 


Box Car Children on DVD

Box Car Children on DVD





Friday, August 22, 2014

Quilts of Love ~ A GRAND DESIGN #bookreview PLUS Kindle HDX Giveaway & “Fall into Fall” Facebook Party!

I had the opportunity to read the  Quilts of Love book, A Grand Design by Amber Stockton. This book deals with struggling to let painful memories go and move into God's healing? Set on historic Mackinac Island.

My Thoughts:

There were so many parts of this book I loved!  The setting was fabulous!  I would love to visit Mackinac Island after reading this book.  Alyssa wasn't my favorite character at first. She was very insecure but with everyone else around her making up the slack - until she gets her confidence back - I found myself liking her more and more through out the book!  Scott was a fabulous romantic lead!  I was routing for him!  I hope we see her Grandmother pop up more in the series!  Lastly I loved the little bits and pieces of story about the quilt.  Sometimes books with a craft theme element overwhelm the reader with too many details but Stockton had a beautiful balance with this one!

This really is a cute summer romance read!  I thoroughly enjoyed it.     

About the book: 

A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs---if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa's grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt's story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother's life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa's fractured heart---and bring healing to her entire family?

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.
About the Author: 

Amber Stockton is an award-winning author, a national speaker, and a direct-sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader's choice awards.

Connect with Amber: website, Facebook, Twitter

Celebrate August’s release by entering to win a Kindle from Quilts of Love and RSVPing for the "Fall into Fall" Facebook auth chat party.

Quilts of Love Kindle HDX Giveaway, Amber Stockton, A Grand Design

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 16th. Winner will be announced at the "Fall into Fall" Facebook party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll. RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 16th!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Q is for Quality #abcblogging

Quality is a word on my mind so often.  We hear it when we think of children ~ quality time.  So how can we apply that to our Christian walk.  How about quality time in God's word?

The Bible says:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

~ 2 Timothy 2:15

It is so important to study God's word.  Spending quality time in His word really allows us to grow closer to Him.

How can we spend quality time?

It isn't just quantity

Reading your Bible isn't just putting time in.  Pray before you open God's word and ask God to open your eyes to something new.  Ask him to show you something.  Don't just check off your chapter for your reading list.  Be open to learning something.

Study a specific subject

I'll admit this is something I struggle with.  I have a hard time putting in extra work to study out a specific subject.  My husband LOVES doing his reading this way.  He has notes on his studies.  It is something I purpose to do.  Last year I took some time on the word LOVE.  

Talk about what you've read

So simple but you will see when you talk about your scripture reading you will gain insight from others.    We waste so many hours on idle chat surely we can spend some time telling our friend and family what excites us in The Word!

I hope this post was helpful to you.  How do you spend quality time in God's Word?  Be sure to check out the other posts on the letter Q at

Ben and Me

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Odyssey Adventure Club iPad Mini Giveaway!

Don't miss this great offer from Odyssey!


 The end of summer is in sight, and OAC is giving away an iPad Mini back-to-school bundle! It might seem like summer just began for your kids, so if they need some added motivation to get their homework done, remind them they can jump on the Odyssey Adventure Club after their papers are written and their math problems are solved.

As members, your kids can also listen to Album 58 before the album is released to the public! Sign up today for just $5!

Here's what part one is about (which you can listen to for free HERE):
It’s a time of surprises as Wooton becomes the celebrity guest at Comic-Connellsville and Whit finds himself in conflict over the upcoming “Let’s Get Together Festival” in Odyssey. Plus, hear an interview with writer-director Paul McCusker about the entire 14-part series.
Album 58 was inspired by Focus on the Family’s The Family Project, a 12-session small group experience that explores the theological, philosophical, and cultural underpinnings of the traditional family, and combines that information with inspiring stories and practical tools to help 21st-century families thrive. Plus, here's a sneak peek of a new episode called "The Lone Lawman"!
LoneLawman_Final 2
 Jason, Whit, Red and the gang rustle up herds of fun while performing a new Kids’ Radio show set in the Old West. “The Lone Lawman” features a confused boy getting mixed up with a shifty band of bank robbers. Can a hero on horseback set things right? See just how wild the West can get in this action-packed send-up of old-time radio dramas.

NOW . . . on to the iPad Mini back-to-school bundle. One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. All winners will be announced August 28th on the widget on this page.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit this page again on the 28th to see if you won! (You'll see the winner's name in the widget.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy Kids Songs #REVIEW

We were recently picked to review Happy Kids Songs.  These songs are designed to boost character, self-esteem and the general happiness of children.

What we received:

Happy Kids Songs Workbook - Hands-on Activities to build character, social and emotional skills   by Dr. Mac & Friends.  - $12.56

Friends & Sharing ( Set 1) -  $4.95 for the album or 99c for each individual song

Includes the following songs:
  • "Sailing on the Seven Cs"
  • "Everybody Wants to Find a Friend"
  • "Sharing Friends"
  • "Happy as Happy Can Be"
  • "Together"

Happiness & Attitude (Set 5) - $4.95 for the album or 99c for each individual song

Includes the following songs:
  • "Shake It Out and Dance"
  • "Who Knows What's a Kudo"
  • "I Don't Understand"
  • "Be Good to Yourself"
  • "Better Together"

Manners & Character (Set 6) - $4.95 for the album or 99c for each individual song

Includes the following songs:
  • "H-o-n-e-s-t-y"
  • "The Magic Word"
  • "Quirks"
  • "The Golden Rule"
  • "Six Little Kids"

The songs I received came in a download version however when you purchase the site will direct you to  itunes or Amazon.   I have put them in my dropbox for easy access - you can also burn to a disc for portable access.  

Age Recommendation:  3-8 

Happy Kids Songs Review
How we used this program:

Jace our three year old is really the target for these songs.  For me the best way to use them is to just play them during the day at play time.  We are not currently doing school but will be back in August.  I love to play music during schoolwork time and these songs would be perfect for that.

While I didn't use the workbook for him (he is only 3).  I'm beyond thrilled to have it.  Included are all the lyrics to the songs!  I think it would be WONDERFUL for music time for school.  I remember my music teacher in 5th grade would hand out lyrics and play songs on a tape recorder (yes a tape recorder it was the 80s!)  We would sing together as a class.  I think this would be a wonderful activity for all ages - especially with the types of songs Happy Kids Songs has.

My Thoughts:

I love the heart behind this music.  They lyrics are encouraging.  The focus is to build character and it shines through the lyrics!  I also like how age appropriate these songs are.  I'm not feeling like I've given up my personal standards by letting my children listen to any of the songs.  The ones with the kids singing are my favorites.  Just a sweet innocence about a kid singing about a best friend or sharing.  What I also like is by listening and learning songs is that kids naturally hear the subtle lessons.  It will help with the bigger picture of kindness in character training we are working on in our home. 

Friends & Sharing has a soft feel to the music.  This album is mellow and great for quieter times.  It is probably my favorite of the three we reviewed because I tend to like less rocky songs.  Happiness & Attitude is very upbeat and features two rock songs while the others are a little slower in tempo.  Manners & Character is a mixture of the two - upbeat and mellow.  The songs are upbeat but not as much as the Happiness and Attitude songs.  There are some mild rap songs like "The Magic Word' but it is so soft it didn't bother me one bit (sometimes kiddie rap can be very annoying.)

Overall we enjoyed all three albums and I was pleasantly surprised by that.  I love the subjects that are sung about and I think that is why the songs have grown on me so much. 

Additional information:

There are  5  other albums you can purchase from Happy Kids Songs:

Social Skills & Bullying
Feelings & Fears
Practice & Success
Talking & Listening
Respect & Responsibility

You can also connect with Happy Kids Songs on the following Social media sites:


Twitter: @howsyourfam


Social Skills & Bullying
Friends & Sharing
Kids Social Skills & BullyingSocial Skills & Bullying
Kids Feelings & FearsFeelings & Fears
Kids Practice & SuccessPractice & Success
Kids Talking & ListeningTalking & Listening
Kids Happiness & AttitudeHappiness & Attitude
Kids Respect & ResponsibilityRespect & Responsibility
- See more at:
Friends & Sharing
Kids Social Skills & BullyingSocial Skills & Bullying
Kids Feelings & FearsFeelings & Fears
Kids Practice & SuccessPractice & Success
Kids Talking & ListeningTalking & Listening
Kids Happiness & AttitudeHappiness & Attitude
Kids Respect & ResponsibilityRespect & Responsibility
- See more at:
Friends & Sharing
Kids Social Skills & BullyingSocial Skills & Bullying
Kids Feelings & FearsFeelings & Fears
Kids Practice & SuccessPractice & Success
Kids Talking & ListeningTalking & Listening
Kids Happiness & AttitudeHappiness & Attitude
Kids Respect & ResponsibilityRespect & Responsibility
- See more at:
Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, August 18, 2014

Kabuki Brush #awesome #kabukibrushsimplyessentials

I know I've told you all before that I apply a full face of make-up almost everyday.  This always includes foundation and a powder on top to buff it out and blend.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to try a new kabuki brush from Simply Essentials.

The right makeup brush is so important for the coveted professional natural look! This densely packed synthetic makeup brush allows for moderate to full coverage of liquid, cream and powder foundation. The round top brush allows for easy application for angles of the face. Simply Essentials designed the round top kabuki brush for a flawless makeup application. The dense bristles make it easy to apply your liquid, cream or powder foundation. The long handle adds ease to your makeup application. The brush is also uniquely designed for stippling, contouring, covering imperfections and blending out your makeup. Create a luminous glow with the application of your make up! You will get an even application, natural looking coverage, every time. The synthetic fibers are ideal to be used with liquid, cream and powder products and can be easily cleaned. Vegan-friendly! 1 year guarantee.

My Thoughts:

This brush head was very dense.  It has some firmness but it so soft on the face.  I've loved using it to apply my face powder on top of my foundation for blending.  It really works great and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality.  If you don't have a buffing brush this kabuki would be perfect!

You can purchase yours at Amazon. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly Recap

I'm a day late on the weekly recap because I'm sick!! This horrible cold thing has finally made it around to our whole family.  Started with my husband and is ending with my oldest kid.  On a side note the oldest kid turned 14 yesterday!!!  I can't believe he is 14!  It flies by!

Okay here is what happened in the blog world.  Mostly a 5 day blog hop! 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop - Day 1 - Preparing Home, Heart & Mind


Back to Homeschool Blog Hop - Day 2 - Planning


9th Grade Curriculum Choices - 2014- Back To Homeschool Blog Hop Day 3


Proverbs 31 #abcblogging


7th Grade Curriculum Choices - 2014- Back To Homeschool Blog Hop Day 4


Preschool Curriculum Choices - 2014- Back To Homeschool Blog Hop Day 5


Muppets Most Wanted *NOW* Available on Blu-Ray! #ACTIVITIES 


Frozen Sing-Along Coming Nov 18th!