24 October, 2016

The Butterfly Palace - Branson, Mo



*I cannot wait to go with the family. It will be a fun weekend road trip. Keep an eye out for the review coming sometime in the new year!*

The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure in Branson is fun for all ages! Enjoy a Live Butterfly exhibit filled with over a thousand tropical butterflies, educational videos, great banyan tree bungee maze, mirror maze and a living rainforest science center!


Open year round, 9am- 5pm daily! Visit our website or call for more information!
My readers get $2 off at The Butterfly Palace with this exclusive coupon! - Cannot be combined with other offers. Must be presented at time of purchase.
http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=12886&dealid=2802 .@usfg



*Disclaimer*
This post is sponsored by U.S. Family Guide & The Butterfly Palace. I am not paid for this post, but I will receive free tickets for myself and my family to visit in exchange for my honest opinion.

19 October, 2016

{{Book Review}} The Secret Language of Dogs | Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet


The star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog Victoria Stilwell reveals how to both interpret and “speak” the hidden language of dogs. 



Recent studies into the minds of canines show that they have a rich social intelligence and a physical and vocal language as complex and subtle as our own. In this fun and fascinating guide, world-renowned trainer Victoria Stilwell explores the inner world of dogs. This book is your guide to understanding your pooch, communicating effectively, strengthening your bond, and helping dogs learn in the most effective way possible so they feel confident navigating the human world with success. 

Along the way, you’ll learn the answers to questions such as:
• What do different tail wags mean?
• What does being right-pawed say about my dog’s personality?
• How can I tell the difference between boredom barking and warning barking?
• What does it mean when my dog spins around, arches his back, or gives me the whale eye?
• Do dogs feel guilt?
• How do dogs perceive human faces?
• Why do some scientists think dogs’ emotional experience is even greater than ours?

Filled with adorable full-color photographs and instructive illustrations, this insightful “dog decoder” will soon make you dog’s best friend.


*My Review*
This book is neat! Do you ever wonder what's going through your dog's head? The Secret Language of Dogs is the book for you! It has answers to that and many other questions! 

It’s written by the star of Animal Planet’s "It’s Me or the Dog". It even talks about how dogs think, how they see, what different barks, howls, body language, etc mean. 
This book will come in handy with our new puppy! I'm always wondering in that hyper little mind of his.

If you are wanting to understand your dog better, this is a great book!

*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

{{Book Reviews}} *WINNER ANNOUNCED* SAY & PRAY DEVOTIONS First Words, Stories, and Prayers by Diane Stortz + Giveaway!


Say and Pray devotions with your little ones today! 

WINNER IS: Shane Trahan! 



Your youngsters want to be just like you. How exciting! Help them grow in their faith and learn more about God’s love with Say & Pray Devotions.

Say & Pray Devotions features short devotions and lots of labeled illustrations so your little one can practice identifying objects and words on their own! This book is a great tool to start a devotional time with little ones, as it will help you teach them about God, and the labeled pictures will help start a life of faith.

This is a nice complement to the bestselling Say & Pray Bible.




*My Review*
I recently had the chance to review this book. my two younger girls are a bit too old for the "first words" portion of this book, but they enjoy the little devotions and looking at the photos. 
"Say & Pray Devotions" is such a fun book to have for little ones. I love that it's a board book, so it's sturdy, yet easy for precious little fingers to hold. Each page is filled with objects that are labeled so little ones can learn each object.
It's so important that we as parents(grandparents/aunts/uncles etc) start early with little ones to teach them about Jesus and the love He has for them.

I've added a few photos from the book that my younger two children like the best. Be sure to scroll down for giveaway details!



**GIVEAWAY**
To be entered into the giveaway for a copy of this book, leave me a comment and tell me how old the little in your life is that you are trying to win this book for!

**PLEASE READ!!**
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  The winner is subject to eligibility verification.



“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.

16 October, 2016

{{Book Review}} 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom | Nourishment for a mother's soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling!



Wouldn't it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions
---an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. 

In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:

* Self-acceptance
* Self-care
* Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations
* Generosity
* Presence
* Forgiveness

In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!

*My review*
I love devotionals, & coloring...so when I saw that there would a devotional + coloring book in one I signed up to review the book as quickly as I could! I was overjoyed when I received the email saying I was getting the opportunity to review Sarah Humphrey’s "40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring book to Nourish Mom". 

In the book there is a series of forty 10-minute devotions that focus on six key topics of motherhood:

Self-acceptance
Self-care
Reconciling with grief, hope, and expectations
Generosity
Presence
Forgiveness

There is a Bible verse,devotional paragraphs, a short prayer and a page to color. Most of the pages to color are  hearts, flowers, and simple border doodles. I absolutely loved the devotionals & have been able to read them in between getting my older two girls doing their school work, & before I start working at my computer for the day. My only complaint about the coloring portion of the book is that the paper is so thin, and you will need to use colored pencils.

Overall, this is a great book and I recommend it to all mothers! 

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2dPEdIC

Often considered a dreamer and silly heart, Sarah Humphrey uses inspiration from her most beloved career, motherhood, to fuel her passion for writing, creative movement and teaching. She has and is authoring several books and children's books. Sarah currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three beautiful, bouncy kids.

Visit our blog Follow us on Twitter View on Instagram 

*Disclaimer*
I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own

13 October, 2016

New item + Giveaway!




I've spent the last week(well 3 days) crocheting this prize for the giveaway. It's a baby blanket that could be used as a blanket, or kept rolled up and used as decor for a nursery! I fell in love with the concept of it. It's a shell stitch blanket, with a sleepy owl sewn on.





Now...the rules...I know..no one likes them, but we HAVE to have them in order to keep things fair.

  1. You MUST "like" my Facebook page.
  2. Come back to THIS post & comment that you have liked my Facebook page.
To earn extra entries(meaning you have a better chance of winning)
  • Share my page with your friends letting them know about the giveaway.
  • Comment on at least one(1) of my other posts on my FB page(you can comment on a total of 4 different posts & have them count as extra entries).
  • Tell me the age(s) of your child(ren), & if you will be using this prize for yourself or giving it as a gift.
If you do everything listed above then you will 8 entries. A winner will be drawn at random and will be announced on November 13th(Item will ship 1-2 weeks after the winner has claimed prize)! Winner will have 48 hrs to contact me Via my facebook page with mailing address

sorry, but this giveaway is open to people ONLY in the Contenintenal U.S

12 October, 2016

{{Book Review}} The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future


There's no greater moment of panic in a parent's life than when their daughter begins to date.


Due to their lack of knowledge about the world their teens face coupled with the scant dating information they received as teens, many parents feel ill-equipped to guide their daughters through the minefield that is teen dating.

And by the same token, teenage girls crave information about dating and relationships. And left to their own devices, many will develop their own assumptions about dating by talking to their friends or watching the latest TV shows and movies. But that will only lead them down a path toward heartbreak.

So how do you engage your daughter in discussions about dating, relationships, and her future happiness? Expert educator Daniel Anderson and his twenty something daughter, Jacquelyn, help you navigate the biggest dating myths, including: the myth that a boyfriend will make your daughter happy, that she should trust her feelings, or that sex will enhance her relationship. Combining the latest scientific research with poignant personal stories, as well as proven truths and practical application, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating will equip you to teach your daughter how to date smart for today . . . and tomorrow.

*My Review*
The 10 Myths of Teen Dating" Daniel Anderson & Jacquelyn Anderson  is a great resource guide for parents to talk to their teens about dating. I have three girls the oldest is 13 and thankfully she has no desire to date whatsoever right now. She's more focused on school and eventually art school, but I have a feeling this book will come in handy when my younger two are teens. This book is full of statistics and actual experiences. This book is honest and straightforward & touches on the consequences of moving forward too soon in relationships, as well as hard topics, like rape and girls feeling used and abused.

Although this book seems like it is just for teen girls, I think parents of teen boys could benefit from reading this book as well.

This could be used in a youth group, but I'd suggest doing so only after getting the approval of the pastor and the parents of the teens of the church. I will be passing this book on to our pastor to use as he sees fit.


Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2d5s2tb
 
About the authors:


Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player, an expert educator, and a father of two grown daughters and a son. As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships. He and his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson---a twenty something and also a high school teacher---decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together. Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon.


*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own

{{Book Review}} Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom | What was God thinking when He created you creative and then gave you children?



Creative moms often feel as though they must lay their passions down. But God had something special in mind for the creative woman during this intense season of mothering.


In this Pinterest age of handcrafted children's parties, Instagram photos of beautifully decorated homes, and blogs filled with poetry and prose, it is clear that we are in the midst of a brand new artistic renaissance. Not one born in Italian cathedrals or Harlem jazz clubs, but rather in kitchens, nurseries, and living rooms around the world. Mothers, working in the cracks and crevices of each hectic day, are adorning the world with their gifts, and they're showing all of us the beauty of this Life Creative.


In this book, you'll learn:

-Why the world needs your art
-How this Life Creative begins at home
-When art can turn a profit
-Your part in this modern day Renaissance

Life Creative paints the stories of moms, just like you, who are fitting their inspired lives into the everyday, ordinary places of motherhood. Women like home decorator Melissa Michaels and jewelry designer Lisa Leonard, author Angie Smith, recording artist Ellie Holcomb, and  more.

*My Review*
Life Creative such an inspirational book. It is honest and practical. Reading this book will have you feeling like Wendy & Kelly are sitting with you in living room(or craft room) mentoring you. After reading "Life Creative" you will feel so refreshed and ready to delve deeper into what God has for you as mother and a creative.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2bDsqfz
About the authors:



Wendy Speake is a trained actress and heartfelt teacher. She ministers to women's hearts through storytelling and life applications, utilizing drama, comedy, poetry and the study of God's Word. During her career in Hollywood, Speake found herself longing to tell stories that edify and encourage women. She is the author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses (BRU Press, 2015). Speake is a wife and homeschooling mother of three boys. 
Kelli Stuart is a writer and a storyteller at heart. She has written for several websites including The Huffington Post, 5 Minutes for Mom, The MOB Society, (in)courage and Compassion International. She is the author of three books, including Like a River from Its Course (Kregel Publications, 2016) and a noted speaker. Stuart her husband live in Florida with their four children.


*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinion are 100% my own.

Tour Schedule:

10/4
Debra | 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
Mary | Mary-andering Creatively
Natalie | Utterly Amazing
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!
Rebecca | Raventhreads

10/5
Sharon | Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews
Stacey | 1987

10/6
Catherine | Living Our Incredible Dash
Tami | This Mom's Delight

10/7
Rachel | Smart Mom Smart Ideas
Kendra | Kendra White

10/8
Lisa | Make God Famous

10/10
vanessa | this moms reviews and more
Keri | My Table of Three
Katherine | Katherine Scott Jones
Christy | Welcome to Our Worls

10/11
Tima | Book Reviews by Tima
Heidi | Heidi Reads...

10/12
Crystal | Our Perfectly Imperfect Life!
Victor | Vic's Media Room
nicole | bless their hearts mom
Carole | The Power of Words
LeAnne | Rockin' My Mom Jeans

10/13
Laura | Library of Clean Reads
Sarah | Wife, Mummy, Nurse

10/14
Nicole | NicoleVBennett.com
Dawn | Dawn Crandall's Passion for Pages

10/15
jennifer | Onward
Beth | Beth's Book-Nook Blog
Patty | tammycookblogsbooks
Erika | Pray Species
Tiffany | Learning to Love
Ashley | Loving Mommahood
Rachel | Wife, Then Mama

10/17
Kimberly | Kcreatives

10/18
Heather | Faith, Family and Fun
Sheyenne | Sean & Shey

10/19
Dominique | Mama Bear Outpost

10/20
Julie | More Of Him
Kristie | Moments
Sherry | blogger
Kasey | Four Seasons of Blessings
Wendy | Life at Rossmont
Randi | A Modern Day Fairy Tale
Tammy | Bluerose's Heart

10/21
Theresa | International Christian Mompreneur Network
Lois | The Minister's Wife
Jennifer | King's Kastle
Amanda | The Talbert Report

10/22
April | ElCloud Homeschool

10/23
Amanda | Inklings and Notions

10/24
Caroline | Under God's Mighty Hand
Ramona | Create With Joy

10/25
Bethany | Perfect Beginnings
Lygia | Noveltea
Lori | The Novel Endeavor
Amelia | Rejoice Evermore
Carrie | Farming On Faith
Whitney | Work it Mommy blog

10 October, 2016

Chicago Bears Baby Dress & Diaper Cover!



Recently a childhood friend of mine & his wife welcomed their first baby! Naturally, I had to make her something, & knowing that her daddy is a HUUUGE Chicago Bears fan. I made her a little dress w/ a bear paw print, football buttons(didn't get a pic of those), as well as a diaper cover with a bear paw print on the bum. Both items were such fun to make. 

I would love to make a set like this(any color/team) for a little lady in your life! <3
If you would like to place an order, please message me on my Facebook page!

(Please excuse the doll in the photo, she was the only little model I had available!)


Newest creations made!


Aside from blogging, I crochet in my free time! I was contacted awhile back and commissioned to make a pilot doll for someone. This doll was both so much fun and so easy to make! I freehanded the tie & hat...which was a bit of a challenge, but I welcome all challenges! <3 After the doll was made, the same customer asked if I could make a SPARKLY black hat w/ cat ears & a gray headband w/ a pink bow. Of course, I said "yes"!!

The doll is 12-15 inches tall(including the hat), & has custom made eyes!

Next is the black SPARKLY hat w/ cat ears. This was such a fun hat to make, esp. when I put the cat ears on the hat. I had my 6 yr old put the hat on while I took a picture. For safety purposes, I only show her eyes in the picture. 

Last up is the gray headband/ear warmer w/ pink bow. This item was also so much fun to make! I didn't use a pattern for any part of the headband. I just made it to the measurement I was given. The bow looks totally adorable worn to the side. 

If you would like a custom doll, or either of the other two items..I would gladly make them for you! Just send me a message by going to my Facebook page!

I have more new items to show you soon! Can't wait to share them all with you! <3

-Crystal

07 October, 2016

Save $100 on family-friendly Hawaii vacations with Pleasant Holidays - USFG's new travel partner!



I am so excited! I just learned that US Family Guide has partnered with Pleasant Holidays, a leading provider of package vacations. They're based in the U.S. and have great deals on family vacations worldwide - Hawaii, contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Europe, Tahiti, Fiji and more. They can also book complete cruise vacations with airfare, onboard accommodations, and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for vacations where everyone can relax and enjoy. 

Pleasant Holidays is new to US Family Guide, but has been partnering with hotels and resorts for more than 55 years to get great offers you cannot book anywhere else. When you're planning to explore close to home or farther afield, make them your one-stop-shop for everything you need: flights, accommodations, car rentals, ground transfers, exciting activities and tours, and travel protection coverage to protect your travel investment (because if parenthood has taught us one thing, it's to expect the unexpected). And unlike some other online travel providers, they have in-destination customer assistance should you need it.



They've currently got a great deal on Hawaii vacations that saves you $100 per booking. Select from 26 hotels and resorts on the four most popular islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii. Explore the exciting sights of Oahu, including world-famous Waikiki Beach and historic Pearl Harbor. Watch the sun rise from the slopes of a dormant volcano on Maui. Snorkel, hike, kayak, surf, experience Polynesian culture and more. This deal is valid on new vacations booked by 10/30/16 for select travel through 6/30/17 that include roundtrip airfare from the continental United States and a stay of five nights or longer at a participating hotel or resort. The $100 savings is per booking and taken at time of booking - no waiting! For more information or reservations visit www.PleasantHolidays.com, call 1-800-837-5154 or contact your travel agent.

Be sure to keep an eye on my blog page. I'll be sharing more great deals for memorable family vacations from Pleasant Holidays soon!



Download Your Free How-To Guide for Bring Your Bible to School Day


bringyourbible 

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are preparing for Hurricane Matthew to hit. For students in hurricane-affected states who are facing school closures but still want to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day, the alternate date is Thursday, October 20.

This brings about a good point: Any day can be a day you organize your friends to bring your Bibles to school together!

By signing up during the month of October for Bring Your Bible to School Day (even if you missed the official celebration), you can download a free how-to guide for teens, parents, pastors, and elementary students. It's full of helpful information that will help you organize a day to take a stand for religious freedom and bring your Bible to school with your fellow classmates.

(Sign-ups must be received by midnight (MT), Oct. 7, in order to be automatically entered into the Newsboys giveaway.)

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey

sept-oac-art-250x250 

Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

06 October, 2016

{{Book Review}} Jesus and the Beanstalk: Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life


What if a fairy tale and ten Bible verses could free you to live an effective, fruitful life in Christ?



We live in unsettling, challenging times. Everywhere we look, we see giant problems: giant obstacles to sharing faith, giant barriers to peaceful lives, giant strongholds of fear. But what if you knew eight small secrets to unlocking a strength big enough to overcome whatever obstacle life may bring?


Using allegory and a bit of humor, Jesus and the Beanstalkexplores a passage in 2 Peter 1 to uncover eight truths that will help you unleash a larger-than-life faith:


-Faith
-Goodness
-Knowledge
-Self-control
-Perseverance
-Godliness
-Affection for others
-Love


In this creative, refreshing perspective on spiritual growth, you will discover an unyielding strength when you tap the power of a God who is stronger than any beanstalk and bigger than your biggest giants.


*My Review*
This is my first time reading anything by Lori Stanley Roeleveld. I'm always nervous when reading something from a new(to me) author, but I'm happy to report that reading "Jesus & the Beanstalk" honestly felt like I was having a coffee/tea date with a friend.  This book would be perfect to use in a small group Bible study. There are questions at the end of each section of the book for you to think about & answer. There are a lot of beautiful stories in this book that that will tug at your heart.

I really enjoyed this book. I plan on reading it again, and then passing it on to my pastor to look over and either use in one of the small groups at Church or put in the Church library. I definitely recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars, which I rarely do.


Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2dcnopJ

About the author:



Lori Stanley Roeleveld is the author of Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) and Red Pen Redemption. Her blog, LoriRoeleveld.com, was voted Top 100 Christian Blogs by RedeemingGod.com and has enjoyed over 1.5 million views. Lori lives in Hope Valley, RI.


*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.