Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Walgreens Brand Sunscreen Lotion

This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.


I try to save money where I can, and using store brand products is one way I do that. I recently received one of  Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products to try out--Walgreens Brand Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 30). I was happy to see that it provided both UVA and UVB protection, which is something that I always check for. The sunscreen had a nice, typical sunscreen "beachy" smell. It wasn't greasy feeling or looking, and performed just like any name brand lotion that I've tried. I will say that I prefer sunscreen with citrus or other non-beach-like scents for everyday wear, but that's my personal preference. The price for this product is $2.99 or 2/$5.00 for a 3 oz tube--very reasonable.

Not only does buying Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products save the customer money, but purchase supports bringing preventive wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™

Walgreens will contribute up to $3 million annually to the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™, which will provide free preventive health tests as well as other health and wellness services and education to local communities. Some of those services will include preventive health tests through the National Urban League Health & Wellness Tour and vouchers redeemable in select stores. Sounds like a great cause to support!


Visit Sponsor's Site

The Organized Home Schooler (Giveaway)


It’s Spring Curriculum Clean Out Time at Homeschool Creations.  Enter here and/or visit Homeschool Creations to list your own curriculum giveaways or to enter on other blogs.

I have a like-new copy of The Organized Homeschooler, by Vicki Caruana to give away. This book covers organization of space, time, paperwork, etc. Lots of good ideas and motivation! I reviewed this book last month.


To enter, just leave a comment. For a second entry, follow me on Google Friend connect. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. I’ll draw a winner using on May 5. (US only)

Early Learner books (Giveaway)


It’s Spring Curriculum Clean Out Time at Homeschool Creations.  Enter here and/or visit Homeschool Creations to list your own curriculum giveaways or to enter on other blogs.

My first giveaway is a set of 4 K-2 grade books:


Addition Wipe-Off Fun

Who Lives in the Rainforest? (A Science emergent reader)

A Place to Live (easy reader/social studies)

Easy Science Experiments (very fun—my kids loved this one)

To enter, just leave a comment. For a second entry, follow me on Google Friend connect. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. I’ll draw a winner using on May 5. (US only)

ESV Seek and Find Bible


The ESV Seek and Find Bible, published by Crossway, is a first “real” Bible for young readers, ages 5 to 9.  This Bible is intended for children to grow up with. Because it contains the full text of the ESV Bible, it won’t be quickly outgrown, but it has features that would also appeal to very young children. The more than 130 full-color paintings draw children’s interest in, but don’t seem as childish as cartoonish pictures would. Each painting is accompanied by a 2 page retelling of that Bible story and discussion questions. I found that the stories are actually very true to the Bible text, not a “dumbed-down” version, and are similar to some of the simplest Bible translations. The text size is large for easier reading.

Character profiles are scattered throughout the Bible, and famous places and objects are illustrated and explained. I loved the drawings and information about the tabernacle, ark of the covenant, Herod’s temple, etc. I think even adults would find the information fascinating.

For young children, I can envision reading only the “stories,” then, as the children grow older, moving toward reading the actual Bible text instead of, or in addition to, the stories. I think the color and extra features would encourage a child to pick the Bible up to read on his own.

Emily (10) says, “I really like this Bible. I love the mini stories because they make me want to read more. I also love the questions because it makes me concentrate harder knowing that there are questions. I think kids younger than me would enjoy it, too.”

I think the ESV Seek and Find Bible would be a good choice for a Bible for an elementary school-aged child. I found the extra features appealing. Personally, my only misgiving would be that I think there are other translations that are easier for children to read and understand than the ESV.

You can find more information and a book excerpt at Crossway.

I received a free review copy of the ESV Seek and Find Bible from the Crossway Book Review Program.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Econobusters Giveaway

Do you read the Econobusters blog? I love the money saving and decorating tips that I find there. Right now, there is a fantastic Mother’s Day giveaway that you’ll want to enter—over $450 value of etsy crafts, homeschooling products, and The Old Schoolhouse products.

Larkspur Cove, by Lisa Wingate (Review)


After a divorce, a move, and the start of a new career, Andrea Henderson is ready to begin a new life, living in her parent’s lake house on Moses lake with her teenage son. Larkspur Cove relates the story of her struggles with her rebellious son, the difficulties of working as a social worker in a rural, backwoods setting, and her pull between looking for new love and her desire to “make it on her own.”

Game Warden Mart McClendon is also beginning anew in Moses Lake after a family tragedy that he wants to leave behind emotionally. He is suspicious of the “yuppy” newcomer, but gradually begins to see that his first impressions may have been incorrect.

Larkspur Cove alternates between these two points-of-view, following the characters as they struggle with deciding what they want in life and their attraction to each other.

I very much enjoyed reading this book. I found the first couple of chapters a little bit hard to follow, but after that, the story flowed quickly and kept me up reading much too late at night! The story was original and not overly predictable. I recommend this book!

I received a free review copy of this book from Bethany House.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Winner-Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes

The winner of the Betty Crocker Loaded Mashed Potatoes Prize Pack is amied027 (Comment # 60).  Congratulations!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Max on Life, by Max Lucado (Review)


I don’t think you can go wrong reading anything by Max Lucado. I always find his books spirit-filled and insightful. Lucado’s latest book, Max on Life, is no exception. Max on Life, Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions,  differs from Lucado’s typical book format in that it doesn’t have just one theme or topic. Instead, it is comprised of 172 questions and answers on various topics. Some of the information is drawn from Lucado’s previous books and some is new to this book. Most answers are contained on just one page, so this book is perfect for those times when you just have a few minutes to read. I think it would be a nice book to read during a devotional time, or to keep in the car to read while waiting to pick up kids.

The questions are organized by topic: Hope, Hurt, Help, Him/Her, Home, Haves/Have-Nots, and Hereafter. While I have read several of Max Lucado’s books and have read much on his thoughts about sin, salvation, and other tenets of the Christian faith, I don’t recall reading much from him on topics like marriage and family. I am impressed at how well he stays faithful to the truths of the Bible while always extending compassion and love to those who may have failed in one way or another.

If you want to read good Biblical advice on anything from unanswered prayer to racism in the church to pressures at work to adultery, you won’t be disappointed by this book.

I received a free review copy of this book from BookSneeze. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rickwood Caverns Field Trip

For years, as we’ve made trips to and through Birmingham, I’ve noticed the sign on the interstate pointing to Rickwood Caverns. But not until last week, when a homeschool group field trip was organized, did we ever actually take a tour. We enjoyed ourselves and it was definitely worth the 75 minute drive. Not the most impressive cave  I’ve seen, but it was a fun mile-long tour with interesting cave formations and an underground lake.




Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Studying Japan

Since we are studying world cultures this year, Emily chose “Japan” as the subject of her school Social Studies Fair project.  She enjoyed trying some origami and calligraphy, as well as reading some great books, including The Master Puppeteer, The Big Wave, and Sadako’s 1000 Cranes.



Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Summit (Review)


The future of mankind is in trouble. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have set the world on a path of destruction and David Ponder has a limited amount of time to find the answer to the question, “What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?” Solving this puzzle is the only chance for the world to put itself back on the right path and to avoid destruction.

But David doesn’t have to solve this problem alone. As a “traveler,”  he has the guidance of the archangel, Gabriel, and hundreds of the the greatest minds that ever lived….King David, Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, Thomas Edison, and so on. I found it fascinating to “witness” the interaction between these great men and women from history, imagining how they would see the world, both past and present, and how they would choose to solve mankind’s problems.

The Final Summit—A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity, by Andy Andrews, is a unique book, one that really doesn’t fit the mold of anything I’ve ever read. The storyline was creative and thought provoking. I found the conclusion a bit anticlimactic (maybe there will be a sequel?), but the process of getting there was well worth the read.

Side note: Do you know what man was credited by Dwight Eisenhower of singlehandedly shutting down the Nazi war machine in World War II? I had never heard of this man, but his fascinating story is told in this book.

I received a free review copy of this book from Thomas Nelsons’s Booksneeze blogger program.

I review for BookSneeze®

Thursday, April 7, 2011

“Please Respond if You Aren’t Dead”

I received this email scam today—Funniest one ever! I thought someone else might enjoy a laugh too!


Re: Payment Notification:

We are writhing to know if it's true that you are DEAD? Because we received a notification from one MR. GERSHON SHAPIRO of USA stating that you are DEAD and that you have giving him the right to claim your funds. He stated you died on a CAR accident. He has been calling us regarding this issue, but we cannot proceed with him until we confirm this by not hearing from you after 7days.

Be advised that we have made all arrangements for you to receive and confirm your funds without anymore stress, and without any further delays. All we need to confirm now is your been DEAD Or still Alive.

Because this MAN'S message brought shock to our minds. And we just can't proceed with him until we confirm if this is a reality OR not But if it happened we did not hear from you after 7days, then we say:


May the peace of the Lord be with you wherever you may be now.

Your Faitfully,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Snakes, Iguanas, and Tarantulas, Oh My!

Our homeschool group was recently treated to a visit from 2 women who each own dozens of reptiles. While I personally don’t their their fascination with snakes, it was a fun exhibition. I’m glad that my child was able to see and learn about these snakes and lizards (and even a tarantula) without having them in my home!





BlogSpark Review - Betty Crocker Loaded Mashed Potatoes

My family loves mashed potatoes. Until now, I’ve always made them from scratch. The results are delicious, but the process is a bit time-consuming.


MyBlog Spark just sent me a package of the new Betty Crocker Loaded Mashed Potatoes, which can be prepared in just 8 minutes. They also sent me some fun kitchen tools--a mixing bowl, a magnetic hanging pot holder, silicone spoonula, and measuring cup.


Here are my impressions:

1. This side dish was very quick and easy to prepare.

2. Emily loved them. She said, “Mom, these are so creamy!”

3. I really enjoyed the “loaded” variety. The flavors of cheese, bacon, chives, and sour cream were excellent and reminded me of a loaded baked potato.

4. I still prefer the flavor and texture of homemade mashed potatoes, but thought this was a good substitute for when I want to save time.

Would you like a coupon to try Betty Crocker Loaded Mashed potatoes? Just click the above link to save $0.55.


Would you like to try this product? To win a prize pack that includes a box of new Betty Crocker "Loaded Mashed" potatoes, a mixing bowl, a magnetic hanging pot holder, silicone spoonula, and measuring cup, just leave a comment telling me which of your favorite foods you would eat with loaded mashed potatoes. I’ll choose a winner using on April 18.

For additional entries (leave a comment for each):

1. Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.

2. Follow Super Star Speech on Facebook.

3. Spread the news about this giveaway in any way—Facebook, blog, etc.

4. Follow Betty Crocker on Facebook to keep up with the latest news on Betty Crocker favorites.

This product, prize pack, and giveaway package were all provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark. I was not required to write a review and all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies

Have you heard about the new “Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies” site? They’ll be offering giveaways of homeschooling items. Upcoming giveaways include a Mystery of History Complete Set and Horizons Math Curriculum! Sign up for their email list to receive notifications of each contest!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The beautiful spring weather we've been having has given me the urge to get out in the yard and fix things up for summer. I've been clearing out gardens in preparation for planting and scraping the deck, which I hope to get stained in the next month. We're fortunate to have a large deck surrounded by trees, so it's a nice place to relax as the weather warms up. I really want our deck to feel like an extension of our home, another "room."

I've been browsing through Pier 1 's outdoor furniture selection and finding some lovely pieces. If I had a screened in porch, I would LOVE to have a couple these wicker rockers with a side table. I think they'd be really nice in my bedroom, too.

wicker rocking chairtable



We have a table and chairs for our deck that I'm happy with, but these reversible Scatter Daisy cushions and throw pillows would really brighten them up--something else for my wish list! Aren't they pretty?

scatter daisy cushions


daisy pillow







I love that so many of the pieces could actually be used indoors or out.

We're all familiar with the papasan chairs that are so common in dorm rooms or first homes. Pier 1 has actually been selling them since 1962!  I think my daughter would love one in her bedroom to snuggle up and read in.


papasan chair



Do you live in the Atlanta or New York City areas? If so, you may want to take part in the  Pier 1 Tweetups  that are happening there next month. I looked at the photos from one they had a few months ago--It looked like quite a fun gathering of bloggers (with lots of door prizes)!

Visit Sponsor's Site