Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel Book Review + Giveaway!

Hope McKenna is 36 and in many ways her world is crumbling down around her. She lost her mother to cancer, her hopes of a law career are pretty much dead, her husband has left her for a much younger woman and her beloved grandmother Mamie is suffering deeply from the throngs of Alzheimer's disease.

Hope is running her grandmother's bakery on Cape Cod, raising her pre-teen daughter and trying to understand what Mamie is trying to tell her about her own past. Mamie's revelations send Hope on a trip to Paris to learn of secrets her grandmother has held inside for seventy years. She learns of the tragic events her grandmother endured that shaped how her life turned out.

I have read a massive amount of novels this year. I guess it comes along with the territory of being a huge lover of fiction and getting absolutely lost in stories. I can say without a doubt that The Sweetness of Forgetting would be my pick for favorite book I have read so far in 2012...and I have read some pretty good novels. This was a refreshing story in so many ways. It was filled with things I am interested in- The Holocaust, baking, and getting to know characters not only in the present, but also in the past. This was a novel I couldn't put down. I wanted to know what Hope was going to find out about Mamie's life. I felt sorrow for both when reading about the terrible things each had endured in her life. It was especially interesting to me learning of Mamie's woes and how the tragedies that befell her in her youth shaped every essence of her being as an adult. This was a well written story, with characters you can definitely sympathize with and that you will find yourself wanting to know more about . I practically read this in one sitting. If I didn't have 3 little ones to look after, I absolutely would have finished it in one day. I think this is going to be HUGE for Kristin Harmel. I absolutely  recommend The Sweetness of Forgetting to anyone who is interested in fiction that takes a peek into history, who enjoy romance or tragedy or who like to bake! One of the coolest things about this novel is that Mamie's recipes are sprinkled throughout the book. I know there were several that made me think, "Oh, I definitely have to make that" while I was traveling through this story with Hope.

If my review isn't enough to make you want to read this wonderful novel (although I hope that it is) Marie Claire also included it in their Summer 2012 reading guide!

I am so thrilled to announce that I have 3 AUTOGRAPHED copies to give away to you to, my awesome readers, to celebrate the August 7th release date of The Sweetness of Forgetting! 3 winners will receive their very own autographed copy of the novel. This is one giveaway you definitely want to enter! Check out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer- I received a complimentary copy of The Sweetness of Forgetting from Simon & Schuster. I was not required to wirte a positive review. All opinions stated above are 100% my own. 

Crum Creek Review + 15% off your first order!

I am always on the lookout for products that have my well being in mind. I don't eat things that have ingredients I can't pronounce and I don't use bath and body or cleaning products that have chemicals in them. What I love about Crum Creek is that it is a one stop shop. There are plenty of snacks and drinks to chose from and there are also many bath and beauty products. You will find everything from hot cocoa to pasta to bath salts to produce magic cleaner and more! I love that these products are all natural and that they are labeled non-GMO soy. I am more inclined to purchase a product if I know it is not genetically modified. I like to know what I put in my body and the little bodies of my children.

I was sent a few snacks to try for the purpose of this review. I got to try the soy bites breadsticks in two different flavors- superb sesame and remarkable rosemary & garlic. I absolutely love that there are minimal ingredients in these soy bites. There are less than ten things listed and all are things I have heard of- always a plus. I really enjoyed the flavor of the rosemary & garlic, that is just right up my alley. All of my kiddos stole a couple out of that bag as well. They were a super tasty snack. I didn't care much for the sesame bites, but that is just a personal preference. My kids seemed to eat those no problem as well. I would much rather them have a bag of these bites then say- a small bag of chips that is made of so many artificial ingredients it takes up half of the bag to list them. These are also pretty low in calories. 120 per bag for the superb sesame and they are a pretty filling snack. I think these are a great step to healthier snacking and I love that they come in individual packages, so you don't have to guess at the serving size or count them out. They come 10 to a box and come out to be around 80 cents each. Who said healthy snacking HAS to be expensive? I think the soy bites are a great deal!

I was also sent Almond biscuties to try out and I have to say they are fabulous. I found myself indulging in those as often as I got the chance. I hid those from my kids so I didn't have to share, but I ended up giving them one each in the end! They all loved them. I think that these we such a healthy twist on the traditional biscotti. They are made up of almonds and raisins and the spices added game them just the perfect taste. I loved this little sweet. Oh, did I mention they are choc full of iron, calcium ,fiber and protein? And that they contain NO added fat, salt, preservatives or cholesterol? This is a sweet snack I wouldn't at all mind sticking in my children's lunch boxes (once they start school that is!)

I really enjoyed my little taste of Crum Creek. I definitely recommend checking their website out to those who want healthy, but tasty snacks or great bath and body products. Crum Creek was nice enough to offer my readers 15% off your first purchase at their website! Just enter the code "Cristi15" at the purchase menu when prompted! This code is good until August 31, 2012!

Connect with Crum Creek on Facebook
Connect with Crum Creek on Twitter
Crum Creek's Blog
Crum Creek's Website

*Disclaimer- I received complimentary products to try for the purpose of putting this review together. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, July 27, 2012

B-12 Ultra Review

It is no secret that moms of young children are tired- exhausted even. I have a 4 year old daughter and two year old twin boys. My husband works nights and goes to school during the day, so I am on my own 99% of the time. I get very little sleep because chances are someone will wake up at some point during the night, sometimes even two someones- and always at different times. Keeping up with three little ones, as well as cooking for them and keeping our house clean takes a lot of energy!

I have often heard that B-12 supplements can help get those energy levels up! I was so excited to have the opportunity to try B-12 Ultra Drops from Live Well Market. I like vitamins in liquid form because they are easier to swallow than their pill counterparts, but also because they go directly to your bloodstream enabling them to get in your system more quickly. The B-12 Ultra directions state that you should put 20-30 drops under your tongue and then swallow. I liked that the drops had a pleasant taste, sort of like spearmint. I loved that it came in a glass bottle- a big deal to someone like me who is not a fan of plastic containers because of the BPA. I also thought the blue glass was attractive and makes it easy to find in the cabinet.

I have been taking the drops for about a week now and I have definitely noticed a difference in how I feel. I have been taking 20 drops, but I think I will start taking 30 simply because a few months ago I became a vegetarian, so it is possible that I am a little deficient in this vitamin. However, I noticed a difference with 20 drops and I think that it is better to start out with that amount and go from there. Less is usually more. I will definitely continue to use this vitamin and would absolutely recommend B-12 Ultra to anyone who needs help with energy. Skip the caffeine and get your energy back with a vitamin you actually need!

Check out the great reviews of B-12 Ultra at Live Well Market and while you are there browse the other great supplements they have to offer!

* Disclaimer- I received a complimentary bottle of B-12 Ultra in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Envirosax reusable bag review + giveaway

I LOVE everything about this bag-
especially the wide shoulder straps!
I was really excited to stumble upon a great website called This website is filled with many different reusable bags- over 100 designs! One of the easiest ways for people to be more "green" is to forego the plastic bags at the grocery store and bring your own reusable bags. Conserving Now makes this easier with their Envirosax, which fold down, making them easier to carry. It is also nice to have a choice of pattern instead of purchasing the same old mundane bags you can get at the grocery store (which also don't fold down!)

For this review, I chose to receive the travel bag #3- which is a print of all things Paris. It took me a while to make a decision because there are so many cute bags, but as soon as I saw this one, I knew I had to have it! When I first got the bag it came folded up and looked like this:

See how small and convenient it is?  Do you see that little white circle next to it? That is a window cling that you can place on your car so you don't forget to bring your bags in- a mistake many people make often (including me!) You can get your own FREE window cling here!

 As I unfolded the bag, I realized that it was a little bit bigger than a typical shopping bag. It also has wide shoulder straps to make it more comfortable if you needed to carry it on your shoulder at the mall Library or Farmer's Market or anywhere else you could think of really. I know I plan to get more of these bags to take to the grocery store with me, but even just one bag has several uses. I know I will definitely use it as a bag for my kids' stuff when we go places! Another cool thing about Envirosax is that besides being "green" AND cute, they also aim to give back. 100% of the profit from these bags fund classroom kits- Conserving Now's way of helping teacher's educate their classrooms about the hazards of plastic bags. It is Conserving Now's goal to be able to get a classroom kit to every teacher in America!

Overall, I love everything about this bag and I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to say goodbye to plastic bags.

Conserving Now was generous enough to offer one Cristi's Reviews reader the chance to win a reusable bag of their own. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Winner gets to pick which bag they want!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer- I received a complimentary Envirosax reusable bag for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Company by Chuck Graham Book Review/Blog Tour

About The Company-

A meteor strike plunges the world into darkness. A stranger to the village of Brigos Glen restores power and light, supplied by three businesses, known as “The Company,” located beyond the forbidden mountains. The stranger reveals a plan so the Brigons can maintain thepower and share the light with outlying territories, which remain shrouded in darkness.

Now, seventy years later, The Company summons six Brigons, including the young engineer Sam Mitchell, to attend a conference in themountains of the forbidden Outlands. 

Responsible for compiling a report about Brigos Glen from his five companions, Sam learns how managers and villagers largely ignored theplan or compromised it to self-interest, forsaking their duty to share the light. They also took for granted The Company responsible for generating and transmitting the power.

In an ordeal fraught with failure, revelations, and judgment, Sam discovers the true identity behind The Company and learns the fate that may befall Brigos Glen . . . that is, unless he can stop it.

My Thoughts- 

I thought the concept of this book sounded fabulous, a modern day parable about the trinity. However, I found the book to be lacking. I felt like it was a drawn out story for an explanation that didn't occur until the last few pages of the book. I think there was a great idea behind the book and I liked the characters. I liked the entire concept of the book, just for me, I felt like there was something missing. I also thought it got off to a slow start, but I did appreciate the back story of how the "Last Day" went down. I felt like the book definitely picked up in the middle and continued to hold my attention to the very end.  I did think it was a good read overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, I would give it a 3. Of course, we all known opinions differ, so check it out for yourself and see what YOU think!

About Chuck Graham

Chuck Graham's legal career as an attorney in private practice spanned more than thirty-one years. He represented many local, national, and international clients, acquiring intricate knowledge about the often-overlapping structures of the corporate world. He also worked against those seeking to create racial division, including the Ku Klux Klan. He has served as a member of the state bar of Georgia since 1979 and an instructor to attorneys and judges through the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). He received the Medallion of Appreciation from ICLE.

Chuck is also a speaker and the author of Take the Stand (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996) and the compilations, A Year of Encouragement (Xulon Press).

*Disclaimer- I received a free copy of The Company through Litfuse for the purpose of this review/blog tour. All opinions are 100% my own

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand- Book Review

As you can tell from the massive amounts of book reviews I do on this blog, I like to read. I don't like to limit myself to just fiction (although I do enjoy a good made up story to get lost in.) I often find myself drawn to biographies and autobiographies. I love reading stories about people's lives. When I first heard of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, I knew I would HAVE to read it. Not only do I appreciate the massive amounts of historical information in the book, I also have a huge appreciation for those that serve in our military. I knew that this book was going to discuss World War II and that we would get a glimpse into the lives of our soldiers that became prisoners of war in Japan, so I knew it would be a difficult read. I also knew that I owed it to these men who sacrificed so much for our freedom to read their story.

Louis ("Louie") Zamperini was born a dare devil. The first few chapters of this novel tell of how his mom often couldn't find him and he was consistently doing dangerous things. As he got a little older, he started fighting (after being bullied) and his older brother Pete thought a great way to channel all of Louie's energy would be for him to run track. And thus, a track star was born. He would eventually go on to be an Olympian. He went on to enlist in the Army Air Forces in 1941. The bulk of Hillenbrand's novel discusses Louie's time in the military and of his being a prisoner of war in Japan. The things that happened to him while a prisoner of war are beyond appalling. One of the people at the Japanese prison camp known as "The Bird" was especially brutal with Louie. I was heartbroken for him with each beating he endured from The Bird.

Anyone who is the least bit interested in history or in our military would like this novel. While heartbreaking, it definitely gives a portrait of what sacrifices have been made for our country, something I think that might be taken for granted these days. This novel is not for the faint of heart, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants a better appreciation of what these men have gone through or who just like to read biographies about extraordinary people.

More info on Unbroken
Read the first chapter of Unbroken
Author bio for Laura Hillenbrand

*Disclaimer- I received a free copy of Unbroken via WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of this review. All opinions. are 100% my own.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway!

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.

One of the first giveaways I did when I first starting doing giveaways was a Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway! I am happy to announce that Tropical Traditions is giving Cristi's Review's readers another chance to win this fabulous product!

You can read my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil review here!

Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

The Finding by Timothy Cavinder- Review & Giveaway

Summary of the book-

Have you every noticed that everything seems to happen for a reason? One day Horace's truck won't start. He gets a ride into town from a friend, this begins a series of events that change his life and that of others. Millencent begins a quest for her long lost sister, what she ends up finding causes her great sadness and joy at the same time.

My Thoughts-

The Finding by Timothy Cavinder was an interesting book full of numerous characters. I found that, for me, it got off to a slow start. I found myself attached to just a few of the characters, but toward the end I really enjoyed how the overall story went and appreciated that every character introduced was important to the story as a whole. I really enjoyed the parts of the story that included Millicent's journey to find her long lost sister, and although I didn't expect the ending, I really liked how this novel concluded. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes a good drama.

Win a copy of The Finding-

Enter via the rafflecopter below to win your own copy of The Finding, signed by Timothy Cavinder!

Connect with Timothy Cavinder online:

Timothy Cavinder Website
Timothy Cavinder Blog
Timothy Cavinder on Good Reads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer- I received a free copy of The Finding via Innovative Online Book Tours for the purposes of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, July 20, 2012

OASAP Floral Dress Review (Fashion Hunter Program)

I was super excited to find out recently that I had been accepted into the OASAP Fashion Hunters program for Bloggers. I knew right away I would want to review a dress. It took me ages to scour through all of OASAP's great selection of dresses but I finally settled on the floral dress pictured to the left. I just thought it was gorgeous. I was a bit hesitant because it was so low cut and while I don't mind dressing feminine, I don't like it all hanging out either. It ended up being too low cut on me, but I will either pin or tape it a tad next time because I REALLY love this dress. I got several compliments on it when I wore it to an early screening of Dark Knight Rises. I thought the dress was darker when I got it. I expected it to be more pink, but I still loved how it looked and there was lots of pink in it, just also quite a bit of burgundy accents, which I thought worked quite well. I LOVE the ruffles at the bottom, which make the dress super flirty and girly.

Will pin the top next time. And wear heels
instead of flat sandals. I'm pretty short, as
you can probably tell!

I liked that the back dipped a bit. I would
have been okay with it being a little lower
as well. Don't you love this floral pattern?

Just wanted to show off the flirty ruffles, these sandals are
not from Oasap.

I was really impressed with this dress overall. I did learn that I need to wear heels with maxi dresses, which  I will definitely do in the future. This dress is currently ON SALE at OASAP for $38.25 which is an awesome deal AND they offer FREE SHIPPING worldwide! So head on over there and check out what they have to offer! They have everything from dresses and other apparal to shoes to jewelry to purses. There is truly something for everyone. And they always have cute stuff on sale!

If you have a blog and you are interested in the Fashion Hunter's Program- You can find out more information here. If you use this link and are accepted into the program, I will receive $8 credit. It's a fun program that I recommend checking out!

Disclaimer- I received this dress for free through OASAP's Fashion Hunter program for bloggers.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Petit Amuse- Subscription Box Review

I'm excited to tell you about a new subscription box called Petit Amuse. I love the concept of subscription boxes. It is a great way to try multiple products without having to pay full price. This is a great way to learn about products you might not have otherwise known you love! Petit Amuse is a "foodie" box. Each month you will receive 3-4 samples of artisan foods. I like this concept because there isn't another subscription box out there like it and this is a great way to learn about small businesses that you might not hear of if you didn't subscribe to Petit Amuse. This box is  only $10 a month!

Here is what was in the box!

I really liked this energy bar from Garuka bars. It is 
made with only natural ingredients (it even makes use of
raw honey!) Not only that, they are SUPER TASTY!

This ice wine jelly is pretty tasty! I wasn't sure
how adding wine to jelly would translate-
surprisingly, it works well!

These Cha-cha's-chocolate cookies from
Lark Fine Foods- were indulgent. I really 
enjoyed them, so much I hid while I ate 
them so I didn't have to share. shh!

Another cookie from Lark Fine Foods- These are
 a twist on a typical shortbread cookie. Once again, 
these were very good.

Lastly, this bag of Oogie's Sun Dried
tomato and parmesan gourmet
popcorn was included. I really didn't 
think this flavor would translate well to
popcorn, but as I am learning,
Oogie's just can't seem to miss.
I also love that their popcorn is GMO free.

There was not a bad product in the box, it is only $10 a month and you can help support small businesses! For me, that makes Petit Amuse a big win among the subscription box options currently available!

Sign up for your own Petit Amuse box.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer BBQ Cravebox Review

I was happy to see that my Cravebox arrived the other day. If you don't know, Cravebox is a subscription box. For $10 you get an array of products in a box, some full sized, some sample sized, all usually pretty cool. I hesitate to say it is a "monthly" subscription box. It is not news to anybody that has been following this blog that I LOVE Cravebox and blog about it quite often, but my one complaint would be lack of consistency. The next box may come in a month, but it may be closer to six weeks. Of course, for $10, I can't really complain, I just love getting the boxes so much, I just wish it happened every 4 weeks so I would know that I could look forward to getting them a little more often.

With that said, I really enjoyed the Summer BBQ Box. It had some really great products in it. I was excited to see True Lemon in the mix. I am not usually a fan of powdered drinks, but this one was awesome! It TRULY tasted like lemonade, only has 5 calories and it 100% natural. NO artificial sweeteners here, which makes me a super happy person! Another product I really enjoyed from the Summer BBQ Box were the Mozaik appetizer plates and cocktail forks. I happened to be having a party with a fondue pot in the mix, so we used the Mozaik plates and forks for that and my guests RAVED over them. I will definitely be using both of those products again!

Also in the box was a sample of Mighty Leaf tea. I am not a tea drinker, so I will be passing that along to a friend. There was also a Bic Flame Disk, which is a pretty neat little thing to put on top of a charcoal grill- no charcoal needed. It would be a fun addition at a camping trip or for a backyard that had a charcoal grill. There was also a coupon for a bic multi purpose lighter. I already have 3 or 4 of these at my house. Not only would they be great for lighting up a grill, they are wonderful for lighting candles!

Overall this wasn't my favorite box, but they can't all be and the fun thing is there were still a few products I discovered that I love-which is the whole point of a subscription box! So I still love Cravebox and I will be looking forward to what surprises lie ahead in the next one!

Don't forget to check out the Cravebox website for more information on how to join!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Win a Scentsy prize pack, $25 toward a future purchase to Fresh Lick of Paint OR a re-finished jewelry box!

Hi everyone! A friend of mine, Carey, started a business a little while back. It's called Fresh Lick of Paint. She gets old pieces of furniture and refinishes them and man is she good at what she does! I have yet to see a piece I have not liked! She has a very artistic vision! Head on over to "like" Fresh Lick of Paint on Facebook, find the comment with a picture of an aqua colored jewelry box that Carey refinished (pictured in this blog post) and comment on it to be entered to win! The winner will get to pick between 3 available prizes- The pictured jewelry box, $25 credit toward a future purchase at Fresh Lick of Paint or a Scentsy prize package! They are all fabulous, so it will be hard to chose! While you are at Carey's page, don't forget to stay awhile and look around at all of her fabulous work! Don't forget to spread the word and let your friends know! #supportsmallbusiness

Good luck! And if you win, come back and let me know! :)

Day Three Bath and Body Products Review

I am so excited to share this review with you about Day Three's bath and body products. Not only are their products free of harmful toxins, harsh chemicals and preservatives, Day Three is a company that is infused with Biblical principles. From the name of their company, to the use of only the purest ingredients from nature, down to the product labels that include and Bible verse and even have prayer listed as an ingredient, it is good to see a bath and body line share their faith through their products. This unique aspect lead me to want to try these products and I am so glad that I have!

I received a cleansing bar in Milk & Honey and I am in love with the scent. It just smells so good! I couldn't wait to try it. I used it to wash my face, which is a BIG deal for me because I have eczema and I don't normally use soap on my face. I knew that this bar of soap, made of such pure ingredients, would not irritate my very sensitive skin. It felt wonderful! I didn't feel like it irritated my skin at all. The goat milk used in these bars is really great for skin! I should also mention that these bars are pretty large at 4.5-5 oz each. They are currently on sale for $5! Well worth the price!

I also received a container of sugared body polish in brown sugar and fig. Day Three uses a blend of turbinado and raw cane sugars, essential oils and vitamin e to buff away your dead skin and leave you with a natural glow. I was so excited to use this product. Most exfoliating products that I have seen are not all natural and so I have never used any. I really loved the way this felt on my skin and look forward to seeing it help my skin stay radiant. I can definitely tell that it made my skin feel softer and I know after a few more uses, I will notice an even bigger difference in the appearance. . The sugared body polishes are on sale for $8 each and are available in many scents including milk & honey, brown sugar & fig, cherry almond, Good Tidings,  Anointed and many others.

I am really impressed with these products and the thought, love and prayer that goes in to them. The owner of this shop, Joy, is so sweet and always available to answer any questions you may have regarding these products. In addition to the body scrubs other products available from Day Three are-bubble bath, body butters, exfoliating scrubs and my favorite- Perfume oils! More to  come on that in a post all it's own very soon! These products would make a great addition to your beauty routine or would also make great gifts for the women and men in your lives. They even have male specific scents! Check out Day Three and tell Joy that Cristi's Reviews sent you!

*Disclaimer- I was provided the products pictured above in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Play FREE in Winter Park Colorado

Is your family ready to escape the heat, breathe fresh Rocky Mountain air and save money on a summer getaway? Then your plans should include Winter Park, Colorado! With Winter Park Play Free, when you book 2 nights of lodging with participating merchants, you’ll get $50 on a Winter Park Key Card to spend on activities, shopping and dining… your choice of play throughout Winter Park & The Fraser Valley. Click here to learn more about Winter Park Play Free.  Winter Park is 67 miles from Denver, has 200+ sizzling summer events, 600 miles of trails and Colorado's longest alpine slide.

Colorado is one of my favorite places to be! I would beg my husband to move us there if my whole family didn't live in Texas! But it is nice to have the option to visit and awesome promotions like this are great incentive to do so!

*Disclaimer- I am a member of USA Family Guide. I was in no way obligated to post about this promotion, but I may receive an incentive to use in Winter Park for posting it. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Purex Giveaway- Win 3 bottles of Triple Action Detergent

Purex has a clever new ad campaign going on called "Let's Be Honest." It is a series of video ads that are around 20 seconds each and each one starts with the phrase "Let's Be Honest." My favorite goes something like this- "We have a rule around here, anything you leave in your pockets after you put your clothes in the hamper automatically goes in the vacation fund...oooh, jackpot (as she finds a large bill, she slips it in her pocket.)

These are cute little videos! Enter via the rafflecopter below for your chance to win 3 free bottles of Purex! (That's a lot of laundry detergent!)

You can also enter to win a year's supply of Purex!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer- I am a Purex Insider. I was given 3 coupons for free products to give away to my readers in exchange for a blog post about the "Let's Be Honest" campaign. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Perception (new tv series)- Review

I have been a member of a website called Klout for a little while now. This website measures how much influence you possess by how active you are on the social networks you are a part of. Probably the coolest part of being on Klout is getting "perks." The cable network TNT has been offering a lot of perks lately to watch a few of the new tv series that the network has. I have participated in 3 and I would say TNT is 3 for 3 with these shows. The latest show I have had the privilege to check out is Perception starring Eric McCormick (of Will & Grace fame) and Rachel Lee Cook.

Mcormick stars as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a professor of neuroscience, who also happens to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia. He is recruited by the FBI to help solve some of their more difficult cases via Kate Moretti, a former student of his (portrayed by Cook.) Daniel often sees people who are not there which, in part, helps him solve the cases. The other piece of the puzzle that helps him solve these cases is his uncanny ability to solve complex puzzles.

This is a refreshing premise for a show. There are plenty of crime solving shows on television right now, but I really enjoy this take on it with this professor helping solve cases, in part thanks to his mental disorder. It is fun trying to figure out the cases and it is also interesting to see who Daniel's newest hallucination will be. I don't want to give too much away since this show doesn't debut until tomorrow, so I will leave you with this- if you are a fan of shows like House, or even just interested in the psychology of the human mind, this is definitely a show you would enjoy.

Perception debuts on TNT on July 9 at 10/9C
Visit the Perception Website

*Disclaimer- I received an advance copy of the first four episodes of Perception through Klout Perks. I I am under no obligation to write a review at all. All thoughts stated are 100% my own.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen- Book Review

At some point last year, I discovered author Julie Klassen quite by accident. I was scouring the Amazon Kindle's free offerings and one happened to be The Apothecary's Daughter by Klassen. Let me tell you, I feel in love immediately. I think it is still my favorite Klassen novel to date and each that I have read have been really great, so that's saying a lot. A little while back, I reviewed another of her books, The Girl in the Gatehouse. Today, I will share my thoughts on The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, Klassen's newest novel and my latest read.

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret flees London disguised as a housemaid in Julie Klassen's The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive her inheritance and her independence along with it. But she never expected to actually work as a maid and did not plan on serving in the homes of two of her former suitors. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?

My thoughts- I really enjoyed this novel! Usually Klassen's novels are very Jane Austen-esque (as intended) but this one reminded me of another period piece- The PBS television series Downton Abbey. I loved  getting a glimpse into the  day to day life of "the help" during that time period. It was also great to see Marageret, a quite spoiled girl of 24, grow up as she pulls off this scheme. She has never lifted a finger in her life, as evidenced by the fact that she can not even undress herself for quite sometime after becoming "Nora." This is a good story, still full of balls and propriety, handsome gentlemen and fair ladies, but it is refreshing to see a different point of view offered here. I loved that Nora got a peek into the Upchurch brothers day to day life and got to learn quite a bit about each of their characters, to her surprise. She also gets to learn the true meaning of hard work and gains a better appreciation of what the staff of these large houses went through on a day to day basis. This was an easy read that flowed well and kept me turning the pages. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Jane Austen novels, shows like Downton Abbey or who enjoys a good historical romance.

Connect with Julie Klassen on Facebook
Author's website

Purchase The Maid of Fairbourne Hall- Now on sale for $5 at

Disclaimer- I was provided a complimentary copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions stated above are 100% my own.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Waiting for Morning by Karen Kingsbury Book Review

Hannah Ryan has the perfect life. A lifelong love in her husband Dr. Tom Ryan and two teenage daughters who are super close to each other and their parents. Hannah has also always had a problem holding a grudge. When a huge tragedy strikes her life very abruptly in the form of a fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver, Brian Wesley, Hannah must learn to give her worries to God, to forgive and most of all, to live a life that she never imagined herself living in.

Waiting for Morning starts right away with Hannah having that "feeling" that moms get sometimes when they know something isn't right. So the car accident happens within the first few chapters. It is so sad and any mom that went through what Hannah went through would have trouble learning to live again. That said, I had a hard time feeling sympathetic toward Hannah because she flat out ignores the child who needs her and expects her to handle this situation as an adult, when Hannah isn't even doing that herself. Of course, Hannah acting this way is important to the overall story and I do understand that it was necessary, it just made me so sad to see a mom treat her child the way Hannah was! I do like that although this story is about Hannah Ryan, that it also shares the story of the drunk driver and of Jenny Ryan and each of their struggles. I thought it was a very accurate portrayal of how each might be thinking or acting in the situation that each was in. I loved the conclusion that the book came to and that Hannah finally realized that she needed to change how she was handling things. I really loved Matt, Hannah's lawyer and confidant, who become a good friend to her. I loved that she had someone to turn to who wouldn't judge her when she felt so alone. I was also excited to find out at the end of the book that this is a series and there are two more books that I can't wait to get my hands on! I would definitely recommend this book to Karen Kingsbury fans or anyone who enjoys reading something on the dramatic side of things.

More Info on Waiting for Morning
Author Bio for Karen Kingsbury

*Disclaimer- I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing group for this review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.