Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Purex Baby Detergent Review + Giveaway

Everyone in our household has sensitive skin. Mine is the absolute worst. I am always so sad that I can't use nice smelling laundry detergent because it all makes me break out. I have never thought of trying a hypoallergenic detergent meant for babies, until I was offered this Purex Baby opportunity through being a Purex Insider. We normally use free and clear, but I was definitely willing to give it a try.

Right away, I noticed the nice smell. It is great to have a nice smell on our clothes again. We have been using this detergent for a little over a week and I have not broken out. That is no surprise to me though, since Purex Baby is Dermatologist tested and formulated to be extra gentle on even the most sensitive of skin. We don't have any little babies in our house anymore, but I will probably continue to use this liquid detergent since it works well, smells great and doesn't irritate any of our skin. I think this would make a fabulous edition to a baby shower gift and that new moms will fall in love with this great detergent. I would also highly recommend it to anyone who has sensitive skin, who still wants a detergent that has a nice scent to it.

Purex has a fun promotion going on. It's called "Oh, Baby" and 3 lucky grand prize winners will receive $500  each! 250 additional people will also win free bottles of Purex Baby! Enter the "Oh, Baby Sweepstakes here for your chance to win one of these great prizes!!

As you can see above, I also have 3 free coupons for a bottle of Purex Baby Detergent to give away! Enter below via the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

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*Disclosure- I received one or more of the above mentioned products via the Purex Insiders program. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Where God Finds You by Anita Higman Book Review + Giveaway

About the book:

“Have you ever longed to crawl into the pages of the Bible? To walk on the Judean hills or feel the spray of the Red Sea? To know what it’s like to confront a king or pour perfume on a Savior’s feet?
 “In forty devotional tales, Where God Finds You breathes new life into ancient Bible characters. Through reflection on Scripture and prayer, you’ll discover a place in each of these lives of vulnerability, tenderness, truth and love – a place where you can find God….and where God finds you.”
My thoughts:
I was really excited to find out a devotional book like this existed. I have never seen one quite like this where the Biblical characters are brought to life through first person narratives of their stories. It feels so much more personal when you can really immerse yourself into someone's story by imagining how they might tell it. I really enjoyed that aspect of this devotional book and have really enjoyed reading each of the 40 stories presented. I also like that Higman follows up each of these narratives with the Bible passage they were taken from and that there are several thought provoking discussion questions as well. These stories are short and easy to follow, making them enjoyable to read and easy to get through. This is one devotional book that will definitely keep you coming back for more. I highly recommend this book to someone looking for a refreshing look into many people of the Bible. I hope that Higman writes more devotionals like this in the future, opening our eyes in a new way to even more of the stories we have read in our Bibles. I would recommend this book to small groups or the individual who just wants a view from a different sort of angle.

About the Author:
Anita Higman has over 30 books published for both adults and children and has six books due to come out over the next two years. She won the 2011 Reader's Choice Award and has also been honored by Barnes & Noble as an author of the month- Houston.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree that combines speech communication, psychology, and art from Southern Nazarene University, and she is a member of both  The Writer's View and American Christian Fiction Writers.
Other titles by Higman include Love Finds You in Humble Texas, Another Stab at Life, The Celestial Helix, and Big Book of Holidays and Holy Days.
Anita Higman's Website
One reader will be blessed with a copy of Where God Finds You by Anita Higman. Enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
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*Disclosure- I received a complimentary copy of Where God Finds you via  publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection, Classic Christmas Favorites or Dr. Seuss’s Deluxe Holiday Collection on Blu-ray Giveaway.

There is something about watching classic Christmas movies that just really gets me in the spirit of the season. Now that I have kids of my own,  I love that I can watch these great family movies with them as well. My favorite classic Christmas movie is A Charlie Brown Christmas. I can't get enough of the adorable Peanuts Characters! Warner Bros. will take care of all of your Christmas movie needs this holiday season with both classic and new movies on Blu Ray.

You can check out the Happy Holidays Blog app to see what movies are available, take a fun Christmas movies quiz (if you have any doubt about how much I truly love Christmas movies, I got a perfect score on the quiz!) and play the decode a scene game. You will have fun checking out the app below and maybe get some great last minute gift ideas as well.

Below is a holiday survival guide that can help you pick out which movies to buy for the people on your shopping list!

Warner Bros. wants to give one lucky Cristi's Reviews reader the chance to win one of the following Christmas collections on Blu Ray: Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection, Classic Christmas Collection or Dr. Suess's Deluxe Holiday Collection. The sponsor will send the winner the collection of their choosing. Enter below via the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Dial Holiday Antibacterial Hand Soap Review

As all of the fall holidays begin to happen, I start itching to decorate. Once Thanksgiving rolls around, I can't wait to see stockings and snowmen and snowflakes everywhere I turn. You can decorate for Christmas with very little money if you know how to search for bargains. A great place to start is with Dial Holiday Antibacterial Soaps. These soaps are a simple way to add a little touch of Christmas to your bathroom decor.

I was sent two Dial Holiday Antibacterial Soaps for review. I thought they were both really cute and wouldn't mind having either sit out on my bathroom counter or on my kitchen sink. I do prefer the peppermint pattern over the snowman, but I thought they were both cute. I was expecting the peppermint pattern to contain a peppermint scented soap and it didn't, which was kind of disappointing. Whatever the scent in them is, it smells really good, however I would have loved to have Christmas-y scents to go in the Christmas themed soap containers.

I think as far as decorating goes, that you could create a theme around these cute soaps. Having a few cute peppermint or snowman items to match in either the bathroom or kitchen would be really festive and cute.

You can pick up these holiday themed soaps as well as other Dial soaps at national retailers including Target, Walmart, Walgreens and Kroger.

*Disclosure- I received one or more of the above mentioned products in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Conscious Box Giveaway!

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Man, do I love a good Conscious Box giveaway! You, my lucky readers, are in for a treat. Conscious Box wants to give one of you the chance to win a December Conscious Box, packed full of tons of great eco-friendly products! I can say without a doubt that Conscious Box is my favorite Subscription box and I think you will really like it too!  I am going to make this a very simple giveaway, there are three options for entry:

1st entry (mandatory entry!) "Like" Conscious Box on Facebook. Leave a comment below telling me you did so!

Bonus entry: Follow this blog via GFC (to the right hand side of the screen) and leave a comment below telling me you did so!

Bonus Entry #2: Have you tried a subscriptioon box yet? Which one? Or What is your favorite eco-friendly product? Leave a comment answering either question below.

This giveaway will end December 17th at midnight (central time). Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Giveaway open to US residents ages 18 and older. Void where prohibited. This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.

Good luck!

Veiled Mist by Eleanor T. Beaty Book Review/Book Tour + Giveaway!

Book Blurb:

On the Caribbean island of Maurray, spoiled-rotten, fifteen-year-old Hanna wakes up to a nightmare. She is not the daughter of an aristocrat but the orphan of a Gypsy. She is the descendant to a mystical Gypsy tribe. Their magic is strong and has lasted six hundred years. Ornella, the tribe’s guardian, arrives at the island with her mutt, Count Dracula, to guide Hanna. Hanna is told she must embrace her heritage or die at the ripe age of seventeen. But Hanna does the unthinkable, she chooses death. She hates Gypsies and would rather die. What she doesn’t know is that her death will destroy the entire tribe. What she also doesn’t know is how persuasive Ornella can be. The nightmare begins.

My Thoughts:

In a genre that has been dominated by vampires and werewolves and the like, it is refreshing to see new subject matter. I found Veiled Mist to be an interesting, fast paced and easy read. I found the Young Adult genre appealing for it's great story lines, but in this book, I also enjoyed this look into a real group of people with it's magical spin on things. Hanna is definitely a spoiled well to do teen girl and it is nice seeing her story play out. I read this in just a few days and really enjoyed it. It was the first book I have read that was about Gypsies and it definitely won't be the last. I feel like the author left it open enough that this could make a great series. I would recommend Veiled Mist to fans of Young Adult novels, the Fantasy genre or someone who is just interested in Gypsies or in history. My only complaint is that there is a bit too much swearing for my taste. For me, it was unnecessary and took away a bit from the story, but not enough for me not to suggest that it is worth a read.

About the author:

Eleanor T. Beaty is Brazillian born and raised, of American parents. She lives in Brazile with her third husband and children.She studied at the American School in Brazil, in boarding schools in Switzerland and the US. She has a BA in English Literature from FIU. She published a YA triology in Brazil and and another YA novel in Turkey in 2001, now in it's fifth edition. Her passion is history and spiritualism. Besides Veiled Mist, she has another YA novel, Fallen Rule that will be released soon.

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Eleanor T. Beaty Website

Here is a little glimpse into Veiled Mist for my readers. Read the entire first chapter below!


Caribbean Island of Maurray
The wind blasted against her face, blowing her hair back and filling her mouth with a bitter taste.
Hanna covered her head with her hands. Oh, my God. Her hair was stiff and knotted, like a freaking bird’s nest. No way. Her hair did not knot. No knots. Ever. Hanna pulled on a strand, intending to untangle it and screamed. Besides knotting her hair, the wind was changing its color? Brown…deadpan brown? The color…of dog poop. Never would she be caught with that vile color. She would rather be dead than have that hair color. What had happened to her beautiful bright-gold, shiny hair?
She screamed at her brother John to close the window and fought her way to her hairbrush which hovered in the air, taunting her, daring her to grab it. Hanna’s hand shot out. She stretched her arm. She was but inches from the brush’s black handle…she almost had it…John hadn’t moved. Hanna was about to call out to him again when a dark shadow covered the window. She froze and dropped her hand as she saw a face with sagging, dry skin and hollowed cheeks. His bald head, more of a skull with a thin layer of skin stretched over it, had black sores the size of squashed grapes, oozing pus. He looked mummified.
Mummy-Man’s meatless lips parted exposing rotten teeth. The anger in his sunken eyes as he jumped onto the windowsill held the only telltale sign of life. His bony fingers grabbed the window frame and he sprang towards Hanna. Hanna faltered back until she hit the wall. Mummy-Man let out an angry roar, blasting Hanna with the smell of rotten, decayed flesh. Hanna gagged. She had a sensitive stomach, any strong smell made her gag, if not throw up. Even in her dreams? Hanna held her breath so as not to barf.
John stepped back and looked up at the ceiling, unaware of the danger. Hanna yelled at John as Mummy-Man’s hand shot to grab him. John continued to look up, as if he weren’t there. Didn’t he see the disgusting creature inches away?
Hanna screamed at John again, telling him to duck. Bang, the shutter crashed against the outside wall. Mummy-Man and John were sucked violently out. The hairbrush followed. Hanna tried to call after John, but instead released a snort. She opened her eyes. Had she really snorted? Like a pig? She gasped and covered her mouth.
How disgusting.
A pig.
Hanna swallowed. Her mouth tasted foul. Even more disgusting than the snort. Gross. Hanna’s right hand shot out from under the sheets and grabbed the glass of water by her bed. She took a large gulp, swished it around her mouth and swallowed. She did not want to throw up. A second swish took the bad taste away. She lay back down.
Why was her room so bright? Why were the shutters wide open? She sat up in bed and saw the large portrait of Princess Diana hanging lopsided on the wall opposite the window. Oh, no, had her dream come true? She ran her hands through her hair. A sigh of relief left her plump lips as she found no knots. She inspected several strands. She was still blond. Hanna eyed the Princess, her idol, whose shy smile and bright blue eyes had captured the world. There wasn’t even a breeze, so why was Lady Di lopsided?
The sweet perfume of daylilies drifted in from the garden patch below Hanna’s window as Hanna climbed out of bed and stretched. Their fragrance and the sunlight eased her feverish mind, pushing the nightmare aside. She turned to the fireplace and her eyes went wide. Her heart pounded inside her head and the scream that came out of her mouth resounded through the Williams’ English-style mansion. The ten-bedroom brick house, with its impeccable flowerbeds and design hedges, was located in Maurray City’s most elite neighborhood, the King James. The neighbors were far enough not to have heard Hanna, but that would not be the case for the other residents of the prestigious mansion: John Williams III, his estranged, but strangely still attached wife Camilla, and John, their offspring, were all jolted awake. However, it wasn’t any of them who came to find out why Hanna was screaming.
It was Vani, the five-foot Guatemalan housekeeper. She hurried into the room and came to a halt a few feet from Hanna, who stood near her bed facing the fireplace.
Vani looked around the room. She stretched her neck to check the red couch facing the terrace doors in the small living room, then gave Hanna a quick inspection. “What, Miss Hanna? Why you scream?” Vani looked around again. “Someone here?”
Hanna stood frozen, her eyes were all that moved, from the fireplace to the maid and back. Her lips seemed to be glued shut, or her jaw muscles were frozen, whichever it was, she just couldn’t speak. Vani clapped her hands a few inches from Hanna’s face, missing Hanna’s nose by inches. Hanna jolted back to life and turned to glare at Vani. Rage, she felt rage.
Vani gasped as Hanna leaned into her with a deranged look on her face.
“Oh, devil’s look,” Vani hissed under her breath. She raised her arms to block any possible blows. “Miss Hanna, stop acting like that. You possessed by bad spirit.”
“What happened to my doll?” Hanna finally yelled. Her words came out in a burst, forcing Vani to look away as spittle sprayed her face.
Vani took two steps back. “What doll?”
Hanna jabbed a finger at the mantle where her antique French doll stood inside its thick glass case, with both arms lying on the bottom. “I only have one doll. How did her arms fall off?”
Vani turned her black eyes to the doll and shuddered. “Doll is old. Maybe arms get tired…”
Hanna continued to glare at Vani. The shudder, Hanna didn’t like the shudder. Why did Vani always shudder when Hanna mentioned the doll? “You moved it, didn’t you?”
Vani took another step back. “No…no…I don’t come in while you sleeping.”
“Liar.” Hanna picked up her shoe and threw it at Vani. “Liar.”
Vani ducked. “I never touch…that…evil doll.” Vani made the sign of the cross as she retreated to the door.
“I’m going to tell my grandfather you broke my doll.”
“Go, tell what you want, chica loca,” Vani hissed, ducking out as Hanna threw the second shoe.
The shoe hit the door and chipped off a flake of white paint. Only when the shoe fell to the floor did Hanna realize what she had just done. She looked at her shaking hands as if they belonged to someone else. Then she slumped onto the bed crying.
There was a hole inside her chest. A huge dark hole…a loss, she had lost something. Hanna turned to the doll. She wished she could hug it and make the pain go away. The eighteenth-century doll, with its delicate features, diamond tiara and yellow-laced gown, was all she had left of her mother. That doll gave Hanna great comfort every day. It was her mother Marie watching over her. Marie, a descendant of the French aristocracy, had died in childbirth. On Hanna’s fifth birthday, her grandfather John II had brought the doll and placed it on the mantelpiece. For ten years it hadn’t been moved, so she thought. How could this happen? Now her doll looked like a cheap prop from a B-horror film. Hanna shuddered. Oh, my God, she’d shuddered? Was shuddering contagious?
Maybe Vani was right, but not about the doll. There was something evil going on. Something evil had broken her doll. The shutters banged again, making Hanna jump. She stared at the window and wiped her face. She had locked those shutters before going to bed. She was sure of it. Hanna stood and walked over to the window. She pulled the shutters closed, then changed her mind and threw them open, fastening them to the slip-hooks on the outside wall.
No, the doll wasn’t evil. Hanna twisted around and made her way back to the fireplace. She placed a gentle kiss on the glass case and headed to the bathroom to get ready for school. Her mind stayed with the doll while her green eyes watched her hand comb her blond strands; a robot doing its routine chore. She would get it fixed. Hanna applied black mascara and some gloss to her lips, wondering if the doll’s arms falling off could be an omen.
Omens were an obsession with her grandmother Elizabeth; she saw omens in everything and everywhere. While some on the island called Elizabeth a witch, Hanna thought of her as spiritual, albeit eerie. Vani called her Chupacabra, the mythical goat-bloodsucking demon creature. Last week, when Hanna had told Elizabeth she’d dreamt of a hand stabbing her doll in the back, her grandmother explained it forewarned betrayal. Elizabeth told Hanna to be vigilant. Her grandmother didn’t like the doll. Hanna wondered what she would say about the doll’s fallen arms. As she headed across the bedroom, the shutters banged again. Hanna twirled around wide-eyed. That was not possible. Shutters didn’t get loose from those hooks. Did they? Perhaps the hooks were weak.
She went back to her bed and slipped her hand under her pillow and removed an old, faded black-and-white picture of a young woman sitting sideways smiling at the camera. Marie wore her dark-blond hair up in a loose bun known as the French twist. Her mother had a kind face. Her almond-brown eyes and small full lips held a childish innocence. Her beaded evening gown spilled to the floor around her legs. She wore a delicate diamond necklace and matching diamond earrings.
The photo was quite creased from all the nights Hanna held it under her pillow while falling asleep. She wished she had more pictures, but her grandmamma told her Marie was extremely shy, a recluse almost, and didn’t allow her picture to be taken. This had been an exception, taken two days before her entire family had been wiped out during an earthquake in France. Poor Marie’s life had been a sequence of tragedies. Hanna kissed the picture and put it away in the bedside table drawer as she did every morning so no one would touch it. She would give anything to have known her.
In the kitchen she found John eating a large bowl of honey-puff cereal. The thirteen-year-old geek couldn’t be more different from Hanna. In looks, he took after his mother Camilla, dark-blond hair and brown eyes. As to his high IQ, that was a mystery. Hanna sat down next to John and looked at the bowl with a yellow mush. “Vani, is this diet banana?”
“Yes, yes. Diet banana,” Vani called from within the pantry.
John had told Hanna that the “diet banana” was a lie, invented by Vani to get around Hanna’s demand for a fruit larger than a grape, with only fifty calories. Hanna didn’t believe him.
“So, what happened? Did your Prada shoes run off with your Versace bag?” John asked.
Hanna paused to consider if John might have messed with her doll. She watched him stuff a large spoonful of cereal into his mouth.
John felt her stare. “What?”
“Did you happen to sneak into my room this morning?”
“Ha, ha. I don’t have a death wish. Why? What’s missing?”
“Someone broke my doll’s arms.”
John shuddered and Hanna caught him doing it. “What’s with all the shuddering? That doll is not evil.”
John took another spoonful of cereal and turned back to watch Hanna.
“I have to get it fixed,” Hanna said. She ate the mush and drank her lemon juice.
“Get what fixed?”
“The doll, John, the doll. Is there anything stuck in my teeth?”
“Mush doesn’t stick to teeth. Grandmamma might know of someone.”
She might, but Hanna wouldn’t ask her. Grandmamma would use the excuse to disappear with it. But her grandfather would help. “Maybe Grandpapa.” Hanna took out her phone and hit speed dial. John II didn’t pick up. He always picked up for her. Why wasn’t he picking up? Had something happened to him?
John’s face lit up. “Did you talk to him about the car?”
“Not yet. I think there’s still time for that.”
John wanted their grandfather’s 1960 Mustang for his sixteenth birthday. He knew their paternal grandfather had a soft spot for Hanna.
The doorbell rang. That would be Thomas, their driver, letting them know it was time to go. John grabbed his backpack while Hanna grabbed her Chanel handbag and one notebook. The two headed for the limousine. Hanna pressed redial as she walked out the front door, but hung up before the phone began to ring. It had been no nightmare. In the daylily patch beneath her window was a blackened area the shape of a body. Mummy-man.

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*Disclosure- I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of putting together this review. I was not required to render a positive review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Covergirl Blastflipstick Review and Giveaway

I have been using Covergirl makeup for as long as I have been wearing makeup and I appreciate that they are always trying to come out with innovative products that will minimize the time I need to spend on my makeup routine. Last year (I think, or maybe the year before) when they came out with the "Blast" line of products I was completely on board. I especially am a huge fan of the LashBlastLuxe mascara. I like that it adds volume to my lashes and the extra depth the touch of glitter in the formula adds to the overall look. I also was all over the Blastflpsticks the second they came out. I love lip color and I don't think you can ever have too many colors. Changing up your lip color can change up the entire look you have created. What I LOVE about the blastflipsticks is that it comes with a color on both ends. These colors compliment each other, but can also stand alone. One end has a smooth, matte like color and the other will have a sort of shimmery color. There are endless looks you can create with your blastflipsticks. Below, I will show you four simple ways I used my blastflipstick in Vixen. There are so many other things you could do with this lip color though!

Here I have the shimmer side on the top lip
and the flat berry color on the bottom lip
This is the flat berry color on both top
and bottom lips
Here we have both colors. The dark berry on both
lips with the light shimmery color on top for a
nice layered look.

This is just the lighter, shimmery color on  top
and bottom lips.



As you can see, you can really play with your lip look with blastflipsticks. This is only one of several colors you have to choose from!

I was lucky enough to be sent a few of these from Covergirl via Bzzagent and I want to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win a blastflipstick of their very own. Enter via the rafflecopter below!! Winner will receive their choice between Minx or Stunner!

*Disclosure- I received one or more of the above mentioned products free of charge from Bzzagent in exchange for my opinion. I was not required to write a blog post and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis Book Review

Joanna Kurtz is a 24 year old Amish woman who seems to always be the bridesmaid for her friends wedding. Joanna wonders if her turn for love is going to come or if that ship has long past sailed for her. She also happens to be a closet writer of fiction- something that is frowned upon in Lancaster county among her fellow Amish.

Eben Troyer falls for Joanna immediately, but he has things in Indiana where he lives standing in the way of making her his bride the biggest being his brother who has chosen to leave the Amish way of life and left Eben to take over for his parents. Joanna doesn't want to move away from her home. Will they be able to find love in the end or will Joanna always be a bridesmaid?

I always enjoy a good Amish fiction book. Since Beverely Lewis invented the genre, I always expect to really like her  novels and The Bridesmaid is no exception. I enjoyed the plot and it was an easy read. There was tension as each page unfolded Eben and Joanna's story and I wasn't sure how it was going to end. I also really wanted to find out more about Joanna's aunt- her namesake- a mysterious woman that no one has said much about until Joanna starts asking questions. I don't think I have ever read an Amish fiction novel where the main characters had so much distance standing in the way of their happily ever after, so I thought that brought a new twist on the typical Amish love story and I really enjoyed that refreshing difference. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys love stories, Amish culture or inspirational fiction. This was an easy read sure to please any romantic.

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*Disclosure- I received a complimentary copy of The Bridesmaid from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to render a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

12 Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur Book Review

Book Description:

What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work? Far from the children’s tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real. They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their stories as a display of human nobility. Instead, it describes these heroes of the faith with unflinching honesty and delivers an unexpected ending: “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16). In Twelve Unlikely Heroes, pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur uses his deep knowledge of the Bible and history to take us back to see these three-dimensional men and women in their own times and cultures. In doing so, it becomes clear how their dramatic stories apply to us today. People who might at first seem foreign quickly become familiar and unforgettable—particularly as they reveal the true Hero behind every witness, the power counterbalancing every weakness, “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1).

My Thoughts:  I knew right away that I would like this book, it just seems you can't go wrong with a title by John MacArthur. Our society has a tendency to proclaim famous actors or athletes as heroes, but the Bible is full of every day REAL heroes. 12 Unlikely Heroes highlights many of them. One might go into this book thinking it is a rehashing of the exact story of these heroes from the Bible, but there was new information regarding each story that brought a more in depth look at these people of the Bible. There are several stories you would expect, among them John the Baptist, Jonah and Joseph, but a few you might not have even considered might be included- Miriam, James,  Gideon and Samson. I found this novel to be an interesting read that I felt brought a new level of understanding to many people I have read about in my Bible. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Bible or just wants to read several stories of true heroes.

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Grace Community Church Website

Buy 12 Unlikely Heroes on

*Disclosure- I was provided a complimentary copy of Twelve Unlikely Heroes  by the publisher via BookSneeze. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

Add New Flavor to Desserts with Torani Syrups

Last year when I joined the SheSpeaks community the very first campaign I got to participate in was for Torani syrups and I fell in love immediately! So when I saw that SheSpeaks would once again be offering up Torani syrups for review, I did not hesitate to sign up.

This time I got a fun fall flavor- pumpkin pie and a classic flavor- vanilla bean. I have been expirementing almost daily to come up with great recipes for both and I think I have come up with some pretty fantastic ideas!

For the Vanilla Bean Torani, I made a cinnamon-vanilla glaze to drizzle over pumpkin pancakes for a decadent fall treat. The recipe is as follows:

Cinnamon-Vanilla Glaze

1 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Torani syrup
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste)
3-4 tablespoons of milk

Mix and enjoy over your favorite pancakes!!

Since pumpkin is pretty much my favorite flavor of all time, I knew I would have to do something a little more special with the Pumpkin Pie Torani. I tried several things and enjoyed almost all of them (the only major fail was when I tried to make pumpkin pie marshmallows, the flavor was just too strong.) I enjoyed drizzling a bit of the Pumpkin Pie Torani over my ice cream and even adding a tad to the milk in my cereal for a little change of pace. I also added a little pumpkin pie syrup to some milk and Irish cream liquor and it was fantastic, but the recipe I am going to share with you I am REALLY excited about! Over the past year, I have been really into the whole trend of using wonton wrappers to create appetizers, mini foods and desserts. The instant my Torani syrups arrived on my doorstep, I had this idea that I *HAD* to make pumpkin cream cheese wontons and that's what I did. The results were amazing.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Wonton Triangles-

1 package of cream cheese
2 cups of powdered sugar
3/4-teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Torani
3 tablespoons of milk
48 wonton wrappers (there are an abundance in each package, much more than 48!)

Mix together all of the wet ingredients. Then spoon a bit of the mixture on to each wonton and seal the edges with water, a fork and your fingers. I deep fried mine on medium in batches of 4-5, but I have a small deep fryer, you may be able to fit more in yours. Keep an eye on them and take them out when they are golden brown. Drizzle chocolate syrup over them for a finishing touch.

If you are a pumpkin fan, you will love this dessert. It was pretty easy too, just took a few minutes!

Torani has many, many more syrup flavors to choose from. Not only can you make coffee shop quality drinks at home, now you can take your desserts to a whole new level!

Love creating recipes? Enter the Torani Cheers contest! This is the last week and you could win fantastic prizes from Mr. Coffee!

*Disclosure- I received one or more of the above mentioned products for free from SheSpeaks & Torani. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit Review

About once or twice a week for the last few weeks, I have been writing reviews about individual products I got from Influenster in the Beauty Bloggers Vox Box. There were some many wonderful products, they all deserved their own dedicated blog post! I saved one of my favorites for last! The Kiss Ever Pro Lashes were my first experience with false lashes. I have been wanting to try them for a while, but have found them to be a tiny bit intimidating. For the majority of my life, I have been a mascara and lip gloss kind of girl, but lately I have been playing more with makeup and my look and false lashes seemed like a fun (and dramatic!) leap! So I was pretty excited to see them included in my voxbox to try out.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to apply them by myself since it was my first tango with falsies. It took me a few tries, but I did manage to eventually get them on without any help! I was super proud of myself for that! Of course, it didn't have anything to do with my makeup skills, but everything to do with the adhesive and lash applicator included in the starter kit. False lashes just add such a new dynamic to your overall look. If you have been wanting to try them or just curious, but intimidated like I was, this starter set is just right for you! Give it a try! And for those of you that already love your falsies, well this set will make the application process simple and quick! I would recommend these to any make up lover or girlie girl!

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*Disclosure- I received one or more of the above mentioned products from Influenster. All opionions stated are 100% my own.

Jealousy Glass by Gwen Perkins Book Review/Blog Tour

Book Blurb:

"We came to stop a war before it came to Cercia. And it seems the war has come to us."

Responsibility and patriotism spur Cercia's new leader, Quentin, to protect his beloved country at all costs and he assigns Asahel and Felix to serve as ambassadors and secret agents to Anjdur. Their journey quickly turns awry and Asahel and Felix barely escape a devastating shipwreck, walk a tightrope of political tension, and rescue an empress before they learn they must face an enemy closer to them than they thought.

Will they be able to uncover an assassin's plot before it's too late? Will Asahel be able to unearth a secret that is vital to their mission? Will Cercia survive its own revolution? In The Jealousy Glass, Perkins boldly continues a series of unforgettable characters and events that will leave you begging for more.

My Thoughts:

Jealousy Glass is the second book in the Artifacts of Empire series by Gwen Perkins. I didn't read the previous book in the series, The Universal Mirror. I feel that put my at a disadvantage as far as fully enjoying and fully understanding the novel. There was background information I felt I was missing and I did feel like I started in the middle of a story. That is no fault of the authors, but mine alone for missing out on the first book. I was still able to follow the story and enjoy it to some extent, I do however recommend reading the first book if you plan on reading The Jealousy Glass. Overall, I thought this was a good adventure novel and I enjoyed getting to know the two main characters Asahel and Felix along the way. I will probably go back and read the first book, so I can continue the series when Perkins adds more to the series. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys a good adventure type novel.

About the Author:

Gwen Perkins has always regarded the deep rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula as the one place that she feels most at home. Gwen grew up in small towns across the Pacific Northwest, going to slug races and strawberry festivals when she wasn't scribbling on any scrap of paper she could come by. She boasts the dubious distinction of going to a public school with only eight students, learning Irish sea chanteys from a man who sang with the Clancy Brothers, and catching tadpoles during classes.

Her adult life is generally just about as much fun.

She lives in the City of Destiny (better known as Tacoma, Washington). Her hobbies include wandering beaches, baking pies and lampworking. In between all of this, Gwen has written two novels in the Artifacts of Empire series: The Universal Mirror and The Jealousy Glass. The Universal Mirror has been nominated for a 2013 Endeavour Award.

She is presently at work on future novels in the Artifacts of Empire series while working on another series in collaboration with Wilson Fabián Saravia.

Buy The Jealousy Glass on Amazon
Read the first book in the Artifacts of Empire series The Universal Mirror

Connect with Gwen Perkins on Facebook
Connect with  Gwen Perkins on Twitter
Connect with Gwen Perkins on Goodreads

Check out the Artifacts of Empire website

*Disclosure- I received a complimentary copy of the book in hopes that I might mention it on my blog. I was not  required to render a positive review and all opinions are 100% my own.