Saturday, June 29, 2013

Escape Monthly (New Subscription Box) Giveaway + 20% Off For Life!!

Over the last few years there have been tons of subscription boxes come out. You can pretty much find a box to fit your lifestyle or interests. There are boxes full of great snacks and treats, boxes specifically for vegans. There are boxes full of great fashion finds and boxes with all of the latest in makeup. Escape Monthly is the newest subscription box on the block and I am excited to say has a completely new theme. This is a destination inspired box. Most of us are unable to take a vacation as often as we'd like for one reason or another- don't have the money, the babysitter, the time off from work- well, Escape Monthly wants to bring help you break away each month with their destination inspired boxes. The boxes will include everything from spa & beauty products, to gourmet snacks & gift certificates. The coolest thing about Escape Monthly and the thing that especially will set them apart from other boxes, is that they will give a lucky winner each month a free vacation to wherever the box was inspired by! How cool is that?

Does Escape Monthly sound like something you would love? (Of course it does!) Today is your lucky day! They want to give one of my reader's the chance to win a free box! Enter via the Rafflecopter below to win the very first Escape Monthly box, which will be available in August. Good luck!

Can't wait to sign up? Head over to Escape Monthly's website and enter the code "YOURESCAPE" for 20% off for life! Hurry, this discount is limited to the first 100 members!

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summertime Fun at Bahama Beach Water Park in Dallas, TX + $2 off per ticket!

*Disclosure- I will receive complimentary tickets to the water park as a thank you for helping spread the word about the waterpark and the promotion.

When you live in Texas, there is really nothing better in the summer than going to a waterpark. I have recently discovered one I didn't previously no about on the outskirts of Dallas called Bahama Beach. They are offering a two dollar discount off of each ticket. I also read on their website that hot dogs are only $1 on July 4th! Even if you can't make it out on Independence  the food there is very affordable (the regular price of that hot dog is only $2.50), making it a fun and not super expensive way to be spend a day with family and cool off in this summer heat!

Save $2 on admission to Bahama Beach Waterpark

#Ad- Bahama Beach Waterpark is the perfect place to cool off this summer. Bahama Beach offers the best family waterpark value in the metroplex. Conveniently located only ten minutes south of downtown Dallas, you can get away from it all without ever leaving town. We have everything from 45 foot tall slides for the big kids and adults who are young at heart, to an interactive water playground with a 1000 gallon dumping bucket for the little ones. And for those who want to kick back and relax, grab a tube, wade into one of two zero depth entry beaches, and take a float down the lazy river. Plenty of shade, reservable private cabanas, and food & beverages to satisfy all of your summertime cravings tops it all off. So bring the whole family and make a day of it at Bahama Beach Waterpark!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Easy Canvas Prints Review + Giveaway

*Disclosure- I received a free product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated below are 100% my own.

I was recently contacted by Easy Canvas Prints asking if I would like to review one of their canvas products and I was more than willing to oblige. My family and I moved into a new house a little over a year ago and it is pretty much a house to grow into for us and therefore a lot of it is bare. I am slowly decorating. I have managed to add a few touches here and there to the kitchen and the downstairs living area and my next project to tackle is definitely my bedroom. It is full of white walls just screaming out for the company of some beautiful decor, so my first thought when I was pondering what canvas I would like to receive was that it HAD to be a wedding photo. I would love to have one of the beautiful images from one of the most important days of my life blown up and in a place where I will wake up to it every morning. I decided on this picture:

photo canvas printsI submitted my photo in just a few easy steps. The first step is choosing your size. There are several different sizes which is great because it could accommodate many different size spaces depending on what you have to work with. The sizes range from 8 x 8 to 30 x 40 and there is even an option to make your own customized size if none of the sizes available will work for you. What I really like about the Easy Canvas website is that while you are choosing your size, there is an animation with a couch and it shows you above the couch what each particular sized canvas would look in comparison. This is a great tool if, like me, you might not be good at knowing exactly what the dimensions of the canvases would look like without having them right in front of you. After you pick your size, you can upgrade your canvasw wrap thickness or you can move on to the next step and just keep it at the standard size that is included in the price already. Next you upload your picture. You have the option to upload from your computer or even from Facebook or Instagram making it easy to get your canvas created very quickly. There is an image quality check that will let you know how your picture qualilty is as well. After you've checked your picture quality the next step is to select from three border options. From there, you have the option for a few upgrades or you can move on to paying for your canvas. All of this takes a total of about ten minutes. It truly is really easy to create a nice canvas piece on Easy Canvas Prints website.

Since my walls are so bare in my bedroom, I have been thinking it is possible that I might eventually create a block of canvases of my wedding pictures, maybe 4 of my favorite pictures. If I don't do that, I might hang the one that I am anxiously awaiting above my dresser and surround it by some beautiful candle sconces. The cool thing about these canvases is that there are so many different ways that you can add them into your decor. You can take any photo that you have and turn it into a piece of art. Right now, they are even 25% off and something else really great is that shipping is free. If you are looking for beautiful, easy and affordable decor, you will definitely want to take a look at Easy Canvas Prints
banner maker

banner makerGreat news! The awesome people are Easy Canvas Prints wants to give one of my readers the chance to create and own their very own canvas! Enter via the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

Monday, June 24, 2013

They Quarryman's Bride by Trace Peterson Book Review

*Disclosure- I received a free copy of the novel from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book:

Emmalyne Knox has always loved Tavin MacLachlan. But when tragedy strikes her family, Emmalyne's father declares she can no longer marry. Despite Tavin's pleas to defy the decisions, Emmalyne refuses. In her act of obedience, she gives up the future she'd always dreamed of.

When Emmalyne's father returns to the quarry business years later, Tavin and Emmalyne meet again. And though circumstances have changed in both of their lives, they cannot deny the feelings that still exit.

Can Emmalyne find a way to heal the decade-long wound that has fractured the two families...and change the hearts of those who stand in the way of true love?

My thoughts:

The book opens as seventeen year old Emmalyne Knox's family is struck by a huge tragedy. It takes a huge toll on the family and causes her father to call off her impending wedding to Tavin MacLachan due to an old family tradition and his own bitter sadness. Despite Tavin's protests and his trying to persuade her to marry him anyway, Emmalyne feels she must be obedient to her parents and does as they wish. The family moves  to Minneapolis. Eleven years later, her father receives a job opportunity back in St. Cloud. Emmalyne is nervous about the move back and the possibility of running in to Tavin, although the last time she corresponded with Tavin's sister, she said that he had left and they rarely hear from him. Emmalyne lost touch with her friend over the years and really doesn't know what Tavin's situation is. Did he marry? Did he come back to St. Cloud? Will she have to see him and suffer heart ache all over again? I enjoyed watching Emmalyne's story unfold, although if you do not like stories tinged with sadness, this is probably one you'd rather skip over as the majority of the book is poor Emmalyne dealing with her insufferable father and his mean and tyranical ways. After the Knoxs' move back to St. Cloud, there are several stories within the novel going on, which definitely makes things more interesting. I liked that Peterson allowed us to see both Tavin and Emmalyne's thoughts and feelings from their own prespectives. I did feel like some of the story was a little repetitive, but that is really my only complaint. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this was definitely a new time period for me to read about (the story begins around 1886) and a new place (Minnesota) and that was refreshing. This was the first novel I have read by Peterson and I will definitely read many more. I think if you enjoy a good story of redemption and faith that you would really like The Quarryman's Bride.

About the author:

Tracie Peterson is the award winning author of more than 95 books! She was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Montana and enjoys spending time with family, especially her three grandchildren.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jack The Giant Slayer Blu-Ray Combo Giveaway!

*Disclosure- This promotion and all materials provided are brought to you via Warner Bros

The giants have been unleashed upon earth for the first time in centuries. They want to reclaim the land they lost and Jack finds himself in the battle of his life to stop them. He is fighting for his people, a kingdom and, of course, a girl (a princess!). Starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci, this star studded family movie has been recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD.

The wonderful people at Warner Bros want to give my readers a chance to win a free Blu-Ray Combo addition of Jack The Giant Slayer! Check out the fun blog app below, find out if you are as brave as Jack in the "How Brave Are You" quiz, have fun with the giant soundboard mixing sounds to make your own mashups of sounds from the movie and control the moving GIFS and power the action in the movie with just a swipe of your mouse! This exclusive content, only available on the Jack The Giant Slayer App, will provide tons of fun for you (and/or your kids!) After you've checked out the App, be sure to look below it for the Rafflecopter for for your chance to win a copy of the Blu-Ray combo of Jack The Giant Slayer!

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Far Far Away By Tom McNeal Book Review

Disclosure- I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book: 

It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn't even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he's able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it's been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn't been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically  one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. But when the provocative local girl Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a grim chain of events is put into motion. And as anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings. . . 

My thoughts:

I thought that the premise of this book was a unique take on the fantasy/young adult genre, so I was definitely on board to check it out. The book starts of pretty strong introducing us to many characters that will be a huge part of Jeremy's story. I loved that this novel was told from the point of view of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, it added a nice twist and a different voice to a story meant for children. It also made me smile to see bits of German peppered throughout the book. This is something I definitely would have been into reading in middle school back in the day. Anyway, after the strong beginning I felt the middle was kind of lacking, that there was a lot of unnecessary filler. I was also annoyed by the super nerve grating character of Ginger. She made it feel at times like I was reading a novel of a Scooby Doo mystery rather than a sophisticated tale from the ghost of Jacob Grimm. I rode it out because I loved the idea of the story line and I am glad I did, the last half of the book was phenomenal. I felt it was entirely different from the first half of the book, but I guess if the entire book would have been like the end, it might have been too much emotionally for a younger grade reader. The book almost starts out on a light note of Jeremy and the two book store he lives in, followed mid-book by a game show appearance and then eases into the scarier part of Jeremy's tale all the while Jacob is looking over him and guiding him as best he can. Since this is a Grimm related novel, it's not all rays of sunshine, but you will have to read the book to find out if Jeremy gets a happy ending or if another fate is in store for him. I thought this was a great book that would be enjoyed by middle grade readers and adults alike. 

About the author:

Tom McNeal holds an MA in creative writing from UC Irvine and was a Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. He is the author, with his wife, Laura, of four young adult novels published by Knopf: Crooked, Crushed, The Decoding of Lana Morris, and Zipped. His adult titles include Goodbye, Nebraska and To Be Sung Underwater. He lives with his wife and two sons in Southern California.

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Far Far Away is now available on

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Oh La La! French Women's Secrets To Feeling Beautiful Every Day By Jamie Cat Callahan- Book Review

*Disclosure-I received a free copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book: 

French women seem to have a special knack for life’s most important things—food, love, raising children. And in matters of beauty and style, they appear to be at an unfair advantage. But the good news is that everything French women know can be learned….

French women are not born more attractive than anyone else. They simply learn at a very young age how to feel beautiful, confident, and sexy, inside and out. It’s an allure that outlasts youth—in fact, some of France’s most celebrated women are femmes d’un certain âge. Experience only makes them more irresistible. Growing up, Jamie Cat Callan had a French grand-mère to instruct her on style, grooming, and genuinely liking her reflection in the mirror. Now she shares that wisdom along with advice from other French women on fragrance, image consulting, makeup, and more, and shows you how to:

*Discover the power of perfume
*Find mentors who will help hone your personal style
*Begin at the ends—hands, feet, and hair
*Choose lingerie that makes you feel magnifique
*Get an internal makeover and nourish your soul
*Embrace your age gracefully and gorgeously

Bid au revoir to Botox, fad diets, and agonizing over every imperfection, and say hello to the truly timeless beauty that comes with making the most of your own unique je-ne-sais-quoi.

My thoughts:

I remember being 19 and being in Paris with my parents and siblings and thinking there is just no place on Earth (at least that I have ever been) that is as beautiful. The cobblestone streets, the beautiful scenery and yes, the people of France. I didn't give much thought to the fact that pretty much everyone that wasn't a tourist there looked well put together and confident, but I do know that 12 years later I am still obsessed with all things French and would love nothing more than to be back in France. This obsession leads me to read pretty much anything about France, so as soon as I saw this book's title I knew I HAD to read it. Reading through each page as Jamie Cat Callahan takes us through her journey through different parts of France with several of her French friends I kept thinking a lot of the stuff mentioned was kind of common sense stuff that maybe we American women just don't take the time to take care of ourselves. Each of her French friends and women she meets along the way in France have different personalities, the one thing they have in common is their confidence in themselves. Some of the greatest advice that I would never have thought of on my own even though it seems so simple is for your style to reflect who you are. Try on different clothes in different colors and styles and see what YOU feel BEST in? That is style advice? Being an individual? It's so simple yet so genius and it clearly works for the French. I think in America we tend to want to copy off of other people's style and there is nothing wrong with copying something you find cool, but feeling comfortable in your own shoes is definitely a huge factor in being able to be confident in how you look. This book was so full of great information and I plan to use many of the tactics the French do for feeling confident and beautiful. I highly recommend this book to any woman who is interested in fashion or feeling more confident in their own skin. 

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