Saturday, October 29, 2011

VeggieTales Princess Castle Playset Toy Review!

    My daughter was recently gifted with this awesome VeggieTales Princess Castle Playset! She spotted it last month in the Family Christian Stores catalog and instantly fell in love with it!  I told her to write it on her Christmas list, but her sweet Granny surprised her with it early!  The castle is good size and comes with royal furniture (two chairs and a table), and five hard rubber Veggie Tales characters (Prince Larry, Princess Petunia, Bob, Junior, and Laura) from their Sweetpea Beauty story.  There are doors that open both in the front and back and room on the top and inside for the characters to stand up.  I love that it closes and has a handle on top for easy carrying around the house or in the car, and the people fit inside when closed too.  She has played with this everyday since she received it and has even added her Littlest Pet Shop characters to the mix too - it's perfect for any little animals or play figures!

I would totally recommend this for any young girl ages 3+!  It's a great way to introduce Veggie Tales to a young lady!

Visit for more information or to purchase the VeggieTales Princess Castle Playset ($24.95)!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Brittany Hargest's "Love All the Way" CD Album!

Sometimes I love me some bubblegum feel-good pop music!  Especially when it's Christ/Christian based music!  Brittany Hargest's new album "Love All the Way" delivers just that!  There are 10 songs on the album, and they are all fun and upbeat!  I played this album and my 7-year-old daughter absolutely loved it too!  She danced and tried to sing along, it was really super cute!  And it made me feel good knowing there we no bad words or lyrics about inappropriate lifestyle choices or circumstances.  It's very fun dance music to lift your mood!

This is fun for us ladies, but I would also recommend it for teen girls as well!  It would make a great gift for that teenage girl in your life(daughter, niece, granddaughter, friends daughter, etc...)!  

Here are some links to check out Brittany Hargest's new album, and to follow her!  

Click on the image below to watch a behind the scenes video of the making of her album!

I had the privilege of reviewing Brittany's new album courtesy of Propeller, and also have an extra CD to giveaway to a lucky reader!

 One lucky reader will win a copy (1) of  Brittany Hargest's NEW album "Love All the Way"!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Mighty Macs Film Review Screening - RELEASES TODAY!

The Mighty Macs movie releases today in theaters and it's the perfect film to take a girlfriend, sister, or mom to.  I had privilege of watching and reviewing the film before it's release thanks to Propeller.  Although the film has a slow start, it gradually picks up and the characters begin to grow on you.  

A little about the film:

It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.

In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.

Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.

From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!
While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.

Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

Visit the sites below to learn more!

Thanks to Propeller for the opportunity to review the film!

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Abundant Life Day Book Review

If you enjoy daily devotionals, like I do, you will go crazy for this new 365-day devotional from Nancy Guthrie!  It is geared towards women, but I think even men would benefit from it as well.  The book is small and sturdy, and the design is so beautiful! Black, white, and lovely bright green accents inside with a hot green ribbon marker too!  Ha!  I notice things like that. I know it's silly, but I adore beautifully designed goodies.  Maybe it's because my dad is in marketing that I notice how well designed things are.  Regardless, besides being a dynamite devotional book, it's well and beautifully made.

What sets this devotional apart is each day has it's title with a scripture below it, then Nancy writes an excerpt expounding on the scripture as if it's God speaking directly to you, to your heart.  It's hard to explain exactly how she's written them, but I'm telling you, you will not be disappointed with this book, you may even want to order an extra to give as a gift to your mom, girlfriend, or sister!

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you so much!

The Grace Card DVD Review

I'm not a big fan of most of the movies released in theaters these days, which is why I rarely go, unless it's a movie for the kiddos that's wholesome and fun.  Unfortunately, most movies made for the adult audience are tasteless, negative, and have all sorts of garbage language and immoral behavior.  Sorry, that was a little depressing, and made me sound like a bit of a debbie-downer, but it's a true tragic fact.  But fear not!  There are decent upstanding people making healthy, wholesome, encouraging and uplifting films.  One of them is The Grace Card.  When I received the dvd in the mail and read the back I wasn't sure how much I'd like it, but I was BLOWN AWAY.  It is such a powerful movie, full of hope, restoration, redemption and of course GRACE.  The story line, acting, music, everything was orchestrated professionally, this isn't a low budget cheesy film, it's dynamite!  

Here's an excerpt of the storyline:

"Everything can change in an instant ... and take a lifetime to unravel. When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, the ensuing 17 years of bitterness and pain erodes his love for his family and leaves him angry with God ... and just about everyone else. Mac's rage stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he's partnered with Sam Wright, a rising star on the force who happens to be a part-time pastor and a loving family man. Can they somehow join forces to help one another when it's impossible for either of them to look past their differences-especially the most obvious one? Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God's grace. Offer THE GRACE CARD ... and never underestimate the power of God's love."

I cried multiple times throughout the film, it's just so powerful and moving.  I loved it, and would highly recommend it.  It's rated PG-13, and I would advise to heed that rating as there are some heated discussions and scenes that display some hard truths about life.  
For more information visit the website or facebook page below.

The Grace Card Website

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Whitestone Media's THEO Bible-based Animated Series Review

 The kiddos(7 & 10) and I had the pleasure of reviewing the new biblical-based animated series, Theo, created by Whitestone Media, recently, and I have to say I loved it as much as they did.  I was super impressed by the quality of animation and the script!  The two episodes on the dvd were, Saving Faith(9 minutes) and Good News(5 minutes).  Both were super cute, but really short.  That was my kiddos only complaint, and I agree, I was wanting a 30 minutes episode!  We watched it four times in a row because it was really good, but so short.  This was an introductory dvd so it was a good teaser, and both the kiddos and I are looking forward to the next new, and l-o-n-g-e-r episodes!     

Visit the THEO website for more information or to order your own!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

LISTEN. And listen good. - God

God's been working on this with me big time. I'm naturally a driven, confident, I-can-do-it-myself person, so fully surrendering the steering wheel to God has been quite the learning curve for me.  Thankfully God's patient.  I mean patient.  I mean really really patient with me.  I'm also thankful he loves me so much as to not bop me on the head when I grab and take the wheel again which causes my life to swerve.  He just smiles, shakes his head, and reaches for the wheel again.  I'm finding the more I include him in every single little detail in my life, the more I'm hearing from him, and feeling total trust and freedom to fully let go of everything in my life.  Because really, I know he knows best and his way and timing is always the best. 

Also, I LOVE the photo above - isn't it amazing?  I found it browsing Pinterest,one of my favorite sites ever.  I would blow it up and have it framed if possible!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Year With Jesus by R.P. Nettelhorst Book Review

I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again; devotionals are one of my favorite types of books in the whole wide world!  So when I got the chance to receive and review this new devotional by R.P. Nettelhorst titled, "A Year With Jesus", I was stoked!  It's a 365-day devotional which I also love since that way I get a bite sized surge of encouragement every single day! 
Here's an excerpt from Amazon about the book - 

"A 365-day devotional featuring the actual spoken words of Jesus as presented in the Bible.
Too many times the impact and grandness of the actual words Jesus spoke, as recorded in the Bible, are lost in the telling of the story. In A Year with Jesus, the primary focus is to allow the scriptures that contain Jesus' dialogue to uniquely speak to the reader. The author follows each reading with insights and applications to help explain the context and nuances of the text. The unique titling of each meditation and the nontraditional themes and organization help bring Jesus to our daily lives. Topics include:
  • Love and Hate
  • Truths and Lies
  • Arrogance and Humility
  • Friends and Enemies
  • Belief and Disbelief
  • Patience and Impatience
  • Deserved and Undeserved
  • Good and Evil
  • Fidelity and Treachery
  • Life and Death"
The back cover reads, "The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived Wants to Spend Time With You.  There's no one like Jesus in all of history.  He touched hearts and changed lives everywhere he went in his thirty-three years on earth.  Each person who spent time with him was never the same.

Jesus' words and actions, which have spanned the centuries, are just as relevant and important for you today.  When you spend time with Jesus, you'll soon discover that what matters to him most of all is you.

A Year With Jesus is an unforgettable 365-day revelation of Jesus' love through his actual words, plus reflections and insights to encourage and inspire you.  Let his words comfort you and fill your heart and life.  As you connect more deeply with the Greatest Person Who ever lived - this Person Who knows you and cares about every detail of your life - you'll find yourself living and loving with greater peace, promise, and purpose."

WOW.  Just WOW.  Jesus' words are where it's at, and what it's all about so naturally I'm drawn to books that center on His words, and this book nails it!  

I la la LOVE this devotional, and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to grow in their relationship and daily walk with Jesus.  A very powerful and resourceful book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Living CloseTo God by Gene Edwards Book Review

My Review/Thoughts

There's so much to say about this book! I loved every page of it! Gene Edwards is such a gifted and anointed writer. This book is primarily for those who feel the 'aren't very spiritual', who feel they have a 'spiritual disconnect', but long to learn how to press in and grow in their spiritual walk. The book is broken in attainable chapters with tons of scripture references and lots of bits of encouragement too.  There is also a 7-week guide for personal growth at the end of the book that's fantastic! I highly highly recommend this book to those seeking to grow and stretch in their spiritual walk with the Lord!

Here's an excerpt from Amazon:
"Have you tried harder to have a consistent time with the Lord—but failed?
Does your mind wander during prayer, and do you run out of things to say?
Do you question why it is so hard to fellowship with the Lord?
Stop feeling like a failure at daily devotions

Gene Edwards faced these same questions and struggles. And he found a better way to walk with the Lord than merely trying harder to pray and read the Bible.

and start walking every day with the Lord who loves you.

In Living Close to God (When You're Not Good at It) you will discover that loving God means much more than doing your best to serve Him. You will find ways to start your day with Christ, beginning with your first conscious thought in the morning. You will learn how to fellowship with Him during even the most demanding days. And when you go to the Scriptures, you will talk with Him in a two-way conversation—just as His first followers did.
Includes a small-group discussion guide and a guide
for your own relationship with God."

I la la LOVED this book and give it 5 stars! Buy it don't hesitate, then pass it on to a friend or family member!

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multonomah books in exchange for an honest review.

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The Love & Respect Experience by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs Book Review

My Review/Thoughts

I a devotional fanatic! I love them and read multiple everyday! I think it has to do with how short but to the point they are. They pack a mean spiritual punch to your gut and heart every morning. Since I'm a girl, most of mine are women related; I know, surprise surprise right? But I'm branching out! When I got the opportunity to review "The Love & Respect Experience" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs I jumped at the chance! It states right on the cover, "A Husband Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love", and I'm telling you it's nothing but the truth! I LOVE this devotional! 

The chapters are short and sweet but full of substance to help couples grow together in their walk with Christ and each other. The exercises are all very doable and practical for a modern couple. Seriously, whether you are newly married or a veteran couple pick up this devotional, it will shed new light on the time you spend with the Lord together!

Here's an excerpt from Amazon:
"Through the millions of products sold on Love & Respect, Emerson Eggerichs has transformed marriages around the world with his biblically based approach to understanding the love that she most desires and the respect that he desperately needs. Now, in this long-awaited release, Emerson has created an experience for couples that is effective, flexible and life-changing.

To build this couples devotional, Eggerichs has taken the top concerns that surfaced in a survey of thousands of couples and has developed 52 devotionals around the three cycles that are at the heart of Love and Respect. On one occasion the couple will be talking about how to stop the Crazy Cycle or keep it at bay. The very next devotional will talk about a concept built upon the Rewarded Cycle, which stresses the ultimate purpose for marriage. And the next may have both people talking about ways to use the Energizing Cycle in their efforts to love and respect each other.

Some may ask, "Why 52 and not 365, like other couples devotionals I have seen?" The author's research shows that married couples don't want to deal with that much material, that often.  Therefore, the specific devotionals, which can be done weekly or at any chosen pace, are specifically guided to what couples say they most need.  And this is a husband-friendly devotional, having been written and designed in such a way that the husband can feel comfortable in the entire process.

With this wealth of new material and video devotionals available online to support the product, The Love & Respect Experience will be indispensable to anyone wishing to better their marital relationship."

I give this book 5 stars! I think it's such a great tool for couples in the walk and growth with each other and the Lord!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

When the Bottom Drops Out by Robert Bugh Book Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review, "When the Bottom Drops Out: Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment" by Robert Bugh courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers.  Here is a description of the book via

"Nobody is immune to disappointment. Unfortunately, at some point all of us will face that horrific moment when the bottom completely drops out of out of our life, leaving us broken, devastated, and desperately searching for God’s grace.

Pastor and theologian Robert Bugh has experienced unthinkable pain and disappointment firsthand, having lost both his wife and his best friend to cancer within a year and a half of each other. Though devastating, Bugh’s tragedy also brought him into a stronger, deeper relationship with God.

When the Bottom Drops Out chronicles Rob’s journey from loss to restoration and shows readers how to find and hold tightly to Christ through even the most painful episodes of life. Bugh’s story is proof positive that while pain and disappointment are an unavoidable part of life, God is nonetheless faithful, holding us close at all times and in all circumstances."

 My Review/Thoughts

I thought the book was a powerful account of Rob's grief which stemmed from cancer diagnosis and death's of Rob's friend Tom and his wife Carol.  I thought there would have been more self-help encouragement for others in the book, but it was mostly an account of Rob's experience with dealing with grief when life throws it your way.  Although I completely and fully sympathize with him, I wish there would have been more references to the Bible and tools for others who are experiencing similar grief to help and encourage them in their walk.

I give this book 3 stars. It is well written, but I feel like there was so much more potential to reach others through it.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you so much!