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The Allison Show: August 2010

The Allison Show

All things Allison

Monday, August 30

BlogFest 2010 Sponsor: Creative Visions

 Creative Visions is the Etsy shop of Marianne McCament.  She sells vintage inspired tags and journals.  She designs them and makes them handmade in her home.  I asked her about herself and this is what she had to say. "I have been married for 25 years, have a 17 year old son, and I am currently not working full time outside the home. Etsy has been keeping me hopping for about the last two years, so it keeps me very busy (sometimes too busy…)  I also have been crafting, sewing and painting since I was very young and have sold my art since I was a teenager. My parents (who are in their 80’s now) were very talented in many areas and always let all four of us kids create with them when we wanted – I am so appreciative of this!

I opened my etsy shop in 2007 mostly to sell fabric collages, cards, tags and mixed media pieces; but since learning Adobe Photoshop, I started combining vintage images and photos into digital collages. I use these digital collages to make unique, vintage-looking tags and journals. The tags can be used for gift purposes, to be framed, used in altered books or other art, and also for weddings – placecards and wish trees. I always am open to special requests, and have made many unique images for weddings, birthday parties and even clothes tags for an Italian designer!!"   Amazing!!  As a newbie to photoshop (a friend gave me Photoshop CS3 when CS5 came out) I would love to learn how to do what Marianne does!!

Marianne is offering the BlogFest winner a handmade Moleskine Journal!!  I got to pick which one and I went with the  Paris Tuileries Garden Journal.  I love the color teal and butterflies so it was perfect for me!! (I'm sure the BlogFest winner will like it too!!)  Here is the description from her shop: "This black Moleskine cahier journal has been embellished with stamping, paper, seam binding, a rhinestone and a large print of my Paris Tuileries Gardens tag. The back inside cover of the journal features another of my tag designs, a vintage Eiffel Tower image with Paris stamp.  This journal is a perfect pocket size (3.5" x 5.5") and fits wonderfully in your purse or car console. The cahier journal has 64 lined, acid-free pages and an inner pocket on the back cover." 

Good luck and Happy BlogFest 2010!!!

BlogFest 2010 Sponsor: Charm School Jewelry!!!

Donna is the owner and creator at Charm School Jewelry.  Her career as a custom jewelry designer began many years ago when a client asked if she would incorporate her grandmothers vintage jewelry into a bracelet Donna was making for her. Donna was honored that she would trust her with her sentimental heirlooms. She created a charm bracelet that the woman loved and she loved the feeling of turning yesterdays bits and pieces into todays treasured heirlooms. Many of the pieces she creates are inspired by the vintage jewelry she collect, some will have vintage pieces incorporated in them.  Her wish is that your time visiting her shop will take you on your own "Sentimental Journey".
Donna has 3 kids and a wonderfully supportive husband. All of her jewelry is sketched, designed and created by her in her home studio in New England. She also works with clients on custom designs and offer wholesale to boutiques and shops.


My favorite (and it was very hard narrowing down my choices) necklace is the Amazonite and Fresh Water Pearl Necklace.  This gorgeous large amazonite nugget is wire wrapped and and dangles from a silver charm loop. The silver chain is accented by two fresh water potato pearls on one side. This necklace measures 17 inches long.   And its a steal at $27!!   Go poke around her etsy shop and see all the beautiful jewelry you could buy with your $25 gift card if you win my BlogFest 2010 Giveaway!!

Saturday, August 28

BlogFest Sponsor: Charm Factory!!!

 I absolutely LOVE Charm Factory!!  I am a proud owner of their finished Star charm bracelet (and so is my BFF- we match).  If you have not checked out their site you should definitely  head over and see what they have.  I also love that their jewelry is sterling silver. They sell the finished charm bracelets in soo many different styles.  I really like the Autism Awareness bracelet that has 2 different ribbons and a puzzle piece charm.  They also have cat, dog, breats cancer awareness, peace, and really pretty crystal bracelets in every color of the rainbow.

If you can't find a bracelet with a theme that you love you can get an empty bracelet and pick the charms you want on it.  They carry a wide selection of different bracelets and closures to choose from. And then you have the HUGE selection of charms.  They are divided into different categories such as pave, babies & kids, beach & sea life, enamels, expressions & messages, and family & friends.  This is to just name a few. 

And they now offfer charm necklaces!!!  And my BlogFest winner will get to pick the necklace of their choice and a charm of their choice. So I decided to give you some examples. 


I really like this thin chain and the toggle clasp. Now the hard part... to pick a charm. I think I will go with the state of California. Or maybe for a little color a pretty yellow star.  Too many choices!!!  Good luck to everyone who enters and have an awesome BLogFest 2010!!


Charm Factory is on both Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/CharmFactory and on Twitter, http://twitter.com/charm_factory.  Go say Hi and tell them you saw Allison's BlogFest Sponsors post.  Thanks!!
    

Friday, August 27

Blog Hop Friday!!!

   Hi!!  And welcome to another Blog Hop Friday.  Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog.  A little about me: Hubby and I have been married 10 years and have 5 kids.  My oldest is 9 and my youngest is 1.  My Hubby and I were both born and raised in Southern California but we currently live in North East Tennessee.  I am a full time student majoring in English and Photography and minoring in Secondary Education. I love reading, writing, and photography.  If you decide to follow me PLEASE leave me a comment with a link to your blog and how you are following me (GFC, Networked Blogs, FB, Twitter, etc) so I can visit you and follow you back.  Thanks!! Have a great Blog Hop!!!

BlogFest Sponsor: Overall Beauty!!!



I absolutely LOVE this site!!!!  Overall Beauty has everything you could ever want for health and beauty products.  They have articles about beauty and advice.  They sell hair care products, makeup, skin care, lip gloss, products for feet (they need love too!), and my personal Favorite Nail Polish!  They have a HUGE selection of colors and selection for both Men and Women! Kim (the Beauty Boss!) is super awesome and is offering 4 of the insanely popular BB Couture nail polishes.  That is a $36 value.  Here are the colors and a little description.




This is Adam!! This bad boy is the color of dark brown green tree bark with a shimmer pink.. his infamous lover was the beautiful Eve!  This picture was taken outside in sunlight, with two coats and no top coat.





We can't have Adam with out Eve.  So here she is!! This pretty lady is multiple shades of glitter in a brown green base.. her bad boy lover could only be Adam!


 
 
 
 
  
 
 
This is Michael. This little guy is a purple base blue with shimmer, his partner in crime and love is Carla!  Since we can't come between true love Nail Polish #4 is Carla!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Carla...Isn't she GORGEOUS!!!  She is definitly going on my Christmas Wish List!
The pretty lady is a dark deep midnight purple, her infamous bad boy lover was Michael! 





I love them all!!  This makes me even more excited for BlogFest!! EEeeee!!
Kim is on: Twitter, http://twitter.com/overallbeauty, and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/overallbeauty1.  Go follow her and tell her you saw Allison's BlogFest Sponsor Post  and decided to go over and say Hi.  Thanks!

Amazing Giveaway!!!

One of my FAVORITE places for digital papers and the like is Sassy Designs!!! Terry (the owner and chief designer) is giving away a $200 Gift certificate!!!  All you have to do is go to Paperie Boutique and you can enter up to 4 times.  Post this "Go win a $200 gift certificate from Sassy Designs Incorporated / @sassydesignsinc / sassy-designs.net at PaperieBoutique.com by @shutterblog" on any PUBLIC  Blog, Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook account.  But you have to hurry!!!!  The contest ends TONIGHT @ 12 midnight eastern!!!!

Boohaha. Its that time of year again.

Every time we are at the store lately, all the kids want to look at is Halloween Costumes!!!  How can it be Halloween already?  Wasn't it just Summer break? Time is FLYING by!!! I was so excited to be able to do a review from an AMAZING online costume site Costume Super Center!!  They have costumes and accessories for babies, kids, teens, and adults along with make up and everything you need to make Halloween perfect!

I tried to let the kids pick but they were out of control (big surprise huh?) They wanted costumes that we have in a closet (that's one good thing about 5 kids, we have TONS of costumes already.  And most are ready to be handed down.)  or they wanted age inappropriate costumes. (Kayla is way to young to be a pirate hooker girl.)  So after much discussion (and tears and whining) we decided that Dad needed a new costume to scare the kids with.  So after much thought by Dad, he decided on the Mens Chain Gang Mask and Costume.

How awesome is this costume?? It includes everything you see. The mask, the shirt, and the shackles.  All you need to supply is the black jeans (or Dickie's) and some work boots.

Hubby out it on downstairs and then came up to show the kids.  Even though they knew he was coming up, it still scared them.  Jake and Cody cried until he took the mask off.  They both now love it but only if they see Hubby put it on, he can't just show up in a mask. (besides that is mean and parents aren't supposed to be mean right?  LOL)

It fits great.  Hubby is 5'6 but wears a large shirt.  This costume shirt would fit a person larger then him, but not look too big on someone that is smaller.  The mask is comfortable to wear and breathe in.  The only problem is the eye holes are small and Hubby could see almost nothing through them. But he was able to cut them larger and did no damage (or noticeable editing to the mask).  The Costume Super Center has awesome customer service and they offer free exchanges!! Their costumes are reasonably priced and well made.  They are costumes that can be handed down with ease! Check out the site and leave me a comment with your favorite costume!!


*** Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Thursday, August 26

Winner ~ Winner ~ Winner

  
The winner of my Passion Spice Bra/Panties Giveaway is #1 Nicole.  She said "I like the Carla Black Underwire Nursing Bra." I have emailed her and she has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.


Also the new winners from my NachoMama and CrazyDog Tee Shirt have been emailed and have responded.  Thank you to everyone who entered and everyone who voted on what I should do.




 
The winner of my Tie Buddies Giveaway is #15 Ashley. She said "I follow you on twitter! (@reynoldsmom)." I have emailed her and she has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.

Book Review: Healing With Words by Diana M. Raab

Title: Healing With Words: A Writer's Journey With Cancer
Author: Diana M. Raab
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Published: May 12, 2010
ISBN: 978-1615990108

Summary: "Healing With Words: A Writer's Cancer Journey is a compassionate and wry self-help memoir written by an award-winning prolific author, nurse and poet, who at the age of forty-seven found her life shattered first by a DCIS (early breast cancer) diagnosis and five years later by another, seemingly unrelated and incurable cancer--multiple myeloma. The book includes the author's experiences, reflections, poetry and journal entries, in addition to writing prompts for readers to express their own personal story. Raab's journals have provided a safe haven and platform to validate and express her feelings. Raab views journaling to be like a daily vitamin--in that it heals, detoxifies and is essential for optimal health."

Diana Raab is an extraordinary woman.  Not only did she handle breast cancer, a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, but 5 years after finding out she had breast cancer, she was diagnosed with another type of cancer.  And then after dealing with both to have the courage and strength to write a book to help others on their journey with cancer is truly inspiring. 

I really like that Raab explains how journaling helped her to cope and heal.  I think the fact that she also includes promotes will be very beneficial to someone who wants to journal but feels overwhelmed and at a loss as to where to start.  I think her quote "When it hurts, write harder." is really important to remember.  Most people when the pain seems unbearable, will then stop writing and try to retreat inside but that is when you need to write the most and when it will be the most beneficial.

Raab also includes poem that she wrote during her battle with breast cancer and as she was recovering.  They are amazing poems that completely convey the feelings that were consuming her at the time.  But even in the darkest poems there is still a feeling of hope and survival.

I think the fact that Raab is donating all proceeds from her book to the Mayo Clinic Foundation a testament to her true purpose.  She truly wants to help people with cancer, either by them reading her book or by the donation to the Mayo Clinic Foundation.  This just reiterates how amazing she truly is. 

I think this book is a must read for anyone who has been touched with cancer or knows someone who has.
Rate: Photobucket

Tuesday, August 17

Passion Spice Maternity/Nursing Lingerie Review & Giveaway



As the owner of a plain (read boring and UN-SEXY) white nursing bra, I was SO excited when I found Passion Spice Nursing Bras and Maternity Lingerie for the SEXY Mom in you!!!!!! I got his super cute (SEXY!!) red lacy bra and matching underwear and chucked my boring white one in the trash!  I am so glad that someone finally made nursing bras sexy and cute.  I wish i had found them when I was pregnant because they have the BEST maternity lingerie anywhere!!

This bra and panties are well made and extremely comfy!!  They have held up well to wearing and washing.  I have had them a couple of months now.  The only thing is they seem to run rather small but luckily I busted out my measuring tape and actually measured before I ordered.  If I had went with the normal bra size I wear, it would have been too small.

Thanks to Katy, one lucky reader will win a bra and panty set!!!


HOW TO ENTER:

Mandatory Entry:
* Go to Passion Spice and pick your fav bra. Leave me a comment with the name of the bra and your email address.

Extra Entries:
*Follow me on GFC, Networked Blogs, Twitter, or Facebook (Leave a seperate comment for each follow up to 4 comments)
* Post my button on your blog (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about this giveaway (Leave 3 comments)



Good Luck!! Giveaway ends 8/25 at 9 pm eastern!!!









***Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Book Review: Escapades of Romanitcally Challenged Me by Maya Jax

Title: Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me
Author: Maya Jax
Publisher: Lipstick Ninja Press
Published: Feb 11, 2010

Summary: "Lelaina Zane, aspiring screenwriter and dating disaster, is busy impersonating a superhero to gain the attention of a Hollywood agent when she finds out that her dad had a heart attack. Leaving LA for the first time in three years, she returns home to be with her family. And now that she's back, her parents want her to stay and join the family law firm. After three years of unsuccessfully trying to 'make it' in Hollywood, she thinks they might be right. But soon after settling into her new life, Hollywood calls with a potential offer. Lelaina has to decide if she'll stay for her ailing father and the promise of a successful life, or return to LA to pursue what she's always wanted. Torn between her two choices, the decision becomes even harder when her cheating ex -- her first love, first kiss and first... you know -- reappears with apologies and a proposition."

3 words for you: Laugh Out Loud.  Thats what you will do when you read this book.  I was surprised at how many times I was LOL.  To the point that Hubby asked "That book is really that funny?"  (What does he know?  Lame boy who doesn't read).  The book opens with Lelaina dressed like CatWoman and hanging out outside of Starbucks waiting for an agent to come out so she can show him her script.  She manages to get her tail (Yeah she knows that CatWoman didn't have a tail but she thinks it is a cute accessory.) stuck in a newspaper vending machine (Oh the number of times I have gotten my tail stuck in a vending machine...).  She then proceeds to knock over the machine and it lands on her.  How could you not love a book with a beginning like that??

The rest is just as funny as the beginning.  She has to return home when her Dad has a heart attack and guess who is jumping at the chance to re-connect with her?  Yep the EX Boyfriend!!!  OK here is some dating 101.  If you dump him once (for a good reason...CHEATING) NEVER take him back. Once a cheater always a cheater.  Unfortunately, Lelaina doesn't know this.  I don't want to spoil any surprises so you'll just have to buy a copy of the book and find out for yourself what happens!  I highly recommend this book.  It is the perfect summer (it's not over yet.  Not til Labor Day!!) read.  Rating: Photobucket

Monday, August 16

Tie Buddies Review and Giveaway!!

As you probably know, my kids started their second week of school today!!  We did all the normal back to school shopping: clothes, shoes, school supplies.  But the most talked about thing for back to school?  TIE BUDDIES!!!  We got them for Jacob who is 4 1/2 and in pre-kindergarten.

First a little shoe tying background.  When I was starting kindergarten, you had to be able to tie your shoes.  So when Blake started we thought we might be in trouble because he didn't know how to tie them but his shoes were slip on vans and velcro tennis shoes.  But we were surprised to find out that shoe tying is no longer a requirement.  Fast forward a few years Blake finally learns how to tie his shoes at the ripe old age of 8!!!  I think the main problem is that he is left handed and I tried showing him how to tie them backwards but it didn't really help.  A few months later, Kayla at 6 starts tying her shoes.  Blake is pissed happy for his sister.  Jacob has been wanting to tie his shoes like the big kids but doesn't really have the fine motor control to do it.  He just finally mastered the correct pencil grip.  And then we discovered Tie Buddies!!

A little about Tie Buddies from their website.  "Tie Buddies® will revolutionize when and how children learn to tie their shoes. With Velcro and slip-ons the average age of children learning to tie has increased with some children learning as late as 9 or 10.


Tie Buddies® offer children ages 3-9 the independence of tying their own shoes while quickly teaching them a method which is based around characters and stories depicted on the Tie Buddies® themselves. Tie Buddies® first offering includes one design each for boys and girls but rest assured more great characters are to come! "
 
    Jacob loves his red and green race car Tie Buddies.  We have had them on his shoes for a few months now and he will only wear the pair that has the Buddies on them.  He is still having a little problem tying by himself but he is getting there and has made some big improvements.  The hardest thing is trying to get them untied.  I have to do that for him or they will end up in a huge knot.

Overall, these are a great, fun way to teach your child to tie their shoes!!

Would your son or daughter like a pack of their own Tie Buddies??  Thanks to Wendy one lucky reader will win their own Tie Buddies!!!

HOW TO ENTER:

Mandatory Entry: (must be completed for extra entries to count)
*Go to Tie Buddies and let me know which pack you want.

Extra Entries:
*Follow me on GFC, Networked Blogs, Twitter, or Facebook (Leave a seperate comment for each follow up to 4 comments)
* Like Tie Buddies on Facebook and tell them How Many Kids sent you (Good for 2 entries.  Leave 2 comments)
* Follow Tie Buddies on Twitter (leave 1 comment)
* Post my button on your blog (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about this giveaway (Leave 3 comments)

Good Luck!!  Giveaway ends 8/24 at 9 pm eastern!!!


***Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Book Review- The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose

Title: The Hypnotist
Author: M.J. Rose
Publisher: Mira
Published: May 1, 2010
Summary:  "Haunted by a twenty-year old murder of a beautiful young painter, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work as a Special Agent with the FBI's Art Crime Team. Currently investigating a crazed art collector who has begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation—dedicated to the science of past life study—where, in order to maintain his cover, he agrees to submit to the treatment of a hypnotist.


Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to 19th century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history: the theft of a 1,500 year old sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art."

WOW!!  I have to go back and read the first 2 books in this series.  This book can be read if you haven't read the 2 previous but M.J. Rose is so awesome you will want to start at the begining.

Lucian Glass has a great job with the FBI, as an Art Crime Team agent but all he thinks about is the muder of his love, who he was unable to save.  He is in Vienna to arrest a Doctor who, he thinks has stolen valuble art.  But after finding himself much more personally invovled in the crime he is investigating, he agrees to let himself be hypnotized.  WOW I don't want to say much more because this is a very suspenseful novel with lots of twists and turns!!  BUT it is definitely a must read. Warning: Make sure you don't start this book when you have other more pressing things to do because you will not want to put this book down!!! Rate: Photobucket

Sunday, August 15

Eden Fantasys Review (ADULTS ONLY!!)

****This Eden Fantasys Review is intended for adults 18 and over.****

How cute is this??  This is the Sexy Pinstripe Chemise Set.  So in the course of doing this review I learned some important things about myself, my body image, and the #1 rule of lingerie wearing.  But first more about the outfit.  The chemise and panty are made out of stretchy microfiber material with lace accents.  The back is slit open and the matching panty have pink lace ruffles on them.

So the night I decided to "test" out this really cute chemise set, I waited til Hubby was upstairs checking on the kids (who were all asleep) and put on this set.  I walked into the bathroom and PROMPTLY walked back into my room and  took it off.   Why you ask?  I am a realist and didn't expect to come walking out of the bathroom looking like the model in the picture.  But I did expect to look a little better than I did. Now I am not that fat (I'm 5'6 and 156 lbs) but I have had 5 kids and all 20 lbs of baby weight is chilling right on my stomach.  So I didn't want to wear this tight chemise. 

When I took it off, I left it laying on our bedroom floor.  When Hubby came downstairs, he asked why it was on the floor (it had been hanging in the closet).  I made some weird non-committal noise. Hubby didn't believe that I hadn't had anything to do with it ending up on the floor so he asked me again.  So finally I confessed that I tried it on but didn't like it.  To which Hubby replied "BUT its not for you, its for me."  So long story short (LOL) I ended up putting it back on.  So what have we learned from this escapade?

#1- Never try on lingerie without your man around.  It much better (and more fun) for your self esteem if you wear it with him in the room.
#2- He doesn't notice the extra 20 lbs of baby fat (especially if it is in lingerie or naked!)
 #3- After wearing it for a while, I realized that (post coital) I looked a lot better than I had originally thought!!

Now to the review part.  The chemise is SUPER tight.  I had a really hard time getting it pulled down over my boobs.  But once on, it fit well.  If you look in the first picture, there is a line of lace across the boobs.  That lace is directly over your nipples.  The inside is rough and if worn for longer than 10 minutes, it would probably get really irritating.  The panties are weirdly too big and too small. They kind of bunched up in the back, but seemed too small width wise.  I know they are supposed to be revealing but they didn' fit right.  Hubby really like it though.  In fact he washed it the other day (He THREW it in the washing machine and in the dryer!) and then told me to wear just the chemise while I made dinner.  Right.  I bet the kids would love that ;)  Surprisingly, it held up amazing to the washing/drying.  It looks great and still fits the way it did the first time I wore it.  I give it 4 stars since Hubby really liked it but it did have some issues which kept it from getting 5 stars.  

I love Eden Fantasys!!  It is the only site I go to for lingerie, sex toys, books, and DVDs.  I love that their site is not too in your face.   I also love that my packages are discreet and doesn't advertise to the neighbors, mail lady, and the kids what is in the package.  They have a magazine called SexIs.  My favorite column is written by The Blogess and she is HILARIOUS!!!  Check it out.  You will not be disappointed.  Eden Fantasys is perfect for Moms who still want to be sexy!!


Sexis - a provocative sex magazine at EdenFantasys.com

Monday, August 9

Book Review!! Paula Deen's Savannah Style

Title: Savannah Style
Author: Paula Deen with Brandon Branch
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published:  April 6th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1416552246

Summary: "With its lush gardens, stately town houses, and sprawling plantations, Savannah is the epitome of old Southern style, and who better to give you the grand tour than Paula Deen, the city's most famous resident and anointed Queen of Southern Cuisine?

In this gorgeous, richly illustrated book, Paula Deen shares a full year of Southern living. Whether it's time to put out your best china and make a real fuss, or you're just gathering for some sweet tea on the porch at dusk, Savannah style is about making folks feel welcome in your home. With the help of decorator and stylist Brandon Branch, you'll learn how to bring a bit of Southern charm into homes from Minnesota to Mississippi. For each season, there are tips on decorating and entertaining. In the spring, you'll learn how to make the most of your outdoor spaces, spruce up your porch, and make your garden inviting. In the summer, things get more casual with a dock party. Sleeping spaces, including, of course, the sleeping porch, are the focal point of this chapter. In the fall, cooler weather brings a return to more formal entertaining in the dining room, and in the winter, attention returns to the hearth, as Paula and her neighbors put out their best silver and show you how they celebrate the holidays."

If you love Food Network and Paula's show you will love this book!!  It is warm, funny, and playful while still managing to be informative.  Normally I am not a fan of books that are written in slang or with an obvious accent (Hey Ya'll) but I think it actually works for this book and with Paula as the speaker.  I just imagine she is talking to me and it was a fun read.

This book is just like an episode of Paula's Party.  She is giving tips and tricks and taking us on a tour of her hometown Savannah and it seems as if she is our tour guide!!  I love how the book is split into seasons with decorating ideas unique for each season and the weather it has.  I also love her wallet friendly ideas about using slip covers and throw pillows as inexpensive ways to change up the look of your house and porch.  She also suggests hitting up flea markets and yard sales to find inexpensive antiques.

I wish that we had a true back porch so I could put many of her suggestions to use.  Reading this book and looking at the gorgeous pictures of porches and "secret" gardens also makes me want to have a garden but I realize that is a crazy idea as I hardly ever go outside and I make my Hubby do all the yard work!! 

Beautiful pictures, great tips and ideas, and well thought out layout make this a great book for anyone, whether you are from the South or not.!!  Rating Photobucket

Friday, August 6

YOU DECIDE!!!

Ok so anout a month ago I posted the His and Hers Tee shirt giveaway thanks to NachoMama and CrazyDog Tees.  Well it has come to my attention that my 2 winners are not winners!!  SORRY!!!!  One was a blogger who has done a review for themand the other is from Canada and they cannot (at this time) mail free shirts out of the US.  Leave me a comment and tell me what I should do.  Should I re-do the giveaway?  Should I just pick 2 new winners? Help!!!  I will go with whatever the majority of the comments decides!  Thank you!!

Thursday, August 5

Whew. Need a vaction from our vacation!!

We just got back from vacation!  We left July 16th and just walked in the door minutes ago. It was awesome!!  But it is nice to be home and able to relax.   My online classes end next Friday and then I have 2 weeks off before Fall semester starts.  I think the 3 older kids go back to school the 23rd.  Cody is excited because when he turns 3 in November, he will be able to start school with the big kids!!  I can't wait.  4 in school!!  Granted Cody and Jacob will only be in school for 3 1/2 hours Mon-Thurs but still. 

We had the greatest trip and I can not believe how wonderful ALL the kids were in the car!  We drove 2 days to get to CA and 3 days to get home.  I think it is funny that I brought a bunch of educational toys, like a deck of cards that had info on the 50 states, that I thought the kids would be all into but they didn't get touched.  Blake spent the drive drawing in his sketch book.  Kayla helped with the younger kids and slept a lot.  I am also surprised about how much each of them slept.  Well except for Cody.  He didn't want to sleep and was a little whinny. Yesterday he was crying so I asked him why he was crying and he said "Me no know" A sure sign that he is tired.  Luckily he succumbed a few minutes later and took a 3 hour, much needed nap!!

This trip was definitely worth the 30+ hour drive and we will most likely be making it again next summer but I am in no rush for Summer to come!!  LOL

Being in San Diego made us realize how much we miss it and our family!!  As soon as I finish school, I think we will try to move back or at least move closer to the West Coast!!


SINCE I WAS KIND OF UNAVAILABLE DUE TO VACATION, STARTING MONDAY I AM DOING A FOLLOWER APPRECIATION WEEK!!!!  I WILL POST A NEW GIVEAWAY EVERYDAY.  I HAVE GIVEAWAYS FROM BALLONATIKS DVD, JOEY JUNIOR PURSE HOOK, SEXY MAMA NURSING BRA, JOURNAL BUDDIES JOURNAL, 3 MONTH PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION TO ZOODLES, TIE BUDDIES, MABEL'S LABELS, BRUGO COFFEE MUG, AND A DESIGN YOUR OWN SHIRT!!!  MAKE SURE TO CHECK BACK EVERY DAY!

Wednesday, August 4

Book Review: Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner

Title: Live To Tell
Author: Lisa Gardner
Publisher: Bantam
Published: July 13, 2010
ISBN: 978-0553807240

Summary: "Even for hardened Detective D.D. Warren, the crime scene appeared shocking: a father methodically killing his entire family before mortally wounding himself. When other families meet a similar fate, D.D. must race against the clock to identify a twisted killer, before there's no one left to live to tell."

Wow what a great book!  I absolutely love suspenseful crime dramas and this certainly fits the bill. When I first started doing book reviews back in March, I did it for free books.  I love to read and can finish a novel in a day or two so, books are my most expensive addiction.  This is the first author whose book I have reviewed that I would have bought.  I have most (all but The Neighbor) of Lisa's books and this is my new favorite.

I think one of the things that Lisa does that makes her books really stand out is make completely believable characters and places them in great situations.  This books starts with Detective D.D. Warren out on a not so great date.  But it has been a while since she has gotten any so she is trying to tough out the date so that she can invite him home with her.  But as happens many times for police, D.D. gets called out to work. 

She arrives at the scene of a horrific murder.  It looks like a father killed his wife and kids and then killed himself.  A few days later, D.D. is called to a startlingly similar scene.  In the course of her investigation, D.D. discovers that these families have more than in common than just horrible deaths: they all had a mentally disturbed (read psychotic) child.  I don't want to spoil any surprises so I will just leave it at that.

I think this book is a litte dark and disturbing and some of the scenes are graphic but that is something that I have come to expect from crime fiction.  If you want a believable crime drama than you need believable crime scenes.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great suspense, crime story!!  Rating: Photobucket