Friday, November 26, 2010

A RUSH OF WINGS - A book review

I received “A Rush of Wings” by Kristen Heitzmann from Bethany House Publishers to review.  

“A Rush of Wings” starts out with Noelle, a young and beautiful girl running away from her family and her fiancĂ©e, but we don’t know why.  She keeps running until she comes to a small town in the Rocky Mountains.  She ends up on a horse ranch owned by Rick Spencer, and immediately feels at home. Noelle gets to know Rick and his brother Morgan, who are completely different, but both end up helping her in many ways.  After seeing Noelle have a few panic attacks, the brothers start to ask questions, finding out little by little about Noelle’s past.  After a tragic accident, the brothers worry that Noelle will not recover, or ever return to the Smoky Mountains, but somehow Noelle realizes that the truth she needs is found in God, not man and things start to make sense again.

Ok, to be honest, this book starts out really slow.  I was a little bored in the first chapter and wondered if I’d make it through the book at all, but as I continued to read it got much, much better.  Though I was rooting for the wrong brother the entire book, I still enjoyed it.  I loved the ending, even if I did wish it had turned out a little differently.  This is a very mysterious type romance novel that kept me wondering exactly what had happened and what would happen.  So, if you can make it past the first chapter, it’s a good book to read!

HATTERA’S GIRL - A book review

I recently received “Hattera’s Girl” by Alice J. Wisler from Bethany House Publishers to review.  Before I tell you what I thought, let me tell you a little about the book.

Hattera’s Girl” is a story about Jackie, who lives on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  She is currently working for a local magazine writing articles about local businesses while also going on blind dates set up by her family.  She dreams of owning the Bailey House and running a bed and breakfast there, but faces several obstacles at first.  Jackie soon meets a handsome guy who can also help her acquire her dream house, but is it really what God wants for her or is it what she wants?

I really enjoyed the book.  It was very easy to read, and also very entertaining.  The story line was unique, especially for a romance type novel.  I was a little disappointed with the ending stopping so abruptly, but other than that I really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What you've all been waiting for - WINNERS!

Ok, here is the big list of winners!  Don't worry if you didn't win, there will be more giveaways comings (one REALLY cute one coming this week)!

Cradle Rock - #3 Amanda B.

Charm Factory - #9 IansMomm

Madison at Main - #10 Anita

CSN Stores - #14 debbie_suburbsanity

Workman Books - #17 familytiesandgrowingpains

I will be emailing the winners later today to get their information!  Thank you all for entering these contests!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Claire's Closet

I was recently contacted by Mandy, the owner of Claire's Closet on Etsy.  She wanted me to review one of her tutus, and I thought it would be a great addition to the Christmas List!

A little about Claire's Closet
Mandy is a mother of 2, an artist, and of course a tutu maker.  She started her store with some lovely tutus, and has recently incorporated her artwork by adding hand-painted drawer pulls.  As with most Etsy owners, feel free to contact her about custom orders and she will do her best to help you!  She was very easy to work with!

My Review
Every little girl needs a tutu (or 12), and my little Sydney is no exception.  I have made her a couple of {VERY} simple tutus for costumes and pictures, but my homemade tutus are no comparison to Claire's Closet!  Claire's Closet has high quality, thick and fluffy tutus with an elastic band and a flower to match on most.  She shipped Sydney's tutu quickly, and it arrived in perfect condition!  As soon as Sydney saw it she wanted to try it on.  It fit perfectly and was the perfect length for my princess.  And if you're wondering about the cost, many of these lovely tutus are only $20, which is a great price for a quality tutu (trust me I've looked)!  Overall, I was very impressed with the quality and price of the items at Claire's Closet.  Here is a link to the tutu we were sent to review:  Sydney's Tutu.

 She wanted to wear it with her Halloween Costume
 See how fluffy??
 She had a matching flower, so we had to add it in her hair!

**I received the above tutu in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.  See full disclaimer for more information.**

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Lovable Labels

Ok, so this isn't a normal "Christmas gift" - but they do have holiday packs available and ANY mom would be glad to receive these (probably more than another noisy toy haha).  So let me go back and tell you a little about Lovable Labels before I give you my full review!

About the Company
Lovable Labels was founded by a mom, Laura, who had a need for labels - her child was attending daycare and ALL items had to be labeled (cups, jackets, shoes, lunch, and so on..).  She soon realized the huge need for personalized, kid-tough, long-lasting labels.  After lots of research and testing, she created a line of labels bright, colorful, and durable.  The lines were: Regular, Slimline Stickers, Shoe Labels, Iron-ons, and Bag Tags.  The Regular and Slimline are microwave/dishwasher safe (perfect for sippy cups and bowls).  The Iron-ons last through washing and drying, and the Shoe Labels have extra adhesive!  In 2003, Lovable Labels was started!  Today, Laura has included fundraising options especially for schools and daycares!

My Review
Lovable Labels has so many different items available now, from stick on clothing dots (washer/dryer safe) to metal bag tags!  They were nice enough to send us the Holly Jolly Gift Pack - Christmas Jewels to try out.  These are personalized tags, with your choice of picture from their selection.  The gft pack included: 15 multi-purpose stickers, 40 slimline labels, 12 shoe labels, 24 press n' stick clothing dots in various sizes, and 2 mini-metal tags - everything you need to start labeling!

These labels are VERY easy to use, and so far have worked well for us!  Sydney isn't in daycare, but she has playdates, storytime at the library, and church so we always need things labeled as well.  I love the mini-metal tags!  They are great for attaching to diaper bags!  These would make a great gift for the new mom or toddler that seems to have all the toys and clothes they need!  I'd love to recieve these as a gift instead of more toys (I'm sure Sydney would disagree haha).

Be sure to check out their holiday gift packs HERE and for a limited time, you get a set of gift seals FREE!
Also, check out their facebook page HERE for more deals and giveaways!

**I received labels in exchange for my honest review.  See full disclosure for more information.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Workman Kids Books - GIVEAWAY

Do your kids love Sandra Boyton's books?  I know Sydney does!  We have several of them and Sydney loves them (we usually keep one in the car, one in the bag, and several at home haha).  Well, in case you never noticed, they are published by Workman Publishing.  They have an amazing selection of kids books, so you should check their site out.  They have a lot of books that are great for home-schoolers or kids that just need some extra activity-type books.  Stefanie at Workman Publishing was nice enough to send us a selection of books to review, and i'm excited to share them with you all!

The first one was Sandra Boynton's new book set "Perfect Piggies."  The set came with the book "Perfect Piggies" and a cute little plush piggy (the perfect size for small hands). This is a cute book that talks about the perfect traits of little piggies.  It even has a song to go with it!  You can download the song from Workman Publishing's website.  When we got this book, we had to read it to Sydney like 10 times a day!  She loved it!  We always read it at a fast pace while pointing at the pictures and she really enjoyed it!

The next books we received were from the "Indestructibles" collection (see the list HERE).  We got "Mama and Baby," "Humpty Dumpty," and "Mary Had a Little Lamb."  These books are not your normal toddler board books, trust me!  They are very thin, which makes them great for keeping in the diaper bag (or even your purse with those new thin Pampers haha).  These are books with no words, just colorful pictures, so parents - get creative!  I make up a new story for Sydney everytime we read them! 

These books, though thin, can't be torn, ripped, or punctured which makes them great for babies and toddlers.  They are also 100% non-toxic and safe so no worries when baby chews on them.  What do you do when they are all yucky (or dirty as Sydney would say)?  Just toss it in the washing machine or dishwasher - it's that easy!  I wish I had these when Sydney was in major teething mode awhile back.  I love them!

Workman Publishing is giving one reader their own "Perfect Piggies" set! 

How to Enter:
One comment per entry - Be sure to leave an email address

(1 entry) - Tell me who you would give this set to if you win!
(1 entry) - "Like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Connect

**Giveaway will end November 22, 2010 at 5pm CST.  Winner will be drawn by random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.**

I received books from Workman Publishing in exchange for my review.  See full disclosure for more information.

Christmas List 2010 - CSN Stores

Have you checked out CSN Stores yet?  If not, what are you waiting for??  They have an amazing selection of items from furniture to toys to organizational items (my favorite haha).  I could spend hours just browsing their stores for gifts!  In fact, I recently ordered a gift for my nephew and one for my daughter!  I can't show you what I bought my nephew, but here's what I picked for my daughter:

I think she will enjoy it next spring/summer!  It was super easy to order...and customer service is nice and helpful as well!  Make sure to check out their "Price matching" policy on items as well!

CSN Stores is offering one lucky reader a $35 giftcode!  This would be great for Christmas shopping!   Make sure to leave an email address with your comment!

How to Enter:
(1 entry) - Tell me about your Christmas shopping - are you an early shopper, last minute shopper, completely online shopper, etc.?

(1 entry) - "Like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE

**This giveaway will end November 22, 2010 at 5 pm CST.  Winner will be picked by random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.**

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Madison at Main GIVEAWAY

When Lydia at Madison at Main contacted me about a giveaway, I was so excited!  They have a HUGE assortment of rugs - I'm sure anyone could find one they love here!  I got to pick out one of their Jellybean rugs to giveaway to one lucky reader, and since it's getting close to Christmas - I picked one of the holiday designs!! 

This is the "Jolly Christmas Trees" rug that YOU will have a chance to win!
This rug is 22" X 34" ans 1/4" thick

Most of the Jellybean rugs are $29.95, which is a good price for a high quality rug!  These are indoor or outdoor rugs - made to stand up to heat, cold, and won't fade in the sunlight. They can even be used for litter box mats or under pet food bowls. There are so many ways to use these rugs...and the best thing about them (as far as a mom is concerned) is that THEY ARE MACHINE WASHABLE!!  And if you're striving to be more eco-friendly...35% of the material used to make Jellybean rugs is recycled.
If you order now from Madison at Main, they are offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50!

Want to win the rug pictured above?  Here's how to enter ...and be sure to leave an email address!!

(1 entry) - What is your favorite thing about Jellybean rugs?
(1 entry) - Visit Madison at Main's blog HERE - They post giveaways there so be sure to follow them to keep up!
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Connect (feel free to invite some friends along as well!)

**Giveaway will end November 22, 2010 at 5 pm CST.  Winner will be drawn by a random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hourse, another winner will be drawn. 

**This giveaway was sponsored by Madison at Main.  Se my full disclosure for more information.**

CSN Christmas Giveaway COMING SOON!

I know you all remember my last post about CSN...and all the talk about their HUGE selection of items ranging from baby stuff, cookware, storage items, or maybe you need something practical like a lamp or counter stool..Well, whatever you're looking sure to check CSN!  It's easy to place an order with them, and customer service is extremely nice!

Looking for a gift for someone?  Need a gift card to pay for it?  Check back soon for a chance to win a $35 gift code to any of CSN's 200+ stores!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Charm Factory Bracelet

Have a friend, daughter, girlfriend that seems to have everything or is just difficult to buy for?  I know I have a few girls on my list like that!  When I came across these beautiful charm bracelets from Charm Factory, I was so excited!  They have beautiful bracelets and reasonable prices!  Let me share a little about them before I show you what they sent me...

Charm Factory offers high quality, unique sterling silver charms, bracelets, beads and more. You can personalize these gifts by choosing the bracelet or necklace and adding as many unique charms as you like.  The charms come with a jump ring to attach it to your bracelet.  One of my favorite things about Charm Factory is that the charms and beads are manufactured in the United States (you don't see that very often anymore) and they are .925 sterling silver. They do have a few imported items on their site, but those items have notes in the description.
I was sent this beatutiful garnet heart bracelet from their finished selection HERE.  I picked this bracelet mainly because Sydney loves hearts and it's her birthstone.  I plan to give it to her in the future as a special gift.  The bracelet is sterling silver, and the hearts are Swarovski crystals.  It is a beautiful bracelet!  The ready made bracelets are only $24.99 right now, which (I think) is a great price for such a lovely gift!

GIVEAWAYCharm Factory is offering one reader their choice of bracelet from the finished section HERE.

How to Win:
**Be sure to leave an email address that you check often**
**Leave ONE comment for EACH enty**

(1 entry) - Visit Charm Factory's finished bracelet section HERE and tell me which one you want
(1 entry) - "like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE and post a link to this giveaway as your status
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy Publicly by Google Connect

This giveaway will end Friday, November 19, 2010.  Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond within 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.

*I received the mentioned bracelet in exchange for my honest review. See full disclaimer for more information.*

It's just who I am...

I am...

Forgetful - I forget what happened 5 minutes ago, and I've even forgotten (only once) to give my child breakfast until she asked for it!

Crazy - Ok, emotional may be a better word, but sometimes the weirdest things make me frustrated or sad!

Tired - I take a nap with my daughter almost every day...if I miss that nap, I feel physically drained.

Unorganized - No matter how I try to re-arrange our home to make room, it never seems to work...Somehow, Sydney's toys find their way back into every room of the house!

Useless - Maybe not completely, but I have been seriously slacking on housework (and blogging) lately!

But most of all... I am 17 1/2 weeks pregnant - which my husband says is a good excuse!

I may be a little slow, but trust me..
I've got more giveaways coming up
before November 19th!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Toby Mac book

I didn't intend to include this in my Christmas List, but as I read it, I realized that there are a lot of people that would really enjoy reading this book!  This would be a great gift for a close friend, teacher, pastor...well, pretty much anyone! 

So what is this gift?  Toby Mac's new book "City on Our Knees."  It has several short, motivational-type stories seperated into sections so that you get the most out of the book.  There are a lot of these types of books out there right now, I know...I've read several and enjoyed them.  These type books are great for people that don't have a lot of time to just sit and read.  This book was different for me, though.  This book challenged me in so many ways, I can't even begin to tell about it all!  Several stories made me cry for how the world is hurting, some made me cry because I was so proud of how some people took a leap of faith and followed God's instructions for them.  I know I haven't been very good at getting out of my "comfort zone" and this book definitely stepped on my toes for that!  This book also showed me how important prayer is!  Well, not just prayer, but prayer and listening to God.  If you listen, he will show you things you need to see!

I already have a list of people that I want to share this book with because it challenged me so much.  So if you are looking for a simple gift for a hard to buy for person, be sure to check this one out! 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.  See full disclosure for more information.

Christmas List 2010 - Cradle Rock CD

Have you ever wished you had lullabies for your baby/child that you liked as well?  I have...many times!  Sydney has a lullaby CD that we keep in the car that she likes, but I can't I only use it for emergencies (you know, those trips around naptime).  I was recently sent Cradle Rock's first 3 CDs to try out, and I couldn't wait to get them! 

The Cradle Rock lullabies are based on music from famous artists and albums front to back, so parents can appropriately introduce their kids to the music they love.  The first 3 albums were available as of October 26th!  They are:  Michael Jackson "Thrillaby", Kenny Chesney "No shoes, No diaper, Might be a Problem!", and Johnny Cash "I crawl the Line."  Upcoming artists include: Blackeyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, and Pink Floyd!  Unlike some lullaby CDs, Cradle Rock keeps the melodic structure and tempo of each song similar to the original version.  I really liked this part because I could still hum along with the lullabies.

My whole family has enjoyed these lullabies. My husband really enjoys the Johnny Cash CD!  We are taking a long trip in 2 weeks, so we will see how well they work to put Sydney to sleep in the car then.  Hopefully, they will work as well (or better) than the weird one we currently have so that I won't have to listen to it anymore!  I think the Cradle Rock CDs will make a great gift for the baby in your family!  They are unique and sure to be a hit with the new parents!

You can visit, and click the album covers to hear album previews and get a feel for what Cradle Rock is all about. You can also order the album from the same website.

You can win your own copy of one of the 3 CDs I mentioned in this post! Keep reading to find out how.  Make sure to leave an email address you check regularly.  Leave one comment per entry.

How to Win:
(1 entry) - Tell me which CD you would choose - Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, or Kenny Chesney
(1 entry) - "Like" Tree Top Records on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy publicly by Google Connect
(1 entry) - "Like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE and Share this post on your page

Giveaway will end November 19th at 5pm CST.  Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and emailed, and if they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

**I received the mentioned CDs in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.  Please see full disclosure for more information.**