Monday, September 25, 2017

Tell a Kid: Love You Always!

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. I have received no other compensation. This post does contain affiliate links. If you click through and choose to purchase something, I will receive a small commission.

I am a strong believer in the "village" mentality when it comes to child rearing. Right now, my village includes a new mom friend who can take Frances home from dance while Ken and I are coaching soccer. It involves my parents heading up for a quick visit on the weekend when both Ken and I had to work. It involves a friend who passes me notes about the leftovers on the other side of the building so I can have a sweet treat during the day.

I try to be a village for others too. Like when sets up a system to get all the carts out of the cart corral so they kids can a) learn how to ride the carts across the parking lot, and b) get the carts back to the store. Or when a student's first paycheck has been delayed and I "shop" my pantry for her and tell her I'll Facebook message her mom if she doesn't eat one of my lunches.

We receive love and give love in lots of different ways all throughout the day. I hope that my kids know how fiercely I love them, as well as all the others in their lives. Love is not a finite thing. In fact, it seems to function in an opposite way; the more you give away, the more you get.

All kids should feel loved by lots of different people. Moms give different kinds of love than dads. Grandmas and Grandpas get to spoil you. Aunts and Uncles are cooler than your parents and easier to listen to for life advice. Every kid should have a village.

Eileen Spinelli's book Love You Always celebrates all the love that surrounds every child. Beyond just mom and dad, this sweet story walks through all the different people in a child's life who love them. Whether they're happy, mad, scared, or glad, all kids should feel loved unconditionally.

Pick up a copy on Amazon today, or enter below for a chance to win a copy here:Eileen Spinelli's Love You Always

Book Specs
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Author/Illustrator: Eileen Spinelli/Gillian Flint
ISBN: 9780824956868
Price: $15.99
Format: Jacketed Hardcover
Page Count: 32
Ages: 4–7

Author Bio Eileen Spinelli spent Saturdays at the public library as a child, and it was there that she decided to become a writer. She’s authored more than fifty children’s books, including Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; The Best Story; and Two to Cuddle. Eileen lives in Media, Pennsylvania. When she and her husband, Jerry, who’s also an author, are not writing, they are hanging out with their grandkids (30 and counting), playing Scrabble, reading, watching old movies, and raising Monarch butterflies.

Illustrator Bio Gillian Flint has had a passion for drawing and creating characters for as long as she can remember, so a career in illustration was a natural path for her to take. Her work has been published in the UK, USA, and Australia for clients such as Highlights, Five Mile Press, OUP, and Little Bee Books (book forthcoming). She enjoys using watercolors, crayons, ink, and digital illustration to create a variety of artistic styles. In her spare time, Gillian enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and pottering about in the garden on sunny days.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Scents of Autumn

I check the weather in the morning and see it's going to be another 70 degree day. I plan my outfit, get dressed and head out of the house, only to be hit by a blast of chilly air. Sure, it's going to be a nice 70 degrees...LATER! In the mornings it's only 60ish. Autumn is on its way.

One argument I like to start in autumn is about pumpkin spice versus apple spice. Obviously all of you pumpkin spice people are very vocal, but you are also wrong. I hate to be the one to tell you. Apples are the true scent of the season. Just to prove it, I made some potpourri! You can too if you've chosen to see the error of your pumpkin spice ways.

You need:
  • apples
  • oranges
  • cinnamon sticks
  • whole cloves
  • permission to use the mandolin cutter (There have been some "incidences" okay??)

 Set your mandolin on the smallest setting. Starting at the bottom of you apple, slice it up! Go straight through at least the middle where the seeds are. Those are the prettiest slices. I used a green apple and a red apple for color variety. You'll want to make wider slices on the oranges, since those are more juicy.
 Lay out your fruit slices on a baking sheet and put them in a 200 degree oven for about an hour. Check on things, flip the fruit over, and let it go for another hour. You want to dry them out slowly without browning or cooking them. I got mine to just about where I wanted and then turned the oven off and left them over night.
After they are all dried out collect them carefully. You can arrange your fruit slices in a bowl with some cinnamon sticks and cloves. You can also put some in a small pot of water or a potpourri simmerer. I places the extra in a bag in the freezer, so I can get some more out later.

My house smells pretty and it looks nice too. Not a pumpkin to be found!!

Want some more apple ideas to help convince yourself and ease your withdrawal from your unholy addiction?? Check these out!
Karen from Baking in a Tornado has an Apple Pie Cheesecake to celebrate Fall, apple season, and Rosh Hashanah.

Eileen of Eileen's Perpetually Busy made Mini Apple Crisp Pies that are easy and delicious with a crispy topping.


Kia of Think in English is Comparing Apples and Dragonfruit and teaching us how to assess students who come from very different backgrounds.

 Lydia of Cluttered Genius has a Harvest Front Porch Door that she upcycled to decorate the porch.

 And Tamara made some Apple and Sweet Potato Muffins that are deliciously only 100 calories!

What's your favorite scent of the season?  Have I convinced you of my wisdom??

Friday, September 8, 2017

My Nobel Prize

"Family, friends, co-workers (haha),
I am here to express my thanks for all of your support through the nomination process until now. I wouldn't be standing here without your support and your understanding.

First I would especially like to thank my parents. They brought me in to the world and raised me in such a way that I hope they are proud of me standing here today. My brothers, as well, were with me on this journey and I should probably admit that I learned much of what I know from their example.

Next I'd like to express my appreciation to my husband and my children. There were certainly some rough times where we weren't really sure that this was worth it. Sleepless nights, worry, and stress. These things could have broken a lesser person, but with you all to back me up, I was able to stick with it.

Lastly, to my co-workers I acknowledge my gratitude. You all have stood by me through the questions, the deadlines, the meetings, and more. I truly wouldn't be here today, accepting this Nobel Prize for Goofing Off without you.

Hey! Wait a minute! Where are you taking me?! Why are all the things from my desk boxed up like that? What's going on here?? What do you mean there's no Nobel Prize for Goofing Off?? I won this award fair and square!! I worked so...I mean, I earned, Well I...Never mind. I get it. It's a set up. I should have known better than to accept an award for Goofing Off."


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 10 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
Cognitive Script
The Blogging 911
The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm
Bookworm in the Kitchen
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Part-time Working Hockey Mom

My subject is "Congratulations on your Nobel Prize! Which one did you win, and why?!" It was submitted by:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

God Our Maker

I was given these books in exchange for an honest review. I have received no other compensation. This post does contain affiliate links. If you click through and choose to purchase something, I will receive a small commission.

I love books! I love books with bright colors. I love books with bright colors that remind me how much I'm loved. Even if they are board books designed for babies and toddlers.

I was recently given a chance to review two books by Gary Bower, illustrated by Tracy Cottingham.

God Paints the World is a sweet concept book highlighting all the colors in our world. The rhyming text and precious illustrations work together to make a book your kids will love to have read to them again and again.

God Loves the World spotlights the diversity we see all around us; from age, to skin tone, to differently abled people, this book covers a wide range of God's creation. We are all different physically, intellectually, and in our interests and gifts, but God created each and every one of us and loves us all as His sons and daughters.

Both books were recently published and are available from Amazon through the above links. They would be perfect as a Baptism or Christening gift for your own kids or you niece, nephew, god daughter, or god son.

Read more about the author ad illustrator below:

Author Bio Gary Bower fell in love with picture books at an early age, while sitting in his mother’s lap. As a youngster he entertained himself for hours by writing his own stories, jokes, poems, and skits. As an adult, his years of professional and volunteer experience ministering to children and teens, combined with thousands of story nights with his twelve children, have helped him polish his storytelling skills.

Illustrator Bio Tracy Cottingham is happiest when creating pictures and patterns. After finishing her art degree, she began to sell her art for greeting cards and textiles, but creating illustrations for books is her ultimate joy. She can usually be found working at her desk, sipping coffee, and chewing on gummy candy. Tracy lives and works in London.

You can purchase your own copies, or you can enter below to win a set! Good luck!

God Our Maker book set
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