Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Allison Wonderland: Normally I Wouldn't Touch This

I thoughtful read for anyone. thank you Ashley this is exactly how I feel about finding a new church here in NY.

My Allison Wonderland: Normally I Wouldn't Touch This: But for some reason it's been on my mind a ton lately. Not just for "some" reason, there's a very specific reason actually. It's not somethi...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What I do when I’m not here

What?!? you mean I have a life outside of the computer? Yes, its true there is life outside this little box we spend too much time in front of. Lately I have been spending a lot of time trying out cute hairstyles on my 3yr old. Her hair is incredibly long (down to her bottom) and curly. What to see what I’ve been doing? ------

As any mom of a toddler knows getting them to sit still for a min is hard imagine trying to get them still for 5min or more. FUN, FUN! Now I cant take credit for all these style ideas. I get inspiration from Hair sites like Princesshairstyles.com. I even got to try a new and cute hair decoration. Look for the Sidewinder review soon!

Even My little guy got into the Hair action! He got a haircut this weekend.


What do I do with my hair do you ask? Well, I rock the messy mom ponytail. What? After wrangling the little ones to get them ready I just don’t have the time or energy to do anything nice with my own hair. So there you go, the Glamorous life of a mom!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

LIFE, IN SPITE OF ME – Book Review

life in spite of meLIFE, IN SPITE OF ME by Kristen Jane Anderson with Tricia Goyer

Book Description: She wanted to die. God had other plans.
Why does my life have to be so painful?
What’s wrong with me?
It’s not going to get better.
It could all be over soon, and then I won’t hurt anymore.

Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture-perfect life until strokes of gray dimmed her outlook: three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a seemingly bottomless depression.
One January night, the seventeen-year-old decided she no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railroad tracks and waited for a freight train to send her to heaven…and peace.
But Kristen's story doesn’t end there.
In Life, In Spite of Me this remarkably joyful young woman shares the miracle of her survival, the agonizing aftermath of her failed suicide attempt, and the hope that has completely transformed her life, giving her a powerful purpose for living.
Her gripping story of finding joy against all odds provides a vivid and unforgettable reminder that life is a gift to be treasured.  
Includes notes of encouragement Kristen wishes she had received when she was struggling most.

My Thoughts: I really, REALLY liked this book. As one who has suffered with severe depression, and even contemplated suicide, I was really able to relate to this story. I felt validated, I felt inspired, and I felt hope as I read of her horrible tragedy-turned blessing.  This book is well written, well put together, and all in all this was a pleasant, easy read that kept my attention. The author tells a story that breaks your heart then mends it while changing you forever without you even knowing. What an incredible young woman I’ve had the chance to learn more about. I defiantly recommend this book.

Disclaimer: Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall – Book review

9781400073986Book Description: Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, can Sylvia find relief from the echoes of her past…or will they shape her future forever?

Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family’s debt-ridden farm.

After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed’s failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron’s parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.

Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture— a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love.


My Thoughts: This is the 3rd book in the Ada’s House series. I haven’t read the others, and yet I didn’t feel particularly lost throughout the story although I did feel towards the end that some characters just sort of continued on when it really didn't need it. However, I will be going back to read the others, this novel was just that good.

Yes another Amish fiction book, I told you I loved them! What I truly liked about this book is the message it gets across through so many characters. There is a character in this novel that everyone can identify with, and I look forward to reading the other novels in this series as well. Truly I was blown away, and this is definitely finding a place on my bookshelf as well as the others in the series.

Disclaimer: Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Stumbling into Grace by Lisa Harper – Book review


Book Description: Humorous yet poignant stories from Lisa's life help readers relate to spiritual truths found in the life and ministry of Christ.

Stumbling Into Grace is the diary-devotional of one woman's honest, ongoing, bumbling journey of faith and how she finds encouragement through a deeper understanding of Christ's time on earth. Within each chapter she alternates her often humorous memoir with stirring portraits of Jesus and his own encounters as recorded in the New Testament.

Both intimately relevant and refreshingly inspirational, this book will help readers to jettison the theological misconceptions, guilt, shame, and hypocrisy they struggle with, exchanging them for a vibrant, passionate relationship with Christ that results in a more abundant, joyful life.

My Thoughts:

I had the pleasure to read Stumbling Into Grace Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman by Lisa Harper. I absolutely loved it! I have never read anything by Lisa Harper before and all I can say to that is that I have missed out! From the very first page of reading “Stumbling into Grace” I thought that Lisa Harper could be one of my friends. As I read I felt like she was in the same room as me, drinking coffee and talking. Lisa’s writing style flows very easily. She is very witty and down to earth. One moment you will be laughing your head off and the next feeling close to tears. Lisa has the ability to take moments from her life’s experience  and, with insight, apply the word of God to it. I highly recommend it!!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Betty Crocker. Betty 10: Red Hot Summer Trends.



The Betty Crocker website is featuring a fabulous Betty 10: Red Hot Summer Trends, like Mai Tai Tiki Pops, Lemon-Ginger Icebox Cookie Cupcakes, Fruity Fro-Yo Fun Bars, Grillside Guacamole and Beer Snow Cones, and for great DIY ideas by Erica Domesek.

There are a ton of delicious sounding recipes and I cant wait to try them all!

Pie Lovin’: This has been declared the “Year of the Pie” and we are seeing creative takes on pies everywhere. These Mini S’mores Hand Pies take everything we love about s’mores – crunchy graham crackers, melty chocolate, ooey-gooey marshmallows – and put it into a handheld pie pocket that delivers a perfect taste of summer.

DIY Idea: Create a sweet tabletop sensation by repurposing a pie dish into a multi-wick candle. Set short wicks in a circular formation in the pie dish and pour candle wax into the dish, infusing your candle with your favorite scent and colors.


Spice It Up: Bold and big flavors are all the rage. Fresh Sriracha Refrigerator Pickles add a new twist to classic refrigerator pickles with a hot, Thai-inspired sauce that spices up your garden bounty – no canning equipment required!

DIY Idea: Tap into one of the summer’s biggest fashion trends and turn up the heat by creating a bold statement necklace using colorful beaded trim and ribbon.


Move Over, Meat: With vegetarian (and flexitarian) eating gaining popularity, more and more people are seeking meatless options that don’t skimp on flavor. The MONSTER Veggie Burger is loaded with fresh vegetables and tasty chickpeas and moves veggies from the side to the center of the plate.

DIY Idea: Use your garden go-to’s to create place cards for your dinner parties by cutting veggies in half and hollowing out the insides. Cut out paper tags, scribble your guests’ names and slice an opening on top of vegetable to hold name tag.


Backyard Green Grocer: More people than ever are “shopping” in their own backyard gardens – or the local farmer’s market – to create flavorful summer dishes full of their favorite veggies. Green Garden Fries are made from fresh garden veggies, oven fried and served with a lemony Greek yogurt dipping sauce.

DIY Idea: After you plant your garden, cut out the vivid images of produce and flowers on seed packets and d├ęcoupage them to plain note cards, creating cute collages.


Switch Up The ‘Wich: Sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food – from old favorites like PB&J and grilled cheese to new obsessions like Korean tacos. The Mediterranean-inspired Greek Grilled Cheese Taco reinvents the familiar grilled cheese sandwich in taco form, with grilled Greek halloumi cheese and fresh veggies and herbs stuffed in a flour tortilla for a portable, fun new take on the sandwich.

DIY Idea: Combine the food and fun factor this season and serve your sandwiches on a playful platter - the flying disk. Line disks with a colorful bandana and arrange sandwiches neatly.

Check them out for yourself:

What are your favorite go-to summer recipes and summer entertaining tips?

Disclosure: I received these great recipes and tips from Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark. No monetary compensation was received.

Did you win?

I had two giveaways this week and the winners are -


fiber one 80 calories cereal prize packFor the Fiber one giveaway Comment # 14:

Anonymous said...

I walk my dog daily to stay healthy

Congratulations Clair enjoy your Cereal!


191848_10150135838031981_59456676980_6665112_6216483_oAnd the Winner of the Aurora Softy Soaker is comment # 2

Anonymous said...

I follow Aurora on FB and told them you sent me. - Robert

Robert you will have to come back and tell us how your child/children liked the toy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Woodgroove.com‏ Personalized Gifts Review and Giveaway–CLOSED


I love getting special gifts that are personalized just for me or for my children. As someone who as a uniquely spelled name I know its hard to find ready made gifts with my name on it. So of course I passed that curse on to my children. (Sorry Babies!) When I ran across Woodgroove Personalized Gifts I knew this was a company that I would be going to time and time again for cute personalized gifts.

A Little Bit About Woodgroove Personalized Gifts (Taken From Website):

  • Inspiration.
    Our first daughter was the inspiration for our first growth chart in 1998. The growth chart became a special place for us to record not only her physical growth, but also her life's milestones - her first steps, her first meaningful word (daddy!), her first day of preschool, her first piano recital (at age 5!). Soon, friends and family were asking for personalized growth charts - both to receive for their young children and to give as personal and memorable gifts to others; and so Woodgroove™ was born. It is our pleasure to provide you with unique, creative and cherished gifts.

  • Passion.
    Our early growth charts were hand carved. Today, our personalized gifts are laser engraved with computer-controlled lasers. We blend functionality and personality into showpieces for your home. Our products allow you to express your style and your thoughts. So go ahead and express yourself with an original gift from Woodgroove™!

  • Designed by You. Crafted by Us.
    Whether buying for yourself or as gifts for friends and family, every Woodgroove™ product is unique because it is designed by you. Choose your favorite font, design and more to personalize your order. Get creative!

My Thoughts:
Woodgrove was kind enough to send me a Baby (Newborn) Block personalized with my daughter’s information including her Full Name, 3 Initials, Birth Date/Time, and Birth Weight/Length. I was so excited to have it arrive in the mail and it was so beautiful, and the perfect addition to her keepsakes!! It was packaged in a nice little box with blue and white confetti paper which I thought was very elegant!

Want to know more about the Baby Block??

(taken from the website)Baby Block :
Solid natural wood block measures 2 x 2 x 2 inches. Personalize all six sides. Inscription is case sensitive (use upper and lower case letters as desired). Order is for one block. Comes packaged in gift box.

Suggested inscription:
Side 1: Baby's Full Name
Side 2: First Initial
Side 3: Middle Initial
Side 4: Last Initial
Side 5: Birth Date & Birth Time
Side 6: Birth Weight & Birth Length

We are extremely pleased with our block and will be getting another one for our son soon! Lila loves her block and it holds a special space on her shelf next to her princess collection.

Guess What?! They not only offer Baby Blocks they also offer Answer Blocks, Chinese Blocks, Invitation Blocks and Teacher Blocks! How cute would Invitation Blocks be for birth announcements?

You should really check out Woodgroove Personalized Gifts because of all the wonderful gifts they offer!

Buy It:

Win It:

  • Woodgroove.com has generously offered one Family Treasures reader a Baby Block of your very own!

Mandatory Entry: Become a public follower of my blog AND Visit Woodgroove Personalized Gifts then come back here and tell me what your favorite item on the site is.

Extra Entries:

  • Tweet this giveaway
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook
  • Subscribe to my feed via a reader
  • Blog about this giveaway leave a link here
  • Follow Woodgroove Personalized Gifts Twitter
  • “Like” Woodgroove Personalized Gifts on Facebook

Winner will be chosen on Sept 1st and the winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize before another winner is chosen. Please have what you want on your block ready! This will save time getting your prize to you.

This is my first giveaway using Rafflecopter feel free to email me your thoughts on it and tell me if you prefer random.org.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


fiberone_logoI received a really nice box of goodies from Blog Spark and General Mills. It included Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal, 1 sensor pedometer with USB connector to chart walking progress, and 1 neoprene iPod/Smartphone holder with arm strap.

Are any of you starting a new diet? exercise program? Or just want to be well, regular? This would be perfect to help to jump start your plans!

  • With 40 percent of the Daily Value of fiber in one 80 calorie serving, Fiber One 80 Calories cereal can help curb your hunger, which can help you stick to your weight loss plan.
  • With great-tasting Fiber One 80 Calories cereal, there is a new breakfast option that helps you feel satisfied without sacrificing flavor!

My family had a chance to try Fiber One 80 Calorie cereal. Our Thoughts: “I like this dry better than with milk. Sorry FO guys but until healthy tastes good and is good for you this wont be on my shopping list.”

Want to try it for yourself? If so, look for new Fiber One 80 Calories cereal on grocer’s shelves now! Visit Fiber One for great information on healthy living and coupons for new products. Also, be sure to check out the Fiber One Facebook page and get involved in the conversation. We´d love to hear how you feel satisfied with new Fiber One 80 Calories cereal!

General Mills through MyBlogSpark is sponsoring a giveaway for one lucky Family Treasures reader. One lucky winner will receive:

  • 1 box of Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal
  • 1 sensor pedometer with USB connector to chart walking progress
  • 1 neoprene iPod/smartphone holder with arm strap

To place your entries do any or all of the following:

To enter to win leaving a comment on this post telling us, “Does your current breakfast keeps you full until lunch time?”

For additional entries you can do these entries below and leave a comment telling us you did so.

  • Share this giveaway with your friends or family (blog or tweet, and leave a link)
  • Subscribe to our Feed- if you already subscribe tell how long you have been following
  • Follow us via Google Friend Connect
  • Share what you do to stay healthy (or get healthier) on a daily basis

"Disclosure: Fiber One 80 Calories cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Waiting for Morning by Karen Kingsbury

177398About the Book: “I’m afraid there’s been a car accident...” As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her—a husband other women admire, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a car pulls into Hannah’s driveway, bringing two police officers...and devastating news that shatters her life forever.
In the days that follow, Hannah struggles with unspeakable feelings of sorrow and rage—feelings that fuse into one chilling purpose for living: revenge against Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who has caused all her pain.
In her fury, Hannah shuts the Lord out of her life. She’s determined not to forgive Wesley or the God who allowed this tragedy to happen. Can two caring people help Hannah rediscover her faith...before bitterness destroys her?

My thoughts: Waiting For Morning, by Karen Kingsbury, a fantastic book on true-life experiences, keeps the reader on edge, waiting for the next sight. It can have a huge effect on a person from laughing, to crying, to smiling. It can and will leave the readers in true amazement. If people need to find themselves or find the truth in the Lord during hard battles, this book is wonderful. Can't wait to read the rest in this series. God has allowed Karen Kingsbury to write perfect inspirational novels that always leave you lifted up.

Book Review: The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan

About the Book: Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensible to old Doc Philips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn -- it's the biggest news story of her life, and she can't print a word of it.
Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City -- decisions they've made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages -- Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book's strange purpose. But when a mystery from Mercy's past arrives by train, she begins to understand she will have to make choices that will deeply affect everyone she loves -- forever.

My Thoughts: Right away we find that Mercy Land is not like other young women of her time. Set in the early 1930's, a time in which a young woman is expected to marry and start a family, our protagonist Mercy Land bucks that tradition, with the support of her eccentric Aunt. The Miracle of Mercy Land is an enjoyable read that ended much too soon for me. Although I enjoyed the plot and felt the characters were complex and believable, I did feel a little let down that many questions were never answered. Where did the book come from? Why did it come into Doc's possession? What's the real purpose of the book? Overall though, Ms. Jordan has a style of writing that you will not soon forget. And Mercy Land is a character worth remembering.

Book Review: Cherished by Kim Cash Tate

About the Book: How can she believe God cherishes her when she can't forgive herself?
Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her while she slept. She dreamed about Brian too, that the love they shared would be a forever kind of love. But choices she'll forever regret upended her hope . . . and turned her dreams to dust. When those dreams come knocking once more, she's forced to deal with the pain of the past.

Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control—first, an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band that left her devastated. Broken and alone, she cried out to the only One who can save her. And He did. But that's just the beginning, because now she must leave behind the only life she's ever known.

Two women with shame-filled pasts form an unlikely friendship. What does God's forgiveness look like for them? Will they ever believe that He loves them . . . and can still offer them a life where they are cherished?

My Thoughts: Cherished is the second in a series by Kim Cash Tate, following the book Faithful. Picking up where the last book left off, Cherished focuses on Kelli, and another woman Heather. The two main characters, Kelli and Heather, are both trapped by sin in their life, believing that they have messed up so bad that God won't forgive them or use them for His purposes.

This book is a light read even though it deals with some serious issues. I loved how it explores the practical side of living in the light of God's forgiveness, while never minimizing the seriousness of sin or it's consequences. If you like Christian based fiction you will love this book.

Book Review: The Promise Of An Angel by Ruth Reid

_225_350_Book.391.coverAbout the book: In Mescota County, Michigan, an angelic visitor’s words inspire Judith to a future she never imagined. After a barn raising accident, Judith Fischer’s convinced she’s met an angel. However, her attempts to convince others end up frustrating her Old-Order Amish community. Only Andrew Lapp believes her, but the rest, including Levi Plank, the man’s she’s waited to marry, demand she forget the nonsense. Meanwhile, her younger sister Martha has taken a fancy to Levi and sees her sister’s controversy as a perfect distraction for turning Levi’s head.

In a dream, the angel tells Judith she must choose her path. As her faith continues to grow, so do her feelings for Andrew. Will she continue to place her hope in the angel’s message, even if it means losing all she knows and loves?
My Thoughts: I’m always drawn back to books about the Amish community. Their utter devotion to god and godly living is both fascinating and inspiring. I only wish I could live my life like that. Minus the lack of technology, because lets face it I cant rough it for a week let along forever. Anyway back to the book -
This book was a little different than other Amish Christian fiction books I have read but It was a nice change of pace from the usual way one is written. I loved how more Amish words were used and the fact that something unfamiliar to the Amish community was happening.
In the pages you find love, hope, faith, perseverance, and trust. It reminded me once again why I love reading Amish fiction books!

Light the Night Walk

My husband has decided to participate in the Light the Night Walk, a walk to raise funds for cancer research. My MIL had cancer. Thankfully, she caught it early and beat it. Unfortunately, several of my family, including my grandmother and, more recently, my uncle, have died from cancer. I fully support my husband in this, and want to help him raise as much money as possible. All you have to do is go to the below website and follow the instructions to donate. Your donation will be much appreciated. Tell your friends, too.

"Light The Night Walk events are evenings filled with inspiration. Carrying illuminated balloons - white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer - thousands of walkers - men, women and children - form a community of caring, bringing light to the dark world of cancer."- LLS

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Aurora Softy Soakers Review/Giveaway

Aurora World Inc.  (www.auroragift.com), Aurora World, Inc., celebrating its 30thanniversary in 2011, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high quality, competitively priced plush toys and gifts. To celebrate it is releasing a plush collection that loves diving into water in the summer as much as kids do. Simply place Softy Soakers in water and the plush expands from practically nothing into a full size, eight-inch plush animal. The initial collection includes the “Fanta-Sea” plush assortment, and based on the response from buyers at this year’s winter shows, Aurora sees a huge hit in the making.

Our thoughts: The Kids loved the alligator we were sent and want the whole line. See the pictures below are they not the cutest things ever?! I thought they were pretty neat too. It really is as easy as the package says. The longer you keep your plush in the water the firmer it gets so be aware of that I think we left ours in a few seconds too long but the package assures us as the water starts to evaporate in a day or so it will be fine.  It will start to shrink over time and you can reactivate it buy soaking in water again.

More about them: “Everyone who came to our booths or showrooms earlier this year inquired about these H20-friendly toys,” says Michael Kessler, SVP of sales and marketing. “With Softy Soakers, kids have a new way to experience their plush animals and don’t have to wait long for the toy to ‘grow up’,” Kessler says. “Softy Soakers are good to go in about 40 seconds. They don’t take 72 hours to become full size, like some other products on the market.”


The “Fanta Sea” collection (MSRP: $10 each) includes a sea horse, octopus, hammerhead shark, dolphin, sea turtle and alligator. “All you have to do is fill a bowl with water and drop in the Softy Soaker. We suggest massaging it for speedy water absorption. Then after 40 seconds, grab a towel, “rub-a-dub-dub” it dry and you’re ready for some fun.” Kessler adds it is a relatively simple process for any child, mom or dad and a great toy for the summer months.

Visit them at    http://www.auroragift.com and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/auroraworld.

About Aurora World Inc.  Aurora’s name reflects its extensive product lines and growing influence in the worldwide marketplace, as well as its international manufacturing, R&D and distribution resources. Founded in 1981, the Korean company with headquarters in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Germany, has ascended quickly to become a respected leader in the world’s toy and gift character and contents industry. Aurora created the international plush toy phenomenon – YooHoo & Friends™ – and its corresponding free, interactive web site (www.yoohoofriends.com), appealing to young children and tweens alike. The company sells its products via a wide variety of retailers including major zoos, high-end toy stores such as Learning Express, top gift chains such as Hallmark and Claire’s as well as hospital gift shops, fine florists, candy stores and gift/stationery stores worldwide.


  • How would you like to win Softy Soakers for yourself? All you need to do is be a GFC follower of Family Treasures. You must do this or all other entries will be deleted.

Bonus Entries

  • Follow Aurora world on Facebook tell them you were sent by Family Treasures. 
  • Tweet this giveaway and post a link here
  • Blog this giveaway and link back to this post. post a link here


The contest will run for one week and will end on August 28, 2011. The winner will be chosen via a random number generator. Thanks again to Aurora for offering this great prize!

***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of the product to try in order to write a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way. ***