Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

We've never had a Christmas where we haven't all been together at some point during the holiday. This year, my 2nd oldest wasn't going to make it because of work... his older brother got together with him, and they worked it out for a surprise...he flew in to DC (where we spent the holiday this year) to surprise the family on Christmas Day. And what a wonderful surprise it was because nothing makes this mama happier than having all of her children together.

Happy New Year from My Family to Yours!

We've been having a most excellent time visiting and catching up, I'll be sad when it comes to an end. For now though, I'm enjoying it for all it's worth.


Happy 2015 to you!! 
I'm wishing each and every one of you, a marvelous, terrific, wonderful, and prosperous new year!

Winner Announcement




Congratulations to Janet whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Real Kids Shades giveaway.

$100 PayPal Cash Giveaway

Disclosure: Mail4Rosey was not compensated to help promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize delivery.

JanuaryCashGiveaway


I was thinking a great way to start a new year would be to win a hundred buckaroonies! And so, I signed up to help promote the giveaway. One winner is going to start 2015 on an extra lucky foot...and hurrah to them! In fact, hurrah to everyone who visits, I'm wishing you all a wonderful new year.

Here is the Giveaway from CieraNitkowski.com

Our December $100 Paypal Cash Giveaway was such a huge hit we decided we would bring it back for January. Last month the giveaway was only open to the US but this month we are opening it up worldwide! One of our hosts this month is Barbara's Beat. She is a blogger that participated last month and was responsible for so many of the entries our giveaway received! Be sure to check out her blog!

This giveaway is made possible by: The nearly 50 amazing bloggers who have shared it with you along with the following websites who sponsored it... CieraNitkowski.com

WrappingQueens.com - The place you get that CRAZY WRAP THING! Check them out to learn more!

MissHeartoftheUSA.com - A National Pageant program that focuses on teaching young ladies the importance of giving back to their community. Miss Heart of the USA hosts pageants across the USA and is awarding $7,000 in cash scholarships at their National in Orlando, Florida in 2015.

MissUnitedStatesAgriculture.com - The Miss United States Agriculture Pageant celebrates the agriculture industry and local farmers all while promoting self esteem, building strong leaders and awarding scholarships.

BloggerMediaGroup.com - An online blogger community.

CrownReady.com - Crown Ready is your online source for everything pageant. From pageant calendars, online forums, business directories and more. Your source to becoming "crown ready"

CallDMG.com - Dothan Marketing Group is a full source advertising agency located in Dothan, Alabama that does website design, logo and ad creation for small businesses and bloggers all over the USA.

Please visit the websites of our sponsors who make this giveaway possible. Entering is easy, just complete the tasks below. The more tasks you complete, the more entries you receive into the giveaway. Be sure to go down the list and follow all of these amazing bloggers on Twitter so you don't miss a thing!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wallpaper Source

We're about to have a ton of family visiting going on, people we don't get to see near enough throughout the year, including a little sweet, super, happy, beautiful grandbaby girl. That means I'm scheduling my giveaways to run daily (automatically), on social media...but I won't be online much at all. I meant to get around and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, but time's run out, so I'll say it here.

Merry Christmas to you all!!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
I'll see you next year. :)

Winner Announcement





Congratulations to Jules whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Red Rose Tea Giveaway.

You're Never Too Old for Play-Doh: DIGGIN’ RIGS BUZZ SAW Playset

Disclosure: I received a sample product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.


We literally played with this set for over an hour-and-a-half today.
We has us some good old-fashioned fun!

Play-Doh has been sparking imaginations for years. I played with it when I was a kid, and all four of my children have played with it too. It is one of those toys that never gets old. Tonight, my son and I sat down at his little table and took out his brand new Play-Doh Diggin' Rigs Buzzsaw Playset. We literally played for over an hour-and-a-half, and you want to talk about a running imagination...my son's definitely got one, and I love it!


He laughs at my jokes. Have I mentioned how much I love this kid? ;)

This set comes with a detachable arm, two cutting blades (not to worry, they're plastic), an extruder rail, the truck with a cute little face, and four tubs of Play-Doh (that also double as construction signs). We truly had a good old time rolling and cutting logs to load up on the back end of the truck for delivery. My son and I had a great time making up elaborate scenarios for what we were doing and where the truck was going...and he even laughed at my jokes. That's really the reason I like to play with him, but don't tell anyone (kidding!).

Cutting the logs to load on the truck for delivery was not all fun and games.
Getting the cuts 'just right' was serious business too, as you can see. ;)

The busy work of cutting the logs was taken very seriously, and if a 'log' was not up to specifications, it was smooshed and redistributed through the saw blade. Uniformity was key, and 'the boss' was settling for nothing less than perfection.

We had such a good time playing, and it reminded me that the simpler things in life, really, really are the most grand. It also reminded me that you're never too old to have a good time with Play-Doh. ;)

You can learn more about this set and other Play-Doh items by visiting the Hasbro Toy Shop.

I bet most of us have good Play-Doh memories. Do you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ozeri 3x Tower Fan (44" tall with passive noise reduction technology)

Disclosure: I received a product sample to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

Ozeri knows how to make teens happy, or specifically, they are going to make my teen very happy in just a couple of days (unless you're reading this after Christmas, and then the 'happy' has already taken place. ;) Of course, this fan would make anyone, at any age (it delights me, and I'm certainly not a teen), a very happy person indeed, but since it's for my teen, I'm focusing on her. ;)

My teen likes to have a fan running, every single night, no matter the weather outside. In fact, if she doesn't have a fan on, she is not inclined to fall asleep as quickly as she would otherwise. Since her fan runs pretty much all night, every night, that means the cheap-o fans won't cut it. They simply won't hold up. We've been through enough of them to know. No ifs, ands or buts about it, she needs a high quality fan. Enter Ozeri!

The Ozeri 3x Tower Fan stands a full 44"-tall!

When the Ozeri 3x Tower Fan arrived, I was intimidated because it is so big! Standing a full 44" tall from base to top, this fan is really tall. Instantly, I thought that meant it was going to take awhile to put together. That couldn't have been further from the truth.

Assembly was as easy as 1-2-3!

Assembly was as easy as 1-2-3, and you can see from the picture above, that it was my little helper who put this fan together for me, with a little gentle guidance from me (since the bottom base is made of glass). He twisted the screw cap off of the base, and I gently set the glass bottom on top of the pole. The screw cap went back on, we flipped the fan right-side up, and voila', that's all there was to it, the fan was fully assembled.


The remote control was my son's favorite feature.

The remote control was by far, little man's favorite feature. It is pretty cool, I have to say...and will allow for my daughter to set the controls of the fan from across her room.

The fan is fully programmable and includes a 7.5 hr. timer
that can be programmed in 30-minute increments.

There are three independently programmable fans, with three speeds each, allowing for the ultimate in temperature and air control. The fan also has a 7.5-hour timer that you can program in 30-minute increments.

You can purchase the Ozeri 3x Tower Fan on the Amazon website.

It is designed with passive noise reduction technology, and can be used to soothe, relax, cool, or even lull to sleep. Every feature you can think of, that a fan might need, this one has...and then some. It has without a doubt been very thoughtfully designed, and is bound to become an instant household favorite. And one more thing...this fan looks nice! It is a sleek black, slim design that stylishly fits right in from the get-go. It doesn't take up much room, but it does provide a nice amount of air, and while my daughter will be using it year-round... I can't wait for summer to roll around, so I can enjoy it too.

You can learn more about the Ozeri 3x Tower Fan by visiting Amazon.

Kinivo Blue Tooth Headphones

Disclosure: I received a product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.


Where can you get a pair of high quality Bluetooth Stereo Headphones for under $30? 
The answer is Kinivo

Look how small they are when they are folded up for storage!
Control your device right from the headphones!

We recently received a pair of BTH240 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. The headphones are great, first and foremost because they are so lightweight!! With a bendable headset that allows for easy placement and storage, these are light enough for me to wear around the house without them being bothersome. They are also light enough that I would be comfortable with my 7-year-old wearing them, when he wanted to listen to his music or storybooks (headphones are cool at any age, they're ultra cool when you're seven). 

The Kinivo BTH240s are Bluetooth enabled, and allow you to listen to your audio
or make wireless phone calls.
They come with a soft pouch for storage and a USB cord for charging.

The Kinivo BTH240's include a soft bag for storage, and a USB cord for charging. They are compatible with Bluetooth enabled music players, and A2DP enabled devices, like your Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iTouch, etc.).  They are also compatible with Android Smart Phones, tablets, and the like.

You can control your music player right from the headset, and you can use it to make hands-free phone calls. I love a device that serves double duty, and these headphones do that, and then some. Add to that the fact that you can get up to ten hours of music and talk time, and this modified LED design set of headphones is definitely a winner in my book. They're not too shabby to look at either, with their new and improved design, I'd say they're pretty sleek!

Headphones are a perfect last minute gift because they're thoughtful for just about everyone. My grandma wore headphones from time to time, my kids all wear them, and I wear them too. Right there is a diverse group of generations in itself, and I am sure our family is not unique (in that area, at least ;) ).

On sale for $29.99!

You can learn more about these headphones by visiting the Kinivo website here. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter. Take a look around the site while you're there. Kinivo has a lot of great items for sale, truly something for everyone.

What is it that you value most in a pair of headphones?

#SuperiorSource Vitamins Dissolve (with #giveaway)!

Disclosure: I received sample products to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.


Superior Source Instant Dissolve Tablets
 (great for when you have a hard time, or don't like swallowing a pill).
One winner will get everything shown in the picture, including the Stevia.

If you have a hard time swallowing pills, or you prefer vitamins that dissolve under your tongue versus the kind you swallow with water, this is the company (and giveaway!) for you. Superior Source Vitamins, with their MicroLingual technology absorb quickly into your body, by quickly dissolving under your tongue. This is great for not only those who don't like pills, but for everyone! According to Superior Source, as much as 50% of the potency of a vitamin can be lost when taken in pill form because of the high acid content in everyone's stomach. It just makes good sense then, to give the tablets that dissolve a try! You will get more vitamin for your dose, and a better value for your money too. That's pretty win-win.

The Vitamin C Tangy Orange Melts were the largest of the tablets.
They are so soft, and dissolve so fast, that taking one was a breeze.

Size-wise, the largest of the easy dissolve tablets was the Vitamin C. They weren't too awfully big, and they dissolved quickly, so it was very simple to take them.


The B-12 and D easy-dissolve tablets were the smallest.

And then the smallest version of the quick-dissolve tablets, in the package we received (the same one a lucky winner will receive) was found with the Vitamins B & D, and they were truly practically gone in a flash.

I think it's wonderful that Superior Source has focused on creating vitamins that are so easy to take. It's a great resource for those who do not like to, or cannot easily swallow pills. I will be recommending these to someone I know who falls into one of the above categories, and I will be taking the Vitamin C dissolve tablets here on my own. With cold weather season here, it can't hurt to keep my immune system boosted, and I hear Vitamin C is wonderful for doing so. Whether or not that is true, I don't know, but it certainly isn't going to hurt anything to take them, and it might actually end up helping.

If you are interested, Superior Source is offering samples of the Vitamin C, Vitamin B-12, and/or Vitamin D dissolve tables (just pay shipping and handling):

* FREE Vitamin B-12 - 60-Day Supply - 1,000 mcg (only pay $3.95 S&H):
   Click Here

* FREE Vitamin D - Any D product (baby, child, adult) (only pay $4.95 S&H):
   Click Here

* BOGO - FREE Vitamin C (Sour Cherry or Tangy Orange) - 500 mg - Buy One Get One Free:
   Click Here

1. Extra Strength Vitamin D 1000 IU: Vitamin D works in conjunction with Calcium to help develop and maintain strong bones and teeth. Superior Source offers a new Extra Strength 1,000 IU Vitamin D which can help to ensure optimal health, as stated in a recent review study. All Superior Source Vitamin D products are D3, the finest source. Vitamin D is essential in maintaining eye health and also helps maintain skin, teeth, eyes and the immune system.

2. Vitamin C "Tangy" Orange Melts 500 mg: Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that cannot be produced by the body, therefore it must be replenished daily. Vitamin C also provides support to the body's immune system, very helpful in a season where people catch colds and flu. No sugar is added, these products are only sweetened by stevia; this is preferable to most 'chewable' vitamin C products that are typically loaded with lots of sugar.

3. Just Women Hormone Balance: Our Just Women-Mature Healthy Balance formula combines key vitamins with selected herbs to support the body's optimal health for mature women.


4. Children's Echenacea: Zinc is an essential mineral required by more than 300 enzymes for the support of multiple systems and functions in the human body. Studies have indicated that zinc promotes recovery from the common cold and related symptoms. Superior Source Zinc Lozenjets are formulated with an herbal blend as added protection for children's health and immune system support. 

5. Vitamin B12 Folic Acid 1000 mg: No Shot B-12 / B-6 / Folic Acid "Instant Dissolve MicroLingual" go to work fast! Just place one MicroLingual Tablet under the tongue and within seconds the Sublingual Micro-Tab is dissolved and the nutrients are sped into the blood stream. The combination of B-12 / B-6 & Folic Acid provides essential nutrients for the well being of the heart, by working synergistically to achieve a lower Homocysteine level which in turn lowers the risk of developing heart disease as well as providing nutritive support for healthy cardiovascular functions.


6. Sweet 'n Natural Stevia: Stevia naturally sweet dietary supplement used for both hot and cold beverages. The glycosides from the stevia leaf, called steviosides, are an amazing 200 times sweeter than sugar. Studies have shown that steviosides, may support healthy heart function, help to protect the teeth from dental caries and promote healthy blood glucose levels. Superior Source uses the finest raw materials and a unique blending and manufacturing process to produce the smoothest tasting stevia available with no aftertaste.

Where to Buy: You can purchase all Superior Source Vitamins at major retailers nationwide like Whole Foods and Vitamin Shoppe and major online retailers like, Vitacost, iHerb, Puritans Pride, Swansons and Lucky Vitamins. 

To learn more about Superior Source Vitamins, you can visit their website. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter, and access retailers here.
One winner gets all of the above. US entrants only. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

We're Having a Coleman Christmas (with cooler #Giveaway)!

Disclosure: I received a product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine an my own.

There are not a lot of things my husband needs. We're at that age now where we've pretty much got everything we need, which is wonderful, but it makes shopping for each other more and more challenging with each passing year. This year, however, with great thanks to Coleman, my husband will be getting some items he doesn't have, that I know he will love and use!

My husband is one of those guys who dominates (though so humbly you'd never even guess it if you weren't there to see it with your own two eyes) any physical activity he takes part in. He's always the best, or one of the best on any sports field, he can swim like nobody's business, he's a spot-on target shooter, an excellent golfer, and he can even juggle. ;) My husband is also a master camper! He can get a tent up faster than I can read the first page of the directions, navigate through the thickest of woods without getting lost, and start a fire faster than you can say, 'rub two sticks together.'

Coleman Party Stacker Cooler. Tall enough to hold 2-liter (or most any size) bottles upright.

When we're out and about camping, headed to the beach, or going on a weekend getaway, one of the things we always stop and pick up is a Styrofoam cooler. Inevitably, the top will break in half, or some other damage will be done to the disposable cooler, and it gets used that one time only. Not any more!! Now we have the Coleman Party Stacker Cooler in the house!!

These coolers stack right on top of each other.
Great for parties, and very easy to store.

This little beauty holds 20 cans (enough for my cans of sparkling water (so good cold!), the kids' boxes of juices, and whatever it is hubby decides to bring along). Because they are so tall, you can also pack bottles with ease, including the ever popular big two-liter sized bottles.


The Coleman Party Stacker Coolers have interlocking lids, great for easy storage.

I love how the coolers stack if you want to purchase more than one. Though this review and giveaway is for the awesome tall 20-can stacker, there are many other shapes and sizes you can purchase as well.

Tall 20-can Coleman Party Stacker Cooler
Comes with Sturdy Handle for Carrying.

And of course, I love that the cooler is sturdy-made. It is, after all, a Coleman.

Just a fun note: Coleman coolers have a history in mine and my husband's romance story. Years ago (before kids, so you know that was awhile ago), hubby and I were on a romantic weekend getaway. We did a little shopping that weekend and he picked up a Coleman lunch cooler. All of these years later, that cooler is still in perfect condition, and I use it every single work day to pack his lunch for him. There's no doubt about it, Coleman coolers stand the test of time. I know this 20-can Party Stacker is going to be a huge hit on Christmas morning.

If you still have Christmas shopping to do, Coleman is always a great gift idea!

You can learn more about Coleman coolers by visiting the website. You can also follow along on Facebook and/or Twitter.

One lucky winner is going to get a 20-can Party Stacker Coleman Cooler to call their own! Continental US entrants only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coleman Rambler II Stool Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.


Ever come across an item that is meant for one thing (and it's very good for what it was meant to be used for), but it's also perfect for something else? That is exactly what we have going on with our Coleman Rambler II Stool.


I sat the stool beside the tree before I wrapped it...and it was discovered! 

I sat the Rambler II Stool next to the Christmas Tree to take a couple of pictures for a review. I walked back upstairs to get something...got distracted, and when I went back downstairs, my son was using it for a charging table! What????  Yep, sitting there, with his Kindle charged in and resting nicely on the seat while he looked at the presents under the tree.

I laugh when he does that... I always liked to be near the tree and presents too. It's exciting counting down, and not knowing what's in those boxes!!

But back to the table, I mean stool!!...with everyone in the house always having something to charge, it's not always easy to find an outlet. Hence, my son inadvertently came up with a brilliant idea, and his toy camera, Zoomer, and Kindle (all of which need charged) now live (with their respective chargers) on the Rambler II stool, beside his bed and next to an outlet in his room. It's perfect!

Versatile, Light-Weight & Easy-Fold
Coleman Rambler II Stool

What the stool is really meant to do, and would be perfect for, however, is to be used as a stool or a footrest. It is lightweight in construction and folds flat for easy portability/storage. The aluminum frame is powder-coated and the seat is a very tough polyester fabric. The dimensions on the chair when it is unfolded, are 12.8 in. x 15.5 in. x 17 in.  It is a fantastic chair for many uses, including camping, sitting outside while you're grilling, fishing, and even for use inside watching TV or visiting!! This time of year there are a lot of visitors in and out, and if you find yourself short on chairs, this is a comfy, easy alternative. Just pull it out, pull it open, and in seconds, you've got yourself an extra seat.

The Rambler II Stool is reasonably priced at just $14.99, and it's a Coleman, product so you know it's A+ quality.

Learn more about the stool and other Coleman products by visiting the website. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter. One lucky winner gets a Coleman Rambler II Stool to call their own. Continental US entrants only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coleman Lantern

Disclosure: I received a product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

This little Coleman 4D LED Camp Lantern lights up a whole room!

This is not your grandparent's lantern! I haven't had a lantern in my hand for years!! When I took this one out, memories of my grandmother's huge, clunky, very heavy metal lantern came to mind, and I admit my first thought was how could this one measure up? I thought that because her lantern was sturdy! The lightweight plastic lantern by Coleman measures up though, without a doubt, and only seconds of testing it brought that to light (pun definitely intended).

This very lightweight, but very durable lantern is made of plastic, and has a raised, easy on/off button on the front, that is a cinch to find, even in the dark. It comes with a sturdy handle and works on 4 'D' batteries (not included).  The beauty of the lantern is the amount of light it gives off. For a small lantern, it's pretty impressive that it easily lit up a whole room in just an instant. Running on five bright white LEDs, this lantern produces 54 lumens of effective light output.

We set up our Christmas tree in the (finished) basement this year, and the room it is in is huge. When we saw how great the light worked on the main floor in the smaller rooms, we took it downstairs to see how it would work there too. It did the job and then some. In a word, it is impressive. I'm thinking we should have one of these on each floor. It's perfect for when inclement weather temporarily takes out the electricity, and with this kind of lantern, there is no fire hazard!

The Coleman 4D LED Camp Lantern is designed to be
weather-resistant so it's good for use indoors/outdoors

The lantern can run up to 175 hours on new batteries, it is durable, and is built specifically to be weather-resistant, which means it is perfect for outside activities and adventures. Very reasonably priced at $16.99, this Coleman 4D LED Camp Lantern is the perfect item to stock up on for your home, or to give for a gift.

You can learn more about this and other Coleman product by visiting the website. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

One lucky winner gets the same lantern discussed to call their own. Continental US entrants only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nerf for Under $10 and a Transformer My 7 Yr Old Can Do!

Disclosure: I received product samples to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

Last minute shopping this weekend? I know I'll be hitting the stores and waiting in the crazy long lines, getting my shopping groove on. If I'm not alone, and you'll be shopping for a child/ren this weekend too, think of these two toys when you're out, won't you? The Nerf Precision Target Set is just under $10 and the Rescue Bots Transformer is just cool. Keep reading to learn more!

The Nerf Precision Target Set comes with a purple outside or an orange one.
It is just under $10!!
The Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Primal turns from robot to dino in a matter of seconds.
I'll put a video up of my 7-yr. old doing it, so you can see how easy it is to do.

If you're looking for a toy that will be a huge hit, that costs just UNDER TEN BUCKS!!! then the Nerf Precision Dart Game could be for you!

Everyone loves the quality of Nerf

Everyone loves the quality of Nerf. These dart guns are light-weight, easy-to-load and they travel a pretty far distance too! This set allows you to aim with a light beam, and the darts have a suction cup on the end, so they stick to the board. That way you can gauge your accuracy and work to improve it (or you could have a healthy competition).

My kids hang a paper target on the end of the hallway wall sometimes (and maybe dad does too ;) ) to shoot their Nerf guns. This stand-alone Target Shoot is so much nicer (and looks a lot better on the interior design too!). A big plus for me is that the target gives them a real place to aim and shoot, so they don't get bored and start misfiring on purpose (I've got pictures hanging in that hallway!). If you prefer the target to hang on the wall, it does that too.

This is recommended for ages 8+ and it requires 2 AAA batteries.

For under ten dollars THIS is a great buy!!

Easily turns from Robot to T-Rex
Has lights and sound as well!

The second item is a bit more pricey...just under $40, although I saw it on sale recently for $31.99. There is an exact duplicate model, that is smaller, for just under $12! The Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Primal figure is an easy Robot to T-Rex transformer toy, that your child can switch out in just a few seconds.

This is my son twisting his Optimus Primal from a Bot, into  T-Rex
He is 7-yrs.-old and did it on his first try!
This is what it looks like in T-Rex Mode

The Primal Optimus Transformer is from Hasbro's Rescue Bots line, and it comes with batteries installed, so kids can use it right out of the box. In Bot mode, it talks (in a robot voice), and lights up. In T-Rex mode, it lights up, makes dino sounds, and if you move those smokestacks on either side of its head, you can make it chomp. There is a handy drill (plastic, of course) that can be used in either mode, that will aid your Rescue Bot in performing a rescue. ;) The recommended age on this is 3-7.


Above is a short video of my son transforming the toy from one mode to another. Never mind the end of the video when I thought the camera was off and I continued talking to my son, and it showed I took the lamp shade off for more video light, LOL!! (no video editing software on my computer...yet!). Some reviews definitely call for a video though, so you can see how very cool/awesome/great an item really is, and I think this is one of them. I can't imagine a little one not being excited over this toy on Christmas morning, or any time really!

Both the Nerf N-Strike Elite Precision Target Set and the Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Primal Figure are available in stores everywhere!

Do you have a favorite of the two?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Winner Announcement



Congratulations to the following two readers whose names were randomly selected by Rafflecopter as giveaway winners.

NIV Study Bible: Sara
Nero 2015 Classic Software: Alfredo



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rambling Rosey? Probably...but bear with me, won't you?

The homes in our neighborhood have all fallen below the value of what we paid for them/owe on them. Never was that more evident than when a neighbor put their house up for sale, and no one touched it for a year. They lowered the price. Nothing. They lowered the price again, still nothing.  They refused to go any lower, and took their house off of the market.  Trouble is, they bought another house, and wanted to move into it.  And so they did.

And they rented their house in our neighborhood out to a family with a middle-school boy. The boy comes over, a lot. To my house, and to every neighbor's house he can get to. And he asks for things like the riding mower, the rake, the blower, gas, and today it was butter. He walks through lawns (gasp), looks in windows when he gets to your property, and asks for things with a familiarity that is baffling. His manners are certainly not refined.

We live in a neighborhood where people visit politely, keep  to themselves a lot, and never, never ask to borrow things. This child rarely goes to school, they've put blankets up for curtains, they can't afford garbage service (I think because their garbage is spewing on their walkway from container overflow...eek!). I know about the garbage because I had to walk over there to get our push mower back I lent him (instead of the riding mower...because well, you don't borrow a man's riding mower). ;)

I talk to the boy at the door, or in the yard (he always comes over when I'm working in the yard). He's never been in the house because my husband won't allow it. That's fine. He's been in trouble with the law, school is not important to him, he's a kind-hearted kid with a roll-off-of-me attitude a child his age shouldn't have.  I've never seen his mom, though I've heard her talking to my husband through the door when she rang the doorbell once at 10:30 at night (really, 10:30 at night) to ask us if we knew anything about the school bus (three months after they moved in).

I could go on, but you get the gist. The thing is, the neighbors have all ostracized the child. They shut the door in his face, tell him rudely he cannot borrow things, or out and out ignore him. I see the hurt, and then the roll-it-off emotions registering on his face when he tells me these things (usually when I'm out in the yard, and he runs over to talk). Hubby has made it clear the boy can't come in the house, and he hates that I talk to him and sometimes let him borrow or have what he's asking for... he doesn't trust him (the police have been at their home since they moved in, though we don't know why), and doesn't want him around the house. I understand. But I also worked with troubled youth, and realize that everyone ostracizing this child doesn't help him improve his path in life. If a child doesn't have good role models, and people are always shutting him down, or shutting him out, how can he grow?  Is it our responsibility to set a good example for this young man? No. Should we? Everyone else seems to think no, and it breaks my heart. For him. And for me. I have  tendency to want to save the world, and I know I can't save him. I can only hope he finds a way to save himself. I know the odds are not in his favor, statistically speaking, but that does not mean there is not hope.

Children can't learn compassion, manners, empathy, and love...if those attributes are never shown to them.

Their house is the only one on the street that doesn't show signs of the holiday. I'll be taking over a box full of wrapped toys and games for that young man, sometime before Christmas. I'm not sure if I'll be doing it anonymously, or when I see he's home, but I do know I'm going to do it. My husband is not going to be happy with me, and I don't like to go against what I know he wants, but how can I give to charities, donate to Toys 4 Tots, take the coats to the children in the domestic violence shelter for Christmas, etc., when I know the child right across the street, someone I know, my neighbor, is very likely not having Christmas? In short, I can't. I won't. Make a difference when you can. Even if it's little, it's still a difference, and that's better than doing nothing at all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday with Rudolph

My most favorite purchase of the holiday season thus far. :)

Cuddle Barn Knows Cute! Come See 'The Fox' Over at my Place! With #Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a product to review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

What Did the Fox Say??? You've probably heard that song...some of you multiple times, for sure. We were in the video rental store the other day and my 7-yr. old burst out singing it. I just looked at him and shook my head. I didn't even know he knew that song. Evidently he heard it from an older sibling. So... when a package from Cuddle Barn arrived on our doorstep yesterday and it played that song, to say my son was delighted would be an understatement.

Cuddle Barn sells so many cute, musical stuffed animals
including this one, 'The Fox.'

The musical plush animals at Cuddle Barn are meant to go on display. They are the push-a-button and hear-the-song kind of toy. They are built very well, with a quality that is going to last year after year, and they're cute. People who walk in the room gravitate right towards them.

He's got a cute little hoodie that acutally fits on his head.

The detail on the Cuddle Barn characters is nice. The sweatshirt has a hood that actually fits The Fox, the cuffs are rolled, and there is a screen print on the front that says the name of the song he plays.

And there they are...instant and very happy friends. :)

If you have been to my blog before, you might already know my 7-yr.-old still loves, loves, loves his plush animals. Suffice it to say, he and The Fox became very fast friends.


Cuddle Barn offers free shipping on all orders within the continental USA.

Head on over to Cuddle Barn and check out the large variety of animals they have for sale. You can see the product selection here. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

One lucky winner gets "The Fox" to call their own. US entrants only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

20% Off Space Scouts Monthly Subscription for Kids

Disclosure: I received a product sample to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.



Children love Science. I've found that to be true with my own four in our home, and in the school system as well. Teaching the kids about the marvels of the universe is fun. I've found they are especially prone to learning if they have hands-on activities to help them remember what they're being taught. A great way to get the conversation and learning started is to use the kits you will receive in a Space Scouts monthly subscription club. With these kits, your child will get to explore a new place in space...delving into areas like space science, space exploration, and astronomy, each and every month.


The lunch box was washed and used immediately.
It's fun to take a rocket to school. :)

Kits arrive once a month, and are filled with fun additions to add to your collection. Our first kit contained a space lunchbox,


Those are astronaut figures in one hand, and an robotic arm, extension grabber in the other.

a robotic arm extension grabber, two astronaut figures (my son loves those little figures!),


a puzzle scramble (made of stickers),


a constellation card, information sheet, and magnetic stickers (appropriately the characters on the magnets are named Jett and Roxy). :)


There is also an activity sheet to further help facilitate learning.

This monthly subscription kit is such a fun way to introduce or expand upon the knowledge your child/ren already have regarding Science and Technology. This fun, educational subscription creates a build-upon experience, allowing you to add on to each lesson with every new kit that arrives.

The subscription is affordable at just $11.95 a month + $3.00 shipping. You can get discounts for multi-month purchases. The kits are designed for chldren aged 6+.

Visit the website to learn more. You can also follow Space Scouts on Facebook and/or Twitter.

20% discount on initial purchase of any Space Scouts subscription plan using discount code USFAMILY20. Promo code expires 12/31/14

Flutterbye Fairy Really Flies!

Disclosure: I received a sample product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

Spin Master has been blazing the trail of fun for quite awhile now. They really do have a great line of games and toys for the kids. Recently we received a toy from them to review. When I opened it, and my son saw a doll, he said no waaaaaaaay, nuh uh, he wasn't reviewing a doll!  

Mmm hmm... I knew once that doll started to fly, he'd be in the room, and I was ohhh so right. :)

Flutterbye Fairy from Spin Master

Flutterbye Fairy sits on a base that also serves as a launching pad and a charger. There is a light on the front of it that will indicate by color, when she has a full charge. A direction booklet is included that will tell you what the different light colors mean.

If you purchase the flying doll for a gift, be sure to get the batteries!
Flutterbye Fairy takes 6 'AA' batteries.

This doll is really fun! She gets everyone in the room excited about how she's flying around (even the adults). ;) Flutterbye Fairy takes 6 AA batteries to run, so if you're picking one of these up for a Christmas present, be sure to buy and include those so your gift recipient doesn't have to wait to give her a go :)

Flutterbye Fairy. Isn't she cute?

Flutterbye Fairy is a pretty little thing. She's got bright eyes and a happy smile, and she's dressed in traditional fairy costume. This is the Tinkerbell version. There are many other dolls to choose from as well.

The base is the charger.

Charging her is easy, simply plug the cord attached to the base into the designated port on the doll. It takes about 30 minutes for her to get a full charge.

There's my son who said he wasn't going to review a doll!!
Mm hmm,
clearly you can see he's loving it. ;)

Here is a picture of the doll in flight. She went pretty high, and my son whose curiosity got the better of him when he heard me sending her in the air, is controlling how she moves. When my husband came in the room and gave it a try, because he is taller than little man, he got her to fly all the way to the ceiling.

You control her motions with your hand. She moves where your hand moves.

You simply put your hand underneath her to direct how and where she goes. Cool, right?

We've packed our doll back up nice and pretty in her package, and today she'll go, along with a group of other toys and items we've acquired, to a Toys 4 Tots box. I'm super happy about it too because I know she's going to make a little girl very, very happy on Christmas morning.

If you've got a little girl on your shopping list this year, and still need to pick up a present...this is a wonderful gift idea!

Keep your eyes open for Flutterbye Fairy in the toy section of your favorite store, or find her online.

You can learn more about this line of dolls by visiting Spin Master. You can also follow along on Facebook and/or Twitter.