Sunday, November 23, 2014

Susie's Hope {Review and Giveaway}

Based on the true story, Susie’s Hope brings to life the inspirational relationship between pit bull attack survivor Donna Lawrence and Susie, a pit bull-mix puppy found beaten, burned and left for dead. Recognizing that neglect and abuse were to blame for the tragic attack that nearly claimed her life 10 months earlier, Donna resumes the battered animal and accepts her as family. Together, they learn to heal, love and forgive as they lead a historic effort to seek justice and protection, not only for Susie, but all animals. Starring Emmanuelle Vaguier, Burgess Jenkins (Remember The Titans) and Andrea Powell (Ender’s Game), Susie’s Hope is an incredible story of love, loss and redemption.

Susie was found nearly dead in Greenfield Park in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 20, 2009. Just a puppy, Susie had licked the face of her owner’s newborn baby. Her owner became violent—she was beaten so severely her jaw was broken. That wasn’t enough, though. She was then set on fire and left for dead. Incredibly and against all odds Susie survived. Donna Lawrence adopted her two months later. Susie is now a trained therapy dog and event won the American Humane Association’s American Hero Dog this year.

This is a movie for animal lovers, no doubt! Anyone who has a heart and passion to see animals taken care of and justice brought to them, this movie is for them! The story truly is emotional and sad but the movie brings in some humor and lightheartedness. It is sad, not only what happened to the dog, but the pain and suffering that Donna Lawrence experienced. The pain she went through would be hard for anyone and I could see how going through the event of passing stricter laws in her state and bringing the issue of abuse to the light through this movie was likely a healing experience for her. Although I appreciate and believe it is important to respect our animals, I didn't personally agree with the push for stricter laws against animal abuse. I agree that it is sad,and wrong but having a paw print on a law just doesn't sit right with me. With that said, I know that this story could bring hope to people who have experienced suffering in their lives due to an animal attack. This woman's story of hope and forgiveness could be an inspiration to many!

Enter the Rafflecopter below to receive your own copy of the DVD, Susie's Hope.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Week in Review

Do you ever just look at your homeschooling situation with little ones and want to throw in the towel? You don't have to answer that one. The demanding task of homeschooling little ones can be emotional, trying and frustrating. Yet, we still continue. Why? Well, for one, we have a goal. A vision. A desire to see our little ones succeed in life. What better way to encourage yourself during these challenging years but to look at the success of homeschooled students in the upper grades? The ones who have almost reached the finish line and will soon be ready to enter their destiny armed for battle with the Word of God strong in their hearts and the purposes of God ready to be revealed. I joined a homeschool group this year and finally, this week I went to one of the events. Even though I didn't really know anyone yet, I ventured out to International Night! What a blast. Everyone brought a dish to pass and shared on a country they had studied during the year. It was so encouraging to see young men and women who were homeschooled stepping out and sharing what they had learned! It was a great experience for my children and I hope to continue to be involved in the future!

Later in the week, we enjoyed an entertaining evening with fellow artisans that are a part of the Smith River Artisan Trail in Virginia. The music was performed by an up and coming musician, Mason Via and I really enjoyed his style. The food was wonderful, the people were great and it was just an enjoyable and relaxing evening.   

One of the hosts of the evening was Elliot Stone of Stonehaus Farms. He and his wife have a wonderful working farm not too far away from us where they hold cheese making classes, tours and special events. Their operation sounded like it was right up our alley, so, after all the schoolwork was done the following day we head on over to check it out!

Just in time for Turkey Day, I just couldn't pass up this pose.

Their farm is very clean, picturesque and family friendly! When we arrived we were greeted by the sweetest Great Pyrenees dogs you'd ever met. They also raise Nigerian Dwarf Goats, llamas, chickens, pigs, rabbits and more. 

The kids had the time of their lives. Me? I personally had to overcome my fear of llamas. Yes, one spit on me as a kid. I need to get over it. Fortunately, these ones were actually kind of sweet, and no spitting occurred.  In the photo above, my kids have their hands behind their back so they don't spook the llama. My son was making sounds to try and get the llama to kiss him. Yes, I said kiss. It was hilarious seeing him try this. It didn't work but it was funny seeing him try, (of course it worked for Mr. Stone though!)

Aside from the farm animals, they also sell canned goods, essential oils, scented soy candles and other homestead related items. It was an educational and fun experience for us all! A busy week nonetheless, I hope to slow things down soon. Oh wait, the holidays are coming up, nevermind!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lilla Rose FlexiClip {Review}

As a busy homeschool mom with young children I am always looking for quick, easy, yet cute hair styles to wear. When I head out to the grocery store, church or a play date I don't want to look as though I just rolled out of bed! Yet, the days of styling my hair every morning with a straightener are over. Usually when I put my hair up the only thing that will hold it is a rubber band. If I want to use a stylish clip or accessory I have to first tie a rubber band in my hair and then hide it with the clip.

I've been seeing these Flexi Hair Clips on Pinterest recently and have been drawn to them! There is just something about them that fits my style. They aren't loud and obnoxious but fun and inviting. You can wear a simple outfit and dress it up with these cute clips.  Usually whenever I'm out and about I am shopping for the kids. Now, I have found a fun product for mom! Sure, you can purchase them for little girls too but this just seems like the perfect way for Mom to treat herself!  Surprisingly, I don't need an extra rubber band to keep my hair in place. Instead, this clip goes on easily and stays there all day! Usually, with other bands or clips I have to mess with them throughout the day, constantly making sure they stay in place. 

The Flexi Hair Clip comes in six different sizes, (or order the mini for young girls!)

XS     extra small
S        small
M       medium
L         large
XL      extra large
XXL   mega

The size you order depends entirely on the thickness, length and type of hair you have. There is a very informative sizing video that can help you decide which size to order. I was nervous that I wouldn't pick the right size and that the clip would fall right out of my hair, but the video helped to make things clear and the size that I received is the perfect fit! But don't worry, if you receive your clip and it doesn't fit quite right, or if you ordered it as a gift and it was a size or two off, the company will gladly exchange your item for another size!

These clips are extremely easy to put in. Looking at the pictures, you may think that there are two pieces of the clip that you have to keep together. Fortunately, that is not the case. Even though there are two pieces, they are connected, so you only have one piece to keep track of! 

If you watched the sizing video then you saw different examples of styles you can sport with the Flexi Clip! So far, I have worn it in a pony tail, half up and tails up. They also have a beautiful French Twist and Up-Do styles. 

Party Time!
I'm presently holding an online party! If you order here, any purchase you make will help me gain points towards more Lilla Rose products! Purchase your clips anytime before the end of November to help me out, thanks!

Host a Party!
If you would like to earn FREE Lilla Rose products contact Strawberry Princess to get started! Feel free to ask her how to become a consultant as well. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Star For Jesus {Review}

A Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman is the perfect board book to place in little hands this Christmas. This cute book is die cut to show off the fun star shape. This simple, to the point, board book shares the Christmas story with the focus of God's special star created to point to the savior, Jesus. The illustrations are intriguing for little eyes and the story is written in a catchy rhyming text. 

I remember when my kids were little, some of my favorite gifts they received were children's Christmas books! I still have a small collection that I set aside for December of each year. Then, in the beginning of December, I set a basket of Christmas books by the fireplace and allow the children to pick out a different book to be read to them each day leading up to Christmas! I've even seen on Pinterest where people would wrap up twenty-five different books and the kids could pick a new one to open each day, (one of these years, I might try that idea!)

If you are looking for a gift this Christmas season, this is perfect fit for young readers!

Disclaimer: Thank you to Book Look for providing this book in exchange for this review. All opinions stated here are my own.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

When Life Brings You To Cotton Fields

 Recently, my husband's work brought him down to Georgia. Twice. The second time he went ahead and took the whole family. Why not? We were directly across the street of cotton fields. No museums. No lakes. Just, cotton fields. We're homeschoolers though, so, we turned it into a homeschool lesson!

I was raised in the north and honestly have never seen a cotton field. I remember reading about plantations and cotton fields in the history books but I have never seen them up close.

The size of these cotton puffs were about 
the size of the cotton balls you buy in the store.

It was November when we were in Georgia and there were still fields to be harvested! I was surprised but, it was in the eighties that week so the growing seasons are probably different to what I'm used to.

While we were there, we noticed one day that the beautiful cotton field we saw across the street had been plowed harvested. 

And check out those bales! Who knew they made cotton bales similar to hay bales? Well, I guess if you are from Georgia you knew this, obviously. 

We were surprised by how much cotton was left over and not picked up by the machines. We would be driving by the road and cotton would be flying on the sides of the road and in the street, everywhere!

Needless to say, we brought some cotton home and hey, maybe we'll try to make a tee-shirt out of it. But, that's a different lesson!

Valentia Even Glow {Review}

I'm excited to share with you a brand new antioxidant treatment called Valentia Even Glow Serum. Created to repair, refresh and renew, this product truly delivers! Filled with 98% natural, organic ingredients this serum is sure to replace those chemical filled lotions and creams that are filled with harmful ingredients. 

The organic rosehip seed oil and organic sea buckhorn oil work together to increase skin hydration. 

Honestly, I struggle with dry skin, especially during these present dry months. I don't wear makeup but I do use creams to keep by face from getting too dry. I'm excited to now have found a product with ingredients that I can feel good about putting on my skin. Because, as you know, what goes on your skin also seeps through your pores. Another reason to be careful what you rub on your skin.

Another benefit to this serum is it's rich and luxurious smell! Twenty percent of this product has vitamin C which causes an amazing citrus-y scent as you apply it to your face! As you can see pictured above, the serum comes in a bottle with a dropper, similar to when purchasing essential oils. The bottle I received  was 35 ML
and only requires a few drops per application. I use it after I wash my face when getting ready in the morning. The fresh scent wakes me up and keeps me energised! I defenitly noticed a difference after a few days. At first I still had to apply a mosturizer to keep my skin from drying out but now I've noticed less problems in that area!

Another amazing result I had from this serum was that a small scar on my face has diminished! Since I was in first grade I've had a small scar on my face from my bout with chicken pox. Since using this serum, I don't even see it anymore! I was shocked. It didn't just shrink, it appears to be gone. Needless to say, especially because I don't wear cover up, this has been a great blessing! I highly recommend using this in your daily routine to help with skin care and to help enhance your natural beauty. This Vitamin C Serum is presently sold on Amazon.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Valentia and US Family Guide for providing this product for the purpose of this review. 
All opinions stated here are my own.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Countdown to Thanksgiving {Review}

No matter how much I plan ahead in my homeschooling, whenever I come to Thanksgiving and Christmas time I tend to put everything on hold and focus on the meaning behind the season at hand! I have heard of many parents who completely take these two months off from their usual curriculum and just spend it teaching on Thanksgiving and Christmas! 

This year, I don't plan on completely taking a break from everything but, during these months I do want to slow down a bit and hold off on our current history lessons. I already have cute Christmas activities planned for December leading up to Christmas that will be a spin-off of what I did last year, but for Thanksgiving I look forward to trying the Golden Prairie Press Countdown to Thanksgiving

Earlier this year I reviewed their Heroes and Heroines of the Past. I was impressed with how much my children retained from these lessons! A few weeks ago, a visiting Pastor was sharing in church and mentioned the Green Mountain Boys. My two boys ears perked up and the listened attentively! On the car ride home they talked about what they remembered from our lesson on the Green Mountain Boys a few months earlier. I was impressed with how much they remembered! The lessons through Golden Prairie Press are entertaining and interactive and allow your children to use their senses, helping them to retain more. 

I look forward to using the Countdown to Thanksgiving this month to help history come alive! Recently, in our society, Thanksgiving has been pushed to the side. As soon as the Halloween decorations are taken down, the Christmas decor is pushed, full force. Last year I tried to find Candy Corn right before Thanksgiving and my grocery store didn't even have a fall display set up, it was all Christmas! I'm excited to slow down and take the 14 Days leading up to Thanksgiving and spend it focusing on an important foundational aspect of our history. These lessons include stories, songs, recipes and games all related to Thanksgiving in America throughout the ages. There is also a quiz for those of us who like to see where are kids are in the books! 

Countdown to Thanksgiving provides lessons and activities for the whole family to be used the 14 leading up to Thanksgiving. This year, beginning on NOVEMBER 13th (this Thursday).

Join me as we journey back in time for 14 days through story, song, cooking and more!

Regular Price: $17
Sale Price:     $12
 I received the 88 page e-book version. There is a printed version available also.

$5 Coupon Code
 Use Coupon Code: THANK at checkout to receive 
$5 off your copy of 
Countdown to Thanksgiving

Disclaimer: I receive the above e-book in exchange for this review. All opinions stated here are my own.