December 21, 2010

Want to Know Your Christmas Elf Name?

I was watching my morning news program this morning and they were talking about their Christmas Elf Names. You’ve probably tried putting in a fairy name, vampire name, etc. Well, this is the Christmas season, so I figured, why not give it a try?

Want to know your Christmas Elf Name? Go to:

Post in the comment here your name if you did it too. Hope you are all having a great holiday season!

December 20, 2010

Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley

Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley is all about the magic of the Harry Potter films. Find out why the ice sculptures at the Yule Ball didn’t melt, the secret behind the floating candles in the Great Hall and much more with this behind the scenes look of the films.

Book Description
“Harry Potter: Film Wizardry gives readers a front row seat to the magical journey that brought J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world to the big screen. Step off Platform Nine and Three Quarters and into the hidden world behind the scenes of the Harry Potter film series. Brian Sibley is the author of other bestselling behind-the-screen books, like The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Land of Narnia. The book includes Producer’s Diaries from the Harry Potter films’ executive producer David Heyman.

Immerse yourself in the world of the spectacular Harry Potter film series, and learn why Yule Ball ice sculptures never melt, where Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts are really "minted," how to get a Hippogriff to work with actors, the inspiration behind Hogwarts castle, and why Dementors move the way they do. Written and designed in collation with the cast and crew that brought J. K. Rowling's celebrated novels to the silver screen, Harry Potter: Film Wizardry delivers an enchanting interactive experience, transporting readers to the wizarding world by sharing film-making secrets, unpublished photography and artwork, and exclusive stories from the stars. Full of removable facsimile reproductions of props and paper ephemera from the movies, this collectible volume offers a privileged look at the Harry Potter films and the talented group of Muggles that has made true movie magic.”
Harry Potter Film Wizardry

My Thoughts
Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley is the most visually stunning book I have seen for the Harry Potter films. If you like the books, the movies, and the actors that portray the characters, you will want to check this book out right away. Warning: once you start looking at it and reading it, you won’t want to put it down!

My not so little secret is that I love the Harry Potter books and films. The series is one of my favorite book/movie series of all time. I have to admit that even I didn’t know much of what was written in this book though. All of the secrets behind the movies are really quite interesting. For instance, did you know Hermione was cast before Ron and Harry?

This magical book is setup to look like a scrapbook put together like how we all wish we could do ourselves. I absolutely loved all of the pull-out sections especially Harry Potter’s acceptance letter to Hogwarts, a map of Diagon Alley, Advanced Potion Making stickers to add to bottles of your own, the 422nd Quidditch World Cup Programme, and the Marauder’s Map.

Harry Potter Film Wizardry is the perfect gift for a fan of the Harry Potter movies and/or books. This is the kind of book that makes those E-books cry because it has the touches that an electronic version could never achieve. Seriously, this is a book that would be treasured and enjoyed each time it is read. All of the special touches make it feel like you have a true treasure pulled right out of the Gringott’s bank vault.

* Thank you to the publisher of Harry Potter Film Wizardry, Collins Design, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 17, 2010

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Chuck Fischer

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a classic tale that has been told during the Christmas season for many generations. This version of the story is featured in a beautiful pop-up book created by Chuck Fischer that is sure to captivate even the youngest listeners at bedtime.

Book Description
“This beautiful re-imagining of Charles Dickens's timeless fable, A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book features artist Chuck Fischer's richly painted depictions of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, brought to life in intricate pop-up scenes by paper engineer Bruce Foster. The entire text of A Christmas Carol is reproduced in five removable, illustrated, keepsake booklets. An introductory booklet provides a biography of Dickens and an illustrated feature on the enduring appeal of this beloved story.” – A Christmas Carol

My Thoughts
A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite Christmas stories. I loved seeing the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. If this is one of your favorite tales, you will definitely want to check out this pop-up book to add to your library or Christmas goodies to share with your family.

This version of the classic story is absolutely magnificent. The pop-ups are beautiful and includes a section of the story to go with each area that the adult can pull out to read to the children (or themselves) while looking at the expertly crafted pop-up page to go with it.

I showed this book to my parents, and my Nana that was visiting from out of town when it arrived, and they all thought it was amazing. It is really a perfect book to add for your family to enjoy for generations (as long as little hands don’t grab and tear the pop-ups). I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves the story and wants to pass it on to their children or grandchildren in a very special way.

* Thank you to the publisher of A Christmas Carol, Little, Brown and Company, part of the Hachette Book Group for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 14, 2010

Unto The Hills by Billy Graham

Unto The Hills by Billy Graham is a daily devotional. I personally really enjoy daily readings from books. It allows you to savor and enjoy a book one day at a time, and when it comes to biblical readings, that is sometimes all I really have time (and want) to read at a time.

Book Description
“The classic 365-day devotional from Billy Graham, now back in print.
No matter your place in life, this classic collection of devotional readings is designed to bring you daily to that special place of renewal— to help you pause and gaze "unto the hills" for help and inspiration.

Each of the 365 daily readings in this inspiring collection offers a carefully chosen passage of scripture, a brief, thoughtful message from Dr. Graham, and a heartfelt prayer composed especially for this book. Distilled from a lifetime of study and ministry, these devotionals supply daily food for thought about living fruitfully and joyfully in an often fretful world.

Simple, direct, encouraging yet challenging, this book offers itself as a heartening companion for your daily walk in the valley. This collection is a gentle but constant reminder that we can find help for all our needs as long as we remember to look up . . . unto the hills but especially unto the Lord.”

My Thoughts
Unto The Hills is actually a very good daily devotional that is written by Billy Graham. He writes in a way that is easy to read and understand, which I really like.

When reading daily devotionals or anything that is setup to read one per day, I always read the one on my birthday first. I personally found many interesting things on this day (he even mentioned one of my distant relatives, Sir Isaac Newton) and the mysteries of the universe. Graham and I may not believe in the same things necessarily, but I found this to be quite interesting that those were mentioned on my birthday. I actually read this book in an afternoon and quite enjoyed it, which is quite an accomplishment on Graham’s behalf as I am more “spiritual” than “religious.”

Overall, I found Unto The Hills to be a fantastic daily devotional that everyone who believes in the Christian faith would enjoy. It would also make a great gift for someone who (like me) may prefer to read these one page a day.

* Thank you to the publisher of Unto The Hills, Thomas Nelson, as part of the BookSneeze program, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach is about how to adapt to money not being there and what to do when you need it. Breathnach gives advice and tips from her own personal stories about money, as well as from books, newspapers, and magazines to help inspire those who are in financial need with the difficulties with money now.

Book Description
“When money is plentiful, this is a man's world. When money is scarce, it is a woman's world." Unearthed in a 1932 Ladies Home Journal, this quote is the call to arms that begins PEACE AND PLENTY, Sarah Ban Breathnach's answer to the world's-- and her own personal-- financial crisis. As only Ban Breathnach can, she culls together this compendium of advice, deeply personal anecdotes, and excerpts from magazines, books, and newspapers-- particularly those of the Great Depression-- to inspire readers who are mired in today's financial difficulties.

Focusing on her own personal path, Sarah Ban Breathnach will relate never-before revealed details about how she fell from the financial top to the bottom. Readers will immediately see how deeply she understands the plight of those trying to maintain a happy and comfortable home, while at the same time not even knowing if they will be able to make the mortgage to keep that home.

Sarah has proved to be the voice of comfort for years to women who are spiritually bankrupt, and now she will reach to those who are financially strapped, showing them how to pull themselves out of their psychic and fiscal crises while providing deep comfort and reassurance throughout.”

- Peace and Plenty

My Thoughts
Many struggle with money issues now, some perhaps you would never guess by just looking at them, but many have this issue. Peace and Plenty is supposed to be a book that helps give inspiration to those who are having money issues and even give them ideas on how to cope with the issues and hopefully help to even rise out of their struggles with money.

The only thing I really liked in the book were the quotes that went with each chapter. These could be inspirational, and some would be great to post on a vision board or somewhere around the house.

Unfortunately, at least for me, this book didn’t give any new information or “inspiration” about money issues. Shopping at thrift stores, setting aside “me” money, and starting a “gratitude” journal aren’t new ideas, and honestly rather tired of reading about when it comes to money.

One of the things that really irritated me was reading about how the author deposited an enormous advance check on a book - perhaps the $24.99 price tag for the book helped bring her out of debt. Maybe this bit of information should have been left out of the book.

Overall, I found the information in Peace and Plenty to be uninspired and quite unhelpful when it comes to getting out of debt. If you are in debt and looking for help and inspiration, this probably isn’t the best book around, but if you want to give it a shot, who knows? It might help you.

* Thank you to the publisher of Peace and Plenty, Grand Central Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 11, 2010

Stronger than Sin by Caridad Pineiro

Stronger than Sin by Caridad Pineiro is a paranormal romance that brings in medical science and action with the FBI and criminal elements. Dr. Liliana Carrera is a pathologist that almost lost her own life to the evil Wardell scientists. After her life is setting back to normal, Jesse Bradford becomes her newest patient that escaped from the facility. He has an amazing body (ex-pro football player), and is in serious need of her help – in more ways than one.

Book Description
“Dr. Liliana Carrera nearly lost her life to Wardwell scientists. She won't let them harm other innocent victims, like her new patient, Jesse Bradford. The former pro athlete had the best hands in the NFL . . . until an injury forced him to undergo Wardwell's experimental gene therapy. Now Jesse's gorgeous body is superhuman-but his strength comes at a price.

With Wardwell threatening his family, Jesse can't tell Liliana all he knows. Yet he can't resist her compassion . . . or her healing, erotic touch. As their passion flares, Jesse's body becomes dangerous and volatile. For evil men are plotting to change the face of humanity-and will destroy whoever stands in their way.”
Stronger than Sin

My Thoughts
I love paranormal romances. Stronger than Sin isn’t really very “paranormal” in the sense of vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. It is more conspiracy theory and science gone bad, which isn’t a bad thing. It was an interesting mix and was researched well enough for the medical aspects to also be believable.

I found the characters to be likeable and fun to read. Sometimes the transitions in-between the character’s point of view didn’t work out quite that well, but this is just something I’m picky about. I don’t think most people would be bothered by it.

This is a great book to read while on vacation or even while traveling. It has enough action and excitement to keep you interested, and isn’t a very lengthy book to not finish while on the vacation. Give it a try - you’ll be glad you did!

* Thank you to the publisher of Stronger than Sin, Grand Central Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 4, 2010

Sheri’s Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway

I love hosting giveaways and sharing with all of you the chance to win some great things. This holiday, I decided to buy some things for my followers to share the holidays with. These are a few of my new favorite things, I hope you check them out and enter to win which one you’d like to become your new favorite thing too!

Jessica Galbreth Giveaway: Spread Your Wings Faerie Figurine

I love faeries and one of my favorite artists is Jessica Galbreth. I recently purchased a few of her figurines and would love to share one with you. This is the Spread Your Wings Faerie figurine that stands about 6 inches high.

Yankee Candle Giveaway

Okay, so I’ve loved Yankee Candle for years, but I still love them and I picked up this very cute gift for someone to win. It includes votive candles and a glass snowflake votive holder.

Yes To Carrots Giveaway

The Yes to Carrots shampoo and conditioner is amazing for your hair. It also lasts a really long time, which also makes me really love it. Out of all of the shampoos and conditioners I’ve tried, this one works the best for the money and the set also lasts much longer than one month (think more like 5+ months)!

Random Books Giveaway

This is more like a grab-bag item. I have been reviewing a ton of books this past year and my bookshelves are getting a bit full. Let me know which genre of books you like and if you win, I’ll surprise you with some fantastic books that look like new (trust me, I’m neurotic about my books looking pristine even after I’ve read them).

Giveaway Rules:

• You must be a follower of my Blog through GFC.

• You must post your e-mail address in your comment if it isn’t listed on your Blogger profile (so I can contact you if you win).

• You must live somewhere on Earth (inter-planetary mail service is not too reliable yet).

• You may only win one prize in this contest. Make sure to state which ones you want to be entered for.

** Jessica Galbreth Giveaway

** Yankee Candle Giveaway

** Yes to Carrots Giveaway

** Random Books Giveaway

How to Enter Sheri’s Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway

Leave a comment on this post based on how you are entering. The more you enter, the better your chances to win. I’ll pick winners by randomizer after the giveaway is over.

One Comment – Make sure to follow my blog through GFC. Let me know which items you want to win and whatever else you want to write in that comment.

One Comment – Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway. Post the URL in the comment and the items you want to win.

One CommentFriend me on Facebook and post about the giveaway. Leave URL to your profile page.

Two Comments – Blog about my giveaway and link to this post. Leave the URL in the comment and the items you want to win. * Not just a little blurb about it, but a post about it. Feel free to use the giveaway button I made to add to your Blog post and/or add it onto your Blog until the contest is over, I’d appreciate it!

Giveaway ends on December 31, 2010. Good Luck!

As per FTC annoyances: Nothing featured here was provided by the publisher or manufacturer. All comments and such are my own and just because I love something, doesn’t mean you will, though I hope you do too if you win it. :)

December 3, 2010

Paranormal Romance Review: Tempted By Fate

Paranormal romance is perhaps one of my favorite genres. Usually I go for the vampires, but this time I decided to try out Tempted By Fate by Kate Perry. This book is part of The Guardians of Destiny Series, but if you haven’t read any before this, that is okay (I hadn’t either).

Book Description
“Willow Tarata is a Guardian who trusts no one. She hunts those who prey on the vulnerable. And she's driven by a vengeful goal-find the man who murdered her mother. Yet suddenly Willow's quarry now has her on the run . . . straight into the sights of San Francisco's most dangerous detective.

Three bizarre murders have Inspector Rick Ramirez baffled-and determined to uncover the truth. But to catch the real killer, he needs the help of his prime suspect, Willow Tarata, even though this fierce and sexy blonde is challenging his professional cool. And now, unless they believe in each other and trust their deepest instincts, a relentless evil will end both Willow's and Rick's life-and claim this Guardian's extraordinary powers forever . . .”

- Tempted By Fate

My Thoughts
Willow Tarata is really a sexy heroine character that is loveable and misunderstood by others (except those that are the closest to her). She is a Guardian of the Wood scroll and is in search of “The Bad Man” that killed her mother when she was ten. Seeking revenge and living in a life of anger set her in the direction of being an assassin (hey, she has superpowers and needs money). Even this part of her life isn’t really “bad” but not everyone sees in the shades of gray, like she finds out. For some, it is hard.

Inspector Rick Ramirez finds it extremely difficult to see things that aren’t black or white. He however does become extremely attracted to and passionate about Willow. How they ended up going from murder suspect to getting hot and heavy you will have to read to find out for yourself. What happens in the end isn’t necessarily a surprise, but it is a page turner and will keep you up late reading to find out what happens at the end.

If you like paranormal romance, romance, or paranormal in general, you will like this book. I recommend it to all who enjoy such books.

Thank you to the publisher of Tempted By Fate, Forever, part of the Hachette Book Group, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 2, 2010

My Blog is Featured Over at Simply Stacie!

Today my Blog is being featured over at Simply Stacie’s Blog. I did the interview with her a few months back, and today is the big day it is being featured. I urge you to all go check it out.

December 1, 2010

Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook by Neil Kleinberg

The Clinton St. Baking Company is one of Manhattan’s best places to eat. Not everyone can make it there, and for those who are unable to due to geographical limitations, the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook provides a way to enjoy some of the best foods from their kitchen right to yours.

Cookbook Description
“The Clinton St. Baking Company is one of the hottest brunch spots in a city obsessed with brunch. A tiny thirty-two-seat eatery on Manhattan's trendy Lower East Side, the restaurant draws long lines of customers who come from far and wide to sample fresh-baked goods, hearty omelets, sugar-cured bacon, and light-as-air pancakes with maple butter.

In the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, owners DeDe Lahman and Neil Kleinberg share more than 100 treasured recipes that have made their restaurant a sensation. Learn the secret to their house-made buttermilk biscuits and tomato jam, irresistible muffins and scones, delicious soups and sandwiches, and their decadent, eye-catching desserts. Helpful techniques, like Neil's patented omelet "flip and tuck," and gorgeous color photographs throughout will have readers cooking like pros in no time, and sharing the delicious results.”
Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook

My Thoughts
Cookbooks filled with recipes from delicious restaurants from faraway lands (in this case New York City), are really like bringing a taste of that culture right to your very own kitchen. The Clinton St. Baking Company is one of the hottest brunch spots in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and for those of us that can’t make it there to taste for ourselves, this cookbook can almost make it feel like we’ve walked through their doors to enjoy a delicious meal.

Some of my favorites from the cookbook include:
• French-style omelet
• Lobster bisque
• Maple butter roasted squash soup
• Homemade caramelized applesauce
• Flourless chocolate cake

Another thing I love about this cookbook is that the dust jacket and the cover are different. The dust jacket is what you see in the cover image here, but the actual outside of the book shows a picture of the restaurant from the outside – like it is inviting you inside to taste their food. Very welcoming, and great idea!

Even though I couldn’t try them all, they all look absolutely scrumptious. I highly recommend this book to all who want a little taste of this restaurant right in their own home.

Thank you to the publisher of Clinton St. Backing Company, Little Brown, part of the Hachette Book Group, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Live Gluten Freely Giveaway Winner

The Live Gluten Freely Giveaway has come to a close. I used randomizer to come up with a winner, and the lucky winner of this prize pack provided by MyBlogSpark and General Mills is: Jen! Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone who entered to win in this giveaway. Check back again soon, I’ll have more to share with you in the very near future!

Happy Holidays!

November 30, 2010

On This Day in Christian History by Robert J. Morgan

Have a love for Christianity? How about history? How about a mixture of both? If so, then check out On This Day in Christian History by Robert J. Morgan. In this book, you will discover the historical events that happened on each day of the year in Christian history.

Book Description
Amazing stories of faith from twenty centuries of church history.

From the Roman Empire to the Reformation, St. Valentine to St. Francis, Martin Luther to Billy Graham, On this Day introduces readers to a parade of preachers, popes, martyrs, heroes, and saints from 2,000 years of Christianity.

This introduction to 365 of the most interesting men and women of faith brings a year's worth of inspiration and spiritual challenge and offers an enjoyable glimpse into church history. Each day includes a related Scripture reading and a simple, colorful story about history-making events in the lives of people who loved God wholeheartedly.

My Thoughts
Robert J. Morgan does a very good job giving the reader a great story to correspond with each day out of the year. Not all of the stories included are about good things that happened either, actually, many aren’t. It is a real account of the things that have happened throughout Christianity presented for the reader to have a better understanding of Christian history.

I actually quite like how the stories were laid out, and enjoyed reading many of them. It is an easy read for someone and if you read even just one for the day, it would be something to look forward to every day of the year.

I recommend this book for all those who like to read Christian books, and would also make a great present for someone that enjoys this type of a book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

November 24, 2010

The Sims 3: Late Night Expansion Pack Review

The Sims 3 is perhaps my favorite game of all time. It has taken the best aspects of prior Sims games and made it more visually stunning and more entertaining.

One of the biggest things I have been waiting for is the addition of vampires. My love of vampires comes as no shocker to anyone that reads this Blog every now and then. True Blood vampires, Twilight vampires, basically any vampires I love. If you love vampires too, trust me The Sims 3: Late Night expansion pack is worth purchasing.

Game Info:
Get your Sims an all‐access pass to the hottest spots in town. Whether they mingle with celebrities or enjoy a casual night with friends, your Sims’ social lives are getting a boost! But keep in mind that some scenes are more exclusive than others, so make sure your Sims have the right connections to get past the bouncers at the hottest clubs. Wherever your Sims go, they’ll discover new things to become—adored celebrities, all‐night partiers, rowdy bandmates, or sexy vampires. What will your Sims get up to after dark?

• Hang out at the hottest spots in town, from dive bars to dance clubs to chic lounges, complete with bouncers.
• Gain fame and fortune as a member of a music band, mixologist, director, or local celebrity.
• Explore certain areas of town in the thick of the night and you may be initiated into the dark life of a vampire.
• Gain excess to exclusive areas and enjoy celebrity perks like penthouse living, luxury hot tubs and cars.

My Thoughts:
Words really can’t express how excited I was to play this game, but I will try anyways with a visual depiction of my experiences in game with my very own Sheri Newton Sim that is also available to download into your game, if you want.

I started out trying to move the Sim version of me to Bridgeport with my Robert Pattinson Sim, but it didn’t work out too well. It can probably be done, but I couldn’t wait to start playing there, so I ended up just changing the outfits to some new Late Night clothes and started over in Bridgeport.

After creating a new game in Bridgeport, I moved into a high-rise apartment. I think the new penthouse/apartment/high-rise system is really great. I had fun living downtown in this area for a while.

Notice the new hot tubs? Yes, they are back too, which is really fun and I’m quite happy they finally decided to give us hot tubs in The Sims 3. Also, Sims can go skinny dipping in them and WooHoo in them! You can even steal another Sim’s clothing if they are skinny dipping, which is really pretty funny to watch.

Late Night activities can’t go on without going to bars, clubs, and lounges – right? Well, Bridgeport has some really fabulous places for your Sims to get into – if they have the celebrity levels (or cash to bribe their way in) to gain access. Visit a vampire lounge, sports bar, rave like club, or one of the other fun locations available with Late Night. Some of these bars even have stages where you can perform – and you don’t even have to be in a band to do it, though that is preferred.

My Sim became famous pretty quickly. I may have used some cheats to acquire vast amounts of Simoleons and friends, but so what? Soon she was able to enter all the fabulous clubs, bars, and lounges, and was even chased by the paparazzi!

While exploring the downtown area and venturing out at night, your Sim is bound to encounter some vampires.

I made friends with one and brought him home, and asked him to turn me into a vampire too. It didn’t take a lot of begging…

After a few days, my Sim turned into a vampire too! It was a really cool process to watch, and perhaps one of the most wicked things I’ve seen yet in The Sims games.

The Sims 3: Late Night expansion pack is my favorite Sims game that has been released so far. It offers me everything I want from The Sims and provides endless amounts of entertainment, which is really what The Sims is all about.

If you or someone you know loves The Sims 3, this is a must buy expansion pack – and would make a seriously great holiday present too. If you happen to live with the person you are buying it for, perhaps buy the digital version of it on Gamers Gate and secretly download it onto their computer the night before Christmas, and in the morning tell them they have a surprise waiting for them – it would surely be a welcome surprise that they never saw coming!

* Note that you must have The Sims 3 base game already installed on your computer in order to play this.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Sims 3: Late Night, Electronic Arts, and Gamers Gate for providing me a digital copy of this game and allowing me to review it. All experiences and opinions expressed are my own.

November 18, 2010

Live Gluten Freely Giveaway!

Having to eat Gluten-Free can sometimes be a pain, but for those such as myself that have to stay away from gluten, it has gotten better recently. More products are available that don’t taste awful, and it is really making it easier to cook and enjoy things in life again like pancakes, waffles, pizza, biscuits, etc. So, I was really excited to get the offer from MyBlogSpark to review Gluten-Free products and also get to host this giveaway.

Honestly, I really loved everything in this prize pack. The Gluten-Free Bisquick is great, and I even made a pizza (recipe is on the box) with it. Amazing! Seriously, if you have been missing pizza that is easy to make, this is easy and delicious! The Gluten-Free Honey Chex cereal was also really good, as was the instant potatoes and the kiddie snacks like Gushers. Delightful!
Live Gluten Freely is an online community that was created by General Mills that offers gluten-free product news, articles, and real life stories from people like us. It also offers amazing recipies for gluten-free dishes like blueberry corn muffins, chicken nuggets, brownie ganache torte with raspberries, and carrot cake. Yum!

General Mills offers more than 300 affordable gluten-free products. Sign up for the free list on to get news, recipes, tips, and coupons for gluten-free products each month.

Live Gluten Freely Prize Pack Giveaway
I’m very happy to get to share this amazing gift pack with one lucky reader. This package includes: a Live Gluten Freely product box that includes an assortment of gluten-free products from your favorite brands like Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Chex and Larabar, a Betty Crocker Red Serving Spoon, and coupons!

To enter please leave a separate comment for each entry, if you do not have a viewable e-mail in your Blogger profile, please include that in your entries:

One Comment – Follow my Blog publicly and tell me what you’d like to try that is gluten-free.

One Comment – Blog about my giveaway (linking to this post). Leave URL of the post in your comment.

One Comment – Follow me on Twitter and tweet about my giveaway (linking to this post). Leave URL on here.

Contest will end on November 30, 2010
Good luck!

Thank you to MyBlogSpark and General Mills for allowing me to review and giveaway this prize pack. The products, prize pack, information and additional prize pack to give away were all given to me from General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

November 17, 2010

Cities XL 2011 Review

Cities XL 2011 is a new simulation city building game. In this PC game you are the mayor of a city and create it from the ground up. You can also link your cities together to create a global economy, so really it is like you are ruler of the whole world.

This visually stunning world is yours for the taking, care to create your own?

Game Description
Imagine and Conceive cities of all types and sizes on Cities XL planet. From a several million citizens megalopolis to a hyped seaside resort, to an industrial city, everything is allowed!

Take advantage of an incredible collection of more than 700 buildings and structures, 47 different types of maps featuring realistic environments. Enjoy never seen before freedom in a city-builder!

As a virtual mayor, find the right balance between economic development of your cities, attractiveness, transportation (road traffic, bus, metro…), pollution, social services, taxes and even leisure activities.

For the first time in this kind of game, you go beyond the simple creation of a city! Connect every city that you build in a trade network, specialize some of them so that they can provide for others, thus creating a large-scale economy balance.

Key features
• More than 700 buildings, structures and monuments inspired by various architectural styles.
• 47 incredibly detailed and diverse 3D maps: mountains, hills, canyons, islands, cliffs, as well as famous places: Hollywood, Manhattan, Paris, Hong Kong, the Krakatoa volcano…
• Connect cities that you build in a trade network, specialize some of them so that they can provide for others, and create a large-scale economy balance!
• A sophisticated public transportation system: manage in detail the road network, as well as bus lines, and the underground and elevated railway.
• Take profiles of your citizens into account to provide the services and the entertainment they need.
• A self-sufficient global economy, controlled by price variation and by citizen’s needs in the game.
• An all new tax management system allows you to refine the city's administration.
• A very high quality graphic engine which provides nearly photorealistic visuals.

Cities XL 2011 Official Trailer

My Thoughts
Looks amazing, right? The graphics are fantastic, especially when viewing your cities up close. The detail that is going on is really fun to watch, and you can spot funny things happening like a man dancing on a car to everyday things like people walking, driving, and having fun around their city. Cities XL 2011 brings you the best detail to a simulation city available to date.

The different settings and zones/terrains that you are able to build on really impressed me. My favorites were the beachside zones and the ones with the Asian theme. Very beautiful cities!

My laptop isn’t the highest quality gaming computer out there - in fact it isn’t even a “gaming computer.” Yet, I was able to run this game smoothly with no lagging or having to compromise the graphics. I was highly impressed by this factor, especially since my computer is below their minimum requirements.

The controls in the game were pretty simple and easy to get used to playing with. I also like the fact that there were different playing levels of difficulty.

Overall, I really had a good time playing this game. I highly recommend it to everyone who likes simulation city building games. This would also make for a great PC game gift for the holidays!

System Requirements
• OS: Windows XP SP3 / Windows Vista SP1 / Windows 7
• Processor: Intel core 2 duo or higher - 2.5 GHz and AMD equivalent, or higher
• RAM: 1GB (XP) / 1.5 GB (Vista)
• Hard Drive: 8GB
Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8800 / ATI Radeon HD 3850 or higher, 512MB, DirectX 9.0c

* Thank you to the manufacturer of this game for providing me with an electronic version of this game for review purposes. All opinions and experiences are my own.

November 16, 2010

Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home by Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson’s eighth book features 190 amazing recipes. 60 of these scrumptious recipes are even able to be cooked in 30 minutes or less. The “domestic goddess” writes in a way to capture your attention and actually makes you want to try all of these delectable recipes.

Book Description
“Comprehensive, informative, and engaging, Nigella Kitchen offers feel-good food for cooks and eaters that is comforting yet always seductive, nostalgic but with a modern twist–whether super-fast exotic recipes for the weekday rush, leisurely slow-cook dishes for weekends and special occasions, or irresistible cakes and cookies in true “domestic goddess” style. Nigella Kitchen answers everyday cooking quandaries–what to feed a group of hungry teenagers, how to rustle up a spur-of-the-moment meal for friends, or how to treat yourself when you’re home alone–and since real cooking is so often about leftovers, here one recipe can morph into another . . . from ham hocks in cider to cidery pea soup, from “praised” chicken to Chinatown salad. This isn’t just about being thrifty; it’s about being creative and seeing how recipes evolve.” – Nigella Kitchen

My Thoughts
Nigella Lawson’s new book, Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home includes fun information on Nigella’s kitchen, and how to turn everyday ingredients into an amazing meal. I personally loved reading about how some of her “Hall of Shame” kitchen gadgets didn’t work out for her either. I mean really, who needs all of the gadgets in the kitchen department anyways?

Some of my favorites included in this cookbook:
• African Drumsticks
• Chicken Tortillas
• Coconut Rice
• Curly Pasta with Feta, Spinach and Pine Nuts
• Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margarita Cream (gluten free!)
• Indian Roasted Potatoes
• Parsley Pesto
• Quick Chick Caesar
• Sweet and Sour Chicken
• Venetian Carrot Cake (gluten free!)

Overall, I think that this is a great cookbook for all levels of cooks. It has many different types of recipes and is very easy to read and follow. What more can you ask for in a cookbook?

Thank you to the publisher of Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, Hyperion Books, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 13, 2010

Spiritual Astrology by Jan Spiller & Karen McCoy

The fully revised and updated Spiritual Astrology by Jan Spiller & Karen McCoy brings you the opportunity to find your “path to divine awakening.”

Book Description
“With more than 100,000 copies in print and now completely revised and updated, Spiritual Astrology is a simple yet complete astrological guide to understanding life's higher purpose and finding the key to your personal

• Self-expression
• Self-worth and emotional security
• Independence and freedom of spirit
• Emotional ecstasy
• Self-mastery and personal power

Spiritual Astrology's breakthrough—the startling rediscovery of the importance of the solar and lunar eclipses occurring just before one's birth—reveals the lessons you came here for, and provides a revelation to anyone who has ever looked to the zodiac for guidance.”
- Spiritual Astrology

My Thoughts
I love astrology and astronomy. Perhaps growing up by Kennedy Space Center does that to a person. I’m the type of person that loves to read their horoscope, but don’t really look for those things to happen – if they do, that is cool… if not, that is okay too.

I’m technically a Leo, but was supposed to be a Virgo (I was born about 3 weeks early). Sometimes I think that makes me unique in the horoscope area since I’m not really the main “Leo” type. What I found highly interesting in this book is that “a birth chart is not duplicated for 25,000 years.” How incredible is that?

With the help of the free astrology chart that Jan Spiller provides on her website, this book is able to help you understand where you are astrologically speaking. I have to say that it is pretty accurate on me, will it be for you? Try it out for free and see for yourself!

Overall, I really liked this book. If you also like astrology and new age books, this is the book for you!

Thank you to the publisher of Spiritual Astrology, Fireside, a division of Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Poker Face by Maureen Callahan

Lady Gaga seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and reached superstar status overnight. Poker Face by Maureen Callahan is the account of what actually happened before Lady Gaga became who she is today.

Book Description
“In little over a year, Stefani Germanotta, a struggling performer in New York’s Lower East Side burlesque scene, has become the global demographic-smashing pop icon known as Lady Gaga. She is a once-in-a-decade artist, a gifted singer, composer, designer, and performance artist who mixes high and low culture, the avant-garde with the accessible, authenticity with artifice.

Who is Lady Gaga? She is a twenty-four-year-old woman whose stage mantra—“I’m a free bitch!”—is the polar opposite of who she is offstage: isolated, insecure, and unable to be alone. She is an outré artist who wanted to be a sensitive singer-songwriter, whose musical heroes include Britney Spears, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen. She is a woman who says no man can ever compete with her career, but who still isn’t over the ex-boyfriend who said she was too ambitious. She claims not to care what people think, but spends her downtime online, reading what people have to say about her. She claims to be a con artist and utterly authentic. She is never less than compelling.

Based on over fifty original interviews with friends, employees, rivals, and music industry veterans, Poker Face is the first in-depth biography of the extraordinary cultural phenomenon that is Lady Gaga.” – Poker Face

My Thoughts
Lady Gaga is one of my favorite artists of all time. I’m the type of music lover that likes things I can sing along to, dance to, and workout to. Judging by how popular Lady Gaga is worldwide, I don’t think I’m alone in this.

I never knew how Lady Gaga became famous, or even what her real name was until reading this book. Sure, I could have googled it or whatever, but as her Twitter and Facebook friend, I never really found the need to. I love her for her, regardless of her journey on how she got where she is.

Reading through Poker Face by Maureen Callahan, I discovered that she was on The Sopranos (one of my favorite series), is Italian, grew up on the Upper West Side in New York City, worked as a burlesque dancer, and much more.

Overall, the biggest thing I got from it is just how dedicated and hard she actually works. This is a woman who really wanted and worked for where she is now, and anyone who disagrees should have their head examined. I enjoyed this book, and I recommend it to all who love, like, or hate Lady Gaga. This is not a book written by Gaga herself, but Maureen Callahan tells her tale from an outsider’s perspective in way that almost makes it feel like we were right there with Gaga on the edge of fame.

Thank you to the publisher of Poker Face, Hyperion Books, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 11, 2010

The Perfect Happiness by Santa Montefiore

The Perfect Happiness by Santa Montefiore is a witty love story that also has risk, temptation, and much more. It is a story about a woman who is married with children, and is relatively happy, or so she thinks, until she meets a mysterious man from a faraway country. Should she tempt fate and risk it all for a once in a lifetime love affair? If she does, what will become of her life now?

Book Description
“A wife who has forgotten her own beauty and allure. A distant, distracted husband. A smart, candlelit dinner party, witty conversation, and a charmingly rugged vineyard owner from South Africa. So begins Santa Montefiore's powerful and poignant new novel in which a woman who finds herself in a common predicament must confront the most unlikely aspects of herself.

"I hope you don't mind my writing to you," begins the first e-mail bestselling children's book author Angelica receives from Jack. Surely it can't do any harm to indulge in a mild flirtation. After all, she wouldn't risk her stable marriage and the happiness of her treasured children. But things don't stop at an e-mail, and when Angelica goes to Cape Town for a book tour, her affair with Jack begins in earnest. On their last day together, he makes a stunning confession, and now everything Angelica thought she knew about love and passion, safety and experience, right and wrong are entirely upended once again.

A tender book about the true meaning of love and happily ever after, The Perfect Happiness is for any woman who has ever looked up from her steady, secure life and secretly wondered "what if . . ." – The Perfect Happiness

My Thoughts
A love story that is not your cookie cutter formula and involves actually many love stories in one? That is essentially what The Perfect Happiness is about.

Angelica and Oliver have been married for years, have children, both have great jobs and are in the upper class in London, and still something is missing. When Angelica meets Jack, something is sparked inside her, but she doesn’t quite know what to do with it. When she finally gives in to the temptation, and begins to love another man, her world is turned upside down.

I enjoyed the characters, which seemed to be a blend of Sex and the City and a soap opera. They are in the upper class, and wear plenty of fabulous designers, and the author makes sure to name drop the designers frequently. I love my fashion as much as the next fashionista, but this even started to bore me in some areas. It isn’t a book about fashion, so it wasn’t needed to the extent it was used.

On the bright side, the settings that the novel took place in were vividly described. The love affair was full of excitement and wisdom – not necessarily something that would otherwise blend together so well.

Overall, I did enjoy this novel due to the strong storyline and surprises that it throws at you. If you like your love stories to be unique, and not on the “romance style” of writing, this book is for you!

Thank you to the publisher of The Perfect Happiness, Touchstone Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 10, 2010

Like a G6

Wow! It has been awhile since I have gotten a chance to write an update style Blog post about what is going on with me lately. Sorry about that.

I’ve been studying more so than usual, which is paying off. I’ve made 97, 98, and 85 on my recent exams. So, I have to say I’m feeling really good about that. I have about a month left for the semester, so I’ll probably still be working hard until the end of the term.

I’ve bought a few really cute things from and Target’s Liberty of London collection. Such cute things, I love when they have the big names design a collection (and then it goes on clearance for even better savings). I’d love to buy a ton of other things too of course, but with paying for school and saving up for nursing school limits my budget on things I don’t really “need.”

Anyone else love this song? It reminds me of my Bloggy friend Andhari. Don't know her? Check out her Blog, she is awesome, I promise!

“Like a G6” by Far East Movement…. Enjoy!

November 9, 2010

In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark

A good cookbook engages the reader with tips and advice as well as delicious recipes. That is exactly what In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark delivers. This cookbook shares stories about the recipes, making this a whole cooking experience to be savored.

Book Description
“A Good Appetite,” Melissa Clark's weekly feature in the New York Times Dining Section, is about dishes that are easy to cook and that speak to everyone, either stirring a memory or creating one. Now, Clark takes the same freewheeling yet well-informed approach that has won her countless fans and applies it to one hundred and fifty delicious, simply sophisticated recipes.

Clark prefaces each recipe with the story of its creation--the missteps as well as the strokes of genius--to inspire improvisation in her readers. So when discussing her recipe for Crisp Chicken Schnitzel, she offers plenty of tried-and-true tips learned from an Austrian chef; and in My Mother's Lemon Pot Roast, she gives the same high-quality advice, but culled from her own family's kitchen.

Memorable chapters reflect the way so many of us like to eat: Things with Cheese (think Baked Camembert with Walnut Crumble and Ginger Marmalade), The Farmers' Market and Me (Roasted Spiced Cauliflower and Almonds), It Tastes Like Chicken (Garlic and Thyme-Roasted Chicken with Crispy Drippings Croutons), and many more delectable but not overly complicated dishes.

In addition, Clark writes with Laurie Colwin-esque warmth and humor about the relationship that we have with our favorite foods, about the satisfaction of cooking a meal where everyone wants seconds, and about the pleasures of eating. From stories of trips to France with her parents, growing up (where she and her sister were required to sit on unwieldy tuna Nicoise sandwiches to make them more manageable), to bribing a fellow customer for the last piece of dessert at the farmers' market, Melissa's stories will delight any reader who starts thinking about what's for dinner as soon as breakfast is cleared away. This is a cookbook to read, to savor, and most important, to cook delicious, rewarding meals from.”
- In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite

My Thoughts
I love cookbooks that also share stories about the food that is included in the cookbook. In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite fully delivers this whole experience. One of my favorite stories was about the Grilled Cheese sandwiches and how that is a big reason the writer loves visiting those with children.

Some of my favorite recipes from the cookbook include:
• Pomegranate Roasted Carrots
• Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli
• Spicy, Garlicky Cashew Chicken
• Queso Fresco Quesadillas with Papaya Avocado Salso

Many of the recipes used flour and other things I cannot eat, but I could still perhaps try out with alternate ingredients in the future. One such dish is the Crème Brulee French Toast with Orange Blossom Water. Yum!

This cookbook brings a variety of amazing dishes to the novice or experienced cook. However, the beginner cook probably will not have many of the ingredients on hand. Even regular Moms that cook dinners at home probably won’t have some crucial ingredients. That is okay though, because Melissa Clark has some options that you can alter the recipe with on some of the dishes, and as most cooks do, they change things out anyways. Next time, just add the missing ingredients to the shopping list (or perhaps do so before preparing the meal).

Thank you to the publisher of In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite, Hyperion Books, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 4, 2010

The Prophecy Answer Book by David Jeremiah

The Prophecy Answer Book by David Jeremiah is a current book about prophecies that were written over 2,000 years ago. It is addressed in a question and answer format and gives readers answers to these questions about prophecies that they have when reading the Bible.

Book Description
“For anyone curious about prophecy and the signs of the end times, this book links the pieces of the prophecy puzzle in plain, simple language. There are 1,000 prophecies in the Bible so it’s natural to wonder, have any prophecies been fulfilled? Do they really explain the future? Can we really know what will happen at the end of time? In succinct and clear answers to most frequently asked questions, Dr. Jeremiah decodes and clarifies prophecy for the average person. He explains in simple lay terms what could otherwise be mysterious and even frightening, allowing readers to gain a balanced and assuring perspective of the significance of prophetic events to their personal lives as believers in Christ. He also helps readers understand how prophecy is directly related to world events today.” – The Prophecy Answer Book

My Thoughts
Prophecies and even the bible aren’t my usual topics of choice. I consider myself a spiritual person, not necessarily “religious” though. I have however read the Bible. I used to go to Catholic Mass every Sunday and even went to Sunday school after Mass.

I’ll let you in on a little secret about this: I was the annoying kid who questioned everything. The nuns and volunteers teaching probably hated me, but I had questions (as most kids do, I think), and usually never really got any substantial answers except something like “well it just happened like this because it was written in the Bible this way.” That doesn’t really “explain” anything to a kid more than the “because I said so” line.

So, putting my personal thoughts, questions, and beliefs aside, I think that The Prophecy Answer Book actually did answer questions about prophecies in the Bible. I especially found the “Current Events” section interesting because it showed examples of things that are happening right now that can be construed as being prophesized about. David Jeremiah also does a great job explaining The Rapture, The Tribulation, The Antichrist, and more.

I wish that I had this book when I was attending Sunday school classes. David Jeremiah makes these prophecies understandable, and isn’t too preachy about it. It is also written to easily understand for those who have questions. Not necessarily for “all ages” but definitely for those who are old enough to ask such questions. I recommend The Prophecy Answer Book for all of those who have questions about these prophecies in the bible.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

And The Winners Are….

I had 2 fantastic giveaways that both came to an end on October 30, 2010. I used the randomizer tool to determine both winners, and the winners are….

Pink Together Giveaway: Stacy Kay

Bisquick’s Gluten Free Baking Mix: Tracy

Thank you to everyone who participated in these giveaways, I have some more for you in the very near future, so check back in again soon!

October 29, 2010

Is It Just Me? By Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg is known for being extremely talented in many different areas in the entertainment field. She has won a Tony, Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, 2 Golden Globes, and many other awards for her wide range of talent.

I like her for her honesty and humor. She is a big reason I watch The View, and even TiVo it when I’m not there to watch it. Often on the show, I hear her say something about how she doesn’t use Twitter, or a Blackberry and I smile. I often though maybe it is just me, but I don’t text 24/7 (rarely even do I text). If you are left wondering if it is just you thinking these things, you are not alone! Check out Is It Just Me? By Whoopi Goldberg and enjoy an evening alone with a book discovering that it is in fact, not just you.

Book Description
“Whoopi Goldberg has always been her own woman. From her days in standup, through her acclaimed work as an actor, and now into her duties as the moderator and co-host of The View, Whoopi has been outspoken and honest, respectfully taking no prisoners even while drawing people in and making them laugh—or cry. Total honesty, administered civilly and with a healthy dose of audacity, is her hallmark and her way of life.

In her new book, Whoopi shares stories from her own life when she’s been forced to deal with tough situations in family, marriage, friendship, and business. She relates how she navigated through them with healthy honesty, which has all but vanished in the era of the volatile pundit. Naturally, she tells these stories with the humor, irreverence, and joy for which she’s known, and she also speaks up about the challenges dealing with one another here and now, especially with the growing disrespect and rudeness in this country. Cheeky, a bit naughty, occasionally in-your-face, this humorous book will bring readers into her world.” – Is It Just Me?

My Thoughts
Whoopi Goldberg is funny and talented. What I really enjoy about this book is that it is written like how she speaks. Funny and to the point. I agree with most of the things she writes about in this book. How people act on the road, texting, how people behave in an airplane, censorship, personal hygiene, noisy neighbors, etc.

The only area I wish she had written more about in a not so negative way is blogging. See, I am a blogger, obviously. I am not one that hides behind an anonymous name though. I don’t slam people and make fun of them or report on something I made up. So, she isn’t directing these sections in the book towards bloggers like me. However, she doesn’t really mention the good side of blogging either. Maybe she hasn’t seen the good parts of it, but I assure you Whoopi, the good ones are out there!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Is It Just Me? By Whoopi Goldberg. I highly recommend this book and think this is a perfect book for everyone who has a good sense of humor and gets the things discussed in this book. Even if they don’t originally, hopefully they will see what they are doing can surely annoy those around them.

Thank you to the publisher of Is It Just Me?, Hyperion Books, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

October 22, 2010

Pink Together Giveaway!

As you all should know already, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. General Mills created Pink Together as a campaign to raise awareness of the disease and to help those affected by breast cancer to find strength together. is a growing community bringing hope and inspiration to more than 680,000 breast cancer survivors and supporters. It is a place where users can share stories, comment on others to bring encouragement and support, and even send virtual flowers to another user.

To encourage personal connections, General Mills is donating $1 (up to $20,000) to Komen for each story submitted, comment posted, or virtual flower sent in support. General Mills will also donate for each shared message on Pink Together’s Facebook page (up to $5,000). This $25,000 is in addition to the $2 million donation General Mills has committed to the Susan G. Komen fund to further advance breast cancer research, support, and education.

“Connecting for a Cure” Gift Pack
I’m very happy to get to share this amazing gift pack with one lucky reader. This package includes: Pink Ribbon car magnet and key chain, travel mug, and drawstring backpack, along with coupons for free packages of one Big G cereal, Green Giant® Frozen Veggies, Macaroni Grill® Dinner Kits, Fiber One® Bars and Progresso® Soup.

It isn’t required to sign up at Pink Together, but it would be great if you did.

To enter please leave a separate comment for each entry, if you do not have a viewable e-mail in your Blogger profile, please include that in your entries:

One Comment – Follow my Blog publicly and tell me what you find most inspiring about Pink Together.

One Comment – Blog about my giveaway (linking to this post). Leave URL of the post in your comment.

One Comment – Follow me on Twitter and tweet about my giveaway (linking to this post). Leave URL on here.

Contest will end on October 30, 2010
Good luck!

Thank you to MyBlogSpark and General Mills for allowing me to review and giveaway this prize pack. The products, prize pack, information and additional prize pack to give away were all given to me from General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

October 21, 2010

Brilliant Lenses Giveaway – Winner!

The Brilliant Lenses Giveaway is now officially over. I used Randomizer to randomly select a winner out of those that entered. The winner for this giveaway is Julie!

Congratulations, I hope you enjoy it! I will contact you right now to get the info to send this prize to you!

Check back in tomorrow, I have another amazing giveaway for you to all enter! Also, if you haven’t already, enter the Bisquick Gluten-Free Giveaway that is open until the end of the month!

October 19, 2010 Tights and Leggings Review

Looking for some amazing tights or leggings that you won’t find other fashionistas in your city wearing? I live in a small town, and even nearby “cities” aren’t honestly that fashion forward to include new colors and designs on tights or leggings at their stores.

Well, if you are in the same situation I’m in, or if you just want to look different, I suggest for very fashionable and high quality tights and leggings for Fall and Winter. Here are the tights and leggings I reviewed from their fabulous website…

Loretta 64 Patterned Tights

How hot are these tights? Seriously, they can go with so many looks and always look sexy and fashionable. I chose to wear them with a black skirt, gray pumps and a red top. It was pretty amazing, and I got a lot of compliments on them. The tights definitely made the outfit, and kept my legs warm on a somewhat cool day. They didn’t run, and were easy to put on and take off. Can’t ask for more than that!

Cara 27 Patterned Tights

These have a pinkish purple argyle look to them, so I wore this with a purple dress I recently purchased. It actually worked really well, and made me feel like my legs were amazing. These tights were a little bit warmer than the Loretta 64 design, but they are equally stylish, head turning, fun and easy to wear.

Flosie 4 Leggings

I really like to wear purple, and leopard, but not usually together. When I saw these I fell in love. Seriously, these leggings are fun and unexpected. The leggings are a little bit thin, so they feel more like tights with no feet. I love them, and so did my friends. Perfect present for the holidays!

Riyo 4 Leggings

These leggings are more like the traditional “leggings” you would think of. Except these leggings ruche on the bottom and give an extremely fashionable look with high heels. I love these so much, that I have to say this is my favorite pair out of the pack. I wore these out shopping, and even one of the saleswomen in a department store asked me where I found them at (so she could get some too). Love it!

Legxicon Coupon!
Since I know you are all wanting these amazing tights and leggings now, I couldn’t just leave without a coupon for my favorite readers! Thanks to legxicon I have a very nice coupon to share with you to use in time for the fun Fall parties and the holiday season. Enjoy!

Thank you very much to for providing me with the products featured for review. I was not paid to write positively about the products, or at all. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

October 16, 2010

Giveaway + Review: Bisquick Gluten-Free Baking Mix

I’m really excited to get to share with all of you a great new product, and get to host a giveaway of it through MyBlogSpark!

As I’ve mentioned on here before, I can’t eat Gluten. I’ve also complained about not being able to eat some of my favorite things unless buying special products that are only available at certain health stores (and quite high in price too). So, I was really excited to get to try out the Bisquick Gluten Free Baking Mix!

I seriously haven’t eaten pancakes or waffles for over a year. So, I decided to start this review out by making pancakes. It was easy to do, just like with regular Bisquick. I was a little scared on if they’d be good or not (to be honest, a lot of the gluten-free stuff is not usually good). However, these were fantastic! If you didn’t know that they were gluten-free you’d have no idea! They really do taste just as good, if not better, than the regular gluten-filled kind. Yum!

This amazing mix can make pancakes, waffles, biscuits, pizza crust, pies, casseroles, and more! I’ll be buying some more to try out the pizza crust soon. Check out for more ideas and recipes.

Bisquick Gluten Free Prize Pack Giveaway
I have one gift pack provided by Bisquick through MyBlogSpark to giveaway. It includes a box of Bisquick Gluten Free baking mix, a pancake pan, pancake pen, and a pancake flipper.

To enter please leave a separate comment for each entry, if you do not have a viewable e-mail in your Blogger profile, please include that in your entries:

One Comment – Follow my Blog publicly and tell me what you’d make with this prize pack.

One comment – Blog about my giveaway (linking to this post). Leave URL of the post in your comment.

One comment – Follow me on Twitter and tweet about my giveaway (linking to this post). Leave URL on here.

Contest will end on October 30, 2010
Good luck!

Only one person can win this amazing gift pack, but I have a $1 off coupon for everybody!

Thank you to MyBlogSpark and Bisquick for allowing me to review and giveaway this prize pack. The products, prize pack, information and additional prize pack to give away were all given to me from Bisquick through MyBlogSpark.

October 13, 2010

The Link by Colin Tudge

Evolution is a big debate between religious views and what people think about it. This is a book review, so keep an open mind at least if you are on the opposing view of evolution. The Link by Colin Tudge is a story about the fossil named “Ida” that as he puts it is “uncovering our earliest ancestor.”

Book Description
“For more than a century, scientists have raced to unravel the human family tree and have grappled with its complications. Now, with an astonishing new discovery, everything we thought we knew about primate origins could change. Lying inside a high-security vault, deep within the heart of one of the world's leading natural history museums, is the scientific find of a lifetime - a perfectly fossilized early primate, older than the previously most famous primate fossil, Lucy, by forty-four million years.”
- The Link – Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts
The Link by Colin Tudge is a well-written story about the fossil named Ida. I find the whole evolution discussion interesting, and I like science, so this was an interesting book to me. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t say how accurate the information included in the book is. However, it was written in a way that even non-scientists could read smoothly.

I especially liked the way the author conveyed how excited those who found and studied the fossil were. Showing this made the book more exciting, which could be hard to do being that it is just a fossil and not something “alive” anymore.

Overall, I think that if you like science and learning about evolution, this would be a great book for you to read. If you are on the religious end and don’t want to read about evolution at all, this obviously wouldn’t be the book for you.

Thank you to the publisher of The Link, Back Bay Books, part of the Hachette Book Group, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

October 11, 2010

Weekly Freak Out

This week I don’t have a lovelist, and to be quite honest I haven’t had one for quite a bit now. Maybe I’ll have one again in the (hopefully soon) future. For now though, this week… I’m freaking out.

I have TWO exams in Anatomy and Physiology 2 this week. One is tonight, and the next one is on Wednesday night. I’m not excited. No. I’m freaking out. It isn’t like I haven’t been studying, I have. Honest. I had an exam in this class already and made a B (barely). It was the hardest exam I’ve ever taken in my life though. It was multiple choice and short answer, and short answer was a HUGE portion of it. This test will be much the same. A lot of the students in the class failed, but a lot made a B or an A on the last one too. Regardless though, I’m freaking out.

The exam on Wednesday is the lab midterm. We have to know everything on the heart and other random things. Freaking out here. I knew the muscles and bones from A&P 1 but for the test somehow I lose what I know and get confused on areas.

Maybe this is not the right path for me. Maybe I’m really just freaking out and will do fine.

On a positive note though, I scored an 89 on my Microbiology exam a week or so ago. I actually quite like that class and find it much more interesting than A&P.

Yes To Carrots: Body Washes Review

Yes To Carrots is my go-to brand of choice for “green” body care with Dead Sea Minerals. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. If you haven’t heard of them, check out this Yes To Carrots review and then go check out their website.

Yes To Carrots: Carrot Rich Shower Gel
MSRP: $8.99
Available at:

This shower gel really makes your shower feel like you are in a luxurious resort. You can use this as a shower gel, or as a bath gel for a nice warm bath. I used it as both (with all of these gels) and it was wonderful. This gel cleanses, nourishes and revitalizes the skin. It also leaves it well moisturized so I didn’t even need lotion after the shower. This shower gel is even better paired with the Yes To Carrots shampoo and conditioner. Love it!

Yes To Tomatoes: Terrific Day Shower Gel
MSRP: $8.99
Available at:

The Terrific Day Shower Gel can really start your day off being terrific. This shower gel cleanses the skin, moisturizes it and helps to balance the pH levels leaving your skin gorgeous. This is really fantastic paired with the Yes To Tomatoes shampoo and conditioner as well. I loved it!

Check out the rest of the Yes To line on their website, and Like them on Facebook for specials and giveaways!

* Thank you to Yes To Carrots for sending me the products reviewed for the purpose of the review. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

October 9, 2010

BrytonPick – Floss in Seconds! – Review

I admit it, I hate to floss. I have a small mouth and I would really like Invisalign. Regardless though, I do floss as often as I remember to. Regular floss is really hard for me, I just don’t know how to floss with a small mouth I guess.

That is why I was quite happy to get to try out and review BrytonPick for flossing anywhere – without the traditional floss string! This is a portable dental floss that comes in a carrying case that can fit in your wallet to use when on the go. They say that it is also great for people who are unable to floss or hate flossing – like me!

I tried out this new BrytonPick to floss with and was quite pleased with the results. It is really easy to use, and gets in the back of my mouth much easier than regular floss. I can say that I love this option for flossing, and it has even made me start flossing more. Gotta love that, right? I recommend this product for everyone who flosses like they should, and also for those who hate to floss.

This Product Was a Free Giveaway

October 6, 2010

Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt is a historical romance that is perfect for a cold winter day. The book is full of detailed and engaging characters, clever dialog, and much more to keep your attention.

Book Description
“From the New York Times bestselling author of To Desire a Devil comes this thrilling tale of danger, desire, and dark passions.


Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand-she's spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk . . .


Caire makes a simple offer-in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London's high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control-one that may well destroy them both.


- Wicked Intentions – Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts
Wicked Intentions is the first in a series of books called the Maiden Lane series. This was the first book I’ve read by Elizabeth Hoyt, and also my first “historical romance.” It wasn’t quite what I expected, but not in a bad way.

The story takes place in 18th century London, and has gripping characters that involve you as a reader. Generally though, the story revolves around Temperance and Lazarus, and their search for the killer, and figuring out Temperance’s secret past. There are many characters though, and many lack focus.

I didn’t quite understand all of the issues some of the characters have, such as Lazarus’ inability to let others touch him, sometimes. Seemed a bit out of place, but maybe we’ll discover more about that in future books.

Overall, it is an engaging enough story to keep the reader actively reading it. I do recommend it for those that like the romance genre. Hopefully the future books in the series will answer some of the questions from this book and tie up other loose ends.

Thank you to the publisher of Wicked Intentions, Grand Central Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.