October 30, 2013

Raise A Giant and Prevent Bullying

Green Giant has a really amazing thing going on right now with their “Raise a Giant” campaign to help put an end to bullying. This is a big deal because bullying is one of the biggest threats to kids right now and it can happen at school or anywhere they are at. This leads to a cycle of fear and anxiety that is not needed and can be avoided.

Green Giant partnered with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and We Day Minnesota to help parents with “Raise a Giant” to help stop bullying in their community.

To be a “Giant” doesn’t mean that you are bigger or better than anyone else. It means you stand up for others and help speak up for those who may be afraid to do so for themselves. Explain that it is okay for them to be the one to speak up and say that bullying is “not okay” when they see it happening.

You can help “Raise a Giant” by telling your kids how special they are and encourage them to be a part of preventing bullying by being a “Giant.” Visit the www.raiseagiant.com website and read letters that others have written, and write your own!

“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark.”

October 21, 2013

Old El Paso Frozen Entrees for Two

Mexican dishes are one of my family’s favorite types of foods to cook. It is usually quick, easy, and we all love it. I don’t have a lot of time to cook, so finding some delicious Old El Paso frozen entrees for two was fantastic! It saves even more time and still tastes great.

Frozen Entrees available from Old El Paso include:
  • ·         Chicken Burritos
  • ·         Chicken Enchiladas
  • ·         Chicken Fajitas
  • ·         Chicken Quesadillas
  • ·         Shredded Beef Burritos
  • ·         Shredded Beef Enchiladas
  • ·         Steak Fajitas
  • ·         Steak Quesadillas

My family loved the chicken quesadillas and steak fajitas. They are seasoned very well and actually don’t end up soggy or bland at all. The flavor is right on and it doesn’t taste like it was frozen. I’d definitely get this again and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys Mexican food.

Which of these entrees would you like to try?

“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.”

October 13, 2013

Let it Shine by John Perlin

Let it Shine by John Perlin is a book that features the sun as an amazing resource that people have been using for thousands of years. Solar power isn’t a new idea, in fact, it has been in use for over six thousand years (and probably much longer than that). Read this book to find out about how humans have been using the sun, and what to look forward to in terms of future plans, too.

Book Description
Even as concern over climate change and energy security fuel a boom in solar technology, many still think of solar as a twentieth-century wonder. Few realize that the first photovoltaic array appeared on a New York City rooftop in 1884, or that brilliant engineers in France were using solar power in the 1860s to run steam engines, or that in 1901 an ostrich farmer in Southern California used a single solar engine to irrigate three hundred acres of citrus trees. Fewer still know that during the Renaissance Galileo and his contemporaries planned the construction of sun-focusing mirrors as the ultimate weapon to burn enemy fleets and towns, that Leonardo da Vinci planned to make his fortune by building half-mile-long mirrors to heat water, or that the Bronze Age Chinese used hand-sized solar-concentrating mirrors to light fires the way we use matches and lighters today.

In this definitive history of solar technology, John Perlin tells a story that goes back more than six thousand years to when the Stone Age Chinese built their homes to make maximum use of the sun’s energy in winter. The book profiles the fascinating characters who made the solar revolution possible, revealing a group of unknown pioneers, like Gustav Vorherr, who opened up the first school of solar architecture in the 1820s, as well as solar advocates known for other accomplishments, such as Socrates, who 2,500 years ago gave a detailed discourse on designing passive solar homes. 

With thirteen new chapters, Let It Shine is a fully revised and expanded edition of A Golden Thread, Perlin’s classic history of solar technology, detailing the past forty years of technological developments driving today’s solar renaissance. This unique and compelling compendium of humankind’s solar ideas tells the fascinating story of how our predecessors throughout time, again and again, have applied the sun to better their lives — and how we can too.
” – Let it Shine

My Thoughts
Let it Shine is a very educational yet still interesting and relevant book about the sun, energy, and how people as a civilization have been using it. Before reading this book, I knew that using the sun was not a new concept. However, I didn’t realize that people had been putting it to such good use, even six thousand years ago. School doesn’t exactly teach us about all the cool things that it should, but thanks to books like this, we can learn fascinating details about mankind, civilizations, and new ways to look for the future of humankind.

I really enjoyed reading and learning so much from this book. I think that using renewable (and free) resources for energy is something that should be invested in much more than is currently being done. I also think that depending solely on a power grid is probably not the best idea countries can have. The move should be to have self-sustaining sources for families to utilize. Books and authors such as this only make me believe that more strongly. If you also feel this way, and want to learn more, I highly recommend that you read this book. I definitely recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Let it Shine, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke is a charming read that brings mysteries of the past into the present. Set in the lovely area of famous Louisiana plantations, this is one novel you don’t want to miss out on.

Book Description
Caren Gray manages Louisiana's stately Belle Vie, an antebellum plantation-turned-tourist attraction where the past and the present coexist uneasily. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation snaps up sugarcane fields from struggling families, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the plantation property, her throat cut clean through.

As the sheriff's department zeroes in on a suspect, Caren suspects the police are chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she unearths startling secrets about the long-ago disappearance of a former slave that has unsettling ties to the current murder—secrets that a desperate killer will stop at nothing to keep buried.

Taut, hauntingly resonant, and beautifully written, The Cutting Season is a thoughtful meditation on how America reckons its past with its future.” – The Cutting Season

My Thoughts
The Cutting Season is a book that takes place in one of my favorite areas of America, Louisiana. Although I admittedly am a bit biased on this aspect of the book, I think the author did an amazing job with the story in this beautiful part of the country. She is truly able to weave in the mysterious past of this area with the charming qualities it still has today.

The main character, Caren, is searching for clues to a crime in the present as well as one that is in the past, which surprisingly involves one of her ancestors. The mystery aspect to the novel is enjoyable and full of twists that make it a captivating read right up to the end. I also like how the author uses the real aspects of plantations being used for much different purposes than what they were originally used for, such as locations for weddings and tourist attractions.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It is full of realistic mystery set in the heart of one of Louisiana’s plantations. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes southern mysteries, and of course, New Orleans and/or Louisiana.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Cutting Season, Harper Perennial, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Art of Healing by Bernie S. Siegel, MD

The Art of Healing by Bernie S. Siegel, MD is a book that teaches us that healing can be done in many ways, including use of art therapy. Discover new ways to think about healing, and combining science with spirituality in this book.

Book Description
In these pages, renowned medical doctor and spiritual teacher Bernie Siegel demonstrates how science and spirituality interact — and how you can tap your body’s potential to heal. After studying the use of crayon drawings by patients facing life-threatening disease, Bernie founded Exceptional Cancer Patients to facilitate self-induced healings, which were often called miraculous. Bernie realized our bodies actually want to heal, and we can aid this innate propensity through what are currently seen as unconventional practices, including drawing, visualization, dreams, love, and laughter. You’ll learn how to use these practices to help with everything from diagnosing and understanding your illness to making the correct treatment decisions to sharing your experience with loved ones and caregivers. Filled with inspiring true stories and suggestions for traveling your own healing journey, this book offers hands-on, patient-proven techniques that can create miracles.” – The Art of Healing

My Thoughts
The Art of Healing is a holistic healing book that can be used by anyone to help heal themselves. This book taught me that art can be used to not only create beautiful pieces of work, but also to help heal. The drawings in the book showed how they can be used to help uncover more about you than you thought, and can help to heal in a holistic way.

I love how this physician understands and is able to show how we can combine healing with modern medicine to make a holistic treatment for people. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, and this is an excellent resource to see how very true that is.

I think this is an invaluable resource for people who want to be healed as a whole person, not just specific pieces of themself based on what science only says you should do. I strongly believe that modern medicine needs to be used, but I also believe that more than just doctor visits and prescription drugs should be used, too. I highly recommend this book to help make that change.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Art of Healing, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday’s Harbor by Diane Hammond

Friday’s Harbor by Diane Hammond is the tale of what happens when a zoo takes over the care of a killer whale. With the help of the lovable employees of the Max L. Biedelman Zoo, Friday has a new chance at life, if he can be rehabilitated.

Book Description
The heartwarming and provocative sequel to Diane Hammond's Hannah's Dream, Friday's Harbor is the compelling story of a dying orca, the caring zoo that saves him, and the controversy that threatens his captivity.

It's been three years since Hannah, the elephant, departed the Max L. Biedelman Zoo, in Bladenham, Washington, and much has changed, including the appointment of new executive director Truman Levy, and the arrival of a failing killer whale named Friday.

With the help of marine mammal rehabilitator Gabriel Jump, and a team of dedicated though inexperienced keepers, Friday begins to recover. But not everyone believes he should be in captivity—a debate that explodes onto a national stage. Now, Friday's fate may no longer rest in the hands of Truman and the caring staff at the Max L. Biedelman Zoo.” – Friday’s Harbor

My Thoughts
Friday’s Harbor is a memorable story that shows the author’s love for animals, and how the debate between the public’s view of captivity vs release into wildlife affects the animals, and the people involved.

I enjoyed reading this story, and seeing how Friday’s recovery at the zoo happened. People love whales and seeing them up close and personal, and this story showed how that love can help the animal, too.

Friday’s story is memorable and animal lovers will definitely feel for the whale in the story. The day to day life of an animal, such as a whale, in captivity is told in a very real way in this story. The author, Diane Hammond was the press secretary for Keiko the killer whale, and her real knowledge of this makes Friday’s story that much more realistic.

Overall, I really did like this story. It is a fun, easy to read novel that I definitely recommend reading.

* Thank you to the publisher of Friday’s Harbor, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

October 6, 2013

Saving Lids to Save Lives

October is breast cancer awareness month, and Yoplait is joining the fight against cancer with their “Saving Lids to Save Lives” event going on right now. It is an easy way that you can participate in supporting breast cancer research by simply buying foods you were probably going to buy anyways.

This year, you can also participate in “Pledge Your Part” which is a new online initiative that was designed to encourage people to take a pledge to help fight breast cancer. It could be by simply taking part of the saving lids event, walking in an awareness event, or any other way you choose.

For me, I’m choosing to help out by taking part in the saving lids event by getting Yoplait yogurt at Publix. It is quick, easy, and can help to make a difference. How do you plan on helping this October?

The following items are currently on sale at Publix® as part of the Yoplait Saving Lids to Save Lives event.
·         $1 off any one Large Size, Light with Granola or GoGurt (coupon on select products) - Dates: October 2 - October 18
·         20 for $10 on Yoplait Core cup - Dates: October 3 - October 9
·         Light with Granola BOGO - Dates: October 5 - October 25

“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.”

October 3, 2013

Green Giant – Make a Difference

I try to eat healthy throughout the year, and one of the foods that I buy frequently is Green Giant frozen vegetables. These leafy greens and mixed variety vegetables are great for someone on a diet and of course a great addition for meals when just wanting to eat right.

Sometimes when I’ve been on diets, I’ve felt ‘hungry’ a lot because of the limited amount of foods I could eat, but with vegetables, I found you can eat a lot, feel full, and still have a low caloric intake.

Green Giant has steamed, crunchy, and fresh vegetables that are already seasoned with low fat sauces and spices to give it the flavor that can really make a meal yummy. They also have 27 varieties that are under 100 calories.

Do you also like to buy Green Giant to help with your weight loss goals, or health maintenance? Which varieties do you like best?

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark.