Saturday, April 18, 2009

How to build a 'Momtourage" & Giveaway


Modern moms are in over their heads. According to "The Today Show," iVillage and MSNBC, it takes more than a village to raise a family - it takes a "Momtourage." In a trend marked by multiplying play groups, Bunko groups, stitching circles and book clubs, moms are uniting through common hobbies to find companionship and emotional support.

In fact, a recent survey by the Craft & Hobby Association says scrapbooking moms have bonded to the tune of a now $2.5 billion industry. The flourishing industry has spawned scrapbook-centric clubs, conventions, retreats, TV shows, books - even themed cruises on the Queen Mary 2.

Rebeca is an avid scrapper, momtourage mobilizer and the author of the "Sisters Ink," novels. She knows first-hand how important girlfriends are to a woman's stability, but in the often isolating world of motherhood, she also knows how difficult it is to find them. Seitz discovered the power of female networks after finding out about her first husband's infidelity. Her girlfriends rallied around her and today, she is remarried and the mother of two.

Today, she relies on scrapbooking as a social outlet and the glue that keeps her momtourage together. She brings women together through scrapping, around her kitchen table and in her online community, Sisters Ink.net, a digital craft circle for scrappers looking to connect regionally.

Momtourage 101
For moms looking to establish a momtourage, Rebeca offers five steps for getting started.
1. First, identify a common thread. Motherhood? Love of scrapbooking, books, sewing? Obsession with chocolate or coffee?
2. Carve out a space in your home like a spare room or game room where girlfriends can join you in your craft, or secure a space at a public facility like a library or community center.
3. Establish a schedule and take turns hosting, or determine to schedule each consecutive meeting at the current meeting.
4. Connect. Make certain your time together allows for the most important thing - conversation!
5. Stick with it. Remind each other that you are better moms, wives, daughters, women because you're connecting with other women. No need for guilt!


The newest book , "Coming Unglued" (B&H Fiction, July 2008), is the second book in the series of humorous contemporary fiction set against the backdrop of scrapbooking. It illustrates the power of friendship and speaks of infidelity from the perspective of the "other woman." The third installment, "Scrapping Plans" will release spring 2009.

In addition to her own literary work, Rebeca is founder and president of Glass Road Public Relations and Glass Slipper Productions, an event planning agency. She and her husband reside in Fulton, Ky. When she is not writing or working with clients, she can be found in her scrapbook studio or renovating their 109-year old home as they make room for their second child. For more information, please visit www.sistersink.net.


About Rebeca Seitz
Author of the Coming Unglued, a "Sisters, Ink" novel

Like many women in corporate America, Rebeca Seitz faced a tough decision when she had her first child: homemaker or working mom? Today, many say she has mastered the politics of motherhood -- she chose both.

In the heated so-called "mommy wars" debate, covered by major media like The Washington Post, ABC News and CNN in which working moms and full-time homemakers are pitted against each other, Rebeca can identify with both. She offices as a literary publicist and president of a flourishing literary public relations firm at home where she also offices as mother, wife, novelist and household breadwinner.

In addition to her work-home balancing act, Rebeca is the founder of SistersInk.net, a popular social networking site for scrapbookers looking to connect. Rebeca joins 26 million American women who scrapbook to capture fleeting family milestones, many of whom can relate to the juggling act of a career and motherhood.

Rebeca's latest book, "Coming Unglued," is the second in the only line of novels with a scrapbooking theme. The series, "Sisters, Ink," includes humorous works of contemporary fiction set against the backdrop of scrapbooking and chronicles the often-complicated lives of four multi-cultural, adopted sisters.

Following her first novel, Prints Charming (Westbow Press, 2006), Rebeca launched Sisters, Ink (B&H Publishing, 2007), the first book in the series of the same name. Coming Unglued (July 2008) follows Kendra, the African-American sister, as she struggles with the boundaries of fidelity and the sisters fight to love her through it. Although her characters are fictional, her message is deeply personal. Rebeca knows first-hand the pain of infidelity from her first marriage and draws on her own experience with betrayal to show how friendship, faith and hobby helped her heal. Her next book, "Scrapping Plans," hits shelves next February.

Off-the-clock, Rebeca serves as the women's ministry director at First Baptist Church of Fulton, Ky., and is a sought-after speaker at Kentucky Baptist Convention events. She received a bachelor's in communications and political science from the University of Tennessee at Martin and is currently pursing a master's in mass communications from Murray State University.

Before launching Glass Road Public Relations, Rebeca wore a variety of corporate hats: legal secretary, ad agency account executive, realtor, editor, financial clerk, non-profit spokesperson, weekend caretaker for an at-risk foster child and media fellow for family research council in Washington, D.C. She has also held positions as a staff-member at an Orlando mega-church, House of Representatives clerk, asset manager, and the first publicist for WestBow Press, the former fiction division of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Rebeca's public relations firm is the only one in the country dedicated solely to representing works of entertainment (books, music, movies) created from a Christian worldview. She also owns and operates Glass Slipper Productions, an event planning agency.

Rebeca and her husband reside in Fulton, Ky. When she is not writing or working with clients, she can be found in her scrapbook studio or renovating their 109-year old home as they make room for their second child. For more information, please visit www.sistersink.net.

Buy It ~

Sisters, Ink (Scrapbooker's Series #1)
Coming Unglued (Scrapbooker's Series #2) ~ Amazon states this is the third book, that is wrong.

Win It ~

I have one copy of Coming Unglued to giveaway to one of my readers. Leave a comment letting me know what you think of creating a momtourage for yourself or if you already have one.

Extra Entries ~

  • Blog this contest - 2 entries leave 2 comments
  • follow/subscribe - one entry for each, do one or both (2 for email)
  • twitter contest - once a day
  • comment on any other post on this blog, can do throughout contest period. No need to comment here w/ this entry method
  • Advertise on my entrecard, super low prices! (can advertise on any of my entrecards

Contest will end May 5th 11:59pm

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Biblio.com Coupon for Earth Day

Stock up on quality used books! Save $1 on any purchase of $20. Enter promo code BOOKSPRING4 at checkout. Expires June 1, 2009.


Save our trees.... buy used books

Friday, April 17, 2009

Review & Giveaway ~ Häagen-Dazs Five Ice Cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? My hubby and kids are bigger fans then I am, but I do love a good bowl of ice cream. In the summer it is refreshing and in the winter it really helps with those soar throats, etc that come so easily.

Häagen-Dazs who already makes fabulous ice cream, has just come out with a brand new variety that they call Five. goes beyond their goal of using pure ingredients. The new Häagen-Dazs Five series is made from just five all-natural ingredients of milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and one hero flavor ingredient such as vanilla bean, mint, coffee, ginger, or milk chocolate. Using just five pure and simple ingredients naturally lends itself to an ice cream with one-third less fat.
Thanks to Mom Central, I was lucky enough to try the Ginger, Brown Sugar, Mint and Passion fruit.

I found that all of the ice cream was very rich, flavorful and super creamy. The Brown Sugar was extremely good, but I think that both the Brown Sugar and the Ginger are best either in a recipe or paired with type of desert like Apple Pie, etc. The Ginger was better then I expected, but I could not eat just a plain bowl of it. The Brown Sugar, I could eat about a scoop by itself, then it gets too rich for me.

The Passion fruit, I did not expect to like. It ended up being one of my favorites. Had a bit of a strange taste to it, but had me wanting more. Reminded me a bit of sherbet and would be amazing on a hot summer day. Would be great pair with a fruit salad as well. The website claims it is tart and sweet, and that is a perfect description.

Now the Mint, I saved for last because I knew it would be my favorite. I am already a huge Mint fan, but now Haagen-Dazs has ruined me from other brands. The Mint is so mouthwatering good, I don't think I will ever be able to eat another companies. It is so flavorful and creamy, yummy!

One thing I got a kick of, was that all of the ice cream was the same color. The first bite was always surprising because I it seemed like it should be vanilla. I am dying to try the Vanilla bean that they have. Vanilla Bean would probably be my all time favorite ice cream since you can dress it up or down if you want :) I've heard it is very good, so I'm definitely picking some up!

Häagen-Dazs Five also comes in Chocolate and Coffee which I'm sure is amazing. I admire their commitment to bring high quality ingredients into their products. Be sure to check calories though, if you watch that sort of thing. One serving is about half cup & is 220 - 230 calories (110 from fat)

Here are some of the Recipes that looked scrumptious ~

Häagen-Dazs Five™ Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Warm Apple Cinnamon Blossoms

Makes 4 servings

1-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 sheets filo dough (about 12”x15” each)
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Häagen-Dazs Five Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Invert a muffin tin and brush the
bottom and sides of the four corner cups with a little of the
melted butter.
Lay one sheet of filo dough on a dry surface. Brush with half the remaining butter. Lay second sheet of
filo on top. Brush with remaining butter. Trim one short end to make an even square. Cut square into four
squares.
Place each square of filo over one of the buttered muffin cups. Gently fold and crimp filo around edges of
cups to form an inverted bowl. Place inverted pan in oven and bake 6-8 minutes until filo is golden brown.
Cool filo cups on pan. (Can be baked up to two days ahead and stored in an airtight container.)
Peel and core apples. Cut into 1/8-1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice in a medium bowl. Combine
sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/3 cup water in a wide skillet; bring to a rapid simmer over mediumhigh
heat. Add apples and lemon juice. Cook 5-7 minutes stirring frequently until apples are tender,
adding 1-2 tablespoons water if liquid evaporates. With a slotted spoon remove apples to a bowl to cool
slightly. Continue cooking liquid 1-2 minutes until syrupy.
Gently lift filo cups from pan. Spoon warm apples into cups.

Find more Desert recipes and drink recipes.

WIN IT ~

Two winners will each be able to try a 14 ounce container of the Häagen-Dazs Five series in the flavor of your choice.

HOW TO ENTER ~

To enter visit the site and check out the Häagen-Dazs Five. Then, leave a comment here with the flavor you’d most like to try.

EXTRA ENTRIES ~
Contest will close on May 1st at 11:59pm. Contest for US address only. After winning, you will have 72 hours to reply with your address. I will then mail you a coupon to redeem your ice cream.

Here is a Ginger Recipe ~

Cardamom-Honey Roasted Peaches with Ginger Ice Cream


Haagan Dazs Ice Cream
Makes 4 servings
=


2 large or 4 small peaches
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons mild honey
6 cardamom pods crushed, husks discarded, or 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
Häagen-Dazs Five Ginger Ice Cream
2 tablespoons toasted pistachio pieces (optional)


Preheat oven to 450ºF
Peel peaches if desired. Slice in half and remove pits. Place peaches in a non-metallic oven-proof 8x8 or 9-inch round baking dish.

Stir together orange juice, honey, cardamom and butter in a microwave-safe dish. Heat 30-60 seconds until warm; stir until butter is melted. Pour over peaches; turn in syrup and place cut sides up.

Bake 20-30 minutes until peaches are tender and syrup is bubbly, spooning syrup over peaches once or twice during baking. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

Slice peaches into wedges and place in dessert bowls. Top with a scoop of Ginger Ice Cream. Drizzle with warm syrup from baking dish and sprinkle pistachios if desired.


Nutrition information per serving: 390 calories; 19g fat; 85mg cholesterol; 80mg sodium; 48g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 7g protein.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review ~ White Witch Black Curse

I just finished White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, Book 7)
last week and loved it. I will note first, if you haven't read the short stories that Kim Harrison has written, then wait to read this book. This book ties in 2 of her short stories, the book will be very confusing if you haven't read them.

Book description ~

Some wounds take time to heal . . . and some scars never fade. Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged. Whatever the cost. Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderlander food chain, Rachel's past comes back to haunt her. Literally.
I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. I didn't care much for the last book. The Ivy/Rachel story line was uncomfortable for me, and I just didn't care for it. I am so glad that in White Witch, Black Curse Rachel has moved past trying to be with Ivy. Hopefully the future books do not go back in that direction. I really wish Ivy would find someone so that some of that tension would be gone.

I have read some reviews that say this book is longer then needed and a slower read. I can see why they say that, especially if they haven't read Dates from Hell (Ivy's story) and Holidays are Hell (Rachel's story). Most of the book would be confusing. I found the story great though. It tied up tons of lose ends. I liked seeing things brought in from the short stories. I've always liked books that fill in gaps and tie up ends, so that is probably why I enjoyed it.

You can read the first chapter here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Review ~ X-14 Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

I have to be honest, I am a terrible housewife. I hate to clean and cook, I know I know. I love testing out products because I get all of the newest cleaning products to try out. Anything to make my housewife life better is a good thing!

I was recently sent a bottle of the newly designed bottle of X-14 Mold & Mildew stain remover. I will be honest, I was skeptical at first. I tiny bit of my bottle leaked into the bubble wrap, and it had an obvious bleach smell to it. It was time to clean the shower for bathtime, so I gave it a shot.

From the website ~

Mold & Mildew Stain Remover work without scrubbing, it's been proven to remove mold and mildew stains faster and more completely than competitors.* Use it on sealed grout, tile, vinyl and plastic surfaces.

  • No scrubbing!
  • Try on sealed grout, tile and more
  • Beats competition
  • Keeps stains away for up to 2 weeks**

*Independent laboratory studies, Shuster Labs - September 2006
**US Testing and BDC (Block Drug Company) - 2004

I hate scrubbing, so I was totally hoping this would work. I sprayed it and let it sit for a bit. The entire time I was fretting over how I would write up this review for a product that didn't work. I was extremely pleased when I went back in and it really cleaned up the shower. There were some stains in the grout that have been there for a very long time with nothing working. We actually just purchased a grout remover to totally redo it all.

I was very impressed with the X-14 Mold & Mildew stain remover. I really want to try the X-14 Foaming Bathroom Cleaner next!

Huge Thank you to Mom Central and X-14 for helping my shower be cleaner then it has in years!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review ~ Cross Country by James Patterson

Alex Cross was one of the first mystery series books I read that didn't have a female lead. I actually mainly read female writers as well. When I discovered that Patterson had the Woman's Murder club series, I started reading him & fell in love. It wasn't intentional, that for a long time I only read female authors, so I was glad to add to my list of books. Since I enjoyed that series so much, I decided to check out Alex Cross, and I was so happy I did.

I had been waiting awhile to get the 2008, Cross Country from the library. About the book ~
A MURDERER OF ASTOUNDING CRUELTY
Detective Alex Cross is called to the worst murder scene he has encountered in all his years on the force. Someone with less than zero regard for human life has slaughtered a family–and then more killings, each one more ruthless than the last, quickly follow. One of those death comes terrifyingly close to home, and Alex realizes that he is chasing a horrible new breed of killer.
A CITY IN CHAOS
As Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, dig deeper into the case, they become entangled in the deadly African underworld of Washington DC. What they discover there is so shocking that they can barely comprehend it: a strongly organized gang of teenage thugs headed by a diabolical warlord known only as the Tiger. When the elusive killer's trail turns up in Africa, Alex knows that he must follow. Alone.
ALEX CROSS TRACKS A KILLER CROSS COUNTRY
When Alex arrives in Nigeria, he discovers a world where justice is as foreign as he is. Unprotected and alone in a strange country, bombarded on all sides by the murderous threats of the Tiger, can Alex manage to both survive and catch the killer? From the #1 bestselling author James Patterson comes Cross Country-the most heart-stopping, speed-charged, electrifying Alex Cross thriller ever.
My thoughts ~
I have to say this wasn't my favorite, but it really had nothing to do with the writing. Alex Cross went through so much, it was a bit difficult to read. I admired his strength though when he was thrown so many obstacles. It really opened my eyes to life in Africa. It made me want to do some research of my own to see how much was true of life there. In the end, I did enjoy the book. Like I said, my only issues with it were it was tough material to read. The story line, twists and turns were great!

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Joolwe jewelry ~ Great Mother's Day Gift Idea

I love jewelry, don't you? I will be honest, I've never been big on costume jewelry. I just prefer something real, doesn't matter if it is gold or sterling silver, just like it real. The only time I like costume jewelry is if it isn't meant to look like silver or gold (if that makes any sense)

A few years ago though, I decided that jewelry just gets to costly. I mean, I do have 2 kids, who has the money to spend on jewelry? I realized that I really like Gold Over Sterling Silver Jewelry. It is a cheaper alternative, and it is technically still real jewelry. You get way more bang for your buck, and you can own a wider selection!

I was sent the Gold over Sterling Silver and Orange CZ Cheetah Pattern Ring from Joolwe recently. What a gorgeous ring. Very high quality, great coloring, super pretty. I just love wearing it, and I have received tons of compliments because it is so shiny on my finger.

I was recently browsing their website to see what else they offered. Wow, what a selection. They carry it all ~ silver, gold, gold over silver, and more. They even have designer collections including ELLE Sterling Silver Jewelry!

With everything being so affordable, why not treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry. Would also make a great Mother's Day gift this year~

If you check out Joolwe, make sure to sign up for their newsletter (located on the right of the main page). Every month they give away a piece of jewelry to a subscriber!

If you are a fan of jewelry, make sure to read the Jewelry Blog that they right as well. This review brought to you thanks to Joolwe and Family Review Network.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Mailbox Monday ~ April 13th

I got my first package from BookSwim today! It included Plum Spooky, Blasphemy & The Kitchen Witch (Accidental Witch Trilogy, Book 1).

I already started Plum Spooky, have been waiting forever for my library to get it in.

I also received 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea, Mojo Mom: Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family and The Spare Wife: A Novel for review.


Weekly meme created by Marcia of The Printed Page.

Book Review ~ The Spare Wife

Ponce Morris is a beautiful, rich widow who’s known as “the spare wife” because she’s the perfect companion to the wealthy, powerful, New York couples in her elite social circle. She throws elegant dinner parties, goes to sports events with the husbands, and shops with the wives. She’s both flawlessly appropriate and coolly nonthreatening—everyone knows Ponce doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body. Over the years, she has managed other people’s lives—and her own—perfectly. Then Babette Seele, an ambitious, aspiring journalist, discovers that Ponce is having an affair with a socially prominent, very married man, and decides to break the scandal, turning Ponce’s carefully calibrated world upside down. Witchel’s sophisticated, witty, sexy satire provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives and loves of upper-class New Yorkers, sharply exposing the foibles of the fabulous. -- Plume

The Spare Wife is the type of book I think of ~ as a Beach Read. This really isn't my type of book. I don't care much for reading about the rich, the way they lead their lives. It seems they are obsessed with how they look, how other people think of them and what their "friends" are doing and downfalls. With that said, this is a book I'd enjoy reading lazing around at the beach or outside in the summer. I actually sat outside on a couple of our nice days and breezed through it.

The book is pretty good, I liked Alex Witchel's writing style. If you like chick lit, reading about the elite, about spouses cheating, etc then you will enjoy this book.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Library Loot ~ April 8-14, 2009

I've been wanting to play along with the Library Loot meme for a few weeks now and finally have a second to put my post up. Library Loot is a weekly meme hosted by A Striped Armchair and Alessandra's Place.









I read Charlaine Harris Harper Connely books, so I decided to check out her other books. I picked up Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 1) and Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1). When I went to read Real Murders, I realized it seemed familiar. Yep, I already read it. So that went right into my return pile with White Witch Black Curse, that I just finished.

That would not be my only mistake though this week. I then went to pick up Deadly Harvest and realized it was the second book in the he Flynn Brothers Trilogy, not the first. I then decided to start reading Shakespeare's Landlord.

















I also picked up Would-Be Witch and Sex and the Psychic Witch (The Triplet Witch Trilogy, Book 1) plus The Bone Collector.



Oh & I renewed ghostgirl because I am struggling to get into it.





I'm waiting on my first box from BookSwim, can't wait ~ it was shipped on the 7th, and it holds the in between Stephanie Plum that I have been waiting FOREVER for!

noVae Clothing ~ Christmas in JULY - 3 days only!

noVae Clothing Christmas in July Sale Up to 91% off and over half of the items are under $5! Like this post ~   Subscribe in a reade...