Friday, January 9, 2009

Review ~ Valiant by Holly Black

I read Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black last year, and I enjoyed it. I've always loved stories of Faerie, but some of the adult ones are ... well too adult for my taste. I'm so glad through the book blogs, I have discovered reading young adult novels. I get the stories I enjoy with a muted tone.

My copy of Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie finally came in beginning of this year from the library. I thought it was a continuation of Tithe, but it is not.

When 17-year-old Valerie catches her boyfriend and her mother fooling around, she runs away to New York City. There she falls in with a small group of teens who live in the subway tunnels. But there is something more to their stories than that of normal street kids. When Valerie begins to notice odd things about the deliveries they make, and when she meets Ravus, a troll, she understands that there is an entire world that she has never known existed–the world of Faerie. Valerie and her friends begin to steal from Ravus's deliveries, using the Never that he provides to the faeries as a drug. But those who receive the deliveries are being found dead. Is Ravus the poisoner or could it be another of the fantastic creatures they have met?

I really loved reading Valiant. It is a powerful book for a teen to read. It isn't just a story of Modern Faerie, to me that was just an undertone of the book. The book is about betrayal, homelessness, addiction, alternative lifestyles, friendship and so much more. I would highly recommend this book, Holly Black did it again!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Magical Cartoon Portraits

I was lucky enough to win an amazing prize from Magical Cartoon Portraits right before Christmas time over at The Lil' Peanut Patch.

Magical Cartoon Portraits turns any photo into a cartoon. The process is so easy, just upload/email a photo, and your child is magically turned into a cartoon. Since my girls both love dance, I decided to make them into cartoon ballerinas.

I got to work with Francois, and he was absolutely amazing. He kept in constant communication the entire process. I got to ok the product before making the final print. After my ok, I quickly received two gorgeous hand drawn cartoons of my girls. I decided to save them for Christmas, so I went bought frames & then put them under the tree on Christmas Eve. The girls just loved them & both have them hanging up there bedrooms now.

Not only is this a fun thing to do, but Magical Cartoon Portraits really makes kids heroes. With every print ordered, they donate money to charities. Since this company is so amazing, here is some information directly from their site for you to read ~

Every child dreams to become a hero or real-life princess. And we believe that in every child's heart lies a hero or a princess waiting to come out.

This is what "Lil' Toon Heroes" is striving to achieve: To make children realize the hero or princess they truly are.

The goal of "Lil' Toon Heroes" is, through the art of cartooning and animation, to portray children as the hero they truly are. A Lil' Toon Hero Portrait is not only an uncanny version of what the child would look like as a true-life cartoon hero, but their cartoon hero will actually help another child around the world!

How does it work?
A portion of the retail price of the cartoon portrait will be donated to charities geared to help the environment and children around the globe. Our website will feature links to each of the charities we support, raising the child's social responsibility and charitable giving. We encourage that the child picks a charity of his own choosing with the help of the parents. The donation will be given to whatever charity is closest to the child's heart.

Helping the world one drawing at a time.

The strength of a hero is not measured by the size of his muscles, but by the kindness of his heart and the love of his neighbors. Likewise, a princess' qualities are not only measured by her beauty but for her noble, charitable giving; her gentleness and her care and goodwill toward others.

Children are born prosperous with an infinite, invisible supply to give to the world. It is our responsibility to help them to realize that their smiles and innocent love for all are that supply. If shown who to help and how to help, children will naturally play the part of a loving and peaceful citizen to the world.

The actual Lil' Toon Hero Portrait is a keepsake to cherish for generations to come--to always remind the child of the hero he or she truly is. Lil' Toon Hero Portraits will inspire children to take a tangible, one-small-step toward making the world a more peaceful and better place.

Don't think this is just for kids either. You can do Family Portraits as well.

Lil' Toon Charities

Hands to Hearts International
Hands to Hearts
Hand to Hearts International has dedicated itself to the plight of orphaned children lying untouched in cribs, and that of women not having the education or employment to contribute to their families or communities.

Every dollar plants a tree.

The Oprah's O Ambassadors program educates students about children and families living in developing countries.

On the GoodSearch homepage, choose from thousands of organizations or add your favorite cause to the list. Search the Internet just like you normally would—the site is powered by Yahoo!, so you'll get high-quality search results. A percentage of revenue generated from advertisers is shared with the charity, school or nonprofit organization of your choosing.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good night of sleep

One of my favorite things to do is sleep. It always has been. I have thought of all the time I probably have wasted over my life by sleeping instead of living. I always decide though, I just love sleeping to much!

Actually though, by getting a good night sleep, I am more alert when awake. I feel better when I am fully rested, I'm healthier and just plain get more done!

Having a good bed really makes a difference. If you are uncomfortable how are you going to get a good night sleep? If you wake up in pain from your bed, you aren't getting a good night sleep either. Having a comfortable mattress is key.

I personally have never cared much what my bed looks like. Now that I have hit my thirties (shudder), I'm starting to think my room would look nicer with a nice bed as well. Right now, we don't even have a headboard. Just a plain mattress on a box spring.

I've always loved the look of the beds without the box spring. I'm also big into the contemporary look. I found some great metal beds over at Time 4 Sleep that would look great in my bedroom. I particularly like the Milano. They have such a huge selection of metal, storage, divian, wood and even leather beds. It can make the decision hard. One thing I love about the site though is you can search by bed size, color, style and price.

I even found an adorable pink children's bed that Cami would die for!

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Review + Giveaway ~ Vaseline Clinical Strength

Vaseline's newest product, Clinical Therapy is a prescription-strength lotion that is available without a prescription.

It started in Kodiak; one of Alaska's many small towns, with a population of 6,000. Due to the location, Kodiak endures an extremely icy climate leaving many of its residents with dull, dry and cracking skin. This very reason is why Vaseline thought the demographic would be perfect to demonstrate the effectiveness of Clinical Therapy Lotion.

Vaseline turned to Petal Ruch, a voice coach and 50-year-old mother of four, who tried the product and felt it really worked, to start a word-of-mouth campaign for new Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion. If she liked it, she could then freely "prescribe" it to anyone else she thought needed it. Through word-of-mouth, her experience spread to more than 600 townspeople—including 39 cousins, a Russian music group, a knife maker, police detective, owners of fishing vessels, and many others-- whom also discovered that Clinical Therapy works.

Clinical Therapy Lotion provides 60% more moisture than a prescription lotion, and is available without a prescription. It comes in two varieties ~ lightly fragranced and unfragranced.

I was sent the unfragranced version to try out. It is a white lotion and has a lightweight feel to it. It quickly absorbs into the skin, making your skin feel nice and smooth. I get severely dry skin in the winter. My legs and back itch non-stop. My hands get so dry that my skin literally peels off. I always have little cuts along my knuckles, etc. I've been using the new Vaseline clinical therapy for almost a week now and I have no new cuts! This is a first for January in Michigan!

My husband gets even worse dry hands during winter. I "prescribed" him a bottle of the clinical therapy lotion and his hands are nicely healing up. He is really funny about lotion as well, normally complains about whatever kind I buy. He has only found one lotion he has ever liked, it was a gift from a co-worker. I believe you have to special order, so we have never been able to get a second bottle. The fact that he has used this more then once with no complaints says something, trust me!

Thanks to Vaseline and Family Review Network, I get to Prescribe 4 of my lucky readers a bottle of Vaseline Clinical Therapy!

To enter, tell me who you would prescribe this bottle to if you won, don't worry it can be yourself :)

Extra entries ~

  • Visit Vaseline's Youtube channel and tell me your favorite video
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This contest will end January 20th at 11:59pm

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Evenflo Launches "A Mother's Promise"

Recently Michigan changed their car seat laws. Now kids up to age 8 have to be in a booster seat. I had stopped using one with Cam around age 5, so I had to go out and buy a brand new car seat for my newly turned 7 year old. She got to pick a cute Evenflo one that is pink (something we have always wanted in our house) and had fairies all over it.

Why am I bring this up now? Evenflo has a new Facebook Community called “A Mother’s Promise". It is focused on bringing moms together in a quest to keep children safe while on the road. Supporting “A Mother’s Promise” is free, super simple, and only takes a moment.

If you already have a Facebook account, just visit “A Mother’s Promise,” and post on the Wall, pledging to your children to do everything within your power to protect them. (There’s also a really nice video of other moms making their individual promises. If you don’t have a Facebook account yet, now’s the time! Once you’re a member, just search for “A Mother’s Promise” and post your promise.

Then, invite all your friends and family – other moms, dads, grandparents, and neighbors inside and outside the Facebook community – to do the same.

Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S., but together, we can make a difference.

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TV Store Online Halloween Costume Giveaway

I didn't realize that the sold a huge line of Halloween costumes until recently. They are the place to go if yo...