Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Favorite ~ Pouchee

I decided to do a new thing here, Friday Favorite.

This will be a product that I love, either through review or something I buy.

My first friday feature is the Pouchee from Organize it with Sandy, and good news ~ I have one to giveaway as well!

When I first came across the Pouchee on Sandy's site before Christmas, I knew I found something I'd love and my readers would love as well! I use a big purse, so I'm always digging around for the things I need. I also like to switch bags around a lot depending on what I'm doing. I bring a bag to dance, the beach, etc. These are also amazing for diaper bags, but am happily past that stage :)

What is a pouchee then? It is like a portable wallet/purse. Check out all the things it can hold ~

Designed with organization in mind:
  • Six credit card pockets
  • Four other pockets on the outside that are great for your cell phone, glasses, pager etc
  • Inside contains a zippered pocket for money, loose change or anything else you may want to stay hidden
  • Two small interior pouches for lipsticks or more pens
  • Divided middle with 2 roomy sides that can fit your checkbook, wallet or PDA
  • Expands to 4" wide
Now you'll always have a place for your:
  • Wallet or checkbook
  • credit cards and driver's license
  • keys
  • lipstick and other cosmetics
  • sunglasses
  • money
  • tissues
  • mints / gum
  • and much more!
I received the tan one to try out and then giveaway to one of my readers. I had one large wallet in my purse that I couldn't even shut, plus a little change purse thing & another checkbook type thing. I was able to fit the contents of all 3 of those into the pouchee. I was also able to add some pens, my glasses, my cel phone & even a pack of tissues! It is absolutely amazing.

The pouchee is cute enough to grab by those silver handles and carry alone or to use in a purse or bag. I absolutely have to get one of these by summer for beach season! I hate bring my purse, but what a pain always grabbing my essentials. I think I want the yellow version, but what a hard choice. I actually really loved the tan because it looked nice in my yellow/brown purse but with it having the black ribbon accent, it would look good in black bags as well. It is a really all purpose color.

I can't say enough good things about the Pouchee! It definately deserves the spot as my first Friday Favorite! The pouchee comes in 12 cotton styles and 8 leatherette colors. There are also 2 colors of the pouchee car caddy.

To win the Tan Pouchee, stop by Organize it with Sandy and tell me your favorite color.

Extra entries ~

  • Tell me something you have learned about Sandy, you can click here or anywhere else on her site.
  • Blog about this contest with a link here and to the Pouchee page
  • Put my button on your sidebar
  • Subscribe and/or Follow (1 entry for RSS, 2 for Email + another entry if you follow)
  • Submit my main blog to social network site, if you already have then submit this contest (stumble, digg, kirtsy, etc)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet the giveaway (momof2dancers)
Contest will run from Sunday January 25th at 5pm easter to February 8th, 2009 at 11:59pm

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Qlubb ~ 'Gets Organized' for 2009

I joined Qlubb back in November thanks to Mom Central. Now through Team Mom, I am reviewing Qlubb again. They have a launched a new 30 day calender service to make the site even better.

Qlubb is great for moms! If you are a room mom, run a playgroup, coach sports, even run a book club ~ Qlubb is what you need for easy organizing! You get all of this totally for free ~

  • Secure, Private Site
  • Public Webpage
  • Group Event Calendar with Reminders
  • Shared To-Do Lists with Reminders
  • Group Invites/RSVP's
  • File Sharing
  • No user registrations required
  • And Much more!

With Qlubb you can:

  • Eliminate back and forth emails
  • Avoid reminding (nagging) everyone about events and responsibilities
  • Easily delegate tasks to group members
  • Create a secure website for your group

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Interview with Bruce Cook ~ Blood Harvest

Bruce Cook was kind enough to allow me to interview him. Enjoy ~

When and why did you begin writing?

I took screenwriting from Irwin Blacker at USC while working on my second Masters (this one in Cinema, the first in Math). He had been the head writer on Bonanza, had been nominated for a Pulitzer for his novel Taos, and had written hundreds of hours of television and film. It was a summer course lasting only six weeks. I was headed toward a PhD in cinema and needed a B or better to remain in grad school. The only item for a grade was to complete a feature length screenplay.

We weren’t allowed to begin writing until we had pitched a story to the entire class that they agreed was worthy of being developed as a studio movie. They didn’t accept my first two stories. Finally in week three I pitched an idea that the class greenlighted. I now had 21 days to write a 110 page screenplay. If it wasn’t completed by the end of the course I would receive an F, be dropped from grad school and be unable to begin a PhD elsewhere.

I did finish—an hour before I had to hand it in. The script went on to be optioned by a studio. I received a B.

But what I really got was the self-knowledge that I was capable of working under pressure and that I could tell feature length stories. Prior to that I had only written poetry, short stories, and short films.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I had written nearly 30 screenplays and directed six movies before I attempted my first novel. Hollywood is a very competitive place so I had already experienced dozens of rejections before I sold my first script. It was painful and ego-shrinking the first time it happened. My “child,” the offspring of my imagination, had been critiqued and criticized and cut down to size.

In fact, the first script never sold at all and I “suffered,” developing my aura as an “artist.” The aura and a part time job put groceries on the table.

After half a dozen sales of scripts that were made into films I finally achieved a more balanced perspective.

Publishers are much like film producers. They may like “art” but they keep their jobs by putting out projects that appeal to a larger public than just their own tastes.

Having adjusted my attitude, I then adjusted my working pattern. I joined a writer’s critique group. I cannot overstate the value of having other writers look at, respond to, critique, and make suggestions for improvement to my work.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

My recent novel, Blood Harvest, is an attempt to give a new perspective to a past that is still within living memory. When most people hear the background of my story they express either astonishment or disbelief. A few confirm it and add more details to what I have learned.

In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan had as many as six million members in 35 states. It controlled state legislatures. It controlled the Democratic National Convention in 1924, stalemating the nomination of Al Smith (a Catholic) for 103 ballots.

Its power base was NOT the south. It was the northeast and Midwest. It certainly was anti-black, but in the 1920s it was especially anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-Catholic. There was a rally of 20,000 Klansmen in Worcester Massachusetts in 1924 that ended in a riot, where the opposition was the Knights of Columbus. There are films of the KKK marching down Pennsylvania in front of the Capitol in 1925, fifteen thousand strong, in full Klan regalia.

My question to you is this: where was all this information when I was falling asleep in high school history class during the height of the civil rights movement?

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

This novel grew from an incident related to me by my grandmother when she was in her nineties. She was a Scotch-Irish girl from rural New England, one of twelve children, though two died in infancy.

I knew she had married young, perhaps at sixteen, though she sometimes claimed she had been eighteen. She said that after her wedding day she never returned to her home town. I assumed that she eloped or otherwise angered her parents. At one point I asked if her parents disliked my grandfather, who I remembered as personable and charming.

She claimed that they liked him very much. He was a perfect example of the immigrant success story. Came to America from Greece at sixteen, without any English. Started working the next day. Within five years he owned his own restaurant, and in another five he added a chain of candy shops and drug stores.

“So why didn’t you ever return to your home town?”

“It was those dumb clucks.” She used this expression only when quite angry. “My brother-in-law didn’t think it right for a white girl to marry a non-white European.”

This was new territory to me, but when I read my grandfather’s immigration papers I found that southern Europeans—the Greeks, Spanish, Italians, and Turks—were classified thus until 1912. But it was her next revelation that stunned me.

It wasn’t dumb “clucks.” It was dumb “klux.” It was the KKK that had driven my grandparents from the town. This was not consistent with what I had learned in my history classes (if only they had been so interesting!), and so I began to research.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Yes. History is not a real object, but an amalgam of reports by unreliable witnesses who have their own agendas.

I read a number of histories of the period, then histories of the KKK. I did research on the net and found photos and film of KKK rallies in front of the White House in the. I read contemporary accounts in newspapers of the day. (You can see this film footage in the book trailer on YouTube. Go to )

Best of all I interviewed friends and family whose memories extend back to the 20s. Their reminiscences were wonderful and invaluable. I found that as they spoke of their childhood they often dropped into the jargon and slang of the times.

In brief, I learned to ask the people who were there what happened. What they say may be wrong or biased or dead-on accurate, but it is always compelling.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Hands down it is How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler. He made me understand that I could and should have an interactive conversation with the author. This holds true for non-fiction, plays, and fiction—whether they are good or bad, true or false, well written or clumsy. It changed the way I read everything. This book is almost 70 years old and has never been out of print.

Plato’s Republic made me realize that “modern” thought began more than 2,000 years ago. What he has to say about citizenship and the good life are still relevant.

Aristotle’s Poetics taught me the basics of storytelling—how to construct a drama, how to bring a character to life, how to set the story in motion.

What book are you reading now?

Just finished Joe Lansdale’s latest, Leather Maiden. Excellent.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Robert Fate in his Baby Shark series handles action well without skipping characterization or details of the time and place that make his books come to life.

Sheila Lowe has created a new character, Claudia Rose, who is a handwriting analyst. I love seeing the details of her craft applied to solving a crime, much like the early Scarpetta stories.

Gwen Freeman has created a character named Fifi Cutter who is so contemporary, so sarcastic and witty, so bound by Los Angeles that I laugh out loud when I read her misadventures.

What are your current projects?

My third book, Tommy Gun Tango, is due out in July 2009. It concerns the corruption of the Los Angeles Police Department in the early 1930s and the way they helped the movie studios cover up murders by stars.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

In fourth grade I decided to write a sequel to the Wizard of Oz. I decided it should be typed, so it would look more like a real book. A few pages filled with typos killed that. Still, I have always been a storyteller.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

One of my characters is Jackie Sue, a precocious young woman who has run away from the family farm, hoping to make her fortune in the Hollywood of 1932. One evening she attends a sermon by Aimee Semple McPherson at Angelus Temple, which is still an active Four Square Church. Here is what happens, as Jackie Sue tells it.

The headliner was a handsome woman in her thirties. Aimee Semple McPherson was a powerful preacher and boy did she know how to stage a great spectacle. She could have taught Cecile B. DeMille a thing or three. There were choirs—not just one, but two and there was a full orchestra. There were men and women in costume acting out the story of Noah’s Ark. Before I knew it there were animals parading down the aisle right next to me, two by two.

Now when you have an auditorium filled with five thousand people and you try to drag two sheep and two goats and two donkeys and two of I don’t know what all through them, things are bound to get a little cock-eyed. An old woman, must have been in her fifties, sitting in front of me, turned to stare at the animals traipsing by. One of the donkeys rolled a jaundiced eye, then turned its head to look her square in the face and brayed with a sound like the last trump.

The lady shrieked right back, “Glory!”

That made the donkey start bucking and kicking. The donkey’s handler, a hefty young Mexican gal, had to jerk hard on the bridle and use all her weight to keep the animal from breaking loose and running wild through the crowd. The donkey bawled, the lady bellowed, and then the donkey snapped its huge yellow teeth at her, almost catching her nose.

She—the lady, I mean—fainted dead away. Fell face down over the pew ahead of her, her flower print dress hiked up, showing her bloomers to the crowd. I thought it would cause a scandal, but people around me hardly turned a hair. An elderly man next to her just reached over and tugged her dress into place and carried on like nothing special had happened.

What with the animals—which, by the way, did not make me pine for the family farm—and folks fainting and Aimee hollering over the microphone system and the orchestra and the choirs singing back and forth at each other like it was a contest, it was some time before I was able to focus my attention again.

I went to Sunday School as a girl so I was somewhat familiar with the story of Noah. I thought Aimee put a peculiar twist on it.

“And so God could only find the family of Noah that was righteous. He got them on that ark and then He sent a Great Flood.” She paused here and beamed a thousand watt smile over the multitude. “A Great Flood that covered the whole earth.”

She went so far as likening the Great Flood to the Great Depression, in what my 9th grade English teacher would have called a strained comparison.

The audience went for it big, though, and began shouting Amen! and Hallelujah! and Preach it, Sister Aimee!

And Aimee did. She got to campaign shouting like a southern Democrat. By the time she talked about God wiping the wicked from the face of the earth, she had worked the audience up to fever pitch. Aimee stopped sermonizing and looked out over the crowd.

I did, too, and saw that there were a fair number of Negroes, Orientals, Mexicans, and maybe some Gypsies mixed among them. And every one of them, regardless of color, waited with bated breath to hear what came next.

Aimee leaned right up close to the microphone and stage whispered, “Let’s take it to the Lord in prayer.”

She raised her hands towards Heaven and began to speak aloud, her eyes closed, her body swaying. I couldn’t make out what she was saying. It seemed to be in a foreign language, and I later heard that this was what they called speaking in tongues.

Not to be outdone, most of the congregation raised their own hands, closed their eyes, swayed back and forth, and began to gabble. Not quietly to themselves, but at full volume, like they thought God might be hard of hearing.

If you stand in the midst of five thousand people who are carrying on like that, all I can say is it’s electrifying. I kind of froze in place and looked around in amazement, wondering how long this could go on, but kind of glad that they had forgotten to take the offering. Though to be fair I would have put something in the basket, as I hadn’t been so entertained in a good while.

Just then the lady who had fainted came back to life. She stood bolt upright, craned her neck back, her eyes rolled up in their sockets, and began to yodel. She ululated—I believe that is the technical term—in a register even the pipe organ couldn’t match. The dogs up on Noah’s Ark began to howl in response.

The hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood to attention and I clutched my pocket book pretty tight. The yodeler began to gyrate in place, her arms flung wide. Her neighbors in the pew moved out of the way, not wanting black eyes. She spun out into the aisle and began a jerking spinning kind of dance that took her three steps forward, two steps back, one to the left, one to the right, but always led her toward the stage.

As soon as she began to move well, a dozen others joined her, arms raised, heads back, praying at the top of their lungs. In a couple of minutes there were hundreds in the aisles, snake-dancing their way down to be close to Sister Aimee.

For her part, Sister Aimee seemed unaware of the ruckus. Or else it was so common as not to need her attention.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

For me the problem is balancing the various facets of my life: teaching college; being (and staying) happily married; seeing my 3 grandchildren in different parts of the country; keeping up with yard work, house repairs, helping friends. Oh yeah, and writing.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My biggest influences are:

PG Wodehouse for a sense of structure and the seemingly effortless use of dialect and manners;

Joe Lansdale for his ability to bring a new character to life in a single paragraph and his ability to keep the story moving forward even though it is full of asides;

Donald Westlake and Elmore Leonard for their ability to mix humor into situations that would be horrific if they actually happened to the reader;

Ken Bruen for his ability to immerse in another culture (Irish or British) and still have us recognize the similarities with our own, though the daily language and habits are quite different.

Ginny B Interview

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I travelled 8000 miles by car and about 12000 by plane attending 10 conferences, and 125 book signings on my first novel, Philippine Fever. That was pretty intense. On this novel, Blood Harvest, I did another 6 conferences, 75 signings and this virtual book tour.

Who designed the covers?

Nick Zelinger [] A great designer, wonderful to work with.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

My growth as an author has come from hearing directly from readers. I love getting their feedback and I respond to every email. It has taught me what seems to connect with them and what things just irritate folks (even though I thought those things were precious).

So readers, do not be afraid to write to an author. Ask them a question, correct their grammar or facts, tell them you love (or hate) their work, but please tell them why.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Review ~ Shocking Pink by Erica Spindler

This is an older Erica Spindler book, but I discovered her with some of her new books and wanted to backtrack. Shocking Pink is titled well, here is the book description ~

They were only watching

The mysterious lovers the three girls spied on were engaged in a deadly sexual game no one else was supposed to know about. Especially not Andie and her friends, whose curiosity had deepened into a dangerous obsession...

Now fifteen years later, someone is watching Andie. Someone who won't let her forget the unsolved murder of "Mrs. X" or the disappearance of "Mr. X." Suddenly Andie doesn't know who her friends are...because loyalty can be murder.

Andie. Julie. Raven
Three very different women bound by more than friendship.

I found Shocking Pink a bit slow to get into at first. I thought it would be more like her more current murder mysteries that I had already read (See Jane Die). Once I gave the book a chance though I really enjoyed it. Had some great twists and turns, some things I have never read before. There are some explicit scenes, but they are important to the story. I would recommend Shocking Pink to others. If this book isn't for you, then definitely check out Erica Spindler's other books.

Crafts'n Things ~ Free Newsletter

Besides reading, Scrapbooking and Crafting is my all time favorite thing to do. It relieves stress, helps me be creative, preserve memories and make memories!

The winter months are some of the best crafting months for me. I hate the cold, so I stay inside as much as possible.

Crafts 'n things offers a free, monthly newsletter that provides members with unique project ideas for home decor, gift giving, and gardening.

Once you sign up at, the newsletter arrives to your email providing a first look at special offers, products, and more. In addition, each subscriber has an opportunity to sign-up for "Win It!" - a prize program that gives participants a great chance to win fantastic craft-related prizes.

Once you confirm your newsletter, you have access to bonus material, 30 minute cards (one of my favorite sections of the mag!), the current newsletter and the Win-It section.

I absolutely love Crafts'n Things magazine. I usually get it at the library, but was sent 3 back issues from Mom Central. The other night at dance, I sat and read all 3 issues. After reading those three issues, I went to the library to see if I could pick up a couple more issues. They were actually so low on the mags, they only had a few from 2007 to check out! I must not be the only winter crafter :)

What is great about this magazine is it covers tons of crafts. There were sewing projects, knitting/crochet, jewelry making, card making, scrapbooking and tons of other paper craft ideas.
There are instructions, so even beginners can do the projects. Trust me I am not super creative at all. If it weren't for magazines, blogs, sketches, etc I wouldn't not be doing anything crafty.

Let me know if you subscribe to the newsletter and what you think. They also publish Pack-o-Fun which has been a long time favorite of mine. I've gotten some of the cutest Valentine's day mailbox ideas from them in the past for the girls!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prohibition racial lynching author Bruce Cook ~ Blood Harvest

What drives a small town in New England in the late 1920s to lynch a man? Immigrant Nick Decosta's skill as a wine grower makes him a fortune as a moonshiner and puts him at odds with the 'shine sales of the MacKay clan, even though he's wed to their wildest youngest daughter. But is this the real reason he is killed? And who is the second corpse in the woods?

Blood Harvest takes you back to a dark time in our history. The story takes place in 1929. It is a about a young white woman, Mary Elizabeth that falls in love with an immigrant Nick Decosta. We get a look at the events in this one small rural New England town through the eyes of seven humans and two animals.

What made this a page turner for me was the fact that the KKK was involved. It seems that we missed some history lessons during school. After reading this book, I wanted to go back and learn more about discrimination. It actually hit home for me ~ My mom came from England back in the 60's. My grandfather was highly discriminated against for being an Irish man. He was made fun, ridiculed, was paid lowered and many other mistreatments.

Back to Blood Harvest. I enjoyed all the different view points of the story. With each character, the book got more interesting. It really added depth to an already interesting story. Blood Harvest was inspired by true stories of Cook's Grandmother. She married a Greek Immigrant and due to the Klan was basically forced from her hometown. Very interesting reading, I highly recommend this historical mystery!

Author Bio:

Bruce Cook has earned credits as writer, producer, or director on eleven independent feature films as well as commercials. He has written more than twenty screenplays, including the films Husbands, Wives, Money & Murder; Line of Fire; and Nightwish.

Since 1973 he has taught at a number of film schools, including USC, UCLA, and Los Angeles City College. Among his thousands of former students are Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons), actor Laurence Fishburne, Paramount VP of Marketing Lucia Ludovico, numerous directors and producers, six Academy Award nominees and winners, and twelve Emmy nominees and winners.

In 1996 Dr. Cook was invited by ABS-CBN, the largest television network in the Philippines, to teach a series of seminars on improving the production techniques of the film and TV industry. While there, he addressed an assemblage of 2,000 Filipino film industry professionals.

He later returned to the Philippines to conduct a market study on Southeast Asian film production and helped design a motion picture soundstage. While on location, he researched the background for his novel Philippine Fever.

Dr. Cook holds degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Film Education, and Communications. He worked as a laser physicist on the Apollo Project.

Bruce Cook is the author of Philippine Fever. He and his wife live in Castaic, California.

Please stay tuned, on Thursday I will be a posting an interview with Bruce Cook.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Review + Giveaway ~ Skin MD Shielding Lotion

I have spoken before about my super dry skin, so I love trying new products to help it out. I was contacted by Pete from Skin MD Natural last month about trying out their newest shielding lotion, Skin MD Natural with SPF15 sunscreen.

If you haven't heard of the Skin MD line of shielding products, you are really missing out. These are not just basic lotions. They actually form a protective barrier on your skin. Here is some information from the website ~

A Shielding Lotion is far more effective as a dry skin treatment than conventional moisturizing lotions or protective creams. If you suffer from dry skin, you know that just using a moisturizing lotion doesn't solve the problem. A shielding lotion does much more than just treat dry skin – it’s a new kind of skin care product that makes a real difference to all skin types.

Skin MD Natural™ is promptly absorbed, without the slightest hint of any greasy or oily feeling or residue, transforming the outer layer of skin into a hydrating invisible shield.

I have found that this bottle sure packs a big punch. You only need a small amount, it is absorbed quickly and your skin immediately feels better. Another thing I love is that this can be used all over your entire body. I never put my "regular" lotion on my face, but the Skin MD Natural with SPF 15 even works on my face. My face does break out, so I was bit worried about trying it on my face. I decided to go ahead and try it. Guess what, I love it for my face. It didn't cause any break outs, feels wonderful and has the SPF in it that I insist on using.

You can check out the pricing and full list of products here. This lotion is worth the price!

I have good news though for one lucky blog reader, thanks the The Family Review Network and Skin MD, I have a bottle of lotion to giveaway.

To enter, visit Skin MD look around. Come back here and comment for one entry. Please let me know something you learned from Skin MD or why you want to start using their shielding lotion.

Extra Entries ~

Please make sure to leave a separate comment for each that you do. Leave a link or user name if that is needed. Contest ends January 30th, 2009 at 11:59pm

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Protect-A-Bed Review & Giveaway

I have spoken on my blog before that my family all suffers from allergies. Both of my daughters also suffer from asthma. When my youngest was diagnosed with asthma 3 years ago, our doctor recommended buying a mattress encasement and pillow covers for her. Money was tight, so I bought the cheapest I could find at the time. Last month Protect-A-Bed contacted me asking if I'd be willing to try out their brand, I immediately said yes!

There are millions of allergy sufferers all over the world, all of whom would benefit greatly from Protect-A-Bed® allergy relief products. Their state-of-the-art mattress and pillow protectors provide an impermeable barrier between you and the dust mites and allergens within your bedding. Protect-A-Bed allergy relief products ensure that nothing comes between you and an allergy-free, rejuvenating sleep.

It has been estimated that two million dust mites can thrive in an unprotected mattress. Combine that with other allergy triggers such as pet dander and pollen, and your mattress can become a haven for allergens. With Protect-A-Bed allergy relief products like their mattress and pillow protectors and encasements, an individual who suffers from allergies can finally get the healthy, allergy-free sleep they deserve.

Prevention Magazine has recently named bedding encasements as one of the ways to allergy-proof your home. The magazine also encourages providing a barrier between you and any allergens that may be housed inside your bed. Most people spend most of their time at home in their bedroom, so making the bed an allergy-free zone can greatly cut down on allergies.

Protect-A-Bed’s protectors are fitted-sheet style covers that place an impenetrable barrier between you and allergens, while remaining breathable and comfortable. It is ultra-thin, extra soft, easy-to-use and machine washable.

For chronic allergy sufferers, Protect-A-Bed offers full mattress encasements for mattresses and box springs. They have been a solution for many allergy sufferers to get an uninterrupted good night sleep because the product fully encases the mattress

The timing couldn't have been more perfect, my mattress encasement and pillow cover for Cami arrived right when she got home from the hospital. I actually cut off the old one, it was so thin that it was starting to get holes in it. When I put on the Protect-A-Bed Premium protector, I immediately saw a huge difference in quality. It was a nicer fabric, thicker and it is even waterproof. My daughter tested that the first night by eating in bed while I was at dance with her big sister, lol.

It was also easy to put on and fit perfect. I had no problems getting a sheet back on the bed or anything. This is well worth the $59.99 price tag. I believe I paid around $40 for my cheaper version. Considering I noticed the difference right away with this one, the extra $20 is well worth the investment. My daughter has been using this now for about 3 weeks. I noticed within the first week, she wasn't waking up with itchy eyes any more. She usually gets her allergy symptoms the worst at night and then in the morning. Now she is only asking for her allergy meds in the evening.

Protect-A-Bed sells a full line of state-of-the-art mattress protectors, full mattress encasements, pillow protectors and crib mattress protectors designed to promote health and hygiene while allowing for allergy-free sleep. Protect your whole family from allergens, dust mites and bed bugs with our innovative, waterproof and stainproof products - especially helpful for incontinence sufferers. Protect-A-Bed® bedding products are also easily transportable for every overnight stay.

Giveaway Details ~

I have an amazing giveaway for my readers, one winner will have their choice of an AllerZip Mattress Protector (for individuals with extreme allergies) a Premium Mattress Protector or, if they prefer, a Crib Mattress Protector. Plus you will also receive a Premium Pillow Protector.

To enter, click the above links. Determine which is best for your allergy situation. Then come back here, leave a comment with the choice you would make. Also, please include in your comment who this will be for, do you suffer allergies, does your child, is it a gift for someone? The winner will have their choice from above in any size mattress!

Extra Entries ~

Please make sure to leave a separate comment for each that you do. Leave a link or user name if that is needed. Contest ends January 28th, 2009 at 11:59pm

Congrats to Nanja

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Awakening Consciousness: A Girl's Guide

I am pretty open when it comes to religion. I have never stuck to one belief. My beliefs have changed over the years. I am an open Atheist. I have made it a point in my life to learn about religion, be open to other beliefs and cultures. With raising my girls, I want them to decide what religion they are. I try to teach them things about the various religions, so that they can make a educated decision. We tend to focus on Christianity just because that is what the majority of their friends are. When I had the chance to review Awakening Consciousness: A Girl's Guide! I was very intrigued at what could be in the book.

Awakening Consciousness is a workbook designed to encourage spiritual growth on a path of self awareness. The fun hands-on exercises in this motivating, easy to use workbook are for girls of all ages and will encourage great exploration into universal Awareness. In this book you will:

  • Exercise your seven chakras
  • Learn about crystals
  • Discover how to keep a healthy aura
  • Explore your inner self
  • Practice learning the pendulum
  • Create your own future
  • Try aromatherapy with easy to do, fun crafts

  • I found the book very interesting and fascinating to read. I think it has some great activities for tween and teen girls to help them figure things out. It opens up a lot of these girls to a whole other world. Knowledge is power, being positive and having a high self esteem will get you so far in life. I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

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