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Family-Friendly Entertainment

Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn Review

6/30/11














Summary from publisher:

When Carolyn's grown daughter tells her to "get a life," Carolyn returns to her mother's home in the Canary Islands for a much-needed change of scenery.  It's been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day her heart has been buried in murky grief.  It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands, to draw Carolyn's heart back to the surface.  In the midst of a Flamenco dance lesson Carolyn finds her strength and sees the evidence of God's mercy throughout her life.

Will it be too late for Carolyn to reconnect with Gabriel, her high school summer love?  Or has he grown into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago and then left her alone on that balmy Canary night?  Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World.  Is Carolyn ready to set sail from these same islands in order to discover her new life?  And does Carolyn have enough faith to face what the future holds?







About the Author:

Robin Jones Gunn is the author of seventy novels, which have sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, including three Christy Award winners and a Gold Medallion Award finalist.

You can find out more at the author's website www.robingunn.com.



Review/Thoughts:

This book appealed to me because of the unique setting and the story line.  My husband's family has dealt with the loss of a spouse and the impact it has had on everyone.  The main character's (Carolyn) journey of healing, acceptance, faith, and finding new love is well written.  The author shows strong relationships between the women in the family; between mothers and daughters and aunts.  Carolyn relies on those relationships to help her through the healing process.

The setting of the Canary Islands is described so well that you feel as though you've been there.  Robin Jones Gunn weaves spanish phrases through the writing that add to the experience.  I love her descriptions of the food, although some of the foods are things that I might not want to try.

Although the topic is a bit heavy, this would make a good beach read because of the beautiful setting.  You will want to add it to your summer reading list.



Buy It:  You can purchase this on Amazon.


Disclosure:  Thank you to Howard Books and Robin Jones Gunn for an advanced copy of the book to review.

My Baby Clothes Boutique Winner

6/29/11

Thank you to everyone who entered the My Baby Clothes Boutique giveaway. The winner according to random.org is:

#12 kellyr78

Congratulations! I will be emailing you soon for your info.






Winner of the Cars 2 Prize Pack








Thank you to everyone who entered the Cars 2 giveaway. The winner according to random.org is:

#24 janetfaye



Wordless Wednesday: Peekaboo




For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes for Mom. You can also share your W/W post in the linky below.



General Mills Benefits of Cereal And Giveaway #MyBlogSpark

6/27/11


This week let's discuss the importance of taste and nutrition in your breakfast choices. Let's face it, if your child is anything like mine, they will not choose a cereal that does not taste good, no matter the nutritional value. I try to steer my son toward the healthier lower sugar choices as much as possible. It can be difficult since he has such a sweet tooth!

Did You Know...

*Cereal is a great breakfast option because it is the number one dietary source of many key nutrients including iron, zinc and folic acid. Frequent cereal eaters tend to have better nutrient intakes.

*A typical breakfast contributes more than 30 percent of needed calcium, iron and B vitamins while delivering less than 20 percent of daily calories.
In addition, ready-to-eat cereal is the top source of whole grain in kids´ diets.

*Big G is the only leading line of kids' cereals to contain at least 8 grams of whole grain (48 grams recommended daily) and a good source of both calcium and vitamin D in every serving. In addition, cereal is an inexpensive but nutrient-dense option. On average, a bowl of cereal with milk is approximately 50 cents per serving.

For more information, go to www.cerealbenefits.com.


Giveaway: General Mills through MyBlogspark is generously giving one Benefits of Cereal prize pack as pictured below.



Required Entry: (don't forget to leave your email address if it's not in your profile)

What are some easy ways you help your child get necessary nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, iron, folate and zinc into the foods they eat?

(You must answer this question in order for additional entries to count!)




1. Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend




2. Subscribe to my blog via email on Feedburner
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner






3. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment with your username




4. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a direct link to your tweet (one tweet per day). You can copy and paste the following tweet:


Win a General Mills Prize Pack @atticgirl76 Ends 7/4 http://tinyurl.com/62kjxc6 #giveaway #myblogspark





5. Add The Attic Girl button and/or my store button to your blog and leave the link (one entry for each button)






This giveaway ends: Monday July 4th at 12:00 Midnight EST and is open to US residents 18 and older only. Winner will be chosen randomly, emailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or another will be drawn. This prize will be directly shipped from the sponsor.


Disclaimer: The information, prize pack, and prize pack to give away were all provided to me from General Mills through MyBlogSpark. Myblogspark is responsible for shipping prize to the winner. For more information, see my Disclosure Policy.



Truth Behind The Bowl Giveaway Winner

6/24/11
Thank you to everyone who entered the General Mills "Truth Behind The Bowl" giveaway.

The winner according to random.org is:


#23 Laurie B.


Congrats!  I will email you for your information.


Baby Bindle Seat Pak Review And Giveaway

6/23/11
diaper bags

Do you ever feel like you need to be an octopus in order to carry all of your baby items?  I know I have felt that way.  Sometimes it takes a good 20 minutes just to get out the door.  I have to make sure I have my wallet, diaper bag, car seat, keys etc.  


When I found about the BabyBindle SeatPak on MomTV, I automatically knew I had to have one!  The SeatPak is a round 9.5" x 9.5" x 3" bag that attaches to your infant car seat handle.  It can also attach to your stroller to free up space in your stroller basket.








This is easily portable and hands-free.  Yes, I said hands-free!  You can throw your necessities in the bag, attach it to your carseat, and go.  This is great for shopping trips, going out to lunch or dinner, and visits to friends.  No bulky diaper bag needed.  
I absolutely love this bag!    The only thing you need to be careful about is the car seat shade can sometimes rub up against your SeatPak since it can be a little snug.  You may need to readjust it.




This little gem can hold more than you think.  Here you can see I have 2 diapers, a wipe case, a rattle, my keys, and my wallet with some room to spare.  I could probably fit a small bottle in there too.  Plus there's a small zipper pocket in the front of it that I could transfer my keys to and free up a little more space.


About BabyBindle:


The BabyBindle Company LLC™ was founded by Sandra Frawley, a mother of two and a constant dabbler in the Entrepreneur world. Babybindle™ was started out of the necessity of one mother to organize her baby supplies after no other solution would suffice. In July 2010 Sandra won a $15,000 grant from the Huggies MomInspired Program enabling her to start her own company and develop her invention. Sandra believes the old adage "necessity is the mother of invention", and who better to invent than busy moms who need life to run a little smoother.




Buy It:


You can purchase a Babybindle SeatPak in black/white or brown on their website or at some retailers




Giveaway:


One lucky reader will win a BabyBindle SeatPak










Required Entry: (don't forget to leave your email address if it's not in your profile):

Visit the website and tell me what feature you like about the SeatPak



Extra Entries: (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):

1.  Follow BabyBindle on twitter (leave username)


2.  Follow my blog on Google Friend


3.  Subscribe to my blog via email on Feedburner 

Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

4.  Follow me on Twitter (leave Twitter ID)


5.  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a direct link to your tweet (one tweet per day).  You can copy and paste the following tweet:


#Win a portable SeatPak for on the go moms from @babybindle @atticgirl76 Ends 7/7 http://bit.ly/kfH7Fv #giveaway #contest




This giveaway Ends Thursday 7/7 at 12 Midnight EST and is open to US Residents 18 and older only. Winner will be chosen randomly, emailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or another will be drawn. This prize will be directly shipped from the sponsor.  


Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post; BabyBindle is providing the giveaway item.  The sponsor is also responsible for shipping this prize to the giveaway winner; I will not be held liable for any lost or not received products.

Wordless Wednesday: Father's Day Favorite

6/22/11

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes for Mom. You can also share your W/W post in the linky below.







Cars 2 Free Activities And Giveaway

6/20/11


Cars 2 is coming to theaters in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D June 24th!  My son loved the first movie and is excited about seeing the second (though we'll probably be renting it since we have an itty bitty at home).


Synopsis:


When star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy)
head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix, Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage!



Here's a sneak preview:








Activities:

Looking for some fun free activities?  Disney/Pixar has activity sheets and crafts for your kiddos!  These include mazes, Soap Box dragster activities,  T-Shirt designs and more.





Giveaway:
One lucky reader will win a Cars 2 Prize Pack including:


 CARS 2 t-shirt in youth size
CARS 2 set of 3 bumper tickets
CARS 2 temporary tattoo sheet 
CARS 2 puzzle





















Required Entry: (don't forget to leave your email address if it's not in your profile)


Leave a comment telling me your favorite character from the movie Cars






Extra Entries: (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):


1. Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend




2. Subscribe to my blog via email on Feedburner
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


3.  Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway and leave a direct link to your tweet (one tweet per day). You can copy and paste the following tweet:


#Win a Disney Pixar Cars 2 Prize Pack  @atticgirl76 Ends 6/27 http://tinyurl.com/5uz9lbw #giveaway #contest









This giveaway ends: Monday June 27th at 12:00 Midnight EST and is open to US and Canadian residents 18 and older only. Winner will be chosen randomly, emailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or another will be drawn. This prize will be directly shipped from the sponsor.


Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation or product for this post.  The sponsor/PR company is responsible for shipping this prize to the giveaway winner; I will not be held liable for any lost or not received products.

Freebie Alert: Motts for Tots Apple Juice Treat from Vocalpoint

6/17/11

I'm always on the look out for samples and coupons. One of the places you can find them is at Vocalpoint.

Their latest sample is a Motts for Tots apple juice treat. To get one of your own, log in or sign up at Vocalpoint and enter your zip code to see if you qualify.

Disclosure:  I found this info. on Vocalpoint and was not compensated to share this information.



Sugar Free Ring Pops Review

6/15/11

Do you have a sweet tooth? I know I do. And so do the others in my family. Ring pops remind me of being a kid again. Simple days, simple pleasures.

From the company:



"Kids love Sugar Free Ring Pop because the fun plastic ring offers tons of bling to fuel imaginations! Moms love the plastic ring, too – it stays put on little hands to prevent messes, making Sugar Free Ring Pop an ideal sweet for long summer road trips. Plus, parents can rest assured knowing that long-lasting Sugar Free Ring Pop is also fat free, tooth-friendly, and only contains 30 calories per pop!"




Did you know that Ring Pops now have a sugar free version? They are sweetened with Splenda and are diabetic friendly.

We tried the 3 new flavors: Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, and Strawberry.

I gave my son the blue raspberry flavor.  Unfortunately, he wasn't able to fully enjoy his on his finger because it broke during shipping. He liked the taste though, and didn't notice the difference from regular ring pops. (I didn't let try another because I didn't want him to eat too many in one sitting and he was going to his dad's for the weekend; I know, meany mom!)  An added bonus was the blue tongue effect afterward!

My hubby also tried the ring pop, since my first taste-tester was no longer with us. He liked the strawberry flavor. He said that you couldn't taste the difference with the splenda and that it also reminded him of care-free days as a kid.

Where to Buy:

You can find new sugar free Ring Pops at Walmart, BJ's, and Amazon.

Keep Updated:


You can follow Ring Pops on their Facebook Fan Page.



Disclosure:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free for the purpose of review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers

General Mills "Truth Behind The Bowl" Giveaway #myblogspark

Last week, I shared the importance of starting your day with a healthy breakfast.  This week, we're focusing on reading the labels and making healthy choices.  Have you read the label on the back of your cereal box?




Here are some important points from General Mills:


The Truth Behind The Bowl...


Dr. Keith Ayoob, an internationally recognized dietitian who has worked extensively in the area of child nutrition, obesity, heart health and family dynamics for more than two decades, is partnering with General Mills to help correct cereal misconceptions and let moms know that cereal is actually one of the healthiest breakfast choices they can make.


"Your child´s favorite cereals may actually help fight childhood obesity," said Dr. Keith Ayoob Ed.D., RD. "Cereal provides key nutrients that are important to overall health and cereals, including sweetened cereals, provide less than 5 percent of a child´s daily sugar intake."






Did you know...


Cereal is lower in calories and higher in nutrition than many other breakfast options like bagels with cream cheese and pancakes?


A 2009 study of children aged 6 to 18 shows that cereal eaters have healthier body weights than those who don´t eat cereal, regardless of sweetness level.


Cereal eaters consume less fat than non-cereal eaters.


Not all cereals are equal and it´s important to read the labels -- General Mills is proud of its commitment to reduce sugar in all of its kids´ cereals to single-digit levels per serving.


General Mills has more than 30 nutritious cereals with 130 calories or less per serving.


 Take the time to read the front and side panel of the box, paying close attention to the Nutrition Facts (calories, fat, vitamins and minerals, sugar, etc.) and ingredient list (note whole grain is the first ingredient). Compare that label to some other common breakfast food options in your house.


Check out this video to see some local moms share their thoughts about breakfast:







Giveaway:  General Mills through MyBlogspark is generously giving one Benefits of Cereal prize pack as pictured below.






Required Entry: (don't forget to leave your email address if it's not in your profile)


Tell me what you learned from checking the Nutrition Facts on the cereal box label.






Extra Entries: (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):


1. Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend




2. Subscribe to my blog via email on Feedburner
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner






3. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment with your username




4. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a direct link to your tweet (one tweet per day). You can copy and paste the following tweet:


Win a General Mills Prize Pack @atticgirl76 Ends 6/22 http://bit.ly/iF0pYP #giveaway #myblogspark





5. Add The Attic Girl button and/or my store button to your blog and leave the link (one entry for each button)






This giveaway ends: Wednesday June 22nd at 12:00 Midnight EST and is open to US residents 18 and older only. Winner will be chosen randomly, emailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or another will be drawn. This prize will be directly shipped from the sponsor.


Disclaimer: The information, prize pack, and prize pack to give away were all provided to me from General Mills through MyBlogSpark. Myblogspark is responsible for shipping prize to the winner. For more information, see my Disclosure Policy.




Healthy Breakfast Options Giveaway Winner

6/14/11
Thank you to everyone who entered the General Mills Prize Pack Week 1 giveaway. The winner according to Random.org is:

#2 Sweetheart

Congratulations!  I will be emailing you soon for your information.




My Baby Clothes Boutique Review And Giveaway

6/13/11


I love having a little girl to play dress up! I have found so many adorable things online. My Baby Clothes Boutique is one of my favorite stores for cute clothing and accessories!



I discovered them on another blog and won this adorable tutu set: (she was 16 weeks old here)




Isn't this the cutest?


They have tutus and pettiskirts, girls' clothing, boys' clothing, and accessories like headbands and hats from newborn to 4T.







They sent me these headbands that I totally love!


These are stretchy so they don't pinch your baby's head and seem to be pretty comfortable.  The Attic Baby wears them without trying to touch them or take them off (although I'm sure once she discovers them this won't be the case!).   They don't slip very much unless she is wiggling around a lot.  And I love how girly they are!  (especially since I have a little girl without a lot of hair)















BUY IT:  You can purchase these items at My Baby Clothes Boutique's site.


GIVEAWAY:  One of my lucky readers is going to win a $25 Gift Certificate to My Baby Clothes Boutique!




Required Entry: (don't forget to leave your email address if it's not in your profile):


Visit My Baby Clothes Boutique and tell me which item you would choose.



Extra Entries: (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):



1.  Follow My Baby Clothes Boutique on Twitter (leave twitter ID)


2.  Subscribe to the My Baby Clothes Boutique Newsletter (lower left corner of their home page)

3.  Follow my blog on Google Friend

4.  Subscribe to my blog via email on Feedburner 



Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



5.  Follow me on Twitter (leave Twitter ID)


6.  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a direct link to your tweet (one tweet per day).  You can copy and paste the following tweet:


#Win a $25 Gift Certificate from My Baby Clothes Boutique @mybabyclothes @atticgirl76 Ends 6/27 http://bit.ly/mP9EqX #giveaway #contest






This giveaway Ends 6/27 at 12 Midnight EST and is open to US Residents 18 and older only. Winner will be chosen randomly, emailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or another will be drawn. This prize will be directly shipped from the sponsor.  


Disclosure:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free for the purpose of review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  The sponsor is responsible for shipping this prize to the giveaway winner; I will not be held liable for any lost or not received products.

Answer To Prayer

6/9/11
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, may remember my good friend Jean who has been trying to adopt a child for over a year. If you are not familiar with her story, you can read more about it at Bill and Jean Adopt.

We have been praying for Jean for a very long time.  Today, I am so thrilled to share with you that she and her husband Bill are now officially Mommy and Daddy to a handsome 7 week old baby boy!




Thank you for your support, your prayers, and your words of encouragement for Jean and her husband! They are so appreciated!

If you would like, please stop by the Bill and Jean Adopt Facebook page to congratulate the happy parents!


My Brain Hurts

6/7/11
It has been one hectic day after another here lately. Days tend to blur into each other, especially as school is wrapping up in a few weeks.

I'm tired. My brain has been so fried that I can't even think of what to type for this blog post. I wonder if the 100 heat index has anything to do with it? Or maybe it's due to having my hair yanked a few too many times by a 5 month old?

My days consist of feeding, burping, changing diapers, wiping a runny nose, driving my older child back and forth to school, playing find the binky, rocking, cuddling, singing, dishes, laundry, and mundane chores. In between, I am tweeting, facebooking, advertising, listing new items on eBay, blogging, checking email, and answering questions.

When Attic baby naps, that is my time to try to squeeze in things like showering, brushing my teeth, and combing my hair. Which doesn't always go well. I'm usually in such a hurry to finish before she wakes up that I end up doing silly things like cutting my legs while shaving.

There are moments that my brain actually hurts from trying to remember and accomplish all of the things on my "To-Do" List. Sometimes I make a list and forget several of the things that I was trying to write down to remember. Classic Mommy-Brain.

I saw somewhere online that you should make a "To-Don't" list. I really like that idea. Maybe I'd feel less guilty about not getting all of those items crossed off.

Can you relate? Does your brain hurt?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you had someone to help out with some of those items on your "To Do" list?

Living Your Moment was created by a fellow mom to help Mompreneurs cross off some of those items. They offer small businesses affordable marketing and advertising.

If you are a busy mom trying to run your small business, you should definitely check out their services! Help for when your brain hurts.

Disclosure: I wrote this in conjunction with Living Your Moment's State Mom Influencer program.  I received no compensation for this post.



Healthy Breakfast Options With General Mills And Giveaway #myblogspark

6/3/11
It is very important to start your child's day with a healthy breakfast, especially when they are going to school. Though time is always tight in the mornings, I always make sure that my son gets something for breakfast. Having a healthy breakfast is important for energy and concentration throughout the day!


Each morning, we have a routine.  I wake up my son, he shakes off the sleepies, and he heads downstairs for breakfast.  I usually have it prepared for him, but some mornings I am busy feeding a baby, so he will get breakfast himself.  Some healthy options that work for us:  whole wheat toast with peanut butter, low-fat yogurt with fruit, bananas, or Cheerios.  If it's a weekend, we may have some yummy pancakes or waffles, eggs and turkey bacon, or an omelette.  I am always looking for ways to get protein into my son's diet.


Have you heard?


General Mills commissioned a survey of D.C.-area parents to uncover their children's eating habits, as well as what they deem important to help ensure their children grow up healthy. As parents strive to make smart food choices, nearly all (97 percent) agree it's important for their children to eat breakfast and four out five (86 percent) say cereal is a healthy breakfast choice.


What are they looking for in options for their family's breakfast?


81 percent cited good flavor as important
60 percent want a breakfast packed with vitamins and minerals
59 percent look for convenient options
40 percent want a breakfast option that is low in fat
About a quarter said they were interested in breakfast options that had at least 8 grams of whole grains (24 percent)


You can check out more findings from the survey here: D.C. Parent Survey


Research supports D.C. parents' views. A 2009 study found that children who eat cereal have significantly higher intakes of whole grain, folate, calcium, iron, fiber, zinc and several other nutrients.


Did you know?


Cereal is one of the healthiest breakfast options you can make (See video below to learn more)
Packed with nutrition, cereal provides a great choice for breakfast


Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast tend to perform better in school and have fewer disciplinary problems. They also have shown that breakfast also tends to help kids stay alert.


Click the link below to watch a video about the benefits of cereal and learn more at www.cerealbenefits.com.


Click here to watch video


Giveaway:


General Mills through MyBlogspark is generously giving one Benefits of Cereal prize pack as pictured below.








Required Entry: (don't forget to leave your email address if it's not in your profile)


Tell me which cereal benefits are most important to you and your family.






Extra Entries: (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):


1.  Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend 

2.  Subscribe to my blog via email on Feedburner  
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


3.  Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment with your username

4.  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a direct link to your tweet  (one tweet per day). You can copy and paste the following tweet:

 Win a General Mills Prize Pack  @atticgirl76 Ends 6/10 http://bit.ly/iQ9E9f #giveaway #myblogspark

 5.  Become a Fan of The Attic Girl on Facebook 

6.  Add The Attic Girl button and/or my store button to your blog and leave the link (one entry for each button)



This giveaway ends:  Friday June 10 at 12:00 Midnight EST and is open to US residents 18 and older only.  Winner will be chosen randomly, emailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or another will be drawn.  This prize will be directly shipped from the sponsor.

Disclaimer: The information, prize pack, and prize pack to give away were all provided to me from General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  Myblogspark is responsible for shipping prize to the winner.  For more information, see my Disclosure Policy.



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