Aloha Friday Snuggie Edition

blogging memes

Here is how Aloha Friday works from Kailani's blog An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

My question this week:  Do You Own a Snuggie?  If not, what's your favorite item to keep you warm?

Wordless Wednesday: My Little Pumpkin


For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes for Mom. You can also leave the link to your post in the linky below.

Winnie The Pooh Games, Activities and DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack #Giveaway

Are you a Winnie The Pooh fan? I have loved Winnie and his friends since I was a kid. My favorite character growing up was Tigger because of all his energy and "bouncy springs." As an adult, I think I've grown a bit more fond of Eeyore (maybe it's the pessimist in me).

I am so excited about the release of Winnie The Pooh on DVD and Blu-Ray today!  My family hasn't seen the movie yet but we are looking forward to watching together.  I don't think you're ever too old for Pooh Bear!

The widget below has fun activities and games that you can download (coloring sheets, exclusive “Pooh” cooking recipes, party ideas, crafts, and more) a sneak peek at the movie, and a fun quiz to see which character best fits your personality (one for you, one for your child)!

Would you like to own a copy of Winnie The Pooh for yourself?

GIVEAWAY:  One of my readers will win a Winnie The Pooh DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack!

Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This contest is open to US residents 18 and older only.  This is a short giveaway; winner will have 24 hrs to respond to email.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any product or compensation for this post.   Sponsor is responsible for shipping the giveaway DVD to the winner.

Shutterfly Cards Make Your Holidays Special Giveaway #giveaway


The holiday season from now through New Year's is my favorite time of year.   I love the cool, crisp fall weather, trips to the pumpkin patch, festivals, and yummy food like apple butter.  I also enjoy the special family time and reflection of Thanksgiving.  My absolute favorite is Christmas where we celebrate the birth of Jesus and share gifts with others.

This year is going to be even more exciting for my family.  My baby girl will be turning one year old soon.  Not only will we celebrate that special milestone, but it will be so much fun to watch her enjoy the magic of Christmas.   Since she will be toddling around very soon, we will have to make a new plan for where we put up the Christmas tree and baby proof everything in sight.

I am also very excited to see that my very good friend, who recently adopted a baby boy, will also be enjoying her first Christmas with her son.  There are so many exciting things to celebrate this year!  

One of the traditions we enjoy is sending out Christmas cards.   We are not really "card" people in that we are pretty bad about remembering special dates and sending out cards on time (unless they are e-cards).  Life gets pretty busy.  But, when we have the time and finances, it is fun to be able to send out a special card to friends and family.

Shutterfly is a really simple and fun way to make your holiday cards.  The site allows you to upload your digital photos to create photo gifts, calendars, greeting cards, and even Prints.

I am looking forward to getting out the tripod to take a family photo and make a Christmas photo card like this one.

There are so many beautiful cards it will be hard to choose just one!  

Stop by and check out all they have to offer!  You can also connect with Shutterfly on Facebook and Twitter.  

Are you a blogger? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here: http://goo.gl/DDw7Q

GIVEAWAY:   Three winners will receive a code to make 25 holiday cards of their own! (winners will have to pay shipping costs and code expires Dec. 31, 2011)

**Code applies to the following cards:**

Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This contest is open to US residents 18 and older only.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in participation with Shutterfly's holiday card promotion.  I will be receiving free cards from Shutterfly in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Aloha Friday: What's Your Favorite Fall Drink?


Here is how Aloha Friday works from Kailani's blog An Island Life:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I am dreaming of Starbucks White Hot Chocolate.  It is my absolute favorite thing to drink in the fall.

My question this week: What is your favorite fall drink?

Mighty Macs Movie Review


The Mighty Macs is opening in theaters this Friday, Oct. 21st!    This rated G family-friendly movie will entertain sports fans of various ages.

ABOUT THE MOVIE "The Mighty Macs":

It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.
In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.

Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.

From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!

While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.
Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

My Thoughts:

I have never attended an online screening of a movie, but this was a fun experience!  (I would have been able to enjoy the movie a bit more if I didn't have a few technical difficulties with my internet; apparently my bandwidth is a little too slow).    Technology is amazing, let me tell you, because this busy mama was able to watch this movie from the comfort of home on the computer with hubby while The Attic baby was sleeping.  Dinner and movie date night for two busy parents!  Love it!  

It was so refreshing to see a movie that is family-friendly without any sexual dialogue, violence, or language.  Yes, these kinds of movies can be done and be entertaining!  I am not a big basketball fan, but even I enjoyed this true story of a team of girls working together to achieve their dreams.  This little-known team that came from a struggling Catholic college was able to go beyond what they could have imagined thanks to the help of a faithful female coach.  What is significant about that is that this was during the 1970's, when women's sports was not a big priority at schools as it is today.

I love Carla Gugino's acting chops.  She brings spunk and toughness and a "We will do it" attitude to the role of the coach.  Her character will not accept failure, a trait that is admirable and desirable in a role model.  I also love how she passes out motivating pins to everyone, including Mother Superior at the college (I won't tell you exactly what that is about because it might spoil it!)

This is a feel-good movie that you can sit down and watch with your family.  I'd recommend it for children who are ten and up as it might not keep younger children's interest.


Find out more about the movie The Mighty Macs on the website.  You can also like the Mighty Macs Facebook page and follow the updates on the movie's twitter page.

Disclosure:   I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Guest Post by Author Melody Carlson: Teens and their Supernatural Pursuits #fiction #teens


Today my guest author is Melody Carlson award winning author of over two hundred books for adults, tweens, teens, and children.  

About Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books in 2010 and 2011. She and her husband live in central Oregon. For more information about Melody visit her website at www.melodycarlson.com.

Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits

By Melody Carlson

Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned?

Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write about it in a helpful and relevant way.

But, as usual, when I write a teen book, I go back to my own adolescence...trying to connect with my inner teen...and I suddenly remembered a short era when a friend and I got very interested in witchcraft. I had honestly forgotten about this time and was fascinated to recall how we scoured some witchcraft stores on a local campus—I think we even purchased a few things. Fortunately, this interest was short-lived and I became a Christian not long afterward.

However, as I reconnected with my inner teen, I had to ask myself—why had I looked into witchcraft back then? Why do teens dabble with it now? Suddenly the answer became crystal clear. I was searching. I’d been calling myself an atheist for several years by then, but I was spiritually hungry—starving in fact. Consequently I was looking for spiritual answers—something that would fill that empty void within me. I wanted a supernatural force in my life and I didn’t even care where it came from. I needed something bigger than me, more powerful than me, something to hold onto. I had no idea at the time that I was really searching for God.

This realization changed the way I viewed my research. Instead of feeling disgusted and dismayed by the witchcraft/Wicca sites (which are not particularly enjoyable) I began to recognize that these people (mostly girls) were simply searching too. They wanted a power source in their lives just like I wanted one in mine. They just hadn’t found God yet.

This led to another discovery. A girl who’s attracted to a religion like Wicca is usually seeking to gain some control over her life. Something is wrong and she wants to change it. To do so, she’s often enticed to purchase something—like “magical herbs”—to create a potion that will give her some control over her situation. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even realize she’s being tricked.

But think about it, wouldn’t you love to have control over a bad situation sometimes? Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the circumstances that make your life unpleasant? So what if someone offered you the “power” to do just that? Perhaps if you’re fifteen, you wouldn’t see that person as a charlatan and you would fall for it.

Which brings me to another important factor in understanding this generation’s attraction to the supernatural. Follow the money. The more I researched, the more it became painfully obvious that Wicca and witchcraft and the occult are money-making enterprises. Thanks to the internet, these savvy distributors sell anything imaginable—and many things you can’t. That leads to some serious motivation—these marketers want to hook their unsuspecting young customers and reel them in. Of course, these potions and trinkets and how-to books don’t come with a money back guaranty. Nor are they approved by the FDA. Yet they are a multi-million dollar industry.

So, in a way, it’s a perfect storm. Teens that are insecure, lost, unhappy, and searching...meet up with an unregulated industry that offers supernatural answers and power and control...for a price. And, oh yeah, I never even mentioned how this opens a door for Satan to slip in and wreak havoc. For that...you’ll have to read the book.

Where to Find

You can purchase Melody's TrueColors Series #11, Moon White:  Color Me Enchanted at Christianbook.com

Thank you Melody for sharing your latest teen novel and the inspiration behind it!

Wordless Wednesday: Fall is For Festivals


                                Shooting a corn cannon is lots of fun!

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes for Mom. You can also leave your W/W link below.

Mama's Background Music

Last night, while watching The Amazing Race on CBS with my son (which was on time delay again grrr!), I changed the channel to Mama Mia during commercials. Exactly what a 12 year old boy wants to watch, right? But this mama wanted a girly musical fix so despite my son's protests, I tortured him with the melody of "Honey, Honey" by Abba. (and hey, what girl doesn't need to watch a little Colin Firth?)

During the rendition of "Honey, honey how you thrill me.." my son turned to me and said:

"You know the problem with life Mom? There's no background music."

To which I responded:

"You are absolutely right."

Which got me thinking...

What background music would be fitting for a busy mom's day?

The only thing I could hear in my head right then was....

What do you think busy mamas?  Would this be playing as your background music?

And just in case you need a good chuckle to start off your week, here's some Colin Firth dancing in spandex:

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Is For Footie Pajamas


For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes for Mom. You can also leave your W/W link below.

Big G Cereals Star Wars Panorama And $25 Walmart Giftcard #Giveaway #myblogspark


Do you have a major Star Wars fan at your house? I have one major Star Wars fan who is incredibly excited about the release of all 6 episodes on Blu-ray on Sept. 16th Star Wars: The Complete Saga courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. In fact, it's on his Christmas wish list.  So Santa, if you're listening, please remember there's a tween here who is really hoping for this set!

This set is supposed to be awesome with 9 discs and over 40 hours of thrilling special features, including all-new content created exclusively for this release!    I am also excited because I grew up with the original three movies and have watched all six movies maybe a bazillion times with my son.  I love Yoda, so feeling the force I am!

Find out more information about Star Wars The Complete Saga at http://www.youtube.com/starwars

In honor of this release, select General Mills Big G cereals have a limited edition Star Wars good vs. evil image on their packaging that combines to make a panoramic poster.  And you will have some enthusiastic cereal eaters so they can get their hands on the back of the box!

Exclusively at Walmart,  look for these specially marked boxes of Big G cereals:

*Honey Nut Cheerios®
*Cinnamon Toast Crunch®
*Lucky Charms®

Collect all three to create a Star Wars panoramic poster showcasing your favorite characters, like Darth Vadar™, Luke Skywalker™, Han Solo™, Princess Leia™ and more.

Find more information about Big G cereals at www.WholeGrainNation.com

Connect with Walmart on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway:  General Mills through MyBlogSpark is offering 1 of my readers a Big G Cereal prize pack including:

One box of each of the following cereals to form your own Star Wars panoramic poster:

    • Honey Nut Cheerios
    • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
    • Lucky Charms
  • $25 Walmart gift card

Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This contest is open to US residents 18 and older only.

Disclosure: The cereal, gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark

FIRST Wild Card Book Tour Weddings and Wasabi by Camy Tang #sponsored

book reviews, books, Camy TangIt is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

WinePress Publishing (June 7, 2011)
***Special thanks to Camy Tang for sending me a review copy.***


author bio, book reviews, FIRST Wild Card ToursCamy Tang grew up in Hawaii and now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious mutt, Snickers. She graduated from Stanford University and was a biologist researcher for 9 years, but now she writes full-time. She is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of the Sunday worship teams. On her blog, she ponders knitting, spinning wool, dogs, running, the Never Ending Diet, and other frivolous things. Visit her website at http://www.camytang.com/ to read short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

Visit the author's website.


Camy Tang, book reviews, FIRST Wild Card Tours, book toursAfter finally graduating with a culinary degree, Jennifer Lim is pressured by her family to work for her control-freak aunty’s restaurant. But after a family blowout, Jenn is determined to no longer be a doormat and instead starts her own catering company. Her search for a wine merchant brings John into her life—a tall, dark, handsome biker, in form-fitting black leather, and Hispanic to boot. It would be wonderfully wild to snag a man like that!

Shy engineer Edward tentatively tries out his birthday present from his winery-owner uncle—a Harley Davidson complete with the trimmings. Jennifer seems attracted to the rough, aggressive image, but it isn’t his real self. Is she latching onto him just to spite her horrified family? And if this spark between them is real, will showing her the true guy underneath put it out?

And what’s with the goat in the backyard?

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 124 pages
Publisher: WinePress Publishing (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414120591
ISBN-13: 978-1414120591


The goat in the backyard had just eaten tonight’s dinner.

Jennifer Lim stood on her mother’s minuscule back porch and glared at the small brown and white creature polishing off her basil. She would have run shouting at it to leave off her herb garden, except it had already decimated the oregano, mint, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and her precious basil, which had been slated for tonight’s pesto.

Besides, if it bit her, she was peeved enough to bite back.

“Mom!” She stomped back into the house. Thank goodness the pots of her special Malaysian basil were sectioned off in the large garden on the side of the house, protected by a wooden-framed wire gate. Jenn was growing it so that she could make her cousin Trish’s favorite chicken dish for her wedding, which Jenn was catering for her. But everything in her backyard garden was gone. The animal was welcome to the only thing left, the ragged juniper bushes. Were juniper bushes poison? If so, the animal was welcome to them.

“Mom!” Her voice had reached banshee range. “There is a goat—”

“You don’t need to yell.” Mom entered the kitchen, her lipstick bright red from a fresh application and her leather handbag over her arm, obviously ready to leave the house on some errand.

“Since when do we own a goat?”

“Since your cousin Larry brought him over.” She fished through her leather purse. “His name is Pookie.”

Jenn choked on her demand for an explanation, momentarily distracted. “He has a name?”

“He’s a living being. Of course he has a name.” Her mother fluttered eyelashes overloaded with mascara.

“Don’t give me that. You used to love to gross me out with stories of Great-Uncle Hao Chin eating goats back in China.”

Mom sniffed and found the refrigerator fascinating. “That’s your father’s side.”

Jenn swayed as the floor tilted. You are now entering … the Twilight Zone. Her parent had evoked that feeling quite often in the past few weeks. “Where did Larry get a goat and why do we have it now?”

“They were desperate.”

Actually, Jenn could have answered her own question. That goat was in their backyard right now because everyone knew that her mom couldn’t say no to a termite who knocked on the door and asked if it could spend the night.

And outside of physically dropping the goat off at someone’s house—and she didn’t have an animal trailer, so that was out of the question—Jenn wouldn’t be able to get anyone else in the family to agree to take the animal, now that it was here. That meant leaving a goat in a niece’s backyard because no one else wanted to go through the hassle of doing anything about it.

Mom said, “You wouldn’t have me turn away family, would you?”

“Uncle Percy knows, too?”

“No, not Percy.”

“Aunty Glenda?” No way. Even if Larry were thirty-one instead of twenty-one, Aunty would still dictate to her son the color underwear he wore that day—how much more his choice of pet?

“No.” Mom blinked as rapidly as she could with mascara making her short, stiff lashes stick together, almost gluing her eyes shut.

The tiger in Jenn’s ribcage growled. “Mother.” Her fist smacked onto her hip.

“Oh, all right.” Mom rolled her eyes as if she were still a teenager. “It belongs to Larry’s dormmate’s older brother, but really, he’s the nicest young man.” Burgundy lips pulled into what wanted to be a smile, but instead looked hideously desperate.

Jenn tried to count to ten but only got to two. “I know Larry’s a nice young man. If an abundance of immaturity counts as ‘nice’ points.”

“Jenn, really, you’re so intolerant. Just because you’re smart and went to Stanford for grad school …”

The name of her school—and the one dominant memory it brought up—made her neck jerk in a spasm. It had only been for two years, but that was enough. Desperately lonely after spending her undergrad years living with her cousins, Jenn had only formed a few friendships among the other grad students, none of them close. There was only one she’d never forget, although she vowed she would every morning when she got up and saw the scar in the mirror.

“Why. Do we have. A goat.”

“It’s only for a few days—”

“We don’t know a thing about how to take care of—”

“They’re easy—”

“Besides which, this is Cupertino. I’m sure there are city laws—”

“It’ll be gone before anyone notices—”

“Oh, ho, you’re right about that.” Jenn strode toward the phone on the wall. “I’m calling the Humane Society. They’ll take it.” Although they wouldn’t provide a trailer to transport it. How was she going to take the goat anywhere, much less to an animal shelter?

Mom plopped onto a stool and sighed. “That boy was so cute. His name was Brad.”

There went her neck spasming again. But Brad was a common name. She grabbed the phone.

“Such a nice Chinese boy. Related to the Yip family—you know, the ones in Mountain View?”

The phone slipped from her hand and bungee-jumped toward the floor, saved only by the curly cord. She bent to snatch it up, but dizziness shrouded her vision and she had to take a few breaths before straightening up.

“Oh, and he went to Stanford. You two have something in common.” Mom beamed.

No. He wouldn’t.

Yes, he would.

“Brad Yip?”

Mom’s eyes lighted up. “Do you know him?”

Sure, she knew him. Knew the next time he came for his goat she’d ram her chef’s knife, Michael Meyers style, right between his eyes.