Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free Dunkin Donuts Coffee

This is for the original flavor, but I must comment that the Cinnamon Spice flavor--wowza, it is definitely our favorite. Tastes like a cinnamon roll wrapped up in a cup of coffee.

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Monday, April 28, 2008

Answer to the Hot Dog Dilemma

So yesterday was the hot dog feast at my in-laws. I really struggled about what to take, but here is what I found at my local grocery store. Grass fed beef hot dogs! They were fantastic. At almost $6.00 a package, they are not something I would purchase regularly, but when faced with the problem of going to a hot dog cookout, these were a wonderful option. Applegate Farms Organic Uncured Hot Dogs. The kids liked them so much that Grace wanted to take one in her lunch today.
Just wanted to post a follow up on my solution to the problem. I just ate it on a bun (and we brought our own organic ketchup, which was an overwhelming big hit with everyone) and avoided the chili. I did add some of my mother-in-law's excellent homemade pickle relish.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Motherhood Photos

5 Minutes for Mom and Eggbeaters are sponsoring a Motherhood Photo contest. This is the photo I chose to enter because it shows my beautiful little girl doing what she loves--cuddling a baby. I have difficulty keeping her away from any baby--this one is her cousin Alyssa. The other reason I love this picture is the expression on her face looking down. I know that some day in the future Grace will be a superb mommy to her own children.

Congratulations to the winners!

Congratulations to Rebecca for winning Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

Congratulations to Sarah M. for winning the ROAR Narnia book.

This has been so much fun, join us again in the summer for the next round of Bloggy Giveaways!

But you can definitely join me here sooner, I will have many books to give away over the next few months.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thought Provoking Post

I read this post today. It really made me think and I wholeheartedly agree. Here are a couple of excerpts:

Two more things our children should allegedly, as Christians, be able to stand firm on...
"The myth of global warming", it said, and
"The recognition that violence would increase substantially if all guns were removed from homes"

What happens when we see and do things like this, when we take issues that have no clear biblical precedent and turn them into make-or-break Christian ideals? A few things. First of all, we create a massive amount of separation within the body.

Go read the post. You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Giveaway #2--Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

So, since I am having so much fun with the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival I thought I'd offer a second giveaway. Make sure you go to that link in case you haven't checked it out--there are over 700 giveaways this week so far!

I am giving away a copy of the brand new book, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage by Mark Gungor.

You can see my review of the book here:

An excerpt:
We live in a dreamland where happily ever after seems to be the goal of marriage. But in reality, marriage is not a fairytale come true - it involves a great deal of work and understanding about the physics of marriage. In this new book, based on his popular marriage seminars, Mark Gungor addresses marriage in an extremely straightforward, yet entertaining manner that will cause readers to think.

After thirty years of speaking on this subject, Gungor knows that one of the main problems is that we don't understand what true love really means. 'People think that if a marriage is meant to be, it will just be. But marriage is like an ox. It's a great, productive thing. But if you are going to have an ox, then you're going to have ox poo. There's no such thing as a poo-free marriage. The problem is, many don't expect to find any poo at all in their marriage, and when they encounter stuff that stinks, they see it as a sign that they married the wrong person.'

How to Enter:
1. Leave me a comment below with a tip for how to have a great marriage.
2. Be sure to leave an e-mail address or way for me to contact you.
3. I will draw a name on Sunday, April 27

Don't forget to enter my other giveaway! ROAR!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Giveaway! Roar: Christian Family Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia

This is a gorgeous book, written by Heather and David Kopp, entitled ROAR! A Christian Family Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia.

Do you have a Narniac in your family? Would you like to make your family reading of the Chronicles of Narnia more meaningful and understandable? Then ROAR is the perfect book for you. Over 440 pages long, the book goes chapter by chapter through each of the seven books. The section includes a short chapter summary, definitions of words and phrases that might need clarification, "grown-up thoughts" (insights that are most meaningful to adults), a Scripture verse, many questions for discussion, and other fun things such as "kid tests", activities, and things to look up in the Bible.

Topping it all off are some very interesting essays, a final quiz, and a comprehensive glossary.
Sorry, due to the weight of this book I am only able to ship within the US or Canada

If you would like to win, please leave me a comment, and make sure there is a way I can get in touch with you if you win.
I will draw by random post number on Saturday, April 26, so be sure to enter by Saturday morning!

Be sure to check out Bloggy Giveaways for more fabulous prizes during the blog carnival going on this week.

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Year of Magical Thinking maybe I'm just a loser when it comes to books, but what was so special about this one? I found it incredibly tedious to make it through, and it's actually a very short book.

I should have been able to relate to it a little bit. Joan Didion loses her husband suddenly to a heart attack, and the book chronicles her year of movig through the grief.

But really, it just goes on and on, repeating itself on occasion, and just just didn't do it for me.

I'm glad to have knocked it off the tbr shelves, but other than that, bleh.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Small Rant

My mother in law just called saying that, since they were sick on Easter and had to cancel their Easter get-together, she's rescheduling for the end of the month. We are having chili dogs, and she wants everyone to bring a pack of hot dogs and a pack of buns, she has the chili (which to me means it will be canned)

Can I just say yuck and get that out of the way?

She KNOWS we have been trying to eat more healthy and less processed food. Other than the fact that I can probably find some decent buns, there won't be anything there I can eat, and nothing there that I think my family should eat. I have a major "ick" when it comes to hamburger of any sort.

Why would she choose this as the entree?

Ok, I'm done.

I'll just eat before I go...and I'll probably bring along a veggie tray.

New Review/Holding Off

I'm going to hold off on the giveaway, because Bloggy Giveaways is hosting a giveaway carnival beginning on Monday, I will start it then.

I had a new review posted this week--this is funny because I actually read and wrote this review many months ago based on an advance reader copy I received. The book didn't end up being published under that publisher, and was only recently published via a new publisher. So here's the long awaited review!

Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Round Up of Interesting Reads--Green Edition

Here's a Roundup of some interesting things I have read lately:

Farmer Fast Food from Eat.Drink.Better What are farmers up to at this time of year? Some tips and a recipe for a delicious-sounding Chicken Tamale Pie.

For those of you in Washington state, here's a guide to Washington Farmer's Markets

A short video about CSA farms, it focuses on King County (WA--Seattle area) but the info is applicable to everywhere, if you're interested in the CSA concept CSA Video

Take a test to see your Green I.Q.

Five Green Changes --Some of these are no brainers...but are you doing them?

Very well thought out article from The Garden of Eating about water bottles Greening your Kitchen and as a side note...

After taking a huge hit in the media lately about BPA, Nalgene has announced it now has a BPA free line of bottles. Hmmm, this has obviously been in the works for quite some time, you think? Z-Recommends has the full story here:
Nalgene bottles

That's it for now...stay tuned for a wonderful new giveaway tomorrow--just in time for the new Prince Caspian movie!

Monday, April 14, 2008

We Have a Winner!

Thanks to, we have a winner for A Steal of a Deal!


Congratulations, your book will be in the mail this week after I get your address.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What is Considered a Junk Food in School?

As the school year is dragging on, I am getting quite tired of making lunches for my kids every day. I am fortunate that they are not picky, and will pretty much eat anything I give them, but creativity is waning at this late date. They rarely choose to eat hot lunch, because they like the "home" lunch better, but I am leaning even more heavily toward not allowing hot lunch, especially after seeing this:

Junk Food Quiz

And also looking at this website:

Two Angry Moms

The angry moms' site has a fantastic resource page with tons of links to healthy recipes and ideas for lunches, as well as a little push to show what moms (and dads) can do to improve the nutritional quality of school lunches.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It's a Puzzle

Ok, I have kind of a puzzling question. Maybe it's just me...

I will fully admit that we are pretty strictly following a budget, I attempt to be as frugal as possible in everything that we do. That's not to say that we don't occasionally splurge, but as a whole, we try to make the most frugal choices we can. So maybe that makes us SO unusual that I am totally out of touch with the way "normal" people's minds work.

Within the last year, I have known three separate people whose washing machines or dryers have quit working for one reason or another. And every single one of them has dealt with this in a way that surprised me.

Person A: Washer broke. Had repair person out, the repair person couldn't figure out what to do, their fix worked temporarily, but the washer needed to be replaced. What did Person A do? They bought both a brand new washer AND a brand new dryer. Why? Because they wanted a matched set. Hmmm, I thought at the time, that's a waste of money, but maybe this person is just strange.

Person B. Washer broke a few different times, was able to be repaired twice, but on the third time, they just gave up. What did person B do? Bought both a brand new washer and a brand new dryer. Why? Because they wanted a matched set. I started on my line of being very confused. I asked Person B about this again, expressing my puzzlement at the logic--especially since their laundry room is in the basement and no one sees them but the person doing the laundry. Seems like a strange waste of $300. So she says, "The washer and dryer were the same age, so I am sure the dryer would have quit soon too."

Person C: This just happened a couple of weeks ago, so I am still scratching my head about this one. Person C casually mentions to me while at our daughters' shared activity that her washing machine was making an odd noise. She said that she had been researching new washers and dryers so she could replace the one making an "odd noise." I casually asked, "how old is the washer?" Thinking I would get an answer of "Really old." She says, "Oh, it's maybe a year old." Now, I know these people are not rolling in the dough, I know that money is tight for them. I said, "Um, it's probably under warranty. Did you call the manufacturer?" Nope. "I guess I should do that, huh?" spoken in an entirely guileless and non-sarcastic way--honestly, I think she just didn't even think of it.

So, am I just the clueless one? What is the deal with getting a new dryer when your washer breaks? Since hubby and I have been married, we have had to replace our washer once and our dryer once. But not at the same time. In fact, when we bought our washer, the salesperson (who was probably on commission) told us not to bother getting a new dryer if ours was working fine, because we could save a lot of money that way.

Things that puzzle me...oh well!

Free Toilet Scrubber

I've honestly never tried this myself, but here's a coupon for a free Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Scrubber With Bleach Starter Kit.

If this isn't something you would use, maybe you could come up with a great place to donate it?

Print coupon

Monday, April 07, 2008

Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, food prices and Washington's New Farm to Table Program

Here's a great article about food prices. Although Michael Pollan and Alice Waters are right on with their views on sustainable foods and why we should be eating more fresh, local foods, they are also living in a slight "dream world" bubble when it comes to understanding how the majority of people eat.

Washington state also just passed a fabulous bill that will help children have more access to locally grown produce through the school lunch program. The article talks about that bill and its impact.

Grist Article

Book Giveaway!

I am giving away a copy of this wonderful book, just released in April from Revell.
From the back cover:
It Was Supposed to Be a Simple Trip . . . When gemologist Andie Adams gets a chance to go to the Kashmir region of Pakistan for a mission trip, she jumps at the opportunity to spearhead the efforts. But her boss at the S.T.U.D. home shopping network wants to turn the trip into another on-location shoot for the station. And that means Andie's hunky but irritating cohost Max is part of the deal--can't a girl get a break? When a mysterious death lands Andie and Co. in hot water, it's only the beginning of their problems. Between Pakistani prisons, suspicious gurus, and tension in the S.T.U.D. family, this trip is turning into a disaster. Will all of Andie's worst fears about Max be realized? Does she really want the know-nothing pretty boy out of her life? Or is it already out of her hands?
Just leave me a comment and you'll be entered into the drawing for the book. I'll take names until Sunday, April 13.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Frugal Tips

Frugal Tips to Survive a Recession Excellent blog compilation of tips for how to save money.

Earthbound Farms Free Reusable Bag

Click here to take Earthbound Farms' environmental quiz to get a free reusable grocery bag in celebration of Earth Day.

Earthbound Farms

I learned some rather interesting things, I always like when I learn something and then get something free in return.

Newest DVD Reviews/Spring Break Update

A couple of DVD reviews posted this week.

Five Days Click to read my full review, but this was an excellent mystery HBO/BBC mini-series. Highly recommended.

Johnny and the Sprites: Meet the Sprites Cute Disney series for young kids

We just got back from a much needed couple of days away. It's spring break, so we at least needed to do something since our trip to the beach fell through. That's probably a good thing due to the $$ issues--we're still plugging away at our debt!

On Wednesday we spent the first part of the day at the Portland Children's Museum, which although it was slightly fun for our kids, we realized that they are too old for, unfortunately. I think this museum is best enjoyed by those kindergarten and below. I don't know if it's because my kids are older and I don't mingle as much with parents of younger kids, but people are SO rude! I can't count the number of times that parents just watched their kids shove in front of my kids to try to take things away, or the parents themselves did it!

Logan was in the water room, building a series of pipes to try to make a water spout turn into a fountain. He had been diligently working at it when a younger child comes up to the water spout and directs it away from what Logan was doing. Just as Logan was getting ready to say something to the child, the child's parent walks up and takes the pipes out of Logan's hand to "help" him get it fixed up. It was irritating. Next time we'll go to OMSI .

The second half of the day was better, because we went to the Zoo . The weather turned decently nice, and it was fun to go through the zoo again. We have really enjoyed our membership there this year. I think our favorite activity so far has been the HOWL-oween celebration where the kids got treats all around the zoo. Grace's Brownie troop went on a Zoo Snooze last year and it was a total blast too, I definitely want to try to set one up for this year again.

We then spent Wednesday night and all day Thursday in Salem. It was nice to spend time with my parents, and again, just good to get away.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My March Reads

28. The Shack by William Young A-

29. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert C-

30. Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage by Mark Gungor B

31. Carpool Confidential by Jessica Benson C-

32. The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center B-

33. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz B+

34. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan A

35. The Black Cloister by Melanie Dobson C+

36. Oh, Baby! By Judy Baer C+

37. Daring Chloe by Laura Jensen Walker B-

38. Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt B

39. A Mile in my Flip-Flops by Melody Carlson B-

40. Wiser than Serpents by Susan May Warren C+

41. Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah C

42. Seven White Roses by Shirley Kinsey (not rated)

43. Now You See Her by Jacquelyn Mitchard B

44. Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch B

45. Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill B-

46. Deserts of the Heart by Pamela Reeve A

Audio books

3. The Breakdown Lane by Jacquelyn Mitchard C+
4. Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson B+