Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Z #atozchallenge

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, we are done! Today is the final day of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Thanks for sticking with me until the end. To thank you for your readership, I am giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. You can enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter form below. Now, on to today's randomness.

Zymurgy - branch of chemistry dealing with brewing and distilling. Some people might know this one, but not being much of a drinker, I had no idea there was an actual name for this. I also think it's a neat looking word.

Zinnia - I don't have any of these in my garden, but I have seen some once or twice. A genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants, they are commonly found in the southwestern United States and South America. They can come in a variety of colors and can withstand some serious summer heat.

Zamboni - we are a hockey-loving family, so we are familiar with Frank J. Zamboni, the inventor and mechanic who invented the Zamboni Ice Resurfacing Machine in 1949. Ten years prior, Zamboni and his brother-in-law bought an ice skating rink in California, which proved hard to resurface and required numerous men for the task. In 1942, Zamboni converted a tractor to scrape and smooth the ice in a single pass. To see who purchased the first Zamboni, visit My son, who used to work at a hockey rink knows how to drive one of these monsters. It's fun to watch.

Thanks again for sticking with us this month. I hope you'll keep reading along now that you're a fan of visiting. You can see my weekly features in the sidebar. I might even do some changing up in the future, so I would appreciate your input as to what you would like to see here regularly.

Good luck to all who enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Y #atozchallenge

We're down to the wire with this challenge--the final two days. Wow! April has flown by. Here's my randomness for the day.

Yegg - a burglar of safes; safecracker. Again, I am amazed by the words we use. Now I want to write a mystery novel with a safecracker just so I can use the term "yegg."

Yucca - I love adding ornamental plants to my garden. The Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees that includes 40 - 50 species. Native Americans found the Yucca useful for fiber for ropes, sandals, and cloths. They boiled or baked the fruit, ate the blossoms, and chewed the raw leaves. The fermented fruit was used to produce a beverage for rituals. The plant is reported to be beneficial for treating colitis, hypertension, arthritis, and migraine headaches. You can read more at

Ypres -  A Belgian municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The Battles of the Ypres Salient began when German troops arrived on October 7, 1914. The Allies were finally able to push back the Germans in September 1918. For more information, visit

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mailbox Monday - April 27

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Last week is a blur. Between taking my real estate exam and the girls' being on vacation, I can't even tell you much of what happened. I do know that no books arrived in the mail--only because I'm looking at the floor where I keep them and there aren't any there.  :)  However, I bought a couple of Kindle books last week.

This first one was self-published by a friend of mine. He is a long time outdoors writer for our local paper. He is the one who introduced me to Write Angles Conference. This is his first book, but he is already working on his third.

Brought up in the Depression, Johnny DaSilva is leader of a fun and imaginative gang that lives out their dreams in the Big Tree in which each has a branch that serves as the Lone Ranger’s Silver, the race car of Morey Amsterdam, the rocket ship of Buck Rogers, the crow’s nest for Black Bart the Pirate.

When World War II broke out, they tried every ruse their young imaginations could think of to get into the marines, army, and navy but had to settle for the Boy Scouts. But the faux pas war to end all wars came too soon for the Big Tree Gang.

Johnny is best described by an aunt as having the millstone around the neck of having a strict English Episcopalian conscience and bucking bronco Portuguese sexual proclivities.

Two girls are in love with him, one wealthy and popular, the other sexually abused and who considered herself a worthless toy, until she met Johnny.

Whatever they knew about the facts of life, male and female, were learned pretty much by trial and error.

This was on sale for only $1.99, so I picked it up. I love Jerry B. Jenkins' books, but I have a hard time buying anything these days when I have so many unread books here.

Watch out! The Timberline twins are on the loose. Bryce and Ashley are ATV-riding tweens from Colorado who unearth action-packed mystery and adventure wherever they go. From clearing the name of a local miscreant to thwarting a gold-stealing heist, the twins' growing faith and the strong example of their parents guide them through even the most life-threatening situations. With the trademark page-turner style used by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry in the Left Behind: The Kids series, these fast-paced books will keep even reluctant readers on the edge of their seats. Readers will definitely get hooked by the unbelievable cliff-hanger at the end of book one, Haunted Waters. Perfect for ages 8-12.

That's it for me. What did you receive?

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - X #atozchallenge

I'm doing my happy dance. We are in the last three days of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I've really enjoyed it again this year and made some new online chums. What could be better than that? Well, a million dollars. But other than that....

Here is today's randomness:

Xylotherapy - use of certain kinds of wood in the cure of disease; certain kinds of wood applied to the skin to regain sensibililty to otherwise insensitive (non-feeling) skin. I bet if someone hit you with a 2 x 4 you would feel it. Okay, that's just my crazy, evil twin escaping today. I'll behave now.

Xiphoid Process - This is the lowest and smallest division of the human sternum. Xiphoeides is a Greek word that means sword-shaped. When they were teaching CPR in high school, I remember them saying you feel for the xiphoid process, so you know where to place your hands. Not sure if that is true anymore. On a side note, the xiphoid process is cartilaginous when we are younger and then ossifies (turns into bone or bony tissue) as we get older. My xiphoid process actually pops out on occasion when I am exercising. It's very painful. I was told we don't actually need it. One specialist said some people have them removed for cosmetic reasons.

Xena: Warrior Princess - Did you know they published a bunch of Xena: Warrior Princess books based upon the show from the 1990s? I can't believe I didn't know, because I was a fan of the show. This A to Z Challenge helps keep me posted on all kinds of pop culture stuff.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bargain Book: The Big Book of Green Smoothie Cravings for Cleanse, Detox and Weight Loss by Ravi Kishore

Lacking Nutrition: Are You Taking in the Right Amount of Nutrition in Your Daily Diet

There are many resources available to the public that states how crucial it is to consume the right amount of nutrition. Still, the standard American diet is lacking the most important food groups, which are fruits and vegetables. With the increase in pollution, the vegetables and fruits presently grown contain less nutrition than those produced around the time of our forefathers.

The Secrets: Green Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss

The only effective solution is to consume foods with a low sugar content, high water content, and are low in fat and calories. Most people may wonder exactly where can we find miracle foods like these? Oh yeah, in your grocery's produce section or at your local farmers market! With the huge selection of produce offered, it may get a bit difficult and confusing to figure out which foods work the best for you. Do not fret; I have you covered.

Discover Nutritional Synergy When You Drink Green Smoothies

Synergy occurs when components of different foods work together and their effects are increased. They become more potent and more powerful than if they were consumed alone.

Is A Green Smoothie Fast In Your Future? How Does it Work?

This dietary method can assist in shedding unwanted extra pounds while concurrently boosting energy. You will be drinking all your meals while on a smoothie fast. Some people believe that green smoothies are better than juice fasting as they deliver fiber!!

The Power Of Green Smoothies For Detoxification And Cleansing

Toxins induce sickness and disease in the human body. There are many effective products available on the market that claim to cleanse and detox the body. While they may be effective, many of them contain harsh chemicals and solvents that may not be suited for just anybody.

Green Smoothies: The Sources Of Positive Energy

Have you ever felt tired after sleeping eight hours or taken a nap and discovered that you still felt fatigued? Well you are not alone and like most Americans you probably suffer from a diet lacking adequate nutrition. Rather than grabbing a soda, energy drink, or a cup of coffee, try a green smoothie.

Beauty Cravings - A Natural Anti-Aging Therapy

Upon gazing at yourself in the mirror, you notice that your face has lost its luster. Your complexion is faded, and tiny wrinkles are starting to appear around those creases in your eyes. You wonder, just briefly, the cost of plastic surgery and then shake that idea out of your head accepting the fact that you are aging.

A Miracle to Lower Blood Pressure

Green smoothies are the little miracle workers that have the ability to lower your blood pressure while completely eliminating your medical condition all together. According to the American Heart Association, food sources that deliver ample amounts of potassium are an important factor in regulating blood pressure.

Utilize the Health Benefits of Green Smoothies for Diabetes

To reduce their dependency of insulin medications, most diabetics have utilized healthy meal plans consisting of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as they deliver essential nutrients to the body.

Green Smoothies - Actively Fighting Cancer; New Age Treatments & Healing: Being Diagnosed With The Big "C" - Cancer

Green smoothies have been known to halt the growth of the bacterium throughout the entire vessel and stop it from spreading to the bloodstream, organs, and other tissues, as well. It has been found that consuming leafy type greens and fruits rich in chlorophyll, iron, nutrients, and enzymes can flush out the kidneys.

File Size: 1606 KB
Print Length: 240 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - W #atozchallenge

We've come to the end of week 4 in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Today are my random thoughts beginning with the Letter W.

Woofits - an unwell feeling, especially a headache; a moody depression; a hangover. Thankfully I have never binged enough to suffer from a woofits.

Water - WebMD made a list of "6 Reasons to Drink Water." From keeping your body fluids balanced, to controlling calories, to helping energize muscles and more, water is something we need every day. You can read the article at

World War II Monument opens - Next Tuesday will be the tenth anniversary of the opening of the World War II Monument in Washington D.C. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can read more at

Friday, April 25, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - V #atozchallenge

I can almost taste the victory. It's a good thing life is cooperating as we come close to the end of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Vivers - food; eatables

Verbena - Have you ever planted verbena? I haven't, but I might this year because it attracts butterflies. According to HGTV Gardens, this perennial likes full sun and dry to moist conditions. On a side note, Miss Beadle from Little House on the Prairie used to wear lemon verbena perfume. Whenever I hear the word "verbena," that's what I think of.

Vampire Academy - I just bought the first book of this series for my daughter. It included a poster from the movie, too. Not sure why she likes reading about vamps so much. They don't do a lot for me. I went through my vamp stage about 20 years ago when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were on TV. I haven't really bothered with vampires much since then.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guest Post: Why Busy Moms Need to Bore Their Kids by Michelle LaRowe

Many families commit to an arduous schedule of school, activities, classes, and lessons for their children at an early age. Kids are entertained and taught with things that demand their attention from sun up to sunset. But what about boredom? If "I'm bored" isn't a term you hear around the house often, it may be time to integrate it into you and your children's daily lives. 

Boredom Feeds Creativity

You may look at boredom as time wasted but actually, boredom is an essential component of raising a creative and insightful human being. Humans weren't meant to be amused 24 hours a day. There's no time for reflection in that space. Instead, boredom forces kids (and adults) to take meaningful action and find their own ways of amusing themselves and interacting with others. 

Stop the Stimulation

Unplugging and winding down to give time for boredom is essential. While it may seem that sitting the kids in front of the television or giving in to their demands for video games is a sanity saving step for you and your children, it actually gives them constant stimulation that isn't allowing them to foster their own ideas. Unplug, unwind, and work "boring" into your daily or weekly schedule. 

Boredom Helps "Soft" Skills

We all know the importance of good test scores but what about relationship skills or tactile skills? These can't be taught in classrooms or trained in classes. They need to be developed through trial and error. Leaving room for "boredom" or free time allows children to develop these pivotal skills on their own, with freedom and independence to make mistakes, correct them, and learn from them. 

Boredom Allows Time for Reflection

Learning to be more introspective is a skill many adults spend their entire life trying to achieve. For children, this time to reflect is even more pivotal. They are expected to excel in school, play sports, and create relationships with children and adults. When kids are ferried from activity to activity without a chance to process all these connections and what they mean, they lose much of the impact of forming them. To raise a child that can assess and understand their place in the world, time for boredom is a necessity. 

Boredom Searches for Passion

The point of boredom isn't for your children to twiddle their thumbs for hours on end in silence. It's meant to open up space for their reflection and to find their passions. When you're bored, what's the first thing you pick up? Maybe it's a set of knitting needles or a favorite recipe or an exercise mat. Your kids need time to discover what activities they enjoy and find peace within their daily lives. Creating space for boredom allows them to truly assess what drives them and creates happiness.

While all moms want the best for their children and many hope to achieve this by padding their schedule with activities and classes, understanding the importance of boredom may change your mind about whether your child needs another gymnastics lesson or scouts meeting. Boredom allows young minds to assess their surroundings, understand their relationships, and find what activities interest them. So, when's the last time you heard, "Mom, I'm bored"?

With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter. 

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - U #atozchallenge

Now I'm really feeling like we're in the homestretch of the Blogging from A To Z April Challenge. If I've made it this far, I'll make it to the end. Here is today's randomness.

Umbriferous - giving or bearing shade. The woods around our house are umbriferous.

UGLI® - these are tangelos from Jamaica. According to the company's website, UGLI was found growing wild in Jamaica over 80 years ago, and then developed into the commercial variety available now. "The original tree is believed to have been a hybrid formed from the Seville orange, the grapefruit and the tangerine families." For more information, you can visit

Union issues code of conduct for soldiers - On April 24, 1863, "the Union army issued General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians." The orders established policies for the treatment of prisoners, prisoner exchanges, and flags of truce. You can find out more at

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guest Post: Taking Care of Oral Health by Stephanie Ingram

Think about the fearful moment when you sit in a dentist’s chair and have the noisy drill inside your mouth. The little noise of that drill thunders in your head and you feel like shouting out of fear.

Healthy teeth and gums are good for your general health and encourage a confident smile. A bright shiny smile can boost your social life and confidence. Here are the Top 5 Oral Health Dangers:

With proper care, you can waive off the dreaded moments in a dentist’s clinic. Here are some dental health care tips:

Maintain Dental Hygiene
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are essential steps for optimal dental health. Brushing in the morning is an age-old practice that has its own benefits, but proper technique should be considered to maintain dental hygiene. Brushing twice a day is advised, but doing so after every meal is a much better practice. Changing the brush every three to four months is also recommended by dentists. Rotate a soft bristle brush with a fluoride toothpaste in circular motions for two to three minutes. Flossing removes plaque and tiny food particles that stick between your teeth. Be gentle to your teeth and gums during both brushing and flossing. Rinsing well is essential to cleaning up the mouth.

Consume a Balanced Diet
Receive the essential nutrients via lots of vegetables and fruits and drink plenty of water to maintain a balanced diet. A balanced diet aids in having naturally strong and healthy teeth and gums. Food with high sugar content should be avoided to decrease the risk of damage to teeth, plaque, and growth of bacteria. Avoid eating right before going to bed and never sleep without brushing your teeth. Dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese are a perfect choice to maintain oral health. The high amount of calcium and phosphorus in dairy items aids in protecting the natural enamel and strength of teeth. Unsweetened beverages, plain water, and herbal and green teas inhibit bacteria growth and fight bad breath. Just a few smart changes in your diet and dental routine will help you to have a strong set of teeth with a shiny smile.

Regular Dental Checkups
Many people only go to dentists when they have a toothache. To keep yourself free from common oral health problems, make it a habit to visit your dentist every four to six months, whether you have a problem or not. This will provide you with insight into your oral health and how to take care of common teeth and gum problems in the initial stages. Don’t risk your oral health with home remedies and self medications. A periodical dental checkup helps prevent long-term suffering.

Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, listening Zumba songs, food and nutrition, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - T #atozchallenge

Less than a week remains in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. It's been another wild ride this year. It's been tough to keep up sometimes, but overall I'm glad I opted to participate again.

Theurgy - magic or miracles by the agency of good spirits. Merriam-Webster gives a slightly different definition: the art or technique of compelling or persuading a god or beneficent or supernatural power to do or refrain from doing something. All I know is that the prayers all my friends lifted up helped me to pass my real estate exam yesterday. It was the hardest test I've ever taken. Thankfully, I never need to do that again.

Tea - I've been a lover of tea since I was a kid. Not all the weird flavors, but the standard orange or black tea. I've stuck mainly to decaffeinated versions for years. One of the things I do with used tea bags is soothe irritated eyes. The Lil' Diva and I have allergies, so watery, itchy eyes are something we deal with seasonally. My eyes can swell up almost to the point of shutting. That's when I make a cup of tea, pull out the bags without squeezing them, cool them, and place them on my eyes. Works every time.

Tea also makes a good natural cleanser. Fox News ran an article titled "49 Uses for Tea." You can find it at

To Kill a Mockingbird - Can you believe I've never read this classic novel by Harper Lee? I really am bad when it comes to classics. I think being forced to read them in high school turned me off them. I need to change that.

First published in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird  won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was made into a film in 1962 starring Gregory Peck. Atticus Finch (Peck) is a lawyer in the Depression-era South who defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

What are some classics you haven't read yet?

Book Spotlight: Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic

The DIRECTORY OF FEDERAL PRISONS:'s Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic is a comprehensive, yet succinct, guide to the contact information and basic character profile information of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, plus all private prisons under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house federal inmates.

It is an essential guide for everyone who knows anyone incarcerated within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and sets the standard for basic character profiles and contact information for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

This electronic guidebook enables attorneys, family members and friends of federal prisoners, journalists, government officials, prison volunteers, and members of the general public to quickly locate the contact information and inmate correspondence address of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons and every private prison which houses federal inmates.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON 

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Book Excerpt:

A day doesn't go by that we don’t receive email at or at from a friend, family member, or from an attorney representing a federal prisoner who is seeking the proper mailing address for a federal prisoner or official contact information for a specific federal prison. It would be helpful if the Federal Bureau of Prisons would publish a hardcopy version of this basic information. Unfortunately, it is only available for those who are technologically savvy enough to locate the information on the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website – if, in fact, the seeker knows that this is where to go.

The Directory of Federal Prisons, envisioned as a solution to this problem, is an inexpensive, regularly updated, quick reference guide to contact information and basic character profiles for every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, including private prisons which house federal prisoners. While this information is generally static -- other than population numbers, that is -- it must be updated periodically to reflect local policy revisions that impact information, such as the inmate correspondence address and new prisons being built (or, in the case of private prisons, new contracts awarded or old contracts not renewed).

Our solution is a concise directory containing official contact information, inmate correspondence addresses, and other basic character profile information about each federal prison, such as the gender of the inmates, security level, federal district, population number, and adjacent satellite prison camp, if there is one, etc.
The reader can simply flip to the regional chapter containing the federal prison in question and locate the specific prison in an alphabetical listing. That’s it. All the information is there. It is that easy to use.No more digging through the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website or purchasing expensive legal texts or worry about losing contact with a family member, friend, or client.

To make the information even more accessible, we have cross-referenced the listing of prison facilities in six appendices, five of which further categorize every federal prison to make locating them within the text even easier.

• Appendix 1 divides every federal prison by BOP region,
• Appendix 2 provides an alphabetical list of all federal prisons listed in the directory,
• Appendix 3 lists every federal prison which houses female prisoners, and does this by the BOP region in which it is contained,
• Appendix 4 divides all federal prisons by security level. And,
• Appendix 5 provides a list of every satellite prison camp, also divided by BOP region, and the gender of prisoners housed therein.

Each appendix provides an additional vehicle for locating information about the federal prison which our reader seeks, in a format that they find easiest to use.

On a cautionary note, some of the information will, of course, change. For this reason, we plan to update the text periodically. If you, our reader, locate errors or outdated information, please feel free to contact us at We will gladly make the updates and we will provide you with a free copy of the next edition of the text.

The authors push forward, shoulder to shoulder with our readers, in the struggle for a criminal justice system which will be more equitable and innovative and which will transcend locked doors, shattered lives, and broken families. We are with you. You are not forgotten.

Christopher Zoukis is an impassioned advocate for prison education, a legal scholar, and a prolific writer of books, book reviews, and articles. His articles on prison education and prison law appear frequently in Prison Legal News, and have been published in The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, and Midwest Book Review, among other national, regional, and specialty publications.

Mr. Zoukis is often quoted on matters concerning prison law, criminal law, prisoners' rights, and prison education. Recently, he was the focus of an article at concerning America's broken criminal justice system and potential solutions to the current crisis.

When not in the thick of the battle for prison reform, prison education, or prisoners' rights advocacy, Mr. Zoukis can be found blogging at,, and

Randall Radic is the Senior Editor and Chief Operating Officer of Middle Street Publishing (MSP), where he superintends and, and manages all of MSP's print and online endeavors.

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in the classics, Dr. Radic matriculated at Agape Seminary, where he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology, and then Trinity Seminary where he received the degree of Doctor of Theology.

Dr. Radic is the author of several non-fiction books, including Blood In, Blood Out: The Violent Empire of the Aryan Brotherhood (Headpress, 2011), The Sound of Meat (Ephemera Bound Publishing, 2008), A Priest in Hell: True Crimes of America's Clergy (ECW Press, 2009), and Terminal Disaster: Inside the Money Machine (Sunbury Press, 2012).

Dr. Radic has appeared on National Public Radio and A&E Television discussing prison education and America's prison gangs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - S #atozchallenge

Moving right along with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, we're up to the letter S--the only letter I know of that is shaped like an animal.

Saccadic - jerky movement of the eye as it jumps from one fixation point to another; twitching.

Soap (as in goat's milk soap) - A few years back, I agreed to review some soap from Happy Goats Soap. Little did I know it would mean I would forever turn away from store-bought soap. I love it because it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin the way other soaps do. In addition, I can choose all kinds of neat shapes and sizes, scented or unscented. That, and I love following the antics of Pricilla, her herd, and the farm cats over at their blog:

Shakespeare - The birthday of William Shakespeare is coming up tomorrow; well they don't really know when he was born, but they place his date of birth as three days prior to his baptism on April 26, which was the custom then. While not a lot is known about his life, his plays have been performed and analyzed extensively. I haven't read as many as a writer probably should, but I recall reading Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet in high school, and having to memorize lines from the latter. Have you read any Shakespeare?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate ARTHUR “Outdoor Week” on PBS KIDS

Join PBS KIDS and ARTHUR this week to celebrate ARTHUR “Outdoor Week” with two all-new episodes.

Beginning today and ending Friday, Arthur and friends will explore the outdoors in a week of fun-filled, outdoor-themed episodes. “Outdoor Week” includes the premieres of two all-new ARTHUR episodes, “Speak Up Francine/Waiting for Snow,” which airs on April 21, and “Pets and Pests/Go Fly a Kite,” which airs on April 22.

A new ARTHUR digital game, “Backyard Jungle,” will also launch in April. In “Backyard Jungle,” kids will join D.W. and Bud as they embark on an epic adventure using the power of their imaginations.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - R #atozchallenge

Today starts the fourth week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. We're at the letter R.

Runcation - action of weeding. Really? I've always just called it weeding.

Rosewood Oil - According to Experience-Essential-Oils, rosewood oil rejuvenates the skin. What I like about this website is that it offers a great deal of information and even historical tidbits on essential oils. You can check out what they have to say about rosewood oil at

Rome - According to legend, on April 21, 753 B.C., Rome was founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus. Find out more at

Mailbox Monday - April 21

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Hope everyone had a nice Easter. All my kids were here for a change, so that made it special. Greek Easter was the same day this year, so I cooked lamb and roasted potatoes. I think we actually had more desserts than we had people. I stuffed myself a bit too much.

I didn't receive any books in the mail this week, but I did pick up a few Kindle freebies and a bargain one.

I keep thinking that one day I'll get around to self-publishing; even if it's just once to try it out. I like checking out the available resources.  

If you're selling ebooks on Amazon, you're about to find out the very best ways of how to promote your book, and actually selling ebooks on Amazon, The author has found these, more than anything else, to deliver the best results.

PLEASE NOTE: This is for non-fiction Kindle ebooks, not fiction.

I'm also looking more often into natural ways to live and heal. I also prefer to grow as much of our produce as I can. I really don't know much about essential oils, but I hear about them from time to time, so I thought I would check out this book.

This is an in depth introduction to the use of Essential Oils. Essential Oils provide us with an alternative solution to regaining control of our healthcare needs. As survivalists and preppers one of the things we must include in our strategies is the ability to tend to our sick and injured without the advantage of having modern medicine available to us. The use of Essential Oils is something that we can begin using now, which will increase the quality of your life before a disaster strikes. These notes will serve as a quick flip guide of the most important things to remember about using Essential Oils. This may come in handy should SHTF and serve as a backup for the audio files you may not be able to listen to.

Oils Covered Are:
Frankincense, Oregano, Lemon, Melaleuca, Lavender, Peppermint, Basil, Birch, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Coriander, Cypress, Geranium, Helichrysum, MelissaMood, Wintergreen, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Lemongrass, BugShield, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cilantro , Cassia, Clary Sage, Fennel, Ginger, Myrrh, Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Thyme, Vetiver, White Fir, Dill, Tangerine, Spearmint, Whisper, ZendBlend, Solace, Rose, Jasmine, DDR-Blend, TuneUP, Respiratory Blend, Digestion, Cold & Flu Blend, Muscle Pain Blend, Purity, Elevate, Serene, Balanced, Marjoram, Aroma Blend, Citrus Blend, Slimming Blend, Lime, Headache Blend, Coconut Oil

These are the notes from a special Essential Oils 5 day class. Bonus links to the downloadable MP3s from the class are available inside.

Though I didn't talk about it much at the blog this year, I'm a Downton Abbey fan. I thought Season 4 was a nice bounce back from the tragic end from Season 3. There were some disappointments, but some stellar parts too. I pick up books that have a Downton Abbey tie-in from time to time.

*** #1 Best Seller in Brunch and Tea as well as Coffee and Tea ***

Come rain or shine in Edwardian England, everything stopped for tea. Downton Abbey was no different.

But what would our beloved Crawley household have eaten at their sacred 4 o’clock institution?

In "Tea at Downton - Afternoon Tea Recipes From The Unofficial Guide to Downton Abbey" we share some recipes from the golden age of England. At the height of the power of the British Empire, Mrs Patmore would have every possible kind of delicious ingredients to draw from.

In this concise book you’ll learn:

• Step by step through how to throw the perfect tea party – Downton Style. From the etiquette behind how to hold one’s tea cup correctly to the recipe for the favourite sandwich of Queen Alexandra of the time.
• Wow all of your friends with these simple to follow authentic recipes, and be sure even the Dowager Duchess would be impressed by your social graces.
• From the bottom tier sandwiches to the elegant cakes of the top tier, we cover it all. Not forgetting of course the perfect scone recipe and its accompanying jams.
• Follow the ways Mrs Patmore would have planned her menus to keep spending to minimum and you too can enjoy a most delightful repast for just a few shilling!

So, what are you waiting for? Carson has opened the door to let you in. Let’s see what’s for tea....

Scroll up and get your copy of "Tea at Downton - Afternoon Tea Recipes From The Unofficial Guide to Downton Abbey". You’ll be glad you did!

I'm also a fan of Chuck Norris. My girls actually watch Walker, Texas Ranger on DVD with their dad at night. When I saw his autobiography was on sale for only 99 cents, I picked it up.

A New York Times best seller. Millions of people worldwide know Chuck Norris as the star of more than twenty motion pictures, a martial arts expert, and the only man in the Western Hemisphere to hold an eighth degree Black Belt Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do. Countless others see him daily in syndicated reruns as the hero of the longest running CBS series to date, “Walker, Texas Ranger.” What many don’t know is that Chuck Norris is a sincere Christian–a man whose faith plays a role in everything he does. Against All Odds is the inspirational story of how Norris overcame abject poverty from childhood, the effects of his father’s alcoholism and desertion of the family, and his own shyness and lack of strength and ability early in his life. Norris writes candidly about the past and gives God full credit for where he is today.

What did you find in your mailbox?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blogging from A to Z Challenge - Q #atozchallenge

This ends the third week of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I can't believe we've come this far already. Hope your challenge is going well. Here is today's randomness.

Parvanimity - smallness of mind

Pansy - These have been one of my favorite flowers since childhood. Usually grown as annuals or biennials (requires two growing seasons to complete its life cycle), pansies are hardy, colorful flowers. You can check The Old Farmer's Almanac for how to care for pansies:

Peace of Paris (1783) - a collection of treaties signed by Great Britain on one side and the United States, France, and Spain on the other. These treaties ended the American Revolution. For details on these treaties, visit

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jesus in the Garden Today at Christian Children's Authors

I am a regular contributor to the Christian Children's Authors blog. Today, I am speaking about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. You can find this post at

I'm also considering posting some of the past vacation Bible school lessons I've created at my personal blog. What do you think of this idea? Is this something you might be looking for?

I'll be blogging tomorrow for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, but probably not online much. Wishing all of you a blessed Easter.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - P #atozchallenge

Almost at the end of week 3 of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I'm typing up this post to distract me from working on something I would rather avoid right now. Does that make me bad?

Psychalgia - mental pain or distress. There are days my kids cause me this.

Perennials - Our flowers beds feature a variety of perennials. From astilbes and hostas to liatrises and yarrows, I love exploring with colors in the garden. Now, if my thumb was a little less brown, things would be perfect.

Paul Revere's Ride - Paul Revere and William Dawes set off across the countryside on April 18, 1775 rousing hundreds of Minutemen who armed themselves to oppose the incoming British troops. This ride would become the inspiration for a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. To learn more, you can visit

On a side note, I had to memorize Longfellow's poem in its entirety as a high school assignment. It seemed silly at the time, but I can still recall bits and pieces of it by heart nearly 30 years later.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - O #atozchallenge

More than halfway through week 3 of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Hope you're enjoying my posts.

Obmutescent - speechless; persistently silent. I doubt anyone would ever accuse me of this.

Oils - as in essential oils and cooking oils. Both are natural cleaning solutions. Essential oils can help clean hair brushes, shower doors, and gum-encrusted items. See here for more uses. Cooking oils can clean cast iron pans, help get paint off your hands, and buff stainless steel surfaces. I use oil olive to season the grates on our gas grill. For more uses, click here.

On the Banks of Plum Creek - The fourth book of the Little House Series, On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder tells the story of life for the Ingalls family on the banks of Plum Creek in Minnesota. They purchased a sod house from Mr. Hanson, but then Pa built a clean new house beside the creek, buying all the materials on credit, intending to pay for them with the fall wheat harvest. But then the grasshoppers came; millions of them descended over the countryside and destroyed the wheat crop.

Though a book filled with many difficulties, it ends on an optimistic note with a satisfied Laura patting her dog Jack's furry forehead. It's Christmas Eve, another blizzard is on the way, and there is no money for presents. But all Laura can think of is how happy she is to have Pa home again now that he has returned from back east where he had gone to find work.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - N #atozchallenge

It's another fine day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Hope all of you are managing to keep up the pace of this exciting and fun blogging event. Today's post was inspired by overnight events.

Névé - granular snow; field of granular snow. According to Merriam-Webster, this partially compacted granular snow forms the surface part of the upper end of a glacier.

Nature (as in Mother Nature) - Imagine the scene. The kids have been in shorts and T-shirts the past several days, as temperatures have been in the high 60s to mid 70s. Tulip leaves have sprouted out of the ground and purple crocus fill the flowers beds. The dwarf cherry tree even has some buds. As I marched down to the mailbox yesterday in a torrential downpour, I kept thinking "April showers bring May flowers." This morning, however, we opened to the blinds to a blanket of white, heavy snow. This past winter was one that had even the girls complaining about how much Mother Nature dumped on us. Definitely not what we were looking for a few days before Easter. The bitter winds this morning sure aren't helping.

Nor’easter - Since we're on the topic of snow today, we'll dedicate this last item to the type of massive storm no one likes to hear about. A nor’easter, given its name from the direction the wind is coming, is a macro-scale storm along the upper East Coast and Atlantic Canada. In February 1978, meteorologists had predicted a large storm for the Northeast. When the pre-dawn flakes didn't appear on February 5, people discounted the reports and went about their day. Later on, hurricane-force winds and whiteout conditions caused gridlock on the highways, forcing drivers to abandon their cars. Lasting through February 7, snowdrifts trapped people in their homes and places of business. Record snowfall left residents of Massachusetts and Rhode Island without heat, water or electricity for more than a week; approximately 10,000 sought refuge in shelters. Severe flooding damaged or destroyed homes on the Long Island Sound and Cape Cod Bay. An estimated 100 people died as a result of the storm. To read more about major blizzards in U.S. history, visit

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Divergent: Original Motion Picture Score Releases Today!

Well, there has to be something good about Tax Day. Today is also the release of the Divergent: Original Motion Picture Score. Did you see the movie? Did you read the books? The Lil' Diva is a huge fan. Any time we ask her to do anything she doesn't like she says, "I'm Divergent. And I can't be controlled."

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - M #atozchallenge

Moving right along with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Today, I also have a neat post up at The Book Connection blog. It's all about books--or should I say, book decor. You can check it out here.

Missal - book containing complete service for mass. I remember these from the Catholic church I attended as a child and young adult.

Mold and mildew - Talk about yuck. This can ruin a lot of things (like books) and can create health issues for some. offers three ways to kill mold naturally in this article. I knew about vinegar, but I didn't know about the others. Mother Nature Network has this article on how to tackle mildew naturally.

Mortal Instruments Series - My daughter just borrowed the first book of this series, City of Bones, from the library. This fantasy series has already captured her attention and she is more than half way through the book. Probably not something I would read, but she and I usually have very different tastes in reading material. Have you read any of these books yet?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mailbox Monday - April 14

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

I honestly didn't expect last week to be such a busy book week, but a book I had pre-ordered from Amazon arrived, plus three books I'll be reviewing for book tours.

I've read all the previous books in Charlotte Hubbard's Seasons of the Heart series, so when I learned the latest was available for review, I signed up for the tour right away.

As a bright season brings a fresh start to Willow Ridge, Annie Mae Knepp feels she can never make peace with the past. Her disgraced ex-bishop father is furious she has taken her five siblings to live with her. She's never been truly at home in her faith. . .or believing in herself. And Annie Mae fears no man will want to take on the responsibilities she's gladly shouldered. True, her quiet neighbor Adam Wagler has been steadfast and unshakeable helping her through her trials, but he surely couldn't think of someone so lost as more than a friend. Believing she is unworthy because of her doubts, Annie Mae will find in a moment of surprising revelation that God can work impossible miracles--and that love makes all things new.

Historian and Washington descendant, Austin Washington, is touring with his book, The Education of George Washington: How A Forgotten Book Shaped The Character of A Hero.

George Washington—a man of honor, bravery and leadership. He is known as America’s first President, a great general, and a humble gentleman, but how did he become this man of stature?

The Education of George Washington answers this question with a new discovery about his past and the surprising book that shaped him. Who better to unearth them than George Washington’s great-nephew, Austin Washington?

Most Washington fans have heard of “The Rules of Civility” and learned that this guided our first President. But that’s not the book that truly made George Washington who he was. In The Education of George Washington, Austin Washington reveals the secret that he discovered about Washington’s past that explains his true model for conduct, honor, and leadership—an example that we could all use.

The Education of George Washington also includes a complete facsimile of the forgotten book that changed George Washington's life.

This is a book by RL Keller that I am promoting through Pump Up Your Book.

Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi has been quoted as saying “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” This is a sad indictment of the Christian community as a whole. Is it true? Are believers in Christ the reason people keep their distance from Judeo-Christian beliefs and the God we embrace? I feel there’s no question that we’re partially to blame. In this book I touch on a wide variety of topics, but in the end call out Christians to immerse themselves in a time of reassessment as we all strive to be more genuine and consistent in our faith.

I discovered Sarah Wilson's blog while browsing another site. When I saw she had a book coming out in the United States that shares how she decided three years ago to quit sugar and offers a program for how you can too, I immediately pre-ordered it. My hubby has a history of diabetes in his family, and years ago he had been borderline diabetic--which was the main motivation for him to change his diet and begin a five-day-a-week exercise program. I'm at the point where I'm ready to consider a larger push toward healthy eating for all of us.

A week-by-week guide to quitting sugar to lose weight; boost energy; and improve your looks, mood, and overall health, with 108 sugarfree recipes.

Sarah Wilson thought of herself as a relatively healthy eater. She didn't realize how much sugar was hidden in her diet, or how much it was affecting her well-being. When she learned that her sugar consumption could be the source of a lifetime of mood swings, fluctuating weight, sleep problems, and thyroid disease, she knew she had to make a change.

What started as an experiment to eliminate sugar--both the obvious and the hidden kinds--soon became a way of life, and now Sarah shows you how you can quit sugar too:

* follow a flexible and very doable 8-week plan
* overcome cravings
* make food you're excited to eat with these 108 recipes for detox meals, savory snacks, and sweet treats from Sarah Wilson and contributors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Curtis Stone, Dr. Robert Lustig (The Fat Chance Cookbook), Sarma Melngailis (Raw Food/ Real World), Joe "the Juicer" Cross, and Angela Liddon (Oh She Glows)

I Quit Sugar makes it easy to kick the habit for good, lose weight, and feel better than ever before. When you are nourished with delicious meals and treats, you won't miss the sugar for an instant.

"When I quit sugar I found wellness and the kind of energy and sparkle I had as a kid. I don't believe in diets or in making eating miserable. This plan and the recipes are designed for lasting wellness." -- Sarah Wilson

What books made their way into your mailbox last week?

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - L #atozchallenge

Week three of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge begins with the letter L. With Palm Sunday yesterday, we entered Holy Week, which is always a busy one here and at church. I picked up some of the supplies for this Thursday's Seder Supper at church. I'll be boiling and peeling 5 dozen eggs for that night. This year, we'll have a Good Friday meditation service that I am looking forward to attending. In addition to my regular daily Bible reading--you can read more about that here--I'm reading a Bible study that focuses on the "Hope of Easter." It's important to me to be in the right frame of mind during this important week in the Christian calendar.

Lachrymogenic - causing tears or weeping.

Lemons - an all-natural cleaning solution that has a variety of uses. From countertops to garbage disposals to laundry and more, this yummy fruit I often use in cooking can help you clean up around the house. This article from Real Simple tells you more - Did you know lemon seeds were brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus?

Lazarus - close friend of Jesus and brother of Mary Magdalene and Martha.  Proving He had power over death, Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. The story of Lazarus' death and his being raised from the dead as told in the Gospel of John is a powerful story, and one of my personal favorites. Bible trivia: John 1:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. Jesus had been away preaching when He heard Lazarus was sick. He stays where He is for two more days and then goes with the disciples to Judea. When Mary meets Jesus on the road and informs Him that Lazarus has died, the Bible says, "Jesus wept." These two words that show how much Jesus loved His dear friend, make up the shortest verse in the Bible.

Hope you have a blessed week.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Guest Blogger: F. M. Meredith, Author of Murder in the Worst Degree (Contest)

The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman.

Purchase: Murder in the Worst Degree.

Members of the Rocky Bluff 
Police Department

RBPD is a small police department located in a beach community in Southern California, north of Ventura and south of Santa Barbara. However, it is a fictional place, so you won’t find it if you drive down the 101 Highway.

Cheryl asked me to tell something about the police officer in the Rocky Bluff Police Department so here goes:

The first book in the series, Final Respects, is mostly about Officer Doug Milligan and how his job affected his marriage. Through the years he’s matured and is now a detective. He fell in love with and married Stacey Wilbur, a fellow officer.

Stacey Wilbur Milligan has a young son, Davey. She often works vice crimes.

Gordon Butler has never had good luck when it comes to romance, but things may be looking up for him.

Lizette Gibbs is fairly new to the department and is attracted to Gordon. She sometimes assists Stacey.

Ryan Strickland is married and he and his wife, Barbara, are expecting their first child together. Unfortunately, the baby has been predicted to have Down Syndrome and Ryan isn’t sure if he’s up to being the father of a child with special needs.

Felix Zachary, the only African American officer, has been promoted to detective.

Vaughn Aragon is back on the job, limited duty, because of demons he faced in Angel Lost.

Sergeant Abel Navaro has his own family problems, juggling the care of his young daughter while his wife works as a nurse, and worrying about his mother with Alzheimer’s.

The former police chief has retired, and a new person has taken his place, Chandra Taylor, an African American woman, causing everyone to wonder what changes may come to the RBPD.

And if anyone is wondering, though these characters are fictional, to me each and every one seems very real.

Thanks for letting me visit today, Cheryl.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 35 published books. She enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how what happens on the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of this first-hand.





Once again I am offering the opportunity to have your name used as a character in a book if you comment on the most blogs during this tour for Murder in the Worst Degree.

Tomorrow you can find me here:

Blogging from A to Z Challenge - K #atozchallenge

My goodness gracious, we are at the end of week two in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Can I get a woo-hoo? Here is today's randomness.

Ked - wingless fly that feeds on livestock. Thinking of my farming friends with this one.

Kigelia africana - a species of tree found throughout tropical Africa. The common name is sausage tree or cucumber tree, referring to the plants' long, sausage-like fruit. Read more here.

Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac - an American novelist and poet. A native of Lowell, MA, Kerouac played football at Lowell High School and was awarded a scholarship to Columbia University. He dropped out of college after being sidelined by an injury. His first novel was The Town and the City. His most famous work, On The Road, which was based on a series of road trips he took with Neal Cassady, a major figure of the Beat Generation of the 1950s. Kerouac died on October 20, 1969 at the age of 47. You can learn more at

Friday, April 11, 2014

Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

CBW Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 - Banner - FINAL

Are you a children's book or teen literature blogger, an author, a publisher, or a publicist looking to share copies of a fabulous book? Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews are joining forces to provide you with the opportunity to take part in a Blog Hop featuring links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen's books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes. What better way to celebrate Children's Book Week?

How Does it Work?

Dates: May 12 to 18, 2014

  • Posts must go live at 12:01AM (EST) on May 12, 2014
  • Giveaway must end on May 18, 2014 @ 11:59PM (EST)
(If using Rafflecopter, set your widget to end on MAY 19th at 12:00am)

Cost: FREE!

Prize: Children/Teen's Book and/or a Gift Card

If your prize consists of a book, it must be one appropriate for children/youth under the age of 18. You can also offer an Amazon gift card, a credit at the Book Depository, or PayPal cash as a prize (minimum $10) in conjunction with a book OR in lieu of a book, but your post MUST discuss children's books or literature. Links to posts just offering a gift card or cash with no mention of children/teen's books or literature will be removed from the linky list. If unsure, email me!

Posting Requirements:

Posts must be published no later than May 12, 12:01 am, 2014 ~ Posting early is ok. Posting late is not ok.
Your post must contain the following information (clearly visible):
  • Event Button
  • Giveaway Details
  • Links to the Hostesses (Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews)
  • Giveaway Linky List
The event button, links to hostesses, and linky code will be emailed to you on Monday, May 5, 2014.
Please send me your direct URL once your post goes live, or if possible you can send me your permalink ahead of time. Failure to send me your link within 24 hours of the start of the Giveaway Hop will result in the removal of your link from the linky. If you send me the direct link after the 24 hours deadline, it will be added to the bottom of the list.

Adding a Link to the Linky:

To enter the Giveaway Hop, you simply have to enter the home page of your website followed by the country restrictions (i.e., Who can enter? US; US/CAN; WW; other). Once your post is ready you can send me the permalink as described above.

Deadline for Sign-Ups: May 9, 11:59 pm (EST), 2014

The linky will close and no additional links will be accepted.

Promoting the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

We need YOUR help in spreading the word about the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. You are certainly not required to do anything other than sign up if you wish to participate, but we would sure appreciate your help by either posting about the sign-ups, tweeting about it, or sharing the information within your circles or even popping the event button up in your sidebar. We are also happy to provide you with the full post HTML code if you would be willing to post about this sign-up. Just email Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews. The more sign-ups the better for all of us!


Please feel free to contact either Renee [renee (at) motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com] or Katie [YouthLitReviews (at) live (dot) com]. We are here to answer any questions you may have.

Sign-Up Below

You will be asked to enter the title you want displayed in the linky list (please add country restrictions in brackets), a link to your home page (or direct URL if you have it), and your name and email address.

* Like our fancy event banner? We used designbox1 from Fiverr to create it. Ask me about it!*

The Old Way VS The New Way Infographic

Common Core

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - J #atozchallenge

It's getting close to the end of week two of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Time sure flies when you're having fun. Here is today's randomness.

Jupon -  sleeveless jacket worn beneath a hauberk. So you know I had to look up hauberk, which is "a tunic of chain mail worn as defensive armor," according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.You can see photos here.

Juniper - Not only is the juniper berry used for medicinal purposes, the berries are also the main flavor ingredient in gin. Who knew? You can learn more at

John Paul Jones - Captain John Paul Jones was an officer of the Continental Navy of the American Revolution. More than 200 years ago, Jones and his crew aboard the USS Ranger began dangerous raids along the British coast. A few hours before accepting the surrender of the captain and crew of the British warship HMS Serapis, Jones uttered the famous words, "I have not yet begun to fight." You can learn more at or

What J words are you sharing today?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - I #atozchallenge

Another day, and another post in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. How are you doing? Are you moving along swiftly making new friends or struggling to keep up? I'm a little of both.

Iwis - surely; certainly

Iodine - a mineral found in some foods. Iodine helps the body make thyroid hormones. For more information about iodine and what foods contain iodine, you can visit

Insurgent - is the second book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. 

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

The movie of the first book, Divergent, was released last month. You can read my review here. Insurgent is scheduled to be released next year. 

Bulking Up Infographic

Buying in Bulk

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kindle Freebie: Busy Toddler, Happy Mom by Gayle Jervis and Kristen Jervis Cacka

Do you often wish you had more ideas on how to keep your child stimulated at home? Do you find yourself signing up for expensive toddler programs since they give you the confidence that you have provided all that your toddler needs for his developmental growth? Do you wish that your toddler could be more fully engaged in his play so that you have time to do the laundry? Have you purchased activity books to give you more ideas on how to entertain your toddler to discover that they are more appropriate for groups of toddlers at a daycare or for a specialized program?

If you said yes to any of these questions, this book is for you!

Busy Toddler, Happy Mom has been divided into specific chapters that work on specific skills: small motor skills, gross motor skills, arts and crafts, sensory abilities, books and language development. As these activities are introduced, you are also increasing your toddler's math and reading readiness, her vocabulary, her understanding of language, and her understanding of her world.

So here is your chance to use a toddler activity book geared toward you, the parent or grandparent, who wants to engage her toddler in one-on-one learning experiences, while encouraging your toddler’s ability to play independently.

File Size: 340 KB
Print Length: 174 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - H #atozchallenge

Crazy day yesterday that finally ended when I collapsed into bed around 11 because I simply couldn't keep going anymore. The Lil' Princess' Ruby Bridges bottle person is all done and off to school this morning. I'll share a picture once the hubby downloads them off the camera.

On to the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. For the past couple of days I've tried to group my random thoughts together to make some sense. I think tomorrow I'm going back to my totally random ramblings. I find them more fun. Hope you will too.

Hallux - big toe. I had no idea it had a name.

Hindu stone - A Hindu stone can be used to push back cuticles during a pedicure. Organic Gardening has an instructional article on giving yourself a natural pedicure at

Honda wins World Green Car award - On this date in  2009, Honda won the World Green Car Award for its FCX Clarity. This was the first hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle intended for mass production. You can learn more about it at