March 29, 2010

"Beguiled" by Deanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand Review

BeguiledSomeone is prowling the streets of Charleston and they are growing increasingly violent. Rylee Monroe, dog walker to the affluent families north of Broad, finds herself entangled in a web of suspicion after a series of break-ins seem to be connected to her. Logan Wood, a local newspaper reporter, is on the trail of this so-called Robin Hood burglar when he crosses paths with Miss Monroe. Together they embark on an exciting journey to clear Rylee's name and discover the true identity of the criminal terrorizing the historic Charleston area.

I have read and enjoyed several of Gist's historical fiction books (A Bride Most Begrudging, Deep in the Heart of Trouble, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised that this collaborative novel takes place in present day Charleston, SC. Bertrand, a crime novel writer, adds an element of suspense and adventure to Gist's trademark romance.

As a busy mom, reading has become a luxury. I absolutely loved sitting down with this book. It had just the right amount of mystery to keep me intrigued and not so much that it was hard to follow. I thought it was well-written and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a delightful light read.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

March 23, 2010

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

Happy Tuesday! I have the privilege of reviewing some of Tyndale's books and Bible study materials. They have recently started a sweepstakes that you may want to know about. I'm forwarding the information to you below:

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

Visit and click on the tab that says “Sweepstakes”

Fill out a simple form, take a quick Bible clarity survey, invite your friends to join and you’ll be entered to win one of our exciting prizes.

With each fan number milestone a new prize will be given away.

Grand Prize

Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fifth milestone
Retail Value: $829.00

2nd Prize - Already awarded

32G iPod Touch and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fourth milestone
Retail Value: $300.00

3rd Prize – Will be awarded when fan count hits: 3500

Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the third milestone
Retail Value: $489.00

4th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 16G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the New Living Translation Fan Page hits the second milestone
Retail Value: $499.00

5th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 32G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the first milestone
Retail Value: $599.00

Prize Eligibility – Recently updated to include more countries

Sweepstakes participants and winner(s) can be U.S. residents of the 50 United States, or residents of any country that is NOT embargoed by the United States, but cannot be residents of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India. In addition, participants and winner(s) must be at least 18 years old, as determined by the Company.

Sweepstakes Starts

March 17, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Sweepstakes Ends

April 30, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Wait, there’s more!

Visit for a chance to win a trip for two to Hawaii!

Here are the details:

Choose one of six passages of Scripture from the New Living Translation and consider:
How do these verses encourage you to know God better?
What is God teaching you in this passage?
How does this passage apply to your life?

Submit your answer and you’ll be entered to win.

Just for signing up: Everybody Wins! Win a Free .mp3 download from the NLT’s new Red Letters Project. It’s the dynamic, new presentation of the sung and narrated words of the Gospel of Matthew. You win the download just for entering! Or choose to download the NLT Philippians Bible Study, complete with the Book of Philippians in the NLT.

Every day, one person will win the best-selling Life Application Study Bible!

The grand prize: One person will win a fantastic trip for two to the crystal clear waters of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore in beautiful Hawaii.


March 22, 2010

"Kaleidoscope" by Patsy Clairmont Giveaway - CLOSED


Happy Monday to you!

A few weeks ago I posted a review of Patsy Clairmont's book "Kaleidoscope." You now have the opportunity to win a copy for yourself.

For those of you not familiar with Patsy Clairmont, she is a popular author and speaker for the Women of Faith organization. Her book is perfect for busy moms (or busy women in general). The chapters are short, encouraging, and enjoyable to read.

I'd love for you to win a copy of your very own. Here's how:

Mandatory Entry:
• Follow my blog publicly on Google Connect and leave me a comment telling me that you do.

Extra Entries:
  • Follow me on Twitter. Leave your Twitter name (1 entry)
  • Tweet this giveaway and leave me the link:   "Mommy's Minute: "Kaleidoscope" by Patsy Clairmont Giveaway:  ends 4/5   (1 entry, can be done daily)
  •  Grab my button and leave me the link where I can find it (2 entries)
  • Become a fan of Mommy's Minute on Facebook (1 entry)    
  • Tell me how you heard about Mommy's Minute (1 entry)                                                              
  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to Mommy's Minute (5 entries)

Be sure to leave your e-mail address in the comment so I have a way to reach you if you win! Winners will be selected using You will have 48 hours to claim your prize! Giveaway ends 4/5 at 11:59 PM CT. Contest open to US.


I received a copy of this book from Tyndale. The opinions reflected in the review are my own.

March 21, 2010

Spread the Word and WIN!!!

If any of you would be interested in being product testers for Parent Tested Parent Approved follow the link bellow. I have been able to evaluate a neat little outfit for my son (review coming soon). Just make sure to let them know that you heard about PTPA from Sarah Brooks.

Posted using ShareThis

March 20, 2010

Sound the Alarm

I think my home may have the world's most sensitive smoke detector. It's so sensitive in fact, that not only does it detect smoke, apparently it also detects steam from the shower. I learned this lesson the hard way.

My little one has been teething (This has been my token excuse for his fussiness the last few months, but this time I think it's for real). He has not been sleeping well at night which means that he has been especially fussy and tired during the day. I finally managed to woo him off to slumberland after a morning of cranky protesting.

In celebration of his nap I decided to take a good old fashioned shower - you know the kind you took before you had kids. Let me tell you, I took my sweet time, and it was wonderful! I guess I was reveling in the experience a little too much because I forgot to close the door to the bathroom when I was done. That insidious bit of steam snuck into the hall and set off the smoke detector. I don't think I need to tell you what happened next.

Needless to say, my mommy minute was quickly over (as was my dream of curling up on the couch reading a book while he napped). Oh well, there's always tomorrow.


March 16, 2010

Chunky Bling

I am always on the look out for bargains. These days I bet most of us are watching our pocketbooks a little bit closer than in previous years. In fact, I don't think I've bought any fun "accessories" since my son was born several months ago. Most of our money goes to the necessities like diapers and baby food. So, I was excited to find out about Chunky Bling.

They really do have some cute jewelry like interchangeable beaded watches (which are fun to customize to match your outfit), handmade jewelry, and bead bracelets. They also have opportunities to earn free jewelry through online jewelry parties.

I just thought I'd pass this info on to you in case you might be interested. They really do have some cute stuff. I think I'm going to get a pearl chunky ring for myself. :-)

UPDATE (3/20): I just got my ring in the mail today. It's super cute. I didn't realize that the band is not rigid like other rings; they're a bit stretchy/flexible so they fit perfectly! (I was nervous that maybe I was going to order the wrong size, but it worked out great!) I'm wearing my "bling" right now!


I will receive a complimentary ring as part of their Blogging for Bling program.

Devotions Winner Announced!

Congratulations to the following winners of the Devotions for Lent giveaway!

True Random Number Generator 
2 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

True Random Number Generator 
11 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulations ladies! I have sent an e-mail to you. You have 48 hours to respond!


March 14, 2010

Nook Giveaway

Are there any other book addicts out there? Are you running out of shelves to store them on? Perhaps you would be interested in winning a Nook from Barnes and Noble. This fantastic and stylish e-reader can store hundreds of books and fits in the palm of your hand. I WISH I had one to review and giveaway, but since I do not, I have found a fellow blogger who is sponsoring a fantastic Nook giveaway.

Are you interested? Check out her blog, The Greer 5 or check out the Nook at Barnes and Noble's Site. Mommy Niri is also offering a Nook through her blog. You can also try for your chance to win at Susan Heim on Parenting or Mom Start.

Best of luck to all who enter!
Barnes and Noble NOOK ebook reader


March 7, 2010

"Kaleidoscope" by Patsy Clairmont Review

Have you ever taken the time to peer through a kaleidoscope? It's amazing how all these different little bits and pieces can be shaped and formed together to create visually stunning works of art - one twist of the hand and a new masterpiece is waiting to be discovered. In her book Kaleidoscope: Seeing God's Wit and Wisdom in a Whole New Light, Patsy Clairmont invites readers to take a look at God's own kaleidoscope in the book of Proverbs - the bits and pieces of wisdom held up to the light of God's truth.

The book contains thirty-three short chapters in which Clairmont reflects on a particular proverb. Each short devotional thought is followed by a section entitled "Bits and Pieces" which encourages the reader to apply the proverb to their own life. The questions aren't all spiritual in nature, some are rather comical. My favorite was: "How have you been a hormonally consistent mom? How do you express your hormonal imbalance with your family?" Am I supposed to be hormonally consistent??? . . . oops. Each chapter concludes with "Held to the Light" in which she points to other scripture passages that cover the same topic.

I particularly love Clairmont's sense of humor which is readily evident throughout the book. It felt like I was sitting next to a girlfriend at a coffee shop dishing about life. I would gladly recommend this book to others.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy to review. I enjoyed the opportunity to offer my honest opinion of their book!

March 5, 2010

Going Postal

I've always been a bit protective of my little one, especially around strangers, so you can imagine how shocked I was when this afternoon someone walked into my home and picked my baby up.

How does this happen, one might ask? Well, there was a knock on the door this afternoon. A lady from the post office was at the front door with a package that had postage due. I laid my baby down in his pack 'n play and walked across the room to get my wallet. When I said, "Just one minute, let me get my purse." She apparently heard: "Come in, make yourself at home . . . and please handle my baby." I was shocked when I looked up to see that she had reached inside the pack n' play and proceeded to carry my baby around the living room. WHO DOES THAT?

I quickly grabbed two bills out of my wallet and snatched my baby back. I'm sorry, but that's just not OK with me. First of all, I did not invite you into my house, secondly anyone with common sense knows that you don't just reach for a stranger's baby without asking, and finally, just because I talked to you at the mailbox last week does NOT make us best friends who walk into each others homes and pick up babies. Seriously.

From now on, I am going to deadbolt my door while I get the money out of my purse. I just can't believe the audacity of someone to do that! It wasn't like I left the room and she snuck in. Nope, she walked into my home while I was standing watching her. I quickly ushered her back out the door she entered and locked the door behind her. I'm sorry, but my son is one package I don't want the post office handling.


March 3, 2010

"Devotions for Lent" Review and Giveaway. CONTEST CLOSED


Devotions for Lent is a beautiful collection of devotions, scripture readings, and meditations from Christians across the ages. This book of weekly devotions, taken from the Mosaic Bible is a wonderful resource for family, individual, or church devotions.

Each devotion is coupled with beautiful color images taken from contemporary and historical art pieces. Unlike other devotions I've read, "Devotions for Lent" pairs the writings of ancient church fathers like Augustine with contemporary religious leaders from across the globe.

The devotions are short and easy to read. Topics include: "Identifying Discontent," "God's Holiness and Grace," and "Hope." All of the scripture readings are printed in the New Living Translation and are located at the back of the devotional. This pocket-size book is the perfect size for stowing in a purse or briefcase.

I've enjoyed the devotional thus far, and look forward to using it for the remainder of the Lenten season.

I am thankful to Tyndale for providing me with a complimentary copy to review. They also provided me with extra copies to giveaway to my readers!

Two lucky readers will receive two copies each of "Devotions for Lent" (One to keep and one to give to a friend).

Good Luck!

Mandatory Entry:
• Follow my blog publicly on Google Connect and leave me a comment telling me that you do.

Extra Entries:

• Follow me on Twitter. (1 entry)
• Tweet this giveaway: Win a copy of “Devotions for Lent” from Mommy’s Minute. Ends 3/15 (1 entry, can be done daily)
• Grab my button and leave me the link where I can find it (2 entries)
•Become a fan of Mommy's Minute on Facebook (1 entry)

Be sure to leave your e-mail address in the comment so I have a way to reach you if you win! Winners will be selected using You will have 48 hours to claim your prize! Giveaway ends 3/15


March 1, 2010

Safety 1st Giveaway

For those of you who don't know, I am a giveaway junkie. Entering contests on the Blogosphere has become my favorite new addiction (any other addicts out there?). I have discovered a fantastic giveaway from Akron Ohio Moms. She is giving away a great car Complete Air Convertible car seat from Safety First. My little chunk is very close to outgrowing his current infant seat and so I've got my fingers crossed. I just thought I'd share the info with you in case you are on the lookout for a great giveaway!


Change of Plans

I woke up this morning to the sound of my son’s chattering in the other bedroom. Even in my drowsy state, I couldn’t help but smile. How did this happen? When did I transition from a savvy, college student to a full-time wife and mother? As a child I had huge aspirations. I wanted to be an Olympic ice skater (I have never owned a pair of skates). I wanted to be a concert pianist (I can’t memorize music to save my life). I was going to write the great American novel (I’ve been on chapter four for two years now). I was going to have washboard abs that everyone would envy (My abs are more suited for taking a nap than for washing clothes).

Looking back, I realize now that my dreams were not realistic. I mean, come on, how many author/skating pianists with killer abs do you know? My new goal and the most challenging yet: be the best mother I can be. I didn’t say a “perfect mother” or “mother of the year” or “Mrs. Brady.” I would only be setting myself up for disappointment and frustration. I just want to do my imperfect best because that’s what my son deserves, at least that’s what I heard in his soft, infant coos this morning.
Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ‘10 Contest".