May 31, 2011

Verizon FiOS - New Features and Services

To be honest, sometimes I have a hard time remembering what life was like before the internet. It has become such an integral part of my daily life: everything from paying bills, to finding a recipe for dinner. My family decided to give up our cable TV several months ago, but there are definitely a few programs that I miss watching. I especially miss HGTV since moving into our new home!There are so many different cable/internet providers out there, I'm always interested to learn about what new products and services are available in my area.

Verizon FiOS is a leader in customer satisfaction for their television and internet services. Unlike coaxial cable or copper phone lines, their fiber optic network is reliable and weather resistant. No more frustrating weather-related interruptions or frequent pixelated screens. The fiber optic technology also means that your home is equipped to handle the latest new internet tools and applications that will be released in the coming months.

As a product reviewer, I'm always interested in how other individuals review a product or company. J.D. Power and Associates ranked Verizon FiOS "Highest in Residential Television Service Satisfaction in the East Region" for three years in a row. They were also ranked #1 in value, overall quality and customer loyalty according to the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index Survey for the largest subscription TV service providers.

FiOS also offers some pretty unique features, including Flex View. With Flex View you can start watching an on demand video title on your TV and then later finish it on your mobile phone or computer. I think it's really neat to be able to access your rentals and purchases on a variety of different devices.

Media Manager allows you to access photos, internet radio stations, music, and other media files on your PC. These can then be accessed from your FiOS enabled TV. This would be great for boring your neighbors with all of your family vacation photos. All kidding aside, it really is neat to be able to access your PC's media from your television. I would definitely take advantage of the internet radio feature.

For social media addicts, TV widgets enable you to watch TV and tweet using your remote control. You can even update your Facebook status to keep all your friends informed about your favorite programs. I'm usually on Facebook when the TV's on anyway, so I guess it's the best of both worlds.

Verizon also offers super fast internet which allows for clear streaming video and quick downloads. They've also won's People's Choice award for five years in a row. If you're not super tech savvy, there's also In-Home Agent, which helps you troubleshoot any potential problems you might have with FiOS or High Speed Internet services.

If you're in the market for a new Internet or Television provider, you might want to check out Verizon. They're not currently available in my area, but they might be in yours!


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Verizon FiOS blogging program for a gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

May 29, 2011

May's (in)spired deals from Dayspring!

Let us rejoice! We have so many things to be thankful for: family, friends, provision for our daily needs. It's always good to be reminded of God's blessings. I'm especially thankful for the new addition to my family. My second son was born recently, a fantastic reason to thank God! The Dayspring Online Store offers a great selection of products that remind us to rejoice!

I had the opportunity to review a fantastic piece of artwork. This wall-mountable frame features a passage from Joshua 24:15 "But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord." It includes an insert for your own 5 x 7 family photo. It looks fantastic! It definitely has a modern feel to it, and I love the way it looks in my living room. It also features an easel for standing on a desk or table.  The quality is fantastic and it would make a great housewarming gift.

Dayspring offers a ton of additional fantastic products for your home. They make excellent gifts as well! Definitely keep them in mind for your upcoming graduation and Father's Day gift needs!


 I received a complimentary product from Dayspring to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my honest thoughts of the product. 

May 23, 2011

Five Summer Getaways Every Kid Should Experience

Most of us have fond memories of summer vacations from our childhood. Mom and dad would load us up into the car and off we'd go across the country on a great adventure. Of course, the trip would be peppered with the obligatory "he hit me" and "she's looking at me funny." Summer vacations are a great time to explore and bond with your family, and this country is full of fantastic places to see and explore!

  1. Washington DC - Is your family on a budget? DC is a great place to explore a plethora of free monuments, museums, and locations of national interest. It's neat to watch the history books come alive in front of your kids. You can even take a peek at how the government works. Visit the Senate and the House, if you make arrangements ahead of time, you may even be able to swing by the office of your local senator (although it's pretty unlikely they'll be there). The Library of Congress is a definite must if your kids are readers. There are thousands upon thousands of books, including some pretty fantastic treasures. 
  2. The Grand Canyon - You may want to be a little bit cautious with this one if you have some daredevil boys in your family. They might be a little tempted to urge that annoying younger sibling a little too close to the edge after your eleven hour car ride. All kidding aside, the Grand Canyon is a phenomenal place of beauty, and can definitely be done on a budget. There are plenty of educational opportunities available, as well as some fantastic opportunities for some bonding in the great outdoors. 
  3. Dallas/Fort Worth - Ok, I'm a little partial to this one since it's where I grew up. The DFW area has some fantastic things to see and explore. Take in a professional baseball game with the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington. Swing over to Six Flags for a fun afternoon at an amusement park (just be sure to drink tons of water - it's hot). Stop by the Dallas Aquarium or the Ft. Worth Zoo. There are quite literally hundreds of places to visit. I can pretty much guarantee that there's something for just about everyone in your family within a short distance of the Metroplex.
  4. The Ocean - I don't care which one. Every kid needs to feel the sand between their toes. There are few things like standing in front of the massive ocean at sunset. Absolutely beautiful. Don't forget the excitement of building sand castles and chasing the waves. Go for a family stroll on the beach to collect sea shells and sand dollars. Don't forget the sunscreen!
  5. Volunteer -I think this is a getaway with no price tag. Do you want to make a significant impact on your child? Want them to look beyond themselves? Get them to help others. Take a family mission trip where you help those less fortunate. Volunteer as a family with an organization like Habitat for Humanity if your kids are old enough. Volunteer in a soup kitchen or travel with a disaster relief crew. Help your children see that the world is bigger than the street where they live. You will be amazed by your kids capacity to love and give. Don't forget to throw in some fun times on these type of trips as well. They need to learn that giving of yourself is a rewarding experience, and it's a great way for your family to bond. 
What are some of your summer getaways? What types of trips made the biggest impact on you when you were growing up?


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

May 6, 2011

"What's in the Bible" DVD Review

Do you remember the days of Sunday School felt boards? Well, Phil Vischer (the creator of Veggie Tales), and the folks at have released an excellent new series of DVDs called "What's in the Bible." These DVDs bring the stories of the Bible to life in fun and vibrant ways. Your kids can learn a TON of stuff without even realizing it. The videos are funny and entertaining (Think Veggie Tales with puppets).

Israel Gets a King is the fifth DVD in the series. There are great songs, animated segments, and fun puppet friends to help explain the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. We learn about the first three kings of Israel: Saul, David, and Solomon. They even explain how God's promise to King David connects to our own salvation. We learn that these kings were not perfect and had to deal with the consequences for their sin.  

I love these videos. They make learning about the Bible fun for kids of all ages (including grown-ups). I definitely respect the fact that they don't shy away from the more difficult topics  like an explanation of the Trinity, and yet it's done in an age appropriate and understandable way.

The Bible is one of our most precious treasures. I think it's so fundamentally important to instill a love and solid understanding of God's Word in the life of our children! The What's in the Bible DVDs are a great resource for your family and church.

One reader will win a copy of WITB - Vol. 5: Israel Gets a King. 

Do not comment on this post. Please use the entry form HERE.

Giveaway open to US residents 18+. Winner will be selected via and will be notified by e-mail. MAKE SURE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IS VISIBLE IN YOUR COMMENT. Winner has 24 hours to respond or an alternate winner will be selected. 


I received a complimentary copy of the DVD from the publisher in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my honest thoughts of the product.

May 1, 2011

"The Damascus Way" by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke * Book Review

The Damascus Way (Acts of Faith Series, Book 3)
Have you ever wondered what it might have been like to live among the first century Christians? In book three of the Acts of Faith Series, The Damascus Way, Davis Bunn and Janette Oke bring to life the struggles and fears of these early followers of The Way.

Facing persecution at the hand of Saul of Tarsus, members of the fledgling church flee from Jerusalem to settle in outlying areas. Julia, the daughter of wealthy merchant Jamal, soon encounters followers of The Way and finds her life taking a course different from what she originally envisioned.

Young Jacob, a caravan guard for Julia's father, embarks on dangerous journeys on the "Frankincense Trail" as well as relaying messages between believers in the area. As their paths intersect, Julia and Jacob must overcome their initial mistrust to accomplish an essential mission.

I'm always a bit hesitant to jump into a book mid-series, but I didn't find that to be a problem in this novel. I didn't feel like I was missing any essential information even though this is the third book in the series. The story is interesting and well written, and definitely sheds light on what life might have been like for those early followers of Christ. As you might assume from the title of the series, "Acts of Faith," many of the characters and events in the novel are taken from the book of Acts. Of course, these are fictional accounts of what might have happened, but the story remains true to the Biblical account. 

It's an easy read full of adventure and a little romance thrown in for good measure. If you're a fan of religious historical fiction, I'm sure you'll enjoy this collaboration by Bunn and Oke, both veterans of the Christian writing world.


I received a complimentary copy of the book to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed were my honest thoughts of the story.