Monday, August 21, 2017

Watch Out for "The Feels" in Brent Jones' New Novel! (Fender Book Review)


             Hey folks! I think we can all agree that the age of self-publishing has both advantages, but some major disadvantages as well. Mostly for the reader. With so many books floating out there now, it can be even harder to find one worth reading!
             Not that he is self-published, but you don't have to worry about whether Brent Jones' books are worth reading. I assure you they are. You will definitely want to check them out and I'll tell you why!
             I recently had the opportunity to review both of Mr.Jones' books, more recently his brand new release Fender. (Available today! Be sure to follow the links at the end to purchase your own copy!) Let me tell you, it was an emotional roller coaster from start to finish!

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

             First off, although I greatly enjoyed his first novel, The Fifteenth of June, I wasn't sure I would be as into this story. I mean, 3 dudes on a cross-country road trip, with a central focus on a dog? (A “yappy” breed at that. Have I ever mentioned I don't care for small dogs much? Hate me all you want.) But, as with the first novel, I took a chance and was pleasantly surprised!
             It was much more...emotional, than I had expected. Let's just say I cried at least once in the first 60 pages. At first I thought maybe it was just my crazy pregnancy hormones talking, but evidently I was not alone in this thinking! As you can read on Mr.Jones' blog post, several other reviewers got “the feels” too.
             With that being said, I think this is one of those rare books that a man or woman would enjoy. Sure, it has plenty of sad moments, but there are a lot of life lessons and wisdom to be gained from it as well. Plus, who doesn't love a good “bro-mance” story?
             As with his first novel, I found this to be a very easy read (because it's so good!) and very engaging. It will be a great vacation read or a “the kids are back in school and I actually have some free time!” read. I think it will appeal to a broad age-range too.
             You can purchase your own copy of Fender on Amazon. If you enjoy it, I'm sure Mr.Jones would greatly appreciate your feedback on both Amazon and Goodreads. Happy reading!

I received an ARC of this book in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pregnancy Journal #3-Pregnancy Announcements!

             Hey folks! I felt like writing another preggo update since it's been a few weeks, but wasn't really sure what to write about. At first, I had intended on talking about old wives tales for “predicting” the gender of baby...Then I realized I had already talked about that some in my previous post. Lol (That's what I get for writing posts so far ahead of times sometimes, huh?) So, I decided to share my pregnancy announcements.
             I may have went a little overboard with them. It's our last kid and it's kind of a big deal, ok?! I saw and thought of several cute things, so I just went with all of them!


balloon & chalkboard announcement
I saw something like this on Pinterest and thought it was cute. Easier said than done to get a decent picture, of course. Because naturally, even though they both love balloons, Ripley was more interested in pushing her bubble mower around the yard at the moment.

officially outnumbered announcement
I thought this would be cute. I mean, I'm sure I'm not the first person who's thought of this, but still.

chalk people pregnancy announcement
I made chalk paint for the kids one day and I'm pretty sure I was enjoying it more than either one of them were. They went ape shit once they realized (and I let them) it was a lot of fun just sticking their hands in it and splashing it all over themselves. Whatevs. Anyways...

This idea popped in my head. I probably got it from those godforsaken stick figure families on the backs of mini-vans. This is way cuter, though, right?

             We also made a rather big decision after my first doctor's appointment. Deciding where to give birth to this one at has been a way more convoluted endeavor than it really should have been. At first, I was going to give the place I had my annual exam done at in Terre Haute a chance...Then I started getting bills for said exam that had already been paid for by my insurance. (We actually are very lucky and have awesome health insurance.) On top of that (right before the bill issues even started), I called to schedule an appointment and the lady told me I had to have a positive blood test from an outside agency, like the crisis pregnancy center, sent over to their office before I could schedule an appointment. Um, no. Isn't that your job? And furthermore, I don't even live in flippin' Terre Haute and I'm sure as hell not making extra freakin' appointments!
             So, since I wanted to get in as soon as possible and I know my old office is always so busy, I went ahead and scheduled an appointment with the doctors I had Ripley with. With intentions of finding a doctor in Bloomington since it would be way closer. Well, hubby and I got to talking about it and I had been thinking about it some more, and something just didn't sit right with us about going to Bloomington. Although there are supposedly VBAC-friendly doctors there, I hadn't really heard reassuring things when it came to that from my mom group friends who had gone for a VBAC there.   
            So, although all the driving sucks at the end (our hospital of choice is over an hour away!), we're just going to stick with the same hospital we had Ripley at. To be honest, I had a great stay there and I like the familiarity. Kind of ironic, though, now that I think about it. With Myka (when we lived in Arkansas), the hospital was literally, like, 5 minutes down the street. Now we cross through several Indiana counties to have babies. ;)

Did you have a hard time choosing where to have your baby? Or were you not nearly as picky as me?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mommy Scene's Baby Shower Essentials Giveaway

            Having a new baby this year? We know choosing baby gear can be overwhelming. We are excited to share Mommy Scene's Baby Shower Essentials & top picks for feeding, clothing, diapering, and setting up baby's nursery! Don't miss entering this fabulous Baby Shower Essentials Giveaway for the chance to win these must-have baby products!

Baby Shower Essentials Giveaway - Prize Collection

LILLEbaby COMPLETE Airflow Baby Carrier
Baby K'tan Chevron Diaper Bag
Babo Botanicals Convenient 3-in-1 Cleansing Wipes
Revelae Kids Cozy Sleeper
Yummi Pouch Brights Reusable Food Pouches & Cloth Snack Bags
Pacific Baby Bamboo Feeding Spoons
Baby Comfy Kit: A Snot Trap Baby Comfy Nasal Aspirator - Baby Comfy Nail Deluxe Safety Clipper - Baby Comfy Hydrator - Baby Comfy Gummi Chewy Jewelry
Active Essentials Unscented Healing Baby Balm
Crane Drop Humidifier
Cover My Heart Chevron Nursing Cover
NogginStik Developmental Light-up Rattle
BabyIt Perineal Massage & Postpartum Comfort Gel
Tottigo A Pack 'n Potty Travel Potty Seat
One Z Pillow for Nursing & Support
NOURISH by BeliBea Pumping/Nursing Bra
Snuggle Me Organic Co-Sleeping Baby Lounger
Buttons Diapers A Trial Pack of Diapers (1 Cover + 3 Inserts) + Hanging Wet/Dry Bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One (1) winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on 8/31/17. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.

Dawn Publications 2017 Fall Releases (Sneak Peek)

             Hey folks! Who's ready for the fall releases from Dawn Pub? It's hard to believe it's already that late in the year!

Daytime Nighttime book cover


While you are sleeping and when you arise,
Animals everywhere lead busy lives.
Winter or summer, and all the year through,
Let's take a look at what some of them do!”

It's always fun and interesting learning about animal habits, isn't it? This book, written by Diane Lang and illustrated by Andrea Gabriel, takes a look at all kinds of creatures, from eagles to spiders, snails to lizards. Each page covers a different month of the year, with an animal that comes out during the day and another that is nocturnal.

Daytime Nighttime inside

I thought this book was really neat because it covers such a diverse array of animals and critters: mammals, amphibians, insects, etc. It includes critters from all over the country, too, not just, say, the Midwest. Like I said, it's always fun learning about animals, especially for kids, and this is a lovely book to introduce some basic facts about many animals that young children are probably already familiar with. The illustrations and pleasantly flowing rhyme make this book even more engaging.

Tall Tall Tree cover

Tall Tall Tree Ages 3 to 8

There's a world teeming with life that very few people ever see! Take a peek at the animals that make their home in a tall, tall redwood tree.”

Not that I didn't enjoy the first book, but I have to admit I was a bit biased towards liking this one more because I would LOVE to go visit the redwood forests some day! I just can't even fathom how big these trees truly are in person. Anyways...

Tall Tall Tree inside

Aside from learning about all of the creatures that have made their unique home in the redwood trees, this is a great counting book as well for younger kids. The rhyming flows well in this book as well, helping children remember what they're learning from the book better. It really was interesting to learn what kinds of creatures live up in these tall, tall trees and the beautiful illustrations from Chad Wallace really add to the book!


            As always, there are more learning resources, about the animals, and more in the back of each book. Dawn Pub has a wide range of nature-related books for children, so be sure to see what all they have to offer for the little explorer in your life!

All photos courtesy of Dawn Pub. I received these books in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.
 
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pregnancy Journal #2-Old Wives Tales & More

            So...This pregnancy is totally kicking my ass so far. I have never felt this bad, this early. I have still not been to the doctor yet, but, according to my calculations, I should be 6 weeks and 5 days today. I guess I shouldn't complain too much because I know a lot of women have it way worse. But, I have been super tired and nauseous half the time. I haven't gotten physically sick, but food just does not sound good...Even though I'm hungry all the time, it feels like. It's not right!
             I think I mentioned it in another post, but my doctors' office is always busy. So, it's a good thing I called when I did, otherwise my appointment wouldn't have been until even later! It is set for July 31st. Today is July 10th. I made the appointment a week ago...
             I'm not too worried about it. I am much more laid back this time. It's nice! (Third time's a charm, right?) With Myka, I was so worried about every little thing. With Ripley, I was worried about whether I would be able to have a VBAC. Knock on wood, I know what to expect, in general, now, so yah. I'm not really anxiously awaiting my first appointment. (Not that I'm not looking forward to it either.) Besides, I already know my due date and how far along I am. It's not rocket science.
             As I've mentioned before, I had been keeping track of my cycles for several months. Needless to say, it made it real easy to pinpoint when it happened this time. This information actually comes in really handy. My cycles are so much longer than “normal” ones, that I found that I actually ovulated about a week later! Why is that handy to know? Now I can give the doctor a more accurate date and my due date won't be for a week earlier than it really should be! This is especially important to me as a VBAC patient. I don't expect the doctor to believe me when I tell her that I know the exact date “everything went down”, so now I'm able to calculate what day to tell her I started my last period. Sure, it's kind of lying, which I hate to do, but I would rather “stretch the truth” some now than end up having a baby born earlier than he should have been just because of some silly arbitrary date!
             Hmm...What else was I going to talk about? Oh yah! I came across a thread on Babycenter about an old wives tale to tell you what gender of baby you're going to have. (You can also do it to where it shows you the order and gender of all of your kids, including miscarriages.) I had come across this a long time ago before I even had kids, but completely forgot about it until now. I love stuff like that, so I had to give it a try, of course. For me, it showed girl boy girl boy. Well, I have two girls, so perhaps I had a miscarriage I didn't know about between them. More importantly, I should be having a boy this time, according to it! I still don't think I want to find out the gender until the birth, but I am letting myself get my hopes up for a boy a little more now. ;) The test was actually creepily accurate for a lot of people, old wives tale or not!
             So far, not that we've told many people, we haven't had too many Debbie Downers. I get that a third kid changes a lot more than a second or first does. I don't think our family realizes that we actually put thought into it before having another kid. And while it seems like most people have their 3rd+ kid by “accident”, we put even more thought into it than the first two. If you can believe it, we have planned ALL of our kids. But, I'm getting somewhat off topic...Yes, dear family, we may or may not need bigger cars. Yes, we need a bigger house or re-do some pre-existing rooms in the house. Absolutely NO, we are not moving! Like, ever. At least until the kids move out. So, in the words of Fry from Futurama...


This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

pBuzz Kids Musical Instrument Giveaway

Sponsored By: pBuzz

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

**4 Winner Giveaway** 

Each winner will receive a pBuzz Musical Instrument ($29.95 RV) A total giveaway value of $119.80!

What is pBuzz?
Designed by a team of British musicians, the pBuzz is a completely new musical instrument. The brightly colored, light and smooth curved edged product has been designed specifically for mini musicians’ little hands. Simple and easy to play, the mouthpiece makes it the perfect introduction to brass playing for early learners. Research has shown that youngsters who have early exposure to musical instruments develop areas of the brain that relate to social, language and reasoning skills, as well as memory. The buzz can also help develop a child’s sensory and fine motor skills, encourage self-expression, stimulate imagination and creativity, build confidence and nurture their natural music talents. 






Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
  Giveaway Dates ~ 8/9 2:00 PM EST through 8/30 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gurunanda Diffuser & Oils Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links if clicked on I may receive a small commission to support this blog. Gurunanda Diffuser and 100% Pure Oils Giveaway

Welcome to the Gurunanda Diffuser and 100% Pure Oils Giveaway!

This is part of our Back To School Gift Guide, so please check it out!
This contest is hosted by the Social Media Gurus Network!
Below is a list of all the bloggers involved in the gift guide.

Michigan Saving and More

Deliciously Savvy

Tales From A Southern Mom

Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains

Here We Go Again ready

My Silly Little Gang

Everyday Gizmos Sweeps & Views

Bargnhtress

Easter Babe’s Theory

Peyton’s Momma

Things That Make People Go Aww

Java John Z's

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now let’s get to the sponsor!

Gurunanda

Diffuser and 100% Pure Oils

Winner receives 1 Diffuser and set of oils
$74.00 RV
See the review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site.You are not eligible if you have won a prize from the sponsor in the last 12 month. This Giveaway is valid in the United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 9/4/17. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

Enter below and Good Luck!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wildcraft! Board Game Review

Wildcraft board game

            Hey folks! As I mentioned in one of my previous Peaceable Kingdom game review posts, I just love playing board games. I'm sure anyone with young children will agree, though, it's damn near impossible to play any with kids around! Other than the wonderful games from Peaceable Kingdom that we've had the pleasure to try out, we also recently discovered another one that even our 4 year old is able to play with us! (With some help, of course.)
             John and I have been wanting to buy Wildcraft for several years, when we first came across it. It's a bit more expensive than most board games, though, and we just couldn't justify spending the money on it. (I actually just checked on Amazon and it is only $29.99, which isn't bad. I could have sworn it used to be almost $40.) But, I thought it was a pretty unique game and you actually learn from it, so the extra cost is justified, in a way.
             Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game is a cooperative board game that explores healing herbs. Wildcraft teaches 25 important edible and medicinal plants and their uses in mostly first aid situations. (Wildcrafting is the harvesting of wild plants.)” Obviously, it has a pretty specific target audience, but believe it or not, they actually run out of copies quite frequently!
             Wildcrafting is just one of many things I would like to learn more about, but just never seem to have or make the time for it. While this game is very basic in what you learn as far as what herbs are good for what types of first aid situations, it's still fun and gives you a jumping off point for looking up further information. I do wish it had more detailed information on the herbs in the game, but I understand that it would probably be against FDA regulations or something.



             John, Myka, and I all played together the first time and the rules were easy enough to follow. I was happy to see when we got it that it's actually recommended for ages 4+, so Myka was able to play with us too. She had to have some help, of course, but she loves being able to play games with us. I also like that this is a cooperative game, so instead of competing against each other, we all work together to make it to the huckleberry patch and back before the sun goes down!
             I have to admit when I first saw how many spaces there were on the game board, I was afraid it was going to take forever! And perhaps it would have if you were playing by yourself (yes, totally do-able), but with the three of us, it actually went pretty quickly. It probably helps too that there are certain cards you can keep to help catch your friends up to where you are on the board. They come in especially handy if you slip down the streams!
             If you're into learning more about plant uses and enjoy playing games with the whole family, definitely be sure to check out Wildcraft. I forgot to mention at the beginning that we actually bought our game when it was on sale for $19.99 AND we got a ton of downloadable bonuses as well. So if you're cheap like me, be sure to sign up for emails from LearningHerbs and keep an eye out for special deals like this!


I purchased this game myself. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received.
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bella Luna Gobble Gobble Pocket Diaper Giveaway


            Searching for a great handmade cloth diaper shop? Bella Luna cloth diapers feature small and limited batches, one of a kind items and are sewn with love and precision. In addition, Bella Luna cloth diapers are proudly made in Canada. The shop offers amazing designs, custom creations, embroidery and fantastic customer service. Their handmade items include cloth diapers, mama cloth, Bella Bottom undies, Bella Bum pants, swimmers, bibs, pull-up trainers and nursing pads. You can visit the Bella Luna shop to see their selection and enter to win this one-size pocket diaper in Gobble Gobble below! Open to USA/Canada ends 8/21


Bella Luna cloth diapers come in a wide variety of styles. From pocket diapers to covers, custom embroidery and even tails! Yes, tails! Dragon diapers with tails and an amazing assortment of patterns with great bum placement. In addition to a great ready-to-ship stock, Bella Luna has custom orders and limited runs of fabrics and pre-orders that you really have to see for yourself! Inserts are sold separately and allow you the option to add as much absorbency as needed!
            This giveaway is for a Bella Luna Gobble Gobble pocket that will be perfect for the fast approaching fall season! The colors have me dreaming of falling leaves, the smell of pumpkin everything and get-together events with friends and family. Bella Luna pocket diaper features:
  • Outer- Polyester Knit (PK), lined with Waterproof Polyester PUL
  • Inner- Athletic Wicking Jersey
  • One-size design: 15-35lbs
  • Handmade in Canada
  • Premium heavy bamboo + zorb inserts available separately
  • Two rows of 10 adjustable waist snaps
  • Two rows of rise snaps
  • Machine washable
  • Machine dry on low or line dry
  • 6 or 12 month limited warranty
            Bella Luna has an amazing selection and some of the most unique diapers I've seen! Make sure to enter this giveaway below and take a look at the shop for in-stock handmade items and good luck. Giveaway will run until 8/21 and winner will be drawn from entries received. Winner will be contacted via the e-mail provided and have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is drawn.

Disclosure: This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. Event organized by Mama Banana’s Adventures. Open to legal residents 18+ of USA and Canada. Confirmed Winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Mama Banana's Adventures & participating bloggers are not responsible for lost or stolen prizes. For questions about this event contact MamaBananasAdventures@gmail.com

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pregnancy Journal #1


             So...If you didn't see my post earlier this week...I'm pregnant again! It feels weird even announcing that on the internet to people I don't even know. Makes me that much more nervous about announcing it to our friends and family. But, I'll get to that in a minute.
             It's so funny how different all of my pregnancies, and the circumstances leading up to them, have been so far. With Myka, it took us over 3 years and I was barely sick with her. In fact, I only physically got sick once with her...the morning of the first day of my 2nd trimester! How's that for irony? Ha ha
             It took us a “normal” amount of time with Ripley (several months). I was a lot more nauseous with her. I think I may have gotten physically sick with her a few times, but mostly only when I had the stomach flu with her. Let me tell you, having things coming out of both ends while you're pregnant is not fun!
             With this one, it is super early (I just found out last Saturday, June 24th) and already I've had to take my papaya extract for nausea! And, wouldn't you have it, we weren't exactly trying, but not NOT trying either this time. Like, I could tell you the exact date that it happened because I've been keeping track of my cycles and all that. So yah, I've become one of those women I used to hate that gets pregnant at the drop of a hat, it seems. Go figure, right?
             This is DEFINITELY our last baby. (I really want one of those shirts that says “Seriously, This is the Last One!”) John and I decided a long time ago that three was definitely the max on what we thought we could handle. I'm still not completely convinced we can handle this many, but it's too late now. It's all I can do to survive the day with the 4 year old most of the time. Ha ha Not to mention the thought of three girls, especially once puberty hits, is ****ing frightening!
              I'm really nervous about telling our family. Well, not so much my husband's as mine...Which is ironic because I come from a larger family than him. I'm sure at least his mom will be excited because ever since we found out we were having another girl with Ripley, his family likes to go on about how we need to keep trying until we have a boy to “carry on the name”. You know. Because we can obviously control that. I could care less about that (probably because it's not my maiden name, huh? Lol), but we are really hoping for a boy this time.
             My mom only had me and my step-dad only had one kid as well, so I'm sure they're probably going to think we're crazy! I'm sure we'll get some snarky comments from certain, more distant relatives, but that's ok. I don't care. It's none of their business. I'm sure most of them will be happy for us.
             I think that's all for now! I could write more, but I'm really trying to get better about not writing you guys books for each post. ;) Have any of you experienced any negativity with any of your pregnancies? How did you handle it?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com