Monday, May 28, 2012

Changing Directions

When I started my blog it was supposed to just be about my family. That was my main goal. I didn't expect a huge readership or to make any money. I just wanted a place to share my thoughts and experiences. After starting my second blog, Reading It All, I quickly got swept into the, sometimes overwhelming, blogging world. I started reviewing so many products and I quit writing about my family.


I have noticed that my reviews, in my opinion, have been lacking. I always feel like I am struggling to come up with what to say. I love the products but I just can't seem to get things into a post like I want. My thoughts would stray, my kids would need me, I would procrastinate.


I recently (like yesterday) wrote a post for Hazelaid, and I actually didn't struggle for the content. I just wrote it all down, and when I was done I was truly happy with the results. I felt like I represented our experience with their products without coming off as a total sales pitch. Because that's the goal, right? Readers want the truth, they want to know about a real experience with the products. They aren't looking for an infomercial.


I do not like feeling like I am being restricted or have to follow guidelines. I don't mind a little information, or pictures, but in general I just want to be able to write what I want. That should be the point. If a company just wants things strictly written and linked then they should just have sponsored posts written. I enjoy the freedom of saying things how I want. I don't mind suggestions, but when the suggestions become stipulations I start to become disinterested. 


I also have a horrible writing style. Can't you tell? I use slang, bad punctuation, bad grammar, and if spell-check doesn't catch something that is spelled wrong, sorry it won't be fixed. I try to correct all of these issues as I am editing posts, but I miss things. That happens. I just like being a relaxed writer. When I try to follow all the rules of writing I struggle to actually write anything. 


I guess in all, what I am saying is that I'm going to be changing things a little. Instead of all the structured posts, I plan to write more freely. I also plan to quit reviewing just any thing for the giveaways and potential readership. I love my readers, but I am doing them and myself a disservice. I have more passion for the products that benefit my children than anything else. Those kinds of items will probably start being at the forefront of my reviews from now on. 


Truthfully, though, the reviews and the giveaways will probably slow down a little bit. Our lives are very busy in this crazy house. We just moved, we have family in town, and it's Summer! Also, I really want to get back to what this blog was started for. I want to blog about my kids and our lives. I hope that I won't lose readers this way but I have to do what I think I should. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Hazelaid - Review


Hazelaid was founded in April 2008 after the owners were introduced to the healing powers of hazelwood. Originally based in Portland, Oregon, Hazelaid moved operations to Montreal, Quebec in February 2010. Hazelaid now carries 300+ unique Hazelwood, Baltic Amber, Magnetic, Ointment, and Soap Nut Products!

    

I was first introduced to Hazelaid by a fellow mom. Most of my children suffer from eczema, and my oldest daughter and husband both suffer from horrible acid reflux. So I went to Hazelaid to read about their products. I was really impressed with all the information they have in their About section. They discuss the benefits of Hazelwood, Baltic Amber, Soap Nuts, and Magnets. Like, I learned that Soap Nuts are actually a fruit so they will not cause problems for Riley who has a severe nut allergy. I found out how to tell when my Hazelwood necklaces need to be replaced. I also learned that if the necklaces do not improve a condition than it is likely that the condition isn't acid-based. They also have a page called "I Suffer From ..." that is very helpful. If you are trying to decide which necklace would be best to benefit your health, this page is a very good starting place. I learned quickly that for Eczema and Acid Reflux I should get Hazelwood necklaces. 

After going through and reading all the amazing information I started looking for necklaces for my three oldest children. Ashlynn suffers from horrible Acid Reflux so I knew we would be looking for Hazelwood for her. Riley and Robert both suffer from Eczema. They have bad allergies, but I wanted to see if Hazelwood would help the condition, so we could use less medicine. Now the fun part, shopping!

 Ashlynn, whose favorite color is purple, got the Amethyst necklace.
 For Robbie, we went for manly (because he's two and that's important, haha), and got the Black Obsidian.
Riley, always one for something extra, needed this Red Heart.

So, necklaces ordered, we waited for them to arrive. Shipping was incredibly fast. I had my necklaces in a few days and they were each in a separate bag in a package. They were beautiful, and the kids couldn't wait to put them on. 
Ashlynn modeling her Hazelaid necklace
I wanted to be sure I got the most accurate results so besides the daily Zyrtec, we stopped all the Eczema medicine for Riley and Robbie. The children wore their necklaces constantly for a month, as it can take up to three weeks to see results. Sadly, after that time, Riley and Robbie were still suffering from Eczema. I knew this was a possibility and I wasn't upset about it. The people at Hazelaid were very helpful. They gave me information about things other than excessive acidity, such as different foods and chemicals, that could be causing their eczema. They also gave me a website to look into for all natural products for my kids. I really love how much they care for their customers to follow up and give me more information. 

Ashlynn is a whole different story! She was constantly having issues with her Acid Reflux. The poor girl was just like her daddy, she needed Tums constantly to fight it off. Shortly after donning her beautiful Amethyst Hazelwood necklace we noticed that she quit asking for Tums! I was so excited about this. I mean, sure it was extra Calcium, but I hated that she was always hurting. She has been wearing her Hazelaid necklace for more than two months now and it is like she never had a problem with Acid Reflux. 

All of the necklaces are just gorgeous, and they are amazing quality. If an item can survive my rambunctious little monsters, it can survive anything. The clasps were perfect. I had no problems with them causing problems for my children. I followed the directions and made sure the children showered with their necklaces on so the Hazelwood could absorb water. All of the necklaces are still perfect. Ashlynn especially loves hers because she always feels she needs some jewelry. 

I have really fallen in love with Hazelaid and all their products. After seeing how much the necklace has helped Ashlynn, my husband has asked me to get one for him. I also want to try the Hazelwood with Magnets for my carpal Tunnel, and the Soap Nuts for my children's sensitive skin. I am so glad my friend told me about them.

You can find out more about Hazelaid and their products on their Website, Facebook, and Twitter

Hazelaid is offering my readers a 10% discount on their orders. Just use Crazy10 when you are checking out to receive the discount. Also they are sponsoring a $25 gift certificate in the Bringing in Summer Giveaway! Be sure to enter!!

I received the above mentioned products at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Creative Steps Giveaway - Ends 6/9

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We're taking part in the Bringing in Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Karma Media.

Once you have entered our fantastic giveaway,  please take a look at all the other giveaways listed at the bottom of the post (after entering mind !!) 




WIN AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION OF 
Creative Steps
A fantastic magazine packed with easy, fun projects and activities … an excellent source of inspiration for primary school teachers, classroom assistants, childminders & nannies, nursery teachers, playgroup and pre-school organisers, home educators, Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Scouting leaders and, of course, parents and grandparents!
Visit their website

0 - 5 years 
Concentrating on texture and sensory stimulation, projects in this group include:
mobile
treasureUSE YOUR LOAF! - Take some slices of white bread and transform them into a colourful mobile.

 JEWELLED TREASURE - Make your own treasure trove using paper plates, sweet wrappers and tin foil!



5 - 7 years
Fun crafting projects to make with children in Key Stage 1, include:
hat
HATS OFF FOR ROLE-PLAY! - Six great hat ideas to give your role-play sessions       a headstart!
cupcake
VANILLA CUPCAKES - The prettiest cupcakes you’ve ever seen - perfect for a Mother’s Day tea. 



7 - 11 years
Great ideas for older kids to make and do:
ballerina
FIREBIRD BALLERINA - A beautiful, step-by-step art project using a number of different techniques including drawing, painting and collage.
mirror
MIRROR IMAGE - Decorate a little mirror and turn it into a colourful gift for Mother’s Day.





This amazing giveaway is open Internationally!!
Winners Choice of Online or Printed Annual Subscription!!
Ending on Saturday 2nd June at 12.01am Est

Enter Below and Good Luck !!



a Rafflecopter giveaway
YOU CAN NOW ENTER THE FOLLOWING GIVEAWAYS - GOOD LUCK !! Disclaimer - Please note that Karma Media are not responsible for any giveaway sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes on all of the participating blogs in the Bringing In Summer Giveaway Hop.

Bringing in Summer Giveaway Hop - Ends 6/9

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Five Kids and Crazy Me is taking part in the Bringing in Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Karma Media. I have a great sponsor, Hazelaid, who specializes in jewelry with healing properties. All of their pieces are beautiful and quality made. Stop by and read my review of their products! They have been great enough to offer the winner of my giveaway a $25 gift certificate to use at their website. This prize is being offered worldwide, so anyone can enter!  

Once you have entered our fantastic giveaway,  please take a look at all the other giveaways listed at the bottom of the post
a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer - Please note that Karma Media are not responsible for any giveaway sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes on all of the participating blogs in the Bringing In Summer Giveaway Hop.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Genesis Code - Review and Giveaway



Title: The Genesis Code
Release Date: August 25, 2010
Director: C. Thomas Howell and Patrick Read Johnson
Starring: Logan Bartholomew, Kelsey Sanders, and C.W. Lewis


About the Movie:
Kerry Wells (Kelsey Sanders), a college journalist and committed Christian with an effervescent personality, has been assigned to do a story on Blake Truman (Logan Bartholomew) the college’s newest and very popular hockey superstar. As a relationship between them begins to develop Kerry finds that Blake, who hides behind a tough and independent fa├žade, is actually struggling through a difficult personal crisis and that he bears the cross of a secret he has kept hidden for years. Blake rebuffs Kerry's suggestion that prayer might help ease his burden; he is convinced that modern science completely disproves the Bible, especially the opening verses of Genesis. Kerry — who is herself suddenly confronted with a challenge to her faith on another front — sets out to prove that science and Genesis are not in conflict and her quest leads to a startling revelation. Could it be that what science teaches us about creation and the Story as told in Genesis are both true!




My Thoughts: This movie was very heartfelt and full of amazing information. I am not an entirely scientific or mathematical person, but my husband is. I did understand and enjoy the way that they put together the proof of modern science proving Genesis is true. I also found it really interesting that Genesis could be what holds people back from believing the Bible. That is not a thought that had ever occurred to me.


Kerry and Blake had a great budding relationship through out the movie. The were total opposites, but the overcame that. I also liked how readily Kerry was there for Blake during his struggles. In fact so was her dad and one of her professors. It was really good to see.


The characters in The Genesis Code are great, and relate-able. I think this movie will be great for Christians. This may also be a great movie for those people who are on the fence, trying to understand how both Science and the Bible can be right. The Genesis Code shows an entirely plausible way for that to happen.


Links For The Genesis Code:
Website: http://www.thegenesiscodemovie.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thegenesiscodemovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/thegenesiscode
Dove Foundation Review: http://www.dove.org/reviewpopup.asp?Unique_ID=8437


I am getting a chance to give away a copy of The Genesis Code to my readers! Please just enter on the Rafflecopter below for you chance to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway 


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cowgirls n' Angels Review



I recently got to see an online advanced screening of Cowgirls n' Angels. This was my first advanced screening, and it was so much fun!


About Cowgirls n' Angels:
Cowgirls N' Angels is a heartwarming movie that tells the story of Ida, a feisty and rebellious young girl, who has dreams of finding her father, a rodeo rider. While searching for her dad, she connects with the Sweethearts of the Rodeo, a team of young female rodeo riders run by former rodeo star Terence Parker. Recognizing Ida's innate talent for trick riding, Terence recruits her for their ranks. Accepted wholeheartedly by her new "family," Ida finds a new passion that redefines her life, and may also help her find the father she's been searching for.




Release Date: May 25, 2012
Director: Timothy Armstrong
Starring: Alicia Witt, Bailee Madison, Jackson Rathbone, and James Cromwell
Rating: PG


My Thoughts: This was such a sweet movie. I love Bailee Madison, she is such a great actress. She really brought Ida to life. Ida had a big spirit and she was so fun! Her story was just beautiful. A little girl looking for her daddy. I loved it so much. When the other Sweethearts started helping her look I was really happy. It was like Ida had found a place she fit into. 


Terence (James Cromwell) was a great role model for Ida, and all the Sweethearts, really. He took them all under his wing and gave them something to love, and have fun with. The rest of the Sweethearts were great. They each had personality and really brought more to the movie. I also enjoyed Kansas (Madison Burge) and Justin's (Jackson Rathbone) story. They had some sweet scenes as their relationship blossomed.


This movie is a great family friendly story. Little girls will fall in love with the horses and Ida's fun personality. I can't wait to share it with my little girl. Of course then she will want a horse, but I think she will love this movie, too. It is rated PG so be sure you know what to expect before turning it on for young children. I did not notice any bad language or anything like that. 


I watched an online advance screening of the above movie in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions were 100% my own.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gothic Innocence Review and Giveaway



I have only been a Karma Media team member for a short amount of time now, but I really love all the new products and shops I am being introduced to. The latest shop is Gothic Innocence. This is a great shop that creates beautiful Gothic items. They feature several beautiful cameo designs that can be made into pins, pendants, and lockets. The cameos all feature beautiful images such as dolphins and fairies, and Gothic skulls in several colors.


I received a beautiful cameo pin from Gothic Innocence. It features an Ivory fairy watching birds and butterflies. It has a black matte background and is set into silver. There is a clasp on the back to attach it to clothing.


This piece is so beautiful. The design is very intricate. The details on the little fairy and the bird and butterflies are amazing. The pin seems very well made and sturdy. I absolutely love everything about it. Now I really want to go back and order more items for my younger sister. I think that she would love some of the beautiful pins and pendants that Gothic Innocence has created. I think that the items from Gothic Innocence will appeal to many people. 

To see more of Gothic Innocence's items or to purchase something for yourself please stop by their Facebook page.

Be sure to enter to win an item from Gothic Innocence on the Rafflecopter below! There will be 17 winners!! This giveaway ends 5/27 at 11:50 PM EST.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


As a member of Karma Media I received this product from Gothic Innocence in hopes of obtaining a review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, May 11, 2012

On Toby's Terms & Toby and His Hospital Friends Giveaway

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Toby has specially 'PAWdographed' both books for our lucky winners !!

This amazing giveaway is open Worldwide
Ending on Saturday 26th May at 12.01am EST
Hosted by Karma Media

5 WINNERS RECEIVE BOTH FANTASTIC BOOKS !!

On Toby's Terms
When Charmaine and her husband adopted Toby, a five-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever, they figured he might need some adjusting time, but they certainly didn't count on what he'd do in the meantime. Soon after he entered their lives and home, Toby proved to be a holy terror who routinely opened and emptied the hall closet, turned on water taps, pulled and ate things from the bookshelves, sat for hours on end in the sink, and spent his days rampaging through the house. Oddest of all was his penchant for locking himself in the bathroom, and then pushing the lid of the toilet off the tank, smashing it to pieces. After a particularly disastrous encounter with the knife- block in the kitchen-and when the couple discovered Toby's bloody paw prints on the phone-they decided Toby needed professional help. Little did they know what they would discover about this dog. On Toby's Terms is an endearing story of a beguiling creature who teaches his owners that, despite their trying to teach him how to be the dog they want, he is the one to lay out the terms of being the dog he needs to be. This insight would change their lives forever.

Toby the Pet Therapy Dog, and his hospital friends
Toby is a big, brown, happy dog. Every week, his owner, Miss Charmaine takes him to visit and comfort children who are in the hospital. Follow Toby the service dog for a day, and see how he makes friends with the children, helps make them happy and forget that they are sick and away from home. * Beautifully illustrated, Toby, the Pet Therapy Dog teaches young readers the wonders of being of service to others. * A happy story that also sends a positive message about community, as well as the importance of kindness to pets.

Special Thanks to Toby and Author Charmaine Hammond for these super prizes xxx

ENTER TO WIN !!
GOOD LUCK !!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kids 1st Shape Puzzle Giveaway!




Kids 1st Shape Puzzle is giving away 3 of their apps to one of the Karma Media Team readers! Be sure that you have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, and then enter to win on the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kids 1st Shape Puzzle Review


My children think that they always need to use our smart phones or tablets. I have started getting them little apps every once in a while. They love them all but I love the educational ones the most. That is why I was so excited to get a chance to review the Kids 1st Shape Puzzle app on the iPhone.




Created by Gil Weiss, the Kids 1st Shape Puzzle has 16 fun and educational puzzles. The puzzles are all colorful and really cute. Each puzzle has a variety of sounds.  My three year old daughter had such a good time with all the puzzles.





The interactive alphabet puzzle was a big favorite for my daughter. She is starting school in the fall and has been working so hard to learn her letters and numbers. This puzzle is a fun way to help her work on that. As she touched each letter that appeared it told her the letter and what started with that letter. After she completed the puzzle the app went through the alphabet with her.




Another favorite was the safari animals. Not only did my three year old love this one, but my two year old son had fun with it, too. He thought all the animal sounds were really great. His favorite is the lion.






You can purchase the Kids 1st Shape Puzzle app at the Apple iTunes store. You can learn more about the app on their Website and Facebook.


Hop through the linky below to check out some more reviews by the Karma Media Team .


I received the Kids 1st Shape Puzzle app as part of a Karma Media campaign. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Sassy Cook'n!



I am so excited to introduce you to one of the sponsors for the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop", Sassy Cook'n!


"Sassy Cook’n™ is an Idaho company that designs and distributes kitchen accessories including, aprons, oven mitts, potholders and napkins. [They] sell high quality products manufactured in the United States for a great value. Sassy Cook’n™ products are an affordable luxury that appeals to women of all ages."


I have really enjoyed looking at all the products that Sassy Cook'n has to offer. They are very unique, and so gorgeous! With aprons running from this simple and beautiful Bright Pink Apron 
to the adorable Sweet Home and the Smokin Hot Cowboy aprons.

They also carry wonderful oven mitts, napkins, place mats, and potholders. All of these come in a variety of patterns and they are so pretty. 



Sassy Cook'n has a children's aprons line, too! I am really excited about that because my girls always want to cook with me. They would just love getting their own aprons to wear. The choices of fabrics are so cute! 


      

Aren't those patters just so sweet? I will have to let the girls pick out their favorites. 

If you would like to learn more about Sassy Cook'n and purchase their wonderful products you can stop by their Website and Facebook!

The great people over at Sassy Cook'n are giving one of my readers their choice of an apron in the "May Buffet Giveaway Hop"! Be sure to go enter to win!

May Buffet Giveaway Hop - Ends 5/15


Welcome to May Buffet coordinated by ShePromotes!
This event will take place from May 1st at 12:01am EST through May 15th at 11:59pm EST.
It's May! And for many of us that means the start of grilling and cookout season. Good food is great all year round, but there is just something about the warm weather that says bring on the steaks! I am sure you like to check out recipes shared by your favorite bloggers, so we thought we'd share some yummy prizes with you! Each blog listed below on the linky has a prize valued at $25+ for each winner - ALL FOOD RELATED! This means goodies to eat and items to help you fix, mix, cook, and serve delicious dishes. So let the May Buffet begin!

Well lets get right to it and let me show you the prizes and introduce the sponsors for Five Kids and Crazy Me's giveaway!

From Cook'n: The Cook'n Recipe Organizer RV $79.95
Stop by and read the Sponsor Spotlight for Cook'n!

From Bill's Best BBQ: A two pack of their Bill's Best BBQ Sauce, one bottle of Original and one bottle of Spicy RV $12.99
Stop by and read the Sponsor Spotlight for Bill's Best BBQ!

From Sassy Cook'n: An apron of the winner's choice RV $32
Stop by and read the Sponsor Spotlight for Sassy Cook'n!

From Popchips: Two $1 off coupons for Popchips products.
Stop by and read the Sponsor Spotlight for Popchips!

So one winner will receive this prize pack valued at $124.94!! Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. Open to US and Canada! Once you're done entering my giveaway be sure to hop through the linky below!