Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moonlight Rises Book Tour


Book Details:
Genre:Adult Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: StoneGate Ink
Publication Date: August 13,2011
Source: Partners in Crime Tours

“Life sucks. Then you die. Or, if you’re Dick Moonlight, first you die and then you live.”

Dick Moonlight is dead.

Really dead this time, now that three President Obama-masked thugs dressed all in black and communicating only with hand-held voice synthesizers pressed up against their voice boxes have beat the life right out of him inside a dark, downtown Albany alley. What are the thugs after? A box. Size, weight, description unknown. They also want him to stay away from his newest and only client: a handicapped nuclear engineer of dubious Russian heritage by the same of Peter Czech.

But then, now that they’ve killed him, Moonlight’s problems seem to be over. In fact, as he undergoes an out of body experience, his soul floating above his train-wreck of a corpse inside the Albany Medical Center I.C.U., he feels pretty damned good. Great in fact. To make death all the more sweeter, his one true love, Lola, is standing by his bedside. With her long dark hair draping her chiseled face and big round Jackie O sunglasses hiding tear-filled eyes, she appears every bit the grieving sig other. Nothing could make the dead-and-gone Moonlight prouder.

But then something happens. Something bad. A man enters into the I.C.U. Some young guy. He takes hold of Lola’s hand, and pulls her into him. Together, the two share a loving embrace over Moonlight’s dead body. Now, what seemed like a peaceful death is anything but. Moonlight wants back inside his body so he can face-off Some Young Guy and find out if his true love has in fact been cheating on him. At the same time, he wants to find out the true identity of those thugs who killed him so he can exact his revenge. No doubt about it, Moonlight needs to live if he’s going to uncover some pretty painful answers and take care of business.

Like a little kid dropping down a playground slide, Moonlight slides right back inside his bruised and broken body. Opening his eyes the white light blinds him. He feels the pain of his wounds and the pain of his breaking heart.

Life sucks, then you die.

But Moonlight rises.

My thoughts about the book:
I haven’t been riveted to a suspenseful book in a long time. I thought Moonlight Rises was a great action-packed book. I have read so many predictable books – why finish them if you have figured out the ending way back in the beginning of the book? Moonlight Rises kept me guessing all the way until the end. I found each of the characters interesting and a bit mysterious in terms of their motives, backgrounds, and relation to the story. I like Moonlight’s personality and the sarcastic humor used at times.

Overall, I believe Zandri is a clever author who has definitely found a new fan in me. I enjoy his writing and the “voice” of the story. I look forward to more Moonlight books – I want to hear what’s in store for Moonlight and what trouble will find him.

About the Author:

Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon Kindle author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL and the forthcoming MOONLIGHT RISES. He is also the author of the bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described his novels as "...gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called THE INNOCENT, "Sensational...Masterful...Brilliant!" In March, April and May of 2011, he sold more than 100,000 Kindle E-Books editions of his novels, and is rapidly closing in on the 200K mark all totaled. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, Globalspec, IBTimes and more, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.

Connect With Vincent:

Moonlight Rises can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I received a free copy of the book for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

My guest post on the importance of life insurance

I was in a terrible car accident a few years ago.  As any accident would, I was affected in more ways than one.  I have more anxiety on the road at night and in moderate to severe weather than I have in the past.  I am also more conscious and nervous regarding others' driving.  I also purchased life insurance as a result.  I recently wrote a guest post for Allstate Insurance.  You can read my article here!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Marzetti Caramel Dip Review & Giveaway


I know it is really strange, but until recently, I had never had a caramel apple before.  I am not sure why.  I have seen a ton of caramel apples being sold at local fairs and carnivals, but I had never purchased one.  I have always opted for the fried dough! 

My daughter and I were pretty excited to have the opportunity to review Marzetti Old-Fashioned Caramel Dip and make our own caramel apples at home.  Immediately upon opening the tub of caramel, my daughter's eyes lit up and she was like one of Pavlov's dogs as she salivated!  It took only a matter of seconds to warm the caramel and then swirl our apples in the bowl.  My daughter chose to sprinkle one of the apples with halloween/fall sprinkles.  My daughter and I immediately started to eat one apple each - we just couldn't wait!  Despite the fact that my son had never tried a caramel apple as well, his eyes lit up as well the moment he walked into the room.  I sliced off a piece of my apple and stuck it on a popsicle stick for him. My kids sat down right where they were and chomped away!



Marzetti Caramel Dips come in different varieties and are a delicious addition to numerous treats, including fruit, pretzels, and pound cake.  You can find these dips in your grocer's produce section.  A 16-ounce package costs approximately $3.99 (prices may vary by store).  If you are interested in finding new recipe ideas, visit

I have a giveaway for you!  TWO Tidbits From A Mom readers will win a coupon for a FREE Marzetti Produce Dip! Please complete the Rafflecopter form below.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Werther's Caramel Candies Review & Caramel Apple Recipe

My husband and I have been snacking on Werther’s Original Caramels for years. Frankly, I find them completely addicting. They are considered a perfect fall treat, particularly when you melt them to make caramel apples. However, we consider them year-round treats in our home. Werther’s Original has also created other varieties – Creamy Caramel Filled, Chewy Caramels, Caramel Chocolates, and Sugar Free!

My family and I had the opportunity to review three of the Werther’s varieties, including the Creamy Caramel Filled, Chewy Caramels, and the Caramel Chocolates. These candies have been just as addicting as the original ones. I have then stashed everywhere – the kitchen, my car, my desk at work, and my work bag!


With the product samples, I received some information about Werther’s of which I was never aware. For example, the original caramel recipe was developed over 100 years ago in a caramel shoppe in the European village of Werther. Also, Werther’s celebrates caramel year-round at their Caramel Shoppe in the German Pavilion at Epcot in Walt Disney World. I was excited to hear this because my family will be going there next year on vacation! I can visit the Caramel Shoppe!

Werther’s Original Candies are great to eat on their own or as an added bonus to any other sweet treat! Here’s a recipe for making delicious caramel apples using Werther’s candies:

Classic Caramel Apples
50 pieces (about 11 oz.) Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels, unwrapped
4 Popsicle sticks
4 medium-sized apples
2 Tbs. evaporate milk

Push sticks into tops of apples. Place caramels and milk in 1-qt., microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, stirring frequently until smooth, about 3 minutes. Dip and swirl apples in melted caramel mixture, using a spoon to spread evenly.

Place on waxed paper until caramel sets or refrigerate 15 minutes for quicker results. Serves 4.

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  I received free product samples for the purpose of this review in partnership with BzzAgent.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Book Giveaway: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab


I wrote a review about The Secret of the Sacred Scarab last month.  You can read my review here.  This is an action packed adventure that your child is sure to enjoy!  Not only is a fabulous story, but it is full of educational information as well. 

I have one paper copy to give away to a lucky Tidbits From A Mom reader!  Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend Hops!

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Winnie the Pook DVD/Blue-Ray Combo Pack Giveaway!

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, for the latest adventure featuring the world’s beloved bear, Winnie The Pooh! Join Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Christopher Robin, Owl, Kanga, Piglet, Eeyore, and all of the classic characters you know and love when Walt Disney Pictures releases Winnie The Pooh on DVD and Blu-Ray October 25, 2011!

Winnie the Pooh has always been one of my favorite Disney characters. I love the movies, even as an adult! My son loves watching the movies as well, which gives me every reason to buy the new movie being released. He was too young to go to the movies when it was out, so I am pretty excited about its release on the 25th!

The widget below has a great Pooh Personality Quiz for you to take in which you can find out which character you and your children are most like! Also, if you click on the widget, you will have access to coloring sheets, exclusive “Pooh” cooking recipes, party ideas, crafts, games and more!

DBA West/Partners Hub has offered to sponsor a giveaway for one Tidbits From A Mom reader to win a free DVD/Blue-Ray combo pack of the new Winnie the Pooh movie! Please complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Litfuse Blog Tour: Married Mom, Solo Parent by Carla Coroy and a Facebook Party


About the book:

For married women who feel like single parents.

Bookstore shelves are full of parenting resources for moms who are newly divorced or widowed. But where do moms turn if they feel like a single parent--but they’re not? Whether he is away on business, deployed in the military, or obsessing over a computer game, dad may not be available for a variety of reasons. Moms who parent in this situation still need help and don’t necessarily relate to the advice given in divorce recovery or single parenting resources.

Married Mom, Solo Parent is a common-sense, down-to-earth look at the struggles wives and mothers face when their husband is not actively involved in family life. Writing from her own experience as a married single mom, Carla Anne Coroy will help wives and mothers sort through their questions,such as: Can I do this alone? How do I raise kids to honor their father? How do I give my children a healthy perspective of marriage if they never see one inaction? With practical suggestions, anecdotes, and biblical teaching, this book will encourage moms to see their position as a high calling, to find healing for their worries and frustrations, and to tap into God’s strength for help in facing the daily challenge of being a married mom, solo parent.

My thoughts about the book:

“Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God’s Strength to Face the Challenge” is a book that would have been extremely beneficial to read in the midst of my struggles last year.  Carla Coroy, is honest and straightforward about her experience with single parenting while married.  Coroy shares her feelings, her challenges, and her successes.  She also provides tips to moms regarding mealtime, maintaining the house, spending time with children, and how to find support from God throughout all of this. 

This book really hit home for me.  I was truly struggling last year with my husband traveling so often (practically every other week), taking care of two kids, and working full-time.  I felt I was drowning and I wasn’t sure if I was going to resurface.  Coroy voiced the thoughts in my head and the feelings I had.  It seemed that the people around me could not really understand what I was experiencing because they were not living it.  Carla Anne Coroy has lived it and understands perfectly well what life is like in this situation.
I am so happy to report that my life has changed 180 degrees.  My son is sleeping through the night, my husband is traveling less and helping me out a ton at home, and I feel like a new woman.  Due to the fact that my husband still needs to travel from time to time, I felt it was still appropriate to review this book.  I have found Coroy’s advice very useful.  Being a single parent even for a brief period of time can be difficult.  However, as Coroy discusses in the book, you can’t live in self-pity.  You need to still be a parent.  I have adjusted and think about things so differently now. 

About the Author:

Carla Anne Coroy runs the Married Single Mom blog at She speaks regularly and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children. For more information, visit

About the Facebook Party:

Come to an encouraging MomChat party on Facebook…you could win a KindleTouch!

To celebrate the release of her new book Carla has partnered with her publisher, Kregel, to host a live MomChat party on Facebook!

The party will wrap up the blog tour( and Carla will be hosting an encouraging MomChat about all things mom and wife related. There will also be a fun contest and she’s giving away a KindleTouch and a ton of other fun stuff (books, gift certificates and more!).

So RSVP today and then come back on 10/25 at 5pm Pacific,8pm Eastern for the party.
Don't miss the fun ... and tell your friends.

Coroy FB Party

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  I received a free book for the purpose of this review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

JewelMint Review & Giveaway!

Kate Bosworth and fashion designer/stylist Cher Coulter teamed up to create JewelMint. JewelMint has stunning jewelry pieces that are original and sure to draw attention. JewelMint has a unique kind of website, in that based upon the personalized profile you create, you will receive suggestions as to what pieces are right for you. You can create your own showroom and add pieces each month. Should you decide to purchase a piece of jewelry, it will cost $29.99 – no more than that! That is a fabulous price! Also, JewelMint often has deals, particularly if you “Like” them on Facebook.

I recently reviewed the Faye Dynasty earrings. The JewelMint website describes these earrings as “neo-noir Chinatown look”. They consist of an oxidized brass-plating and aqua enamel. There are light azure crystals recessed that give “‘40s chic a fresh glam edge”.



The Faye Dynasty earrings instantly caught my eye not only because they are exactly my style, but also because the color combination is beautiful. I received the earrings quickly and was thrilled with the box they came in. It is a beautiful box with a cushion inside to protect the earrings and a professional description of the earrings written on the inside. I immediately tried them on of course to show my daughter (who shares my love of jewelry). Her first words, “I call them when you are too old to wear them!” I replied, “That’s a LONG time from now!” She stated, “That’s ok, I can wait”.
JewelMint has so many jewelry pieces to choose from – necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. There is something for everyone there. The sign-up and creating your personalized showroom is so easy and does not take much time. I really enjoyed the process myself  I thought it was fun and interesting to hear their suggestions for me since they are the fashion experts! JewelMint also has a blog that I find extremely interesting, in that it has a ton of pictures, articles, and information on style and fashion.

I have fabulous news! JewelMint has offered to sponsor a giveaway for one Tidbits From A Mom reader to win a free piece of jewelry from JewelMint! This is great giveaway! I wouldn’t miss out on this one! Please complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Pineapple Upside Down Cake is hands down my favorite kind of cake.  I love the mix of fruit with nuts and cake….so yummy.  I thought I would share the recipe with you.  My sister made this recently and took this picture.  She is so creative with her displays – mine does not typically look like this ;)

Ingredients needed:
¼ c butter
½ c packed brown sugar
1 (8-½oz) can pineapple slices, drained and cut into halves (save juice)
maraschino cherries
walnut halves
1 pkg yellow cake mix

Heat oven to 350. Melt butter over low heat in a 9-in baking pan. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter.  Arrange pineapple halves, cherries, and walnuts over sugar mixture.

Prepare cake mix as directed on package; however, use juice + water in place of just water in cake mix directions. Pour half the batter (about 2-½ c) evenly over fruit in pan (bake remaining batter in 8- or 9-in layer pan; use as desired or freeze). Bake 35-45 min or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Invert at once onto serving plate. Leave pan over cake a few minutes. Serve warm plain or with whipped cream.

 That’s it and it’s delicious!!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All Hallow's Eve Hop!

All Hallows Eve Blog Hop

The All Hallow's Eve Hop is being hosted by Just Married with Coupons, Sweep Tight, Adventures of My Family of 8, Social Media Junkie and Kelly’s Lucky You. Join the blog hop today!

They have decided to celebrate by hosting a creepy hop just for us bloggers! The best part is that you can WIN a $100 Gift Certificate to purchase all of your HALLOWEEN CANDY at GroovyCandies! How yummy is that?

GroovyCandies offers a HUGE selection of candy from bulk candy to candy to hand out for Halloween. You want it, they have it! Be sure to check them out for all of your candy needs!

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Take Over Tuesday Facebook Edition

post signature Giveaway!

I have been wearing glasses since I was a young girl. It’s hysterical (and slightly embarrassing) to look at the photos of myself over the years and my choice in frames. I enjoy visiting my optometrist each year for my annual exam because I love purchasing new frames! I love trying all the different styles and finding that perfect pair for me. However, it has become more difficult to rationalize my decision to buy new glasses when the prices are so outrageous!

I believe online eyewear websites have become more popular for purchasing contacts and eyeglasses. You can save a bundle! offers stylish frames that will not hurt your wallet. has a wide variety of frames from which to choose, including full-rim, semi-rim, and rimless. These frames also come in different styles, materials, and shapes. There are so many to look at and consider for yourself.

I was able to review recently and I was pleased with the ease of the process. You need to have a current prescription to start with of course, which I had. Therefore, I spent some time browsing through so many choices, uploaded my photo to the “Eye Try” feature, and began trying on glasses. I decided upon the Paris frames because these are the style I like and that seem to compliment my face.


I received the glasses within several days. I had been a little nervous because I had never purchased glasses online before. I was pleasantly surprised! I think they look good on me (of course, you may have a different opinion!)! The nose piece needed a little adjusting because I felt as though they were perched high off my face a bit. I am so happy with them! I believe that you can’t beat these prices – quality glasses for a fraction of the price!

Follow on Twitter and Facebook!

I have great news! has offered to sponsor a giveaway for one Tidbits From A Mom reader to receive a $30 gift card! The gift card excludes designer eyewear and sunglasses.

Please complete the Rafflecopter form below if you would like to enter.

Book Review: Friends


I have to say that 50% of my job involves working with individual students, small groups, and classrooms on social skills. Children struggle in all different areas of friendship, but they have one sole thing in common. They all want friends. There isn’t one child who can tell me that they prefer to be by himself or herself (at least not all the time).

I have had students say to me, “I don’t have any friends”, which is so sad to hear. Oftentimes, I will point out to them that this person or that person seems to like them. However, the child does not view it as a friendship. I often explain to children that when we are upset, sad, frustrated, and even angry, we sometimes look at our situation with “blinders”. We may only see the negative. Children who are frustrated with not feeling a close connection to another child may speak globally and say, “I have no friends”, which may in fact not be the case at all.

“Friends”, written by Patty Fee Yates, is a story about Jack. Jack is feeling sad because he does not feel that he has any friends. As he continues on his walk, he meets a frog. Although their differences are quite apparent, they still form an instant friendship and the differences do not matter. As Jack and his new frog friend continue on their walk, their group grows as they meet new friends along the way. These new friends are all animals and reptiles are feeling as Jack did – lonely and sad because they do not feel they have any friends. Regardless of the fact that there are major differences amongst them, this simply does not matter.

I thought this was a sweet book about friendship; however, I know that my daughter would not make the connection to the "bigger picture".  I know many students who think in black and white and would say, "I can't go for a walk and find animals to be my friends". This would be a nice book to supplement curriculum on tolerance, diversity, and friendship. It sends a great message to children about being more open-minded to those around them that are potential friends, but I am not sure whether students would be motivated by the story because it is not an everyday context for them. I thought the illustrations were nice, but I do wish that they were in color, instead of black and white. I think the cover, which is in color, is great and I simply think pictures in color would add so much more.

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I received a free sample for the purpose of this review as a member of the Dorrance Review Team. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Mixbook Holiday Photo Card Review

The holidays are right around the corner. Typically, the decorations do not appear until Halloween is over; however, some of my local stores have already begun packing the shelves! One of the first items on my holiday planning and preparation agenda is our annual Christmas card. I love showing off our children on the annual card. I have saved one extra card each year because I love the way the designs compliment the photos and frankly, I am just a sentimental person! I enjoy looking at previous cards.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review custom 5x7 Flat Holiday Cards from Mixbook. Mixbook is not a website that I have used previously and I have to say that I was really impressed. In terms of the holiday cards, Mixbook has a ton of designs from which to choose. I had a really difficult time coming to a decision. I actually made five or six cards, saved them in my project file, and then my husband, daughter, and I debated until we made our final decision.  Here are a couple of the designs that I particularly liked:



The website was very easy to use. Even though I had to keep uploading the same photo for every card I wished to design, it really did not take much time at all. I received my cards within a few days and I am very pleased with the design we chose. It is only the middle of October and I already have the first item on my holiday list checked off!

In addition to holiday photo cards, Mixbook also has wide variety of options for creating calendars and photo books! The designs are amazing. These make wonderful personalized gifts for the holidays!

Follow Mixbook on Twitter and Facebook!

*Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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Real Steel Prize Pack Giveaway!


DreamWorks Pictures’ new release, “Real Steele” had a fantastic opening on October 7th. This action drama, directed by Shawn Levy, stars Hugh Jackman, Dakota Groyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, and Kevin Durand.

The synopsis of the movie is that Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer who has the opportunity for a comeback by teaming up with his estranged son(Dakota Goyo) to create and train a high-tech robot boxer.
This is an action packed movie that is great for the family. It has the high-tech gadgets that we love and the family feel-good storyline we love. Check out the trailer of Jackman and Goyo below!

“Like” Real Steel on Facebook!

DreamWorks Pictures is sponsoring a fabulous Real Steel Prize Pack Giveaway! Included in the giveaway are an Adult T-Shirt (Sizes S, M, L, XL), Bottle Opener, Stickers, and Temporary Tattoos! Please complete the Rafflecopter form below.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011



As most people are well aware, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. FRESCHETTA has announced their PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK Program. FRESCHETTA has a goal of raising $50,000to donate to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. When you purchase specially marked packages between September 25th and October 31st, $1.00 will be donated to the aforementioned fund. Codes may be entered at This website also allows people to share their stories about breast cancer with others. FRESCHETTA is being very generous by giving away 50 pink iPod shuffles every week in October and giving away 50 additional pink iPod shuffles to four cancer centers in the U.S. for patients to use during treatments. 

You can learn more about the PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK Program by visiting their website and Facebook page!

FRESCHETTA was very kind to send me a gift pack that included a coupon for a free FRESCHETTA pizza and two pairs of pink earphones – one for me to keep and one for me to give to a loved one. I chose to buy the Naturally Rising 4-Cheese Pizza. It was delicious! My husband will often roll his eyes at me when I tell him we are going to be eating a frozen dinner or pizza, but I can honestly say he really liked this pizza! The earphones are awesome – they are certainly a reminder to be proactive in remaining healthy, which honestly is something that I forget. I chose to give my second pair to my mother-in-law who had breast cancer a couple of years ago.

As part of the FRESCHETTA PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK Program, FRESCHETTA is offering one of my readers the same gift pack that I received – a coupon for a free pizza and two pairs of FRESCHETTA PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK earphones. Here are the details of the giveaway:

Win It: One winner will win a coupon for a free FRESCHETTA pizza and two sets of pink earphones!

Mandatory Entry: Please leave me a comment and let me know your favorite pizza topping or who you would give your other pair of earphones to!
Bonus Entries:

1. Follow Tidbits From A Mom publicly on Google Friend Connect. (1 entry)
2. Leave a comment on any of my non-giveaway reviews on my blog and leave a comment and let me know which review you commented on. (2 entries)
3. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter. (1 entry each)
4. Enter any of my other giveaways (1 entry each)
5. Share this giveaway on your facebook page and leave me the link. (2 entries)
6. The following may be tweeted daily: (1 entry each day)

#Win a free FRESCHETTA Pizza and two pair of pink earphones!  Ends 10/26! @tidbitsfromamom #giveaway
7. Grab my button and let me know where you placed it (3 entries)
8. Subscribe to Tidbits From A Mom through RSS feed or email (3 entries for each)

This giveaway ends on October 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm EST. *Giveaway is open to U.S. residents. The winner will be chosen through The winner will be notified through email and will have 48 hours to respond.

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I was contacted by the makers of FRESCHETTA Pizza and was provided with free samples of products to review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

"Monte Carlo" DVD Giveaway! (US & Canada)

Your chance to win the DVD debuting Oct. 18!

Throughout all of high school, Grace has been looking forward to her trip to Paris, and ends up getting more than she ever dreamed. Monte Carlo proved that anything can happen in France, but what are some other favorite post-graduation spots around the world? Here we discuss the best destinations to visit after graduation!
Selena Gomez stars in Monte Carlo as Grace, a recent college graduate who is ready to live out her idea of a perfect vacation with BFF Emma (Katie Cassidy) to Paris. After several twists and turns, including her unhappy stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester) joining them on the trip, Grace falls into a fairytale of her very own in the French Riviera.


For a place that is not just interesting and exotic, but also historically fascinating, head to Greece for your grad trip. Spend your days visiting awe striking landmarks like Mount Olympus – home of the gods – or the acropolis in Athens. At night indulge yourself with rich Greek food and visit the numerous clubs and bars that are there for tourists and natives alike.


London is another of Europe’s great cities that not only harbors fascinating landmarks and history, but is also a major center of nightlife and culture. Visit one of the many free museums and attractions that London has to offer, then really celebrate your graduation British-style by partying in London’s star studded West End.


Celebrate your graduation by taking a trip to the undecipherable and mysterious Mayan ruins in Cancun. The nightlife in Cancun is famous for starting late and not finishing until the sun comes up! Many of the clubs also operate an all-you-can-drink policy, with helpful staff ensuring you never have to wait for a table.

Las Vegas

Famous as a city of sin, and even more so because of the movies that showcase this, Las Vegas is the number one spot for those wanting the ultimate party experience. What better way to celebrate graduation than to see where Elvis and the Rat Pack performed while playing a leisurely game of blackjack, craps or roulette?

Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on: Twitter @FoxHomeEnt
Thank you to Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, one Tidbits From A Mom reader will win a free copy of Monte Carlo as well as a branded Monte Carlo purse hook!  Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Book Review: Putting Your Dream to the Test


I was told while growing up to “follow my dreams”. I did follow my dreams and achieved what I wanted. However, now that I am older, I have new dreams and aspirations. Achieving these dreams and aspirations does not feel the same as when I was younger. I am not able to give 100% of my energy and attention to achieving my goal. I have children, a husband, a home, and a full-time job that require my attention. Do the stars need to align perfectly for me to succeed in gaining what I want? Is having determination and perseverance enough to achieve your goals?

Putting Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions that Will Help You See It and Seize It, written by John C. Maxwell, discusses the factors that influence one’s ability to achieve your dreams. What is the difference between daydreaming and actually succeeding in achieving your goal? He does this by addressing ten important questions.

1. The Ownership Question: Is my dream really my dream?
2. The Clarity Question: Do I clearly see my dream?
3. The Reality Question: Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?
4. The Passion Question: Does my dream compel me to follow it?
5. The Pathway Question: Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?
6. The People Question: Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?
7. The Cost Question: Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?
8. The Tenacity Question: Am I moving closer to my dream?
9. The Fulfillment Question: Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?
10. The Significance Question: Does my dream benefit others?

Dr. Maxwell discusses each of these questions thoroughly in each chapter. He draws upon others’ real-life experiences as examples to support his discussion of each question. At the conclusion of each chapter, he encourages readers to answer questions that help them to analyze the main question of the chapter.

This book is extremely thorough. If you wish to analyze your ability to achieve your goal, no matter what the goal is, this book will certainly have you in deep thought. This book took me a while to read. It is so full of information and in order to truly benefit from the book, I believe you need to spend time analyzing each question. I found it interesting to examine my goals through these questions. Some of the questions I easily answered “yes”, while others I had to say “no”. I have to admit that I was a little sad to answer “no” for some of these questions, knowing full well that unless I answer “yes”, I will not achieve my goal. I guess this means it will have to sit on the back burner for a while until I am ready to dedicate more to achieving it.

More about the author:
John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and author who has sold over 19 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company, organizations that have trained more than 5 million leaders worldwide. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and organizations as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books which have each sold more than one million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. You can find him at and follow him at

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sante Nuts Review & 25% off Coupon!


My husband and I started our health kick last year after our son was born. He had gained some baby weight with me ;) We knew that nuts are extremely beneficial for the body and began eating them as our mid-day snack. They seem to be just enough to tie me over until lunchtime. I am no longer trying to lose weight, but I want to maintain where I right now and remain healthy. I am still turning to nuts for my healthy snack.

If you are blessed not to be allergic to nuts, you need to check out Sante Nuts. Sante Nuts was created by Sara Tyder who spent years perfecting her recipes for crunchy and yummy nuts. Tyder’s recipes include only all natural ingredients and have less oil per ounce than other brands. They use less oil through a secret technique in their roasting process. This equates to being a healthier snack!

I was recently able to review four different bags of Sante Nuts, including the Candied Pecans, Roasted Salted Pecans, Garlic Almonds, and Candied Walnuts. Three words – Oh. My. Gosh. These nuts are delicious! They are so light and crunchy! I seriously could have eaten the entire bag in one sitting, but I have shown amazing restraint. I grab a small handful as my snack each day and it is the perfect amount. The Candied Walnuts and the Candied Pecans are my favorite and my husband loves the Garlic Almonds. Unfortunately, my daughter is allergic to tree nuts. She watches us in jealousy while we are “oohing” and “aahing” over these.

In checking out their website, Sante Nuts also has recipes that incorporate the nuts, which sound delicious. You have the ability to send them your recipes as well. They also have a food and wine pairings page, which is extremely useful. I am completely uneducated about which wines are suggested for which foods, so this is a great resource for me.

Sante Nuts is giving all my readers a coupon for 25% off your order!
Use the coupon code 2011-Blog-121.

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I received free samples for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

"I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot" At Book Tour


My grandfather fought in World War II. He was at D-Day + 1 and fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Unfortunately, I know very little about his experiences in the war. He refused to discuss much other than an occasional comment here and there up until the day he dies. He believed that this was part of his life that was best left behind. Due to this, I didn’t often question him. In addition to my husband and my mother, my grandfather is one of the most special and influential people I have had in my life. I wish I knew more about his experiences in order to understand him.

“I Pray Hardest When I’m Being Shot At”, written by Kyle Garret, is the life story of Robert Stuart, Garrett’s grandfather. Kyle Garret provides a powerful tribute to his grandfather by chronicling his grandfather’s impressive career and experiences in three wars. It also discusses the love between his grandfather and grandmother and the ability for their relationship to survive the wars and thrive. This is not to say that there weren’t bumps along the way!

I have to say that I am impressed with Garret’s ability to collect so much information and piece it together to tell his grandfather’s story. I wish that I had done that and it has motivated me to at least perform a little research about the artillery unit in which my grandfather belonged. As I read this book, I often found myself in awe of the conditions that these soldiers faced and situations they were in. It is utterly amazing and I can’t imagine myself in their shoes. I love hearing stories about couples that were married for fifty to sixty years. I certainly hope I am one of those women that can boast about this in the future.

Garret’s love for his grandfather and family is so apparent and this book is a testament to it. I thought it was clever of Garret to switch back and forth from talking about his grandfather’s life to him discussing his grandfather’s failing health and dealing with his loss. It made me catch my breath a little in recalling my own grandfather and my loss.

Read more about Kyle Garret and his book on his website, and blog!
Follow Kyle Garret on Twitter!

Thank you very much to Kyle Garret for allowing me the opportunity to review his book.

Great news!  I have a free paper copy of I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At for one lucky reader!  Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

PicPocket Books for iPhone & iPad - Review & Giveaway!

Technology in our world today is simply amazing. In addition to relying on my iPad on a daily basis for a vast number of things, I love using it with my children. My son is only 18 months and he is so excited when the iPad is taken out to use. He enjoys tapping the screen and playing some toddler games. But, he is an even bigger fan of listening to stories on the iPad!

PicPocket Books provides mobile picture books for the iPhone and iPad. With bright, colorful pictures and interactive screens, your child will be instantly captivated! A variety of books are available for instant download, including fiction, nonfiction, toddlers books, and books for older readers.

PicPocket Books feature:
•high fidelity, full-color illustrations that stay true to the original print book
•high quality audio recording
•highlighted text corresponds with audio – each word highlights as it is read to help new readers understand the connection between words and sounds – excellent for beginning readers or curious pre-readers.
•turn pages with an easy swipe
•stories downloadable directly to your device, anytime, anywhere, on-the-go.

I was lucky to be able to review three PicPocket Books. I reviewed Snuggle Mountain, Tractor Mac Builds A Barn, and Baby MEDBasics PLUS HD. I have to tell you I was so impressed with these books. Not only do I think that the stories are absolutely adorable, but what a clever idea! You can take out your iPhone or iPad and instantly entertain. I need this when we are at the doctor’s office or in a restaurant waiting for our food and my son isn’t cooperating!



The stories are read to your child and the words are highlighted as you read along. The pages are interactive as well! In the beginning of the story, there is a page which tells you what to touch in the story to hear hidden sounds. For example, in “Snuggle Mountain”, you can touch the dog and cat to hear both of them while the story is being read. So cool! The illustrations are absolutely adorable as well.

Both of my children thoroughly enjoyed these books. My daughter is more of a fan of Snuggle Mountain and my son adores Tractor Mac (he loves tractors and all the farm animals). They love the interactive feature and being able to hear the additional sounds. My son does get a little overzealous and starts flipping the pages before hearing the story, but he is only 18 months, so that is to be expected. My daughter also enjoys turning the sound off and reading the books on her own to herself and to her brother as well.

The Baby MEDBasics PLUS HD is an educational tool for adults as well as an emergency manual. It provides basic information regarding allergies, bites and stings, bleeding, burns, choking, CPR, falls, fever, poison, and rashes, as well as tells parents what to do in case their child is having signs and symptoms. I love the fact that you can reach the information so quickly if need be. If my child may have been poisoned or has had a bad fall, I do not want to have to go upstairs to the bookcase, try to find the right book, and then find the right page. Or, even worse, I do not want to have to take the time to Google the information. I want the information at my fingertips. This book definitely provides that. It states that it is for babies that are infants to one year of age; however, there is certainly information in it that can be used for toddlers and older children.


I can’t rave enough about these books. They are adorable and so cool. There are many to choose from and are so affordable! They range from $.99 to $3.99 per book! That is such a low price for an entertaining, adorable, and interactive book.

PicPocket Books has offered to sponsor a giveaway for two of their stories! Here are the details of the giveaway!

Win It: One winner will win TWO free books from PicPocket Books!

Mandatory Entry: Please visit PicPocket Books and then leave me a comment letting me know a book you would love to have for your child.  Please leave your email address as well.

Bonus Entries:
1. Follow Tidbits From A Mom publicly on Google Friend Connect. (1 entry)
2. Leave a comment on any of my non-giveaway reviews on my blog and leave a comment and let me know which review you commented on. (2 entries)
3. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter. (1 entry each)
4. Enter any of my other giveaways (1 entry each)
5. Share this giveaway on your facebook page and leave me the link. (2 entries)
6. The following may be tweeted daily: (1 entry each day)

#Win TWO free books from PicPocket Books! Ends 10/22!
@tidbitsfromamom #giveaway
7. Grab my button and let me know where you placed it (3 entries)
8. Subscribe to Tidbits From A Mom through RSS feed or email (3 entries for each)

This giveaway ends on October 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm EST.  *Giveaway is open to residents in U.S. and Canada.  The winner will be chosen through The winner will be notified through email and will have 48 hours to respond.

*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  I receive free samples for the purpose of this review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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