Friday, July 18, 2014

The Perfect Summer DVD Review

The Perfect Summer is story about overcoming hardship, acquiring confidence in self and improving relationships.  After Jake's father passes away, he and his mom move from a big city to live in small beach town with his grandfather.  Jake is none too pleased to have no internet access and even less pleased to be a new kid in town that is shoved around by some high school show offs.  The big sport in town is surfing and when Jake meets a pretty girl, he starts to want to break out of his shell.  Little does he know that his grandfather was a former surf champ.  As Jake learns to surf his grandfather shares many life lessons of hope and perseverance.  Along the way Jake learns some tough lessons in love, life and the pursuit of something greater than himself.

This movie was very touching and I really felt drawn into the story line as each character carried a burden that was lifted by peeling back some of the hard layers around their hearts.  It was not easy to see Jake pushed around by some punk kids, but I loved the way the grandfather stepped in and really encouraged Jake to drive himself through the rough waters.  The grandfather had many words of wisdom throughout the movie.  This story was about second chances and making the most of the opportunities available.  Jake, his mom and grandfather were all hurting, but in the end, they found healing. I loved the music, the heart of the story, the action and the message.   What a great movie!!

Don't miss Eric Roberts who brilliantly plays the grandfather and a few appearances by Jason Castro who was on American Idol.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD from Edify Media for my review. All opinions are my own.*

Friday, July 11, 2014

When Calls the Heart: The Dance DVD Review

When Calls the Heart: The Dance is another episode of the town of Coal Valley and the lovely teacher, Elizabeth Thatcher, who has embraced the life in the wild country .   As new miners come in to take the place of those that had died earlier in the year, trouble begins to brew again.  Most of the new miners keep to themselves, but Billy Hamilton takes a shine to Miss Thatcher and begins to woo her with poems and sweet talk.  When several robberies are reported, Jack Thornton, the town's constable/mountie  starts to investigate and hopes that he can capture the criminal and that his suspicions lead to Billy.  Elizabeth is distraught and reprimands Jack for being jealous.  She is torn between two men, one who fights to protect her and one who fights to win her heart at any cost.  When the truth comes out, both Elizabeth and Jack must face the what really matters and what is best for the town and their relationship. 

This was by far my favorite movie of the When Calls the Heart series.  I really like the dynamics between Elizabeth and Jack and how they each hold back, but underneath truly care for each other.  When someone else takes interest in Elizabeth, she feels swept off her feet and even when Jack tries to protect her, she stands up to him and makes him really think about his motivations.  There is also another sweet story of a young widow who starts getting attention from a new miner, but her son is not about to let another man take the place of his deceased father.  This story had many great moments and was fun to watch.  This family friendly movie is sure to win your heart!

*I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD from Edify Media for my review. All opinions are my own.*

When Calls The Heart
“The Dance”
From the Television Series inspired by the writings of Janette Oke
Nashville , Tennessee- When Calls the Heart, Produced and directed by Michael Landon Jr. and inspired by the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young high society woman, working as a teacher in a prairie town in the Western Frontier.   When a group of bachelor minors come to help reopen the mine, the local Mounty. Jack Thorton (Daniel Lissing), finds himself in competition for Elizabeth’s affections.  When items start disappearing from the town, Jack is immediately suspicious that his rival might also be a thief.  Also stars Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton, a widow and mother whose husband, along with a dozen other miners, was killed in an explosion at the local mine. 
When Calls the Heart- “The Dance” is a feature length film from the first two episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series.  The When Calls the Heart television series debuted on the Hallmark Channel to more than 3 million viewers, making it the No. 2 for the night on all of cable for the primary telecast at 9 p.m and No. 3 overall in households.   Distributed by Word Entertainment, the DVD will be available to purchase in Christian Retail April 22nd, 2014.
Synopsis-  New miners arrive in Coal Valley to help with the final stages of reopening the mine and the town decides to celebrate with a dance at the end of the week. One of the new miners, Billy Hamilton has taken a special interest in Elizabeth and she is flattered by the attention. Meanwhile, pregnant widow Carla Noonan has moved in with Abigail and Elizabeth so the women can keep and eye on her for the remainder of her pregnancy. As Elizabeth and Billy's relationship develops, Jack becomes suspicious of Billy's motives for pursuing Elizabeth so persistently.
Michael Landon Jr. – Director:  Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.
 Brian Bird- Writer/Producer : Brian Bird is co-founder with partner Michael Landon, Jr., of Believe Pictures, a film and television production company.  He was co-executive producer and writer on the successful television series, Touched by an Angel.  Adding to Brian’s success, he had also written and produced episodes of Evening Shade, Step by Step and The Family Man.  Most recently, Bird wrote and produced Gametime, a two-hour television pilot for NBC, The Shunning, inspired by the novel by best-selling author Beverly Lewis, for the Hallmark Channel, and Not Easily Broken, adapted from the novel by T.D. Jakes and released theatrically by Sony/TriStar.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Fit Learning Book Review and Giveaway!!


Summer Fit First to Second Grade: Math, Reading, Writing, Language Arts + Fitness, Nutrition and Values is the perfect answer to keeping kids busy, active and current as they go throughout their summer.  Summer Fit helps to "prepare children mentally, physically and socially for the grade ahead."  This resource is based on national standards and is teacher recommended.

Summer Fit provides a 10 week program that includes reading, writing, math, fitness, nutrition and values.  There are also additional online resources for book reports and educational games at  Each week begins with an overview of what your child will learn that week academically (reading, writing, math) , physically (exercise and sports) , and socially (values).  There are stars to color in each day for the areas of mind and body and a daily 20 minute reading star.  Each day takes about 20-30 minutes and it's fun!  There are a great variety of activities and so many ideas that your child will not even realize they are learning.

The SUMMER FIT workbook series aims to create fun learning experiences to help children retain and carry over knowledge from the previous school year. Additionally, by presenting a “whole body” approach with lessons and activities that focus on the body and the brain, Summer Fit helps parents and children capitalize on the mental and social benefits of physical exercise. “Summer should be a time for children to step away from their computers and televisions and exercise their brains and bodies naturally,” says series creator George Starks. “Kids should reconnect with themselves, their families and their friends on a personal level. They should be outside playing, but also brushing up on academic skills from the previous year, or those that they may find more challenging than others. They should also read and apply other classroom skills in enjoyable and entertaining ways.”

I was able to review the 1-2 grade level.  The workbook begins with a pledge for the child to sign to keep body and brain active.  The workbook has a skills assessment along with a great introduction to explain what Summer Fit is, teaching the whole child, health and wellness in the home, core values, technology, healthy eating and nutrition and the importance of summer reading.  Every week adds new and more challenging material, but keeps a steady upward learning curve that would not frustrate your child.  The activities are interesting, fun and educational.  Your child will not only review reading, writing and math, but will also add fitness, nutrition and values.  All the fitness ideas are easy to do, but help kids get moving.  I especially like the activities for families to do together to practice the core value of the week.   As a former teacher and now a mother, I would recommend keeping your kids fresh with learning during the summer with Summer Fit.  There are workbooks available for P-8.

What is really neat is that if you have more than child, they study the same value each week.  And with each value is a person in history that has demonstrated that value.  You can find books at the library to read or just read the story provided in the workbook.  It's a great way to reinforce that value each summer and with multiple children.

There is also a book report form, a matching flashcard game and a certificate of completion.  It's a great package wrapped into one for you to help your child keep current during the summer, but also make good choices and have fun learning to be healthy! 

We are enjoying our Summer Fit learning time and my son looks forward to it daily!

Be sure to visit Summer Fit Learning on Facebook and their website Summer Fit Learning.

*This book was provided to me free of charge for the purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Win it:  I will be giving one of these Summer Fit Learning books away (winner's choice of grade level).    Open to US and giveaway ends Friday, July 11.

To enter: Make ONE comment on my post and include the following information.

1. Tell me what grade level you would like from Summer Fit Learning (required)

2. "Like" Summer Fit Learning on Facebook. (required)
3. Follow Summer Fit Learning on Twitter. (required)





Friday, June 13, 2014

Stitch Fix #2

 OK, so I tried Stitch Fix again since I took Dressing Your Truth.  I made specific requests and I feel that they did take into consideration many of them.  I truly do not like to shop and I wanted to see again what they sent me.
I just love opening surprises!  It's like Christmas.  I received 5 items: 3 shirts, 1 cardigan and 1 pair of pants.  The colors were gorgeous although two of them did not follow my color card.  But thankfully, the one item I liked did!
Here is what I received.  What do you think I picked?  I chose something that I could wear with multiple things and what I really needed.  You guessed it, the cardigan.  It's the coral color.  I tried it on and fell in love.  One thing I learned from Dressing Your Truth is that you need to LOVE what you have to wear. 

I am not easy to please and I truly appreciate the time and effort that Miranda made to put together this Stitch Fix.  I was very honest with what I thought of each piece so hopefully that will help them to better style my Stitch Fix.

And since I'm not planning to shop much this summer, I scheduled my next Stitch Fix for August. 

You can read all my Pros and Cons from my last Stitch Fix HERE.

Are you ready to try it out?  Read the directions below and get started for FREE!

Here is how it works:
  1. Sign Up and Complete Your Style Profile After signing up you can start immediately on your Style Profile. We need to know your size, shape, style, price preferences, and lifestyle to get your Fix right. It’ll take about 10 minutes.
  2. Schedule a Stitch Fix Pick a date, and we’ll send you a box of 5 clothing and accessory items we’ve hand-picked just for you. Schedule monthly, or as often as you like—it’s your call. You pay a $20 styling fee up front, which serves as credit toward anything in your Stitch Fix shipment.
  3. Try it all on Try on everything we send you—you never know what you’ll like until you see it on. Pair it with items already in your closet. Each item includes style cards with ideas and inspiration on how to wear it.
  4. Decide Take 3 days to decide what you’ll keep. Pay for just what you want to keep, return the rest in our pre-paid mailing bag at any USPS mailbox. Keep all 5 items and you save 25% off the entire shipment.
  5. Check Out Give us feedback on your Stitch Fix shipment—our secret (styling) sauce gets better over time if we know what did and didn’t work for you. 
Sign up for Stitch Fix today!!

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    When Calls the Heart...A Telling Silence DVD Review + Giveaway!!

    When Calls the Heart (A Telling Silence) has two stories combined in one movie.  The town of Coal Valley is still reeling from the mine explosion taking several men from the community and leaving devastated families.  Elizabeth Thatcher is a young teacher who left her affluent life to be where she belongs by helping these families move ahead and look toward a bright future.  She loves her students and is concerned for young Rosaleen who has not spoken since her father was killed.  One day Rosaleen goes missing and Elizabeth is desperate to find her.  She enlists Jack Thornton, the town constable and close friend to help her.  In the midst of this little girl's disappearance, Jack discovers that one of the widows has some whale oil in her shed which looked to be the cause of the church fire that occurred three months prior.  All of these events are swirling around with secrets being kept and Elizabeth and Jack sorting out their feelings for each other as well as for the friends that they are trying to protect.

    It's another great family movie filled with mystery and hope for a small town.  Elizabeth has a heart of gold and makes everyone in her path feel loved and respected.  She is always ready to fight for her students and give up her comforts to sacrifice for those she has come to love in this small mining town rocked by tragedy.  It's fun to watch her interaction with her students, the parents, the townspeople and of course, Jack Thornton.

    When Calls the Heart...A Telling Silence Trailer


    Please fill out the form in the link below to enter the giveaway for this movie.
    Giveaway ends Saturday, June 7.  US only, thanks.

    *I was given a complimentary copy of this movie from Edify Media, Inc.  All opinions are my own.*


    -Dove Foundation
    “absolutely beautiful and very entertaining”
    -Movie Guide
    When Calls The Heart
    “A Telling Silence”
    From the Television Series inspired by the writings of Janette Oke
    Nashville, Tennessee- When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” is produced and directed by Michael Landon Jr. and inspired by the best-selling books by Janette Oke.   A feature length film made from episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series, When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young high society teacher fighting to make a difference in a prairie town in a part of the Western Frontier known as Coal Valley.   Almost immediately, she can tell that something is wrong.     The church was burned to the ground a month after a local mining accident and the only man left to investigate the crime is the Canadian Mountie, Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing).  Meanwhile, the head of the mine is scheming to control the town, including the pastor who seems to be losing his faith along with his church.   The stakes are raised when a young girl goes missing and the town must come together to find her.  Distributed by Word Entertainment, When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” will be available to purchase in Christian Retail April 22nd, 2014.
    Synopsis-  Feeling sorry for 8-year-old mute Rosaleen Sullivan, teacher Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), reaches out to the little girl as they share lunch. But when Elizabeth is called away and then returns, Rosaleen is missing! Meanwhile, constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) discovers evidence that Cat Montgomery may have been involved in a suspicious church fire. Could the two cases be related?
    Michael Landon Jr. – Director:  Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.

    Friday, May 30, 2014

    A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert Book Review

    Claire Massey's affluent life comes crashing down when her husband, Tuck, is arrested for fraud in Kellie Coates Gilbert's new book Woman of Fortune, A: A Texas Gold Novel (Texas Gold Collection).  Claire and Tuck Massey, who have been married for 20 years have built a beautiful home in Texas and throw large parties for the elite of society.  Claire thrives on travel, the latest fashion and connecting with her three grown children.  Tuck is a cattle broker and keeps his business to himself.  No one saw what was to come.  Tuck is arrested for fraud which leaves his family to pick up the broken pieces.  Claire's life is turned upside down.  But Claire's resilience gives her strength and hope to move forward with her life and make better decisions for the future despite the constant challenges she faces.
    This was an amazing book told by an author who witnessed a real life cattle fraud case and the devastation it caused.  But Kellie Coates Gilbert takes a new twist and molds her character to show grace under pressure.  This book is full of contrasting emotions: grief, hate, joy, sorrow, confusion and peace.  When all is stripped away, the true self is revealed.  Claire had deep roots that kept her strong through the storm.

    Be sure to check out the BOOK LAUNCH party with lots of fun and great prizes on June 3.


    A Woman of Fortune Book Trailer

    *I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author. All opinions are my own.*

    Check out my review of Kellie's other excellent book Mother of Pearl!

    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    42 Simple and Healthy Dinners by Brandy Ferguson, Stacy Karen and Emma Swanston Book Review

    42 Simple & Healthy Dinners (42 Days to Fit) by Brandy Ferguson, Stacy Karen and Emma Swanston is a great little book of recipes for dinners that can be simple and healthy for your family.  The book is divided into categories for beef, fish, poultry, pork and vegetarian options.   All of these recipes focus on the whole food or real food diet.  Each recipe has a list of ingredients, a list of instructions, a color photo and a short personal story for making the meal delicious for your family.  Every meal is refreshing and made with food you will enjoy eating and having as part of your regular diet.

    I recently finished 42 Days to Fit and I loved that program.  This recipe book would be a great compliment to that program, but could also stand alone especially if you want to incorporate real food into your menu planning.  There is nothing like eating a well balanced dinner that is made with yummy food that is good for you.

    I tried the Garlic Lemon Chicken and Pasta.  I really liked being able to pull some ingredients from my garden!  It was delicious and a perfect meal with plenty of flavor. 

    Be sure to check out this new book and start making healthy dinners for your family!

    *I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author.  All opinions are my own.*