2015-05-24 ~ The Review Stew
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Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Review: As Waters Gone By

A book was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.

About the book:

How can a marriage survive when separated by hundreds of miles and impenetrable prison walls?

Emmalyn and Max Ross may have to endure the fight of their lives to mend the tattered fabric of their marriage. His actions ensured she could never be a mother and put him in prison, giving their relationship a court-mandated five-year time-out. On a self-imposed exile to beautiful but remote Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, Emmalyn has just a few months left to figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again.

Nudged along by the exuberant owner of the Wild Iris Inn and Café, a circle of misfit people in their small town, and a young girl who desperately needs someone to love her, Emmalyn restores an island cottage that could become a home and begins to restore her heart by learning what it means to love unconditionally. Yet even as hope begins to find a place within the cottage walls, Emmalyn still wonders if she's ready for Max's release. She may be able to rebuild a cottage, but can she rebuild a marriage?

About the author:

Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with Heartbeat of the Home radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.

My Opinion

What a unique story line! I have never ready a book about this type of subject and marriage and it really made me think!

I also love the setting of the book - Madeline Island! It sounds like a beautiful place and Cynthia Ruchti does an amazing job of description and re-creating the scenes so that I really felt like I was there with Emmalyn!

But, best of all, is the theme of the book - the hope and healing we have in Christ no matter what situation we are in!

Buy It: 

You can purchase As Waters Gone By for $11.72 from Amazon.com

Can a marriage survive when separated by hundreds of miles and impenetrable prison walls? Find out in Cynthia Ruchti's new book, As Waters Gone By. Emmalyn and Max Ross may have to endure the fight of their lives to mend the tattered fabric of their marriage. His actions ensured she could never be a mother and put him in prison, giving their relationship a court-mandated five-year time-out.

Cynthia is celebrating the release of As Waters Gone By by giving away a summer of fun to one lucky reader!

as waters gone by - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $100 cash card to put toward your trip to Madeline Island (discover the beauty of the setting of As Waters Gone By) or your summer vacation destination
  • A book-club set (10 copies of As Waters Gone By and a downloadable starter kit) so you can start your own summer book club
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 10th. The winner will be announced June 11th on Cynthia's blog.

as waters go by-enterbanner 

Plus, now through mid-July, sign up for Cynthia's mailing list for a five-day virtual tour around Madeline Island for the chance to win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack. Each day begins with an email from Cynthia that introduces where you'll be “visiting” that day (all key places from As Waters Gone By) with various interactive elements, including“I wish you were here” postcards, trivia quizzes, and an ongoing Island scavenger hunt. The person who interacts the most will win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack (valued at more than $200). That includes:
  • The letterpress block Hope sign from DaySpring
  • A set of 6 Hemmed in Hope notecards showing a hope-themed Bible verse
  • A leather “I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope” journal
  • Signed copies of each of Cynthia’s books, fiction and non-fiction

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

*Disclosure - This book was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*

NEW Non-Toxic SOPHi Nail Polish & Giveaway

A product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.


My daughter LOVES painting her toenails and fingernails! She is getting so excited because next week she is the flower girl in a wedding and she can't wait to get her fingernails and toenails painted for it! It is a great bonding activity for mommy and her and she loves to look like "a big girl"!

My favorite brand of kids' nail polish (and the only one I use on my daughter!) is Piggy Paint! It is all natural, non-toxic, SAFE, eco-friendly nail polish for kids and the only one I trust on my precious daughter's nails!

But have you heard the GREAT NEWS???!! 

Piggy Paint has recently introduced their brand new line of nail polish for adults: SOPHi by Piggy Paint is non-toxic, odorless, hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty-free, and it is proudly made in the USA. It is just like the Piggy Paint used by kids, but it comes in rich, SOPHisticated colors for women. (We LOVE using Piggy Paint and SOPHi together for mommy/daughter time!)

This line for adults allows health-conscious women to have a worry-free manicure with no smelly chemicals. Better than 3 Free, better than 5 Free, SOPHi is a natural nail polish that is non-toxic, odorless, and hypoallergenic. This advanced water-based formula provides a safer alternative to chemical-laden solvent-based polish.

To be honest, I liked using my daughter's Piggy Paint polishes before because I loved how safe they were for me too! But I AM SO HAPPY to have more sophisticated colors to choose from with SOPHi nail polishes!!


For maximum durability, SOPHi is also launching their PRIME + SHINE + SEAL System. This revolutionary Primer + Sealer in one is a must-have for chip resistance, and the Shine Topcoat offers additional scratch resistance. When applied with SOPHi's 4 step system (Prime + Color + Shine + Seal), this water-based formula easily competes with standard nail polish durability. Though this polish can be removed with any standard remover, SOPHi offers an acetone-free, low odor Remover Gel that stays in place on the nail for easy removal.

As if that is not enough, you can also count on SOPHi nail polish to not cause nails to yellow or become brittle. Being that it is virtually odorless, busy jet-setters can enjoy painting their nails on the run.


Best of all, it is proudly made in the U.S.A., is vegan and cruelty-free, and is non-flammable, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or ethyl acetate.

It doesn't get much better than that!!! They care about our country, they care about our health and they are about our little one's health!!!

Definitely make sure to Support this mom-invention by LIKING SOPHi on Facebook!

And check out these other links to their social media sites:

* Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophi_nail

* Instagram: https://instagram.com/piggypaint/

Buy It: 

You can purchase SOPHi products for $7.99 each from www.piggypaint.com/SOPHi

Win It:

Piggy Paint is generously offering (1) SOPHi Prize Pack including 1 PRIME + SHINE + SEAL System (basecoat/ topcoat), 1 SOPHi polish, and Remover Gel  to a lucky winner!

Enter here for a chance to win:
(1) SOPHi Prize Pack including: 

  • SOPHi PRIME + SHINE + SEAL System (basecoat/ topcoat)
  • 1 SOPHi polish 
  • Remover Gel

a Rafflecopter giveaway



If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

* Thank you to Piggy Paint for their product for review! Disclosure - This product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*

Father's Day Tech Gifts from Netgear

A product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.



Father's Day is coming up quickly and I am the first one to admit Dads are really hard to buy for! They always seem either super picky or just never use any gifts given to them! I hate when gifts I give collect dust on a shelf!

That is why this year I am looking to Netgear to help me with my Father's Day gifts! They have two great products that are great for the techy Dad and helps them stay connected wherever they go! Check these out below:

Arlo Smart Home Security System with HD Camera

(Starting at $199.99) 


The Arlo System is the first home monitoring system that is 100% wire free, indoor/outdoor, weatherproof, HD and compatible with Android and iOS devices – meaning Dad can keep an eye on the kids, the house or an elderly parent any time from anywhere. No wires mean you can mount the cameras anywhere – no power cords to limit where you put them. I absolutely LOVE that! It is easy to set up and you everything you need right in ONE box!

Just connect the base station to your WiFi router, sync your cameras, fire up the free Arlo app, and you’re done in minutes. You can even upgrade your service plan and add more cameras to make the most out of your system.



The box Includes:
(1) HD, 100% wire-free, indoor/outdoor camera with night vision
(1) Smart home base station with power adapter
(1) Ethernet cable
(2) Magnetic camera mounts
(2) Mounting screws
(4) Batteries
(1) Quick start guide
(1) Window decal

NETGEAR Around Town Mobile Hotspot 

($199) 
Whether he’s heading to his child’s baseball game or traveling for business, dad is always on the go. The NETGEAR Around Town Mobile Hotspot with 1 GB of rollover monthly data will keep him connected matter where the road takes you. And the Air Card Signal Boosting Cradle with Ethernet will boost your cell signal, provide highspeed network connectivity and keep your Hotspot charged up and ready to go.

What really sets this hotspot apart from others for me is that you get Instant Internet Straight Out of the Box! I can use the data at my own pace and simply reload once needed! There is no contracts, data expiration or commitments - EVER!
At the beach or on the road, instantly get 1 Gigabyte of high-speed Internet connection with the NETGEAR Around Town Mobile Internet. Enjoy faster surfing, streaming and gaming with the trusted Sprint nationwide high-speed network. This 4G LTE mobile hotspot gives you a powerful battery that lasts up to 10 hours, lets you securely connect up to 10 devices, and provides a vivid LCD display to keep you informed of you data usage and network connectivity at a glance.

It makes a great gift for the Dad-on-the-go this Father's Day!


If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

* Thank you to Netgear for their product for review! Disclosure - This product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New DCKids & Warner Bros' Videos & Giveaway

*This post is brought to you by Warner Bros. *


If you are looking for something fun to show your kids today, check out some of the amazing new videos from DCKids & Warner Bros' new Youtube channels - including favorites such as Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends and Scooby-Doo! There will be many more updates over the next year, so don't forget to subscribe to their channels!

DCKids Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyu8StPfZWapR6rfW_JgqcA?sub_confirmation=1

WBKids Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9trsD1jCTXXtN3xIOIU8gg?sub_confirmation=1



And Make sure to enter below for a chance to win ONE of FIVE Mystery Toy Gift Baskets worth a minimum of $50!

Win It:

Enter here for a chance to win:
(1) Mystery Toy Gift Baskets 



If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
*This post is brought to you by Warner Bros. *

NEW Beech-Nut Organic Baby Food #InspiredByHomemade

A product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.
I really try and make my own homemade baby food whenever I can but sometimes it is really nice to grab a jar from the store when we are going out, traveling or just need a quick dinner option for my baby. However, I am really particular because it MUST be organic!

So when I saw that Beech-Nut has a brand new line of organic baby food, I was ecstatic to try it with my son!

I LOVED that they use a gentle cooking process for food with textures, colors and flavors that looks, tastes and feels as close to homemade as possible! If I can't make it, I want to feed my son something just as good!


The new line includes 20 single or combination fruit and vegetable selections with bright colors and bold flavors like apple, raspberry & avocado, peas & spinach, and butternut squash & sweet corn. Yes, butternut squash, kale, avocado and quinoa are part of real food for babies.


I really LOVE the flavor combinations they have especially apple, raspberry & avocado, peas & spinach, and butternut squash & sweet corn. My son LOVED them too! They were easy to grab and go and the flavors were healthy and interesting!


 My son never turned down a jar of Beech-Nut organic baby food!

He just couldn't get ENOUGH! :)


I love that Beech-Nut cares about my child enough to come up with an organic line of baby food and I love that they make it like I would! Plus, their food combinations are unique, healthy and tasty!

Buy It: 

You can purchase Beech-Nut organic baby food at your local retailer.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

* Thank you to Beech-Nut for their product for review! Disclosure - This product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Head Into Summer with FabKids

A product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.


How Did You Spend Memorial Day???

My family and I had a low key weekend spent with family. We had a bonfire, trampoline fun and even some rainy day fun!

But best of all, my daughter spent it in style because she was wearing her super cute new outfit from FabKids! 

Whether you’re soaking up the sun and BBQ-ing, going out of town or having a low-key weekend, FabKids will keep your child in style!


My daughter looked so adorable in the new Navy Ballerina Outfit!

She loves the fun tutu dress and the fun summer colors!


This pretty summer stripe dress is complete with plenty of tulle. She feels like a ballerina every time she wears this dress! She spins around in it every time she wears it!

This outfit comes with the FabKids Soft Leggings which are super soft knit leggings in deep navy. They are cropped just above the ankle and are perfect to wear under dresses now-and-later!

Don't mind that they are on the wrong feet! :)
And the perfect accessory with this cute outfit are the Fab Glitter Bow Flats! Add some shine to your FabGirl's step with these easy-to-wear ballet flats. They feature all over glitter with bow accent and cushioned footbed. My daughter loves wearing these sparkly shoes and I love how easy they are to put on!

So as you head into summer and are enjoying the warmer weather, make sure your children are clothed in the super cute and affordable FabKids clothing!

Buy It: 

You can purchase all these FabKids items from the FabKids website.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

* Thank you to FabKids for their product for review! Disclosure - This product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*

Face the Summer Sun with Sunglasses from Corinne McCormack!

A product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.


The summer sun is definitely out and shining bright already and I am always in need of a great pair of stylish sunglasses when I am out and about. I found the perfect pair (and maybe my most favorite pair of sunglasses I have ever owned!) from eyewear designer Corinne McCormack!

Corinne is known for her fashion forward styles, and her collection has frames and accessories to suit every mood and occasion. She is introducing a new sunglasses line just in time for Summer and I love the selection!

Corinne has been designing eyewear for more 20 years. She’s appeared on Live on Regis & Kelly, making over the hosts and audience. Vision Monday named her one of the most influential women in optical. And, currently her styles are sold at more than 2,000 specialty and department stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.

One of the styles from her new sunglasses line that I absolutely LOVE is the Water Mill sunglasses.

Corinne McCormack Water Mill is a Full Rim frame for Women, which is made of Metal.

Most metal frames are made out of Monel. This metal can be corrosion resistant, strong, and easily adjusted. It retains its stability and shape. This model features an Aviator shape with a Double Bridge. These Sunglasses work well for people whose style is Classic.

I absolutely LOVE the Aviator style of these sunglasses and they were SO comfortable to wear! I felt great wearing them and wore them everywhere and anywhere I could!

Sadly, before I could even get a selfie in them, they got hit by a volleyball at a volleyball game and broke! :( I was so, so, so sad because I really, really LOVED THEM! Lesson Learned: leave them in my car when going to my volleyball games!

Although, I can't wear them anymore, I highly recommend these for a fun, fashionable and comfortable way to start the summer!

Buy It: 

You can purchase Corinne McCormack glasses at more than 2,000 specialty and department stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom and these and sunglasses at eye care professionals.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

* Thank you to Corinne McCormack for their product for review! Disclosure - This product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NEW REALITY SERIES “THE BRIEFCASE"

This post is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

HOW MUCH WOULD YOU SHARE?

This is the question asked by the new CBS Reality Series, The Briefcase, premiering Wednesday, May 27 (TOMORROW!)


THE BRIEFCASE features hard-working American families experiencing financial setbacks who are presented with a briefcase containing a large sum of money and a potentially life-altering decision: they can keep all of the money for themselves, or give all or part of it to another family in need.

These days, with the recent recession and many job losses and financial setbacks, most people could use a little extra money to pay bills and expenses. That is what this show is all about. I got a sneak preview of the premiere and I was instantly hooked! It was really interesting learning the life stories of these families and watching them make the tough decision to keep it or share! It was an emotional roller coaster watching it and I loved every moment of it!

Check Out The Trailer: 


More Details of Show:

Each week, two families have 72 hours to learn details about each other’s challenging circumstances and make the weighty decision of what to do with $101,000. However, what they don’t know is that the family with whom they are considering sharing this financial windfall received an identical briefcase with the same instructions. Throughout their journeys, relationships within both families will be tested and beliefs questioned as they find out what really matters most in their lives, and how much importance they place on values such as love, generosity, compassion and faith.

The first episode features these families: 

Bergin Family

Joe: Ice Cream Truck Owner     
Kim: Part-Time Event Planner   
Three children, ages 15, 13 and 12
Matthews, N.C.
After Joe was laid off from his corporate job 10 years ago, he and his wife, Kim, started an ice cream truck business which is struggling.     

Bronson Family

Dave: Injured Retired Iraq Vet
Cara: Nurse
One child, age 3, with another on the way
Manchester, N.H.
Dave is an American hero whose Humvee exploded when he was in Iraq and he lost his leg. He and his wife, Cara, are expecting their second child this summer. Living on one income with a growing family has put a significant amount of stress on the Bronsons.

THE BRIEFCASE is produced by 25/7 Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Dave Broome (Creator and Executive Producer, THE BIGGEST LOSER) and Faye Stapleton are executive producers.

This series is a MUST WATCH and premieres Wednesday, May 27 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. 

Make sure to tune in!


If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

This post is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine. *

Spring into Sweetness with Tastykakes

A product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.


With spring in full swing and Father's Day around the corner, Tastykakes is delighted to introduce their newest limited edition spring offerings -- Strawberry Mini Donuts, and Lemon, Cherry and Strawberry Kandy Kakes! These sweet treats are an easy, inexpensive way to enjoy springtime favorite flavors and show the father in your life just how much their sweetness means to you!


A snack favorite since 1914, Tastykake offers a complete line of snack cakes, pies, cookies, and donuts available in supermarkets and other retail outlets throughout the East, Southeast, and Southwest. Celebrated for their freshness and quality, the brand offering includes such classics as Krimpets, Kandy Kakes and Juniors, and new hits like Kandy Bar Kakes. One taste of a Tastykake and you’ll know why they have been a favorite of many for more than 100 years.


Tastykake's new Strawberry Mini Donuts transform strawberry flavor into a mini donut form, featuring a strawberry flavored donut with traditional powdered sugar coating. New Lemon Kandy Kakes feature white coated vanilla sponge cake with a lemon creme filling. Cherry Kandy Kakes feature dark chocolate covered chocolate cake with a cherry creme filling. Strawberry Kandy Kakes feature white coated vanilla sponge cake with a strawberry creme filling.

My husband loves to enjoy Tastykakes with his coffee and was excited to try these new flavors! If you husband is like mine, these definitely make a great Father's Day gift!

Buy It: 

You can purchase Tastykakes at your local retailer.



If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

* Thank you to Tastykakes for their product for review! Disclosure - This product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*