Celebrate National Lost Dog Awareness Day!

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Grab your pup and give them a hug in honor of the U.S’s first annual National Lost Dog Awareness Day!  I know that if my Sunny girl was lost, I would be BESIDE myself upset.  She is a member of the family and if she were lost it would be devastating.  National Lost Dog Awareness Day was created by Susan Taney and Kathy Pobloski, who are the directors of Lost Dogs Illinois and Lost Dogs of Wisconsin. This holiday is designed to bring attention to all dogs that are lost – as well as the thousands of dogs reunited with their families each year.

The Lost Dogs of America, which operates in Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota, Florida, Colorado, Texas, Iowa, and New Jersey, is a non profit, all-volunteer organization that provides free services and social networking to families who have lost their beloved pooches.  Lost Dogs of America has helped to reunited over 21,000 dogs with their families since 2010 – that’s something worth wagging a tail over and celebrating on National Lost Dog Awareness Day!  Even better, this opens up kennel space for homeless dogs, which is especially crucial in states that operate kill shelters.

Do you know what you would do if your dog was lost?  You may have taken some precautions, like I have, by having your dog microchipped.  Don’t forget to update the information on your microchip if you have moved, changed phone numbers, or changed vets, as this can render your microchip worthless if the person scanning your pup can’t get in touch with you.

Lost Dogs of America has some great tips on their website about what to do if your dog is lost, as well as some great tools (like creating your own “lost” flyers).  They also provide great information on what to do if you have FOUND a dog and want to help out.  So take a moment on this National Lost Dog Awareness day to read up on some tips to help keep your pooch safe and sound, but also to plan what you would do if the worst were to happen.

For more information on Lost Dogs of Wisconsin, please visit www.LostDogsofWisconsin.org or join the LDOW community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/findfido) and Twitter (@LostDogsofWisc).

If you are interested in starting an organization in your state, please visit Lost Dogs of America for more details.

80′s Throwback {Almost Wordless Wednesday}

Today’s Almost Wordless Wednesday…my daughter just turned 13…isn’t she gorgeous?  And doesn’t she look like she dropped in from 1987??  Love it!

 

themamagames

 

 

Touched By Fire Review + Win a $35 Amazon Giftcard {Book Review & Giveaway}

* I received a free ebook for my review of Touched by Fire, courtesy of Novel Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

Touched by Fire

 

Welcome to the REVIEW EVENT for Chris Datta’s Historical Fiction Novel Touched with Fire! We have a great giveaway at the bottom of the post and hope you enjoy hearing about this fabulous book. But first, the details:

Ellen Craft is Property

In this case, of her half-sister Debra, to whom she was given as a wedding gift. The illegitimate daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and a house slave, she learned to hate her own image, which so closely resembled that of her “father:” the same wiry build, the same blue eyes, and the same pale—indeed, lily-white—skin. Ellen lives a solitary life until she falls, unexpectedly, in love with a dark-skinned slave named William Craft, and together they devise a plan to run North. Ellie will pose as a gentleman planter bound for Philadelphia accompanied by his “boy” Will. They make it as far as Baltimore when Will is turned back, and Ellie has no choice but continue. With no way of knowing if he is dead or alive, she resolves to make a second journey—South again. And so Elijah Craft enlists with the 125th Ohio Volunteers of the Union Army: she will literally fight her way back to her husband. Eli/Ellie’s journey is the story of an extraordinary individual and an abiding love, but also of the corrosive effects of slavery, and of a nation at a watershed moment.

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Author: Christopher Datta

Genre: Historical/Women’s/African American Fiction

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Review:

I thought this was a fairly well written book, although I will say, as a history buff, that this book is very LOOSELY based on the lives of Ellen and William Craft.   The first half of the book is written in an easy-to-read fashion and it goes quickly.  The second half of the book focuses on Ellen/Eli’s time in the war.  I love seeing a novel about the Civil War written from a woman’s perspective – they were such an integral part of that period in history and I feel authors many times marginalize them.  Not so in this case – Ellen’s perspectives, attitudes, and experiences come through loud and clear, and this is something that I really appreciate as a female reader..

As with many Civil War novels, there are many emotions that are brought up while reading, which I think is an excellent quality of any book, but especially of a book like this – it is important to remember our past, even if it is painful to do so.  All in all, I liked the book a lot – it is well written, entertaining, and a quick read.  Please make sure to read the author’s note at the end, where the author has kindly given a true account of Ellen Craft’s life, which I think is important given that there is a lot of fiction inserted into this book.  I definitely recommend it for Civil War buffs and lovers of historical fiction.

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The Mama Games is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Review Schedule:

Date Blog
21-Apr My Devotional Thoughts
21-Apr Deal Sharing Aunt
22-Apr Jelly Side Up – Promo Only
22-Apr Our Wolves Den
23-Apr rubina ramesh
23-Apr The Mama Games
24-Apr My Writer’s Cramp 
24-Apr The World As I See It
25-Apr I am indeed
25-Apr Rachel Delane
26-Apr Rick And Eileen Bremner
26-Apr Author Interrupted
27-Apr Anna Tan
27-Apr Pete Waugh
28-Apr Alexa B
28-Apr Michelle Willms

About the Author:

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Born in Washington, DC Chris Datta, Foreign Service officer, has been on numerous battlefields for his job and country. He has seen mass graves, brought war criminals to justice and in this new chapter, Datta brings readers a stunning historical account of the American Civil War with Touched with Fire. His attention to detail is superb, and his experiences abroad have given him ample stories to tell for years to come. His action packed life has taken him across the world from the United States to Liberia and Southern Sudan. Not only serving in active war zones but often battling tropical diseases, Datta has nurtured his fascination with civil conflict by diving into the history books and historical records of America’s past. His research is meticulous, and his attention to detail creates vivid pictures of the past.

Follow Chris on his website for updates about new releases and upcoming events: http://touchedwithfire.org

Sebastian Shaper Plus Hairspray {Product Review}

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. All opinions of Sebastian Shaper Plus Hairspray are my own.

Springtime in Western NY is NO joke!  We can have any combination of weather, sometimes on any given day.  Just this last week, we have had snowstorms, rain, and a beautiful sunny day at 70 degrees.  To say that you have to be prepared for the weather when you live here is an understatement.  One of the hallmarks of a spring in Western NY is that it is going to be WINDY.  I’m always on the lookout for great beauty products that will keep me and the kids looking great, no matter what the weather in Buffalo brings.  I was super excited to get to try Sebastian Shaper Plus, because I have heard a lot of great things about this hairspray and I know the hairstylists at the salon where I get my haircut use it.

Sebastian shaper

 

One of the greatest hair challenges in my home is finding hairspray that my kids will tolerate (It smells!  It’s sticky! I don’t like it!).  So I was hopeful that Sebastian Shaper Plus would help not only hold my rowdy youngest daughter’s hair in place for Easter this year, but also that she wouldn’t complain too much about it. Here is the face she makes in prep for hairspray – a tad bit dramatic perhaps?

Sebastian Shaper Plus

 

I was really pleased with the Sebastian Shaper Plus!  It came out easily and in a nice, fine covering mist.  It smelled nice, and best of all, it wasn’t too sticky!  I tried it on my own hair, and it was still brushable.  It provides a really nice luster and just the right amount of hold without making your hair look gunky or clumpy like some sticky hairsprays.

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It did a great job holding my wild child’s do in place with no fly-aways.  I love how Sebastian Shaper Plus made it shine too!

 

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It did a great job on the front too.  The other great part about Sebastian Shaper Plus is that it’s a professional grade hairspray at a reasonable price – only $16.96!  Make sure to try it out if you’re coping with spring winds as well!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Healthier Living Update {Week One}

Healthier Living Update

Photo from www.livestronglivelean.com

 

So I’ve been at this for a week.  Eating healthier.  Exercising.  Trying to make positive changes in my habits for my health.  So here’s my first healthier living update!

Healthier Living Update- Nutrition

As I mentioned when I started over, I knew that food was going to be my challenge, because I love to eat.  I tried to make better choices the first day, and what I found was that beverages were KILLING me.  Even fruit juice has wayyyy too many calories to squeeze in to the 1400 calorie per day diet that My Fitness Pal put me on to lose 2 pounds per week.  And the sugary coffee drinks!  Forget it!!! Even cutting back from my usual cappuchinos to coffee with cream and sugar was not getting it done.  So my “bad habit” that I have been attacking this week is BAD BEVERAGES.  No juices.  No sugary coffee drinks.  And the hardest one = NO Soda.  I haven’t even had diet soda since the second day I started.  That makes 6 days with no Diet Coke.  I even made it through the weekend when my fiance brought a bottle of Dr. Pepper into the house, which is basically like crack for me.  My body is truly addicted to sugar, and I am trying hard to break that addiction.  So I started with black coffee, with a little Splenda, and a little skim milk, and I am down to just black coffee with a splash of skim milk.  And I’ve been drinking a TON of SPARKLING water, which is basically a God send.  No calories, no artificial sweetners, a little flavor, and bubbles!  This is working for me, because I do NOT like water except when I’m exercising.

So here’s a look at my My Fitness Pal Net Calories consumed for the last week:

April 22 Calories

As you can see, I went over a couple days, but overall met my goal!

Healthy Living Update – Exercise

 

I’ve done a wide range of exercise this first week, from my first Zumba class, to swimming, to gardening, walking on the treadmill, and taking a family walk.  I’ve tried to keep active on most days.  I think I’ve done pretty good for the first week, but the exercise has been brutal!  I’m so out of shape and get winded easier, but I know, as the quote above says, that one day what I’m doing now will be easy peasy.   Here’s a snapshot of how many calories I burned each day.

April 22 Exercise

Drumroll, please…….

So what are the results from the first week?  I’m very happy to tell you that this week, I have lost:

5.5 pounds!

Woohoo!  I’m very, very happy with that.  I know that level of loss won’t continue but it’s nice to get an awesome head start.  See you next week for another update!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Win a Euro Pro Ninja Kitchen System! {Giveaway}

The Giveaway Sponsor received the below mentioned complimentary product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% her own.  The Mama Games is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

After reading Tammie’s review, please scroll down to enter the Giveaway~

Hold onto your hats! What do you think of when I say the word “ninja” when I am talking about kitchen appliances? The Cadillac of all kitchen appliances, right? Well, let me enlighten you about the latest item that I have just reviewed. The Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse! My husband and I thought that we had enough kitchen appliances, but then I received the Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse from BuyDig.com.

Logo

A little bit about BuyDig.com: BuyDig.com is as they say in their logo – The Internet’s Digital Superstore. Developed in the mid-90’s, BuyDig.com features a wide-variety of consumer products. Offering drop-free shipping (as well as free shipping on everything) many of their products ship in 24 hours! I am in love with their Kitchen and Housewares Department! I do not think that I have ever seen so many brand-name items, on sale, on one site before! Take, for example, a look at their brand new Luggage Headquarters. Talk about an excuse to travel!

Okay, back to the Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse. The Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse has become my go-to kitchen appliance. It can do anything and everything! Want to rule the kitchen? Want a high-performing, blending and food processing system? Look no further than the Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse. I never thought a system like The Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse would ever be as powerful as it is. It has 550 watts of power, and is perfect for blending frozen drinks, single serve smoothies, and kneading fresh pizza and cookie dough.

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The Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse comes with all of the components listed below:

  • 550 Watt Motor Base
  • 40 oz. Processing Bowl
  • Total Crushing Blades
  • Dough Hook, Dough Paddle
  • 40 oz. Bowl Storage Lid
  • (2) Nutri Ninja Cups
  • (2) Nutri Ninja To Go Lids
  • Ninja Pro Extractor Blades
  • Instruction Book and
  • Quick Start Guide

We decided to make double chocolate cookies. The Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse cut the prep time in half and clean up was a breeze! As with any new product, there is a learning curve. I am guessing that I did not have the lid on properly, as when I pressed the start button, the lid flew off and my ingredients went everywhere! My husband and I laughed so hard. It was really funny. On the second attempt, however, everything worked like a charm and our cookies came out even better than we could have imagined! This product is going to save you energy, money, and time. Simply put, it does it all!

It is not very often that I recommend a product or a site, but I do recommend the Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse. And, if you are looking to purchase an item, such as the Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse, visitBuyDig.com.

I also suggest following BuyDig.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Want to win a Euro-Pro Ninja Kitchen System Pulse? Enter the giveaway below!

This giveaway will be live from 4/20 and will end on 5/5, starting and ending at 7 p.m.

This is open to US only.

All entries will be verified

Winner will be chosen via Random.org

Winner will have 24 hours to respond.

Winner must be 18 of age or older

1 winner will receive a

Enter below using the easy Giveaway Tools widget and Good Luck to you

 

The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis {Book Review}

This review of The Church of Mercy is graciously sponsored by Loyola Press, who provided me with a review copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Easter weekend!  I hope that whatever your religious views, that you enjoy this weekend with your family. I’m so pleased to be able to present this review of The Church of Mercy, the first published collection of Pope Francis’ writings from his first year as Pope.  Whatever your religion, or even if you don’t practice a particular religion, there is no denying that Pope Francis is a important and captivating world leader.

The Church of Mercy is arranged into 10 different thematic sections with anywhere to two to five different reading selections in each themes.  My favorite thematic sections included “A Poor Church for the Poor” and “Demolishing the Idols.”  I really like this thematic arrangement, as this is a book I think I will be digesting in small pieces over time, as opposed to sitting down and reading this book cover to cover one time.

My favorite selection so far from The Church of Mercy is #30, which is titled “The Cult of the God of Money.”  It is a short piece discussing the “culture of waste” in which we have become obsessive consumers, so that if a computer breaks, it is a tragedy, but the fact that there are starving children in the world becomes commonplace.  It is this type of message, along with Pope Francis’ expressed concern for suffering people, that I think makes Pope Francis so admirable.

I really enjoyed the pieces I have read so far, even though I am not Catholic. I admire Pope Francis for the strides he has made to make the church more inclusive, and his engaging and open personality comes through in this book.  I highly recommend to all – Catholic and non-Catholic!  The release date is set for tomorrow, April 19, 2014, so pick this up at your local bookstore on Easter!

Buy

Buy The Church of Money on Amazon for $13.54

Buy The Church of Money on Kindle for $10.49

Happy Haiku Poetry Day!

Happy Haiku Poetry Day

Happy Haiku Poetry Day!  Yup, that’s right, in the world of weird holidays, it’s Haiku Poetry Day.  If you don’t know what haiku poetry is, or how to write a haiku poem, you’re about to learn!

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that has been around for a long time.  The undisputed Haiku master is Basho, a 17th century Samurai warrior who elevated haiku to the art form it is today.

Haiku is a great way to introduce poetry to young children, because it is fairly easy to compose, as it has distinct rules.  It also lets younger children practice their syllables!

Haikus use exactly 17 syllables, arranged in three lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and then five syllables.  Traditionally, they will refer to nature or the seasons in some way.   For example, here’s my haiku about Winter/Spring in Buffalo, New York.

It should be warmer

Alas! Snow lingers to May

I hate you, Winter.

So of course mine is a bit silly, but you get the idea.  You’ll notice that I have a stop in the second line (Alas!) – this is also pretty traditional in haiku poetry, but it isn’t “mandatory”, like the specific number of syllables per line.

There are so many amazing activities that you can incorporate haiku with, especially as the weather gets warmer and you can head outside.  Scholastic has some great ideas that would be great for both teachers and parents.  My favorite is the “Haiku Goggles” activity – it’s always fun to recycle used toilet paper tubes!  PBS Parents also has a super fun interactive game that lets kiddos drag and drop words to make a haiku.  The is also super fun with the fridge magnet poetry sets.  Make sure to check out the “Make One For Me” feature to get a few giggles with your kiddo.

Will you celebrate

this fun holiday of poems?

Happy Haiku Day!

Win an American Girl Doll! {Giveaway}

American-Girl-Doll-Giveaway1
American Girl characters past and present show girls today that they can do great things if they believe in themselves and each other. From a Native American girl living in the Northwest in 1764 to a contemporary girl whose passions inspire action, the characters in every story illustrate the power of determination, imagination, courage, and hope—the same spirit that inspires modern American girls.

One lucky winner will receive an American Girl Doll & Book.

Organized by: Mom to Bed by 8. Giveaway ends April 30th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck.

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this publication and are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact teri@momtobedby8.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Almost Wordless Wednesday – Every Day

This week’s Almost Wordless Wednesday is dedicated to my oldest daughter – she makes me proud every day – not only with her accomplishments as an equestrian and in school, but the person that she is becoming.  She turned 13 last Thursday.  Love you, B!

mamagames