icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Giveaway and Book Review~The Sparkle Egg

Easter is just around the corner.  I've recently reviewed a wonderful book that teaches children about the true promise of Easter.  The Sparkle Egg was written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki.  It is a beautiful hardcover book with gorgeous full-color illustrations on each page.

Here is my 11-year-old son Chad reading The Sparkle Egg. In the story, Sam tells a lie and has to deal with his guilt afterward.  Through making a sparkle egg, he learns of God's grace and forgiveness.  Chad was glued to this story-he is at an age where he does stretch the truth occasionally.  I have a feeling it really hit home for him! 

At the back of the book, the author tells readers how to make their very own Sparkle Egg. 

The Sparkle Egg is published by Ideals Books, who puts out wonderful, quality books for all ages. To learn more, visit their website at http://www.idealsbooks.com  and their Facebook page.


One The Loose Screw reader will win their own copy of The Sparkle Egg!  The winner must live in the US or Canada.  Check the disclosure below for the sponsor's rules on winning one of their prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's That Time of Year~Prom Dress Shopping!

It's that time of year...when girls in High School are dreaming of and getting ready for their prom.  For many girls, it can be their first (and possibly only, except for their wedding) time wearing a formal dress.  What an exciting time in life, but also a time that could be very expensive!  As a Mom, when I go shopping with my daughter for a special occasion dress, of course I want her to get what she wants, but I also have to be realistic to our family's budget.   

JenJenHouse can help you to not break the bank on prom.  They have beautiful, quality, custom tailored gowns at amazingly affordable prices.  I must say, I was blown away when I saw all of the beautiful prom dresses available.   JenJenHouse carries every style, fabric, and length you can  imagine.  It is very easy to navigate their website and find just what you are looking for. 

My daughter Alyssa is 19 and in college.  It hasn't been that long since Prom time for her, and I asked her to pick her favorite dress at JenJenHouse.  The gorgeous dress you see above is her pick-it is so classy and feminine. I think she would look beautiful in it.  Next it was my turn-it took me forever to choose a favorite, I had so many.  My pick is below, it's so unique!

JenJenHouse not only sells custom tailored prom dresses, they sell accessories, shoes, wedding dresses, and other special occasion dresses.  With Alyssa being my only girl, our Prom dress days are over, but wedding dress shopping is in the future.  After looking at the Prom dresses, we couldn't help but look through the wedding dresses-I've never seen such awesome prices!  When the time comes (hopefully not for a while), we will be coming back to JenJenHouse!  

Children's Book Review~If You Were Me and Lived In...India

If You Were Me and Lived In...India by Carole P. Roman is the latest installment in her series If You Were Me and Lived In... A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World. This series is a wonderful way to teach your children about other cultures and the children who live there.  With easy-to-read text and colorful pages throughout, it appeals to inquisitive children. 

I've read several books from this series, and I learn something new every time!  My 11-year-old son enjoys reading them as well.  Some of the topics covered in If You Were Me and Lived In...India are people's names, food, landmarks, sports, and celebrations.  Also included in all the books are a map showing the capital, and a pronunciation guide. 

Visit http://caroleproman.com to learn more about the author and her books.  You can purchase this book on Amazon.    

*Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Review~Faith: Joseph's Story by Sandra Lea Hardage

I've always enjoyed studying individual people from the Bible in-depth.  I was immediately drawn to the beautifully illustrated cover of Faith: Joseph's Story, A Novel and Christian Bible Study by Sandra Lea Hardage.  Joseph's story is one of perseverance through horrible experiences.  At the tender age of 17, Joseph was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery.  Later, he was falsely accused of a crime and put in prison.  Through it all, he remained faithful to God's plan for his life and emerged victorious.  What a great lesson for us all.

Faith Joseph's Story is written from Joseph's point of view, as if her were narrating.  I really enjoyed that it was written this way! There are nine chapters after the Preface, Acknowledgements, and Introduction:
Chapter 1: Family Life
Chapter 2: Sold into Slavery
Chapter 3: In Potiphar's House
Chapter 4: Prison Life
Chapter 5: Pharaoh's Dream
Chapter 6: Joseph and His Brothers
Chapter 7: Back to Egypt
Chapter 8: The Final Test
Chapter 9: Blessings and Forgiveness

The remainder of the book is packed with great information: an Epilogue, Becoming a Christian, a 75-page Bible Study with a Leader's Guide, and Joseph's Story Poem. 

Learn more about author Sandra Lea Hardage at http://sandrahardage.com/.  She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.  She was sweet enough to sign my book personally, and sent me a very nice note that I appreciated. 

You can purchase your own copy of Faith Joseph's Story at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

*Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Product Review~Colgate Optic White Toothbrush with Built-In Whitening Pen

I've always wanted whiter teeth.  Especially this one tooth that is stained just a bit more than the rest to be noticeable.  I've tried the strips,  which are fine, but I've always wanted that one tooth to match up to the others.  I've found a solution!

Through the Influenster program, I received a great box with the new Colgate Optic White Toothbrush with Built-in Whitening Pen.  It's really neat-the pen fits inside the handle of the toothbrush, so you'd never even know it was there! 

Colgate is  my favorite brand for oral care products, so I knew this would be another great product.  After you brush, pull the whitening pen out and apply it to your teeth and that's it!  You should start having whiter teeth within two days.  I've been using it on my one tooth, and it is definitely getting closer to matching the other teeth. 

A word of caution, though: I used the pen for several days in a row, and then my tooth started hurting.  I had to wait a few days before starting again.  I've since  learned that this is common, and its best to give your teeth a break if they are sensitive.  Other than that, I had no problems at all and look forward to continuing to whiten my teeth this very convenient way with the Colgate Optic White toothbrush with Built-In Whitening Pen. 

Disclosure: I received this product free from Influenster in exchange for my honest review.  all opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review~The Gift of Love by Amy Clipston

The Gift of Love: One Woman's Journey to Save a Life was written by Amy Clipston.  I have read several of her Amish fiction books in the past, so when I heard about this book about her personal journey, I was intrigued.  I already knew she was a good author!

The Gift of Love is the story of a young married couple, just beginning their lives together, and just starting having children.  Suddenly everything is turned upside-down: Amy's husband was very ill and needed a new kidney.  It seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong during this time in their lives. Yet, Amy continued to hold on to her faith.  They went through failed transplant, death in the family, and constant uncertainty. 

Finally, Amy was able to donate to another family through the John Hopkins paired donor program, so that her husband could receive a new kidney.  What an amazing program this is, when family members are not a match for their loved ones.  The transplant was successful, and Joe is healthy today.  Not that there aren't bumps in the road, and I imagine they live in fear of rejection.  But their faith in God lifted them up through the most difficult years. 

I've been listed as an organ donor since I got my first driver's license, and it is something I've always felt strongly about.  Thanks to author Amy Clipston for sharing her story, so that others may make the decision to become donors.  The Gift of Love is a great story of faith and triumph that I recommend reading!

*Disclosure: I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Children's Book Review~If You Were Me and Lived in Turkey

If You Were Me and Lived in... Turkey, by Carole P. Roman, is part of a new children's series that takes young readers around the world to learn about children in other countries.  My son and I have read several of the books in the series already, and we BOTH always learn a lot! The books are described as being for Pre-K to age 8, but my son is 11 and they are perfect for him. 

Each softcover book is full-color with very cute illustrations.  The type is larger, perfect for early readers. There is a map in the front of the book, and a pronunciation guide in the back.  The book answers what kids would want to know about other kids, such as what they eat, what sports they play, and what words they use for everyday items.

Did you know that Istanbul is the 2nd largest city in the world?  How about that Istanbul is the only major city that sits on two continents (Asia and Europe)?  I didn't know either of these facts!

Author Carole P. Roman is an award-winning author. We have enjoyed many of her books from different series.  To learn more about the author and her books, visit www.caroleproman.com .  You can purchase If You Were Me and Lived in...Turkey at her website, and it is also available at Amazon.

*Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Review and Giveaway~Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap

Dial has a new hand soap out on the market-Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap.  This is a premium soap that features vibrant scents, refreshing moisture, and gentle micro-scrubbers. The scents available currently are:
*Yellow Raspberry & Black Sugar refreshes your senses with a tart and rich sweetness.
*Water Blossoms invigorates with a crisp floral scent inspired by aquatic botanicals.
*Coconut Lime Verbena brightens your day with juicy and tangy citrus.

I had the pleasure of trying both Yellow Raspberry & Black Sugar and Coconut Lime Verbena.  Both scents are great, but my favorite so far is  the Yellow Raspberry & Black Sugar.  I like the tall, sleek bottles with the attractive photos on the front.  The gentle micro-scrubbers make you feel like your hands are really getting clean.  I didn't feel like my hands were dry after using this soap, like some other hand soaps.


Three The Loose Screw readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle of new Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap.  These coupons expire later this month, on 3/31/2014.  Please do not enter if you cannot use your coupon by this date.  I will mail the coupons out immediately after receiving winner's contact info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordless Wednesday~Cutie Pie!

Book Review~Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-home Mom

Tricia Goyer is one of my favorite authors.  I also enjoy following her on social media and her blogs.  She has recently written a new book, Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom. Now, before you think this book isn't for you because you don't work at home, I want to tell you this book is for you!  This book can help all Moms.  It's about finding balance, not trying to be perfect, and being your best you. 

I reviewed Balanced in e-book form.  It is 107 pages, with 11 chapters.  The chapters cover a variety of topics, such as:

*Chapter 6: Becoming the Architect of Your Own Schedule
*Chapter 11: Balance isn't the Ultimate Goal: Knowing God Is

Balanced was a quick read, and I learned a lot.  It is full of practical tips, but even more importantly, it covers the emotions we often feel as work-at-home Moms.  Tricia Goyer writes about the guilt we feel when we don't think we are  doing enough in any one area of our lives.  It feels good to know that other Moms feel the same way, and there are ideas on how to find that balance, and how to give yourself grace. 

Balanced is written from a Christian view, and contains many scripture references.  To learn more about Balanced and author Tricia Goyer, visit her website at www.triciagoyer.com .  Right now, Tricia is having a Balanced Challenge that you can join!  Click here for more information.

Disclosure: I received this ebook in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Review~The Juice Lady's Remedies for Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

It's amazing how a healthy diet can rejuvenate your body!  Cherie Calbom, aka "The Juice Lady", is back with her newest book, The Juice Lady's Remedies for Stress and Adrenal Fatigue.  I have read and use another of the author's juice books, and found it to be full of wonderful information. 

This book focuses on how you can combat the effects of stress and exhaustion.  Included is the author's personal story, along with lots of information about health, our bodies, and the basics of juicing.  There are recipes for fresh juices and smoothies, living foods recipes, dehydrated foods, and raw vegan recipes. 

Now, don't think this is going to be just a recipe book.  The recipes start on page 93 of a 134 page book!  So you've got lots of great information you definitely want to read before you get to the recipes.  I've tried several of the recipes, and they are great so far.  My favorite is Waldorf Morning so far.  I look forward to trying more, and getting more greens into my juices!!

To learn more, visit the author's website- www.juiceladycherie.com

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own.

Book Review~Minding Molly by Leslie Gould

Molly Zook is a young Old Order Amish woman who likes to be in control of everything in her life.  So,, after her father's death she is having a hard time holding everything together.  The family is in trouble financially, and they may lose their farm.  Molly is doing everything she can to figure out how they can keep the farm, and her mother thinks she has the best solution-to marry neighbor Mervin and combine the two farms.  The problem is, Molly doesn't love Mervin.  But, the more she thinks about it, he is a good man and would make a good husband.  She could grow to love him. 

An Amish man from Montana named Leon arrives in town for a temporary job, and Molly is instantly attracted to him.  Her mother is against her having anything to do with him, because she is afraid Molly will move to Montana and marry him.  Molly's mother begins having serious health problems, and Molly needs to make a decision: marry for love or to save the family farm and make her mother happy?

Minding Molly is the third book in The Courtships of Lancaster County series by author Leslie Gould.  The first two books are Courting Cate and Adoring Addie, both of which I have read and enjoyed.  Leslie Gould is a great storyteller with a lot of knowledge of  the Amish, evident throughout this book.  She did a good job of making me feel the turmoil that Molly was going through, with the pull between love or family. 

To learn more about the book and author, visit www.lesliegould.com

*Disclosure: I received a copy of Minding Molly free from Bethany House in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.