My Current Giveaways

Keep watching--more coming soon!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash with #Giveaway

Disclosure: The Dial brand provided me with a sample in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. 

Have you seen the new body wash available from Dial soap? It is infused with Marula Oil and helps make your skin feel soft and silky smooth. I love the scent of this new body wash. It smells nice on both men and women, and even my kids liked the scent. More than the scent, I loved how this body wash helped moisturize my skin. I want healthy skin and soft skin - and the Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash delivered. I like having a family body wash that everyone likes and leaves everyone feeling clean and refreshed without drying our skin. The scent is key in making a body wash a 'family body wash.' Some are too feminine, some are too masculine, but Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash is just right. 

I don't understand how the Marula Oil works, but I know they are calling this a restoring body wash. I'd agree. It restores moisture to your skin. I hope you'll consider trying it the next time you need body wash. And - to sweeten the pot, I'm going to be giving away a coupon for a FREE bottle of Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash to two lucky winners. I hope you'll enter using the form below. Winner must reside in the US. Good luck!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Texas K-9 Unit Series #Review and #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.

Do you read fiction books? I've loved mystery books since I picked up my first Nancy fact, my living room bookshelf holds my collection. The entire series of Nancy Drew mysteries, most in the familiar yellow spine hardback. Once I found Nancy Drew, not only mystery stories, but all books opened up to me. I discovered a way to transport myself to other places and times and found the most wonderful adventures in books. Over time, my love of reading expanded and I became a romance junkie. Although, I was often disappointed by the lack of crossover between genres. It seemed as if writers could/would only write one thing. 

When Harlequin came out with the Love Inspired Suspense series of books, I know I was one of the first in line to check out this new line. And I fell in love. It's a crossover line of books. These are Christian Romance books with Intrigue/Suspense. A mystery AND a romance...with a Christian moral compass...all in one book. Needless to say, I own a lot of Love Inspired books. (Hint - keep reading for a chance to win a Love Inspired book for yourself.)

I'm so excited to let you know that three authors have teamed up to give us a three-book series with not only the romance and suspense that you've come to expect from Love Inspired, but also dogs. Not just any dogs, K-9 cop dogs. I don't want to give out spoilers, but having read the three books in this series, I know you won't be disappointed. These three authors are in sync and this series is going to be a runaway hit. 

Be sure to order your boxed set now: Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3: Tracking Justice\Detection Mission\Guard Duty

About the series:Love Inspired Suspense authors Shirlee McCoy, Margaret Daley and Sharon Dunn will get your pulse racing with tales of Texas cops and their loyal K-9 dogs tracking down a crime ring. Enjoy three action-packed Texas K-9 Unit romantic suspense novels in one box set! When a boy goes missing from his bedroom, a police detective must assure a desperate single mother that he and his trusty bloodhound will find her son. A woman with amnesia has to rely on an officer and his border collie to stay alive when she can't remember who tried to kill her. An FBI agent is called in to protect a single mother when the rookie K-9 officer witnesses a murder and becomes the killer's target.
About the authors:
Shirlee McCoy  Shirlee McCoy has always loved making up stories. As a child she daydreamed elaborate tales in which she was the heroine — gutsy, strong and invincible. Though she soon grew out of her superhero fantasies, her love for storytelling never diminished. Shirlee knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book. Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.
Margaret Daley  Margaret has been writing for over 35 years. She started writing in the late 1970s because she wanted to see if she could put a whole story down on paper. That book is still in the drawer and will never see the light of day. But she was able to finish a book, which was her goal. She loved teaching and working with students with special needs, and recently retired from teaching to write full-time. When she isn't working, she loves to read, travel, and go to lunch and a movie with a friend. She and her husband, Mike, to whom she has been married for over 40 years live in Tulsa. Besides teaching and writing, she is also a mother of one. Her son, Shaun, is married with four daughters.
Sharon Dunn  Sharon Dunn first fell in love with mystery and suspense about the time she read Nancy Drew mysteries in the fifth grade. Her first book in the Ruby Taylor mysteries Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves was a finalist for the Romantic Times Inspirational Book of the Year. The second book in that series Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. Her hobbies include reading, working out, hiking, trying to find things around the house and making pets out of the dust bunnies under the furniture. Before she started writing, she used to sew. Now she just collects fabric and patterns and fantasizes about projects. After nearly twenty seven years of marriage, Sharon lost her beloved husband in 2014. She lives with her three nearly grown children, two cats and a nervous border collie named Bart.
Who would like the chance to win a Love Inspired book of your own? 
I'm giving away a printed copy of Shirlee McCoy's "Protection Detail" to one lucky winner. This book is Book 1 in the Texas K-9 Unit series. Even if you don't win, you can use this coupon to take $1.00 off of your purchase of "Protection Detail." This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. Good luck!!!

Enter here:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Motown the Musical at Orpheum Theater Omaha - March 25-29

Disclosure: I will receive complimentary tickets in exchange for promoting this musical. All opinions are my own. 

Who is ready to get their 'groove' on with me? I've been looking forward to Motown the Musical coming to Omaha ever since the announcement almost a full year ago. Here's my personal thing...I was an acting major. I originally wanted to be a music theatre major, but I changed my mind when I saw their workload in college. And, I'm not sure that I would have made it into the program. 

Reed L Shannon as Michael Jackson (center) with the Jackson 5
Motown the Musical First National Tour (c) Joan Marcus, 2014
With a theatre (and musical theatre) background, I love music. I especially love music with really good harmonies. As you can imagine, I've been a Motown fan for most of my life--even though many of the classic Motown hits were before my time. I'm a sucker for 'oldies' that have great music and harmonies. I love songs like "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Shop Around." There's actually very few songs in Motown the Musical that I don't know well and love. 

Krisha Marcano (Florence Ballard), Allison Semmes (Diana Ross) & Trisha Jeffrey (Mary Wilson)
Motown the Musical First National Tour (c) Joan Marcus, 2014

Don't know what Motown the Musical is all about? Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown the Musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.  Featuring more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Motown the Musical tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. 

Performances for Motown the Musical will be at Omaha's Orpheum Theater:
Wednesday, March 25 - 7:30 pm
Thursday, March 26 - 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Friday, March 27 - 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 28 - 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 29 - 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

Make sure you don't miss one of the hottest tickets in town. If you love music, you have to get to Motown the Musical!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lakeside Collection - Great Pet Items and $25 GC Flash Giveaway

Disclosure: I was given free product from Lakeside Collection in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Have you ever shopped at the Lakeside Collection? They have wonderful gifts, home furnishings and even things that your pet would love. The best part of Lakeside? The price. Hands down some of the best internet shopping at incredible prices.

I was asked by Lakeside to look at some of their pet offerings. I have purchased some wonderful things--both for the dogs in my life to use now and some they will get at Christmas time. Not only can you pamper with Lakeside Collection items, you can also find great things to pamper yourself.

I was able to spoil some cute pups in my life with unstuffed toys (no stuffing for them to tear out and eat--which they will) and a trainer that helps train dogs to stay off the furniture. And check out this cat perch.

I can't wait for Christmas to bring out some additional toys like the stuffed bone that says Naughty/Nice on each side. Love it--waiting to see which side the dogs carry facing out. Anyone have a guess?

Would you like to purchase some great items from the Lakeside Collection? 

Enter the flash giveaway. It's only open for 2 days so your chances of winning are extremely high.

Car Washes - Sensory Blog Hop - #SensoryBlogHop

What did we avoid with Nathan for years? Yup, the dreaded car wash. It would put him into a sensory tailspin like you couldn't imagine. He'd start freaking out from the moment we started to pull in. Lots of tears and crying and even some screaming as we went through. It was NOT worth it. We would only go if he wasn't in the car. You know how we parents of kids with sensory issues are...sometimes avoidance is easier than actually trying to teach and desensitize. When you're in the midst of so many sensory and other battles, sometimes you pick and choose. 

Inside the colored soap carwash. 
Fast forward to just this week. Nathan still doesn't love car washes like his little sister does. She sees them as a grand adventure. But, he's now able to articulate with us and he had this to say about car washes, "When you learn what to expect, you learn that it can be kind of fun in the process." Who would have believed it? 

What is it about car washes that can put even a non-sensory kid on edge? Between the vibrations, the change in air pressure, the noise and the visual stimulation, it's a recipe for sensory overload and meltdown if you can't control all the emotions and anxiety. We did eventually find he prefers the car washes with colored soap that squirts onto the car. It makes the visual a little more appealing. 
And...when he asks if he can skip it these days, we give in. But, we know he CAN manage to get through without becoming overloaded and upset. 

How do your kids with or without sensory issues handle car washes? 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

New Book - Screens And Teens - Purchase on March 5

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy of the ebook in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you ever know before you read the first word in a book that you will love it with your whole heart? Do you know it's going to hit the keeper shelf before you even pick it up? That's what I knew about Screens and Teens by Dr. Kathy Koch. Now that I have (gulp) TWO teenagers in my house, I knew I needed to get my hands on this book and read it. 

I had the pleasure of (briefly) meeting Dr. Koch at a MOPS convention about 7 years ago. I attended her session on the Multiple Intelligences everyone has. That brief talk impacted me more than I can express. Let me tell you something, Dr. Kathy 'gets' kids. We could extrapolate that to say she 'gets' people, but her focus is on kids. She helped me figure out how to teach Nathan, my son with autism, the ways he is differently smart from many of his friends. I've used her book, "How Am I Smart," to connect with all three of my children.  

And now, with her newest book, "Screens and Teens - Connecting with our Kids in a Wireless World", she's done it again. Her book made more sense to me than anything I've read about teens. By the end of the first chapter, I had more understanding of my 17 year old than I had gained in the past 5 years of researching teens. She's that good and that on target. 

I'm so excited this book is available. I urge you to join me tomorrow, March 5, in purchasing a copy. I have the ebook, but I'm going to get a paper copy. This is a book I need to read again...and highlight. Lots of highlighting. Her explanation on why teens change their mind so often was so easy to understand. It suddenly made several things make sense. 

In my personal life, I've stepped down from co-chairing a major fundraiser. It's a cause I believe in, but after 4 years of co-chairing, I could see the toll that my volunteer efforts were having on my family. And when I read this next sentence in the book--it convicted me more than anything else that me stepping back was the right choice. My kids need to know that they are more important than the organization that has helped us the most since Nathan's diagnosis. 

Since we all have so much access to technology, I could also relate to this last one. Dr. Kathy addresses how society treats technology and gives some practical hints to help offset the messages our children are given. Let's be clear, this isn't a technology-hating book. It should be used to help guide decisions about technology and help interested adults understand the mindset of teens. 

Would you like to purchase a copy of your own? Head to the  Celebrate Kids Website or Amazon and grab a copy on Thursday!
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