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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: Book Donation Challenge

I was catching up on another blog I follow when I read a post about how she decided to host a book drive for local shelters for women and children. When I read her post, I was inspired to see if I could also host my own book drive.

For those who don't know it, I review books for a website. I have a passion and love for books and Sean often jokes that I could open a small town library with the sheer volume of books that we own. Each of my children have 2-3 bookshelves in their rooms. Each bookshelf is overflowing onto the floor. I have the books that I have reviewed that I usually donate. But I was inspired to look at donating both books for adults as well as books for children.

I don't know about you, but reading is a ritual in our home. We read books to our children from the first day they came home from the hospital. It's our routine at night. There are specific books that my kids want to read when they are happy or when they are sad. If they have had a rough day, I know which books we will read before bed. Then I got to thinking about the men, women and children living in shelters. They might be homeless, they might be fleeing abuse. When you have nothing, do you even have a story to read to your child at night? Are there books for the adults to read? I know how relaxing it is for me to read in order to de-stress and relax--why shouldn't I share that with others?

I want to make sure that every shelter has books available. So I urge you to join me in donating your gently used (or new) books to your local shelters. There are two in my area that I donate to regularly with money, clothes, food, etc. Now I am going to bless them with some books. Many of my kids books have been outgrown by my children so they could bless another child. I have many books that would bless men and women who want to read for a while.

Please come back and comment below the number of books you donate. I'll be counting and hoping that this idea catches on and sweeps across the nation. If you don't have a shelter in your area, please email me if you'd like to mail books to me to donate. Or I'll try to help find another worthy agency in your area.

Let's give children and adults everywhere the opportunity to read!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: Dealing with the Hiatus in Life

Some of you have noticed I've been a bit Missing in Action these past few weeks. While it was unintentional, I ended up on a blogging hiatus. Between Gifted Summer School and Band Camp, I was spending over two hours a day in my car, then going to lunch with the kids and finding myself at home for only short periods of time. It was crazy...and I'm glad it's almost over...but I'm glad my kids had these opportunities and got to participate in such terrific programs.

When I was thinking about this unintentional hiatus from blogging, I decided to see what the dictionary has to say about the word hiatus. I found Merriam-Webster says:
1a : a break in or as if in a material object : gap 
  b : a gap or passage in an anatomical part or organ

2a : an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted
  b : the occurrence of two vowel sounds without pause or intervening consonantal sound
I thought it was interesting that it's not only an interruption of time, but it's also a break as if in a material object. That's how I've felt. A bit disconnected--in a gap, if you will--from my normal routine and my friends and family. I was spending a lot of time alone in the car. Not all of it was driving, so I had time to read, but it was time away from home, from my family and from connecting with others.

Then I read on to the origins and laughed out loud. Check out the origin:
Origin of HIATUS
Latin, from hiare to yawn — more at yawn
Can't you just laugh? It comes from the word yawn--which I was doing lots of. It's hard for me to consistently get everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door by 7:40am with their 'stuff' for the morning. I was dressed sloppily with wet-hair and running late most days.

Then I was looking at the synonyms and antonyms:
Related to HIATUS
Synonyms: breach, break, discontinuity, gulf, gap, hole, interstice, interval, opening, rent, rift, separation, void
Antonyms: continuation, continuity
It sums up how I was feeling. There was discontinuity in my life. A gulf, gap or hole from my normal. I felt the void of not being able to connect with friends as a physical void. I wasn't able to keep my breakfast dates with my BFF and because I only had pockets of time, I couldn't call her either. I spent lots of time in the car, but I don't like to drive and talk on the phone so I'd have 5-10 minutes here before racing to the other school to have 15 minutes there. It wasn't enough time to span the gulf I was in.

Then I realized I wasn't blogging and was falling further and further behind. The gap was growing and my interval was too long. It was painful for me to not be able to devote any time to all the things that were going on. I discovered how much I missed connecting with you, hearing from you and being able to bring you deals/reviews/giveaways.

And now I'm looking at the question, "How do you deal with a hiatus in your life?" One thing I did was deepen my prayer. I had time to sit alone quietly while waiting for kids. Some of that time I read, but I started praying more. And when I prayed for my family and friends, I found myself feeling less alone. Prayer was able to close the gap and span the void I was feeling in my life. I'm a praying person who knows prayer works, but when I was feeling the most disconnected from life, I found prayer was the best connector I had.

So if you find yourself in a hiatus of some sort, I encourage you to pray the situation through to completion. I hope you don't find yourself in a surprise hiatus since it's not all it's cracked up to be. If you take a planned hiatus, I think it's different because you have plans for that time. If you ever find yourself in a hiatus and start feeling a gap between you and your life, I hope you will pray. And please contact me, it would be my honor and privilege to pray with you, too.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tiecoon Tie Review and $25 GC Giveaway

Sponsored by sent me a tie to 'try out'. It is absolutely beautiful and the material is very nice. It's as nice or nicer than the ties we usually purchase at the department store. I had trouble because of the gold color getting a photo. So below is the tie I received as pictured on the website.

I discovered that is a web leader in ties and neckties. They sell all ties at an extremely discounted rate. Most are $5-10. And the quality was great. I would have expected to pay a lot more for the same tie in a department store. I would guess it to be more of a $25-30 tie instead of $5. sells their ties at a very cheap price and they sell the ties wholesale priced to the public. There are no memberships or minimums. They sell direct to you and you reap the savings.

Would you like to try some ties from is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate Code to use on any purchase from This code is not valid for shipping and only one can be used per transaction. Since the code expires on 6/30/11, this will be a fast giveaway.

**Mandatory Entry**
Go to and give us the name of your favorite tie.
PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to be a blogger to enter this contest, but you must leave a way for me to contact you. Use the anonymous comment form to enter and leave an email.
*You MUST do the mandatory entry! All bonus entries will be deleted if it's not done first!*

**Bonus Entries**
{Leave separate comments for each entry}
1. Follow me publicly on Google Friend Connect (current followers, too) {1 entry}
2. Subscribe to my blog {1 entry}
3. Follow Coolestmommy on Twitter {1 entry}
4. Follow Coolestmommy on Networked Blogs (Found on right sidebar) {1 entry}
5. Follow Coolestmommy on Facebook (Click "Like" on the right sidebar) {1 entry}
6. Add my blog to your blog roll/sidebar {1 entry}
7. Email three friends with the link to this giveaway inviting them to enter. Remember to cc me at coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com {2 entries}
8. Tweet about this giveaway {can be done once per day} {1 entry per tweet} You can use this:

@Coolestmommy has a #giveaway a $25 GC for Ends 6/27

•Giveaway ends Monday, June 27, 2011
•Winners will be chosen via Random.Org. and contacted by email
•Winners will have 24 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen
• Open to addresses in the United States

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
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