Monday, January 23, 2017

Love Is In The Air With Zonderkidz & Giveaway

Zonderkidz has a cute selection of books just in time for Valentine's Day! I was able to review a couple of books and you'll be able to win one!

The first book is a board book perfect for children 0-5.

Lots of Love
by Kim Washburn
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 9780310758617

Summary: Lots of Love celebrates all the ways we show love—from hugs and kisses to sharing and helping others. The sweet rhymes and whimsical artwork in this board book illustrate the special bonds of love between families and friends. Perfect for young children, this book will make you want to snuggle with your little one as you two explore the greatest blessing of all—love!

My Review: The illustration is delightful! The colors are bright and cheery which had me enjoying the book. The font is easy to read and fits so well into the story. Any child will like hearing the story in it's rhyming style. It teaches children the different ways they can show love to family, friends, and animals. It would be great to do a craft with your child to go along with the book by making Valentine's Day cards for loved ones. You could even make cookies and they could decorate them to share with a neighbor!

The next book is a sticker & activity book suitable for kids 4+

The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses
by Jan & Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 9780310753827

Summary: The Berenstain Bears come to life with puzzles, activity pages, and reusable stickers in the newest Berenstain Bears sticker and activity book The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses Sticker and Activity Book. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Bear family and their Bear Country friends and neighbors.

My Review: I'm pretty sure no home with children is complete without a lot of Berenstain Bear books! Your kids will love receiving this heart filled sticker & activity book for Valentine's Day. First I love the illustrations and the colors are perfect for this holiday. The activities in the book are good for a variety of ages, and with help, the little ones can do some, and older kids can do the more challenging pages. What I enjoy most about these books is that the Berenstain's have a wonderful balance of showing how the bears love each other & others as well as God's love for us. They go hand in hand, and is well done in this book.

I'm giving away the Berenstain Bears Hugs & Kisses book to one lucky winner! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Deciding To Workout. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.

Over the past few years things have changed...physically.

When I worked at Menards, I usually walked about 10,000 steps each day I was at the store. I would sit down in the evening, but even still, I would be out in the garden & mowing in the summer or shoveling regularly in the winter.

Flash forward four years, and my days are spent sitting on the couch. I walk from the bedroom to the couch. During the day I regularly get up from the couch and go to the fridge for something to eat or drink. Clearly you can see that there's a complete lack of movement every single day. That means a lot has changed physically.

Sigh...the stacks of clothing I now have that don't fit me is much larger than the ones that do. Last year it was a decent stack. This year I added to it.

The number on the scale doesn't lie though. The number isn't always a true statement as to someone's health. People would look at me and think, "nothing wrong with her," "that's not a bad number." If I were active and eating well, and my weight went up, I wouldn't really worry about it. Unfortunately, the changes in my body and how I feel tells me that something needs to change.

I had reached out to a few gyms to see if I could work with them, but sadly only heard back from one, but they don't work with bloggers. What to do, what to do.

I guess it's time to workout.

I've talked several times with a manager at a gym, and I'm planning on joining. Planning. I haven't done it yet. Isn't committing the hardest part? Maybe walking through the front door is the hardest part? Possibly going back the second, third, and consecutive times is the hardest part?

I wonder sometimes if I've gotten to the end of my rope truly with how poorly things are going with my body. Do I really want to try to be healthier? Do I really want to put in the effort? Do I really want to give up the time it'll take to workout several days a week?

When I'm getting changes or standing on a doctor's scale, it's a resounding, "YES!" When I'm sitting at home watching Downton Abbey (streaming it on Amazon) eating a popsicle, it's a mediocre, "yea!" I do and I don't want to commit to going to the gym.

I wish there was a weight fairy who would sprinkle fairy dust on me and I would be in shape. I wish I could wake up in the morning and just have a raging desire to get on the treadmill that's become a coat hanger. I wish I hadn't sat around for so long that my body has physically changed in drastic ways. I can wish in one hand and spit in the other to see which fills up first.

So far I haven't responded to the gym manager's latest email to me answering questions I had about the facility. I have plenty of excuses as to why I haven't: I've been painting the first floor since last Saturday, I'm going out of town next week for work and won't have the gym nearby, and mostly that I think I'm sure to fail and won't ever actually commit to it. I don't know how to look at this commitment with excitement or positivity. I fear everything that could go wrong with a workout and a gym, and that's what drives me...or keeps me sitting on the couch.

Maybe today's the day. Strike while the iron's hot. There's no sign up fee this month, and it's month to month so no contract. It's affordable mostly. January's the time for change, right? So let's take this working out business by the horns and see how it all pans out!

Mama’s Losin’ It
The Prompts:
1. The last time my heart melted was because…
2. A list of 20 ideas to make this your best year yet.
3. Write about how you would spend the perfect Snow Day.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: workout.
5. Tell us about the last time you dressed up.

What's your biggest fear when it comes out a workout?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Out & About With Teens In Northern Virginia & Maryland

This past weekend, I had three teenagers at home. I spent most of the weekend painting the house, and decided on Monday to take a break and do something fun with the kids. The only issue was, I had no idea what to do. I mean, there are the typical things, but many of those "typical" things you do when it's nice out. We could've gone to Ocean City, but that would be a 3 hour drive, and honestly, at 43ยบ I wasn't super interested in that.

We could've gone to Annapolis, but we've done that.

We could've gone to the National Mall, again, done that.

I decided to chat with my Maryland group on Facebook because most of those people have lived here longer than me. They came up with some great ideas, and while I didn't use any of them, I wanted to share those ideas with other people who might be trying to find something fun to do on a chilly winter day with teenagers.

Side note to why we didn't go do any of these things: I forgot my youngest had a dr appt on the early afternoon, and we couldn't cancel it.

The first suggestion was by Fadra Nally. She suggested the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Smithsonian. This is different than the one in D.C. This one is closer to Dulles in Virginia. The teenage girl wasn't really interested, but I think we'll plan a different time to go because every time I drive by the airport, I want to find time to visit. It's free aside from the $15 for parking. Not bad for a family.

The next suggestion was the National Cryptological Museum from Shelly Dixon. In fact, she had a few fun ideas! Sadly, it's closed on Federal Holidays so that was out, but the teenage girl was very interested in this one. Actually we all were. I had no idea it existed, but it sounds fascinating! They have artifacts about the cryptologic profession. There's so much I don't know about code making & code breaking! Another free place to visit!

She also suggested a place called Shadowland. From what I can tell from their website, it's laser tag on steroids. They refer to it as an "experience". There's obviously a cost for this, but the more people who go, the less expensive and the more fun it sounds like they will have. This would be fun if the kids got a bunch of their friends together to go do. It's also located in Maryland, in Columbia.

Pam Stultz suggested Sky Zone, which we all know kids love! My boys have been to them in Minnesota with their sisters. Who doesn't love a good trampoline bounce every once in a while? I'm sure on national holidays though, that place is probably packed!

Her suggestion reminded me of a place that we saw when we were visiting my brother and sister-in-law on New Years Day. It's a place called iFly. It's an indoor skydiving adventure. Now, this isn't for the faint of heart, and it's not cheap, but man, wouldn't that be a fun experience? It's the only way you'd ever find me flying. This would definitely be something to save up for. It's definitely cheaper if you bring a group of people! Since they're teens, they should have some spending money set aside right?

A photo posted by iFLY Loudoun (@iflyloudoun) on

What do the teens in your area like to do?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chick-fil-A Breakfast Giveaway

You know, mornings are not my thing. I'd rather be up late. I'm a night owl. Now of course, that means since I'm not an early bird, I really don't go anywhere in the morning. Trust me, it's better for everyone! And when I say, "better for everyone," it works out to your advantage!

I thought it was time to give away a couple of breakfast cards again. I was surprised how popular it was last time! Clearly I'm in good company with everyone who wanted to eat at CFA. I try to share my love of all things Chick-fil-A as often as I can, and I always love when I see that I get people to try things for the first time! My love of Frosted Lemonades has made fans out of friends & family. It's just the best when they share it on social media say, "Look what I tried for the first time, Mimi! It's delicious!"

Even for Christmas, my mom gave me a gift card, which I promptly used to by my son a meal and a calendar! She also told me she had a chicken sandwich there for the first time!

Ok, ok, I'll stop delaying because I know you don't want to hear about us eating at Chick-fil-A! lol

If you win, it'll be 2 cards that are good for a breakfast item listed on the card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Meet The Cars From CARS 3

When Fred and I went to see the new Star Wars movie about a week ago, we saw a preview for the new CARS 3 movie. We were both surprised at how pulled in we were by the trailer. We agreed that as soon as it comes out, we'll be seeing it!

Check out some of the new cast and of course the returning Lightening McQueen!


Lightning McQueen is world champion—a modern-day racing legend who’s riding high with five Piston-Cup wins under his hood. Suddenly, he finds himself faced with a new generation of racers who threaten not only his dominance in the sport—but the confidence that got him there. Determined to get back to the pole position, the #95 must decide if his love for racing is enough to fuel the comeback of his life. 

Owen Wilson (“The Royal Tenenbaums,” upcoming “Wonder”) returns to the racetrack as the voice of the champion. Wilson stars in the upcoming Woody Harrelson-directed live film “Lost in London.”


Cruz Ramirez is a sunny-but-fierce unconventional trainer at the Rust-eze Racing Center. She expertly arms the team's talented rookies with cutting-edge tools to tear up the track—but she nearly stalls when her longtime idol Lightning McQueen shows up. While she’d love to help him find his way back to the top, she knows the competition is faster than ever, and victory is all about speed—or is it?

Cristela Alonzo (“The Angry Birds Movie”) was called on to help bring the character to life. Alonzo’s debut stand-up special for Netflix, “Lower Classy,” which debuts on Jan. 24, 2017, showcases the comedian’s life as a the daughter of an immigrant, touching on important issues like social class, breaking the glass ceiling and how she can’t get the hang of Zumba.


Jackson Storm is fast, sleek and ready to race. A frontrunner in the next generation of racers, Storm’s quiet confidence and cocky demeanor are off-putting—but his unmatched speed threatens to redefine the sport. Trained on high-tech simulators that are programmed to perfect technique and maximize velocity, Jackson Storm is literally built to be unbeatable—and he knows it.

Armie Hammer (“Birth of a Nation”) was tapped as the voice of Jackson Storm. Hammer recently appeared in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals.” He will next be seen starring in “Free Fire,” directed by Ben Wheatley; “Final Portrait,” directed by Stanley Tucci; and “Call Me by Your Name,” directed by Luca Guadagnino.

Check out this extended trailer in case you haven't seen it yet!

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CARS 3 opens in theatres everywhere on June 16th!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.