Friday, November 25, 2016

Hallmark Keepsake for the Holidays- Review and Giveaway: Keepsake Miniature Tree and Miniature Ornament Set

When I was a young girl, visiting my local Hallmark store with my Mom was such an amazing experience and our visits during the holidays always felt magical. Hallmark's Keepsake ornaments always fascinated us and I hold dear to my heart several of these treasures she gave me through the years as I likewise did her. As I entered my teenage years, I began collecting Keepsake ornaments and meticulously maintaining my collection.  Mom has been gone for 16 Christmases now, but everytime I walk into a Hallmark store, I somehow still feel her hand in mine. As an adult, I treasure my opportunity to be a Hallmark blogger and every project I begin, I think about how my Mom would love that particular item. This season, I was excited to receive two new Hallmark Keepsake offerings for holiday season enjoyment in my home. 

This year, Hallmark began offering a Keepsake tree for displaying favorite ornaments and I was instantly drawn to this beautiful "keepsake" in itself. The miniature display tree has a gold finish and is perfect for displaying these miniature ornaments atop a table or mantel.  This Hallmark© Keepsake is perfect for reflecting on those "golden" moments that make the holidays so special. 

I am going to be making use of this tree year-round in my home, transitioning it after Christmas into a New Year's greeting tree, with my wishes for family and friends as well as my personal growth in the coming year. Then I will be using it for a valentine tree and incorporating it into other holiday and special occasion celebrations throughout the year.

This year, Hallmark has also debuted a miniature porcelain ornament collection, perfect for displaying on the miniature tree. This year's collection has a "12 Days of Christmas" theme and were released in sets of 3 to make 4 sets in the collection. The 1st set includes a partridge in a pear tree, a turtle dove and a calling bird. 

The white and gold miniature ornaments are Hallmark's trademark brand of keepsake quality, made of porcelain with gold detail, dated 2016 and pre-packaged for easy gift giving, preservation and storage.

The tree retails at $29.95 and each set of the 3 miniature ornaments in this collection retail at $24.95.  You can find out more information about the tree and ornaments as well as a purchase link on Hallmark's website here

Thanks to Hallmark, one of YOU will win a Keepsake miniature tree and the first set of 3 ornaments in the "12 Days of Christmas" collection, with a total value of $54.90 worth of Hallmark Keepsake goodness!

To enter, leave a comment below and let me know if you have a favorite ornament in your life from holidays past. If your comment does not show up below, please e-mail your entry to me at: with "contest entry" in the subject line. Giveaway closes Sunday, November 27th at 8:00 pm EST so the winner can receive the tree and ornaments in time to be enjoyed during this holiday season.   

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: "The Blessings of Unity: God's Best for Our Marriages" by Richard T. Case

This year my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. "The Blessings of Unity: God's Best for Our Marriages" by Richard T. Case is a 138-page softcover book filled with ways to bless the bonds of unity in marriage and keep your marriage a top priority. We both found this book to be an invaluable read as a couple.

About the Book:

The Blessings of Unity offers insight and ideas for creating godly unity in our marriages centered around two key concepts:

1) Abiding in the Vine and walking in the Spirit, and
2) Learning and applying the concept of unity.

Unity is achieved when a man and woman strive for agreement with God by processing His Will on every decision and in every issue. Through Biblically-centered discussions of discord, division, unity, discipleship, and prayer, and through exploring Biblical examples of unity, Richard Case offers husbands and wives practical and spiritual advice for working together in unity in the Spirit so that they can more perfectly present themselves to God for his divine approval."

I love the easy to understand language in this book. I like the fact that the layout is designed in an organized manner. I enjoyed the content and I really like the fact it is filled with useful tips and suggestions to use towards developing unity as a couple, listing key verses of Scripture paired with the author's advice to help us relate it to our own relationships. This book would make a wonderful engagement gift, wedding shower gift as well as a wedding gift for new couples and seasoned married couples alike.
About the Author:
                                                                                                                                                   Before his current role in developing retreats and serving this ministry, All for Jesus, Richard Case worked for many years with Fortune 500 companies in management and consulting roles. He holds a BS in Management and Finance from Bradley University, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a seminary Masters degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Richard has been a featured speaker at conferences and seminars; he has hosted a radio show and is a published author. Richard and his wife, Linda, answered the call from the Lord to Abide in Him through the Spirit. Together, Richard and Linda have started up several churches that remain strong today, and have served as interim pastors of troubled churches, bringing reconciliation and new vision to these situations. Richard and Linda began conducting marriage retreats in 2001. Richard and Linda currently live in Castle Rock, CO.

You can find out more information about the book, including how to purchase it here.

Mr. Case also has a free e-book, "Unshakeable", from the All for Jesus ministry available for download by going to the landing page here.


One of you will win a copy of "Blessings of Unity" (ARV $14.95).

To enter, please leave a comment below to let me know you would like to win by
 Tuesday, November 22 at 5:00 pm CST. Open to US and Canada residents only. 

If you are not able to leave a comment on this blog post, please e-mail me at with "Giveaway Entry" in the subject line and that will count as your entry.

"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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: "Christmas Cookie Swap!"

The holiday hostess in me has had a wonderfully "sweet" time reviewing this holiday cookie resource book. "Christmas Cookie Swap!", published by Oxmoor House, is a 256 page book featuring over 100 recipes and beautiful photography in six chapters covering a variety of sizes and shapes of cookies, including cookie bars, decorated cookies and a confectioners chapter abounding with fudge and truffle recipes. 

One of my favorite aspects of the book is that rather that showcasing only the cookie recipes, they include an entire chapter on "Christmas Cookie Basics" that focuses on the how-to aspect of getting ready for cookie swap. Besides ideas on how to host a cookie swap, there are tips on how to display your cookies to look their best, baking tips, packaging tips, the best frosting recipes to use for decorating cookies and cookie decorating tips. I love that they include a metric equivalents page at the back of the book for a handy measurement resource. My two favorite chapters are "Cookies for Santa" and "Christmas Classics", which both have an abundance of beloved cookie recipes.

I tried the recipe for Java-Toffee Cookies and served them at a neighborhood gathering.    

They were well-received at the gathering and they have become one of my husband's favorite cookies. I love the flavor combination of English toffee and java with instant coffee crystals.

This makes such a wonderful addition to any holiday cookbook collection.


One of you will win a copy of "Christmas Cookie Swap!", valued at 19.95! To enter, please leave a comment below to let me know if you have a favorite Christmas cookie tradition or cookie. Giveaway closes Sunday,  November 6 at 5:00 pm EST. Open to US residents only. 

If you are not able to leave a comment on this blog post, please e-mail me at with "Giveaway Entry" in the subject line and that will count as your entry.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of my honest review and a copy will be provided to the giveaway winner. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.