Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sponsored: Great Gifts for Guys at Groupon

Disclaimer: I was financially compensated for this sponsored post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.  
For me, this time of year, when the holidays are coming full throttle, usually comes with the question what to get the guys on my list. 
Especially this guy: The Southern Fried Husband, who likes a perfect combination of gifts with a purpose and gifts at a good price. Here he is making a gingerbread house earlier this month.  

It seems to be becoming increasingly difficult to seek out this perfect combination of gift in this day and age without spending lots of time either going from store to store or searching the internet...or both. I'm nearly giving out just typing this thought. 
I am a fan of Groupon because of the money-saving deals I find on this free site year-round. When it came to this holiday season, I used Groupon for one-stop shopping for the perfect gift for my husband. I went straight to the Men's Fashion category and there it was, the perfect gift for Craig. One of my favorite Groupon site is the categories feature for ease of locating the items or services you are looking for.
Behold, a gift he has been wishing for, at an amazing price: a leather wallet. Alpine Swiss Men's Genuine Leather Wallets at a great price and features my husband is looking for in a wallet, including a bifold wallet with slim profile, 12 card slots with three additional oversized card slot pockets and a large receipt/card pocket (my husband could very well be king of utilizing that feature!).

This wallet makes a great guy gift at a great price and ships in 2 days. My hard-to-find gift shopping is done! 
A favorite area on the site is Groupon Goods , where you will find so many great items organized into categories.  Check out this perfect couple gift idea with the Wexley Home All-Seasons Down-Alternative Comforter at an amazing price.

Have you saved money with Groupon?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review and Flash Giveaway: Hallmark Heritage Collection Ornaments

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned in this post in order to do a review of said item(s) for my blog. 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."     

Earlier this season, Hallmark debuted their newest collection of heirloom-worthy ornaments. Hallmark Heritage Collection Ornaments are designed by Hallmark artists and inspired by the rich history of Hallmark. Each ornament is hand-blown and crafted by artisans in Poland. I opened my latest Hallmark package to find an exquisite blown glass Santa Claus.

Santa's boots, coat and belt are all decorated in shiny gold, and his sparkly beard and mittens add a twinkle to anywhere he is placed. There is additional glitter embellishment on his coat and hat. 

One of you will win a Hallmark Heritage Collection Santa Ornament, valued at $29.99! To enter, leave a comment below and let me know if you have a favorite Christmas ornament from your childhood or present day. Entries close on Monday, December 12 at 5:00 pm EST. 

If you are not able to leave a comment, please e-mail me your entry at with "Giveaway Entry" as the subject line.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sponsored: A Holiday Recipe and How to #GetReliefFromTheFeast with IMODIUM®

Every December since my cross-country move from Oklahoma to New York on that June day 5 1/2 years ago, I am very fortunate to be able to fly home to Oklahoma and visit my loved ones for a Christmas visit. It is a time for treasured memories made with loved ones, but lengthy air travel and lots of road miles driven paired with a hectic schedule and holiday celebration overeating with menus overflowing with rich and sometimes spicy foods can catch up with you very fast, says the voice of experience.

Beginning with the airport food you encounter along the journey, no matter how you plan to avoid certain types of foods, certain symptoms from your body being thrown out of whack from the travel rush can cause discomfort and made the rest of your travel miserable if you are not prepared. I have found a tried-and-true travel sidekick to help me during the holiday hurry with whatever digestive issue comes my way with IMODIUM®

Let IMODIUM® help you be empowered to take on the holiday season and FEAST on the food, not FEAR it!

I am a third generation in my family to rely on IMODIUM®, an effective and reliable for frequent digestive sufferers to restore your body’s natural digestive balance, without causing constipation. It is the #1 brand with frequent sufferers, and the #1 doctor recommended brand. IMODIUM® has been helping diarrhea sufferers for over 35 years, with many products to choose from to help treat your symptoms in just one dose.

You can find IMODIUM® and and all the products you need to be prepared for the holiday at your nearest Walmart!

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This recipe is my favorite go-to for incorporating Meatless Monday into the holidays with a creamy pumpkin penne dish.

 "Creamy Pumpkin Penne"

Serves 4

1 (12 oz.) package penne rigate pasta 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin, pureed OR 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree 
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • Optional garnish: chopped oregano 
In pasta-size cooking pot, add water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring salted water to a boil and add pasta, cooking pasta according to directions on package. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water; drain pasta and set aside. In same pasta pot, add olive oil and oregano. Cook on medium heat for 1 minute.Carefully watching pot to avoid hot oil spattering, add pumpkin puree, minced garlic, half-and-half, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,  vinegar and 1 cup reserved pasta water to pot. Stir until well-blended and heated on medium heat for through 2- 3 minutes, stirring after each minute.  If sauce is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of remaining reserved pasta water until sauce reaches desired consistency. When ready to serve pasta in individual dishes, pour 1/2 cup of sauce over pasta. Garnish each before serving by sprinkling, if desired, with 1/2 teaspoon of oregano. Enjoy!
Do you have favorite holiday foods you hate to skip during this season because of trying to avoid digestive issues? Let IMODIUM® be your ally to put your life back in rhythm as it naturally should be. 

Sponsored Post: Children's Christmas Book Gift Guide with Zonderkidz and a Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received this collection of books for the purpose of my honest book reviews  and I am being provided one of the books for a giveaway prize. I was not financially  compensated for this blog post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

I was given the opportunity to review the newest Christmas-themed book releases from the Zonderkidz division of Zondervan Publishing. I have had the most fun reading this wonderful collection of books and I look forward to sharing them with some of the special children in my life this holiday season and want to share about them with you today.

 A Night of Great Joy 
 Author and Illustrator: Mary Engelbreit   
 Retail Price: $16.99
This book is a splendid way to introduce young children to the "The Christmas Story" so many of us hold dear to our hearts, with this precious re-telling of the Bible story told in Luke's gospel, paired with the bright and beautiful illustrations of Mary Engelbreit. It is keepsake quality for a special child to delight them for years to come and it is also a wonderful gift idea for the grown-up Mary Engelbreit fans in your life.

Here is an adorable preview trailer for this glorious book:

 You can find more information about the book here.

Christmas Love Letters from God
Author: Glenys Nellist 
Illustrator: Rachel Clowes
                     Retail Price: $16.99                                

I am such a fan of the "Love Letters from God" book series and this one touched my heart with its whimsical re-telling of seven beloved Bible stories about the birth of Jesus along with love letters from God written especially for the young reader. I found this beautiful story collection paired with the love letters from God to be such a special and lasting Faith message for a child in your life that can impact them for years to come. It also makes a heartwarming read for the seasoned Believer.

Here is the precious preview trailer for this book:

You can find more information about the book here

Goodnight Manger
Author: Laura Sassi
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Retail Price: $8.99 
This story about Mary and Joseph trying to get Baby Jesus to sleep in the noisy stable is told in gentle, lulling rhyme, perfect for spanning the ages of young readers and can't help but be an inspiration to parents of young children. This would also make an ideal "First Christmas" gift for an infant to grow up hearing this as an adorable and tender bedtime story. I love this as a gift idea for young parents of young children and expectant parents, as well.

Here is the beautiful preview trailer for this book:

You can find more information about the book here.

The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel
Author and Illustrator: Mike Berenstain
Retail Price: $3.99

This beloved family of bears who delighted me in my own childhood are still entertaining young readers with their adventures which always come with learning an important lesson. In this story, the cubs make a Christmas Angel in the snow, and learn a lesson about God’s angels from Mama and Papa Bear.

Here is a delightful preview trailer for the book:
You can find more information about the book here

The Berenstain Bears Christmas Fun Sticker and Activity Book
Author: Mike Berenstain
Illustrators: Jan and Mike Berenstain  
Retail Price: $6.99

This newest Berenstain Bears sticker and activity book is packed with Christmas fun for kids. It is full of colorful stickers and cute puzzles featuring this beloved bear family along with their friends and neighbors in Bear Country. This makes a cute gift for children in your life. What a wonderful stocking stuffer this would make to occupy its young recipients on Christmas Day. This would make a great holiday road travel activity for kids and also a great gift for the beginning of the Advent season. 

You can find more information about the book here.

Ready, Set, Find Christmas! (a look-and-find book) 
Retail Price: $8.99

This colorful look-and-find book follows Mary and Joseph's journey on their way to Bethlehem on Christmas night with precious illustrations. A precious gift for the youngest of readers.  

You can find more information about the boohere.

 A Royal Christmas to Remember       
  Authors: Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson 
Illustrator: Omar Aranda  
  Retail Price: $14.99 

This is the newest book in the Princess Parables series and it is a beautifully-illustrated Christmas storybook that teaches an important lesson about the true meaning of Christmas. This makes such a special gift for young girls in your life. On the night before Christmas, Princesses Joy, Grace, Faith, Charity, and Hope go on an adventure that includes an exciting rescue as they pray to God for courage and safety. They share in a royal Christmas celebration of family and God’s love. 

                          You can find more information about the book here.


One of you will win the book of your choice from this Christmas collection to share with a child or children in your life this season and in Christmases to come. 

To enter, please leave a comment below and let me know if you have a favorite Christmas book from your childhood. Entries close Wednesday, December 7th at 5:00 pm EST. 

Open to US and Canada residents only. 

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

Disclaimer: I received this collection of books for the purpose of my honest book reviews and I am being provided one of the books for a giveaway prize. I was not financially compensated for this blog post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Holiday Music Review and Giveaway: Amy Grant "Tennessee Christmas"

I was given the opportunity to do a music review for Amy Grant's first Christmas album in 33 years, "Tennessee Christmas" and I am happy to share my review with you today.

For many fans of Amy Grant, me included, this is a long-awaited follow-up to her 1983 Christmas album titled "A Christmas Album". This recording is a new and intimate look at Amy Grant's family Christmas. All of the songs are personally special to her. She creates an personal feel for this album you will "see" as soon as you open the cd holder and see the sweet family Christmas pictures she chose to include with the album and you will "hear" as she shares some her favorite Christmas memories between the songs. 

She is joined by her husband, Vince Gill for a fun version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside". She is also joined by their children, who she says are comprised of their blended family of her children, his children and their daughter, who all come together to make one family. When I hear her sing the adorable song, "Christmas Don't Be Late" with daughters Jenny, Corinna, and Sarah, I smile so brightly. 

Amy says of her new Christmas album, “I’ve loved traveling the world with my guitar, but my favorite musical memories have happened right here at home around Christmastime with family and friends. I hope we’ve captured some of that magic to share with all of you this holiday season!”

This is a collection of thirteen new recordings, including the title track, "Tennessee Christmas".  I feel it combines a perfect blend of celebrating her beloved originals with Amy putting her own spin on some treasured Christmas standards. So many emotions of the season are invoked listening to these songs. Many of the desired and joyful emotions like love, peace, harmony, but as someone who lives with grief, I appreciate that she chose to include songs that include this undesired holiday emotion of grief, as we miss our loved ones during this season which brings to mind so many memories with them. Of all the holiday emotions invoked, I most appreciate having songs on my holiday playlist where I can remember my loved ones who have passed away and celebrate our precious holiday memories. This aspect of the recording adds to the "real and intimate" quality I feel when I listen to the songs. 

The album was recorded in her home studio in Nashville and she collaborated with producers Mac McAnally (Jimmy Buffett, Martina McBride), Marshall Altman (Marc Broussard, Frankie Ballard) and Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band).

You can listen to one of the songs on the album, the beautiful "To Be Together" here:

You can purchase here  and one of you will WIN your own copy of this cd! (ARV $8.89) This giveaway is open to residents of the continental U.S. To enter, leave a comment below and let me know if you have a favorite Christmas song. If you are not able to post a comment, you can e-mail me at with "Contest Entry" in the subject line. Giveaway will close on Tuesday, December 6th at 5:00 pm EST.

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.