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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WIN a FREE Meal on Artisan Bistro!

The Artisan Bistro Meals

WIN a FREE Meal on Artisan Bistro!
Enter this giveaway tonight, share it on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook &
5 LUCKY Winners will Win a Coupon. It could be you!

Disclaimer: I was offered coupons to try the Artisan Bistro Meals in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for reading GivingNSharing!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Artisan Bistro: Sustainable, free-range and grass-fed proteins made simple

The Artisan Bistro Meals

Do any of my readers NOT like to cook or perhaps your like me and do not care for leftovers & finally have resorted to buying from the main 3 frozen meal lines available at the store? I personally have food sensitivities so I'm limited in what I can purchase and have found 3 meals from one line and 4-5 meals from another line so at least I have a tiny bit of variety - the rest of the time I either have a bowl of cereal, a PB&J or a can of tomato soup. So I was thrilled that I now have another choice: 

Artisan Bistro makes eating well simple & easy with their gluten free frozen meals, all containing a minimum of 70% organic ingredients. Artisan Bistro begins each recipe by selecting only super-premium, real food ingredients including free-range chicken, grass fed beef & wild-caught sustainable fish. 

Varieties include:
Wild Salmon - Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Japanica rice, broccoli, walnuts & dried cranberries.
Ginger Chicken - free-range chicken with brown rice, green beans, sugar snap peas, carrots & ginger puree.
Thai Style Red Curry with Beef - grass-fed beef with brown rice, sweet potatoes, green beans, coconut milk, red bell pepper puree, turmeric and toasted sesame oil.

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I tried the Ginger Chicken and was very pleased with the amount of the serving, loved the flavor of the seasonings and the veggies were scrumptious. The chicken had a much better taste then the rubber chicken you find in other frozen meal lines as well (which pleased me!) I think I will be trying the Wild Salmon next time. I'm not a great fan of Salmon but will give it a whirl. When they come out with a good Cod or Halibut meal I'll be first in line for those!

I was very pleased with the Gluten Free meals and that many of the ingredients are organic. I'd really like to try the Thai Beef especially since it has Turmeric as an ingredient (Turmeric is a known to help control pain in Fibromylagia and other pain conditions). I'm just a bit concerned that it will be spicy. If any of you try it let me know!

Ingredients List

Artisan Bistro meals and Meals for Two are available in natural food stores & grocers nationwide including Whole Foods, Publix, Safeway & Target. They are also now coming out with a line of Breakfast Meals which I'm personally excited about - I love breakfast! Watch for a review of these items as soon as they are available.

(giveaway ends 12/7 at 8 pm, US & 18+)

Disclaimer: I was offered coupons to try the Artisan Bistro Meals in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for reading GivingNSharing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

God Gave Us Angels

God Gave Us Angels
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
ISBN: 9781601426611
$8.14 (paperback)
$7.73 (kindle)

About the book:
“What do angels do all day, Papa?”
 When Papa finds Little Cub looking for angels, it gives him a chance to tell his beloved child about those that may be in their midst, even when they can’t be seen.  Exploring their exhilarating Arctic world as they talk, Papa lovingly answers all of Little Cub’s questions about angels—and as usual, she has a lot. She wants to know what they do, how they look, how they guard God’s loved ones, and best of all, how they serve the Creator of the world.   “God really created angels to serve him more than us, Little Cub.They love him and would do anything for him.” This uplifting tale will encourage young hearts by exploring the glory and design of God’s messengers, while turning toward him with praise.    

My thoughts:
When I was offered this book by Blogging for Books to review on GivingNSharing I hesitated. I personally believe that many people (Christians & Non-Christians) worship the angels when we are warned to NOT worship or pray to the angels. (Exodus 20:4-5, Matt 4:10, Luke 4:8) so it was with misgivings that I agreed to review this book.

I was very pleased with how this subject is handled. Little Cub's questions are handled honestly and with just enough information to answer her question and give her something to think about. 

Not only does the book teach Little Cub that she should not pray to angels but Papa Bear also teaches her their purpose, why they were created - They were created to Worship God, Praise Him, Fight for God and Serve Him. She also asks about Guardian Angels and what they look like.

Very well written & thought out. God Gave Us Angels gets an A+ on GivingNSharing! This is a wonderful book to add to your family library and would make a nice addition for your kid's Christmas Eve gift.

Disclaimer:  I received this book to review as a member of the Blogging For Books review program in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for reading GivingNSharing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Giveaways I've entered ~ you can too!

1) Enter to win a 7 piece William-Sonoma Pot set valued at $650, ends 11/20, US - Click Here
2) VTech is giving 1 lucky reader their own Innotab MAX tablet, 11/21, US - Click Here

3) Vtech-Giveaway
4) Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway, 11/18, US - Click Here

Find more giveaways @ Daily Giveaway Linky

Kid's Lit Review: Sam's Christmas Wish

by George D Durrant
ISBN: 9781609076061
$14.19 (hardcover)

About the book:
Sam Edwards isn't looking forward to Christmas, at least not this year. Since losing his job a few weeks before, he hasn't had any luck in finding a new one. He isn't sure how he can give his family a merry Christmas, and the last thing he wants is charity from his neighbors. But when he falls asleep in his living room – with his shotgun accros his lap just to make sure no one attempts to visit him – he wakes up to find his front porch laden with Christmas goodies. But when he tries to find out who left the presents, the freshly fallen snow reveals no footprints.

Years later, Sam's wife has passed away and his children are grown. Old and sick, Sam remembers the kindness of the anonymous stranger from long ago and wishes for an opportunity to bless another's life. So on Christmas Eve, when he sees his neighbor's house on fire, he hopes that he can be the means for another anonymous miracle.

My thoughts:
Each year at Christmas our family has a tradition to have the youngest reader in the family read the Christmas Story and this book would be a wonderful addition to that tradition. This story encourages families to think about how they can help others – in small ways or big.

The pictures in Sam's Christmas Wish are illustrated by Dan Burr and show the emotion Sam Edwards is going through as he sits in his chair on Christmas Eve trying to protect himself from the shame of accepting help from his friends and family who might want to help them have a Merry Christmas. He is so adament that they not help him that he has called people and warned them that “I'll be watching to see if anybody comes around trying to leave anything at the door!” His discouragement, disappointment and anger is very apparent.

As the years go by after that Christmas Sam softens until near the end of the book we see him wishing that he could do something for someone else anonymously. His family is gone, he rarely sees his children and he is sick – the end of the book is touching, poignant and a tear jerker.

I only have one warning – be prepared to talk with your younger kids about death if you haven't already. The book ends with Sam's death – but it is a very satisfying end to his life as he receives his greatest wish.

Awesome book!

About the author:

George Durrant was born and raised in American Fork, Utah. He's believed in Santa Clause as a child and as a parent. George is a master storyteller and loves telling stores to his 8 children, 34 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

A Tale of Light and Shadow ~ Blog Tour

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Displaying Tale of Light and Shadow.jpgA Tale of Light and Shadow
by Jacob Gowans
ISBN: 978-1609078720
$14.94 (hardcover)
$9.49  (paperback)
$10.49 (kindle)

About the book:
Henry and Isabelle have secretly sworn to marry despite his lowly station. Though Henry is but a carpenter, his devotion drives him to commit an unthinkable act that may cost both of them their lives. At the same time, a secret, dark prophecy has set in motion events that will affect not only them, but the thrones of rulers throughout all of Atolas, threatening to eclipse the world in shadow. But all is not lost while hope remains in the guise of an unlikely hero and the strength of friendship.

Blog Tour Buzz:

“It’s a fun read, with humor in it as well as adventure and a bit ofromance.”—The Stylish Nest

“I love books with strong characters like this.” - A Book's Elf Nook

“Nice cover! It looks like a Death Eater has strayed into Camelot!”—Snogging on Sunday

My thoughts:
As most of you know, I am a Lord of the Rings fan. Up until 15 years ago you couldn't of gotten me to read anything Fantasy. It didn't appeal to me and then I saw The Lord of the Rings.

I don't think I would classify A Tale of Light and Shadow necessarily as a fantasy. As I read I kept thinking that the writing reminded me much of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women or Little Men in the quality of the writing. Or perhaps JRR Tolkein for the shear level of detail and the smoothness of the writing. At first the level of the writing and detail kept my attention and I was constantly amazed that for a kids book (age 14+) it was so easy to read. I did find as I got to about chapter 3-4 that my interest started waning a bit but then I was also trying to read quietly while kids napped and the cat kept putting her head in the book and meowing at me. 

This first book starts with a lot of attitude. You have Henry and Isabelle, madly in love, desiring to marry and of course the antogonist is Isabelle's father. A neer-do-well who is cruel, self-centered and has an ulterior motive & it isn't keeping Henry & Isabelle from marrying. He is completely focused on his late wife's inheritance and doesn't care who he hurts to get it.

This video will tell you more about the book and you when your done you can click on the BUY ME link and order it for yourself. There is no smut, language or modern nastiness in this series (other than the evilness that is Isabelle's father, Ruther is a drunk and a gambler and of course there is the emperor who wants Isabelle).... 

Learn more with the Author/Book Trailer:

About the author:
Jacob Gowans was raised in Papillion, Nebraska, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theater studies, and then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he graduated from dental school at Case Western Reserve University. Jacob and his wife and three children live in Arizona where he works as a dentist for the Indian Health Services. A Tale of Light and Shadow is his first published book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of A Tale of Light and Shadow to read and review on GivingNSharing in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to have a positive review and no $$ exchanged hands. 

Book Trailer - Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas

Here is a video that shares a bit about the wonderful new book. This fun book will help you start up a NEW tradition during the Christmas season that will teach your children what the TRUE Meaning of Christmas Means!

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas 
Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior 
by Emily Belle Freeman 
$9.73 (Paperback) 
$9.13 (Kindle) 

Read my review: Click Here

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of A Christ-Centered Christmas to read and review on GivingNSharing in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to have a positive review and no $$ exchanged hands. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I haven't eaten today ~ it's 2:30 pm

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.

And I'm Hungry!
Looking for festive fall #OMGyum recipes? Check out A Cookbook For All Seasons http://bit.ly/ACookbookForAllSeasons

A few of the recipes you'll find in this NEW ebook:

Other recipes you'll find in this wonderful FALL ebook:

For the kids:
Creepy Mini Pizzas
Spooky Marshmallows for Hot Chocolate!
Scotcheroo Spiders...

For everyone else:
Salted Carmel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Easy Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Breakfast Pizza
And more!

Get It Here:

Disclaimer:  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may or may not receive a tiny commission or possibly be interested into a contest along with other bloggers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

940 Saturdays ~ Review

940 Saturdays
Family Activities & a Keepsake Journal
by Harley A Rotbart, MD
ISBN: 9780804185424
$17.90 (Diary - hardback)

About the book:
There are 940 Saturdays between a child's birth and the day he or she turns 18.

That may sound like a lot when there are adventures to plan and hours to fill. But as your child learns to walk, ride a bicycle, and drive, the years pass quickly. This beautiful package includes both a removable booklet with a thousand ideas for family activities that you and your child will love at every age, and a keepsake journal for preserving what you saw and did, thought and felt, so you can savor these memories in the years to come.

My thoughts:
I want to open by saying that this book wasn't quite what I thought. I thought it would be a nice non-fiction chapter book sharing ideas and activities to do with kids and since I have a little daycare and firmly believe in keeping kids BUSY at all times I jumped for the chance to read this one. =D

It wasn't quite what I thought. This book is 99% journal 5% activities booklet. Each double page spread has sections for 4 Saturdays. Parents list activities they did as a family that weekend. Saturday #293 might be "Our family went hiking in Fontenelle Forest this weekend ~ we saw a beautiful dance by the Winnebago Tribe from the Sioux City area. We also participated in a night time hike and watched the forest come alive." Saturday # 319 "Boys Scout Camping ~ Tommy was responsible for bringing and making the biscuits. And all the kids learned to set up their tents, start a fire safely and keep food out of the reach of bears."

Now imagine 940 Saturdays of that! What a treat that journal would be for your family to review at the end of the year and talking about the neat things you've done that year. Now, I'm sure all the Saturdays won't be filled in ~ or maybe you'll have brief notes like: 

"Susie snuck out tonight ~ grounded for 2 months." or "Tommy learned to mow & trim the lawn today." or how about: "Mom & Dad's anniversary, kids with grandparents for weekend."

The back of the book has a little pocket book with 31 pages. It's filled with family activities split up by ages/years and lists several categories & activities for each - a category might be Animals & Pets. Starting with age 0-2 you can do fun things like "Teach animal sounds, play with animal toys & feed ducks at the local pond." Age 2-5 & 5-11 has another long list of activities and Age 11-14 & age 14-18  has a series activities good for all those ages. At the end of that category is a small paragraph on how to plan your day & where to go. 

Categories include:
Acting * Animals & Pets * Arts & Crafts * Aviation * Backyard & Park Play * Birds * Board & Card Games * Boating * Bowling * Building, Engineering & Design * Business & Money * Carpentry & Woodworking * Cars & Trucks * Camping * Celebrations & Holidays * Car Wash * Cleaning, Chores & Repairs * Climbing * Circus & Carnival * Collecting & Sorting * Computers & Other Digital Devices, Cooking & Baking * Dance * Debates, etc.....

As you can see this list of categories is extensive. Activities cover a wide range of ages and many of the activities are fun for adults as well. I think you could even use it as a family enrichment program within your neighborhood or church. I personally won't use the journal I don't think - but the little booklet will be priceless this coming summer with my daycare kiddos. =D Big & Little.
Harley A. Rotbart M.D.
About the author:
Nationally renowned parenting authority Harley A Rotbart, MD is Professor & Vice Chairman or Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children's Hospital Colorado and has been named to Best doctors in America every year since 1996. He is a regular contributor to Parent's Magazine & The New York Times. Dr Rotbart lives with his wife in Colorado they are the parents of 3 grown children.

You can follow Dr Rotbart on Twitter, Facebook or on his blog @ NoRegretsParenting.com

Other books by the author:

I received this book to review as a member of the Blogging For Books review program in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for reading GivingNSharing.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas ~ book review

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Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas
Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior
by Emily Belle Freeman
96 pages, paperback
$9.73 (Paperback)
$9.13 (Kindle)

About the book:
Discover how each figure of the nativity can lead your family closer to Christ this Christmas season. Learn the tradition of the tinkling bell, whip up a batch of French cocoa, create a tender mercy tree, and find ways to make your gift-giving more meaningful as Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas guides you through 7 meaningful traditions inspired by the nativity setting. These simple experiences will give you an opportunity to escape from the frantic busyness of the Christmas season to spend time reflecting on the savior and the miracle of His birth.

My thoughts:
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love the careful planning of gifts that match each person's personality, the decorating, baking cookies, going out to see the lights and music - if only we could see & hear carolers again! (It's been over 20 years since I last saw Carolers - or participated)

A Christ-Centered Christmas is a welcome book designed to teach your family (mom & dad too) about what Christmas is really about. Emily Belle Freeman carefully introduces a new way to lead your family to Christ. She began this tradition with her own family by introducing a new character from her Nativity each week and then she would teach her children about the true meaning of Christmas through carefully prepared activities. You have the choice of doing the traditions in the order you prefer - let 1 child each week pick out a character and then match up the activities or follow the book from beginning to end. You may choose to do 1 or more of the suggested activities.

I have a small daycare and I would love to do this with the kids - it's would be a great way to teach them about Jesus. I'm just trying to figure out how to do the Nativity around a 11 month old baby that is into everything! Any ideas?
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About the author:
Emily Belle Freeman ~ a coach's wife, mother to 4 children, author of several bestselling books & sought-after inspirational speaker. Her days are spent watching over teenagers, her flock of pampered chickens and a rabbit that she adores. She finds great joy in studying the life & teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. For a few minutes every day Emily forgets about the laundry, leaves the dishes in the sink, and writes. She coauthors a blog that is a stopping place for hearts seeking all that is good.

Dislaimer: I was offered a copy of A Christ-Centered Christmas to read and review on GivingNSharing in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to have a positive review & no $$ exchanged hands.