Embracing a Healthy Family LIfe

The Shepherd’s Treasure: An Alternative to Elf on the Shelf and Giveaway/Win $500 Details

Win $500!  Contest starts December 1st!  The Shepherd's Treasure is a Christian alternative to Elf on the Shelf and they are giving away $500 to the most creative photo shared.  $250 for you and $250 for your church!  The four top photos will be chosen and then fans will vote on their favorite to win!  This contest is lots of fun, but the best part about it is we are bringing back the true meaning of Christmas and teaching our kids that it's not all about receiving gifts and behaving well just to receive material things. Join us in the fun!  Here's how:

Step 1: Order The Shepherd's Treasure book with doll set (and advent cards if you choose) by NOVEMBER 20th to ensure delivery by December 1st. Link to buy in comments.
Step 2 (optional): Get your church involved -  The more people from your church who participate in the contest, the bigger the chance to win! Just send people to The Shepherd's Treasure Facebook page for details.
Step 3: Make sure to LIKE @BLOGGERSPAGE and @The Shepherd's Treasure Facebook page to receive contest next steps on December 1st!

Click the link in the comments to get your copy before all are sold out!  This is going to be so fun!

ORDER HERE by November 20th to get in time for December 1st. Two options below - one with the advent cards and one without:

Option 1:  Book + Doll Set + Advent Cards:  https://www.sleepingbaby.com/ collections/shepherds- treasure/products/the- shepherds-treasure-book-doll- set-and-advent-cards


Option 2: Book + Doll set: https://www.sleepingbaby.com/ collections/shepherds- treasure/products/the- shepherds-treasure-book-doll- set

SEE QUEST IDEAS HERE: https://www.theshepherdstreasure.com/pages/ideas-for-your-quest

My Review

Every Christmas is special to me and I want to ensure that I teach my children not only that it's a special time but to fully understand why it's special. Finding activities that reinforces the meaning is important to me as it's not about receiving presents. I was very pleased to participate in this sharing on my review of the The Shepherd’s Treasure. We started December 1st, by placing "allowing" our Shepherd to travel by night throughout the month in search of Jesus and each morning, my children are put to the task of finding him. Also included are the Shepherd’s Treasure Advent Cards which correspond with fun activities the Shepherd can do throughout the month. Each card features a Bible verse and message from the Shepherd! Little ones will follow behind their Shepherd along his journey until on Christmas morning, they will find him kneeling before the greatest Treasure of all time: Jesus!

This is wonderful in encouraging my children to continue their path to finding Jesus daily. My youngest already proclaims she will grow up to spread the word of God as she does already. It's such a cute and fun tradition that I can begin with all my children and grandchildren and to see the smile on their faces each morning is priceless. You can see the video firsthand by clicking on The Shepherd's Treasure video link.

Enter to Win!

There's even an opportunity to win your very own Shepherd's Treasure on their Facebook page by liking the page and leaving a comment in the raffle section on why you are excited about this Christmas.

GEMMglam Christmas Sale: Sunglasses and Patent-Pending Unique Gems

GEMMglam Christmas Sale

* Buy 2 sunglasses - get a 3rd pair FREE
* Buy 2 Paris cuffs $45 each - 3rd Paris cuff & 3 Fleur de lis gems FREE (limited cuffs left)
* Buy 1 pair gems at $34 - get any 2nd pair for $15
PM me or send an e-mail to gemmorders@gmail.com

*Host an online Facebook party and earn your choice choice among these 100% UV Protection sunglasses and wonderful gems to match your personality.

**Pictures does not represent all the various sunglasses and gems to choose from.

*Host gifts are dependent on total sales with potential for bonuses.

The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen™ is Enchanting

During our last trip to Orlando, we took our first trip to Universal's CityWalk and although a bit dissapointed that there was an admission charge unlike Disney Springs, we begrudgingly paid. Much to our delight, we encountered The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen™ and I have to say it is quite enchanting! 

The story behind it involves Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome who from the Alps to the empire of the Aztecs, from Mongolia to Madagascar, she learned unique methods of infusing chocolate into recipes. Upon returning to London, she set her determination in sharing her love of chocolate and built the 19th century themed restaurant. Set in charming steampunk inspired surroundings, the wait staff are equally impressive with their costumes.

The full service restaurant and bar to include confectionery, as it does have chocolate in the name, has traditional dishes as well as novel other recipes. The desserts are magnificant and worth every single calorie. From artisanal milkshakes with flavors such as Chocolate x5, Bacon Brittle and Red Velvet. Feast on sumptuous sundaes like S’mores, Salted Caramel Flan and Chocolate Brownie Bark, it has something for any taste. You can even purchase tasty mementos from the restaurant’s retail shop to enjoy at home. 

Here are some of my favorite memories:

modFamily Black Friday Specials - 30% Off Code

Life is so busy and anytime we can find something that eases our schedule and saves us time, we should embrace it. I found a site that helps modern families overcome those everyday life strains by providing products that enrich and simplify life with an innovative, modern twist. ModFamily has products with a purpose:
  • Simplify Life
  • Provide comfort and convenience
  • Creative, fun and modern
  • Efficient and multi-use
Below are just three products that will add some fun and/or simplify life:

Special Code for Black Friday Weekend

Use code modfamilydeals3 and save 30% off this weekend only!

ModFamily Story

ModFamily began as parents and founders Jamie and Chad Kelly, and Rob and Brittney Johnson, discovered solutions to problems like cups spills, lack of an outdoor play and rest space for infants, and food going bad too quickly. The group quickly located new, innovative household tools that not only put a modern twist on classic household commodities, but also instantly made their lives easier. Their enthusiasm to share these great finds ignited, and a company was born! We can’t wait to share solutions with you that have helped us better tackle some of the daily challenges of family life. “We are passionate about delivering new products for modern families that solve those all-too-familiar problems of everyday family life!” 

Chicago Toy & Game Fair - November 18 & 19 Family Pass Giveaway - Ends 11/18 #chitag

I'm Going to Chicago Toy and Game (ChiTAG) Week this November!

It's almost time for Christmas so what better time than now to have some fun with the coolest trendiest toys around by coming to the Chicago Toy & Game Week this weekend.  There are going to be so many fun things to do and there will be a special Star Wars event!  My family loves Star Wars and this is right up there with Disney's Star Wars events. 

If that isn't enough to trigger your desire to attend, look what else they have in store for participants:

  • Walk inside the World's Largest PomPomWow!
  • Super Power Sensory Hour 9:00 am – 10:00 am hosted by The National Lekotek Center providing early access to families of children with special needs 
  • Inventor Meet and Greet throughout both days!! Want to meet the inventor of BopIt? Operation? Jenga? Nerf? Twister? You can say “hello” and get inside knowledge from all – they’ll at the Fair. Also meet upcoming inventors and try their products out. You’ll be able to say you knew them before they were hot!
  • Yo-Yo Championship - Contestants from Coast to Coast
  • Attend the Star Wars Lunch
  • Enter the Young Inventor Challenge & Young Tech Challenge (free!) Amazing Prizes & Meet Toy and Game Executives and Inventors
  • Test drive vehicles from RazorPeg Perego and RadioFlyer Mini Tesla!! 
  • Mommy & Gracie Show Unboxing! Did you catch last year’s unboxing?? https://youtu.be/wslvGlPjDQs 
  • IllumiCraft STEM-based Craft Party with Gift
  • Upon A Craft Line Holiday Project
  • Be entertained by Ben’s Giant Bubble Show
  • Test out New Products Before They Hit Retail Shelves
  • Shop for the Hottest New and Classic Toys for the Holidays 
  • Interactive Exhibits
  • Giveaways, Stage Events, Magic Shows, Contests, Laser Tag, Crafts, Characters, GameTruck, Knockerball and much more!

In case you don't win, check out this $3 coupon off ChiTAG Fair Admission. Follow the link, register online and use the promo code CHITAG3:  CLICK HERE CHICAGO TOY & GAME WEEK DISCOUNT

Now is your chance to win the FAMILY WEEKEND PASS GIVEAWAY (value $92). To enter, complete the entries below.  One winner will be selected and notified ASAP on Friday evening.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Three Key Benefits of an Unlocked Phone & Best Buy Specials Now Through 11/5/2016 #ad

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Purchasing cell phones have become complicated over time and it's almost comparable to buying a tube of toothpaste with all the variations, brands, features and more. I had never broken or lost a phone in the entire time I have owned cell phones until this year. I not only broke one phone but I broke TWO. Now that I am on the path of replacing yet another phone as my renewal isn't up until May of next year, I'm going to seek out an unlocked phone thanks to this post as I really didn't know too much about unlocked phones and had an image of someone shady selling one they stole. It's not that way att all however.

Unlocked phones are becoming a popular choice here in the U.S. Why? Because nothing beats the freedom of an unlocked phone when it comes to choice of models, carriers or plans. It makes no sense to get locked into a certain brand just because your carrier only sells a select number. You can click on Best Buy Unlocked Education Sheet to learn more.
If you are like me, you are probably wanting to know what is an unlocked smartphone? An unlocked smartphone is a phone that isn't tied to a specific carrier or contract. Therefore, you have the freedom to shop for the latest phones and plans as often — or as infrequently — as you like. And when it comes to international travel, unlocked phones can't be beat.
If this sounds interesting to you or you have a Christmas gift you need to purchase, Best Buy has an Unlocked Smartphone savings event going on right now with sales on Samsung, Huawei, Moto, Sony, BLU, Alcatel and ZTE smartphones.

Three Key Benefits of Unlocked Phones:

  • They offer freedom and flexibility from carriers and contracts
  • Save money
  • Great for International Travel

To learn more, click on each brand link to get more details:

  • Offer: Save $50 on Select Moto Mods with purchase of Moto Z Play
  • Valid Dates: 10/30/16-11/5/16

  • Offer: Save $50 on the Honor 8 by Huawei plus get a free case 
  • Valid Dates: 10/30/16-11/12/16

  • Offer: Save $100 on the Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
  • Valid Dates: 10/30/16-11/12/16

  • Offer: Save $40 on the BLU Life XL
  • Valid Dates: 11/6/16-11/12/16

  • Offer: Save $100 on the Sony XPERIA X Compact
  • Valid Dates: 10/30/16-11/12/16

Disclaimer for all offers listed: Offer valid 10/30/16-11/12/16. Phones, service and coverage not available in all markets. Available in New Jersey. No dealers. See a Blue Shirt for details. 4G/4G LTE not available in all markets. Products must be purchased on same receipt to receive bundle/package savings.​​​​ 

#bbyunlocked  #ad

13 Photos of Our Best Disney Meet and Greet Character Experiences

There you have it!  They had the time of their life meeting all these Disney characters and the only complaint I heard was Anna was rude.  I suppose having only one out of everyone else that worked in the park labeled as rude by children isn't a bad thing at all.  My all time favorites were the Star Wars characters.  Kylo Ren was absolutely superb and even maintained his evil persona to cast aside my grandson when he wanted to touch him.  Chewbacci was ever so good in his demeanor and seemed to really enjoy getting into character.

A word of caution, meeting Joy and Sadness really takes a long, long time and you feel like you are in Dante's inferno with all the bored children and parents growing impatient but at the end of the Holy Grail, the kids light up and all has been forgiven and forgotten because Joy and Sadness are phenomenal. 

On a side note, my eldest made all the kid's Star Wars costumes which were a big hit and we were asked numerous time where we purchased them.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the t-shirts she made as those were as big of a deal as the rest.

All in all, Disney is a family favorite and the character meets are wonderful for the children and when you mix in Star Wars, you have the perfect recipe for giving the whole family JOY!

Stay tuned for another post highlighting our experience with Disney Springs versus Universal's Citywalk.

10 Photos on Why to Visit Beautiful Monterey Bay

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Traveling to not going anywhere but just to go would be a dream existence to many. I am one of those that loves to travel not for the purpose of being able to proclaim I've been there rather to experience the site, the culture, the beauty and all there is to learn about.  I've been to many states throughout my adult life and have resided in over five.  I am grateful for the experience to be able to determine what I want or need from life.  I found my true desire in life is to travel and explore.  I have many favorite places and many of them revolve around beaches, warm climates and Disney.  I am a person who thrives in the sun, the hot temperatures and water.  As part of my journey in exploring different areas, I went to Monterrey Bay and Pacific Grove and I immediately fell in love with the area.

One of my first stops was at Cannery Row which is famous thanks to the author John Steinbeck.  Cannery Row (1945) was made into a movie and it's been one of the most read fictional pieces around. It's a cozy area with a moderate level of tourism and plenty of things to do whether it's just casual strolls around the neighborhoods or store fronts or to shop, eat or visit the attractions. It truly is a picturesque charming area that will captivate just about any age.  Aside from the numerous dining places, which none disappointed, there was great views to be had.  A favorite was getting a hot chocolate from a local coffee shop and sitting on the dock watching the sail boats pass as the water rushed over and beat at the shores just underneath the restaurants.

Whether you want to go beachside, enjoy the nightlife, sip some wine or take in some live music, it has everything. 

Another fun place I visited was the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I'm not a huge aquarium fan but I have to say this place changed my mindset.  It had amazing exhibits, views and great educational messages to deliver.  My favorite was the visit with the person inside the tank and the interaction with the volunteer guide.  It was fun, entertaining and educational and seemed to be quite a hit with the visitors.  One thing to note is all the workers are volunteers from what one worker told me.  It's definitely worth the trip to see as they did a magnificent job with this aquarium.  You can even dine there!

My last favorite spot was the drive to Pacific Grove and the spots along the way.  It was absolutely gorgeous and Pacific Grove would be the ideal retirement spot.  The downtown was lined with nice boutiques and eateries that provided choices that I had not experienced.  Being so close to the ocean was what drew me as well.  It's an old town that includes many activities such as a monarch butterfly habitat sanctuary, beaches, the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse and nationally recognized 18-hole golf course.

It's a beautiful area to see and I hope when I go back to California in November, I'll get to add to my list of great places to visit.

GeorgiaBob's Barbeque Company in Georgia - A-T

Touted as "true southern barbeque," GeorgiaBob's Barbeque Company in Georgia along I-96 is a good barbeque place. It's true southern stated as they haven't changed the technique in over 150 years.  Tucked away from the beaten path in which you have to be a barbeque hound like I am to have found it, we were not let down. We arrived before the Sunday rush hit and although not a huge place, it was cozy and charming with all the memorabilia and pictures surrounding the wall. It's not a waitress served restaurant and required the up front ordering, retrieving your own drinks and cleaning up your own mess but at least you save in tips. 

GeorgiaBob's Barbeque Company got its start at the Peach Festivals of the 1920’s.  Robert Cherry Evans (GeorgiaBob’s Grandfather who directed the famous cooking) barbecue was the key celebration at the festivals. There is even a recipe on the website in what was then a big hit and still probably is: Brunswick Stew Recipe recipe (though slightly altered).  Below is a picture from their website of the food preparation from year's ago.


Unfortunately, we didn't have a long time to stay so we ordered quickly and got back on the road.  We tried the Pulled BBQ Pork Platter and it was good.  It was a little dry but the sweet BBQ sauce touched it up.  I'm a huge fan of Rudy's in Texas and have a hard time finding anyone who can beat them.  GeorgiaBob's didn't but they were pretty high up there in flavor and sauce.  I didn't like the spicy sauce as it was too heavy in vinegar.  The cole slaw wasn't my favorite either as I enjoy a bit of sweetness to mine along with more of a creamy sauce similar to how Kentucky Fried Chicken's cole slaw is.  My girls liked it as well but with the same complaint of it tended to be a bit dry.

Georgia's Fort King George Historic Site Homeschool Field Trip

Beautiful landscapes, historical sites and the sheer chance of running into something unique or special is behind my love of travel.  There is nothing more freeing, educational or good for your soul than getting out in nature and enjoying what God provided.  Homeschooling offers the opportunity to experience the luxury of traveling year round without the hustle of peak times.  Although I prefer to travel long distances, often times there are many treasures close by in which a one tank trip provides a wonderful inexpensive getaway given the weather.  On a whim, I decided to take the girls down to the Georgia coast and in order to maximize the trip, we stopped at the Ft. King George Historic site in Darien, Georgia.  If that name sounds familiar and Glory has been a favorite, it's where Matthew Broderick's character Colonial Robert Gould Shaw had to take his men and witnessed the pillaging of the town by the other black regiment.

As we made our way through the fascinating features of the Fort, I couldn't help myself and noticed the beautiful butterflies, dragonflies and different bird species that were flying about.  It was a natural mecca of beauty coupled with the alligator warning signs since it's near the river and swamp land.

My youngest had to have her picture taken with every cannon present.  She seems to be just as interested in history as I am and really enjoyed the fort and reading all the information that was provided.  Fort King George was the first British garrison of the Georgia colony at the mouth of the Altamaha River.  I am half British so my children love anything British as do I.  It was establised in 1721 under the command of Colonel John "Tuscarola Jack" Barnwell.  Although it was destroyed by a fire in 1726, it was rebuilt the following year and remained active until 1732.  The present day buildings are only reenactments.

This area of the fort allowed you to go upstairs and peer out to see the amazing views.  This particular historic site was a great learning experience in that you were able to go inside nearly ever building and see what the actual beds and equipment they might have used.  There is also a museum to learn more with guided recordings, displays and facts that really added to the value of the site.  It's one that I highly recommend.  My only regret was we weren't able to hit all the trails due to Hurricane Mathew damage.

To learn more about the fort, click here.