Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Food Inc. - Healthy Eating May be a Movie Away

If I were to give a grade for the way that I ate over the past year, I would go with a B-. I was successful at eliminating processed foods about 90% of the time. I ate at least two servings of fruits and four or five servings of vegetables daily about 90% of the time. I ate whole grain once a day, brown rice or for a starchy vegetable, I ate sweet potatoes. Sounds pretty healthy right? Well, one of my indulgences was..ahh...is "So Delicious" Organic Soy Ice Cream with Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips...and lots of 'em..several times a week. Okay the truth comes out! C-

Considering that I just reviewed the Mayo Clinic Diet Book and that Jan. 1 is just days away, maybe it is time to reassess my diet.

According to the Mayo Clinic book, we must break the habit of eating in front of the TV or computer screen. I eat in front of the computer screen every day! Talk about being unconscious - how sad. I can't even remember the last time I shut down my computer...

And....I do eat meat daily and some weeks I eat red meat twice a week. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was trying to follow the principles of the Blood Type Diet. According to my type, which is type O, red meat is supposed to be beneficial to me. Interestingly enough, my cholesterol levels are fine despite eating the red meat. However, my weight has stayed the same over the past year. (I have been 30 lbs. overweight pretty much since having kids!)

According to the Mayo Clinic doctor's research, it is recommended that we eat no more than 3 oz. of animal protein per day. Yikes! I eat double that easily......

If the Mayo Clinic research isn't enough to get me to cut down on meat, and buy organic, maybe the movie Food Inc. will do the trick. Before Jan. 1, I am going to watch this "scary" movie. (Playing on Comcast On Demand through Jan. and available on Amazon.com. )

I read an article today about this documentary that came out in 2008. Food Inc. is a movie directed by Rober Kenner and is based on the book entitled "The Omnivore's Dilemma", written by Michael Pollan. According to the article, the movie takes a look at our Nation's food supply in a manor that we as Americans never see. Some parts in the movie are disturbing, in particular the way that our meat is slaughtered and processed. The movie aims to open up our eyes as we make our weekly trips to the neatly lined shelves of our American grocery stores- I hope it will help up me to make healthier choices!

Will it change the way I eat for the long term? Time will tell.

If you have you seen Food Inc. be the first to comment on what you thought of the movie.

Click on these links to see what the critics say about Food Inc.




Food Inc. - Awareness is the new trend in healthy eating and (fingers crossed) weight loss.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Mayo Clinic Diet Book and Journal Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced shortly!

Are you searching for a practical approach to losing and maintaining a healthy weight in 2010? I am excited to post this review and giveaway of the Mayo Clinic Diet book and companion journal - just in time to help with your New Year's Weight Loss Resolutions.

The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat well. Enjoy life. Lose weight.
By the weight-loss experts at Mayo Clinic and Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H. Published by Good Books; January 2010: ISBN – 978-1561486762 US $25.99; hardcover.

About the Mayo Clinic: The Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty share the philosophy that the needs of the patient come first. Over 3,600 physicians and scientists and 50,000 allied staff work at Mayo clinics located in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona. Working together, the Mayo Clinic doctors treat more than 500,000 patients a year.

About Donald Hensrud, M.D: Donald Hensrud , M.D., M.P.H., is chair of the division of Preventative, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine and a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. A specialist in nutrition and weight management, Dr. Hensrud advises individuals on how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. He conducts research in weight management, and he writes and lectures widely on nutrition-related topics. He helped publish two award-winning Mayo Clinic Cookbooks.

About the book: The Mayo Clinic diet is the first and only diet developed by the Mayo Clinic. The book is designed to be an easy weight loss and weight maintenance guide that cuts through all of the weight-loss clutter that consumers are exposed to on a daily basis.

The book consists of two easy-to-follow phases – “Lose It” and “Live It”. The Mayo Clinic Diet requires simple lifestyle adjustments and provides a common-sense approach to shedding pounds and keeping them off. The book consists of meal plans, tips for overcoming challenges, help in the start of an exercise plan and encouragement for success. The Mayo Clinic Diet gives dieters the tools they need to lose weight and keep it off.

About The Mayo Clinic Diet Journal: The Mayo Clinic Diet Journal is the essential companion to the Mayo Clinic Diet. The journal includes a quick-start “Lose It” section to monitor habits and a “Live It” section to record daily eating and exercise, making it possible for dieters to keep track of their goals and succeed with weight loss.

The Review: I understand that there is no quick fix, fad diet that will take the weight of and keep it off. Eating the right (whole) foods in the right (small) portions and exercising are the keys to weight loss, maintenance and good health. Since I get all that, I can appreciate the Mayo Clinic Diet for several reasons.

It is not another fad diet. The program outlines simple, and healthy changes that will result in weight loss.

It is based on the research of doctors who have worked with thousands of patients. The doctors have boiled down their research into the five simple habits to help you take off the extra weight and five habits to break so that you can keep it from coming back.

The diet is broken down into two simple phases – Lose it and Live It. In the two week Losing It phase, add five healthy habits like eating a healthy breakfast, healthy fats and adding exercise. Break five habits like no TV while eating, and no sugar (only what is naturally found in fruit). In Phase 2, “Live It” (the long-term plan) you continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week until you reach your goal. Then you learn how to maintain your healthy weight for life.

The Mayo Clinic Diet book has all the necessary tools, is simple to skim through, and is well organized. The book includes meal planners, recipes and tips on overcoming challenges, staying motivated, adapting recipes and sticking to the diet when eating out.

The book comes with a companion journal. To help monitor your progress, the companion journal has over 200 pages, consisting of a weight record to plot your weight and the habit tracker to record your foods eaten and your exercise. The easy-to-use diet journal allows you follow your progress during both phases of the program.

The proceeds from the book help support the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit group practice. When you purchase Mayo Clinic books, you help support programs, including medical education and research.

Thank you to FSB associates for my review and giveaway copies of the diet book and journal.

Buy It: The Mayo Clinic Diet Eat Well. Enjoy Life. Lose Weight. Is available on Amazon.com for $17.15.

The Mayo Clinic Diet Journal is available on
Amazon.com for $10.19.

Giveaway: Win a copy of the Mayo Clinic Diet Book and the Mayo Clinic Journal right here! To enter is easy!

This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced shortly!

1. Mandatory entry –Name one healthy food and one exercise that you have already incorporated into your daily or weekly routine. OR comment on why you want to lose weight in 2010. Please leave your email address in your comment. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:

2. Follow my blog. (2 entries)
3. Grab my button and put it on your site and add a link in your comment telling me where it is. (3 entries)
4. Tweet about this giveaway and leave the Tweet URL in a comment. (2 entries)
5. Subscribe via email. (3 entries)
6. Sign up for Networked Blogs (Facebook - located on the right side) (2 entries)

7. Enter the Memories Wow Recipes and Memories Photo Book Giveaway which is open until January 4th. (1 entry).

This Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada and will end on Friday, 1/22/10. Please include your email address in all comments. Thank you to all who enter and good luck!

This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced shortly!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Online Help for Troubleshooting Electronic Christmas Gifts

The last thing you would expect to see on Christmas morning is tears, but what if that “shiny new” (reconditioned) game system just won’t work? It could happen, but don’t worry, there is help for troubleshooting electronic Christmas gifts.

Many manufacturers like Mac and Hewlett Packard will have some employees working on Christmas Day taking your troubleshooting calls. Keep in mind, these are merely skeleton crews and you could be waiting on the phone line for a loooong time.

Manufacturers Websites

If your reading this, you obviously have an Internet connection, and in fact online help for troubleshooting electronic Christmas gifts is your best bet to find answers fast.

Head right to the manufacturers website and you will find FAQs, troubleshooting guides, forums and expert advice from the manufacturer's experts and from people like you who have experienced the very same problem.

YouTube and eHow

YouTube isn’t just for watching videos of Charlie biting his brother’s finger! YouTube has a great section of How to Videos. As an example, I typed in, “how to fix wii” and an entire page of how to fix wii problems came up .eHow is another online site that provides online help with how to videos and articles.

Best Buy's Twelpforce

It might be a silly name, but the idea of offering tech advice in tweet form is going to help a lot of frustrated people. Best Buy has set up a Twitter Twelpforce. Your questions will be answered for all things electronics (in real time) by the Best Buy technology pros.

Merry Christmas and may all your electronics be trouble-free!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Recycled Juice Bags Tote Winner

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for the recycled juice bags tote!

The winner of the recycled juice bags tote is ....#8 - Ashley. Congrats, Ashley! I will be emailing you soon!

(Click to enlarge random.org image below.)

Stay tuned for more great giveaways in 2010!

Thank you for reading and subscribing to Moms Own Words.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Freelance Writing and Blogging Services

A freelance writer and blogger can help you to meet your Internet marketing goals for your blog or website by:

· Increasing your blog’s traffic, visibility and search-engine rankings.
· Building your credibility and authority as an expert in your field.
· Supplying constant content to keep visitors happily returning.
· Increasing your sales leads and repeat customers.

With my freelance writing and blogging skills, I can help you accomplish these goals by:

· Writing original and interesting articles and blog posts for your topic.
· Adjusting to your style to suit your audience.
· Writing various types of content.
· Giving you the most value with my writing, while saving you time!

Here are just some of the questions to consider when hiring a freelance writer for your Internet marketing needs:

· What specific topics will be covered?
· Will you provide key words or will your writer research key words?
· What format - blog post, article, web content, newsletter?
· What voice- first person, third person?
· Would you like copy emailed or posted live by your writer?
· Who owns the content?
· Who supplies the images?
· Would you like your writer to perform other tasks?
· How will the writer be paid, per word, per article, or on an hourly basis?

If you need a freelance writer/blogger, take a moment to view my portfolio and see what my clients have said about my writing. I have a variety of posts right here on my blog. Email me at Maloney(dot)Kristi(at)gmail(dot)com to discuss your needs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Easy Recipe – Gluten-Free Caramel Corn for Christmas

This is the fifth year that I have made this caramel corn recipe for Christmas. As I was reviewing the ingredients, I realized this is a gluten-free recipe- a rarity among all the Christmas cookies, pies and bread recipes.

Early this year, I decided to try and eat gluten-free. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley and is the common characteristic in most of the grain-based products we eat, such as cereals, breads, and pasta.

Celiac Disease

Millions of people are forced to eat gluten-free because they have Celiac disease. Celiac disease is a chronic condition in which foods that contain gluten-proteins trigger an immune system response that is not normal.

When a person with Celiac disease eats gluten, the body’s natural immune system attacks the gluten, which damages the small intestine. Symptoms of Celiac disease can include gas, bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, and vomiting. (Forgive me for including these details in a recipe post!)The damage to the intestine makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which can lead to anemia or osteoporosis or both.

Now, fortunately, I am not avoiding gluten to due Celiac disease. For me, it is more of a side effect that evolved from choosing to follow the principles of the Blood Type Diet. It is best for my blood type to avoid breads. Even if you have only a mild reaction to gluten, you, too, may decide to keep this protein out of your diet.

This Carmel Corn recipe is not only gluten-free; it is an easy recipe to make. It calls for just eight simple ingredients, no candy thermometers are needed, and most importantly, it is the tastiest caramel corn recipe you will find!

When everyone else is baking cookies for the holidays, try this delicious recipe for something different. Place the caramel corn in a tin, glass jar or wrap in holiday cellophane. It makes a great little gift for co-workers or the service people that you associate with throughout the year.

Gluten- Free Carmel Corn


7 quarts plain popped popcorn (I use ¾ cup in my hot air popper)
2 cups dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
2 cups of brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. You may use roasting pans, jellyroll pans or disposable roasting pans. (I use one large roasting pan, which makes it more difficult to stir, but one less pan to clean!) Add the peanuts to the popped corn.

2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.

3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don’t worry too much about getting all the corn coated.

4. Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate into pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.

Enjoy the following slide show! Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making A Six Figure Income on Etsy

I have to credit my husband for finding this great N.Y. Times article on women who have successful Etsy businesses earning six figure incomes. The success stories will inspire Etsy shop owners like Gisele, who make recycled juice bag totes. (Why not, enter to win this cool-"green"-tote here?!)

When starting your own business, doing what you love and making a great income along the way seems to be everyone's dream. My father, who has owned his own business, told me more than once, "When you work for yourself, you will work harder and longer than you would for anyone else." How true. I believe the trick is to be focused and determined, to be realistic at the start, and to maintain a balance between life and work.

Have you seen all the great things that craft enthusiasts are offering on Etsy? Grab a cup of coffee and have fun browsing.


Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmas Carol Special Edition Book Winner

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for the book - A Christmas Carol Special Edition!

The winner of A Christmas Carol is ....#66 - Jane. Congrats, Jane!
(Click to enlarge random.org image below.)

I'll be contacting you by email soon!Thank you for reading and subscribing to Moms Own Words!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Memories Wow Recipes and Memories ($195)Photo Book Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all for entering!

It was just about one month ago that my mother and I were talking about how nice it would be to have our own cookbook of family recipes. But we both knew this type of project would require extra time, money, and (not to mention) creativity. I figured, this was yet another one of those terrific ideas that inevitably ends up on the back burner- (cooking pun intended)!

Imagine how thrilled I was when Mary, founder of Memories Wow, contacted me about a review for a Recipes and Memories photo book that Memories Wow would create just for me! Amazing! Here is an opportunity, not only to have my family’s recipes published, but in addition, to have skilled designers combine my recipes with my family photos, all in one professional photo book. I admit, I had great expectations from the start.

Many thanks to Mary Gutowski-Hazzard for the opportunity to review this Memories Wow photo book. For this giveaway, she is generously offering the same custom Recipes and Memories photo book to one of my readers! *Note the Recipes and Memories Photo book is comparable to the 'classic' book (detailed on Memories Wow).


Memories WOW! was created for people desiring high-quality photo products to tell their life story, but don’t have the time, know-how or creative eye to do it themselves. Our designers are available to do ALL the work for you (WOW = without the work); we collect your images and turn them into beautiful, everlasting keepsakes. Let us create something worthy of: “WOW, how did you do that?!”

The review:

I emailed 10 photos and 10 recipes to Mary and she and her team did the rest. I received a PDF of the book for my review. I had the opportunity to make any changes, and not surprisingly, changes were not necessary.

The final copy of the photo book is 8.75” x 8.75” and has 20 pages. The layout is impressive. The recipes and photos flow perfectly and the page designs look just like a colorful scrapbook. The cover has a rich, glossy finish. A copy of every image is included on CD in a protective sleeve and is attached to the back cover. Many of the photos that I selected are pictures of my sister and I throughout the years. Mary’s designer added the “sister” poem on the last page for a very nice touch.

I was awed at how simple the process was for me – just to provide the images and recipes and I was awed at the end result, which far exceeded my expectations!

The Recipes and Memories photo book is an exceptional gift idea for mothers, daughters and sisters, and it is one that will be treasured for a lifetime. Please note - Memories Wow will design your photo book with any possible theme and for any occasion. Based on my experience, I highly recommend Memories Wow for their excellent service and superior quality photo books.

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all for entering!

The Giveaway:

Just one E-A-S-Y requirement to enter!!

1. Go to the Memories Wow website and check out the sample memory books. Comment on which type you would like. (1 entry)

1st entry (above) must be done before any other entries.

Bonus Entries!! Please comment for each entry and include your email if not available through Google Friend connect.

2. Sign up for the Memories Wow newsletter (1 entry)
2. Follow my blog. (2 entries)
3. Grab my button and put it on your site and add a link in your comment telling me where it is. (3 entries)
5. Subscribe to Moms Own Words via email and confirm your subscription. (3 entries)
6. Sign up for Networked Blogs (facebook - located on the right side) (2 entries)
7. Tweet the following: -"Enter to win a Memories Wow Photo Book $195 http://kristimaloneyblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/memories-wow-recipes-and-memories.html" may be done once daily - 1 entry (leave direct url to tweet)
8.Enter my recycled juice bags tote giveaway ends 12/1. (1 entry)
9. Post on your blog about the giveaway and comment with the link to your blog (3 entries)


Giveaway will end on Monday, Jan 4th. I will be using random.org to pick the winner and will post the name by 12:00 pm EST. The winner will have 48 hours to email me otherwise a new winner will be chosen. U.S. & Canadian entrants only. Many thanks to Mary Gutowski-Hazzard for this review and giveaway opportunity and Good luck !!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Free Online Scheduling Tool - VolunteerSpot Helps Coordinate Classroom Volunteers

The traditional volunteer coordination methods in my sons’ school are notes in backpacks, individual emails and phone calls. I received all of them this year and like me, I am sure the teachers find these old methods time consuming and frustrating.

I nearly opted out of volunteering due to the miscommunication of the PTA and the teachers. Fliers came home from the PTA seeking classroom volunteers and teachers had sign-up sheets in the classroom. Since I had already signed up with the PTA, I didn’t sign up on the classroom sign-up sheets. Weeks had gone by without any communication and I wondered if the PTA and the teachers were on the same page. My son’s teacher followed up with an email and I did finally help out in my son’s classroom. But I wonder, how much time was wasted due to the lack of communication and organization?

If my son’s teacher and the PTA were using a free online scheduling tool like VolunteerSpot.com, it would have simplified communication, saved time and made it easy for everyone to sign up and volunteer. VounteersSpot is a free Web-based organization tool that coordinates volunteering at school and in the community. VolunteerSpot can be used to coordinate groups for school events like PTA/PTO activities, food and toy drives, carnivals, book fairs and parent teacher conferences.

Volunteerspot is simple to use, you register and launch a sign up calendar and teachers/PTA can invite parents to sign up with an email or a button on the class web page. They can easily email out the link and/or create a widget for posting somewhere appropriate, like the PTA website. Everyone will access to the same information. Parents sign up on the calendar selecting dates and times according to their schedules.

VolunteerSpot was Founded by Karen Bantuveris, a management consultant and mom. As a PTA member and Girl Scout leader, Karen found that traditional volunteer coordination methods were time consuming, frustrating and caused good people to drop out or simply not bother.

Volunteerspot’s Giving Tree Giveaway

To promote holiday volunteering, the Arbor Day Foundation and VolunteerSpot are offering a Giving Tree Giveaway. If you plan any school or community holiday service activity on VolunteerSpot, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in your name in a fire-damaged national forest. To get a tree planted, register a new free account at volunteerspot.com and plan a holiday service activity. Just add the word “TREE” where they ask you what type of group you organize, and be sure to invite at least four volunteers.

Visit VolunteerSpot’s website to learn more about their free volunteer scheduling tools and the Giving Tree Giveaway.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Going Green - A Recycled Juice Bags Tote Review and Giveaway


This giveaway is now closed and a winner will be announced momentarily. Thanks to all who entered!

If you have kids in grade school like me, you’ve probably bought hundreds of them: Capri Sun and Kool Aide juice pouches, box after box. While some schools do recycle the juice bags for fundraisers, some creative moms, like Gisele at RebaggingIt (her Etsy Shop) are recycling and sewing the bags together into some very clever items. Thank you Gisele for sponsoring this review and giveaway of the recycled (Capri Sun) juice bag, multi tote shown above!

This multi tote is made of recycled (fruit punch) Capri Sun juice pouches. The bag measures: height-13”, length-13”, width-3”. The handles measure 11” to the center point. The side pocket between the straps has multi-colored polka dot trim and fits a cell phone, keys or papers. The tote is water resistant, and will wipe clean with warm, soapy water.

The Review: The bags are carefully washed/sanitized and I was impressed at how super clean the tote is inside. This tote is a great size for schoolbooks, papers and even several grocery items. The bold red, blue and green colors are eye-catching and vibrant. The straps are made from a strong nylon strap material and are sewn with an X-box stitch reinforcement, which confirms that this tote can handle the weight of several books easily.

During the summer months, I plan to use mine as a beach tote - it’s the perfect size for a towel, sun-screen and a book! In the case of bad weather, the bag is water resistant too. This unique bag is definitely a conversation starter. The tote is an eco-friendly product that makes a statement about green living. I appreciate and value that!

But it: This multi tote bag is selling for $30 at RebaggingIt’s Shop at Etsy.com.

Giveaway: Win this recycled juice bag tote! To enter is easy!

1. Mandatory entry –Visit Gisele's RebaggingIt Shop, check out the other items made from recycled juice bags and comment on which item(s) you like. Please leave your email address in your comment.

Please leave comments w/ your email for all additional entries:

2. Follow my blog. (2 entries)
3. Grab my button and put it on your site and add a link in your comment telling me where it is. (3 entries)
4. Tweet about this giveaway and leave the Tweet URL in a comment. (2 entries)
5. Subscribe via email. (3 entries)
6. Sign up for Networked Blogs (Facebook - located on the right side) (2 entries)

This Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada and will end on 12/23. Please include your email address in all comments. Thank you to all who enter and good luck!

This giveaway is now closed and a winner will be announced momentarily. Thanks to all who entered!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Help! It's the Build Your Own 3-D Gingerbread Structure Fund Raiser

This is the second year that my sons' school is holding the Build Your Own 3-D gingerbread Structure Fundraiser for the Rachel Lee Memorial Fund.

In September of 2007, Rachel, a student was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Although she fought hard, she lost her battle with Cancer on August 9th 2008. A memorial fund has been created to honor her love of art, sports and schools as well as give back to the community that supported and loved her so very much. To see what the fund has done please visit http://www.4rachel.com/.

It is a wonderful cause and we, as a family, are honored to participate for the second year. But truth be told, I am not very gifted or creative in this area. If you've read my post on Volunteering, you would know. Let's face it, I'm competing with Mrs. Robichaud! The A-R-T teacher! See her 3-d gingerbread structure above.
While some kids are plotting their Taj Mahal on their cad computer programs, we are toying with just making a church again. See our church below. Okay, you can stop laughing now! Really.

So, I am asking for your ideas. The base can be no longer than 12x12, but can be as high as we want. (Hmmmmmmm. This could be our angle!)
The outside must be made of all edible foods/candies. The structure itself can be from cardboard, tissue boxes, Styrofoam, wood etc....
Oh one more thing, this year we will be creating not one but two gingerbread structures. (I wonder if they have a category for "most uncreative" or simply, "worst".
Be the first to comment on what sort of easy-to-build structure that you think this creatively challenged family could feasibly make!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

NYR Organic Skincare Geranium and Orange Hand Wash Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for the NYR Organic Skin Care- Geranium and Orange Handwash.

The winner of the NYR Organics Handwash is ....#81 - Ann Marie T. Congratulations Ann Marie!

(Click to enlarge random.org image below.)

I'll be contacting you by email soon! Thank you for reading and subscribing to Moms Own Words!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Christmas Carol Special Edition Book Review and Giveaway

This giveaway ended on 12/18/09! Thanks for stopping by!

A Christmas Carol Special Edition:
The Charles Dickens Classic with Christian Insights and
Discussion Questions for Groups and Families
By Charles Dickens.
Edited by Stephen Skelton.
Published by Standard Publishing.

About the Book: This edition includes the complete text of the Charles Dickens classic and the following:

  • Annotations offering interesting insight into the story's biblical allusions, the author's faith, and compelling Christian themes throughout.

  • Discussion questions designed to engage and promote dialogue among readers of all ages on such subjects as regret, repentance, and redemption.

  • A list of related resources to enhance your study.

About the Author: Stephen Skelton is the producer of a best-selling video based Bible study series, which includes Mayberry Bible Study and the Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study. He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Review: A Christmas Carol was my favorite Christmas movie growing up. I watched every version. I would cry when Scrooge looked at his Christmas future, showing the Cratchit family grieving Tiny Tim’s death and then later would blink the tears away when Scrooge wakes up a renewed man, ready to celebrate Christmas. For me, a Christmas Carol is a timeless classic that I will enjoy for years to come!

As a Catholic who loves this story, this special edition reveals the spiritual depth of Dickens and was fascinating for me to read. The added footnotes explain the lessons of Christ that are woven among the Christmas scenes. Here are three interesting examples:

1. Dickens summarizes the core of Christian teaching in these few lines:

Jacob Marley visits Scrooge and yells: “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealing of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

2. The ghost of Christmas past reflects elements of the holy trinity-Father Son and Holy Spirit in this line:

It was a strange figure-like a child: yet not so like a child as an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium….

3. Dickens strategically uses the biblically significant number three. Before his time with the spirit of Christmas past is done, Scrooge will regret his sins three times:

“No”, said Scrooge. “No, I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now! That’s all.”

Not just for teachers or book clubs, this edited version will interest anyone who loves this Christmas Classic. Thank you to FBS Associates for the opportunity to review this edition and to giveaway a copy to one of my readers.

But it: A Christmas Carol Special Edition is available on Amazon.com for $7.99.

Giveaway: Win your own copy of A Christmas Carol Special Edition. To enter is easy!

1. Mandatory entry – Add a comment indicating your favorite part of A Christmas Carol. Please be sure to include your email.

2. Follow my blog. (2 entries)
3. Grab my button and put it on your site and add a link in your comment telling me where it is. (3 entries)
4. Tweet about this giveaway and leave the Tweet URL in a comment. (2 entries)
5. Subscribe via email. (3 entries)
6. Sign up for Networked Blogs (Facebook - located on the right side) (2 entries)

This Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada and will end on 12/18. Please include your email address in all comments. Thank you to all who enter and good luck!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Say It with Vases Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for the Say It With Vases - Vase!

The winner of the Say It With Vases Vase is ....#24 - Shelly. Congrats, Shelly!
(Click to enlarge random.org image below.)

I'll be contacting you by email soon!Thank you for reading and subscribing to Moms Own Words!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Volunteering in Kindergarten with Apologies to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

When I was asked about volunteering in my son’s kindergarten classroom, I hesitated, and thought, geeze don’t they have enough mom’s that come in? Will Mrs. R. really have enough for me to do, every Tuesday afternoon?

Now that I have a couple of weeks of volunteering under my belt, I have learned that Mrs. R. really does need the help, is so appreciative when I come in, and as far as having enough for me to do? I left that classroom on Tuesday thinking, who is going to volunteer to help me?

I was handed a stack of construction paper, some patterns to trace and a sample “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” for our reference. I sat at the head of the table and one-by one Mrs.R. called the anxious kids over.

I traced the pattern of Rudolph’s body - simple enough -no head, no legs, no tail. Great! I cranked out a few of these and thought, this is going to be easy. Next, was Rudolph's head, I traced a simple round shape, perfect.

“ I need antlers now!” said Nick. “Yeah I need antlers too!” said Travis. “Me too!” Erin yelled.

At that point, I rifled through my patterns for antlers. As I started to trace the intricate antlers, the demands were fired at me for bows, eyes and “What about my nose?” Erin yelled.

Just when I thought I was caught up, my “little angel” Ryan sauntered over. He plopped himself down in the seat directly on my right. Ryan was clearly in one of his silly moods. For his first trick, he took a glue stick and turned it all the way up, so the entire glue portion was exposed. His classmates informed me of this, as I traced my heart out.

“Ryan is the class clown!” Creighton laughed. Erin made the “ok” sign with her hand and showed me how Ryan flicks her over and over at quiet time. Ryan was the center of attention at the table and loved every minute of it.

As he sat and joked with his friends, his patterns remained untouched in front of him. Through clenched teeth, I whispered, “Ryan, do your project……Ryan do your project.” I got so desperate I pulled out the big guns. “You know, Ryan, Mommy won’t come in anymore…..if this is how you are going to behave.”

Perhaps it was this threat that turned Ryan’s attention back to his Rudolph or maybe it was just that his friends lost interest in his shenanigans. I’m not so sure. I was too busy tracing antlers, legs, bows, eyes and of course red noses.

The once neat and organized table was a disheveled disaster of construction paper, patterns, glue sticks, scissors and some odd looking Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

One Rudolph had two antlers, but each was a different color brown paper. One Rudolph had antlers glued at the base of his neck, while one had a leg missing. Ryan’s reindeer ended up with short antlers thrown together out of scrap tracings - ah the perks of having Mom volunteer!

While I was not sure if I did more harm than good that hour, Mrs. R. thanked me for my help, reassured me that all was fine and said, “It’s just organized chaos.”

Be the first to comment on one of your volunteering experiences. Hopefully, it went better than mine!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Shopping for Your Girls

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lucky Brand Handbag Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for the Lucky Brand Handbag!

The winner of the Lucky Brand Handbag is....

#1 - Cheryl F.

Congrats, Cheryl! I'll be contacting you by email soon!
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Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for the Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook! Many thanks to Jane Doiron for sponsoring this giveaway with her great cookbook.

The winner of the Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook is....

#126 - plb8156

Congrats, plb8156! I'll be contacting you by email soon!

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