Friday, December 19, 2014

Free Full Size Body Wash From CVS

Grab a coupon for a free full size body wash From CVS.  Just simply like and fill out the form on the Minute Clinic on Facebook. Giveaway runs through 12/23 or while supplies last.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Great Book to Help Girls Discover Themselves: Elements for Girls #book #review

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Elements for Girls to facilitate this review.  As always, I express my honest opinions.  Links in post may contain affiliate links.

Girls today have many more challenges to growing up than in my day.  Kids still have some of the same issues, but they are bombarded by more messages in the media that tell them to be a certain way than I was 30 years ago.  Add to that social media, and wow--it is a challenge.  I think the more positive messages and influences we can give our girls, the better they will fare.

Having worked with teen and tween girls and having two girls of my own (one a tween and one who thinks she is), I know they love books with activities and questionnaires about friends, growing up and everything in between.

Elements for Girls is just that type of book, only better, in my opinion.  Elements is "a fun and engaging self-discovery project."  Authors Mary Ellen Young and Sandra McDonnell have dedicated this book to adolescent girls to help them slow down and take a look at who they really are.  The book explores 10 elements of self-discovery and growth, using 10 beads, each with meaning, to create a bracelet.  This bracelet is a reminder of the skills they have learned.

The chapters/beads are as follows:
  1. Uniquely Me:  focuses on strengths, abilities and weaknesses
  2. My Ancient Reptile Brain:  activities inform about our brain and how it works
  3. Fixing Stinking Thinking:  the focus is on how powerful our thoughts are and how to get rid of stinking thinking
  4. Ocean of Emotion:  discusses recognizing, managing and learning from our feelings
  5. Your Body:  covers advertising/media messages about our body and learning to love your body
  6. TTYL--Talking, Texting and Other Tools for Communicating:  explains how we rely on nonverbal communication but that is lost in e-communications as well as covering pitfalls
  7. In Your Shoes:  focuses on developing empathy for and acceptance of others
  8. Yin, Yang and You:  activities help with ways to deal with stress, including caring for your health
  9. Black and White:  focuses on conflict and problem solving
  10. Shoot for the Stars:  activities cover goal setting in a variety of areas
The design and layout of the book is very appealing for young people.  The pictures are cute.  The book itself is spiral bound like a notebook, making it easy to use.  The pictures are black and white, so girls can color them in if they want.  It is well written with easy to understand language for young girls.  I feel it is appropriate for pre-teens to teenage girls. The only thing I did not see in the book was any mention of God or religion.  I am sure the authors purposely left it out to make it neutral, but they could have added "pray" as a suggested way to cope with stress.  Overall, as a mother and a counselor working with children, I highly recommend this book.  I love the inclusion of "stinking thinking" as I am believer that our thoughts are very powerful.  The messages in the book are very  positive and will help girls learn to like themselves better and to deal more effectively with their challenges.  The inclusion of the bead bracelet is a fun bonus to encourage girls to finish the book.

I think this book would be great to use for a book club for girls, with guidance from an adult, but it is also great to use solo.

The book and bracelet, priced at $24.99, are available online at or $18.90 at

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Elements for Girls to facilitate this review.  As always, I express my honest opinions.  Links in post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

FREE Letters from Santa from the North Pole

The U.S. Postal service is offering the Letters FROM Santa Program where children can receive a letter from Santa postmarked from the North Pole! Just read the instructions below to learn how to obtain a letter for your child. They will be tickled!

Have your child write a letter to Santa and seal it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.

Tell your child that you’ll place a stamp on the envelope and mail it to St. Nick for him or her.

Later, when alone, open the envelope, read the letter and write Santa’s response on the back of the child’s letter. Have Santa write: “It’s important to be green and save paper. That’s why I’m writing on the back.”

When responding as Santa, reference your child’s accomplishments not included in his or her letter, i.e., Santa is so proud that you volunteered to help ____, or Santa is really impressed with the great job you’re doing in school — especially with math, etc. Sign it Santa Claus with a P.S. to get to bed early Christmas Eve.

Place the letter into a new envelope addressed to the child at his or her home. Be sure to include: Santa Claus, North Pole, as the return address on the envelope. Don’t forget to apply a First-Class stamp — such as a recently issued Santa or Rudolph Forever stamp.

Place the stamped envelope in a larger envelope (or Priority Mail envelope) with adequate postage addressed to:

ANCHORAGE AK 99530-9998

**Letters from Santa must be received by the Anchorage, AK, Postmaster no later than Dec. 15, 2014.

The Anchorage Postmaster will open the envelope, remove Santa’s letter addressed to your child, apply the North Pole postmark and mail it back home.

When Santa’s letter arrives, have your camera ready when you ask your child to open the letter and read it to you.

Share the photos on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #SantaLetters. Keep the letters and the photos in a scrapbook as a great family keepsake.

The Letters to Santa program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is perfect for interesting youngsters in letter writing.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer © & ® or ™ The Rudolph Co., L.P. All elements under license to Character Arts, LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Twist on the Elf on the Shelf

It's that time of the year--time for the good ole Elf on the Shelf.  I am not sure who the genius was who came up with this idea.  As if moms don't have enough to do before Christmas.  Some readers may comment that I don't have to do it.  And they are right--I don't have to do it.  However, it seems easier to do than explain to my children why the elf doesn't come to their house, but comes to all their friends' houses.  And, I will admit, it is fun for the children.

This year, I decided to put the elf to work.  Our elf has written a nice little note to our children letting them know that she will be leaving them a suggestion daily for them to do an act of kindness.

It’s great to be back! 
I had a long flight and really need a nap.
This Christmas season I want you to be kind,
So little suggestions each day I will leave behind.
I hope you try to pass on the love,
Just as God gives you so freely from above.
Be good this season
Do it without a reason,
So Santa hears only great things
Of the love to others you bring.
With love,

Magic Ruby

Each day, Magic Ruby will bring a simple suggestion of a way to be kind to others.  Things like make a card for the school receptionist, hold a door for someone, write a kind note to your teacher, and so forth.  My hope is that my children will spend this season focusing more on acts of kindness than thoughts of themselves.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blessings from the Most Destitute of Places

Debtors' <b>Prison</b> Makes a Comeback

I hope each and everyone of my readers has a great Thanksgiving!  Even with all the challenges I have faced this year, I have so many things to be thankful for.  But most notably, I am thankful for one young man in prison.  This is the young man who killed my best friend 2 years ago.  I know this may sound strange to some of my readers, especially since I haven't shared what has transpired since my friend's death.  (For those of you who don't know the story, you can read more about it HERE or search "Chris" on my blog.)

Chris was murdered by his foster son who was I think 21 at the time.  I had only met his foster son twice as I had moved out of state prior to Chris fostering him.  He had fostered the young man for about 10 years.  Mental health and substance issues plagued the boy and one night, he did the unthinkable.

So, it sounds strange that I would be counting this young man as a blessing in my life, but I am.  The day I found out that Chris died, I wrote this young man a letter telling him I forgave him...because I did.  He had a horrible past history of abuse, compounded with mental health issues.  Chris loved him unconditionally, but this child could not accept it due to his history.  In my mind, Satan had a hold of his heart.  Not forgiving him would lead me to anger and hatred, and we already have enough of that in this world.  Chris wanted the best for this young man.  He wanted him to find God and be successful.  But in an instant, it was gone.  And I knew Chris would want me to take over.  I felt charged with his care.

Chris' family was pretty much all this young man had.  And although it took months before I finally mailed the letter to him, I did.  And he wrote back.  We continued writing back and forth over the past two years.  He, not understanding how I could forgive him, and me, trying to lead him to God.  He not forgiving himself, and me, forgiving him.  He feeling angry at God and the world, and me, encouraging him.

It has been a long road.  But a few months ago, he starting understanding and accepting love.  He understands God can forgive him.

And so, as I finish another letter to him, I feel blessed.  Blessed that maybe for the first time ever, this child of God can feel His great love.

Some day, some day, I will share the full, beautiful story, Letters With Perry.  Until then, God Bless!

#Fitness Must Have's from Gaiam #eco

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Gaiam is well known for their quality fitness products.  Quality and comfort define their products.  They have some wonderful clothing in their latest line.   Here are some of my favorites:

Petal Back Racer Tank
The Petal Back Racer Tank which features a trendy cowl neckline, built in shelf bra with removable cups.  The back has mesh inserts for cooling.

Curve Legging The Curve Legging, specifically designed for yoga, hugs your curves and have a hidden key pocket.  They also feature a 3"comfort band and anti-chafe seams.

Cinch Wrap  The Cinch Wrap is the perfect cover-up to wear on the way too and from classes while looking totally adorable.  I love the flowing wrap with the extended thumbhole sleeves.  This is the next item on my wish list.

I chose to review the Follow My Line Jacket.  Seems most of the year, I need some type of jacket to wear on my way to working out.  This is a stylish jacket with a snap collar cowl neck.  The zipper is adjustable from either the top or bottom.  The long arms and curved pleated back enhance your figure.  It is made of a soft, breathable nylon spandex from sustainable fibers (yeah, eco-friendly!) that provide natural wicking.  I love that it is both functional and stylish.  In fact, it is so cute that I find I am wearing it for more than fitness!  See how fun it is?  And it is so comfortable!

You can shop Gaiam online for not only a great selection of fitness wear, but also videos, wellness, fitness equipment and even home goods.

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

20% Off Velvetwire Power Slayer Charger #eco

Remember my review of the Power Slayer Charger by Velvetwire?  Right now, they are running a sale for 20% off  everything in the Velvetwire store, including premium USB braided cables, Powerslayer in a variety of colors and hand-made travel cases.  Enter code TURKEY20 at check out, but hurry, offer ends December 1, 2014.

Visit Velvetwire to see all their charging accessories.

Google Analytics