Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Time for Change

Image from Staatsburg Library site

When I started blogging several years ago I didn't have any goals. I just knew that I wanted to share about my family and maybe connect with other moms. However, it didn't take long before I became wrapped up in posting frequently and making sure I checked all of the tasks off my to-do list each day online. Blogging became busy and, at the same time, so did life.

I feel like I have been updating things on here more than anything else. The last few years have been full of change, and while these changes have been good, they are hard to keep up with in the blogging world. 

I started blogging as a mommy blogger, and while I love reading mommy blogs myself, I have a hard time really relating and keeping up on my own site. When I started blogging, mommy bloggers were much more rare and now it seems that every person I run into has a blog. 

I don't feel like I fit into the mommy blogger category anymore. I honestly don't know what to write that hasn't been done already. While I think my family is unique and wonderful, I feel like my posts are too similar to others'. 

With that said, I have been devoting all of my online time to another site- The World as One Project. The World as One Project has been a dream of mine for several years and now that dream is becoming reality. I feel like my work on there is more true to who I am and what my goals are. 

I have been struggling for several months with what to do with the Mommy of Two blog. I've made a lot of connections, both personal and business, that I'm not quite ready to give up. However, some big changes are going to have to happen here for me to continue forward. 

The Mommy of Two blog will be getting a new name and a face-lift in the next couple of weeks. I have already deleted over half of my old content, and I will continue to filter through what is quality work and what needs to go. 

I haven't decided yet what my topics will be or how frequently I will post, but I do promise that the new site will be much better than what you see now. I hope that you will join me on this new adventure! 

Whether you've been here for years, months, or days, I appreciate that you have taken the time to follow along! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review: The Lumo Project- The Gospel of John

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
— John 1:1

The Lumo Project is a new movie series about the four Gospels in the Bible- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each movie is as accurate of a representation possible today of what life was like in Biblical times. Even the words used come directly from the Bible- NO edits. If you match up the version of the movie you watch with your own Bible you could follow along. Not only is it interesting to watch in your free time, it can be used as an educational tool as well.

If you are not familiar with the Bible, each of the Gospels are a different account of the life of Jesus. They are all the same story, but from four different people who were close to him and who were able to see different perspectives of the same events.

I was given the opportunity to watch the Gospel of John just before it was released. I was very impressed by the acting and by how everything was done overall. From the cast to the clothing to the setting, it was all well done. One of the goals of the Lumo Project was to capture life as it would have been back then, and I think they met that goal!

The genuineness of this movie was something I appreciated. Most religious movies are over-acted or dramatized. While I know a lot of creators mean well, I feel like they try to make things as 'exciting' as possible and they leave out important parts. To be honest, if you really read the Bible, it's not that boring. The Gospels are very interesting just as they are, and there's a fair amount of action already there. 

The Gospel of John is a great film and I highly recommend it to anyone, whether you're a Christian or not. You can learn more about the movie series on the Lumo Project website

The Gospel of John was released on Netflix on Monday- and you can watch it NOW! The rest of the series will be coming soon, and you won't want to miss it.

Book Review: Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker

Sometimes God uses the smallest voices to teach the greatest truths.

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs. We never stop being parents, not even for a second. No breaks, no sick days, and no excuses. We all feel overwhelmed from time to time and we doubt if we can really do this. I mean, we are responsible for a life, or multiple lives for some of us. Parenting is a lot of sacrifice and a lot of pressure. 

So why do we do this; what makes this worth it? 

One of my favorite parts of being a mom is the little conversations that I get to have with my children. Our talks are never very long or complicated, but somehow they are the best medicine on those days I just want to give up and go back to bed. 

Small Talk is a unique memoir by Amy Julia Becker. She is a mom to three who shares various conversations she's had with her children. The topics of conversation are many, including birth, disability, faith, friendship and grace. Some of the topics are more serious than others, but the honesty and love that her children teach is priceless. And one of the best parts? They don't have to try. 

One of my favorite chapters is on beauty. I felt like I could really relate to Amy Julia when she talks about how she sees herself, especially during her third pregnancy. While she sees imperfections, her children see the opposite. They don't care about her body or her face, they care about who she is- their mom. They only see beauty out of true love.

The whole book is broken down into three main sections- Holding On, Letting Go, and Growing Up. Each section has short and sweet chapters broken down by category. This book is very easy to read, especially if you have small children and don't have a lot of time to sit down at once. 

I highly encourage any mom or dad to read Small Talk. In the busyness of our days it's too easy to overlook the little things and to take our children's words for granted. This book is the perfect pick-me-up that all of us could use.  

Amy Julia with her family.
Photo property of Amy Julia Becker, taken from her website.

Amy Julia Becker is an author from Connecticut. She writes for several publications including and the Huffington Post. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011.

Learn more about Amy Julia and find a discussion guide for Small Talk on her website.

WIN your own copy of Small Talk here! Enter using the form below- US and Canada ONLY please! Ends 12/7.

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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Review: Growing Up Social

As a mom I've thought about parenting a lot, but there is one area that is new for all of us- technology and social networking. I've been able to curb the issue so far since the kids are so young, but I am kind of dreading the day when they are ready to really get online. So far their online experiences have been limited to educational sites and kids' videos on YouTube. And cell phones are banned until they have a car. :)

Growing Up Social is written by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane. It addresses some of the bigger issues with this overload of technology, like the tendency for people to ignore the real world while they are glued to their screens. A lot of people have already lost the ability to hold an intelligent conversation, and worse, how to appropriately talk in relationships. Think about all of the recent posts online about break-ups via text message. Technology cannot replace face-to-face interaction, and we have to teach the importance of real conversation with our children.

The chapters in the book are organized into two main sections- A+ Skills and Screen Time. Each one discusses a different aspect of what needs to be taught, such as affection and attention. They also focus on how technology affects aspects of parenting, like how much authority we have. The end of the book has a quiz to help you evaluate how much technology is affecting your home and a discussion guide to go with each chapter. 

Check out the trailer for the book to learn more--

Overall I recommend this book to any parent. Technology and social networking aren't going to go away and we need to learn how to work with it the best we can. Not only will we create a more peaceful and healthy environment in our homes, we will teach our children how to do the same later in life. 

You can learn more about the authors at their websites below: 

WIN your own copy of this awesome book- perfect for Christmas! Simply enter using the form below. Open to US only and ends 11/26.

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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review: InstaNatural Stretch Mark and Scar Cream

I don't know about you, but after having two kids, my body has changed a lot. Out of everything, my skin has probably suffered the most. I came across the opportunity to try InstaNatural and I figured it was worth a shot to try during this pregnancy.

I have tried several products for stretch marks and have not been able to find anything that I felt worked yet. I have used InstaNatural for a couple of weeks and I have noticed a difference already. My existing marks have faded slightly and I haven't had any new ones yet, even though my stomach is growing by the day. I like that it is all natural and overall I believe it's a good product. It is not greasy or heavy, and the scent is light and not overly noticeable. And most importantly- it does work.

I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for something to work for them. Not every product is the same and some work differently for others. IF it doesn't work for you, InstaNatural has a lifetime guarantee so if you don't see a difference, they will give you your money back. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cash for Christmas Giveaway Event

I'm excited to announce that I am co-hosting the Cash for Christmas Giveaway Event! This is perfect for the Christmas shopping season. Good luck!

MLA - Tammy Creative K Kids - Tammy
Tammy from My Life Abundant and Tammy from Creative K Kids have gotten together with a few of our bloggie friends to have a giveaway!

Cash for Christmas Giveaway $250 

 We are so excited to be giving away $250 in cash prizes for you to use starting Thanksgiving weekend.  Here are the prizes: 1 - $100 Amazon Gift Card 1 - $50 Target Gift Card 2 - $25 Walmart Gift Card 1 - $20 Khols Gift Card
Amazing. Right? Well, whats a gift card and getting up early, early to shop if you can't focus on your shopping.   So how about we add a $5.00 Starbucks gift card to each one of the prizes above!!
But wait. There is one more prize.
1 - $5 Starbucks Gift Card
Now its time to meet our wonderful co-hosts who have made this giveaway possible.

Starting at the top row we have:
Please stop by and say hi to these wonderful ladies and their blogs.
The giveaway will end midnight on Wednesday, November 26th, the night before Thanksgiving.  You will have 48 hours to respond to the email claiming the prize.  If you respond right away, we will get you the gift card promptly so that you can shop with it on Black Friday!  If we don't hear in 48 hours, we will choose another winner. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: Purex Crystals Aromatherapy

I have been a Purex Insider for a couple of years now, and I am a big fan. The price is perfect, the quality is great, and they continue to push out new products. I love to see companies that are always looking for ways to improve and grow. 

If you've been in the laundry aisle this past week, you may have noticed the latest and greatest from Purex- Aromatherapy Crystals! 

Purex Crystals Aromatherapy comes in three great scents- Energy, Well Being, and Serenity.

I tried Energy and I really liked it! The package has oranges on it, but it doesn't smell like just oranges. That may sound like a weird thing to point out, but if you're anything like me, you don't want to walk around smelling like a fruit. The Energy Crystals smell bright and fresh, with a kind of tropical hint.

I received this product for a review less than a month ago and the bottle has been long gone. I bought two new bottles this week as soon as I saw them on the shelf! Seriously, you can't beat this kind of quality and the price. I spent half as much on these as I would have on the brand I used before. With a family of four, with one on the way, AND living on a farm, we do a ton of laundry. I am thankful to have options like Purex so that I don't have to spend an arm and a leg on supplies.

Let's be honest, laundry stinks- literally and figuratively. So,why not treat yourself to a little aromatherapy while you're getting it done? Of course a little wine or chocolate may not hurt either!

WIN your own! I am doing a quick giveaway with 3 winners. Check out the Rafflecopter form below- Open to US only! Ends at midnight 11/13!