ThisLife by Shutterfly

***This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

From Photo Mess to Photo Bliss. Introducing ThisLife, by Shutterfly.

Why do your photos and videos—the most precious things you own—spend all their time out of sight and out of reach? Hidden in shoe boxes. Trapped in old phones. Buried in expired laptops. Concealed within folders. Within folders, within folders, within—you get the idea.

With ThisLife, we can help you intelligently organize all your photos and videos so you can spend less time managing memories and more time making them. That means gathering your photos from your different devices and different sites – your smartphone and tablet, your laptop, from Facebook and Instagram, Flicker and Picasa. And not only from your device or your account, but from your spouse and family’s, as well! Finally, a way to consolidate photos from all your family members across all devices without having to worry about duplicates.

Sign up for a free account today using your Shutterfly login. If you decide that this is the solution for you and your family, you can take advantage of our launch promotion – $59/ year (normally priced at $79) for our 25,000 photo and video plan plus a free 20-page 8×8 photo book ($29.99 value) or $139/ year (normally priced at $199) for our 100,000 photo and video plan plus a free 20-page 12×12 photo book ($59.99 value).

I love Shutterfly photo books and have made several (and blogged about it, too). To me, and to many others, digital scrapbooking is the modern version of scrapbooking that involved scissors, stickers, and punches in the 1990s. I love this idea of organizing photos online, and feel it meets a real need. I know that I am guilty of having photos all over on photo cards, in files that are hard to get to, etc.

ThisLife, by Shutterfly Get a free 20-page Photo book with a paid subscription to ThisLife.

Congrats to winner, Patti!

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway, which may contain affiliate links. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I received a DVD 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.
Celery Night Fever Veggie TalesAh, VeggieTales! They weren’t part of my childhood, but they were part of my kids’, for sure. Just hearing that opening theme song takes me back 15 years or so:

If you like to talk to tomatoes
If a squash can make you smile
If you like to waltz with potatoes
Up and down the produce aisle…
Have we got a show for you!

And you know the rest. So, when I was asked about reviewing a new VeggieTales DVD, I was happy to. One thing I always liked about VeggieTales was that the lyrics to the songs and the dialogue in the shows was smart, with cultural references and clever plays on words to keep them entertaining for adults as well as for kids.

VeggieTales began in 1993 and has sold more than 70 million DVDs, 15 million books and 7 million CDs. The early episodes featured Bible stories, and I have to admit that these are still my favorites. These days, the veggie characters focus on admirable character traits, such as honesty, contentment, kindness, sharing, and forgiveness. At the end of each story, Bob and Larry share Bible passages that reflect and reinforce the lessons they and their veggie crew have learned.

I enjoyed Celery Night Fever a lot! There’s plenty of nostalgia for adults to enjoy, from polyester leisure suits and disco balls to ’70s musical memories. The story features Bruce Onion, a nefarious real-estate developer who plans to turn Celery Park into a parking lot. His unsavory scheme spurs Laura Carrot and Junior Asparagus to enact a bold plan: reuniting the long-lost ’70s band The Groovy Brothers to play at a fund-raising concert.

The problem is, The Groovy Brothers haven’t spoken to each other in decades, and the members have little interest in getting back together. Their feud spills over to affect Laura and Junior. It’s not just Celery Park that’s in jeopardy: if best friends can’t learn to forgive each other and accept each other’s faults, the veggies might lose their cherished community gathering spot.

The Bible verse Bob and Larry share at the end is Ephesians 4:12: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Would you — or your kids — enjoy this new VeggieTales DVD? You can enter to win a copy using the rafflecopter form below, or look for it in your favorite store (or online).  Enter by August 15 , and I’ll choose a random winner August 16.

Remember: God made you special, and He loves you very much.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Birtsmorton Court for sponsoring this post. All opinions my own.

Planning a wedding? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, and so of course you’re looking for a truly special venue.

Birtsmorton CourtHow’s this for special?

As wedding reception venues go, you don’t get much better than a medieval moated estate. The foundation was laid in 1241, and for 300 years the court was home to the Nanfan family. The family’s connection to the Tudors is recorded in carvings seen in the Banqueting Hall.

Birtsmorton isn’t just an estate. You can have a church wedding here too! The Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury with St. Peter and St. Paul is nearby, accessed by a private gate. As a recent bride wrote, “We wanted to get married in a church with a reception venue close by. We also wanted a quintessentially English wedding in beautiful countryside – Birtsmorton ticked all the boxes. Fantastic venue with a fantastic team.”

English wedding church

Where is Birtsmorton? It’s in the Midlands region of England — not far from Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Wedding venues Midlands are lovely, featuring lush green fields with views of the rolling Malvern Hills. It’s just 120 miles from London, and is not far from Birmingham, Bristol, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Malvern, Gloucester, and Tewkesbury.

After your wedding in the church, guests can walk over to the estate for the reception. If the weather is good, you have both indoor and outdoor options — the Terrace overlooking the moat, the romantic White Garden (complete with flowers, a fountain, and a pergola), or inside the Great Hall, complete with fairy lights and drinks by the cozy fireplace.

I don’t know about you, but I can imagine a wedding straight out of a Jane Austen novel here. You only get married once — why not make it a fairy tale?

Surviving Henry: Review

Thanks to Revell for a review copy of Surviving Henry. Review may contain affiliate links.

Surviving HenryMost of my friends know that I would eventually like a dog. But honestly, after reading Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, I don’t know if I’m up for it. Author Erin Young tells about her family’s experience with boxer Henry, and “surviving” is an apt term. Henry destroys various things in the house, nearly drowns, tears up his leg (requiring surgery) while jumping through a glass window — you get the idea. Maybe I’m better cut out for calmer pets?

Although Surviving Henry has a Christian publisher, it’s not overtly Christian. The first 90% or so mentions God maybe once, and there’s a reference to attending church. The final few pages draw more analogies between loving a difficult dog and Christ’s love for us.

Erin seems like a neat person; someone I’d enjoy knowing in real life. And I couldn’t help but muster an “awww” or two for Henry (especially that cover photo). I found this book fine, but not over-the-top funny or compelling. As I said earlier, my sheer horror at the destruction wreaked by Henry may be part of that.

Here, you can watch a bit of Henry in action — if you dare!

Menu Plan Monday

menuplanmondayMenu Plan Monday arrives again. What is going on in your corner of the world this August morning? Here in Indiana, it is hot, band camp is in full swing, and we have a little over a week before school begins. There are still museums to visit and the state fair to see as well. Soon …

Monday: tacos — requested by daughter #3. I will probably cook chicken with taco seasoning and add cheese and corn chips. Then we can put that in taco shells, along with other toppings.

Tuesday: Tomato and Corn Pie — I’ve made this before and it’s really good. It’s also a great recipe for using corn and tomatoes from the garden, if you are fortunate enough to have them.

tomato and corn pieWednesday: frozen pizza — museum day and getting home late = easy dinner

Thursday: Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole – family favorite and good for busy days since it’s made in the slow cooker

Friday: pancakes for dinner (again) — tried it last week and loved it :) I used this oatmeal pancake recipe, which was good. We had syrup, and also cherry pie filling as toppings. Also applesauce (sorry, no bacon — we’re not bacon eaters here :))

Also, this for dessert some day this week — tell me it doesn’t look totally delicious??

That’s it from here. What are you cooking this week?

More menu ideas at OrgJunkie’s.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

ModCloth may be your go-to for cute dresses and clothing, but did you know they have a flourishing decor department too? Think fun and unique adornments for your home, kitchen, bedroom, office space, and more.

If that’s not incentive enough to check it out, they just so happen to be having a 20% off decor sale that’ll give your place a pop of personality. No code needed, so just shop to your heart’s content and there really will be no place like your home!

Hurry and get your goodies while they last — 20% off ends August 3 (yes, that’s tomorrow!).



 College Bound Bedding Giveaway

Sponsored By: eLuxurySupply
Host: Inside My Head..

eLuxurySupply.com is a United States Veteran-Owned and -Operated company out of Evansville, Indiana. Countless hours of hard work and determination, as well as a little luck, have helped eLuxurySupply.com to become one of the Internet’s most trusted and successful specialty linen providers.

Their products include Egyptian cotton bed sheet sets, duvet covers and pillow cases, as well as mattress toppers, goose down comforters, 5-Star Egyptian cotton bath robes, and Egyptian cotton bath towel sets. In addition to their Egyptian Cotton products, they are now offering an entire line of bamboo sheet sets and bath towel sets to add to their ever-expanding inventory to give customers the largest selection of any luxury linen retailer online.

In a market that is often crowded with knockoffs and sub-par products, they provide guaranteed first-class luxury items to make sure consumers are getting the most helpful customer service available!

How about sending your favorite college student back to school with this complete dorm bedding set?

Complete Dorm Bedding Set

Enter to win 2 Down Alternative Hypoallergenic Pillows, Twin XL Bamboo Sheet Set and Twin XL Extra Plush Bamboo Top Mattress Pad!

Down Alternative Hypoallergenic Pillow: The finest pillows of this class anywhere! Most pillows use a continuous filament fiber which flattens out quickly or becomes lumpy when washed. We use a much loftier cluster fiber to make a softer, longer lasting pillow.

Ultra Soft Bamboo Sheets: Bamboo sheets are some of the most comfortable and softest bed sheets on the planet and will make going to bed like staying in a 5 star hotel every night. Bamboo is one of the softest fabrics available on earth and naturally hugs the body just like silk sheets do. Bamboo is sustainable, naturally antimicrobial, and requires significantly less pesticides than cotton, so these are the “greenest” sheets you can purchase.

Extra Plush Bamboo Top Mattress Pad:
You’ll love the luxurious comfort of this mattress pad. Top-quilted bamboo blend fabric is silky to the touch and is extra plush for a more comfortable sleep. The bamboo fabric breathes extra well and can even help cool down those extra warm mattresses (it’s perfect to counterbalance warm mattresses such as Tempurpedic). This is the highest-rated mattress pad on the market.

Giveaway Time!!7/31 – 8/31
Be sure to follow eLuxurySupply.com on their social networking sites to stay up to date on current promotions and special offers

Childhood Memories FridayA comment on a recent Childhood Memories Friday post reminded me of recess games. Ah, the recesses of my elementary school years. Nowadays, kids get just a single recess. But when I was young, we had morning recess, noon recess, and afternoon recess as well. And we still seemed to learn plenty, imagine that!

4-square recess game4-square was popular, as was jumping rope (Double Dutch, where two girls turned the ends of two ropes at once, was a fun challenge). There was the occasional game of Red Rover, although this usually involved both boys and girls, which didn’t happen a lot. During my earliest years, we liked to play “quicksand monsters.” We girls pretended the boys were quicksand monsters, arising from the sand beneath the monkey bars (side note: didn’t quicksand seem to figure much more prominently in your imagination during childhood than it has as an adult?). Once they came running out, we ran to the swings and took off, hoping to escape them.

I also enjoyed sitting in the abundant grass with a group of friends, searching for four leaf clovers. I still remember my horror on day, when the recess bell had sounded and I stood in line, showing the four leaf clover I’d found that day to an admirer. She took it and tore off clovers as she said, “Three leaf clover, two leaf clover, one leaf clover!” I was horrified!

And despite the games, most recesses found me more likely to be engaged in a good conversation with some girlfriends than in any game.

How about you? What games (or other pursuits) did you enjoy during childhood recess times?

In addition to ‘games,’

One of my daughters is a vegetarian. When I ask for ideas of where to eat out, she frequently requests “someplace vegetarian.”

“Is there such a place in Fort Wayne?” I asked.

Well. She did her homework, and indeed there is. Not just vegetarian, but vegan even (for you meat-eaters out there, vegan means that one doesn’t eat or use animal products. So, not only meat is out, but also eggs, cheese, milk, etc).

Recently, we headed to the Loving Cafe in our fair city.

Loving Cafe vegan restaurant Fort Wayne IndianaAnd there it was!

Once inside, we each grabbed a menu. Having tried to cook vegan for a very short time when my daughter wanted to “go vegan” a few years back, I knew that it was a challenge. So I was happy to see such a wide and varied menu. There were lots of sandwiches, soups, and entrees. We placed our orders at the counter and found a seat in the light and cheery dining area.

About ten minutes later, our food began arriving.

vegan sweet and sourI chose the vegan sweet and sour. It looked delicious, and tasted that way too. I couldn’t believe how good the “vegan nuggets” tasted — if it wasn’t chicken, you could have fooled me.

Loving Cafe Fort WayneMy daughter had a grilled tortilla — complete with vegan cheese, vegan butter, vegan nuggets, vegenaise (no, I am not making this up!), and spinach. So good, you can see, that she couldn’t wait to take a photo before grabbing a bite.

raw smoothie Loving CafeAnother daughter chose a raw strawberry smoothie — cool and refreshing — and grilled cheesy bread. Both delicious!

We found the ambience of the restaurant to be pleasant. Other customers chatted quietly around us. Service was polite and friendly.

Loving Cafe Fort WayneOf course, we had to finish up with a bakery item for the road. We chose a chocolate chip cookie – yum!

Most entrees are priced between $8-10, and I believe the menu items and prices are the same for dinner as for lunch.

We support Loving Cafe in their goal of helping people eat better and healthier with organic, plant-based vegan food. You may be pleasantly surprised by just how good it tastes. Next time you’re in Fort Wayne, give Loving Cafe a try. I predict you’ll be glad you did.

Loving Cafe

7605 Coldwater Rd
Suite A
Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Monday – Saturday
11:00am – 7:00pm

Thanks to Purex Insiders for product to review, and for providing coupons for the giveaway.
Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body WashImagine yourself at the mall. Close your eyes. What do you smell? The wonderful aromas from the candle store? The delicious spicy scents of baking cinnamon rolls? How about the fresh smells from the lotion shop?

This may seem like a strange lead-in to a body wash review, but stick with me: scent was my first and biggest impression of Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash. I’ve tried (and enjoyed) other scents of Dial Body Wash, so when this one arrived, I wondered how it would be different. I know that Dial body washes are all moisturizing and good for cleansing.

What sets Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash apart for me is its scent. When I squirted some onto my bath puff, I think I left the conditioner on my hair for the entire two minutes, because I wanted to extend the time I was in the shower with that wonderful mango scent. It was like a little trip to a tropical paradise, without leaving my own bathroom!

From the experts, Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash contains coconut water, known to be rich in antioxidants and electrolytes that help with hydration. Mango is known for being nutrient-rich. It also smells GREAT, if you haven’t picked up on that already :)

Purex would like me to show photos of the product in action, but this is a family-friendly blog, so — this will have to be close enough.

Dial body wash

Thanks to Purex, two of you can win a coupon for a free bottle. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below by August 6, and I’ll choose random winners August 7. And hey — even if you don’t win, treat yourself to a bottle (it should be in stores by now). Really, it’s one of those small indulgences that keeps life fun.
a Rafflecopter giveaway