Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Oriental Trading Crafty Christmas Contest

I know I have some crafty friends out there.  That is why I wanted to share with you the holiday contest from Oriental Trading.   Oriental Trading is hosting the #OTCraftyChristmas Instagram Contest with weekly prizes now through December 18th.  We will be doing all kinds of fun Christmas activities in the toddler class. I know many of you will be crafting too.  

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If you create a DIY Christmas Craft and share it on Instagram be sure you are following Oriental Trading and tag #OTCraftyChristmas. Someone is going to win a $200 egift Card grand prize. 

Contest Info & Oriental Trading on Instagram

Good Luck and Happy Crafting! 

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Making it Right by Margaret Madigan and Merissa McCain Book Release + Giveaway

Wow November 20th it's the last day before Thanksgiving break for us.  And it is also the release day blitz for Making it Right a new book by Margaret Madigan and Merissa McCain.  I love finding new authors and new books to read. Don't you?   Find out more about this one and don't foget to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of Making It Right.  


smallpreviewMaking it Right by Margaret Madigan and Merissa McCain

Genre: Contemporary/MMA Romance Publication Date: November 20, 2015
BUY NOW ONLY .99 CENTS!!!!! Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Adrenaline junkie Nina Osborne never misses a hockey game or an MMA fight on TV. After the storage facility she owns is burglarized, one of her favorite MMA fighters, Drew “Juggernaut” Warner, shows up furious and blames her for his stuff being stolen. When Drew returns to apologize and clean up his storage unit, Nina parlays it into a first date and burgeoning relationship, which comes with an introduction to the exhilarating world of live MMA. Drew has no idea when he brings smart, sassy, and super-sexy Nina into his life that she’ll rock the foundations of his carefully planned-out career. But when she decides that law enforcement isn't doing enough to solve the burglary and takes the investigation into her own hands, protecting her jeopardizes his career. The smart thing to do would be to leave her be. Problem is, while he wasn’t looking Nina took a firm grip on his heart. Nina’s determined to make things right; however, her investigating leads her into to big trouble, forcing Drew to fight both inside the cage and out if he and Nina are to have any hope of a future together.

EXCERPT: Nick stepped up behind Drew. “I hear you’re incapacitated,” he said, his voice wry. “Screw you, Parker. You try having Garcia beat the shit out of you and see how incapacitated you are.” “Next time don’t let him beat the shit out of you.” Drew flipped him off, but Nina could tell he didn’t mean it by the fact that his hand only got halfway up in the air before it dropped back into his lap. Nick chuckled. “You probably shouldn’t be out here doing whatever the hell you’re doing.” Nick looked to Nina for explanation. She sighed, not wanting to recount the whole damn thing again. “Some assholes robbed the place last night. They broke into Drew’s unit along with a bunch of others. I guess he thought he had to do all the clean up today.” Nick shook his head, as he grabbed Drew’s arm and slung it over his shoulder, hauling him to a standing position. “You’re a stubborn asshole,” he said. “It’s my Mom’s stuff. I had to take care of it.” “It’ll still be here tomorrow,” Nick said as he stuffed Drew into the passenger seat of his car. “I don’t know. It’s not really safe. I don’t want to lose anything else.” Drew said. Nina cringed. She approached Drew’s window while Nick went and locked up Drew’s Jeep. “I’m so sorry, Drew,” she told him. “I’ll do everything I can to get your things back. Even if I have to look for the burglars myself.” Drew snorted, “You do that, sweetheart.” His head flopped back onto the headrest and he closed his eyes. She couldn’t tell if he’d passed out again or just dismissed her. Nick handed her the Jeep keys and opened his driver’s door. “I’ll have him call you in a few days and we’ll make arrangements to pick up his car. Here are the keys in the meantime, in case you have to move it.” “Thanks,” she said. “I’ll go ahead and unlock the gate for you. I’m glad you came to pick him up.” “He’d do the same for me.” As the gate shut after them, she watched Nick pull out onto the road and drive away. “Don’t worry Drew, I’ll make it right.”

margaretmadiganMargaret Madigan

I write historical, paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance, as well as science fiction. I'm an Oregon Ducks fan. I'm a donut and pastry addict (pretty much any carbs, really). I like cats. I'm terrified of balloons. When I'm not writing you'll find me in a college classroom teaching English, or working as a literary agent for an amazing agency...and of course, wrangling my family.

merissamccainMerissa McCain

I love to read, I love to write, I love coffee. Almost every author says this about themselves because these things are often so central to what we do, and what keeps us awake to get it done. But reading that description a few dozen times doesn’t give you much insight to who your author is, not really. All the good stuff comes from where they’ve been, where they’re going, where they want to go and how they want to get here. So, here are a few things beyond the generic; things that shape who I am. I grew up in Africa. We didn’t have electricity beyond a limited gasoline generator most of my childhood and didn’t have a television until I was sixteen. So, I filled all that extra time with reading, and scribbling down my own stories. I’ve now lived in the USA longer than I’ve lived in Africa, although I tend to move every couple years. I’m a nomad at heart. I travel back and forth to Africa at least once a year, and I’ve felt for a very long time like I straddle worlds. Like I can make myself fit in everywhere, but I don’t fully belong anywhere. Maybe that's why my characters are often trying to decide where they fit in the context of others. Why part of their happily ever after is finding a place that claims them, a place where they fully belong.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Santa's Little Helper Blu-Ray DVD Giveaway #SantasInsiders

Are you looking for a new family favorite for the holiday season? Look no further !  May the best elf win as Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and WWE Studios announces an outrageous holiday adventure when  Santa's Little Helper arrives on DVD and Digital HD on Tuesday, November 17th!  We love a funny movie and this little Christmas film will surely make you laugh friends.   We were so excited to receive a copy of Santa's Little Helper for ourselves and one to share with you guys courtesy of Fox Home Entertainment Insiders.  Can you say Awesome?  We sure can.  

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May the best elf win! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and WWE Studios present outrageous holiday fun when SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER arrives on DVD and Digital HD™ on Tuesday, November 17.

Ho-ho-hold on tight for holiday hijinks in this hilarious family comedy starring WWE®  Superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin®, WWE Diva Paige™ and AnnaLynne McCord. After losing his job, a slick-talking businessman is given the chance of a lifetime—to be Santa’s second-in-command. But to earn the coveted position, he’ll have to wage an outrageous battle against a scheming elf who wants the gig for herself!
The SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER DVD is stocked full of behind-the-scenes featurettes that are sure to bring holiday cheer.

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Santa's Little Helper DVD available November 17th


·         Ho Ho Ho – In SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER the “Ho Ho Ho” is Santa’s right hand man.  But what exactly does this job entail?  Cast and crew talk about the “Ho Ho Ho’s” duties and what really goes on behind-the-scenes of Santa’s workshop when the deadline for the big day is looming.
·         Introducing Paige – WWE Diva Paige has had quite a year.  She debuted on Monday Night Raw® just over a year ago and in that time has been WWE Divas Champion twice, become a star on the E! hit series Total Divas®, and will now be acting in her first ever movie!  Through interviews with the cast, the director and of course Paige herself, fans get an in-depth look at how she prepared for, and successfully executed, her role as Eleanor.

·         Holiday Cast & Crew – A fun behind-the-scenes look at the cast and crew, talking about what the holidays mean to them and the greatest gifts they ever received.

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Full of behind the scene features 

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™, Digital HD and VOD. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, a 21st Century Fox Company.

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Get Ready for some laughs with Santa's Little Helper

WWE® Studios develops and produces feature films, as well as television and digital content. Its diverse slate is released theatrically, direct to home, and/or across digital platforms, and is co-produced & distributed through partnerships with premiere global entertainment companies. WWE’s film division, led by President Michael Luisi, is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA. WWE® Studios recently launched genre label EREBUS PICTURES with KISS Icon Gene Simmons. Films from WWE® Studios include The Call with Halle Berry and WWE Superstar David Otunga®, Oculus directed by Mike Flanagan starring Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff, Vendetta starring Dean Cain and WWE Superstar Big Show and directed by the Soska Sisters, The Marine 4: Moving Target starring WWE Superstar The Miz® and WWE Diva Summer Rae™, The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smack Down which joins Fred, Barney and the whole Bedrock gang with stone age versions of WWE Superstars and Divas, Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and WWE Superstar Wade Barrett®. Upcoming films from WWE® Studios include Incarnate starring Aaron Eckhart and featuring WWE Superstar Mark Henry®, Killing Hasselhoff starring Ken Jeong and David Hasselhoff, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone starring Brett Dalton, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes and WWE Legend Shawn Michaels, 6:42 starring WWE Superstars Dolph Ziggler and Kane, 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown starring WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose®, and The Condemned 2 starring WWE Superstar Randy Orton® and Eric Roberts

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WIN : Santa's Little Helper DVD + Digital HD Combo Pack (US only) just fill out the entry form below for your chance to be the winner. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway " As a Fox Home Entertainment Insider a complimentary copy of Santa's Little Helper was provided on DVD for review. All opinions are our own. Thanks" 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top 10 Christmas Lights and Holiday Events in North East Florida

Good morning! I hope you all are doing fantastic and life is keeping you as busy as it is me.  Life is a whirlwind right now with travels, holidays and wedding plans.  It is amazing too.  I never thought a few years ago this is where life would take me but it has.  Happiness has a way of sneaking in when you are least expecting it.  So hang in there my friends. Every problem has a solution we just have to find it.  Today I wanted to share some of our favorite holiday spots in or driving distance to Jacksonville. We are so lucky to have some amazing places to visit and see Christmas lights and get into the holiday mood.

When I was little there was this one lady who decorated her house to the max for Christmas. Everyone in our little town had to go see those lights.  She passed away and they no longer do that but they really were fantastic and a memory I've never forgotten. We went every year to see those lights.  I want my children to have so many of my same traditions I had as a child I was really lucky to have a great family who made the holidays such a special time.  So, we go light searching every year.  Besides It's so FUN and you know this girl likes to find new places .

Top 10 Christmas Lights and Holiday Events 

in North East Florida

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10 Holiday Lights and Family Events in Florida
  1. Deck The Chairs is a Jacksonville Beach Tradition.  This year Deck the Chairs will open November 27th 2015 and ends January 2, 2016.  Deck The Chairs uses the Red Life Guard Beach Chairs and decks them out with a Christmas themed display. This year there will be 40 chairs.  
  2. The Christmas Express at Kirby Family Farms : have a train lover then this is a must do on your list friends.  My little engineer loves this Florida Christmas train ride through the lights at Kirby Family Farms.  There is also lots of other fun activities for families as it is a bit of a drive. Be sure and ride that monster school bus.  You might want to bring a little blanket too because sometimes the evenings can be chilly. The ride begins November 27th and you'll need a ticket.  You can purchase tickets online and view the calendar for running nights. 
  3. The Lights on Crystal Springs Road are AMAZING I kid you not AMAZING.  I'd give these lights a 10 out of 10 any day.  Go see them you will be so glad that you did.  Here is a post I shared last year about the Crystal Springs Road Christmas Lights
  4. St. Augustine's Night of Lights Celebration is beautiful white lights all over the city.  St. Augustine has such charm you don't want to miss it during the holidays anyway.  But these lights are great fun .  Hop aboard one of the trolleys, grab your glasses that are going to make the lights put on quite a show and enjoy.  This holiday season is a little bit more special this year because Ripley's Believe it or Not in St. Augustine is celebrating their 65th Birthday as well. The lights turn on November 21 , 2015 and go off January 31, 2016.
  5. The festival of Lights at Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park - this will be the fourth year I take the kids to this event. The lights are lovely. My favorite part is the large tower that chimes. It is beautiful.  There will be a place to roast marshmallows and make smores, get hot chocolate and even see Santa. The lights open up Friday, December 4, 2015 at 5PM and are over Thursday , December 31st at 9PM. 
  6. If you made the drive to see the lights at Stephen Foster then go on up the road and save yourself a second trip by taking in the lights at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.  These lights are a drive thru exhibit and are super cool. The Suwanee Lights will be open this year December 5th thru the 24th.  You could also plan ahead and camp here if you'd like. 
  7. Check out some of the amazingly awesome gingerbread competitions in our area.  If you want to drive head to Savannah or Orlando. You won't be sorry. If you don't want to go that far don't fret because the Gingerbread House Extravaganza by Jacksonville's very own Historical Society is GREAT! 
  8. Night of Luminaries at the St. Augustine Lighthouse - the St. Augustine lighthouse puts on all kinds of events through out the year.  My favorite is the night of luminaries.  If you love taking photographs this is a great event to practice your night time photo skills. The lighthouse is gorgeous lit up and then with the added lights of the luminaries it is just really lovely to see.  The Santa and Mrs.Claus are great. This is a FREE Family Event and it takes place Wednesday December 2nd from 6-9 PM. 
  9. The Lights at Atlantic Beach - Last year this house had one great light show.  Be sure and tune in your car radio to 94.5 FM and take it all in.  December 1 to January 1.  Atlantic Beach Christmas is a great stop. 
  10. Last but not least if you are in Central Florida head over to  23373 NE 112th Ct. , Orange Springs, Florida 32182 to catch the display put on by the Cade Family.  This is the fifteenth year the Cade's have shared a holiday display and each year it grows larger. Thank you Cade Family. The event is Free Dec. 1-31. Just park at the gate and walk up to Enjoy the Cade Family light show 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Available November 24th Always For You by Tawdra Kandle

Always For You - Tawdra
Sharing the newest from  Tawdra Kandle today.  Exciting stuff. Always for you is available November 24th way to go Tawdra Kandle.  I can't wait to read this one.

AlwaysMaureen Evans has had a crush on Smith Harrington since they were in college together. She always knew he didn’t see her as anything more than his best friend—just one of the guys—but that didn’t stop her from weaving sexy fantasies about him. Now, after years of maintaining a long-distance friendship, Smith’s moving to Burton, Georgia, Maureen’s hometown, to become her partner at the veterinary clinic. After all this time, she should be able to handle working with him without getting hot and bothered. Or maybe not. The more determined Maureen is to maintain their just-friends bond, the more Smith seems intent on testing those boundaries. And when flirting crosses the line into something more, it ends in a night neither of them can forget. When friendship is no longer enough, there’s always love.

Buy on: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo


About the author:

B1S-mKwMCoS._UX250_Tawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include from YA paranormal romance, NA paranormal and contemporary romance, and adult contemporary and paramystery romance. Series include The King Quartet, The One Trilogy, Crystal Cove Romances, and The Recipe For Death series. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.

Find Tawdra on:

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Newsletter | Tsu | Pinterest | Instagram

Hilight your best features with Pur Cosmetics Cameo Contour Stick #ContourResponsibly

The holidays are here and with the holidays means parties, family events and all of that fun stuff.  A new dress, new shoes , new make up maybe you want to look your best for that company party right?  Well I do.  That's why I was excited to test out PURS Cameo Contour.  A new foundation stick to give you a flawless new look.  The Cameo Contour Stick is my beauty pick for November. It's simple to use and really does give that flawless look you want in your foundation.  Thank you PUR Cosmetics.

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November Beauty Pick Cameo Contour Stick by Pur Cosmetics

Cameo Contour is the newest innovation from PUR designed to deliver a close up and in depth dimension making contouring easier than ever.  You have both a highlight and sculpting shade in one easy stick.  The lighter shade is your highlighter and the darker your sculpting.  The creamy formula emphasises your faces natural highlights and low lights and blurs imperfections with a light weight powder finish.  The Cameo Contour is packed with everything you want in a foundation including PURS age defying Ceretin Complex a proprietary blend of hydrating ceramides and skin perfecting Vitamin A. It is completely free of oil and petroleum.

So, how do you contour?  Each stick comes with a simple blending sponge specially designed to blur any harsh lines between the shades.  Use the pointed tip for hard to reach areas and the flat tip to contour.  Use the rounded end to buff the face and blend your highlights. A beauty tip for you wet the sponge first it makes blending and smoothing much easier.

You got this!  #ContourResponsibly Highlight, Contour and Blend that is it for a beautiful fresh look.

Cameo contour Stick photo IMG_8230.jpgCameo Contour Stick photo IMG_8231.jpgPur Cosmetics photo IMG_8232.jpg What did I think? I think the contour stick is super easy to use. Even easier if you want to throw it in your bag to take with you.  I use the light and it was a tad bit darker than what I normally use . I was freaking out a little bit when I first began to contour. Then,  when blended I loved the smooth look it gave. Yeah,  for a fresh new look.

 photo IMG_8237a.jpg The dual ended Cameo Contour stick is available for $39.50 including the sponge. It can be found at ULTA, Kohl's and .  The Contour Stick is available in 5 different shades: Light, Medium, Tan, Dark and Deep.

"PUR Cosmetics provided me with complimentary products for an honest review. All opinions shared here are my own."
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Sunday, November 15, 2015

5 Fall Trips for your Florida Bucket List

Cool and Crisp air what is that?   November is here but the cool air not so much.  We have hit record highs here in Jacksonville this week.  Baby its hot outside.  We all know the cooler weather will be here though and it is a great time to take the kids and get outside for some Fall fun.  A great time to explore our beautiful little patch of Florida in a different way.  Florida is known for summer fun but Fall is a great time too.

I love this great list of Fall Day Trips by one of my all time favorite blogs Simply St. Augustine. She always knows how to have a good time in our area.

5 Fall trips for your Florida Bucket List

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Get outside this Fall and enjoy Florida in a new way.

  1. Go see the manatees.  Our friend Robin from Authentic Florida offers a great post with Best Places to see the manatee.  This is on my Fall bucket list. 
  2. Go horseback riding on the beach or plan a picnic and just feed the horses.  Amelia Island Horseback riding offers rides for 4-6 people from Peters Point Beach. You can schedule a time online and have pretty flexible availability during the Fall months.   If riding is not your thing head to Alachua for a family picnic in the grassy area and feeding at Mill Creek Horse Farm a retirement home for horses. This is great for younger children who may not be ready to ride.
  3. Go Birding - this is the time of year to catch some great species of birds. The Great Florida Birding trail offers you some great places to hike or just get out for a bit and see what you can spy.  You might like this post we shared about Birding in North East Florida.  I know the older I get the more excited I get about birds. They really are a neat species to observe. 
  4. Head to the Florida Caverns State Park for camping and smores.  The caverns are a great get away and the campgrounds are just lovely this time of year.  
  5. Grab you Bike and go.  The Florida Palatka -Lake Butler Trail is a 47 mile trail that follows the bed of the former Norfolk-Southern Railroad. Much of the trail is paved and nicely shaded.  

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