Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Giveaway & Review: The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Kit Livingstone has been invited on the journey of his lifetime - of any lifetime. A quest to find a map that turns into a greater treasure quest than anyone can imagine. The Skin Map  is the first book of The Bright Empires Novels, a new fiction series from Stephen R. Lawhead, author of the King Raven trilogy, the Song of Albion trilogy, the Dragon King trilogy, and the Pendragon Cycle series.
      My Thoughts:
      This book was a fantastic journey that was hard to put down. It combines science, history, mystery, and alternate realities. The first sentence of the first chapter draws you in:
      "Had he but known that before the day was over he would discover the hidden dimensions of the universe, Kit might have been better prepared. At least he would have brought an umbrella."
      The day that Kit meets his great-grandfather, his world is turned upside down. Or inside out. Or maybe sideways. Lawhead is able to weave a story that draws you in and takes you on a journey. This particular journey leads you in imagining the possibility of "ley lines" that allow you to travel from one reality to another - from one world to another. What would happen if there were streets that you could walk down and travel from your world into another world? Dropping you into a reality that is slightly different from your reality - or a reality that occurred in ancient history? And imagine that there was a map, a Skin Map, that had the directions to take you back home. But you had to find that map in the various realities - and before the thugs find it.

      This book was wonderfully written. The scientific explanations were written to be easy to understand, and the descriptions of ancient history brought this alive. This left me wanting to read The Bone House, the next book in the series, but I'll have to wait until September 2011!
      Giveaway Rules:
      I have been given a hard cover copy of this brand new book to give away to one of my readers! When leaving comments below, please be sure that either your Google profile or your comment contains your email or blog address. The giveaway is open until Saturday, September 11th at 8am. If I don't hear from the winner within 3 days, I will pick another winner. Here are ways to earn up to 3 entries:
      • First entry: Leave a comment on this post.
      • Second entry: Subscribe through Google Followers, RSS, or email and leave a comment on this post.
      • Third entry: Share this giveaway with your Facebook friends, Twitter friends, or on your blog. Come back and leave a comment on this post with a link to your post. (Click the icons below to share via Facebook or other media.)
      Suggested Tweet: Book giveaway by @MindyAumann - The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead. Enter at http://bit.ly/aml5Um - Ends 9/11.

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        I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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        Great Parenting Show Teleseminar

        Shared by request of Jonathan at No Excuses Workouts.

        Jonathan here: I am excited about this unique opportunity as the FlyLady, Dinner Diva (Leanne Ely) and Pam Young are also participating!

        If you're like me, you've spent a lot of time trying to answer life's big questions:
        • How can I create a joyful connected family?
        • How can I raise self-reliant children?
        • How can I help my children contribute to the world?
        • How can I heal and become the parent I want?
        • How can I balance my work and my family?

        That's why I want you to join me in this fantastic teleseminar series I'm in – and the best part is, it won't cost you a dime!

        It's called Great Parenting Show Teleseminar and it is produced and hosted by Jacqueline Green. With over 10 years experience in parenting education, Jacqueline Green is a sought after parenting educator in her own right, as well as a powerful force putting the top parenting experts in reach of all parents. Her passion for helping parents comes from turning her own personal struggle with parenting to a transformation of all aspects of her life! Jacqueline has worked with and learned from many of the top parenting educators in the world. Her mission is to help millions of parents by helping you to find the right expert for your unique parenting situation and concerns. Watch Jacqueline's cool video and sign up here.

        Jacqueline will be interviewing me and 23 other of the world's top thought leaders about how to achieve the relationship you've always dreamed of having with your children. Here is a sampling of the amazing experts who will be a part of this series...

        The FlyLady, Marla Cilley
        Marla is the bestselling author of Sink Reflections, co-author of the New York Times Best Seller Body Clutter, syndicated newspaper columnist, radio show host and mentor of millions as the FlyLady. With her southern charm and inspirational emails, FlyLady guides those living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and clutter. She has her own Blog Talk Radio Channel, weekly syndicated column in over 250 newspapers around the world and she has been featured in numerous major magazines and newspapers and tv, including: CNN and The Today Show.

        Hal Runkel LMFT
        Hal Runkel, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist has dedicated his life to helping families stay calm and connected. He is the best-selling author of ScreamFree Parenting and sought-after international speaker. Hal is also the founder of The ScreamFree Institute, a not-for-profit organization working to build-up a worldwide network of certified leaders, each reaching countless families with the generation-changing ScreamFree message. He is active in training and equipping these leaders around the world, in addition to his counseling, speaking, and writing activities. Hal and his wife Jenny have been married for 17 years, and they live with their two children in the Atlanta area.

        Leanne Ely
        Leanne Ely wrote the New York best selling Saving Dinner series. She's been on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's. In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's current show, Saving Dinner with the Dinner Diva airs each Wednesday afternoon on BlogTalkRadio.com and is one of the top ten shows on that channel.

        Dr. Michele Borba
        Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author, parenting expert and child and adolescent expert. She is recognized for her practical, solution-based strategies to strengthen children's behavior, character, and social development, and to build strong families. Dr. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared over 80 times as parent expert on the Today show as well as countless talk shows including: Dr. Phil, The View, The Tyra Banks Show, Fox & Friends, Geraldo & Friends, The Doctors, CNN American Morning, Countdown, and The Early Show. She appears regularly on Fox Headline News and CNN Headline News to discuss late-breaking news and has been interviewed by numerous publications including Newsweek, People, U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, The Globe and Mail, and People.

        There are 24 speakers in all including: Pam Young, Rhonda Ryder, Dr. Kenny Handelman, Leanne Ely, Tom Hoerr Ph.D., Terri Amos-Britt, Josh Shipp, Shari Criso, Nancy Gruver, Deborah Critzer-Fox, Jennifer Kolari MSW, Claire Mysko, Shelly Lefkoe, Carolyn Ellis, Dr. Lynne Kenney, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Dr. Vicki Panaccione, and more. Wow!

        We'll be sharing the best of the best strategies, tactics and processes we know to help you get from where you are to where you want to be faster and easier than ever before.

        Please take advantage of this unique opportunity and reserve your spot.

        After you register, keep an eye out for Jacqueline's email with your details for listening in on the calls.

        Also, be sure to click on the special link in Jacqueline's email and grab your bonus gifts they have especially for you. They're all yours to keep just for enrolling in this free series.

        Take care.
        Jonathan – aka “Your Biggest Fan”

        P.S. The event starts today! The FlyLady is being interviewed at 1PM EST and you can listen to the replay for free for 48 hours post-interview.

        P.P.S. By the way, if you can't make the LIVE CALLS Every Tuesday & Thursday 1:00 PM Eastern starting Tuesday August 31, 2010, DON'T WORRY... we've got you covered!  These calls will be recorded and will be available after each show for 48 hours so you won't miss a thing. Make sure you sign up now to get these free recordings. 

        Mindy's Disclaimer: I am not running this teleseminar, and I do not know all of the speakers involved. This does not constitute an endorsement of anyone involved in the teleseminar series.

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        Monday, August 30, 2010

        Job LOL

        Love this!

        job lols - The Days Of Yore
        see more Monday Through Friday
        (For those non-geek types: These are keyboard shortcuts for cut, paste, erase.)

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        Saturday, August 28, 2010

        Out of the Mouths of Children: Oreos

        a Oreo cookie broken in half with a stack of O...Image via Wikipedia
        I shared this as a Facebook status today, and thought you folks might like this, too. :) The kids & I spent the afternoon school shopping, soccer shopping, and grocery shopping. I knew that in order to make it through all of that, I would need to provide snackage and beverage. While grocery shopping, I picked up Oreos to make the trip home happy bearable.

        I give them each 2 cookies, and there's sweet silence for a few pleasant moments. After a while, I hear my daughter in the backseat: "Whoever made Oreos is a wonderful man... Or woman."

        Very true, young one. Very true.

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        Winner: Operation Beautiful by Caitlin Boyle

        And the Winner is {drumroll}...

        Congratulations!! A copy of the book will be on its way to you today!

        Friday, August 27, 2010

        Do you know a "Mom on a Mission"?

        Shared by request of Healthy Child Healthy World

        Honor a Mom on a Mission!

        The news may be filled with stories of crises and collapse, but through every downfall we are seeing greatness as mothers heed the call for change. As Amie Nelson says in “How Mothers Can Change the World,” 

        “The positive light among us is the growing swell of activism from women formerly in the shadows. From heads of state to soccer moms, mothers around the world are doing incredible work to inspire, educate and engage their communities.

        Mothers are a force to be reckoned with, by their sheer numbers alone…The promising reality is that mothers are emerging as social advocates and political leaders. All over the world, female politicians are proud to emphasize their role as mothers--and even campaign as mothers.

        Mothers are a universal symbol of the unique power women have to get things done, to survive insurmountable odds, and to help others in need.”

        Are you a part of this Mom Revolution? Do you know another mom who is? Please share your story, ask the readers of your blog, and help inspire others!

        On October 14, 2010 at Healthy Child’s annual gala, one special and inspiring American woman dedicated to creating healthier environments for children will be honored.

        This “Mom on a Mission” will be flown out to Los Angeles, California, and stay for two nights at a local green hotel.  During the benefit dinner, she will be formally presented with the second annual Healthy Child Healthy World “Mom on a Mission” award for her extraordinary service and inspiration.

        Want to know how to nominate that special mom, or yourself?

        Judging criteriaHealthy Child is seeking an inspirational, true story of a mother's work to create healthier environments for children and families.

        Who is a candidate: Any exceptional mother (currently living in the United States) who seeks to make a difference for the better, generously gives back to others, or overcame adversity with courage.

        How to enter: Only ONE nomination per person is allowed. Please enter by sending your “inspirational, true story” to award@healthychild.org. Submissions should be no more than 750 words in length.

        Deadline for Nominations: August 31, 2010, 11:59pm PST.

        Mothers are leading the movement for a better tomorrow. And, the more we share our stories and honor exceptional efforts, the more the movement spreads and inspires additional change.  

        Let’s honor the Mothers!


        Learn more about Healthy Child’s Mom on a Mission program and awards. http://healthychild.org/get-involved/mom_on_a_mission/

        Giveaway Scout

        I was just  approached to be listed in Giveaway Scout! Head on over and see what they have!

        Wednesday, August 25, 2010

        Wordless Wednesday: Summer Storm


        View More Wordless Wednesday at 5MinutesForMom.com, Wordless Wednesday, and . Enjoy!

        Thursday, August 19, 2010

        Giveaway: Stop the fat talk with Operation Beautiful

        Giveaway is now closed. See the winner here.

        Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-It Note at a Time
        by Caitlin Boyle

        When I saw the title of this new book, I knew I had to read it. We hear a lot about building up our girls' self-esteem as they are bombarded with "skinny advertising" and judgment from a young age. I also have a son who, at 10, already feels he's fat because of his body type. And when a book advocates using Post-It Notes, I figured it has to be good, right?!? (Yes, I am a recovering office-product-a-holic. Staples is one of my favorite stores. But I digress.)

        Starting with posting one scrap of paper with the phrase "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!" written on it on a public bathroom mirror, Operation Beautiful's goal is to encourage people to use random, uplifting notes to build other people up. This book is filled cover-to-cover with similar notes and the moving stories behind them, and positive self-talk to replace the "fat talk" that fills our society.

        Filled with wonderful stories of how people's lives were changed by one small act of kindness, this book was hard to put down and was an easy read. It challenged me to think about my internal thoughts and wether they were building myself up or tearing down. With chapters on family and friends, fitness, food, faith, and moving forward, Caitlyn Boyle presents thoughtful bullet points to think about and apply to your life. She quotes Dr. Susan Albers saying "communicate acceptance of your own body. Focus on what it does for you instead of what disappoints you about it."

        I love her suggestion that we "ditch the All-or-Nothing attitude and adopt the Something-Is-Better-Than-Nothing approach" by fitting in exercises where we can, in the small moments of time. I especially appreciate the thought of allowing yourself to relax with a good book and a stroll after dinner when you are exhausted. Taking an overall view of exercise and diet allows us the freedom to forgive a missed workout or an overindulgent meal. Instead of focusing on the numbers of the diet and the scale, eat with purpose and focus on the quality and nutrition of the food.

        This book is a wonderful affirmation that our bodies were created to do amazing things, and we should look at the inside beauty instead of focusing on the imperfections. Operation Beautiful not only includes wonderful quotes to help you make your own Post-It Notes to share, it gives specific ways to start living without "fat talk." This is a great read for anyone teens and up. While talking specifically to women, the principles would also apply to men and boys who need a boost in self-esteem.

        Order it from Amazon.com from $11.56 (Sponsor link)

        I have a copy of this book and some Post-It Notes to give to one of my wonderful readers! Post a comment below for each entry. Receive one entry each for:
        • Visiting the Operation Beautiful website and telling me which Post-It Note is your favorite
        • Following the Adventure
        • Subscribing to the Adventure
        A winner will be picked randomly on Saturday morning, August 28. :) Giveaway is now closed. See the winner here.

        Remember - You are beautiful just the way you are!

        I received this book free from Gotham Books to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

        Wednesday, August 18, 2010

        Wordless Wednesday: Summer Life


        View More Wordless Wednesday at 5MinutesForMom.com, Wordless Wednesday, and . Enjoy!

        Friday, August 13, 2010

        One foot in front of the other

        Strongman exercise: Truck PullImage via Wikipedia
        Having done 9 weeks of training before, I know that not every day is going to be easy, so after Wednesday's nice enjoyable time on the treadmill I didn't expect today to be the same. But it would have been nice. :)

        Instead, today I felt like I was pulling myself along. Or dragging a weight behind me. A very big weight. Maybe a mountain. The.whole.25.minutes. But I did it! I kept telling myself "You are stronger than you think," and step by step I did all 25 minutes.

        Comment below about your health journey, and we'll do this together! Keep telling yourself -- You are stronger than you think!
        **Please make sure your doctor is ok with you exercising. I don't want you to hurt yourself! :)
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        Wednesday, August 11, 2010

        Run! (Or walk!)

        sportImage by Ilja via Flickr
        After being medically sidelined for 2 months, I just got back on the treadmill! Well, ok, I could have been running, but didn't feel quite ready until now. Now that I'm feeling better and I geared myself up for it, it felt great! I'm hoping to do 1 mile on the treadmill each day (or most days) to get myself back into the groove, and then I'll increase it. I have until 10/2 to be ready for my next 5K, and I want to break the time from my last 5K of 45 minutes. (Actually, 45:something, but I'm just calling it 45.)
        I'm always scared to commit to a 5K. What if I don't do as well next time? What if something happens that I don't have time to get ready? I know there are those of you out there looking at either walking or running the same 5K I'm doing. Some of you probably haven't decided if you're going to register. I say go for it. Put your name in and then see what you can do. Get up and get moving! Start slow. Just start by doing a little more than you regularly do. If you usually walk 15 minutes -- go for 20. If you usually sit on the couch and watch TV all evening, get up and walk around the room for 1 commercial. Anything that is "more" is good! I have been amazed at how quickly movement adds up. I did the Couch to 5K (modified it to fit me at the end) and trained for just 9 weeks for my first 5K. You can do it, too!
        I'll try to keep posting my progress. If you want to comment your progress, we'll do this together! Keep telling yourself -- You are stronger than you think!

        **Please make sure your doctor is ok with you exercising. I don't want you to hurt yourself! :)
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        Wordless Wednesday: Summer Beach


        View More Wordless Wednesday at 5MinutesForMom.com, Wordless Wednesday, and . Enjoy!

        Tuesday, August 10, 2010

        Review & Giveaway: Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson

        Resurrection in May
        by Lisa Samson

        Just leaving college, May sets off on a life-changing journey, but gets lost in the process. After coming back to Claudius's farm, she finds healing in unexpected places and people.

        This was a wonderful novel illustrating the power of forgiveness -- forgiving others and yourself. The novel drew me in from the beginning, and the descriptions Lisa Samson used made you feel part of the story. I can still see the farm in my mind, and I would love to spend some time there with Claudius, May, and the animals.

        I have been provided a copy of this book to give away to a friend. If you would like a copy, please leave a comment below by Friday at midnight. I will pick a random comment and post the winner here!

        Purchase from Amazon: Resurrection in May

        Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

        Dolphins making bubble rings

        Is your dog cool?