Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a pre-release copy of A.D. 30 for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

 

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I love to read and I’m always looking for a great author.  About a month ago, my friend recommended Ted Dekker.  She raved about his books and I was excited to check them out.  A few days later, I got the opportunity to review a pre-release copy of Dekker’s newest novel, A.D. 30.  I was thrilled!  This highly anticipated novel from the New York Times best selling author, follows Maviah, a brave young woman dealing with unthinkable situations.  She is forced to face many dangers to save herself and her people.

Synopsis:

In A.D. 30, you’ll step back into the year of our Lord, and dive head first into a war that is raging between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars.

From there, Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. It would be a journey filled with great danger. If they can even survive the vast trek across the desert, they will enter into a brutal world run by kings and emperors.

On the way, Maviah crosses paths unexpectedly with another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

My Thoughts:

I love history so this novel was right up my alley.  I liked how Dekker wove biblical truth into his work of fiction.  It gave a great picture of what life would have been like 2,000 years ago.  I not only thoroughly enjoyed the story but also learned a lot about that time period.  It gave me an idea of what it was like for those that followed Jesus and His teachings and how those teachings spread and influenced the times and those in power.   Dekker did a really nice job of developing the characters and I found myself quickly invested in them.  I will say that certain parts of the book were emotionally hard to read.  However, those parts also made me feel deeply for the characters.  I felt heartbroken and inspired.  I liked that the book was real in that Maviah showed real emotions and doubts.  The book gave a clear picture of what society was like in her time and it definitely wasn’t great for women.  Maviah is dealt many harsh blows in her young life and has to fight every step of the way just to survive.  Her quest for revenge evolves into so much more and her experiences leave her forever changed. A.D. 30 is a well written, moving, intense, and inspiring novel that’s hard to put down.

A.D. 30 will be released on October 28th and can be pre-ordered at Family Christian Stores now.  One very lucky reader will win a copy of A.D. 30!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Twitter Party Alert! #Treats4All – 10/20 Noon ET – Prizes: $550 GCs!

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RSVP for the #Treats4All Twitter Party

#Treats4All-Twitter-Party-10-20, TwitterParty, #shop, sweepstakes on twitter

Photo Credit: KelseyBang.com

Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about celebrating the fall season and Halloween! On Monday, October 20th at NOON, please join us for the #Treats4All Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing ways to make your Halloween celebrations fun and easy with the help of favorite Nestle products from Walmart and giving you a chance to win prizes!

Do you have any Halloween traditions?  We always prefer something easy for dinner, like Tombstone Pizza.  It fills everyone up and makes the night easier for me and my husband.  And as for candy?  We always choose something chocolate like the Nestle fun size candy or maybe some Butterfingers!  What is your favorite candy?

Please join us at the #Treats4All Twitter Party!

DATE: Monday, October, 20th, 2014

TIME: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET

PRIZES: 5 – (1) $100 Walmart Gift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 – $50 Walmart Gift Card

HOSTS: @KellysLuckyYou, @jamieharrington, @MudpiesandTiara,@donnahup, @JManMillerBug

RULES: #Treats4All Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID: #Treats4All Twitter Party Page

TWEET TO SHARE:

 

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

 

TIP: How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

 

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

 

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

 

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

 

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that option checked when you RSVP for the party!

 

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

 

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Baby Mantra. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

My husband’s side of the family has a history of allergies and skin issues like eczema and sensitive skin.  It should not have come as a surprise to us, that our firstborn has sensitive skin.  It can be difficult to predict what will affect her sensitive skin.  Kayla tends to do better when skincare products are sls-free.  Now that she is a tween, she is speaking up and helping us choose her own skincare products.  She was excited when Baby Mantra arrived and she was able to give their products a try.

#babymantra #sponsored #mc

The Baby Mantra line is natural, cruelty-free and gluten-free and made with allergy tested ingredients.   Kayla received quite a few products to try, but she selected her two favorite items to share with you.

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Her favorite was the detangling conditioner.  She loved this!  It left her hair free of tangles and smelling great!

Her other favorite item was the calming lotion.

#babymantra #sponsored #mc

Kayla is not sure that the lotion calmed her, but it did help her with her dry skin.  And she was thrilled that it did not sting, make her itch or turn her skin red.

Bonus….all Baby Mantra products are made in the USA!  If you are interested in the Baby Mantra line  you will find them at select retailers including select Walgreens and Duane Reade stories nationwide, Babiesrus.com and Amazon.  You can learn all about Baby Mantra by visiting their website.   They are very active on Social Media, so check them out and follow them as well.

I would love to hear from you.  What are your struggles with skincare for your kids?  Do you or your kids deal with sensitive skin?

 

 

I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Baby Mantra. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for #AveenoEczemaTherapy. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

When Jack was about 3 months old, he got RSV.  He spent a week in the hospital.  Since the hospital was an hour from our home, we had to opt to use disposable diapers during that time.  He got a horrid rash on his legs and we assumed it was from the diapers.  But after he came home…the rash stayed.  Sometimes it would move to his thighs or behind his knees.  It would come and go and we didn’t really think much of it.  Then one day the doctor asked about his eczema and I was like, “What eczema?”  That was when we found out that poor Jack had it.  Since then it has been trial and error with different products to see what works.

Even more recently, we have begun to suspect that my husband has eczema.  While he does not have the official diagnosis, he has many of the symptoms of eczema such as itchy skin, sensitive skin and some areas of swelling.

Since October is National Eczema Awareness month, it seemed appropriate to discuss eczema with you all.  Since our kids were babies, we have used Aveeno products.  But for the next few weeks, we are going to have Jack and my husband use the Eczema Therapy line from Aveeno and see if it makes a difference to their skin.  We have used the Aveeno Eczema Therapy Bath Treatment before and felt like it made a difference, but we are also going to make sure that Jack and Cliff only use this line of Aveeno products for the next few weeks.

Jack is excited for this challenge!

#AveenoEczemaTherapy #MC #ad

Do you or someone you know struggle with eczema?  If so, please follow us on our journey!

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for #AveenoEczemaTherapy. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

It’s really a bit hypocritical of me.  I am adamant that each of our kids goes to the dentist every six months for a thorough exam, cleaning and anything else that needs to be done.  As soon as they had a tooth, I had their first appointment scheduled.  Over the years we made up songs to sing to encourage teeth brushing.  We buy cool toothbrushes and make sure to replace them regularly.  Sounds great right?  BUT, we regularly forget to enforce brushing and flossing with the older kids.  Sigh.

So is there hope for parents like us?  I say yes! As long as we can follow a few easy tips!

1. Set some goals.

Some people call this bribing…but it works!  Our kids are very willing to brush their teeth, but they are kids.  They get distracted and forget.  Since the girls are 10 and 11, we assume they have already brushed their teeth.  Whatever the case, we all need some help in getting this done.  So we set some goals.  One example would be…if you brush your teeth two times a day for 7 days in a row, we will go to the park!

It’s a win-win.  Your kids are developing a good routine for oral care AND getting a trip to the park!

Whatever goals are right for you and your family will work for this.  Maybe it’s strictly flossing, maybe it’s brushing.

2. Get the right products.

We are trying out a new routine which incorporates LISTERINE products! My husband really likes the LISTERINE POCKETPAKS.  These are small strips that can freshen your breath when you are on the run.  I am loving the LISTERINE FLOSS!   I think I will appreciate the Gentle Care LISTERINE FLOSS. And we will try the LISTERINE HealthyWhite mouthwash!  Our family will be trying out LISTERINE products and seeing what we think and if we notice any results so stay tuned!

3. Create healthy habits.

LISTERINE #MC #Sponsored

And I don’t mean just oral care.  Make healthy food choices.  Get exercise.  Work on getting a full night of sleep.  When you take care of yourself, you will be more inclined to take the time to do your full oral care routine.

To get you inspired, please check out the LISTERINE You Tube page where you can see some healthy habit heroes!  Ready to pick up your own LISTERINE supplies?  Go ahead and visit the LISTERINE locator.

What is your oral care routine struggle?

 

 

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen