May 132017
 

concrete flower container with pic borderContests. Giveaways. Sweepstakes.  No matter what you call them, these little gems can be fun to enter.  It is even better when you win and open your mailbox to find something besides bills.

However, in order to win, you must know about them and enter them.  While I can help a little bit with the first step, the second one is up to you!

Here are some giveaways from around the web. A few things these giveaways have in common:

  1. A garden theme
  2. They are open at some point in this month, though closing dates vary

I try to also have these common themes, though that is not always the case:

  1. They are not on major commercial sites
  2. The majority do not have thousands of entries (so the chance of winning it higher for you)

I hope you find something that peaks your interest.

IMG_20140706_125450329

SEWCIAL BEE SAMPLER

“Julie at The Intrepid Thread is offering a $20 gift certificate to spend however you’d like at her shop!” Enter now through Monday, May 15th!

 Cottage Garden Collection Fat Quarter Bundle

With a review like this, how can you not want to find a craft in order to use these prints? – “The Cottage Garden Fat Quarter Bundle will give you those cozy feelings with prints of woodland animals, ladybugs, strawberries, and other whimsical details.”  Ends May 21, 2017 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time.  Note: there are a lot of ads to skip or click “No” on to get to the confirmation page.  You will get there though without having to say yes to any of the offers.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses Giveaway

“Enter to win a Proven Winners Rose Garden package featuring the At Last Rose, Oso Easy Double Red Rose and Oso Petit Pink Rose and Dave Thompson’s Organic Healthy Grow fertilizer to get your plants off to a great start!” Ends May 21. 2017 at 11:59pm CT. Open to legal U.S. residents of IL, IN, IA, MI or WI who are 18 years or older.

Sharpen your seed skills with Botanical Interests & $50 gift card giveaway!

“…you can buy your seed anywhere from the local garden center to the grocery store or even in bulk at a farmer’s market. But it’s quality over quantity today as we sift through seed. That’s why we are over the moon excited to have partnered with Botanical Interests and for your chance to win a $50 gift card from them to choose your own seed.”  Ends May 31, 2017

Nifty Homestead Giveaway – May 2017

“Spring is officially here and with summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about tomatoes. We love tomatoes so much that we wanted to do something a little special this year and make sure that you’re all set for the fruitful season ahead!” – Ends May 31, 2017

 

If you know of others, please leave a comment below. I will check it out and add it, if appropriate.

Apr 252017
 

Alexander Hamilton book

It is Tuesday.  Not Monday.  Yes, I am aware of that and gave myself enough guilt about it yesterday.  However, it is Tuesday and not Wednesday, so that is saying something.  Right?

This past weekend included a llloooooooooooooonnnngggggggggg gggg  ggggg drive (do I need more g’s to make the point?) to a homeschool conference.  The original plan was to leave Thursday morning, with my husband taking two days off work, drop the kids off at my parents, and allowing my husband and I to have a restful weekend away together.

What happened was, and I promise there is a point to this beyond whining:

  • my husband’s job moved a meeting to a week and a day which it was not originally planned for
  • resulting in us not leaving Thursday morning, but Thursday evening instead.
  • I drove, which is not our norm on long trips, because I knew my husband had worked a full day and was tired. (He did drive the last few hours.)
  • We met up with my parents several hours past the kids’ bedtime, with the last point making the trip a very hard one along the way.
  • By the time we got to our hotel, it was past midnight.

I was able to get about 4 hours of sleep that night, resulting in the realization that my body was not past the point of being stressed.*  Yet.  I felt icky Friday (tired and nauseous), but had a day of talks ahead of me.  Knowing the reason for feelings helped me address them.  What it did not do was take away the feelings themselves.

Friday night I slept horribly, being awake from about 3 am – 5 am, then sleeping fitfully for 2 hours.  So much for getting a good night’s sleep.

Saturday came, I kept going, knowing that moving, eat small snack throughout the day, and not dwelling would help getting past the physical reactions.  This allowed me to figure out if I was actually feeling tired or hungry; I am amazed at how they can feel the same if you are both very tired and very hungry.  Taking the edge off really helped.

Saturday night, I had another plan:

  • I passed visiting with my  husband’s former college roommate (and new baby) in order to rest
  • reduced the nauseous feelings
  • and ate something high in protein, thereby setting myself up for a solid night sleep.

It worked!

By Sunday morning I was feeling … better.  I could not wait to get home though.

We still had a 7+ hour drive home, including picking up the kids and visiting a bit with my parents.

The drive home was actually one of the best ever with the kids.

We had no electronics – partly planned (no personal devices were packed), partly not (both of the dvd players, our “half-way there” treat, decided not to work).  What we did have were books on tape, audio dramas, snacks, and activity bags.  We also had kids who were tired from 3 fun filled days at the grandparents.

It was while listening to one of our books on tape, Parables From Nature by Margaret Gatty, that I realized I too have room to learn. Chapter 7, called “Waiting”, is specifically what I am speaking about.

In this chapter, Mole tells the House Crickets that sitting around bemoaning their issues do no good.

Every animal has a purpose. Yours is to wait for the sun to rise.  That is what you should be doing.  Anticipating the sun rise.  Once it goes down, then you find a snug place to stay till it is time to do your job again.

(quote not word for word)

Add that to something my husband shared from learning at the conference, that worry is feeling tomorrow’s emotions today.

I had been bemoaning and worrying, even if I thought perhaps I had not been.  This also goes to show why I feel better when I would get up and actually do something, taking my mind of how I was feeling and focusing on something else (walking, birds, gardening, solar lights, garden layouts, starting a garden … you get the idea).

Once we were home, a new board game was set up (Risk: Star Wars edition) and the boys, big and little, played while I tried to create some kind of order out of the chaos which comes from cleaning out the car from a long weekend away.

Monday morning came, I enjoyed a cup of tea on the back deck while listening to the morning birds.  My bemoaning and worry began to wash away, reminding me of the purpose and job I have to do right now … not the potential feelings of tomorrow or wonderings of why things for us are not like they are for others.

bird scared away from feeders waiting to return

The giveaway for Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life has closed.  Anita Yancy’s name was selected by Random.org as the winner.  

*After a while of contemplating, part of me began to wonder if the stress my body was feeling was not only due to being tired and the change of traveling, but also remembering our trip to this conference last year.  On that particular trip, we had a foster child with us, one who had not gone on trips with us before and was only a year younger then Jack.  It was a lesson for everyone involved.  We learned that a larger age gap is needed, due to the emotional needs of our kids, if we ever choose to foster again.

 

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you click on them and purchase something, I will receive a small percent back.

Apr 222017
 

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe For The Earth giveaway ends tonight!  Have you entered yet?

From their Facebook page:

“THREE weekly winners will be drawn (April 8/16/22), each to receive a hardcover copy of the groundbreaking picture book, COMPOST STEW: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth….Open to US/Canada only. Ends April 22, 2017 at 9 pm (PDT).”

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Apr 162017
 

Alexander Hamilton book

Life has been a bit crazy lately.

Okay, a lot crazy.

When I received Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life by Jeff Wilser to review, I thought, “Great! That is exactly what I need.  I can use some life tips from someone successful.  Alexander Hamilton fits the bill!”  (Yes, pun intended.)

At over 300 pages, I set out for a deep read, ready to learn and grow from the knowledge imparted by one of our founding fathers.  What I found, was not so much deep thinking, as an easy read about Alexander’s life.  The Introduction put it well:

It is not a traditional biography. Instead, it’s the kind of manual that Hamilton would have written himself, perhaps, had he lived to be an old man.  That’s a bold claim, and of course Hamilton’s actual Guide to Life would have been smarter, deeper, longer, and Founding Fatherer.

Thankfully, it was not a list of maxim of Hamilton’s, as that would have been long, perhaps a bit boring, and not really taught me about the man.  Instead, what I found were sections organized around various parts of life.  These sections were then broken down into chapters based on one of Hamilton’s maxims.  (He had many and obviously they were not all used in this book, else it would have been much longer.)

The 10 areas of life covered were: Self-improvement, Career Advancement, Romance, Money, Style & Etiquette, Leisure, Friends & Family, Leadership, Office Politics, and Honor.

Within these pages, I found a founding father who was not as I had thought him to be.  Perhaps it was due to how the author chose to portray Hamilton, or maybe it was because he really was that different from what I had expected.  As it turns out, he did not have the same pedigree background as the other Fathers, he beginnings were much more humble.  He was mainly self taught rather than attending a prestigious school or having a tutor.  AND he was never President!

Disciplined. Forges his own path. Honor bound, to a fault. Studious.  These are all words which I now associate with this man.

Coming from a very less than ideal family life in one of the colonies, he was looked on as not a “true” American by some of his cohorts. That did not stop him, though, from doing his best to share his knowledge to make the country better.  Even when others dismissed him or politics got in the way, he tried to persevere.

In the end it was his honor, his pride, that got him killed.  Something which seems silly now, but was taken somewhat seriously back then – a challenge to duel over an insult.

The point of this book was not an in-depth study of the man, and perhaps that is why I come away feeling as such.  The author was clear on his point of the book (“not a traditional biography”, “), though I did not take it as seriously as I should have.  The first indication for me that I should have taken the author at his word was when I came across a reference to a modern day game.  It seemed very much out of place and like the author was trying to force a connection. (There was another reference or two throughout the book which made me feel the same, though not too many.)

While I am glad to have gotten to know a bit more about Hamilton, I feel as though there was a lot more left out.  Or perhaps it was the feeling of the author choosing what to share about this man. Or maybe it was the feeling of the book being written only because there was a musical coming out.

Either way, Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life is a good one for an introduction to the man, a place to start learning more.  If you already know a bit about him, then I would suggest moving on to a different book.

 

Would you like to have to chance to read the book for yourself?

 

Blogging For Books sent me an extra book which I am giving away!

As this is my first giveaway on the blog, I am going to keep it simple.  By 12 PM EST of Saturday (April 22), leave a comment below telling me what was the most recent book you read and why you would recommend it (or not).

Using the True Random Number Generator I will choose a winner and post it on Monday the 24th.  You will have till Wednesday to respond or I will choose a new winner. (If you leave your email when you leave a comment, I will email you if you win.)

Please, share this with your friends.  You will not get any extra entries for it (keeping it simple, remember), but I would greatly appreciate it!  I will post it on Facebook and Twitter, which should make sharing it easier. Thank you.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Apr 082017
 

concrete flower container with pic border

Contests. Giveaways. Sweepstakes.  No matter what you call them, these little gems can be fun to enter.  It is even better when you win and open your mailbox to find something besides bills.

However, in order to win, you must know about them and enter them.  While I can help a little bit with the first step, the second one is up to you!

Here are some giveaways from around the web. A few things these giveaways have in common:

  1. A garden theme
  2. They are open at some point in this month, though closing dates vary

I try to also have these common themes, though that is not always the case:

  1. They are not on major commercial sites
  2. The majority do not have thousands of entries (so the chance of winning it higher for you)

I hope you find something that peaks your interest.

To keep it all on the up-and-up, I wanted to let you know a few giveaways give me extra entries if you also enter.

IMG_20140706_125450329

Tidying up with Gardener’s Hollow Leg & giveaway!

Raise Your Garden has a very practical and useful giveaway.  I can think if so many uses. It doesn’t hurt that I can relate to grass being an unintended victim of gardening activities. (It drives my husband crazy!) So, perhaps this can double as relationship counseling.

Ends April 9, 2017

Rebel Gardens Heirloom Vegetable Seeds Giveaway

“Enter for a chance to win 5 different sets of seeds, set of garden tools and t-shirt. Seeds include: 8 varieties of non GMO tomatoes; 10 varieties of herbs including basil, oregano, cilantro; 8 varities of salad greens including kale, spinach, arugula; Other veggies including cucumber, radish, squash, onion, pepper”

Ends April 16, 2017

EarthBox® Complete Ready-to-Grow Kit

“Three (3) Grand-Prize Winners will be announced on Earth Day (April 22, 2017) and each will receive a FREE EarthBox® Complete Ready-To-Grow Kit (Valued at $99)!”

Ends April 21, 2017

Horticulture’s Spring Garden Giveaway

“Enter as often as you like from April 5 – April 30, 2017. Prize drawing will take place May 1, 2017.” Prize: 1001-B Precision Garden Seeder, $100 Gift Certificate to Bluestone Perennials, and a 1-year subscription to Horticulture magazine

Ends April 30, 2017

Botanic Garden Getaway

American Meadows and High Country Gardens are celebrating their love of plants by giving away a life-changing trip for two to one of our nation’s Botanic Gardens.”  There are weekly $50 Gift Certificate prizes, as well as the grand prize – AN ALL-EXPENSE PAID TRIP FOR 2 TO THE BOTANIC GARDEN OF YOUR CHOICE!

Ends April 30, 2017

LiveTrends Designs Giveaway

“…honestly, I think regardless of your age if you’re into plants it almost doesn’t matter the type. You like them all…..right?! Lately, I find myself getting more and more into succulents and air plants.”   Prize: One 7-piece collection set from LiveTrends Design.

Ends April 30, 2017

If you know of others, please leave a comment below. I will check it out and add it, if appropriate.

Mar 262017
 

concrete flower container with pic border

Here are some giveaways from around the web. A few things these giveaways have in common:

  1. A garden theme
  2. They are not on major commercial sites
  3. The majority do not have thousands of entries (so the chance of winning it higher for you)

I hope you find something that peaks your interest.

If you know of others, please leave a comment below. I will check it out and add it, if appropriate.

 

My Busy Green Garden – curteosy of Picture Book Builders. She also includes an interview with the author, which is an insight you do not normally find with books you read.

Tidying up with Gardener’s Hollow Leg & giveaway! – Raise Your Garden has a very practical and useful giveaway.  I can think if so many uses. It doesn’t hurt that I can relate to grass being an unintended victim of gardening activities. (It drives my husband crazy!) So, perhaps this can double as relationship counseling. Ends April 9, 2017

Mar 152016
 

A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Highlights, and Leisure Arts are teaming up to bring a prize package that will make both kids and parents happy.  In Celebration of National Craft Month you have the chance to be one of 6 winners selected to receive a prize package.

One entry per person and must be received before 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 31, 2016 to be eligible for the prize drawings. (Contest Rules)

Grand Prize (1 winner) includes (total ARV $319.88):

  • A three (3)-year subscription to any Highlights® magazine (ARV $119.88)
  • An A.C. Moore craft gift basket (ARV $100)
  • A Leisure Arts Craft book and kit package (ARV $100)

Second Prize (5 winners) includes (total ARV of each $99.96):

  • A one (1)-year subscription to any Highlights® magazine (ARV $39.96)
  • An A.C. Moore craft gift basket (ARV $25)
  • A Leisure Arts Craft book and kit package (ARV $35)

You will receive a free printable craft booklet available after signing up for the contest.

Mar 112016
 

FaveCrafts has several giveaways throughout the month.  I am highlighting the Grand Prize Giveaway, though you will want to go to their page and check out the others which run at various times throughout the month.

From their site:

Enter to win The Craft Obsession Grand Prize Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive an incredible assortment of DIY and craft supplies! The deadline to enter is March 31, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Enter to win all the National Craft Month individual company prizes in one grand prize giveaway. Participating companies include: FloraCraft, Polyform, We Are Knitters, American Quilter’s Society, and Red Heart.

While this is not an affiliate post, I did earn an extra entry in this giveaway by sharing it on the blog.  Good luck to all who enter.  If you win, I would love if you were to share with us some of the crafts you made with the items won.  

 

Apr 212013
 

Did you know ... National Park Week is April 20-28, 2013

Did you know that National Park Week is a presidentially proclaimed celebration?

In celebration of National Park Week, there will be free admission April 22 – 26 to every national park.

April 27th is Volunteer Day.  If you have been thinking about volunteering at a National Park, Seashore, Battlefield, Historic Home, Archeological Site, or natural area but haven’t done so, now would be a great time to contact them and see about helping.  Our parks are ours.  We should all help take care of them.

And in case you can’t get to one of the 401 sites that are within 100 miles of every American, perhaps you could enter the National Park Week Getaway Giveaway and win a trip for you and another to do just that.  Ends May 8, 2013.