Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sparkle This Spring With Totally Jewel

Jewelry Cover
 If you are looking to add some sparkle to your accessories and some shine to your ensembles this Spring, look no further than jewelry from Totally Jewel! Statement pieces continue to be a popular trend but I've always been hesitant to spring for any for myself because I just wasn't sure how I would make them work with my wardrobe. Totally Jewel sent me the two necklaces pictured above, at no cost to facilitate this review, and I've got to tell you, I've officially hopped aboard this fashion trend.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

This Easter - Fill Your Baskets With Books From Zonderkidz!

Easter Basket Cover
 Every year I'm always trying to think of something different to fill my children's Easter baskets with (besides chocolate, candy, and Peeps). In our house, we love to celebrate reading and with the help of Zonderkidz, who sent me the books listed in this post, at no cost to facilitate this review, they've made it easy to pick the perfect titles with a little Easter Book Gift Guide to help you fill your Easter baskets with stories to help teach your children about the real reason we celebrate Easter!

Easter Books For Toddlers (ages 2-5)

Easter Books 1

  Adventure Bible For Little Ones (ARV $9.99)- The Adventure Bible for Toddlers starts children ages 2-5 on the journey of a lifetime, teaching them about the Bible’s great stories and themes. It helps young children grow in their relationship with God using stories and art from the wildly popular Adventure Bible Storybook. With ten beautifully illustrated and beloved Bible stories from the Old and New Testament, this sturdy padded board book will stimulate toddlers’ minds and fill their hearts with love for their heavenly Father. - Zondervan 

  All Aboard The Ark (ARV $6.99) - All Aboard the Ark pairs simple rhyming text with charming watercolor illustrations in this delightful board book. Perfect for bedtime or any time, this sweet story is told from the point of view of the animals who board the ark. - Zondervan

Snuggle Time Prayers (ARV $9.99) - Snuggle Time Prayers, written by Glenys Nellist and illustrated by Cee Biscoe, is a perfect bedtime collection of fifteen prayers. This padded cover board book will help children settle down at bedtime and remind them of their blessings as they draw closer to God. - Zondervan

  Little One, God Loves You (ARV $6.99) - Little One, God Loves You, written by Amy Warren Hilliker and inspired by the New York Times #1bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life, is a cute and cuddly board book that let’s children know God made them solely for the purpose of loving them. - Zondervan

  Little Love Letters From God (ARV $9.99) - What child does not love to receive mail? What if that child could receive, open and read his or her own personal mail from God? The Little Love Letters from God board book will invite them to do just that! Accompanying each of the eight stories in this unique children’s Bible is a very special and encouraging letter tucked away in its own lift-the-flap envelope. With a padded cover for little hands, Little Love Letters from God introduces children to God’s Word with eight of the most popular Bible stories—including creation, Noah’s ark, the birth of Jesus and more. Following each story the child will find his or her own letter from God. Children will love the excitement of opening the letters and parents will love how each letter elaborates on the Bible story being told. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Wonderful Words To You will accompany each story and letter. Much more than a mere memory verse, each carefully chosen promise will be God’s very own personal words of love, encouragement, and hope. - Zondervan

 My little 3-year old son Levi loves to read books! I'm thrilled that all of these titles from Zondervan have a message that is simple enough for him to understand God's very special love and plan for his life. Faith plays a very important part in my family's life and these books allow Levi to start building a foundation for his own relationship with God, and what a better place to start than understanding how much God loves him!

Easter Books For Pre-K Through Grade 4 (ages 4-10)

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  Faith Builders Bible (ARV $24.99)- The Faith Builders Bible, NIrV uses the popularity of brick-building pieces to engage children with the Word of God. Includes 24 full-color pages of illustrations plus the complete New International Reader's Version (NIrV) of the Bible in a very readable font size. - Zondervan

  Angels In The Bible Storybook (ARV $16.99) - The Angels in the Bible Storybook, written by bestselling author Allia Zobel Nolan and illustrated by Alida Massari, is filled with vibrant illustrations and engaging text that brings beloved Bible stories to life. - Zondervan

  Think, Act, Be Like Jesus (ARV $12.99) - This 90-Day devotional, written by Oak Hills Church pastor Randy Frazee, is part of the church-wide Believe campaign and encourages children to follow the footsteps of Jesus. Think, Act, Be Like Jesus; A Believe Devotional for Kids shares the message that the more you believe, the more Jesus can change you from the inside out to become the best person you can be. - Zondervan

  7 Days of Awesome (ARV $16.99) - With a Dr. Seuss feel, 7 Days of Awesome rhymes its way through each day of creation and encourages children to ponder God’s wisdom in creating this wonderful world. Accompanied by charming, animated illustrations by Colin Jack, this whimsical read-aloud book will be sure to delight both children and their parents. - Zondervan

Easter Books For Tweens And Middle Schoolers (Grades 5-8, and ages 10-13)

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  The Looney Experiment (ARV $15.99)- Atticus Hobart couldn’t feel lower. He’s in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists, he is the class bully’s personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there’s more to Mr. Looney’s methods than he’d first thought. And as Atticus begins to unlock the truths within his own name, he finds that his hyper-imagination can help him forge his own voice, and maybe—just maybe—discover that the power to face his problems was inside him all along. - Zondervan

  Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible For Kids (ARV $29.99) - The Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids, NIV includes the complete New International Version (NIV) of the Bible along with devotions, prayers, and highlighted verses to help kids pray and listen for God’s answers to their prayers. Features include:

  • Presentation page for personalization and gift giving.
  • Devotions about people who prayed and listened to God such as Abraham, Hannah, and Job.
  • The Lord's Prayer explained for kids.
  • The "hand" prayer model to help kids remember to pray for others and themselves.
  • Highlighted verses great for memorization and meditation.
  • Book introductions explain what each book of the Bible is about.
  • Prayer journaling pages with space to record personal prayers and answers to prayer.
  • Reading plans.
  • Complete text of the New International Version (NIV). - Zondervan 

Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes For Kids (ARV $3.99) - Here’s a collection of knock-knock jokes that is both hilarious and wholesome. It’s sure to send every kid you know to his knees in a breath-stealing, side-splitting, uncontrollable fit of giggles. With more than 350 jokes, the laughs are sure to never quit. It’s fun for the whole family and includes bonus Q& A jokes and riddles too! - Zondervan

  The Purpose Driven Life Devotional For Kids- (ARV $15.99) - The Purpose Driven Life Devotional for Kids includes 365 devotions that tie to the themes and ideas found in the bestselling The Purpose Driven Life. Written at a third to fourth grade level, each devo includes a Scripture, short message, and prayer or thought for the day to help kids discover who they are in God’s eyes. Capturing the hearts of the new generation means ensuring they know their purpose and grow up confident of their value in God and their relationship to Christ. God created each of his children with a purpose in mind … the time is now to, thoughtfully and prayerfully, start the incredible journey to finding that reason. - Zondervan

  London Art Chase (ARV $8.99) - In London Art Chase, the first title in the new Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls series, readers meet 10-year-old twins Mia and Maddie and their adorable little sister, LuLu. All the girls are smart, sassy, and unique in their own way, each with a special little something that adds to great family adventures. There is pure excitement in the family as the group heads to London for the first time to watch mom, famous singer Gloria Glimmer, perform. But on a day trip to the National Gallery, Maddie witnesses what she believes to be an art theft and takes her sisters and their beloved and wacky nanny Miss Julia, on a wild and crazy adventure as they follow the supposed thief to his lair. Will the Glimmer Girls save the day? And will Maddie find what makes her shine? - Zondervan

  The Plans I Have For You Devotional And Journal (ARV $14.99 & $12.99) - Part of a new brand in the Zondervan family, The Plans I Have for YOU! is an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children’s book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love and joy and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us. -The Plans I Have for You journal prompts creative thinking and exploration of the talents and personalities that make us special, and then helps explore how God may use our unique traits to spread love and joy and make the world a better place. - Zondervan

 There are so many books in this group that I can't wait for my kids to dive into! I have a very "mature" pre-teen who would probably pass on anything labeled "kids", but I know the "Looney Experiment" will be right up her alley. She's a fan of all of the Diary Of A Whimpy Kids books and the Looney Experiment seems like it will be a perfect fit!Without a doubt there are several of these selections I know my 8-year old daughter, Eva, would definitely enjoy as well. Depending on your child's level of reading you might find that even though they don't fit into the age category suggested by Zondervan, there still might be a selection they would love to find in their Easter basket this year!

Easter Books For Teens (Ages 13 and up)

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  Curio (ARV $17.99) - Grey Haward has always detested the Chemists, the magicians-come-scientists who rule her small western town. But she has always followed the rules, taking the potion the Chemists ration out that helps the town’s people survive. A potion that Grey suspects she—like her grandfather and father—may not actually need. By working at her grandfather’s repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticed—or as unnoticed as a tall, strong girl can in a town of diminutive, underdeveloped citizens. Then her best friend, Whit, is caught by the Chemists’ enforcers after trying to protect Grey one night, and after seeing the extent of his punishment, suddenly taking risks seems the only decision she can make. But with the risk comes the reality that the Chemists know her family’s secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knows—her grandfather’s shop. There, however, a larger secret confronts her when her touch unlocks the old curio cabinet in the corner and reveals a world where porcelain and clockwork people are real. There, she could find the key that may save Whit’s life and also end the Chemists’ dark rule forever. - Zondervan

  Inspirational Words (ARV $9.99) -Take time to relax, sit back, and meditate on God’s Word. Inside these pages, you’ll find thirty unique and creative illustrations focusing on key verses from the Bible, each offering an opportunity to connect with Scripture while exploring your creativity. Throughout, NIV verses are paired with detailed line art, and each page is printed on high-quality, thick paper stock that won’t bleed through. And when you’re finished coloring with markers, pens, watercolors, or colored pencils, the completed page can be removed, allowing you to display your work for even more daily inspiration. - Zondervan

  The Story Of God's Love For You (ARV $14.99) -It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! You see, the best thing about this Story is—it’s true. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. The Child upon whom everything would depend. All the stars and mountains and the oceans and galaxies and everything were nothing compared to how much God loved his children. He would move heaven and earth to be near them. Always. Whatever happened, whatever it cost him, he would always love them. And so it was that the wonderful love story began … —from The Story of God’s Love for You (originally published as The Jesus Storybook Bible) - Zondervan

  The NIV Bible For Teen Girls (ARV $29.99) - The NIV Bible for Teen Girls, designed specifically for girls ages 13 to 18, is for real teenage girls with real lives. Packed with daily readings, highlighted promises of God, challenging insights, smart advice, and open discussion about the realities of life, this Bible is designed to help teen girls grow in faith, hope, and love. The NIV Bible for Teen Girls is as sincere about your walk with God as you are, helping you discover his will for all areas of your life, including relating to your family, dealing with friends, work, sports, guys, and so much more. Features include:

  • Daily readings for teen girls by popular Christian female authors (Annie Downs, Bekah Hamrick Martin, Christine Caine, Crystal Kirgiss, Bethany Hamilton, Nicole Weider, Elsa Kok Colopy, Denise Van Eck and more)
  • Character profiles of women in the Bible
  • Book introductions for each book of the Bible
  • Highlighted promises of God: verses worth remembering
  • A concordance for help in finding verses
  • The complete text of the bestselling New International Version (NIV) of the Bible - Zondervan

So many great things to say about the titles in this category. Not long after my books arrived, I packed up the ones I knew my kids would love in their baskets and then set some aside to be donated to ministries in my church as well as certain books that I knew students in my youth ministry would like. My daughter's best friend recently started coming to our church and youth ministry and because her parents don't share her faith, she doesn't often get the opportunity to get a Bible or other faith-based books. She has been loving the Curio book and said it's the best book she has ever read! She was so very grateful to have the opportunity to have a Bible just for teen girls and I was blessed just by watching her smile at her new treasures. Even if you don't have a teenager in your own home, no doubt you know of one that could use some encouragement and the very special message these books have to offer.

Easter Themed Picture Books

Easter Book 5
  The Berenstain Bears' Easter Sunday (ARV $3.99) -The Bear Family, all of their friends and family, and even the nature all around them get dressed in their Easter best for an Easter Sunday celebration at the Chapel in the Woods. Join Mama, Papa, Brother, sisters and Honey as they go to services, have an Easter treasure hunt, and learn what Easter is all about. - Zondervan

  A Royal Easter Story - (ARV $14.99) - It is the most spectacular spring in history. The princesses—Joy, Grace, Faith, Charity, and Hope are busy with preparations for the annual Easter celebration and the castle is alive with activity. Into the kingdom ride five new friends, young knights, who are as spirited as the princesses. In the new Princess Parables title, A Royal Easter Story, a challenge is presented and the boys and girls decide to race to the neighboring village where the annual Easter celebration and feast will be held. Along the way, the princesses must weather a scary storm and rescue another new friend. But in the end the lesson is clear … trust in the Lord and his love and you can overcome any obstacle. - Zondervan

  The Legend Of The Easter Robin (ARV $16.99) -This newly illustrated edition of The Legend of the Easter Robin renews the wonder and charm of the original and timeless tale written by Dandi Daley Mackall. With new vibrant artwork from New York Times bestselling illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, this holiday classic is brought to life for a new generation. The Legend of the Easter Robintells the story of Tressa, whose grandmother reveals to her the story of a small robin who saw Jesus struggling and soared to help him. This Easter tale reminds Christians everywhere how much Jesus sacrificed for us and how much he loves us. - Zondervan

No matter what age you children are, everyone loves a bright and colorful picture book. The Berenstain Bears are a long time favorite and my daughter, Eva, has begun collecting as many in this series as she can get her hands on. Understanding the love and sacrifice of what Jesus did for us is truly is a message that we all need to be reminded of, and Easter is the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves and help our children learn just how much He truly loves us.

 Among st Easter baskets filled with candy, jellybeans, and stuffed chicks and bunnys, this year choose a book or two from Zonderkidz to complete your Sunday morning surprise! If you want Easter to be a reminder to your children of just what Easter is all about, Zondervan Publishing has the perfect books for every child in your home! The candy might last for a couple days, but a book and the message it teaches will be with your kids for a lifetime.

 Click HERE to check out all of the children's books that Zonderkidz has to offer!

 Don't forget to follow Zonderkidz on social media to hear about the latest children's publications!


  Easter Book Giveaway

 One lucky reader will win their own Zondervan Easter Book selection perfect for Toddlers (Including Adventure Bible For Little Ones, All Aboard The Ark, Snuggle Time Prayers, Little One God Loves You, & Little Love Letter's From God) The giveaway will end March 23rd 2016 at 11:59pm. Open to residents of the US only and must be 18 years old to enter. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below.

Disclosure: I was sent the items listed above at no cost to facilitate this review. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of Zondevan Publishing and not Our Southern Style or Thrifty Nifty Mommy. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.