Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Narnia Code - DVD review

The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis has become one of the most globally beloved franchises in history. And yet, there are mysteries about the author and these seven stories that have fascinated scholars for nearly half a century.

Enter Michael Ward who takes us inside the pages of Lewis's masterpieces and discovers a "secret imaginative key" - The Narnia Code. Like a detective embroiled in an elusive chase, Ward takes us on an illuminating adventure into medieval cosmology and spiritual symbolism. His absorbing conclusions reveal a new third layer of hidden delight that will forever change your love and appreciation for C.s. Lewis and the Narnia books.

I have to admit that I have never been one that was interested in these books or even the movies as they started coming out. And the reason for that is I did not really understand what they were all about. After watching this DVD I think I want to read the books and watch the movies and see just what I have missed out on. I learned so much about this series by watching this DVD and now I have a better appreciation for the stories that C.S. Lewis was sharing with us.

C.S. Lewis went from being an atheist, to becoming a Christian and also had an appreciation for the planets. In fact, the seven books that he wrote are based on the seven planets. Something very interesting that I also learned is how our days of the week were named after the planets as well. Such as Monday is named for the moon, Saturday for Saturn and Sunday for the sun.

I have to say, this was a very intersting DVD. I recommend it to anyone ESPECIALLY if you are like me and have been confused over all the "hype" of these books. You can also get an appreciation for the series and maybe get in on the "hype".

Saturday, January 22, 2011

CSN stores $25 gift certificate giveaway

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from kids’ swing sets to stylish furniture to cute cookware! I was honored recently when I was given the opportunity to offer a giveaway on my blog for a $25 gift certificate good for any of the 200+ stores.

So what would like to get from CSN stores? I guarantee, you can look at their sites all day long and still not see everything that they have to offer. If you don't believe me then I challenge you to do so. I also promise that you can find some of everything in one of their many stores!

So, you want to win a gift certificate?? Of course you do. And here is how you can get one:

Main Entry: Go to CSN stores and tell me what item you would get with your $25.00.

Easy peasy, right?!? Of course, that is the way we do things around here! But you can also get additional entries as well!

Additional entries: Leave a seperate comment for each entry

  • subscribe to my blog (2 extra entries)
  • follow my blog with GFC (1 extra entry)
  • follow me on twitter (1 extra entry)
  • tweet this giveaway - include @shaeffermom and @CSNStores (can do this once daily) - leave link to your tweet in the comment section.

This giveaway is open to US and Canada and will end at 11:59 p.m. on January 31st. Make sure you leave your email address in your comment (to keep spam down you can do it like this: gerrie(dot)shaeffer(at)yahoo(dot)com. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is drawn.

Disclaimer: I was given a code worth $25 for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% mine and I was not compenstated in any way for this post.

Box Tops For Education $50,000,000 Flash Parade

Help schools in your area by saving box tops and sending them to the school. Our schools can earn part of the $50,000,000 that will be given out!!

Box Tops for Education was created by General Mills in 1996 as an easy way to help make a difference for kids and schools. Since then, schools have earned more than $375 million through the program to help get the things they need-from books and school supplies to playground equipment and computers. Help make a difference in schools by clipping Box Tops from more than 240 brands, including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Hamburger Helper, Kleenex, Ziploc, Hefty, Juicy Juice, Avery, Welch´s, Land O´Lakes and Brita. Find out how much your school has earned and learn other ways to earn cash for your school at

Become a fan of Box Tops for Education on Facebook at

Follow Box Tops for Education on Twitter at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Your Teen Could Own a Micro Business - guest post

Carol Topp, CPA advises teenage business owners through her Micro Business for Teens book series. Carol’s day job is accountant to business owners, and she enjoys teaching teenagers to succeed beyond their dreams. Students appreciate how she shares what they need to know in clear and helpful lessons. Her website is

Your Teen Can Own a Micro Business
How to Launch It in Ten Simple

“I want to walk dogs; what do I need to do to get started?” asked a teen boy. I had inspired him to think about starting a micro business and he was ready to get going!

I encourage teenagers to start very small businesses—micro businesses. A micro business is a one-person business that can be started easily, usually without any up-front cash, using what a teenager already owns. Micro businesses are usually home-based and very flexible so a busy student can keep up with homework, sports and a social life.

Teenagers can use their skills to develop businesses such as teaching guitar lessons, doing web design or caring for children. Other teenagers have started micro businesses by offering services such as house cleaning, pet care, and lawn mowing. One easy-to-start micro business is tutoring. Some students tutor math, Spanish or computer programs such as Photoshop.

After your teenager has an idea, he or she can launch a micro business in a short amount of time with very little start up money. Share these starting steps with your teen:

  1. Conduct a mini market survey. Start by asking a few potential customers if they need your service and what price they are willing to pay.
  2. Decide on a price. From the mini-market survey, you should be able to set a fair price. You may get your first customers by undercharging the competition. One teenager charged half what other piano teachers charged and quickly had eight students.
  3. Volunteer a few jobs to practice your business skills and build a reputation. Use recommendations from these jobs in your future advertising. Sarah took senior pictures as a favor for a friend and received three other jobs from referrals.
  4. Launch your first advertising campaign. Try to use free advertising such as emails, Facebook posts and handing out fliers to friends and neighbors.
  5. Work your plan on a small scale. Start with one customer at first. Learn a lot from that experience and grow slowly.
  6. Evaluate, adjust and change. As you grow in experience, you may be able to charge more. You will probably need to create a payment policy. Sarah discovered that she needed to be paid up front and have a cancellation policy when she scheduled photo shoots.
  7. Pick a name and register it. Usually, you can use your own name, such as Cathy Smith's Babysitting Service, without needing a name registration. If you do want a business name, learn what your state or local government requires. This website is a good place to start:
  8. Open a checking account. Accountants usually recommend a separate business checking account to keep from mixing personal and business expenses. A teenager can usually get by with one checking account, if you keep good records. Usually a parent must agree to be a co-signer on a checking account for minors.
  9. Read up on taxes. You’ll need to file your own tax return, may owe federal or state income tax, and may be subject to self-employment tax also. Self-employment tax is Social Security and Medicare taxes for self-employed people.
  10. Learn about customer service, marketing and record keeping. Become a student of business and seek to be continually learning more. Read books, take a business class, find a mentor and ask a lot of questions.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TABASCO(R) Original Red

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

How much do you love Tabasco Original Red sauce? The Original Red was the first sauce introduced by the McIlhenny family back in 1868 and continues to be their most popular sauce of 6 total sauces. This sauce is good on anything...according to my husband anyway! He loves his sauce on pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti and even the occasional egg. I am not that much into the spicy and hot sauces, but he has taught our children to love it as well.

There is one recipe that he tried once that I fell in love with. We love to eat pizza at one of our local pizza places in town and they have this great pizza called Spicy Buffalo Chicken pizza. It is great!! All you have to do is:

chop up some chicken into pieces and soak them in some Tabasco original red sauce for a few minutes. You can also put a thin layer of Tabasco original red sauce on the pizza crust. Top the pizza with the chicken and cheeses (we love cheese so we smother our pizza with cheese). Then bake and enjoy! It is great!!!

So, do you have a favorite recipe with TABASCO® Original Red sauce? Please share in the comments if you do! Also, check out Game-Day Party Menu to get some other great recipes to add to your collection as well. Anytime you have a game day party (think Super Bowl), you can use these recipes and you will the hero of the party. Also look at Pizza Perfected and find some ways to doctor up your delivery pizza.

It is not about being hot with this sauce, but it is all about enhancing your food!

Visit Sponsor's Site

New Year, New Vacation Spot

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

Experience all that Branson has to offer with a weekend getaway at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing.

Situated within the electrifying entertainment capital of the Midwest in Branson, Missouri, the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel offer guests access to shops, boutiques, restaurants, a river walk and other attractions. Both hotels are within easy driving distance of Branson’s championship golf courses, lakes, museums, theme parks and 49 live entertainment theaters. Enjoy being in the midst of all the action by booking your stay at either hotel today!

A while ago I did a post on Christmas at Branson, Missouri and now we are back with a new year and a great place to make a new vacation spot.  With all the many attractions at both the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing, it is hard to decide on what a family should do.  The view from these rooms are so amazing that if I was staying in one, I would be content to just stay in the room. They even make first class accommodations for your dog. "Our hospitality goes beyond humans. We'll supply dog beds, bowls and water, treats, lanyards identifying rooms with pets, a staff trained to handle animals and more. We can accommodate pets up to 75 lbs." Wow...sounds like they will baby our dogs just like we do!

On my vacation we will:

Stay at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing in one their suites. We will arrive on Monday and that day will be spent resting and lounging. We will enjoy the indoor pool, and take advantage of some great food at the Level 2 steakhouse.

Tuesday, we will visit the Castle of Chaos. This is an adrenaline rush type of show .. This is an adrenaline rush type of show that I am sure my family would love! While there we will also check out the Hollywood Wax Museum . Take some pictures and see how many people we can trick into thinking we met famous people!


Wednesday, we will enjoy some miniature golf at Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf. .  . .  . 


Thursday, we will shop til we drop at the Tanger Mall. With 250 places to shop, there will be plenty of shopping for all of us!

On Friday, we will be packing up and getting ready to head back home, so we will enjoy the pool in the hotel until check out time. On the way out of town we will stop at the Barbara Fairchild's Diner...      . . 

Before you make your plans for your 2011 vacation, make sure you check out Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and see how much fun you could have in Branson, MO with your family!










    Visit Sponsor's Site

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Bright Beginnings

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

    Bright Beginnings offers a variety of FDA-regulated infant formulas that are nutritionally equivalent to the big national brands - at prices that will fit your family's budget.  Their products include:

    Premium Milk-Based Formula
    Gentle Milk-Based Formula
    Organic Infant Formula
    Soy Infant Formula
    Soy Pediatric Drink

    It costs so much to have children, so it is great that there are options out there to save money! We do not have to purchase the big named brands anymore because there is an equivalent in a generic form. And they all have to meet the same FDA requirements. Check out Bright Beginnings on Facebook. Make sure to "like" them so that you can keep up-to-date on specials and other things going on with Bright Beginnings.

    You can also buy on now too. And has a 2 great offers right on the top of their page. You can get 30% cash back on your diapers purchase, or 10% cash back on everything else. Plus, you can get free shipping on orders of $49 or more.

    So what are you waiting  for? Go to the Bright Beginnings on Facebook and "like" them and next time you need formula, buy on

    Visit Sponsor's Site