The Vietnam war ended in 1975 (when I was a mere 8 years old), but its impact is still being felt in that country, often by small children who stumble across one of the unexploded ordnance still left in Vietnam and Laos. In fact, children make up 30-40% of the victims of unexploded bombs. Can you imagine if your child was playing in your backyard and accidentally stepped on a bomb?
Since 1989, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) has worked in over 35 countries to remove remnants of war, such as landmines and unexploded bombs, saving the lives of thousands each year in places like Vietnam and Iraq. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, MAG’s leading priority is to protect the lives and well-being of the most vulnerable individuals in contaminated areas by providing risk education and removing deadly weapons around the world.
WHY MAG’S WORK IS CRITICAL TO SAVE LIVES:
When MAG clears items, people can then use that land to farm or build roads for commerce or build schools. Many of the areas MAG clears such as Vietnam and Laos have items left over from U.S. bombings that ended over 40 years ago. A whole generation has had to live in fear because of these American remnants of war.
In addition, MAG hires many women and people with disabilities to do this work so that MAG can support people who typically have few job prospects in these poor countries. These women and people with disabilities are heroes in their community.
Koeun Ngoeun is a Cambodian woman who began working for MAG as a deminer in 1995 at the age of 29.
“I chose this profession because I wanted to work to support my family,” she explains. “We have always been extremely poor, and this was my chance to prove that I could help them.
“I wanted to make sure I could keep them safe, not just from poverty, but from dangerous items that are all over my province.”
MAG’s recruitment policies ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable people in communities are not only beneficiaries of mine/UXO clearance, but are also trained and employed to carry out the work.
Here is how MAG’s work has impacted the countries it helps:
• MAG cleared and destroyed more than 300,000 landmines and items of unexploded ordnance.
• As a result, more than 700,000 people were able to farm, build homes and schools and travel without fear of injury.
How You Can Help
And from now until December 31, 2013, every donation will be doubled through a one to one match by a group of MAG’s most supportive donors.
Donations can be made at www.magamerica.org/donate
Won’t you help give a child a safe walk home?
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mines Advisory Group. All opinions are 100% my own.
by Roxy Boroughs
This holiday season, April Rochester must decide if her first love is merely “Home for Christmas” – or home for good.
James Frost, the black sheep of the family, is back in Carol Falls, Vermont, to build a big box store and prove he’s a success. His plans derail when he learns his high school sweetheart has moved back to town also, along with her autistic son, Marcus.
Ten years ago Jimmy and April eloped, only to be torn apart when April’s parents insisted on an annulment. Their love for each other never died, however, and this could be their second chance.
But James has been hiding behind a mountain of secrets, one of them involving baby Holly, the abandoned child recently found at the family farm.
And all of James’ well-kept secrets are about to come tumbling down.
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, a 40,000 word sweet romance novella, is Book Two of ‘A Frost Family Christmas’ trilogy. Each novella is a complete romance with a linking mystery connecting the three books.
The three titles in this series are:
Book 1 = WHAT CHILD IS THIS by C.J. Carmichael – http://amzn.com/B00FJFULYQ
Book 2 = HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Roxy Boroughs – http://amzn.com/B00FIO7D3A
Book 3 = THE HOLLY & THE IVY by Brenda M. Collins – http://amzn.com/B00FZUI2C8
Want a little mystery along with your holiday romances this Christmas?
Then visit the Frost Family in Carol Falls, Vermont and enjoy these three heartwarming novellas.
* * *
ROXY BOROUGHS BIO
Before turning her attention to fiction, Roxy appeared in numerous TV commercials and movies, and ‘tread the boards’ in theaters from New York to Newfoundland.
In addition to HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, and the free short story LETTING GO, she’s also published two romantic suspense titles, the award-winning A STRANGER’S TOUCH and its sequel, a romantic comedy called CRAZY FOR COWBOY and the sweet romance anthology STORIES OF CHANCE ROMANCEwith Brenda M. Collins.
Check them all out on her Amazon Page.
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The author is giving away a $25 Amazon GC & a eBook plus 3 winners of additional eBooks. a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Book:
A party game goes dead wrong in this ingenious mystery from the most beloved novelist of all time. Hercule Poirot, the world’s favorite detective, has agreed to take part in a mock murder mystery in a charming English village—but when tragedy strikes, a different sort of game begins …
In 1954, Agatha Christie wrote this novella with the intention of donating the proceeds to a fund set up to buy stained glass windows for her local church at Churston Ferrers, and she filled the story with references to local places, including her own home of Greenway. But, having completed it, she decided instead to expand the story into a full-length novel, Dead Man’s Folly, which was published two years later, and donated a Miss Marple story (Greenshaw’s Folly) to the church fund instead.
I had never read an Agatha Christie story before reading Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly (Hercule Poirot Mysteries), but I had watched many episodes of Miss Marple and Poirot on Masterpiece: Mystery! Of these two detectives, Poirot is by far my favorite. His determination, clarity and bravado far outweigh the disadvantage of always being out of his comfort zone. M. Poirot always seems a bit put out by any request that is made of him, but he always gives a case his utmost attention once he takes it on.
I have not yet seen the last season of Poirot, which I understand has an episode based on Dead Man’s Folly, the book which Agatha Christie developed from Greenshore Folly. Since reading this story, I am really looking forward to seeing the episode based on it. Poirot is witty and charming, as usual. Christie uses his character to mock the culture of middle and upper class England of the time. The character of Ariadne Oliver is a mystery writer, and I believe that Christie makes fun of herself through some of Ms. Oliver’s opinions and style.
Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly is a fun, quick read for fans of period-style mysteries and, of course, Agatha Christie fans will love this new addition to the well-loved series.
I give Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly four cups of tea.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.
I don’t always advertise my faith, but I don’t try to hide it either. We have a tiny Easter cross in our window year round. We have lots of Nativity scenes around the house at Christmas time and I listen almost exclusively to Christian radio (even when there’s someone else in the car). These few things have opened conversations that have allowed me to share my faith with others in a genuine way.
So I was excited when I was asked to review some Christian products from RedemptionCreations.com, a new stylish and contemporary, religious-themed home accents and lifestyle accessories brand. The site combines current trends with modern Christian images to provide everyday touch points and reminders of God’s love. They have everything from Apple accessories to t-shirts, to servingware and house decor, all with sacred themes.
I was also impressed by the mission of RedemptionCreations.com, which is to donate 10% of each month’s pre-tax profits to a a religious institution which helps the poor and needy of its community. Interested groups can fill out the form on the website.
I received a pair of yoga pants and a serving platter for review.
I love these pants!! They are great for either lounging around the house or actively stretching through a fast-paced yoga class. The logo is attractive and subtle. I am going to wear these pants all the time!!
The platter measures 14″ x 9″, the perfect size for a fresh fruit breakfast, or cookies for Santa!! It’s sturdy and well-made and I hope it will be part of our family’s celebrations for many years to come.
I highly recommend RedemptionCreations.com They have so many beautiful items, either for yourself, or to give as a gift. In addition, 10% of all pre-tax profit is donated to religious non-profits helping the poor and needy. It’s a win-win!!
The products I received were complimentary for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.
The other day Art and I stumbled into Denny’s and discovered their new Hobbit-inspired menu. I tried the honey cake french toast and absolutely loved it. I decided I had to recreate it at home and the results were so yummy I just had to share the recipe with my readers. Personally, I think it tastes a lot like a glazed doughnut. Honey Vanilla French Toast was a huge hit at our house last Saturday!!
Honey Vanilla French Toast Recipe
6-8 pieces of Texas toast, or other thick-sliced bread, slightly stale (if you don’t have stale bread, you can put the bread in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, just to firm it up a bit)
2 eggs, well-beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine eggs, millk, honey, vanilla and salt. Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Dip the bread, one slice at a time into the honey mixture, letting it soak into each side for about 30 seconds. Fry the slices in the butter over medium heat, turning once, until golden brown.
Drizzle with more honey before serving.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Supercuts Franchising. All opinions are 100% my own.
I love Supercuts. Bud and I both get our hair cuts at our local Supercuts. They let you bring in a photo of the look you would like and always have great suggestions. I like Supercuts way more than its competitors. But I had never considered owning a Supercuts franchise. After all, I don’t know how to cut hair (believe me, I tried to cut my own hair once – what a disaster!!)
I found out in doing research for this blog post that there are two common misconceptions in regards to Supercuts franchising:
- This business is for hairstylists. It’s not a serious business for people who aren’t hairstylists.
- You need to know how to cut hair to open a Supercuts franchise.
It turns out both of these ideas are FALSE!!
Here are some truths about Supercuts and franchising:
The hair care industry is stable. It is a need based business, not a want based business. (Frozen yogurt is a want, but a haircut is a need, both in good times and in bad.)
Cutting Hair cannot be made technologically obsolete.
Services must be performed by a licensed professional, you won’t ever be cutting hair, you will be in charge of running the business instead.
- It’s simple to own a Supercuts. You don’t have a high amount of staff, inventory costs are low, hours are especially reasonable compared to other franchise industries such as food, automotive, child care, fitness, etc.
- The Supercuts brand is widely recognized. It’s also backed by national advertising, robust web and mobile presence and the Supercuts brand is sought after nationally
Recently, NPR talked to Gary Robins, a successful Supercuts franchisee who owns 41 Supercuts locations. The article discusses the whys and hows of franchising with Supercuts.
If you would like to get more information on starting your own business, you might want to check out Supercuts Franchising.
This post is part 2 in a series about true beauty. Click for Part 1.
What is Beauty?
According to Merriam-Webster, beauty is defined as:
the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind
In other words, as many of have said over the years, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
A few years ago, Newsweek made a video montage of how Hollywood’s standard of beauty has changed over the past 80 years:
Notice how the shape of face, hair color, style and even eyebrow thickness changes back and forth over time.
And that’s just in the United States. What are the standards of beauty in other countries?
Women of the Kayan tribe wear brass rings around their necks, starting at the age of five. Over the years, longer coils are added. The weight of the brass presses on the clavicle and compresses the ribcage, giving the impression of an elongated neck.
In the Masai tribe of Kenya, stretched earlobes are considered sign of beauty. Women use thorns, twigs, stones, elephant tusks and even plastic film canisters to assist in the stretching process.
Both men and women of the Maori people of New Zealand tattoo their faces as a method of showing status, rank and beauty. Women, however mainly only tattoo their lips and chin.
So with all these arbitrary and (at least in the modern world) rapidly changing standards of beauty, why worry about whether or not you fit someone else’s definition of beautiful? I’m not advocating poor hygiene or going around in baggy sweats all the time. I’m just saying, be the best YOU you can be. If you’re happy with yourself, that’s the most important thing.
What do you think? Do you try to keep up with the world’s standard of beauty? Please leave your comment below.
Sarah J. Pepper
About the Book:
If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.
Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?
Death of the Mad Hatter is a breezy, fresh take on Alice in Wonderland, Set in the present day, the story alternates between the narrations of Alice herself and Ryley Edgar, who may be related to Wonderland royalty.
Alice is originally from the “Otherworld” (our world) and talks about her fall through the rabbit hole and her run-ins with the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter and other familiar characters from the well-loved tale. She is on a mission from Wonderland and may or may not be a double agent.
Ryley moved more than 20 times until his father was committed to a mental hospital and he and his mother finally settled down. He is most concerned with being as typical a teenage boy as possible and is thrown for a loop when Alice Mae arrives at his school.
I love the Alice character. She is obviously at a loss in the modern world, although I think she might have fit in with steampunk kids. She is very Victorian in her attitudes and style of dress, with just a hint of the modern world thrown in.
Ryley is a typical teenage boy, reminding me very much of my own kids. I was impressed by how he matured through the book and learned to not just think about himself.
All-in-all I really enjoyed this story. It was a fun read and stayed true to the original tale. In addition, it was a fresh take I had never read before. However, I did feel that the new version was a little over-simplified. Lewis Carroll’s original version had a layer of political satire under the “children’s story” which does not exist in this version.
I give Death of the Mad Hatter four top hats. Fans of the original, who love teen romance with a dark side will enjoy this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.
About the Author:
Sarah J. Pepper specializes in dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, unicorns, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit?
On Black Friday, November 29th (which is also release day for the book) the author is throwing a Facebook tea party from 7-9 p.m CST. There will be lots of prizes and more will be revealed!!
One of my favorite go-to bring-along for holiday dinners is orange jello salad. My mother-in-law makes it, and our whole family loves it, so a few years ago I decided to start making it for myself. There really was no written down recipe, just a few ingredients, but it is such a hit I thought I would get it in writing so I could share it with my readers!!
This is a fairly caloric recipe, but you can lighten it up by using low-fat cottage cheese and light whipped topping (although I personally think the taste would suffer).
Orange Jello Salad Recipe
1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese
1 (6 oz.) package orange Jello
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip
2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
Mix together the cottage cheese and Jello powder until well blended. Thoroughly fold in the Cool Whip and 1 1/2 cans of mandarin oranges. Top with the remaining mandarin oranges ( or, in a pinch I have also used fresh Cuties – yummy!!) Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight, if possible.
Grape Seed Oil, another anti-oxidant and rich in phenols. It’s a wonderful moisturizer containing a high content of Linoleic Acid, a fatty acid essential for cell membranes and skin health
Red Wine Antioxidants or Polyphenols, known to fight free radicals and help prevent cell damage
In addition, deVine is:
All natural – Alcohol free – Gluten free – Cruelty free - Pesticide free - Paraben free!!
I was sent the Lip Shimmer, Sangria Lip Shade SPF15, and California Sparkling Clear Lip Shine for review.
First up was the Lip Shimmer.
Bordeaux – Luscious deep black cherry lifts your spirits and gives your lips a deep pink shimmer.
Cabernet – A bold copper bronze look embodied with spirit & fruity appeal. let your lips lead the way to fun and excitement.
Champagne – Celebrate the moment with this light & creamy shimmer with a hint of strawberry.
Chardonnay – A soothing a creamy untinted balm with a light shimmer and a hint of vanilla.
Merlot – Deep red berries create a bold, dramatic look with a luscious smooth shimmer.
Rose’ – Soft pink hue for a subtle, natural look. the light fruity finish makes it perfect for everyday wear.
What is a lip shimmer?
A lip shimmer is is a lip balm with a tint and shimmer – it is not a lipstick, although it can be worn as one. It is made to moisten and refresh your lips, and add a bit of color.
I received the Rose’ lip shimmer. It smelled absolutely wonderful and went on creamy. Here’s what it looked like on my lips:
Next up was the Sangria Lip Shade SPF15. This is a clear lip balm, which goes on smoothly. There is no color, but lots of sun protection and again, the smell is just wonderful!!
You can check out deVine lip shimmers and all their lip products at www.deVineshimmers.com
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Just in time for Cyber Monday, deVine is offering a 30% discount for all my readers. Use the code TMSCBR CyberMonday, December 2, 2013 only!!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.