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When Calls The Heart

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Giveaway info at the end of post.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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When Calls the Heart
Season Premiere airs Saturday 4/25
Hallmark Channel
8/7c
Facebook | Twitter | Hearties (fan group) | hashtags: #FaithTV & #Hearties

ABOUT THE SERIES
The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal-mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

MY THOUGHTS
We don’t own a TV by choice, so when we do streaming shows online from their network website, we are pretty picky. I will have to say that if we did have a TV and cable, we would definitely watch When Calls The Heart. From what I know, after season 1 started, there was a surprising following from tons of fans. I am not shocked by this because the story really draws you in! It did take me a few minutes to figure out the story since I didn’t watch season 1, but after that, the characters were great and the story is enthralling. There is humor, there is romance, there is drama…it has a little bit of everything. It took me right back to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman since it takes place during frontier times in the rural west, and the main character Elizabeth Thatcher also comes from an affluent family that lived in the city. The season starts out with the trial of the coal mining company that had caused the death of the miners in town. There are some shady characters who try to bring the town down, but you’ll have to watch to find out if justice is served. Apparently, there are a few new characters this season, and a love story evolving. If you are the winner of the DVD set, please let me borrow it so I can watch season 1. And if I find the time, I will try to catch the new episodes on itunes or Amazon or whatever people stream things from. :p

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will receive 1 set of When Calls The Heart Season 1 on DVD ($60 value!!) from Word Films. Giveaway ends Friday, May 2nd. (Giveaway open to US  and Canada residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below with anything related to Hallmark or TV shows or coal mining or just say “Howdy!” For extra entries, tweet about the series or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

– Joyce

Other reviews of When Calls The Heart:
Common Sense Media
imdb.com

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

April 24, 2015 at 6:10 AM

Goshu Ramen Tei

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Address: 5 York Street, Sydney New South Wales 2000, Sydney, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9290 3745

After a day at the Taronga Zoo and a little rest back at the Laws, we decided on Japanese food for takeaway (takeout) dinner.  A couple of blocks from the Laws was a Japanese Ramen shop called Goshu Ramen Tei which also has some outdoor seating.

We ordered the Nego-Miso Ramen, Chicken Yakisoba, Gyoza and Edamame for the girls, Chicken Cutlet Bento Box with Vegetable Tempura and Agedashi Tofu, and Spicy Wagyu Beef Udon.  The food was decent and the ramen had good broth.

– Norm

Children’s Menu [n]
Changing Station [n]
Highchairs/Boosters [?]
Stroller Access [tight or outside seating]

Other reviews of Goshu Ramen Tei:
yelp

urbanspoon
tripadvisor
Foursquare

Google+

Written by Joyce and Norm

April 22, 2015 at 3:33 PM

The Adventures of Pajama Girl: The Coronation of the Cupcake Queen

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Giveaway info at the end of post.
PajamaGirl_FlatCoverThe Adventures of Pajama Girl: The Coronation of the Cupcake Queen
by Sandra Hagee Parker
Released March 3, 2015
Published by Worthy Kids
32 pages
Age Range: 4-8 years
Official Website | #PajamaGirl | Downloads

 

 

 

 

 

Melody (age 8)
What the book is about: Pajama Girl going into the world she imagines.
Like: Her imagination and lesson
Dislike: robe taken off Pajama Girl and Sis wearing pajamas too.
Recommend: Age 3-5 girls

Emily (age 5)
What the book is about: It’s about a cupcake land. There’s a cupcake queen that has trouble because they can’t find sprinkles.
Like: I liked that it is cute and I like sugar.
Dislike: I didn’t like the same part when the princess was mean.
Recommend: I recommend it to Becca because she likes cupcakes too.

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Notes from Melody and Emily’s mom:
I love a good story about a girl and her imagination! In her dreams, Pajama Girl’s pajamas brings her to whatever places that have to do with the designs on her pajamas. In this book, she wears cupcake pajamas. After saying her bedtime prayers, they dream about a land full of cupcakes and other treats. It is coronation day for Cupcake Queen, but the sprinkles are nowhere to be found. Where could they be? There is room for discussion on emotions and feelings. The only thing I wasn’t too fond of in this book is that during some parts, the sentences have rhyme, and other times there seems to be, but then it doesn’t rhyme. Emily read it as soon as it arrived, and then read it two more times after that. And also a note about what she said about liking sugar. It’s not true. She’ll take the sweets if you offer it to her, but she most likely than not will not finish eating it. She definitely loves savory treats more, like me! 😜

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Sandra Hagee Parker lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Ryan, and their daughters, Olivia and Elliana — the original pajama girls. A practicing attorney, Sandy is also a part of the music ministry at Cornerstone Church where she and her husband are leaders.

When not working or writing, Sandy enjoys traveling with her family and mastering the art of making Pancakes à la Pajama Girl with her two girls.

 

pajamagirl_social3GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will receive a copy of the The Adventure of Pajama Girl: The Coronation of the Cupcake Queen. Giveaway ends Monday, April 13th. (Giveaway open to US and Canada residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing what other adventures Pajama Girl should go on, your favorite cupcake flavor, or just say “Howdy”. For extra entries, tweet about the book, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

– Joyce

Other reviews of Pajama Girl:
Amazon.com
goodreads

Family Christian

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

April 6, 2015 at 12:45 PM

MCA Cafe

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Address: 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9245 2400
Website: http://www.mca.com.au/visit/mca-cafe-sculpture-terrace/

After church, we decided to take a walk to the Circular Quay (main ferry and train terminal) area and have lunch at the MCA Cafe.  The Cafe is located at the 4th floor of the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art).  Too bad we didn’t spend more time in the MCA as there were lots of things to do for kids and families.  Of course, tours and collections are also available for viewing.

Since the MCA Cafe is on the 4th floor, it overlooks the Circular Quay area and gives a stunning view of both the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House (when a cruise ship is not docked for the day like it was when we went).

The drinks we ordered were the Rose Hip & Mint Fruit Punch, the Old-Fashioned Lemonade, a Chocolate Milkshake, a Iced coffee with Vanilla Ice Cream, and Lemon Iced Tea.

The food we ordered were Mac and Cheese for the kids (which was okay), Prawns and Kale Pesto Fettuccine (which was good), Crispy Pork Belly Salad with lemongrass (savory), Chips (French Fries) with Sriracha Mayo on the side which were tasty.

Not too shabby for our first full meal in Australia.  A wide (and rotating monthly) selection of food and stunning views.

– Norm

Children’s Menu [y]
Changing Station [n/a]
Highchairs/Boosters [y]
Stroller Access [ample]

Other reviews of MCA Cafe:
yelp

urbanspoon
tripadvisor
Foursquare

Wailana Coffee House

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Address: 1860 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone: (808) 955-1764

Since we ate a late lunch, we walked across the street to the Wailana Coffee House for a somewhat late dinner after chilling at the lagoon.

I ordered the guava-filled french toast and it was yummy. It was also interesting that there was coconut syrup available. You don’t see that often.

Joyce ordered the Hawaiian Breakfast: corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, and roasted banana.

Melody ordered the blueberry pancakes and Emily ordered the banana pancakes.  It’s not mentioned on the menu, but you can order a short stack of 2 pancakes instead of the 3 on the menu.

On the table are three different jams: Strawberry, Orange Marmalade, and Guava.  When your food comes out three syrups are brought out: regular maple, boysenberry, and coconut.

Service was good as we got water refills frequently and were attended to often.

There’s an IHOP next door.  However, you get a better deal (prices) at Wailana Coffee House, and IHOP doesn’t have coconut syrup or guava jam.  Supposedly, the eggs benedict (we didn’t try) are really good at Wailana too.  Wailana also has Macadamia Nut and Coconut pancakes.

– Norm

Children’s Menu [y]
Changing Station [n/a]
Highchairs/Boosters [y]
Stroller Access [IHOP-like]

Other reviews of Wailana Coffee House:
yelp

urbanspoon
tripadvisor
Foursquare

Written by Joyce and Norm

March 26, 2015 at 4:15 PM

Pronto Pickle Grab & Go and Lanikai Juice

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Address for both on Hilton Hawaiian Village grounds: 2005 Kalia Rd., Honolulu, HI 96815
Pronto Pickle Phone: (808) 949-4321
Lanikai Juice Phone: (808) 955-5500
Pronto Pickle Website: http://www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/dining/pronto-pickle
Lanikai Juice Website: http://www.lanikaijuice.com/

After getting off the airplane and taking a taxi to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for our overnight layover, we settled into our room and grabbed a late lunch at the Pronto Pickle Grab & Go and Lanikai Juice downstairs on the hotel grounds.

Pronto Pickle Grab & Go is a takeout/cafe type of place with a large variety of freshly-made or pre-packaged sandwiches, hot food, salads, etc. Of course, Emily decides to order the three cheese pizza. I also ordered the pineapple & golden raisin coleslaw and the teriyaki chicken/pork yakisoba.  There was also a baked ham sandwich we didn’t get to take a picture of.

For some reason, there was a bit a of ginger in the coleslaw, which the girls didn’t like, so I ended up eating all of it.  The baked ham sandwich was a bit plain with the exception of the provided mustard seed condiment.  There was a good amount of meat in the teriyaki chicken/pork yakisoba.  The three cheese pizza tasted like any other cheese pizza.

Emily wanted to grab a smoothie as a drink, so we made our way over to Lanikai Juice.  I ordered a Guava Lava for Joyce and myself to share and a Strawberry Shaka for each of the kids.  We all love smoothies, so you can imagine how it went down!

– Norm

Children’s Menu [n]
Changing Station [n]
Highchairs/Boosters [n]
Stroller Access [stroll on in]

Other reviews of Pronto Pickle Grab & Go and Lanikai Juice:
Pronto Pickle Yelp
Lanikai Juice Yelp
Pronto Pickle TripAdvisor
Lanikai Juice TripAdvisor
Pronto Pickle Yahoo! Local

Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

easterstoriesenEaster Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season
Written by multiple authors
Published by Plough Publishing House
February 2, 2015
383 pg
Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Bunnies and egg hunts and Peeps. Never forget about the Peeps. 😜 Baskets and dye and tulips. These are the things we think of when someone mentions Easter. Those are all good and fun things, but what is even better is remember the real meaning of the celebration. The stories in this treasury help us remember what happened during the Holy Week up to the time of Jesus’ resurrection. And because it is a really, really thick book, there are lots and lots of tales to read through. How fun would it be to choose one or two to enjoy with your family before Easter brunch together each year? There are stories from storytellers like C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Goudge, Ruth Sawyer, and many more!

I’m still making my way through the book, but my favorite so far is one of the first ones in the book. It is called How Donkeys Got the Spirit of Contradiction. Who doesn’t love a good story about a donkey? :p You’ll have to get your own copy to figure out why I enjoyed the story. Read the giveaway details below to find out how you can win this thoughtful book.

Find out more HERE!

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win a copy of the book Easter Stories. Giveaway ends Sunday, March 29th. (Giveaway open to US residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on Easter. For extra entries, tweet about the giveaway, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

– Joyce

Other reviews of Easter Stories:
amazon.com
goodreads
Barnes & Noble
Christianbook.com

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

March 23, 2015 at 11:29 PM

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