Author Archives: Carrie

Apparoo App of the Week–April 24


Hey yall! I’m here with the Apparoo App of the week for April 24.  Each week I’ll be sharing the “Apparoo App of the Week” with you.  These are often FREE or offered at a discount!


This week’s featured app is:

Manilla Bill and Account Manager


Hey, whatever happened to this ‘paperless desk’ we were all supposed to have by now? The endless influx of bills can be overwhelming – and buried bills mean late fees (ahem). Manilla is a simple, secure and free way to de-clutter your desktop. It retrieves and organizes household bills, bank, credit card and healthcare accounts, travel rewards – even offline accounts like rent or babysitters. It reminds you when bills are due and files old statements so you don’t have to. So save a tree, reclaim your desk, and never pay a late fee again! Download it here for free.

Manilla is the “must-have” free and secure financial life organization and reminder app that helps you simplify, manage and share your daily finances, household bills, travel rewards, magazine subscriptions and healthcare accounts with friends and family – all in one place. Manilla also sends automatic bill pay reminders so that you’ll never pay a late fee again and stores your bills and statements.

- Everything in one place: Manilla supports more than 4,000+ leading providers and is adding more every week. 
- Securely manage and monitor all your finances, household bills, travel rewards, magazine subscriptions and healthcare accounts.
- Add and manage any personal or small-business account, like your rent, babysitter, dog walker, and more, with our Custom Accounts feature. 
- Automatic email and text message reminders to help you avoid late fees
- Organized and secure document storage for bills, statements, notices and offers
- Bill Share feature to securely collaborate with friends and family on your bills and accounts
- Single password login

Download it here for free.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Purex No Sort for Colors Laundry Detergent

When you’re facing a mountain of laundry, any product that can help you save time is appreciated.  That’s why I’m happy to introduce you to the new laundry detergent from Purex: No Sort for Colors!

 Purex No Sort detergent features a breakthrough Anti-Color-Transfer Technology which traps loose dyes in the wash, and prevents them from settling onto other fabrics—leaving your clothes bright and clean without color bleeding accidents.

Check out this commercial!


We wear a lot of red in our house, so it’s natural that we have pink socks and undershirts as a result of getting mixed in with our colored loads. I’m glad we don’t have to worry about that with Purex No Sort.


The detergent itself is a vibrant blue color, viscous and not thin at all. It has a fresh scent that’s not too strong.


The maximum amount for a large load is about half a cupful, and this coated the bottom of my machine well enough.


As you can tell, my average load of laundry is made up of many colors: red, beige, black, white, and more.  I’m happy to report that by using this new No Sort detergent, none of my colors bled onto each other!


Purex No Sort for Colors is definitely a time saver in the utility room, and gets all your clothes the kind of clean you need them to be!

Check out the Purex Facebook page too.


Two winners will receive a coupon to try Purex No Sort for Colors FREE!


BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke

Mind of Winter

by Laura Kasischke

Psychological Thriller

Book Description

On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Something followed them from Russia. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, their pretty, black-haired Rapunzel, from the Pokrovka Orphanage #2. Now, at fifteen, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever—and disturbingly erratic.

As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behavior becomes increasingly frightening . . . until Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.



Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke

I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from this book–was it supernatural? Was Holly’s daughter possessed, was their house haunted? Whatever I expected, it sure wasn’t what I got.

Mind of Winter focuses on two main characters, 42 year old Holly and her 15 year old daughter Tatiana. Tatiana was adopted from Siberia at almost 2 years old, and ever since has been her parents’ pride and joy. But lately, Tatiana (or Tatty, as she’s called) has been having severe mood swings, acting disrespectfully, and is just in general not the sweet girl that everyone loves. Is it just normal teenage girl behavior, or, as Holly fears, is it something that goes all the way back to her Russian roots?

Though the book does have two main characters, this book is told from Holly’s viewpoint and is really about her. The novel occurs on Christmas Day when Holly and Tatty are snowed in. While Holly scrambles around the house trying to get things ready for Christmas dinner, Tatty acts even more strangely than usual; she changes clothing several times and without any real reason, she appears and disappears seemingly in the blink of an eye, and she’s strangely unresponsive to anything her mother tells her to do.

Holly tries to reason away everything that is happening in the house that day, but as it gets later Tatty becomes more and more erratic. As Holly flashes back in her mind to the process they went through to bring Tatiana home, we see the deplorable conditions the young girl was in before she left her native Russia. Holly is searching for any clues, that she may have overlooked even back then, that could explain what is happening with her daughter.

The synopsis and idea behind this book were very intriguing and offered a lot of potential, which it unfortunately did not live up to. Holly is neurotic, and the reader has to suffer through this by reading her extremely repetitive inner monologue. “Something followed them home from Russia.” Yes, this thought is drilled into our heads enough that it almost becomes the only thing to focus on.

As I mentioned before, we see a lot of flashbacks through Holly’s eyes. Some of them give you a good insight as to the pasts of the characters, but many of them felt unnecessary and didn’t add much to the story. They almost just felt like page filler.

The thing that irritated me most was the end–it was very sudden, and I had to read the last page several times to grasp what was going on. This is because up UNTIL the last page, YOU STILL DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. While some readers may appreciate a shocking twist that comes out of nowhere, I think a bit more foreshadowing would have helped me along.

This is not to say that I did not think the end was very unique. It’s been a couple of days since I finished Mind of Winter and that ending has stayed with me; I keep thinking about everything that happened between Holly and her daughter and attempting to work it out in my mind. Whether you enjoy this novel or not, Mind of Winter is one that will keep your mind working for a while.

View all my reviews


About the Author

Laura Kasischke teaches in the University of Michigan MFA program and the Residential College. She has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels. She lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan.

Find out more about Laura at her website.


Apparoo App of the Week–April 17


Hey yall! I’m here with the Apparoo App of the week for April 17.  Each week I’ll be sharing the “Apparoo App of the Week” with you.  These are often FREE or offered at a discount!


This week’s featured app is:

Tic Toc Time

From a kid’s perspective, time is a bizarre concept: there are 60 seconds and 60 minutes, but 12 hours… unless there are 24! And phrases like ‘a quarter til’ and ‘half past’ that we take for granted just seem to make their brains melt. Tic Toc Time takes a holistic approach to teaching time; a family of beavers leads a progression of fun games that first explain using a compass and the movement of the sun and shadows before logically arriving at both digital and analog time-telling. A good time is guaranteed for all!
> Featured by Apple in New and Noteworthy, Education and Kids Categories
> Designed for iPad and iPhone 
> Created in Conjunction with Renowned Astrophysicist 
> Certified by the kidSAFE® program 
> Secure gaming environment: No ads, no external links, no in-app purchase, no social media access, no personal informations request 
> 11 languages : French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean 

Tic Toc Time is normally $3.99. Download it here now for just $.99!

SPOTLIGHT: Billy and the Monster Who ate all the Easter Eggs

Billy and the monster who ate all the Easter eggs

About the Book

Title: Billy and The Monster Who Ate All The Easter Eggs

Author: David Chuka

Publication Date: March 23, 2013 

Publisher: Pen-n-a-Pad Publishing

Pages: 32

Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

Summary: Join Billy and Monster in this third episode of the series titled Billy and the Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs. Billy and Monster love all the holidays as they get to spend quality time together. However, their best holiday is Easter as they get to eat their favorite food…CHOCOLATE! This year, they’re spending Easter with Grandma Chocalicious who loves Chocolate even more than Billy. She’s an expert at making chocolate cake, chocolate waffles and even chocolate pasta. This year Grandma Chocalicious has made a pyramid of Easter eggs for her party on Easter Sunday. Billy and Monster want one of the Easter eggs but Grandma says they have to wait till Easter Sunday. What happens when Billy and Monster tip toe downstairs and the pyramid of Easter eggs comes falling down?

Get your copy of this funny book for kids of all ages that is not only full of laughs but also has a lesson weaved in that you’ll love sharing with your loved ones.


Book Trailer


* Print copy includes FREE coloring book inside *

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle)


The Buzz

“Experience is the best teacher as Billy and his “purple shadow” learn a sweet lesson in Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs. Beautifully illustrated, nicely formatted, this quick, easy story will be read over and over again.” ~ 5 Star Review, Julia B., Amazon

“My daughter has really been enjoying David Chuka’s Billy and Monster books. This is another fun addition to the “family.” As always, the story has a lovely moral (this time teaching the value of moderation – definitely the biggest word in the book)! It’s based on the very realistic theme of overindulging in chocolate/sweets, which virtually anyone can relate to and which kids find a lot of fun. And, awesome pictures as always. Definitely recommend it.” ~ 5 Star Review, Renee B., Amazon

“I really like the little monster in this book and how they get into trouble together. What child hasn’t snuck into the cache of candies that their parents have hidden? Cute story with a lesson for the little ones in your family!” ~ 5 Star Review, Patricia T., Amazon

“This is a cute story about a little boy Billy and his funny friend Monster. They love chocolate so much that they forget about obeying to older. At night, they sneaked to the chocolate egg pyramid, started eating the chocolate eggs and made a big mess. On the morning, they not only got in a big trouble, but they also got a bad stomach pain. They both had to learn a lessons about MODERATION. Nice illustrations, book well written.” ~ 5 Star Review, OPV, Amazon

“Billy and his monster friend enjoy lots of fun in this book, filled with great pictures and a cute story. It shares a lot about celebrating holidays, and intertwines humor and family love throughout the story. Hidden in the story is a nice message about eating in moderation, a well needed lesson in our culture of over-eating. Billy ends up being proud of himself and makes good decisions by the end of the book, while all the while sharing some adventures with his cute monster friend. Great read to share with your children or grandchildren year round, not just for the Easter holiday.” ~ 5 Star Review, Katie W., Amazon


About the Author: David Chuka

David ChukaDavid Chuka lives in London with his lovely wife and two adorable children. His family are usually the first people to hear his funny and quirky tales. He was inspired to write his first book, ‘If You See a Doctor‘ after he struggled to find a book for his daughter who was a beginner reader.

He’s gone on to write more books including the popular ‘Billy and Monster‘ series, a funny set of books about a little boy and his Monster who get into all sorts of funny situations and learn about moderation, friendship, self control, bravery etc. Young children can relate to Billy and you’ll love sharing his adventures with your children, grandchildren and loved ones.

As a father himself, he has parents at heart when he writes. He recognizes that bedtime has to be one of the best parts of the day for parents and grandparents as it gives them the opportunity to bond with their little ones. He believes you’ll enjoy sharing his stories with your loved ones at bedtime.

In David Chuka’s books, you can stay rest assured that quality and captivating images will always complement the story to ensure your loved ones are spell-bound as you read to them. Beginner readers will also enjoy discovering new words as they read his books.

He has so many stories to tell and can’t wait to share them with you and your loved ones.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Google+ | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page


Want to win a copy of Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs?

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 2 print copies of Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs by David Chuka in a Goodreads giveaway (Open U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia; Ends April 17, 2014).

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs by David Chuka

Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs

by David Chuka

Giveaway ends April 17, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: May 13, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, David Chuka and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER:  a Rafflecopter giveaway



MDBR Book Promotion Services

Take Your Workout to the Next Level with a Heart Rate Monitor


Anyone that has stuck with a workout routine for more than a couple of days knows that improving athletic performance is about more than just increasing its frequency. In order to get into the best shape possible, you need the right tools for the job. In that respect, a heart rate monitor can give a struggling athletic performance the edge it needs. By keeping proper tabs on your heart rate, you can more accurately understand the areas that are giving your body trouble, as well as give yourself a new motivational tool that will keep you off the couch and back at the gym. 

Part of the value of a heart rate monitor, aside from its intrinsic value of monitoring your heart, is in the way they keep statistics of your accomplishments. A heart rate monitor is about more than keeping tabs of your heart beats per minute, it’s about seeing how far you’ve gone and how many calories you’ve burned in your journey so far. This type of motivational tool is of immense value to anyone familiar with hitting the “wall” while running. Armed with a heart rate monitor, though, the “wall” is far less imposing than it might otherwise be. After all, once you’ve seen how easy it was to get as far as you already have, what’s a few more miles on top of that? In fact, there are heart rate monitor accessories specifically designed for runners to provide even more information, including the speed with which they’ve been running and a finely tuned distance measurement. 

With competitive prices to be found all over the Internet, including those offered by sites like Heart Rate Monitors USA, there has never been a better time to buy a heart rate monitor than today. Taking care of your body is incredibly important, so why not make it a little easier with a heart rate monitor to keep better track of your workout routines? Staying properly informed is absolutely integral to maximizing a workout routine and getting the best results possible, which only serves to highlight the importance of finding the heart rate monitor that is right for you. Coupled with a large array of exciting heart rate monitor accessories, there are plenty of customization options for anyone interested in improving their workouts or getting a fresh start on a new routine.

BOOK TOUR REVIEW: The Do’s and Don’ts by Haley Rose


The Do’s and Don’ts

by Haley Rose

Children’s Manners

Book Description

The Do’s and Don’ts is a whimsical lesson book aimed at teaching young readers the difference between good and bad behavior/etiquette. In the book Zack and Chloe go from being manner monsters to well-behaved children as they provide samples of typical scenarios that not only young children encounter but can relate to. For example, Zack becomes a Manner Monster when he loses a game, kicking and pouting like a poor sport. In contract, good behavior is then modeled depicting Zack congratulating the winning team. Unlike other etiquette books for children that tell a story or just communicate positive behavior, The Do’s and Don’ts compares and contrasts between good and bad behavior. Simply, yet colorfully displayed, are examples of inappropriate behavior and decisions young children may display followed by behavior and decisions that are more socially accepted. Each compare and contrast anecdote is set in the same scene so that young readers can instantly see the differences between good and poor behavior.




The Do’s and Don’ts by Hayley Rose

This is a cute book that does a really great job of teaching kids manners. The illustrations show that you are a “Manner Monster” when you are doing the “don’ts” and why that is a bad thing. The language is very straightforward, and there’s not too much text per page, so your child’s attention doesn’t wander.

My 5 year old absolutely loved this book, which I am very glad of, because he is very often a “Manner Monster”. We’ve read it so many times now, it’s like he’s reading it to me! I’m glad that this book was able to teach him manners in a way he could easily understand…and which I am sure he likes better than his mom and dad scolding him.

View all my reviews


About the Author

Multi-award-winning author Hayley Rose released her first children’s book, Fifo When I Grow Up, about a six-year-old bear starting school in 2002, followed by the wildly popular geography book and #1 best-seller, Fifo 50 States, published in 2010. In 2012, Hayley was selected as one of “The Top 50 Writers You Should Be Reading” by In 2013, she branched out with a new series featuring a new set of characters, Zach and Chloe the Louis the manner monster. Her new book, The Do’s and Don’ts, was released in September 2013 and has already garnered four literary awards, including the Readers’ Favorite, USA Best Books and the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards, bringing her career total to twenty-one. The follow up book in the new series, Today I Feel Emotion, will be released in the spring of 2014.

Hayley Lives in Scottsdale, AZ, with her dog Blanche.

Visit her website at

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

PURCHASE The Do’s and Don’ts

Be sure to click on the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour!

Pump Up Your Book

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Purex Crystals Fabulously Fresh

I don’t have to tell you that living in a house with two guys and a dog makes for some stinky laundry.  My son is in karate and baseball, and my husband works in a casino so he usually comes home smelling like smoke.

I have found the best thing to help freshen our laundry and keep it smelling great–Purex Crystals!  And the new, limited edition scent Fabulously Fresh is perfect for spring.

Purex Crystals are 87% natural crystals that go in at the start of the wash, so they spend more time infusing laundry with long-lasting freshness.

You add them in at the start of the wash, right in the drum with the detergent.


Here is a cool closeup showing you the texture of the crystals.  In my opinion, this is a lot less messy than traditional liquid fabric softener, which often overflows or spills all over your hand when you are trying to pour it.

The scent is very nice, but not overpowering.  Fabulously Fresh is a soft floral that makes you feel clean, rather than assaulting your senses.

The crystals dissolved very well no matter what temperature water I washed in, and I could find no traces of them in the machine after the load was done.

And I can also say that the claim that Purex Crystals keep your clothes smelling good for weeks is true! Everything I’ve pulled out of my closet smells like it was just washed, and I love the fact that I keep catching whiffs of the Fabulously Fresh scent all day.


As you can see, the bottle is really pretty and the floral pattern will brighten up anyone’s laundry room!  There’s even a clear panel on the front so you can see when your Purex Crystals are getting low…which you do not want, because this product is awesome!


Two winners will receive FREE PRODUCT COUPONS to try out Purex Fabulously Fresh for themselves!


Make sure you check out the Purex Facebook Page to follow up on new products and promotions.

Apparoo App of the Week–April 10


Hey yall! I’m here with the Apparoo App of the week for April 10.  Each week I’ll be sharing the “Apparoo App of the Week” with you.  These are often FREE or offered at a discount!


This week’s featured app is:



How do we always find time to post super-adorable kid pictures on Facebook, but somehow never get that long-planned baby book done? Well, guilt-trip no more. Blinkbuggy is an online baby book that puts all your photos, milestones and funny stories in one place – and it’s as easy as a status update. You can keep it completely private, link to social media (it can even grab the photos you’ve already posted), or share with whomever you choose – great for grandparents! These precious years will disappear faster than that photo you posted last month, so don’t spend another moment procrastinating. Create an enduring – and endearing – album with Blinkbuggy online and in print!

The Blinkbuggy app allows you to: 
• Capture: 
- Funny, touching and special “Quotes” as they happen 
- Milestones, thoughts, events, etc, with “Notes” as they happen 
- Pictures as they happen or from the past 
• Securely upload memories directly to your Blinkbuggy web account 
• Organize your mobile memories through tags and collections 
• Share with friends and family or keep memories private 
• See recent memories captured through the iPhone app 
• Sign up for a new Blinkbuggy web account 
• Coming soon: View ALL memories on mobile and Capture and securely upload video and audio 

Download it here.

WIN a Moms’ Night Out from Purex!

Being a mom is the hardest job of all, but sometimes moms need a break too! That’s why Purex is celebrating Mother’s Day and the release of Sony’s new motion picture, Moms’ Night Out, by giving away a night out for you and up to five friends.

So get your BFFs together for a night out on the town, courtesy of the laundry BFFs from Purex, and enter for your chance to win today!

One Grand Prize Winner

  • Limo service for the evening
  • Dinner at a nice restaurant
  • 6 free movie tickets/passes
  • $100 bucks for movie snacks

10 runners up

  • 4 free movie tickets/passes


All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and conversation . . . a long-needed moms’ night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a paper bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for three hours… what could go wrong? This film is an endearing true-to-life family comedy that celebrates the beautiful mess called parenting.
Starring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin, Trace Adkins, and more!


What would you do on a Moms’ Night Out?

I would be hitting the spa, for sure.  Then dinner at a NICE place that doesn’t have toys or crayons, along with one or two cocktails!

Be sure to enter to win this amazing sweepstakes!!


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