Win a copy of "Christmas in Harmony" CD by Wilson Phillips!

Wilson Phillips returns with a NEW CD "Christmas in Harmony"
Review & Giveaway at Hip Mama's Place

Hip Mama's Place is giving away a copy of Wilson Phillips new CD "Christmas in Harmony" on her blog and I thought I'd forward you there.  Now, keep in mind I intend to WIN that CD but it can't hurt to try hmmm?
This classic Holiday album- released on Sony MASTERWORKS/DRW Entertainment- is filled with 13 Christmas songs including “Silver Bells”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, “Winter Wonderland”, “The Christmas Song” and many more. There are also a few newly written Christmas songs - “Joy” which the three ladies- Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips composed and “Christmastime” which Chynna and music producer Glen Ballard wrote together. Wilson Phillips will also be performing their new single “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” live on Good Morning America and The View

Album tracks: 

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day 
Little Drummer Boy 
Warm Lovin’ Christmastime 
When A Child Is Born 
Silent Night 
Santa Clause Is Coming to Town 
Silver Bells 
Sleigh Ride 
Winter Wonderland 
The Christmas Song 
Our Prayer 
Now at different stages in all of their lives, the Wilson Phillips female trio is excited to finally be back together and musically share the joy, love and happiness of the holiday season not only with their families, but with their fans too. 

To preview or purchase "Christmas in Harmony" CD by Wilson Phillips, just click below and go to Amazon to place your order!  Thanks so much!

A Handmade Christmas...

I have a new bloggy friend named Pam who decided this year to have a Handmade Christmas (at least for her kids) and when I found out I asked if she would share her projects with us.  She was kind enough to send pics and even the link to where she found the pattern.

I thought she did an awesome job!  Don't you?

I had emailed Pam when she stopped by my blog and she commented that she was going to make a doll for her daughter for Christmas and had already made up several little outfits and was almost done with a dolly quilt.  Here is what she made for her kids:


I got a kick out of what she said:

For Christmas, I decided to make the Mini-Kimmy doll, clothing and quilt for my little girl. 
As a brand-new, self-taught sewer, I was surprised to discover how easy the pattern was 
to follow and how well it turned out! I have to admit that my doll is panty-less, however, 
as after 2 failed attempts, I decided she didn't need any panties...

She ended up making the Pirate doll for her son when he saw his sister's doll and he told her: "Mommy, you could make me a doll too if you wanted".  Isn't that just too cute?  Pam found a Pirate Pattern then and it fit's him perfectly, without pinching any of that masculine pride.  LOL   Plus, she made him the shorts, eye patch and a hat so he can play pirate himself.  He's going to be the envy of all the little boys out there!

If you'd like to make a doll & accessories or a Pirate and accessories (dress up clothes not included) for your kids (this would be a great Christmas or Birthday gift) you can find the patterns at:

Mini Kimmie Doll & Pattern, click here
Pirate Pattern, pattern is on etsy, click here

You can go to: and look around.  There are some really neat looking sewing and craft items for all ages - infant to adult.


Wicked Witch of the West Cupcakes

We had a visitor on Holiday Gift Guide today - and she has a darling blog you just have to check out!  Jacqueline from Purple Chocolat Home has a delightful blog that has the most wonderful cupcakes that every little kid would love to have at THEIR halloween party.  Check 'em out!

These adorable Wicked Witch of the West cupcakes were
featured in the October 17th edition of Women's Day Magazine.

Jacqueline has a thorough tutorial and the recipes for the 
fondant hats and shoes on her blog HERE.

Don't miss the wonderful Witches in the 
Woods Tea Party whose menu was:

Wicked Hot Chocolate
Graveyard Cupcake Tower
Wiggly Squiggly Canapes
Rotten Apples

Wouldn't you just have LOVED to have been there?




Winter Rosy Wool Wreath

I love Winter decorations that can stay up until Valentine's Day.  They are more versatile, fit several decor styles and can go up the day after Thanksgiving and stay up until February.  Creative Passage has posted a delightful wreath that you and your kids can make for teachers, grandparents, friends of the family - anyone will love it. And it's versatile enough for Christmas, Hanukkah or just for Winter. I asked Ellen if she would make up a tutorial for my readers and she has kindly agreed to share it with us.  I'm going to post a picture and the supplies needed and then you can go to her blog for the instructions.  

(Isn't it darling?)

Felted Wool Rose Wreath Tutorial

Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Circle Patterns (she used bowls)
Wool or Regular Felt
Marking Pen
Grapevine Wreath
Shiny or Fuzzy Snowflakes from
The Dollar Tree (get 'em cheap)

This would be a great family activity.  The older kids can help make the roses and the little ones can help put everything together.  They can hand you the supplies as you need them - obviously the glue gun is to dangerous for them.  Enjoy - I'd love to see your finished projects!

~ Tina "The Book Lady"


Giveaway ~ Everyday Celebrations Thanksgiving Cards

Thankfulness ~ Gratitude
Gratitude, thankfulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in 
acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. 

I was on a blog hop the other day and came across a wonderful blog & etsy shop called Everyday Celebrations which encourages families to celebrate the holidays and everyday life together. LeAnne has a couple of wonderful items in her store that I wish I had had when I was teaching and/or a nanny. The Thanksgiving Cards are designed to use together and a great way to teach your children about thankfulness.

With the holidays (and birthdays) come an abundance of presents, treats, activities and more.  We, not just our kids, get so involved in the activity and "stuff" that comes with the holidays that it's easy to forget that someone has worked hard to find just the right thing or has spent the time to make it "perfect" for family and friends.  So, how do we teach gratitude and thankfulness to our kids?

LeAnne has created the 'Give Thanks' Countdown Cards to give families and teachers a tool to teach thankfulness.  The instructions are very well written and thought out and the activities included can be used with all ages from kids 2 and up.  (You may need to “tweak” them to fit different age ranges).  Your children will not only learn what gratitude or thankfulness is, but also how to show it to others.

When you purchase the Countdown Cards you receive two files.  The first file includes over 30 family-friendly activities that focus on gratitude. Templates and printables are included to complete all the activities.  There are patterns and suggestions on things you can do as a family that are hands on.  Some you can discuss in the car or at the dinner table.  They are designed to get your family thinking.  Others you actually "do".  These activities take a little longer to do - you may want to spread the activity over 24 hours.  For example, you might explain the activity at dinner one night and then during the next 24 hours (or until tomorrow's dinner time) let everyone mull over or find props that give meaning to the task your family is working on.

The 2nd file you receive is the actual cards that you will print out to create your countdown cards. 

This set of cards would make a great gift to newlyweds, new parents, church groups, kids clubs, teachers – anyone of all ages would benefit from this set.  It would also be very beneficial for youth groups and homeschooling families.


  1. Print off the sign that reads, “We just had to “pop” over and say we‘re thankful for you!” Attach the sign to a neighbors’ door with a bag of microwave popcorn or 2 liters of soda. Make it anonymous by ding-dong-ditching!
  2. For your evening or dinner prayer, only offer a prayer of thanks.
  3. Have everyone name three things they are thankful for.
  4. Put everyone’s name in a hat and have everyone draw one. By tomorrow night, everyone has to find a way to secretly serve that person.
There are a couple of ways you can get your own set of 'Give Thanks' Countdown Cards.

1. You can purchase the downloadable set of cards at her etsy shop “Everyday Celebrations”.  There is also a neat calendar that you can make up.  It would make a neat decoration in your home – just be sure to put it in a prominent spot where it can be seen.  While you’re at it, why don’t you have a family verse such as:

'Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is so good...' Psalm 118:29 TLB

2.  LeAnne has graciously offered to sponsor a giveaway (of the 'Give Thanks' Countdown Cards) to my Holiday Traditions & GivingNSharing readers and suggested we try to have the giveaway end early enough that the winner will have time to make up their own set of cards in time for November 1st.

Mandatory Entry:
Be sure you are following Holiday Traditions on GFC (left column) before you do any of the entries. You must follow my blog and LeAnne's before you do any of the others.  I would hate to delete your entries after all of your hard work!   

1. Follow LeAnne on her blog: Everyday Celebrations on GFC and leave her a comment that I sent you.  You can put something like: "Hi, I entered the Everyday Celebrations giveaway on Holiday Traditions, Gifts and Recipes today at:"

Optional Entries: 
Leave a separate comment for each. All entries are worth the number of times noted next to it, if it says (2) please post two comments.  (Note: you can do all or none of these)
  • Favorite Everyday Celebrations on Etsy and Tell me 1-2 things that you would love to have in the Everyday Celebrations Etsy shop. (2)
  • Follow me on Twitter (1)
  • Follow me on Facebook (1)
  • Follow Holiday Traditions on Networked Blogs (left column, scroll down) (1)
  • Tweet/post on Facebook: "Great Family Activity! WIN a PDF of the 'Give Thanks' Countdown Cards,  ends 10/27 #giveaway #family RT@familyliteracy" (Can tweet up to 2x's a day till 10/27 for 2 entries each)
  • Join my mailing list on Holiday Traditions (left column) and receive an extra entry into all giveaways from November 24 - Dec 8th! Also get advance notices of events and special opportunities for readers of all 3 of my blogs! (3).
  • Vote for my GivingNSharing Blog or my Family Literacy and You blog and receive 1 entry per vote.  Please list which ones you did.  Thanks! (Up to 6 entries total)
  • Make a purchase on Everyday Celebrations over $6.50 and receive 10 entries!
Closing details:
This giveaway will run until October 27th and closes at 10 pm.  I will do the drawing at 10 pm (by so the winner can get their PDF ordered and it’s delivered as soon as possible.  Your PDF will come as a Zipped File and if you have questions about what “zipped” means, LeAnne will be happy to help you out.

I received a copy of the 'Give Thanks' Countdown Cards from LeAnne in order to do the review.  I received no financial compensation and all opinions in this review are my own.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


Happy Halloween!

Halloween has really changed since I was kid in more ways than one.  How many of you remember walking around the neighborhood filling bag after bag FULL of candy?  Not having to have parents with you, making your own costumes and actually saying "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You"?  
When I was a kid preparing for Halloween began when school started.  This meant making a decision about what I wanted to be and then mom and I thinking about outfits, props - the planning was way more than 3/4 of the fun.  We would hit the goodwill and find clothes that could be used to make up a scarecrow, a witch, a gypsy lady (can you tell I was a reader?), or whatever else I could come up with.  I know one year my brother was an "old lady", Mike "the refrigerator" (I think his name was Mike - he was a Cornhusker, of course - nope, I just looked it upline, he was actually William Perry).  
I know over the years that we never went to a costume store or a halloween prop store.  Actually I doubt they were around at that time.  I thought I'd share with you a few of Usborne's Make & Do Books and Kid Kits that would help with planning that special Halloween costume.

Fairies?  Fairies can be fairy godmothers or evil fairies like in your favorite storybook.  Which would you be?
This enchanting book is teeming with delightful projects. Follow the simple step-by-step instructions to make pictures, pretty little bags, a tooth fairy purse, fairy pillows and lots more. Even if you’ve never sewn anything before, you’ll be able to follow the instructions for sewing different stitches, and attaching sparkling sequins and shimmering beads.  Big Book of Fairy Things to Make and Do  or Fairytale Things to Make and Do

Wizard?  Wander into the wonderful world of wizards in this magical activity book. By following the simple steps, you can create spellbinding wizards, enchanted castles, a bubbling cauldron and warty toads. You’ll also find out how to make magic wands and wizard hats, creepy cats and bouncing bats. With over 250 silvery stickers to add extra magic to everything you make.  Wizard Things to Make and Do

Princess?  What little girl hasn't dreamed about being a princess?  This kit includes Little Princess Treasury book, simulated diamond tiara, jeweled bracelet, as well as 10 innovative and fun stick-on body jewels with cosmetic glue (adult supervision recommended), and suggestions for creative princess activities.  Princess Jewelry Kid KitPrincess Things to Make and DoPrincess Handbook

Monsters - What kind of monster would you like to be?  A Scarrrrry Monster?  A cute furry little monster like Elmo? Or maybe an Alien Monster from Mars?  You’ll find monsters lurking in every corner of this fantastic activity book – they’re hiding in cupboards, swimming in the sea, flying in the air and squelching around in a swamp. Follow the simple steps to make monster finger puppets, wobbling monsters, pop-up cards, dangly monsters and lots more. You can also make a monster mask and hands, so that you can look like a monster too! There are over 400 stickers for you to stick onto the things you’ve made.  Monster Things to Make and Do

Be a Pirate!
You can be Blackbeard, Jack "The Sparrow",  or any other pirate you want to be!  Take a leap into the swashbuckling world of pirates as you tackle the projects in this exciting kit. Make a shining sword, a treasure chest, a moneybag, coins, an eye patch, a treasure map, a pirate hat and lots more. Kid Kit includes: Pirate Things to Make & Do book, pirate stamp (Jolly Roger Stamp), pirate stamp pad (black ink), shiny silver material for pirate sword, glue stick, scissors, black construction paper, white crayon, black felt and elastic cord for pirate moneybag, and heavy art paper for treasure chest & other projects.  Pirate Things to Make & Do Kid Kit Pirate's Handbook


Thanks go to....

Prayer request: Please keep Teresa & her husband of A Baby Changes Everything in your prayers.  Her husband had a stroke in the last 10 days while he was travelling and she is really sick with what sounds like the Upper Respiratory Crud that's going around. I sounds like he's at the hospital where they live now but you all know how hard it is to keep going when something like this has happened - but now she's really sick on top of everything.


Holly at Nap Time surprised me with a bloggy award today!  Thanks Holly!  She has a darling blog filled with Family Challenges, Reviews and More.  Be sure to stop by and say hi sometime soon.


Rules for accepting:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass this on to 13 other great bloggers
4. Contact the selected bloggers and tell them about their awards

7 Things about Tina "The Book Lady"
1.  I work 30 hours a week at a bank customer service survey company.  I help with the production of surveys which are mailed out and then I type them up when they are returned.
2.  I have 3 blogs that I try and update 2-3 times a week.  I do reviews & giveaways on all 3 and also enter over 60 blog hops/giveaway linkies each week.  My Blogs are:
      a.  Family Literacy and You:
      b.  GivingNSharing:
      c.  Holiday Traditions, Gifts and Recipes:
3.  I am the aunt of 12 nieces & nephews - hence #4!
4.  I own my own children's bookstore that I run on the weekends.  Based with Usborne Books & More, I also counsel parents on choosing books for their kids, do bookfairs, reading incentive programs and literacy booths.
Christmas is coming & of course birthdays are always happening - Usborne Books are The Books Kids Love to Read!
5.  I love to sew.  I don't do much of it anymore (obviously) but I used to make all my own clothes.  Lately I've been making baby quilts from flannel and fleece for my family and friends as their families are growing.  I've been making bookmarks to sell at my booths.
6.  I retaught myself crocheting this year.  It was something that I could take to booths or do while watching criminal minds on Wednesday night (now you know where I'll be in an hour & a 1/2).  I've been crocheting market bags and just finished 1/2 of a set of wristlets (the thumb has been interesting - NOT).
7.  I have fibromyalgia and if you have any friends or family that has a chronic illness please add them to your prayer journal.  Another way you can support them is by referring them to: where there is a wonderful support group.  Thank you.

13 bloggers to receive the Stylish Blog Award
These are the blogs that have taught me more about blogging, writing and content than any book could have in the last 3-4 months!  Thanks so much!

1. Anglicious Gifts and More
2. Make More Cookies
3. La Bella Vita
4. Mom of all Trades
5. Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
6. Lisa's Gluten Free Advice & Healthy Living
7. A Baby Changes Everything
8. Squeaky Clean Reads
9. Biz Mommy
10. OBoy Organic
11. Christie Jordan's Southern Plate
12. Pie Bird Blog
13. Audrey's Give Aways

Please take a moment to visit one or all of these fabulous blogs!


The Nativity Collection by Robert J Morgan

Gather your family and experience the true spirit of love at Christmas 
through this timeless gift of story.

The Nativity Collection was written by Pastor Robert J Morgan as a gift for his congregation.  1 story each year and this little book is a compilation of 6 of those stories.  You will find a story about a grandfather and his grandson who are trapped in a blizzard and trying to survive, there is also the story of Ollie, another of a family who's car (with it's food and presents) disappears on Christmas Eve and the lesson that is learned by this family.  The pictures in the book are beautiful and designed to draw your heart and mind toward Jesus, God's ultimate gift to us.  

This book is ideal for families to read together and will be easiest for children 5/6 and up to understand and listen to.  Some of the stories will encourage questions & discussions (such as how would YOU feel if we had no presents on Christmas Day).  The pictures would be fun to recreate as a family art project or to make Christmas ornaments.

Suggested use:  Start reading 1 of the stories each night for the 6 nights before Christmas and on Christmas Day, after breakfast and before you open presents, read the Story of Christmas (Jesus' birth) from Luke 2.  Why?  Because our true focus on Christmas should be on Jesus.  Jesus is God's Ultimate Gift to us in the form of a baby which led to Salvation at the cross and being redeemed in the eyes of God through the resurrection.

You can purchase The Nativity Collection online at Amazon for $10.79.  You can click on the title of the book in this review to order if you'd like.  Thank You!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Note: Other books you might consider to enhance your family time together from Robert J Morgan:

Falling Christmas Object Gadget