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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Changes a Comin'

Change is in the air, and it isn't just because it's Fall.

I'm trying a few new things here at THE REAL DEAL...

Beginning in October, I'll have a new Online Book Club feature on my blog. I'm so giddy to try this! There is just something super cool about reading the same book as women all over the place!

Here's how it'll work:
  • At the beginning of each month, I'll choose a new title to read and post it on my site. I hope many of you decide to read the same book with me! (There might even be some more book giveaways in the future.) 
  • We'll take the month to read and jot down some notes, thoughts, etc. 
  • Then on a specified date (at the end of the same month) I'll post a review of the book and we can have a "discussion" in the comments. (Or if I really get things figured out...via Skype. Is that even possible with a group? Who knows...LOL) 
  • And maybe even some Author participation
  • Easy, peasy! 
  • October's book club selection is Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz. So order yourself a copy or download it on your Kindle...
And finally, I want you all to mark your calendars for the week of October 8-12. Because I'll be hosting Kathi Lipp's 5 Day Husband Project. I'm a big fan of Kathi Lipp and her book, The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man on Purpose and with a Plan looks like a great and fun way to surprise our hubby's with some extra special treats and attention. 

So if you're feeling like joining me in this mini-experiment (and I hope you will!) I'll post a homework assignment every day (from the book) and then we'll see if our husband's feel extra loved and appreciated by us at the end of the week. 

Sound fun to you, too? Good! :) I'll post more details on The Husband Project next week!

So what do you think?? Are you in for book club and husband project? I hope so!!! :) 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Joanne Kraft and Magic!

Joanne Kraft
The other day I saw a post on Facebook from the stunning, charming, and delightfully fun, Joanne Kraft. She is the author of Just Too Busy, Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical, a book that is nearing the top of my TBR (to be read) pile.

I can't say enough about her and how she has personally encouraged and motivated me to stay the course with my writing! I love her to pieces...even though she's betrayed all us Californians and moved across the country! :)

But I digress.

In this particular post, on Facebook, she shared her magic secret for a perfectly Fall-ish, homemade scent. She claims it even covers a multitude of unsavory scents...including teenage boy smell.

I'll give you a hint. It involves cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, lemons and a simmering pot of water. Go ahead and check it out! You know you want the recipe for Joanne's World Famous Simmering Potpourri.

That recipe and me have a date for later in the week...or as soon as I get my lazy self to the grocery store to pick up some cloves! :) I can only imagine how awesome it smells!

Share with me: What scent/smell do you love to have wafting around your home this time of year? Do you ever make homemade concoctions? 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

And the Winners Are...

***Thank you all for your patience while Jenny and I chose our winners this morning!!***

Before I announce the winners...(tease, I know!)...I want to let you all know that I have a few fun surprises/new additions coming to my site in the next few weeks. So be looking for those. I'm really excited about what I'm hoping will be a fun and encouraging experiment! :)

I would also really love it if you would post your blog, Twitter, FB...URL's in the comments so I can follow you guys back! I've had a great time this week and want to keep the party going!

Next, I am beyond excited to announce the winner of Friday's prize basket

Debbie Parmer!!! 

After 2 hours of counting up entries and double checking to make sure I didn't forget any "shares" or "tweets"...I finally drew a winner for my GRAND PRIZE BASKET (my collection of favorite things!) 

And the winner is: 

Joanne Bischof!!! 

Congratulations ladies! Please email me your mailing address so I can get your *huge* prizes to you! (lacie0430@comcast.net)


And finally, I'm excited to announce the winners of the writing prizes! Email me to collect your prizes! (lacie0430@comcast.net)

Again, congratulations to ALL our winners! And thank you so much to all our commenters and new friends! We had a blast!!!! :) 


Almost!

Morning All!

I apologize that my results are late this morning! Unexpected delays...

But they WILL be up TODAY! Keep checking! And enjoy your Saturday! :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Can It Really Be Over? - Day 5

***Don't forget to stop by Jenny Hale's site to enter her final giveaway, too!***


(I apologize for my daughter's entry into the last bit of that recording. I have no idea why she was wearing a beanie. Silly girl!) 

Okay, drum roll, please............................



The winner of my Teacup basket is: 

Vera!

The winner of my regular keepsake box prize pack is: 

Hannah Joy!

The winner of my Cookie basket is:

Melody! 

Congratulations to my three winners! Don't forget to email me your mailing address so I can get your prizes to you!! (lacie0430@comcast.net)

Today's final prize pack includes:
  • A keepsake box
  • Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK by Betsy St. Amant
  • A Path Toward Love by Cara Lynn James
  • Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz
  • Ghirardelli Dark and Sea Salt Caramel chocolate
  • Stationary Set
  • Fall scented candle
  • $10 gift card to Amazon


In order to be entered, answer the question I ask in my video! :) 

And don't forget the Grand Prize basket (many of my favorite things!). I will be drawing one lucky winner for that on Friday evening (tonight)! So be sure you enter by either leaving me a comment to today's post, follow me on any of my social media sites, including my blog, OR use the Share button in my sidebar to help me advertise!

***As a bonus entry to my Grand Prize basket, click over to Jenny's site and tell me what person she'd most like to meet. You'll have to hunt for it a bit on her site...Good Luck!!! :) :) 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Possibilities! - Day 4

Grand Prize Basket. Read the previous posts to enter!
In yesterday's vlog, Jenny Hale talked about balance and the many hats we wear as women. She confessed to difficulty with balancing her many tasks as a mom, wife, writer, etc. Her vlog really resonated with me...especially yesterday! I'm in the same boat as Jenny. Only sometimes I feel as if my life preserver is busted.

Yesterday was just such a day for me.

It started brilliantly, as most Wednesdays do since I get to enjoy the weekly company of my women's Bible study group. We're working through Beth Moore's James study and it's inspiring...as all of them are!

But Wednesday's are also the day I work in my kindergarteners class for the afternoon. Which means I literally run from Bible study to school with no time to breathe...let alone grab lunch. Thanks to McD's (which I'm trying to eliminate from my diet) I multi-tasked. :)

Once school gets out, we only have time for a quick snack before jetting my son off to karate. Then home again for dinner and homework. Only yesterday, had to be more complicated. My youngest has a field trip today and my fridge looked pretty bare for lunch packing. Laundry was burying my floor and I couldn't find a window in which to accomplish anything. I was frustrated!

To add to my stress, I work in my son's class all morning today, I was supposed to film a vlog for this post and my son's timed math test is looming. The cherry on top?? My husband and I got in the most ridiculous fight so our treasured Survivor TV watching night appeared spoiled.

I literally wanted to pull out my hair.

When it occurred to me...that I must be doing something right and good. See, I believe that Satan doesn't waste his time messing with people that are already ignoring God. I think those of us that are trying...really trying...to get things right by being the best wife we can be, the most attentive mother we can be, giving our whole effort as if to glorify God in all our tasks...have his full attention. He likes to muddy the water. He likes to make us doubt ourselves and our efforts.

But I refuse to be one of his victims, so I prioritized my to-do list. Gave myself some grace where the vlog and the laundry were concerned. Focused on the homework and enjoyed the evening with my husband.

Praise God for new mornings filled with new possibilities! I know I've come to rely on them greatly! :) 

As part of Thursday's "new possibilities", I'm giving away THREE prizes today! 

 The Teacup basket includes:

  • A decorative teacup
  • A Bride's Portrait by Erica Vetsch
  • Stars in Her Eyes by Erica Vetsch
  • Erica's favorite reading treat: peanut M&M's
  • A $10 gift card to Erica's favorite store: Amazon
  • Three titles by Julie Jarnigan
  • Julie's favorite reading treat: gummy bears
  • A $10 gift card to Julie's favorite store: Target

The daily prize pack includes:
  • A Stripped keepsake box
  • Love Finds you in Mackinac Island by Melanie Dobson
  • Wish You Were Here by Beth Vogt
  • The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen
  • Ghirardelli Milk and Hazelnut chocolate
  • Stationary set
  • Fall scented candle
  • $10 gift card to Starbucks


Photo used with permission by Glorious Treats!
The Cookie Basket includes:
  •  6 beautiful fall cookies by Glory of Glorious Treats!
  • A Bride's Portrait by Erica Vetsch
  • Stars in Her Eyes by Erica  Vetsch
  • An autographed copy of Apollyon by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye
To be entered to win one of these 3 prizes, leave me a comment telling me what YOU struggle with most, how you find balance, or what derails your day the fastest. 


Oh and before I forget...just kidding, I can't forget this part...I get to announce yesterday's winner!!!!! 

Congratulations, to Becky Doughty!!!! You are the winner of my "sunny basket". :) 
(email me your mailing address at lacie0430@comcast.net)
















Wednesday, September 19, 2012

But Wait! There's More!!! Day 3

First of all...I apologize that I don't have a video for you guys today. We had one of those days in the Nezbeth household yesterday, and I just wasn't able to squeeze it in.

However, that doesn't mean that I don't have more treats for everyone!!! But before I get to today's prize pack, let me announce yesterday's winner!

Congratulations, Lori Dilworth!!! 

You are the winner of my "Ooh la la" basket. Send me an email with your mailing address and I'll get your prize in the mail. (lacie0430@comcast.net)

If you don't already know, Jennifer Hale is AWESOME!! And NICE! And she's giving away more books and goodies! Check it out!

Today's basket includes:


  • A sunny keepsake box
  • The Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson
  • Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble
  • Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin
  • Ghirardelli Milk and Caramel Chocolate
  • Stationary set
  • Autumn scented candle
  • $10 gift card to Target


***In order to have your name entered to win today's prize pack, tell me who your favorite Bible character is. Even if you don't know much about the faces in the Bible, don't be scared away! I'm not here to test anyone on their Bible knowledge, I'm merely curious as to who you heard about most growing up, or who left the biggest impression on you.***

My favorite Bible name (apart from Jesus...) has to be Queen Esther. And I'll tell you why! Beth Moore's Esther study is the first Bible study I did as an adult...as someone who thought they already had all the Bible stuff figured out. And I'm here to tell you, that study knocked my socks off. That was the first time I realized that while God's name is never mentioned in the entire book, the book is practically drenched in His fingerprints.

And I like knowing that. That even when I can't see God, even when He feels far away from me, His plans, His workings, His fingerprints are scattered all over my life. 

Grand Prize Basket!
Apart from those sentimental reasons, I just love strong, beautiful, brave women! And it certainly doesn't hurt that Esther got to spend 12 months at a day spa! :) 

Okay, that's enough for today. Don't forget about my giveaway at the end of the week! Today if you leave me a comment answering the above question, you'll not only be entered for today's basket but I'll also enter your name in the final drawing TWICE!!! 

And writers...leave me your blurbs in the comments for a shot at some pretty amazing critiques. Read yesterday's post for more details. 

Have a Wonderful Wednesday...And safe travels to all my ACFW friends! :) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More, More, More - Day 2!

Welcome back to Day 2 of our fun little contest week!! I hope you're having as much fun as I am!

video

Not as long today! And less "ums". ;)

Congratulations Loree Huebner!!! Email me your address please! (lacie0430(at)comcast(dot)net)

 Today's giveaway basket includes:

  • Ooh la la! Keepsake box
  • Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley
  • Lost and Found by Ginny Yttrup
  • The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden
  • Ghirardelli Dark and Raspberry chocolate
  • Stationary set
  • Autumn scented candle
  • $10 gift card to Starbucks

***To be entered to win this "basket" (as I seem to keep calling them), tell me what your favorite TV show was as a child. Leave me your answers in the comments!***

***To earn another entry into my Grand Prize basket at the end of the week, use the link in my sidebar to share this post either on Facebook or Twitter!***

And WRITERS: Don't forget we have so many prizes for you too! If you want to win...
  • A 30 page + Synopsis critique by MacGregor Literary
  • A 3 month membership to Bestseller Society
  • A 1 hour marketing consultation from Author Media
  • 4 Writer's Guides written by The Character Therapist
  • Plus more! Listed on Jennifer Hale's site
...leave either Jenny or myself your book blurb in the comments! And we'll randomly select which prize goes to which author! 

Good luck! And have a marvelous Tuesday!!! :) 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Let's Get it Started!!

It's finally here! Yay! Our BRIGHT SIDE BLOG BASH begins...NOW!!! 

(Fair warning: today's post is extra long because I have so much to tell you! Sorry! Oh, and I stink at vlogging!)

 Enjoy! :)


Ok, so I apologize for the length of that. I promise they won't all be 8+ minutes! 

***Small correction*** 

Both Jenny Hale and I will be giving away books and prize packs daily, but we have decided to do all writer prizes at the end of the week! If you're a reader, pay no attention to this announcement! If you're hoping to win one of the critiques or writer memberships, etc. you may submit your book blurb (and other items, see "housekeeping" below) ANY DAY THIS WEEK ON EITHER MY SITE OR JENNY'S!!! Does that make sense? Leaving your book blurb on either one of our sites will automatically enter you in the drawing for our writer related prizes. Ask in the comments if you're unsure. :) 



***What's included in my GRAND PRIZE BASKET?***

My Grand Prize or "Lacie in a box" basket is full of some of my favorite, most life-changing things! :) 
It includes:
  • Beth Moore's DAVID, SEEKING A HEART LIKE HIS workbook
  • 52 Things Kids Need From a Mom by Angela Thomas
  • The Get Yourself Organized Project by Kathi Lipp
  • A book from two of my favorite authors, Tracie Peterson and Tamera Alexander
  • 5 I Can Read Bible stories for kids (my kids LOVE these books!)
  • Anne of Green Gables DVD (Perfection!)
  • A Beautiful Life Journal (I'm so addicted to journals and stationary)
  • Kari Jobe's Where I Find You CD
  • "A Mother's Work is Never Done" Plaque
  • "Every good and perfect gift is from above" Travel mug
  • "With God all things are possible" coffee cup
  • Wen hair care - Shampoo in Lavender (adds 10 minutes to my showers but nothing is as rich and creamy as this stuff!)
  • Merle Norman Lip Glaze in Bare Hug (it's a combo between lipstick and lip gloss and I wear it EVERY day!)
  • 6 of the most scrumptious "welcome fall" cookies by my sweet friend Glory of Glorious Treats...take a peak!
  • 4 $10 gift cards to Home Goods, Banana Republic, Amazon and Family Christian Stores (seriously, I live at these stores!) 
***To enter this drawing for today-Monday the 17th-all you need to do is "follow" me! You'll get an entry for following my blog, following me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. That's 4 possible entries for today! If you already follow me on those sites...it still counts. Just tell me in the comments that you already subscribe to my silly antics and you'll get the points. And to be extra silly...because today is just that kind of day...if you want to earn ONE more entry for today (and have time to do this), count the many, many times I said "um" in my video. (It's okay...you can laugh at me. My husband and I are getting a kick out of it too!) Leave your answer in the comments!***


***Today's Prize Pack***

Includes:
  • A keepsake box
  • The Messenger, by Siri Mitchell
  • With Every Letter, by Sarah Sundin
  • Secrets of Harmony Grove, by Mindy Starns Clark
  • Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate
  • Fall scented candle
  • Stationary
  • $10 gift card to GAP
If you'd like to be entered to win today's book pack, tell me in the comments about your favorite ice cream flavor and toppings...if any. :) Make sure you do it today though. I'll be drawing the winner at 5:00pm Pacific Time! 

I am positive I'm forgetting something, so if you have a question, please ASK!! 

Good luck!!! Have fun!!! And have a GREAT day!!! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The BFG

Show of hands...who knows what The BFG is?

Without checking with Google first. Anyone?

Ok, I'll tell you. The BFG is a children's chapter book written by Roald Dahl. I have such sweet, nostalgic memories of this particular book. I can remember quite vividly sitting at my 6th grade desk in Mrs. George's class coloring or working on some other art project while she sat on the top of an empty desk and read aloud to us.

I was immediately lost in the story of Sophie and the Big, Friendly Giant. It was full of child-eating giants and silly words, wild adventures and dreams you could pick up and keep.

It's a great little story. One that has lingered, somewhat faded, on the periphery of my memory.

I've shared before how my 7 year old is not a big fan of reading right now. And how that is completely unacceptable in my home. :) So I dug deep to remember some of my favorite these-books-made-me-love-stories books. And all I could remember was a little girl and a giant.

Thanks to modern technology, that phrasing was all Google needed to spit back at me the title of the book I was searching for. Thanks to Amazon, The BFG arrived within three days. And thanks to Mr. Dahl my son is eagerly awaiting each chapter to find out what happens to the Fleshlumpeater, to Sophie and to the BFG.

Stories transport us. And that's what I love most about words.

Tell me: What stories have transported you? What book did you love as a child? What words have most changed your life?

Don't forget!!! The giveaways begin on Monday...so come back then and check them out!!! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Didn't I Think of That?

While reading my daughter one of her favorite books before bed the other night, I found myself saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"

The book in question...Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor. 

Have you read these adorable books? They're delightful. 100% girly, girly, which my young daughter's love. And full of vocabulary words, which the mama/reader in me loves. Add too many splashes of pink and perfectly placed swirls and O'Connor created the perfect little series of books that I wish I'd thought of. :) 

Tell me: What "something" or invention do you kick yourself for not thinking of first? 

**And don't forget, next Monday begins the first ever BRIGHT SIDE BOOK BASH! Mark your calendar to pop in here and over at Jenny Hale's blog too. Win, win, win! :) 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Bright Side of...Books!

As promised, today is all about the:


You might be wondering what in the blue blazes that is. Well, my friend Jenny Hale and I put our head's together and found THE BRIGHT SIDE of an otherwise depressing situation.

Every September, ACFW (a Christian writer's organization) puts on a huge conference where writers of all career levels go to network/visit with other writers, learn new techniques for their writing craft and have the opportunity to pitch their projects to agents and editors. It's a pretty big deal. And a lot of fun!

Only this year, I'm not able to go. (Boo hoo) Which is when the cheesy phrase "turn that frown upside down" took on new meaning. Hence, THE BRIGHT SIDE! So instead of bemoaning my situation, I decided to give away hundreds of dollars worth of prizes! Sounds like a good time to me! I'm sure the last thing I'll be thinking about is Dallas and the 600+ writers meeting there. :)

Now, before you go and dismiss this as a writers only giveaway, FREEZE! Because while I DO have many INCREDIBLE writing related prizes, I have just as many surprises for READERS! Do you love to read? Do you love to hold a book while you're snacking on something yummy? Heck, do you just like to shop? If so, then you HAVE to stop by some time during the week of September 17-21!!

Here's a short list of what you could win:

WRITERS -

READERS - 
  • Books, books, and more books
  • Some of my favorite fall treats to get you in the reading mood
  • Gift cards
    • Starbucks
    • Gap
    • Amazon
    • Target

HOW IT WORKS: 
On Monday the 17th I'll post a picture (or description) of my grand prize giveaway (winner announced at the end of the week). You'll have a chance throughout the week to "earn" entries. Lots and lots of entries! AND every day you'll find a new post from me (I know...that's new!) with additional prizes to win DAILY! Have I enticed you enough yet? 

And to top it all off...I'm also giving away a $30 gift card (to be chosen by winner!) to one lucky, randomly selected person that helps to spread the word about THE BRIGHT SIDE BOOK BASH! All you need to do is Tweet, Pin or share this on Facebook (or videotape yourself screaming it from a mountaintop...anything! Be creative!). I'll kick off the entire week by announcing that winner on Monday the 17th! Be sure you include me somehow in your "sharing" so I know to enter you for this specific drawing. Or you can email me at lacie0430(at)comcast(dot)net and let me know how you participated. 

What have I forgot?? I'm sure there's something! I'll be talking more and more about this in the upcoming weeks so keep your eyes open for updates. And if something isn't clear, ask me in the comments. :) 

It's gonna be a fun week!!! I'm so excited!! 

Tell me: Do you like to enter contests? Are you lucky and do you win? Or are you cursed with bad luck and never win anything? 









Tuesday, September 4, 2012

10 Reasons to Look Forward to Fall

Labor Day is officially over and that means Fall is tip-toeing its way in and will be here before we know it. So as we say goodbye to the hot days of Summer, swimming pools, popsicles, and sun burns, here are 10 reasons (some sillier than others) to look forward to the change of seasons:

10. We can finally pull out our cute and comfy sweaters, scarves, leggings, and boots. Sometimes there's nothing better than being bundled up!

9. Fall brings football season, football food and (if you're like me) football naps. (Some of my best Sunday afternoon naps are while my honey is watching the game with the kids!)

8. Okay, I have to say it...this Fall also brings the final Twilight movie. Whether or not you like this particular movie franchise, you have to admit, Vampires have absolutely, flawlessly perfect skin. I want to be a vampire. Yup, I do.

7. My family's annual chili competition happens in October and it's one of the silliest ways we invented to stuff ourselves full of spicy, delicious food and enjoy the people we love the most. Oh, and the winner takes the pot! With each of us paying $5 per entry, it's a good way to make an easy $50 or $60 bucks. :)

6. Crisp nights with windows open cause for extra cuddling and thick stacks of blankets on the beds. Longer goodnights with the kids to make sure they're tucked in just right adds fun and special moments at bedtime.

5. We can take advantage of cooler (but not too cool) temperatures and catch a break on the electricity bill before winter lows have us cranking it back up. (When I asked my husband his favorite thing about fall, this is the answer he gave...right behind football season! :) )

4. Don't judge me...but fall also brings our family's first foray into Christmas music for the year. Not every day is peppered with Christmas carols, but we definitely get a little Alvin and the Chipmunks playing right around Halloween. :)

3. Crackling fireplaces, fleece blankets and piles of books. Do I need to say anything else?

2. Family outings for apple and pumpkin picking. Lots of yummy baking and smells wafting around to make your mouth water!

1. The first day of Fall is Saturday, September 22. And that date just happens to be my big reveal date for all of the winners of THE BRIGHT SIDE BOOK BASH! (Check in here this Thursday, the 6th, for more details, prizes, and what it's all about!!! If you like books and free goodies, you won't want to miss it!)

Tell me: What is your favorite thing about Fall?