Winners!!

Thanks to everyone that commented during our big Bloggy Giveaway!

Congratulations  to Kindra from 3 Guys, a Girl and a Prim Place! She’s the winner of the photo collage from Announcements Galore!

And, congratulations to Melanie from Kansas. She’s the winner of our giveaway we did in conjunction with Connor’s first birthday bash at Seven Dogs and a Baby!

Come back often, we’ll have more giveaways in the near future!

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It’s that time again!

Carnival_button_2It’s Bloggy Giveaways quarterly carnival! Yay! Hop on over there for long list of great giveaways!!

So, of course we wanted to join in the fun!! For our giveaway we are going to offer a photo collage of your choice from Announcements Galore! Check out the examples of collages on their site and then leave a comment here about what occasion you would use your collage for.

The collages at Announcements Galore are great for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, parties or any other momentous occasion! A collage can be custom designed just for you! This giveaway has a value of over $30! Only US entrants please!! Deadline is midnight EST on Sunday, April 27. We’ll post the winner on Monday the 28th!

Enjoy the carnival!

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Dear John: Book Review

If you are a Nicholas Sparks fan, you are sure to like Dear John also. Sparks captures the emotions of true love and heartache all in one story. John, who is enlisted in the Army, returns home one summer to visit his father. During his trip, he meets Savannah, a college girl who was in town working with a group of students to build houses. John and Savannah spend a great amount of time together and quickly fall in love. As John returns to the Army, they leave each other with the promise to write and keep their love strong. Things are going as planned until 9/11. John feels a strong desire to re-enlist and the distance begins to wear on their relationship. Eventually, Savannah sends John a letter informing him that she has fallen in love with another man. The relationship is over. After some time has passed, John must return home to bury his father. During this trip, he is compelled to visit Savannah, despite the fact that she is married and living a happy life. When he arrives, she is happy to see him, and they both quickly realize that the love they shared is still there. At the end of the story, John is faced with the most difficult decision of his life.

Personally, I found this book to be a great story. I like reading romantic love stories, and the desire of wanting to know how the relationship ended, kept me from putting the book down. The story of John and Savannah’s relationship kept me interseted; however, the ending left me slightly disappointed. Sparks makes it easy for the reader to identify with the characters and want the best for their relationship. The emotions that the characters experience are clearly related to the reader. I found myself ‘feeling’ the emotions as the characters were. Even though I enjoyed reading this story, I found that it lacked some substance. The plot was somewhat predictable and there were not many complex ideas involved. There were some parts of the story that I thought were dull. I found myself quickly skimming these sections to get to the more exciting and interesting parts. Despite a few downfalls, I would recommend this book. Those who enjoy simple love stories or those who like other Nicholas Sparks novels are sure to enjoy this book as well.

Nineteen Minutes: Book Review

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Jodi Picoult has written a fascinating novel about school shootings, a topic that has been on our minds and in the news too often these days. In this story, we learn about the life of Peter Houghton and his struggles through his years in public school. He was overwhelmed with being bullied and with the expectations of living up to his older brother’s standards. As a young boy, Peter was good friends with Josie Cormier and as the years passed, Josie fell temptation to becoming part of the popular crowd and left Peter behind. Peter quickly became the boy that all the popular kids picked on, day in and day out. Josie, unfortunately, was a part of that crowd. She never actually did the bullying, but she never stopped it either. She was happy being the popular girl and didn’t want to risk her reputation for Peter. Eventually, Peter’s anger filled him and he went to school with two loaded weapons and began shooting. As the story unfolds, Peter gets put on trial and the reader learns about his life and personal struggles. Picoult did an amazing job of connecting with Peter’s feelings and showing the reader the true, yet sad, effects bullying has on teenagers today.

I read this book because a fellow educator suggested it. As I began reading, I found myself struggling to remember characters and their relatives within the story. Picoult often jumps between characters and scenes, making it somewhat difficult for the reader to follow. However, as I got further into the book, the relationships were clarified and I couldn’t put it down. As one would expect, I thought I would feel compassion for the victims of the shooting. Of course, I did, but I was surprised at how much sympathy I felt for Peter. Before the results of his trial were revealed, I found myself wishing that he would not be sentenced to life in prison. After reading this story, I truly believe it is one that everyone should read. It teaches an important life lesson and has greatly impacted my life.

Valentine Babe?

Valentine Birth Announcement 

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that is either really great, or really crappy, depending on your situation. If you’re single, watching everyone else in the office get flowers delivered is no fun. But, if you’re newly in love it can be the happiest day of the year.

New love is fantastic and it’s even better when the subject of your affection is a brand new baby. What better love is there? Babies born on (or around) Valentine’s Day are something special. That’s why Announcements Galore makes some great photo card announcements for the brand new love of your life. Birth announcements that double at Valentine’s are a great way to go! What a way to share the love! 

Announcements Galore features a variety of options and all of the designs are customizable. Colors, fonts or text can all be changed to your liking to make that one of a kind card. All cards from Announcements Galore are high quality photographs that will last a lifetime and you’ll be proud to share.   

Check us out! You can even request a free sample by e-mailing customerservice@announcementsgalore.com. If you happen to be expecting a St. Patrick’s Day baby pink can be changed to green and hearts replaced with shamrocks to announce your baby leprechaun! Announcements Galore is offering 10% off all orders through June 1 with coupon code SPRING10. 

If you weren’t lucky enough to welcome a new bundle of joy into the world for Valentine’s Day, I hope your holiday was still a special one!

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