Wednesday, May 15, 2013

We Have Moved!!!

What this means for you:  You have to change your bookmark!  LOL.  If you are an email subscriber, it should automatically start sending your emails from the new site.  If not, leave a comment and I will try and fix it!  I will still get notifications of comments here.  :D  Thank you all for following the Zoo and sticking with us!  

Schwinn Windwood Women's Cruiser Bike Giveaway Ends 5/30

Schwinn Windwood Women's Cruiser Bike Giveaway
I have to admit, I love this bike!  Probably because I love pretty much all things that look vintage.  Everything except the racism and attitude of the time.  In example, I love 20's swing music, 50's diners, and music from the 20's to the mid-sixties!  I don't know what it is, just love it!   Anyway, be sure and enter to win!  You can't win if you don't enter!  If you aren't interested in the bike, I'd gladly take it off your hands!!!  Good luck!!!
The classic Schwinn Windwood women's 26-Inch cruiser evokes the simple style and grace of traditional bicycles, making it a great choice for cruising to the store, the beach, or around town. Designed for easy, relaxed riding, the Windwood boasts a sturdy steel frame with a low stand-over height, making it easy to get on and off the bike. The rustproof 26-hole alloy rims and rear coaster brakes, meanwhile, allow you to stop on a dime. And riders will love the classic chrome fenders and rear storage rack. Other details include a comfortable wide-spring saddle, a single-speed design, pneumatic tires, and curved back handlebars. About Schwinn Founded in 1895, Schwinn is an American icon that's long been synonymous with quality and innovation. The company has built some of the best-known and best-loved bikes of multiple generations, including the Aerocycle, Paramount, Phantom, Varsity, Sting-Ray, Krate, and Homegrown. Today, Schwinn continues to innovate with such releases as the redesigned Sting-Ray, Rocket mountain bikes, and Fastback road bikes. With a continued dedication to quality forever synonymous with the Schwinn name, America's most famous bicycle brand looks forward to providing another century of innovation, freedom, and performance to people of all ages.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DIY Knitting Nancy Guest Post

Hello there! Dawn here from With a Side of Thriftiness. I am so glad to have the opportunity to blog here at Crafty Zoo with Monkeys, thank you Kaycee! I would like to take this opportunity to discuss knitting. Yes, I am 30+ and just learning to knit. My husband had bought me a "learning to knit kit" for Valentine's day. I am ashamed to admit it has been staring at me, begging to be opened. There is no time like the present, right?
 I have tried to teach myself in the past, and well... it's just confusing to me. I guess it would be easier for some to show me, personally. Today was my very first day to take a "stab" at knitting again, well if you can call it knitting, lol! It took near an hour to learn how to make a long-tail cast chain on my needle. Then, watched some YouTube videos and still could not get the whole hand / yarn / needle positions. I happened to notice the Knitty Gritty crafting show on TV today. They were using a nifty device that seems like an easier way for a newbie to learn. The device is called a Knitting Nancy. It allows you to knit with yarn and hands ONLY! No needles. Terrific, right?
 I had never heard of a Knitting Nancy, have you? Since I am not sure when I will be able to get to the craft store next, I turned to Pinterest to see if there is a homemade version of a Knitting Nancy. Low and behold, there was a PIN for that. I am beginning to think there is a PIN for everything! I found how to make my very own Knitty Nancy from some popsicle sticks and the tube from a roll of toilet paper. Crazy! Below you will see how I constructed the device:
I am probably way behind for my age, but hey, we all have to start somewhere. It is embarrassing to know that children can knit, yet I can not. I turned yet again to YouTube and found a tutorial video of a child knitting like crazy... with a DIY Knitting Nancy! So there is hope for me... after all! He's good, right! You go boy, you go! Since I found a YouTube Video of a child knitting with the Knitting Nancy, I wanted to see if there are any other tutorials for the device. Here's the best one that I found: Wish me luck as I start my new venture in knitting. I hope to get good enough to transition to using actual needs. I appreciate the time you took to read my little guest post. Here's to all those who Knit :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop International

Hey everyone!  Nothing like a good book to keep the kids busy during the summer!  Hope you'll find some books that you love on this awesome hop!  :D
We are giving away a copy of Can't Wait Willow by Christy Ziglar and Illustrated by Luanne Marten.  This book is a great way to get your kids thinking about making the right decisions!  You can read my review here.
Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop
May 13th – 19th
Hosted by
                                               & I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
What is Children’s Book Week?
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running literacy initiative in the country. Each year, books for young people and the joy of reading are feted for a full week with author and illustrator appearances, storytelling, parties, and other book-related events at schools, libraries, bookstores, museums, and homes from coast to coast!
For more information please visit:
Celebrate & Promote Children’s Book Week by taking part in The Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop.
International!  :D
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Totally Toddler Giveaway Hop: Ends 5/27

Welcome to the Totally Toddler Giveaway Hop! This event is hosted by Mommy's Favorite Things and Mama's Baby Cupcakes.
This hop is focused on items you'd want/need for a child ages 1-6 yrs old. After visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other 25+ blogs and see what they have to offer for you and your little one! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner.
Also be sure to check out the Grand Prize featured on Mommy's Favorite Things blog. This grand prize package is sponsored by Pediped with 3 pair of shoes in gender and size of choice, and 2 Red Hens for a snack bag set and a Toy Nanny for a total value of just over $200 in prizes.
US Only.  
Video has been opened to ensure it plays as I have gotten a few lately that didn't!
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Can't-Wait Willow: A Children's Book Review

***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in 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***
Can't-Wait Willow is a truly adorable little book.  I found myself reading it as if I were reading it to a small child and really enjoyed it!  If you haven't guessed, Willow has a little issue with waiting.  In her little adventure Willow learns the importance of waiting through a colorful journey to the Over The Top Circus.  Can't-Wait Willow is an adorable little book that your kids will truly love  as they learn the importance of not always getting what you want...  It was also a nice little reminder for me!
The book is full of really pretty illustrations that will keep your little ones eyes busy as you read to them yet is written simple enough that they can learn to read it on their own and still enjoy it.  Can't-Wait Willow is the first book in a new series designed to help re-enforce those little lessons we all strive to teach our little ones as well as help them in developing their reading skills.  It is published by Shine Bright Kids and more information can be found below.

About Shine Bright Kids:
The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with a relevant framework to help instill solid values and teach the importance of making good choices. The principles that will be explored include: using good judgment, taking responsibility, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance.
About the Author:  (Recognize the last name Ziglar?!?) Christy Ziglar, financial planner, mother of twins and niece of legendary motivator and the world’s original optimist, Zig Ziglar, is bringing the same timeless wisdom and ageless advice to an entirely new, younger audience through her new Shine Bright Kids picture book series. Christy is available for Q&A, author interviews, Skype calls, etc.!
The first book in the series:  Can't-Wait Willow!
Willow is so excited that the Over-the-Top Circus has finally come to town! The only problem is, that when left to her own devices, she can’t say “no” to some good things. On the way to the show, she is distracted by enticing treats and fun that she just can’t turn down. Willow arrives late and is sad to find that, not only has she has run out of time, but money, and she won’t be able to enjoy the pink cotton candy she’s been dreaming of. Willow is given valuable advice and a second chance and is ultimately taught the lesson that sometimes in life you have to say “no” to good things to end up with something great!
About the Illustrator: Thanks to her first grade teacher, who recognized her superior skills in drawing a robin, Luanne Marten has been drawing, painting and sketching ever since.  She is a great experimenter and has a fresh, whimsical approach to bring her characters to life. Website: The author's website has great resources to support the book, including a printable poster with 'Ways to Shine Bright,' as well as reward chart you can use at home with your children. Visit:
The publisher site is:
Facebook: Pictures of you and your family enjoying Can't-Wait Willow! are encouraged on Facebook and Twitter! Trailer:

A little Note for Everyone Before Mother's Day

Hey everyone!  I hope that you are getting ready to have a blessed Mother's Day!  I thought this was a cute little set of info so I decided to share it with you a day early as a little reminder.  Honestly, these days I need lots of reminders!  If your a Mom, you know it's the hardest and most rewarding job in the world, if your a Dad, I'd bet you sometimes stand in awe of that woman, if you are a kid, I hope you know just how much your Mom loves you and does for you.  Regardless, everyone has a Mom in their lives and I hope we can all take a day to celebrate her.  May God Bless you and Keep you and yours!
-The Zoo Keeper
Amazing things only mothers do [Infographic]

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Best of Warner Bros: 100 Film Collection Ends 5/15

Copy and paste this, then fill it in:

Good morning, it's your dream Mother's Day! Anything can happen!

Waking up after sleeping in, I'm greeted with a breakfast of
________________ (food).

I'm spending the morning relaxing while watching my all-time favorite
musical ___________ (movie title). I remember watching it for the first time
when I was ________ years old.

Of course, I can't watch this movie without my favorite movie snack
___________ !

For lunch, my friends and I are taken to dine at ________________
(restaurant). Bouquets of _________ (flower) greet us on arrival.

On our way home, our car unexpectedly hits a time warp and we're teleported
back to the set of my favorite romance film!

I find myself playing the role of my favorite character ___________________

Suddenly, I'm hollywood's next big star! I'm strutting down every red carpet
and being invited to all the exclusive premieres... I'm even dating the
cutest movie star __________ and our celebrity couple name is

Suddenly I wake up and find myself safely back in my bed. Looks like I must
have dozed off and started dreaming!

Please note: Warner Brothers supplied this app and giveaway.
Ends 5/15
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Free FedEx Delivery Alerts: Know & Schedule Deliveries!

NAAT Brazilian Keratin Review

It's a little weird posting a picture of your hair, I'm not going to lie.  It also made me realize I desperately need a hair cut and more up to date style.  Monkey said my hair looked like a lion's mane.  If only I could get that child to know when to shut up!  LOL.  Anyway, my terrible style is not what I'm here to discuss.  
Product Description
Everyday Moisture that Reduces Volume & Frizz
NAAT Brazilian Keratin collection restores and intensifies your hair's nutritional balance, leaving it incredibly smooth, strong and flexible. Unlike typical animal-based keratins, our exclusive Green Keratin formula stays in your hair longer and is more resistant to rinsing. Promotes vibrancy and hydration, giving hair a natural, healthy shine. Products include: Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Mask, Leave-In, and Serum.
My Thoughts
To be completely honest, I really loved how soft it made my hair feel!  I would say I wish you could feel it, but then I pictured random people reaching through their computers and touching my hair and got a little creeped out.  LOL.  Anyway, I used the shampoo and conditioner from the collection for a while, exclusively, so that I could see if it made a difference and it did.  I agree with what the company says in their description.  You know how when you wash your hair with shampoo it feels kind of icky right after the shampoo is rinsed, like you REALLY need conditioner?  Well, there is a reason for that!  Shampoo strips our hair of natural oils and gives it that rough feeling.  Then we put conditioner on to restore some of the moisture we've stripped.  Problem is, you never can get all the natural moisture back.  This collection doesn't strip your hair of those natural oils, it only cleans it!  My hair felt softer and was shinier when I was using Brazilian Keratin!  
Oooh, doesn't that make it sound so official?  LOL.  I really liked the way NAAT Brazilian Keratin made my hair feel.  The company didn't give us any links as to where to buy it but I was able to find it on both amazon and ebay if you are interested.  Given the sites I found it on, the cost varies too much for me to give you a definite cost range, but I do know that it is pricier than most products you'd find on the shelf.  Unfortunately, it's a bit out of my budget.  If it weren't, it would be worth it!  


Rice Pudding Recipe from Author Vickie Hall & $25 Giveaway

My book, Journey of Promise, is based on the journals of my great-great grandparents who were born in Wales in the early 1800s. I mention many of the common foods enjoyed in Wales throughout the book, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite Welsh recipes!

This recipe for rice pudding takes a little time, but is so well worth it. It's not like any other rice pudding I've ever eaten. Enjoy!!!!

                    4 cups half and half (heavy cream)
        6 egg yolks
        2 egg whites
        1/2 cup white sugar
        1/4 cup raw sugar (turbinado)
        1/2  heaping cup rice (arborio or other short grain rice)
        1/2 teaspoon sea salt
        1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
        1 cup water
        1 cup currants (raisins may be substituted if necessary)
1.In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine  the 1/2 and 1/2, water, rice and cinnamon.  Bring to a low boil over medium-low heat, and then cover the pan and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.  Transfer the   ingredients to a large bowl, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

. In a large mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and egg whites together, then beat in the sugar until creamy.  When the rice and cream mixture has cooled,  slowly whisk in the egg/sugar mixture into the rice.  (Make sure that the rice mixture isn't too hot, to prevent the eggs from scrambling)Finally stir in the currants.

. Pour this creamy/rice/currant mixture into a heat-proof bowl or pot and put into the oven to bake  20 minutes at 350 degrees.  After the first twenty minutes, remove from the oven and stir the mixture fully to make sure the rice and currants are not sticking to the base of the bowl.  And again, after 20 additional minutes, remove the pudding from the oven and stir everything, add a little more milk if the mixture is getting a little too dry. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes to develop a golden crust on top.  (The pudding will bake for a total of 60 minutes.)

. Serve warm or cold.  Refrigerate leftovers if there are any.

Vickie Hall
Journey of Promise When converts Richard and Leah Kenyon leave Wales and heed the call to Zion, they are unprepared for the toll exacted by the journey. To face the incredible odds mounted against them they call upon the Lord's tender mercies to see them through and strengthen their love for one another. Their story will remind you where to turn during your trials. Amazon * Barnes & Noble  
All That Was Promised In 1847 Wales Methodist Minister Richard Kenyon converts to Mormonism. Richard’s newfound faith is put to the test when he faces the anger of his former congregation, his wife’s indecisiveness, his brother’s betrayal, and the murderous intentions of misinformed villagers.  
  Amazon * Barnes & Noble    

Excerpt 2 from Journey of Promise:

Leah peered inside the box of supplies and saw a chunk of beef infested with maggots. “Who would do this? And why?”

“We need that ham,” Claire said. “We have mouths to feed. What are we goin’ to do?”

Leah reached inside the box and snagged the meat in her bare hand. “I’m getting’ our ham back.”

“What are you—” Claire watched as her sister turned and stormed up the companionway.

Leah fumed all the way to the forecastle, to the captain’s quarters. She wasn’t about to let this assault on her family go without a fight. She raised her hand to knock on the captain’s door but was stopped by Franklin. “You can’t go in there,” he barked, barring the way.

“Mr. Franklin,” she said, her voice tinged with anger, “I need to see the captain.”

Franklin glowered as Leah. “The captain’s a busy man. What do you want?”

Leah shoved the spoiled maggot-filled meat toward his face. “Someone aboard ship stole our ham and left thisin its place! I want the captain to do somethin’ about it!”

Franklin lowered her arm with his hand, repulsed by the rancid beef. “The captain can do nothin’ about it,” he said. His eyes narrowed. “And for all I know, you might be lookin’ to trade this spoiled meat for someone’s ham you’d claim as your own.”

“How dare you accuse me of such a thing,” she said, stamping her foot. “I’ve come to have things made right and you treat me as if I’m the thief!”

Franklin smirked and clasped his hands behind his back. “See it however you want,” he said. “The captain won’t be disturbed over it. Maybe you should be thankful for what you have and eat it.”

This matter was beyond that of just stealing. It was a threat to her family’s condition—a deprivation of the food that cost them so dearly, the very nourishment they needed to survive the coming weeks. Leah’s anger exploded as she pushed the rotted meat into Franklin’s smug face. “You eat it!” She spun and charged off.
Author Vickie Hall Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she's not writing, she's composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/26/13
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kindle Fire Giveaway

May Kindle Giveaway
Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway
Just a note, remember that you can't win if you don't enter!  It ups your odds significantly!  :D  I hope you'll also take the time to enter some of the other great giveaways on the sidebar here, many of them are low entry!  Anyway, enough of my ramblin', get started! 

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)
Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Girls with Books
  4. Just Bookin' Around
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  6. Books, Beauty and Bodacious Deals
  7. Author Emma Michaels
  8. Page Flipperz YA
  9. Lori's Reading Corner
  10. Oh, Chrys!
  11. Author Josh Baker
  12. Author Roxanne Crouse
  13. Eve's Fan Garden
  14. Author Elizabeth Isaacs
  15. Chapter Break
  16. Buku-Buku Didi
  17. Molly & Mel's Obsessions Book Blog
  18. Author Jennifer Laurens
  19. Author MK McClintock
  20. Bookhounds
  21. Step Into Fiction
  22. Author Lena Sledge
  23. Author Taylor Dean
  24. Leisure Reads
  25. Libby's Library
  26. A Bookish Escape
  27. Ramblings of a Diva Book Nerd
  28. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
  29. Suzy Turner, YA Author
  30. Books Unhinged by StacyHgg
  31. Author Lori Verni-Fogarsi
  32. Fae Books
  33. Word to Dreams
  34. Kid Lit Frenzy
  35. Author Tressa Messenger
  36. Auggie Talk
  37. Phantasmic Reads
  38. Kerry Taylor
  39. Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
  40. Marissa's Space
  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). Ends 5/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Gifts For Mom & Earnings for You! @Swagbucks

If you're looking to get mom something special for Mother's Day, Swagbucks has a way to reward you for it - do your Mother's Day Shopping at through the Shop & Earn and get 4 SB per dollar spent from now until Wednesday, May 15th.

Plus, for a limited time, spend $100 or more and get a bonus 100 Swag Bucks! The bonus will be applied by June 20th.

Haven't joined Swagbucks yet? If you shop at major online retailers, search the web, or enjoy video content from YouTube or Hulu, you can do it at and earn gift cards or paypal cash in the process. I've used it for a while and I've earned over $250 from it! Join by clicking here.

Chik-Fil-A #FreshMade Salad #Giveaway

Forget about yesterday, today is #FreshMade! Each day we have a choice, a choice to do the same old routine or do something unique and different.  What have you wanted to do for a long time? 2013 is almost halfway over and it’s time to do something new. It’s time to grow, it’s time to make your dreams a reality.

Chick-fil-A is helping you make today #FreshMade, by creating new menu options that you can feel good about! They are introducing 3 new premium salads and an improved wrap all under 430 calories made with premium ingredients.

Take your taste buds to greener pastures.

the assets included within this message were delivered to you in promotion of the Chick-fil-A release of the Chick-fil-A #FreshMade Blog App. 
Giveaway Ends 5/24/13 
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Celebrating Moms #Giveaway

Celebrating Moms

So what is it, that one little thing that your Mom always did when you were a kid (and possibly even does now) that sticks with you and helps you know that you are loved and special?  My Mom use to pick me up from school and we would have 'skip days' every now and then.  We would go out to eat, go shopping, and just spend time together.  Now, with my daughter, we occasionally have Mother/Daughter nights where we go out and do...  well, whatever we want.  :D  Those nights always end up with teaching some great lesson through example, like when we ended up at Applebee's on a late Friday night and I got to point out a good example of why you should not only drink responsibly, but not ever get hammered!  *A special thanks to that drunken fool I had to run off from our table!  Though I didn't appreciate the demonstration, I appreciated the lesson I was able to teach because of it!*  

Join us for an exciting giveaway from worth $800 in value, and enter for your chance to win one of four Amazon e-gift cards! One winner will receive the Grand Prize of a $500 Amazon e-gift card, and three winners will receive a $100 Amazon e-gift card! We hope this will be a very special blessing to all the moms out there. Enjoy this delightful infographic about mothers and don't forget to enter for your chance to win in the giveaway!

*Will you help Save1 reach their goal of feeding 100,000 children? Each time you and your friends share their website on Facebook, "Like" their Facebook page, and sign up for their newsletter, Save1 will provide three meals to a child in need. This takes just 60 seconds to complete! Go here to help make it happen now.

Giveaway Time!

This special Mother's Day giveaway is brought to you by the generous sponsors at
This event was organized by Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou.
Prize: There will be four winners total for this giveaway. One (1) winner will receive the Grand Prize of a $500 Amazon e-gift card! Three (3) winners will each receive a $100 Amazon e-gift card! The total value of all prizes included in this giveaway is $800 value in Amazon e-gift cards! Location: Must be a resident of the USA or Canada. Age: 18 years or older to enter. Void where prohibited. Date: This giveaway begins on 5/02/2013 and will end on 5/12/2013 (Mother's Day) at 12:01am Eastern time. Please support the sponsor and follow Save1 on:
Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below. Once you have signed up for Save1’s newsletter, the only mandatory entry, it will unlock the additional optional giveaway entries that you can enter to increase your chances of winning. If you complete ALL entries in the giveaway form you are entitled to a free bonus of 10 additional entries! Best of luck to each of you! Happy Mother's Day! a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou shares: "Special thanks goes out to the following blogs: My Journey to Living Well, Thrifty 4nsic Gal, Sweet Pennies From Heaven, Luker Family Tales, The Deal MatchMaker, the space between, Qpon Junkie, Finger Click Saver, and Lost Island of Book Reviews.
Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou and Crafty Zoo with Monkeys are not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment. My Blog's Name was not compensated for this post except for a link on the giveaway form. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Amazon in any way. Please see official rules in the Rafflecopter giveaway form. All winning entries will be verified.

Tale of Mally Biddle Tour & $50 Giveaway

The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette
 When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights she knew she was heading into danger. She didn't know she'd find a family unlike any other. Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and tends fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death ... a death that is surrounded by more questions than answers. Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything...
Praise "To say I loved this book is an understatement. Mally is a wonderful character and she encounters so many quirky folks on her assignment. Very well written and engaging story! And an added bonus of a love triangle! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!! I will definitely be looking for more from this author!" ~April Holgate  
Author Melissa LeGette Melissa LeGette lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright. The Tale of Mally Biddle is her second novel.
  mally biddle

  Book Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/2/13
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Old Fashion Donut Recipe & Bread Machine Donut Recipe

1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk
4 cups flour (plus a little more if dough is sticky)
oil (for frying)
cinnamon sugar


1.  In a large bowl mix the sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
2.  Add eggs, milk and melted butter. Beat well.
3.  Add 3 cups of the flour, beating until blended. Add one more cup of flour and beat well. The dough should be soft and sticky but firm enough to handle. If you feel its necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour.
4.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for *at* *least* one hour.
5.  Remove your dough from the fridge and begin heating about 1" of oil to 360F in a large metal skillet.
6.  Working half the dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/2" thickness. Cut out circles using a doughnut cutter or large biscuit or cookie cutter. For the center, I actually use the lid of a spice bottle to cut the holes.
7.  Gently drop the doughnuts in batches into the hot oil.  You'll want the temp at 350 so that they cook through but don't burn. Flip them over as they puff and turn them a couple more times as they cook. They will take about 2-3 minutes in total and will be lovely and golden brown all over.
8.  Remove from the oil and set them on paper towels or brown paper bag (that removes all the fat, you know)

This recipe was found at the link below:
Read more at:
Bread Machine Donuts Recipe

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ring the Bell DVD Review & Giveaway

Ring the Bell will be available for purchase on 5/3/2013 and is a movie that sets out to teach and inspire through entertainment.  The DVD will be released at $19.99 and features the Christian band Casting Crowns and features Stephan Curtis Chapman.  You can obtain a leader and study group guide via their website to deepen the movie experience.  

About Ring the Bell:
Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town wherethe simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.
Ring The Bell features a host of well-known Christian music artists, such as Mark Hall along with his band Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, all who play a role in this inspirational drama. Several former and current Major League Baseball all-stars are also featured in the film: ESPN analysts John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe (a former Cy Young Award winner), along with Ben Zobrist.
This family-friendly movie was produced by Mark Miller, Beach Street Records' founder and Casting Crowns’ producer. Miller, who is also the lead singer and founder of country music group Sawyer Brown, co-wrote the script with Thomas Weber and Weber directed the production.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pro Home Stores Fountain Review

Hey everyone!  I recently had the pleasure of reviewing an 8" Table Top Fountain from Pro Home Stores.  We've enjoyed having our little fountain on the corner of the bar in the kitchen.  It adds a certain bit of zen to the room, especially in the late evening when all of the other lights are off in the room.  A comfortable glow radiates from the lower pot as the water from the larger pot flows steadily down.  If you haven't guessed, we love it's presence!  The only thing that I don't love about the fountain is that the part that plugs in for the water pump gets pretty hot after a while.  Perhaps a larger power source was warranted?  I've got no idea on those sorts of things.  Overall, though, we are very pleased with the product.  It adds a great bit of positive ambiance! has an amazing selection of products, thousands actually!  All the home and office decor I can think of!  Some featured products include tabletop fire places, hammock chairs, and of course their fabulous outdoor water fountains!     There are ten specialty stores:
Bean Bag Chair Pros
Gun Safe Pros
Electric Fireplace Pros
Hammock Pros
Office Decor Pros
Out Door Art Pros
Out Door Fireplace Pros
TV Lift Pros
Ventless Fireplace Pros
Water Fountain Pros
My personal favorite, and the one which our amazing fountain came from is the Water Fountain Pros store.  I can't even begin to list all the products there that I am in love with!  The entire company has a great selection for what seems like any and all needs!  Shipping is always free and there is no sales tax, which is great!  Chief Zoo Keeper is up for a hammock next!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Free Blogger Opp: $800 Giveaway!!! US/CAN

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let them know Crafty Zoo sent you!  *I giggle everytime  because that rhymes!  LOL*  
Here are the details:
  • FREE Twitter link for signing up and promoting promoting to all their social media channels while the giveaway is live.
  • Additional FREE link – Pinterest or Picket Fence for sharing this free giveaway opp on their blogs and on Facebook.
  • Giveaway is Open to USA and Canada.
  • Dates: May 2- May 12 (Mother’s Day).
  • Top two referring bloggers with most referrals receive a prize! First place gets choice of a free “task” page ($25 value) or cohost spot and Second place gets a co-host spot – $10 value! Please share this opp and win a task page or co-host spot!

Life is Too Short Tour & $25 Giveaway


Life is Too Short Collection

Are you looking for a fabulous life boost today? The Life is Too Short series is just what you need. Written by Connie Sokol—mother of seven, author, speaker, and amazing matching sock finder—these humorous self-development columns give you just the right amount of fun and functional. Originally written for a major newspaper and magazines, you can now enjoy the entire collection in one book. Put your feet up and laugh as you relate to time-tested tips on being a woman, wife, and mother. You'll learn the cozy stuff of how to adjust expectations, have faith in your dreams, and lighten up in motherhood. And, you'll learn a few life skills such as easy spring cleaning, simplifying the holidays, and creating successful goals. It's the perfect gift for any woman! Short, funny, insightful, these quick power columns are ideal anytime, anywhere, to rejuvenate your mind and soul.


  Review from I Love to Read & Review Books:
For some laughter therapy read this book! I LOVED the funny stories in each chapter followed by a LIFE TIP to help you put into practice the things you just learned...and as an added bonus...there is a BOOK PICK to further your enlightenment on the subject.

Author Connie Sokol

Connie Sokol is a mother of seven, a national and local presenter, and a regular speaker at Education Week. She is a monthly contributor on KSL TV “Studio 5,” and regular blogger for KSL "Motherhood Matters." She is a former TV and radio host for Bonneville Communications, and columnist for Deseret News and Utah Valley Magazine. Mrs. Sokol is the author of several books including the award-nominated romance Caribbean Crossroads, the 8-week Challenge program of Faithful, Fit & Fabulous, Life is Too Short for One Hair Color Series, as well as talk CDs and podcasts. Mrs. Sokol marinates in time spent with her family and eating decadent treats.

Website * Facebook

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card Ends 5/7/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My April Box from #foodiepenpals

The Lean Green Bean
Hey everyone!  I don't know if you've heard of this but I am loving it!  It's a little 'thing' *because I can't honestly think of what it's called* where you get to have a penpal each month to get a box of food goodies.  As to what I understand, they have it in the US, Canada and now the UK.  The above pictured is my box this month.  Product I most loved?  The PopChips!  They are amazing!
You can use the link above to join if you like!  You don't have to be a blogger in order to join in.  The rules are simple and easy.  The most exciting thing to me about it is getting to try products that I may not have otherwise tried!  Like the PopChips!!!  Did I mention I loved them?  LOL.  Just gotta figure out where to get them and I'm golden!  My Mom came in and swiped my Larabar, but that's okay because I'll be reviewing them and therefore trying more, soon!
One thing that was supposed to be included was something hand written.  My box didn't have anything hand written.  Hopefully the next one will.  If you are worried about the commitment, don't.  When you sign up it is for one month only and the amazing people there will contact you with the details.  If you want to participate the next month, all you have to do is sign up again!  

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Whale's Side of the Story! A Children's Book Review

Isn't it funny how we sometimes miss the things that should be obvious?  This story, from the wonderful imagination of Troy Schmidt, brings to light one of those obvious little things.  My whole life I have been told the story of Jonah and never once even thought about what it might be like from the whale's perspective!  What I really love is the lesson the whale reinforces: TRUST in God!
On the back cover of the book is a tool to help you connect with your child on a deeper level regarding the story of Jonah but more importantly, it will help them to build that foundation upon his word!  I especially love that it's a foundation that they will always be able to build on!  :D  God is great that way!  :D
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book.  (BTW, read it by myself to myself LOL).  It is an adorable story and a simple read.  The book is a quick enough read that I think we could get even the little little ones to pay attention for a minute.  While they state that it is for ages 4 to 8, I think even the 2-3 year olds would enjoy it.  Given, of course, the right narration!  :D  *My favorite part of reading stories to little ones, FYI*
Book 'Preview'
Oh sure, we've all heard the story of Jonah and the Whale a hundred 
times. But have we heard it from the perspective of the whale who experienced that history-making event?
Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up
! imagines how that great sea creature from the incident might tell his side of the story, helping kids ages 4 to 8 discover a creative way of learning about that guy who was supposed to go to Ninevah.
The "Parent Connection" feature (inside the book) will help moms and dads take the story further with scripture references and tips on how to talk with their children about what really happened.   Brought to you by B&H Kids, Available May 1, 2013.

This book is just $9.99 and will entertain you and your kids!  Available here.

About the Author: 
Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado's Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.
The series:  
This is just the first in a series!  Other books available include Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain so I Can Get off Noah's Smelly Ark? and Hey God, I'm Having an Awful Vacation in Egypt Thanks to Moses!


We are fortunate to be giving away a copy thanks to the awesome people promoting the book!
Ends June 10th

Mother's Day KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Hey everyone!  I hope you are ready for this awesome giveaway event!  If you aren't interested, feel free to win it for the Zoo!  :D  I have wanted one for so long and I don't think I'll ever get Chief Zoo Keeper to understand just how bad I need it!  LOL.  It would help if I cooked more I'm sure.  :P
Empowered Mommy proudly brings a giveaway for the mothers world-wide.  Special thanks our co-hostess and contributors Army Wife and MommyJoys Of Life, Sparkling Mom, Global Media Moms and many other friendly blogs. Good news for all the mothers out there - WIN KitchenAid Mixer with us this Mother's Day! 
Good luck!!!
You can't WIN if you don't ENTER!!!
Open World-Wide. Enter via rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway will run from April 29, 13 to May 29, 13. Make sure you complete all the entries to maximize your chances of winning. 
  a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: This giveaway is brought to you by of Empowered Mommy and other bloggers who contributed towards the giveaway. This giveaway is in no way related and/or endorsed by Facebook or KitchenAid.  Crafty Zoo with Monkeys was not compensated for the publication of this post. All views are 100% my own and may differ to than that of yours. 


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