Friday, June 18, 2010

CSN Stores Product Review

I have seen a lot of bloggers doing reviews and offering giveaways and discounts to CSN stores lately and I was so very stoked to get the opportunity to do a review of a product from CSN myself!! I was given a 40.00 credit to use to purchase any item from the MANY stores in the CSN family of online stores and let me tell you all, it was NO easy task trying to decide what I wanted to get, there was so so so very much to choose from...when I tell you that you can find everything and the kitchen sink at CSN, I am not kidding around! So it took me a while to finally decide what product I would like to try but I finally came to a decision...I got a set of Le Creuset stoneware baking dishes! The set consisted of 2 dishes, a 10 1/2 x 7" and a 7x5" baking dish and they are a beautiful cobalt blue which compliments the red that most of my kitchen items are.

  ! Made yummy baked apples !

One thing that stood out for me when ordering from CSN is that the shipping was extremely quick, I got my items with in a few short days, I was really shocked they came so fast because I've ordered from other online stores before and have experienced very S L O W shipping. Placing my order was also very easy, the website is a breeze to navigate which I appreciate as I've become very frustrated with other sites I've shopped and have even left a site and taken  my business elsewhere when I haven't been able to find my way around and the ordering process is difficult or confusing.

I can not recommend CSN enough! I am very glad that I got a chance to work with them and look forward to working with them again in the future to bring you, my readers, GIVEAWAYS, sponsored by CSN so you all can have the same wonderful shopping experience that I had :)   So stay tuned in the future for hopefully more great reviews & giveaways from our friends at CSN!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barefoot Books

As a homeschooling mom and a parent I really appreciate great books for my kids...books with beautiful and unique illustrations, interesting stories, educational content, culturally diverse subject matter and my list could go on and on! Recently I discovered a children's book company that gives me all of the above and SO much more, Barefoot Books, just browsing the catalog is an experience unlike I've had with any other children's book company...its beautifully illustrated and is just bright and cheery, makes me WANT to buy the books!

While looking for wahms/companies/products  to feature here at Menagerie I met a wonderfully sweet mama online by the name of Bonnie Jacobs who is an ambassador with Barefoot Books and she offered to send me a book for each of my children so that I could see for myself just how great the books really are. I was so floored that she was willing to send me a book, but a book for each of my 3 kiddos, that goes above and beyond (THANK YOU BONNIE!). I am so glad that I was able to connect with Bonnie and find out about Barefoot Books because I've become so excited about this company and all it has to offer my children. I want to share with you all the core values of the company, a major reason why I've fallen in love with them!

*Our Core Values


We offer books that are an authentic alternative to the commercialization of childhood. We encourage children to make time for make-believe, let their imaginations run wild and free, while never forgetting that childhood is a time for fun.


We help children explore other cultures, our planet, and themselves, providing them with ways to follow their imaginations on extraordinary journeys, both inner and outer.


We believe that books with beautiful art and meaningful stories respect the innate wisdom of children and have the power to nourish the creative spark in everyone.


We are committed to using story to create deep and lasting connections—whether it’s a child and parent connecting over a book; a child connecting to the universal wisdom of other cultures; or a broad network of people connecting through shared values and the desire to help children become happy, engaged members of a global community.

Give Back

We support organizations that share our goals of global understanding, empowering children through art and story, and protecting and preserving the earth for future generations

Also here is some information on the lovely Bonnie, please if you are interested in making a purchase from Barefoot Books, do it from this generous lady!

I'm a mom of 2 boys. I work at a library part-time during the week and work in a church nursery a few times a month. I've been doing Barefoot Books since Dec 2008. I love the fact that they are flexible in the business. Free to join and no monthly quotas. The best part is they combine my love of literacy and children. That's why I do Barefoot Books. My website is

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mission Organization

How could I best describe myself in as few words as possible? An unorganized frenzy. This is how I feel most days of my life! You would think that by now, since I realize that I am indeed unorganized, that I would have fixed my "problem" and get myself together and organized, but this is ME we are talking about here. I am the queen of procrastination, if its stressful or requires a lot of effort then you can bet I'm going to find some way to put it off. I don't do this because I enjoy my life being crazy, chaotic, out of control and be honest, I'm not too sure why I do it, its just my way, it always has been and I guess I've not learned my lesson well enough over the years. But I'm trying! Baby steps folks, baby steps!

The very first thing I need to do is to reign in the mess that is my computer desk and surrounding area...because the mess on the desk is so large and in charge that it rents out real estate on the floor underneath the desk, beside the desk and all over the book shelf that is beside the desk. It is out of control. Sometimes I think maybe I just need a new desk because this one spontaneously generates papers and junk. I clean the thing off all the time it seems and yet it is ALWAYS messy. What are some ways you organize your desk area to stay nice and neat and clutter free? I need would be nice! Show me your nice and tidy desks, make me feel like a filthy slob and maybe ill become motivated enough to finally gain control over Mt. Messuvius.

Another of my problems is my inability to keep a calender/planner. I know that I'm "capable" of keeping one but for some reason, I never remember to write things down, I seem to always trust myself to remember things when I know good and well that ill most likely loose track and forget. I always buy a cute little calendar planner book thingy for my purse thinking ill actually use this one this year and then when I clean out my purse months down the road there it will be with maybe 5 things penciled in from months ago. Why do I do this to myself? I long to be more "together", I even buy the tools to help me get there, but then I always fizzle in the end :(

What is your method of keeping track of important info and dates etc? Do you use the traditional paper planner book or are you all digital and key it in your blackberry or Iphone? (Oh Iphone, how I want you so badly, but that's another post!) Maybe telling me what works for you will inspire something that works for me, or at least I sure hope so!

So help a sister out! Cause I need all the help I can get.
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