Archive for August 3rd, 2009
Today I wanted to let you know about Nonna’s Gourmet Foods, as I was so kindly given the opportunity to try out their delicious sauces and jelly. These sauces stemmed from their award-winning restaurant located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee became available for purchase to the public in effort to help aid in the fight against childhood illnesses.
Owner and Chef Daniel Maggipinto’s daughter, Zoë Marie Maggipinto, was diagnosed with Atypical Teratoid / Rhabdoid Tumor, a rare and aggressive tumor found in the cerebellum and spinal areas of children younger than three years old. The excellent treatment she received from St. Jude Children’s Hospital inspired them to continue the fight against AT/RT and other childhood illnesses by creating Nonna’s Gourmet Foods.
Through each purchase of their products, you’re also helping children like Zoë. A full 15% of each purchase goes directly to organizations committed to fighting childhood illnesses and will aid in the fight against AT/RT and other life-threatening conditions so that future families might have even more of a fighting chance when their loved ones fall ill.
Their sauces truly are delicious as my family and I were able to try each one out. My 14 month old daughter Melody quite enjoyed her supper and kept asking for more and more! They have recipes on their site too if you are not sure what to put their sauce on. I can only imagine how great it would taste on my husbands home-made mozzarella sticks!
I felt greatly that I needed to let people out there know about supporting this important cause. My daughter was born with a condition, though not such a serious one as Zoë. I have hope that it will possibly go away by the time she is three. If not I’ve made up my mind and am ready to live with it if that so be the way things turn. I am thankful for those that are giving back to organizations, and children hospitals that were created to help give families peace of mind as well as hope.
Do try out the wonderful sauce and jelly by Nonna and know that you’ll be giving back to families who need it the most. http://www.nonnasgourmetfoods.com/
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Kregel Publications (July 1, 2009)
Terry Brennan has had an extensive career in journalism, winning several awards, including the Freedoms Foundation Award for editorial writing. Terry served eleven years as the vice president of operations for The Bowery Mission in New York City and is currently a management consultant.
Visit the author’s website.
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (July 1, 2009)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
1889 • Alexandria, Egypt
Only three types of buyers entered the Attarine—the foolish, the fraudulent, and the forewarned. The foolish, who acted on whim instead of wisdom and expected to fleece an ignorant Egyptian native; the fraudulent, expert in identifying wellcrafted forgeries, anxious to pass them on for great profit; and the forewarned, who searched for treasure but were wise enough to employ someone who knew the ways, and the merchants, of the seductive but evil-ridden Attarine.
Spurgeon knew the risk. But treasures awaited in the twisting, narrow stone streets snaking away from the Attarine Mosque.
He had Mohammad, he had a gun, he had money—and he had God.
Peering down the darkened alley, Spurgeon worried that, maybe, he didn’t
Mohammad entered the alley and disappeared from view. The alley was gray-on-gray, denied sunlight by overhanging, second-floor balconies adorning almost every building, their shuttered windows barely an arm’s length from each other. Joining with the dark was a riot of refuse; crazed, cadaver-like dogs; and powerfully pungent, unknown odors.
The Attarine District was home to the greatest concentration of antiquities dealers in Alexandria, both the illicit and the honorable. A person could buy almost any historical artifact along the ancient streets of the Attarine. Some were even genuine. And Charles Haddon Spurgeon was on a treasure hunt.
He held his breath; he held his heart; and he stepped into the dark.
At the first fork, Mohammed Isfahan was waiting. Spurgeon’s heart slowed its pounding pace. Mohammed confidently led the way, weaving in and out of the shoppers and the strollers who clogged the tight byways. It was early morning, before the sun began to scorch the stones, and Spurgeon was grateful for the moderate breeze off the Mediterranean. At his size, the heat sapped his strength and soaked his shirt within minutes. Though the morning was warm, Spurgeon hoped to get back into his hotel, under a fan in a shaded corner of the dining room, long before the withering heat began blowing from the Sahara. On one of his regular trips to the Middle East, Spurgeon was trolling for ancient biblical texts and Mohammed, recommended by the hotel’s concierge, promised he knew where to look.
Now fifty-six, he was England’s best-known preacher, and he grudgingly accepted the considerable influence and power he had earned as pastor of London’s famed New Park Street Church for the last thirty years. Spurgeon was the first to admit preaching was his passion.
But Spurgeon was also the first to admit that books were his weakness. He typically devoured six books per week and had written many of his own. Now, scuttling through the twilight of the dusty alley, Spurgeon sought to slake that hunger in the shops of the Attarine.
Rounding a curve in the street, Mohammed paused alongside a curtain covered doorway, pulled aside the curtain, and motioned for Spurgeon to enter. Inside the shop, not only was the atmosphere cooler, but it also carried the rich scent of old leather, soft and smooth like musty butter. Mohammed bowed reverentially as the proprietor emerged from the rear of the shop. He was a small man of an indeterminate age. What defined him were hawk-like, ebony eyes overflowing with wisdom, discerning of character, and surrounded by a brilliant white kaffiyeh. Mohammed spoke rapidly in Arabic, bowed again, and then stepped back as the proprietor approached Spurgeon.
“Salaam aleikum,” he said, bowing his head toward Spurgeon, who was startled when the man continued in perfectly cadenced English, “and peace be with you, my friend. It is an honor for my humble shop to welcome such a famous man under its roof. May I be permitted to share with you some tea and some of our little treasures?”
Wondering about the origin of the shopkeeper’s English, Spurgeon responded with a bow of his own. “Salaam aleikum, my brother. You honor me by using my language in your shop. But I must ask, how have you any knowledge of me?”
“Ah, the name of Spurgeon has found its way down many streets. I am Ibrahim El-Safti, and I am at your service. My friend, Mohammed, tells me you are interested in texts that refer to the stories of your Nazarene prophet, is that correct?”
“I would be honored to review any such texts as may be in your possession,” said Spurgeon. He took the chair and the tea that were offered by El-Safti and waited quietly as the shopkeeper sought and retrieved three books. While Spurgeon studied the books, one in Aramaic, one in Greek, and the last in an unknown language, Mohammed and the shopkeeper retired through the doorway, stepping
outside the curtain.
Spurgeon slipped into a scholar’s zone, focusing intently on the words before him. But the breeze turned, pushing aside the curtain in the door and carrying the words of Mohammed and El-Safti into the shop and up to Spurgeon’s ear—one well-trained in Arabic, among many other languages.
“What of the scroll?” Spurgeon heard Mohammed ask.
“Do not speak of that scroll in front of this infidel,” El-Safti countered, his voice stronger and more virile than it had been earlier. “You know what our tradition holds; this scroll would be of great benefit to the infidels, both the Jews and the Christians. We are to hold it in trust and keep it out of their hands at all costs.”
“You speak like an imam,” Mohammed said. “No one knows what is on that scroll; no one has been able to translate its meaning. How do we know what it contains?”
Spurgeon forgot the books in his lap. He heard a more interesting story floating on the breeze.
“If it can’t be read, is there any difference in whose hands it rests? I believe the English preacher would pay handsomely for the privilege of owning something he doesn’t understand. Ibrahim,” said Mohammed, “look at me. It could pay for your daughter’s wedding.”
“Do not tempt me, Mohammed,” El-Safti said. “That scroll has remained here for two generations, and no one has ever requested to see it. Quiet, now, and let us see what may interest the Englishman.”
Spurgeon attempted to return his attention to the books, but his eyes were pulled back to the men as they entered through the curtain. El Safti reverted to his perfectly subservient composure as he stepped before Spurgeon. The only thing out of place was an amulet — a Coptic cross with a lightning bolt flashing through on the diagonal—that slipped from the neck of his robe as he came
through the doorway.
“Do these books meet with your interest?” El-Safti asked.
Spurgeon rose from the chair and handed the books back to El-Safti. “I am disappointed to tell you, my friend, that you may have been swindled. The book in Aramaic is a fraud, and a poor one at that. The Greek, I have two copies in my library. And the third is in a language I have not seen before, but does not appear to be Semitic. Tell me, do you not possess anything more authentic?”
A moment’s silence passed through the shop. El-Safti’s pitch black eyes flickered with offense.
“My humble apologies,” El-Safti said. “Your reputation as a scholar is well earned, Dr. Spurgeon. But perhaps I do have something that you would find interesting. It is very old, but of indeterminate age.” El-Safti walked to the back of the shop. “It is an infidel’s mezuzah, nicely etched, wrapped in a very colorful piece of Moroccan silk.”
Disappointed in the books, Spurgeon’s interest increased at the mention of silk. His niece’s birthday would be upon him when he returned to England. Perhaps there was a prize here, after all.
El-Safti slipped into a small closet at the rear corner of the shop and could be heard snapping the hasp on a lock and moving a chain. Silence, then a stream of Arabic epithets, as El-Safti recoiled from the closet.
“Forgive me,” he said, his wild eyes looking first at Spurgeon and then at Mohammed. “It is gone. The scroll, it is gone.”
First fear, then unbelief, fought for dominance in El-Safti’s weathered face. His hands trembled as he wrung them together.
“Allah has punished me for my greed,” El-Safti said, slipping back into Arabic. “Mohammad, remove this infidel. And hurry back. We must think. We must find the scroll. We must find it before it is lost forever.”
I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful Etsy shop I happened across this summer. Jodi is the owner of Flutterbye Dreams, an Etsy shop featuring items for those special children in each of our lives.
A few of the items that you’ll find over at FlutterBye Dreams include;
Clips – In every color of the rainbow and offered in a variety of sizes. Great for all ages!
Felt Food- Fun shaped Cookies, Pepperoni Pizza, Tea Bags for those special tea parties, and let’s not forget the full breakfast meal!
Finger Puppets – Dragons, Polar Bears, Ghost, and more…these finger puppets you’ll come to adore!
Mitten Clips – A wonderful way to not lose those mittens this fall and winter.
Tooth Fairy Pillows- A unique way to cherish those special tooth losing moments in life!
I quite enjoyed getting to know Jodi and browsing through her enchanting little store filled with items that are guaranteed to bring smiles to faces of those both young and old. Now, I have interviewed her for my Etsy meet and great!
1.Why did you decide to start doing this on Etsy and how long have you been? I’ve been running my Etsy shop Flutterbye Dreams for 1 1/2 years, after some encouragement from friends who thought I should give it a try.
3. Apart from creating things, what do you do? I’m currently a full time student finishing up my education degree. Most recently I have become a Stampin’ Up rep and I am absolutely loving the new adventure that it brings.
4. What inspires you? My daughter inspires my passion for crafts. She is five years old and she quite often is the one who gives me new ideas. She helps me pick out new ribbon and also gives me new ideas for finger puppets and tooth fairy pillows.
5. In five years you’d like to be…? In five years, I hope that I will have a full time teaching position at the elementary level. I also hope that I am as active in crafts as I am now. I would love it i I was able to sell some of my products that I make in a store.
My final thoughts: I was sent a 4-pack of clippies watermelon in color along with an adorable clippie adorned with a lady bug to review. My daughter enjoys wearing her hair clippies from FlutterBye Dreams, as you can see in the photos included in this review! These clips are incredibly cute and made exceptionally well. Each clip has a a little rubber lining on the inside that keeps the clip from falling out of thin hair.
I almost couldn’t believe how affordable these clips were at only $5.00 for set of four, where I’ve seen $8.00 for just one! You can view more clippies like the lady bug one in my daughter’s photo at FlutterBye Dreams’s Facebook Fan Page.
I’m a fan and definitely will be back for one of those adorable tooth fairy pillows, several sets of the adorable felt food, and fun themed clips to match my daughter’s apparel.
WIN : How would you like to win a set of hair clips and a set of finger puppets of your own? Jodi has generously offered one of my readers this opportunity.
Visit Flutterbye Dreams and let me know what set of clips and finger puppets you’d like to win!
*Become a Fan of FlutterBye Dreams on Facebook (2 entries)
* Subscriber by email. (Activate)
* Add my button to your blog.
* Blog the contest & link to this post. (2 extra)
* Tweet & link to contest @erinlowmaster
Tweet Sample: (Copy/Paste)
Win A set of clippies and finger puppets @erinlowmaster http://bit.ly/19rghP
This contest runs ends August 15th, 2009 and is open to US and Canada only and no PO boxes, please. If a winner fails to reply within 48 hrs, a new winner will be chosen.