Enter to Win Gorgeous Lip Goodies! (Ends 4/17/17)

Hello, friends!



Finch and I have some gorgeous lip goodies for one reader to win this week!  It is such a beautiful spring day–and it’s April!–both of these make us smile, so we’re going to host this giveaway for someone to beautify her smile!

One winner will receive:

  • City Lips Advance Formula HA Plumping Spheres + Collagen Peptides Collagen Enhancing Lip Treatment
  • Model Co’s Shine Ultra Lip Gloss in Berry Pink
  • Make Up Forever’s Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner Pencil in 10C (it’s sort of a plummy color)

And, we’ll throw in some fun samples and a black drawstring Sephora bag to keep it all in!

Just click on the pink link below to head to the Giveaway Tools form to enter, and follow the directions!  Giveaway ends on April 17, 2017.

Enter here!

Enjoy, and best wishes!  –Wren


Goodies to Keep You Warm & Colorful in the New Year Giveaway! Ends 1/16

Finch and I have some fun goodies for one reader to enjoy!



This week, we’re giving away a trio of winter beauty (and warmth!) to one of our readers.

One person will win:

  • A Buxom Full-On Lip Creme from Bare Escentuals, in Kir Royale
  • A Sephora Eye Shadow in Aspen Summit No. 23
  • A navy acrylic knitted infinity scarf


How you can win

Simply enter via the pink link below, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.

Enter here!

Best wishes!

Enjoy–Finch and Wren

Glam It Up in the New Year Giveaway! Ends 12/30

Are you thinking about 2017 yet?  I know, we haven’t even celebrated Christmas yet.  But Finch and I have a fun giveaway for you to put on your most gorgeous face ever in 2017!


Of the two of us, Finch is the makeup expert.  She knows all the ins and outs and tricks of the beauty trade.  And she has put together some of her favorite beauty products so that one reader can put her best face forward in 2017!

One winner will receive:

  • A fuschia-tipped makeup brush set, with these 4 brushes:  a foundation brush; a powder brush; an eye shadow brush; and an angled eyeliner brush, zipped in a gold/cream fabric bag
  • Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum Mini
  • Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder Mini in light (to use with your new brushes!)
  • CoverGirl LineExact liquid liner pen, in 605 Smoke
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Mini, in Crystal
  • And last but definitely not least, a full-sized Chanel Infrarouge Lipstick in 23 Pretty





All you’ll need to add is your own eye shadow and blush!

Enter here!

Giveaway ends 12/30 at 11:59P.  Just click on the pink link below to enter via the Giveaway Tools form!

Enter here!

Best wishes, and enjoy!  –Finch and Wren


Wonderful, Meaningful Gifts from CrossTimber ~ A Review & Giveaway!

We have had the most beautiful experience for our family recently!  We were selected to review CrossTimber for the Homeschool Review Crew, and received their Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse, with the option to choose any name for personalization that we wished.  (I’ll share more on that below!)


crosstimber-bannerSo what’s in a name?

Everyone’s name is special to him or her.  And important.  You know how good it feels when someone you admire or just met got your name right.  We feel seen, and connected, when people use our names and use them well!

But, there is so much more to a name than that.  It is part of our identities and becomes part of our makeup.  It is so very personal and really connects to our hearts.

John Dehnart and his family know this.  In fact, John has spent years, all the way back to his high school driver’s ed class, noticing the meaning of others’ names, investigating them, and blessing the owners of those names with the special meanings of their names.  What a ministry!  This grew out of John’s own printing business and personal interactions with other students, and over the years since then (during which he married, and he and his wife are raising a family) it has blossomed into a wonderful business, CrossTimber.  All focused around sharing the special meanings of individuals’ names from a Christian perspective, and inspiring verses of Scripture to go with them.  How encouraging!

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

What does CrossTimber do?

CrossTimber researches the meaning of individuals’ names.  They really look deep for what God would say about a name, based on its original meaning in its original language.  They also look at history, for others who bore that name and what can be inferred from that.  Then, they connect it with Scripture verses (or a verse) which embodies that.

From there, CrossTimber offers beautiful and encouraging products which can display these names, their meanings, and the Scripture verses.  These gifts can range anywhere from framed prints, to coffee mugs, to bookmarks, and much more!  All of the gifts can be personalized with particular backgrounds (and CrossTimber has a LOT that you can choose from) which include landscapes, animals, musical instruments, castles and lighthouses….hundreds of choices!

When a person wishes to order one of these gifts, he can use the Chat Box at CrossTimber to ask John about his name.  After some research, John will respond with that name’s meaning and verses.  Then, the person can place his order using that information.  He’ll select backgrounds, frames (if he’s ordering one of the framed prints of a name and its meaning), and anything additional he’d like.  Then—the ball is in CrossTimber’s court!  They print and prepare the gift and then ship it to the purchaser.

crosstimber-mMy experience

CrossTimber very generously offered Homeschool Review Crew members a beautiful, personalized gift:  a Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse.  I was particularly interested in what John might have discovered about my name.  I really love my name; but do you know what it means?  “Dark.”  I have to say that since I’m not a Star Wars Sith Lord and really try to stay away from the Dark Side….I never really liked that!  Of course, I was named after a great character in a movie; and I’ve always liked everything else about my name.  Just not its original definition.

Well, I was not the first person to feel that way!  When I contacted John about the meaning of “Melanie,” he responded with the most incredible and amazing account of my name and what it meant.  There were some amazing Christian women in the 5th century with my name.  The meaning John sent to me and to others with my name?  “Hidden and Protected.  One who is a Child of God.”  Oh!  How beautiful.  And how special to me.

He also included a Bible verse which fits that meaning seamlessly.  So I couldn’t have been happier with the results!

(My guys' names are blurred for their own preferences)

(My guys’ names are blurred for their own preferences)

Our family’s experiences

I was so happy with my own name that I emailed John back and asked him about the meanings of my husband’s and son’s names.  CrossTimber had given me a Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse free of charge for myself.  I had had such an amazing experience myself that I ordered (and paid for) the same framed names and meanings for my husband and son.  John gave me a discount for that order and included free bookmarks with our names and meanings which matched the framed prints.

So what would I say about CrossTimber?

Occasionally you meet people who are in the jobs that seem to be the absolute perfect fit for them; vocations where they are able to use all of their giftings, their temperaments, and their abilities.  This is truly John Dehnart and CrossTimber!  It is so obvious that he finds incredible joy in connecting people with the true and life-giving meanings and Scriptures of their names.  And not only that; he does it well, and he does it right!  Serious investigation truly goes into each name.  It’s not in any way random or careless.  And for me?  My experience with John and with CrossTimber couldn’t have been more positive or encouraging.  I loved what I learned about my name and its meaning and history.  And now I have a lovely framed gift to remind me of that on a daily basis!

Check out CrossTimber for lovely and inspiring gifts for people you’d like to bless or encourage.  You can purchase truly wonderful and encouraging gifts that others will treasure for a lifetime.  You’ll be glad you did!  You can also click on the banner below to see what other Crew members’ experiences with CrossTimber were like.  Lots of names out there—and lots of neat experiences!  You can visit CrossTimber’s social media pages at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meaning.name/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/crosstimber

CrossTimber 2016 giveaway

And, you can enter to win your own beautiful name meaning gift!

CrossTimber is hosting a giveaway where you can enter to win your own name meaning gift!  Through Dec 4th, CrossTimber is sponsoring a Name Gift Giveaway.  Enter the giveaway for a chance to win another free Name Gift or $10 gift certificate!   Winner of the Grand Prize may select either a Personalized Mug OR a Name Plaque or 8×10 Plaque!  9 others win $10 Gift Certificates.

Just click on www.Meaning.Name/giveaway.html to enter.  Remember, the giveaway closes Dec 4th, 2016. Or you may enter via the Rafflecopter form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy!  –Wren


Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} ReviewsCrew Disclaimer

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ~ A BzzAgent Review


Recently, I had a lovely opportunity to try a brand new facial serum…as well as receive coupons and extra samples to share with my friends!  BzzAgent and Paula’s Choice generously provided for me a full-size bottle (30 ml./1 fl. oz.) of Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment free, in exchange for my honest opinion.  I was able to share my coupons and samples with friends here in town, but at the end of this post I’ll also include a code so that you can get discounted products AND free shipping from Paula’s Choice!

What is Paula’s Choice?

Paula’s Choice is a beauty and skin care company located in Seattle, Washington.  Their company philosophy proclaims that they’re based and manufactured in the United States; that none of their products are tested on animals; that their products are designed to be non-irritating; and that all products are backed with a 100% money-back guarantee.  I love all of those things.  For my own experience, I really appreciate that all Paula’s Choice products have no fragrance, no dyes, and nothing to harm the user’s skin.

Paula’s Choice was founded by skincare expert Paula Begoun.  She is committed to educating women on great skincare and wise choices, and she’s appeared on many television shows to do just that.  The Paula’s Choice website not only sells a huge variety of products for beautiful and healthy skin, but lots of information about beauty care.

What is Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?

Have you ever used a retinol treatment?  This was my first time ever.  All I knew about retinol was the sort-of-similar-sounding Retin-A, which a coworker used (via prescription from her doctor) years ago.  But as far as personal experience….I had none!

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is a facial serum that can (unlike Retin-A) be purchased over the counter.  It’s made for all skin types, and these are some results that the user can expect:

  • Improved elasticity and firmness in facial skin
  • Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Help with uneven-appearing skin

The Paula’s Choice retinol treatment is designed to be worked into a person’s skin care routine slowly and gently.  Users are instructed to try the product every other night (or even less) to start out with.  Then, if there are no adverse reactions, to increase use to every other night; and finally, if all goes well, to use it every night.  The company recommends night use rather than day use, and daytime use of a facial sunscreen of 25 SPF or higher.

My experiences with this retinol treatment

Over the past few years, we’ve seemed to have very full and busy days.  During that time, while I was trying to keep on top of things, I just used the skin care products I’d been using for some time.  But recently I noticed that they weren’t quite doing the job they used to do.  My skin seemed to suddenly (at least to me) look duller.  With more fine lines…and some not-so-fine!

So, I was thrilled to receive the Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment.  I have to admit that I sort of ignored the use directions.  I used it one night, and had no adverse effects whatsoever.  So then I kept using it every night.  (That is sort of in keeping with my personality.  If one thing is good <whether it’s volunteering, or Dr Pepper, etc.>, then lots of those things must be AMAZING!  I’m working on changing this pattern…. 🙂 )

And really, the retinol treatment WAS amazing.  My skin really began to transform.  Some lines and wrinkles which had really begun to annoy me actually started disappearing.  My skin overall began looking better and brighter.


It was also very easy to apply.  I just dispensed a small amount onto my palm and dabbed it over the problem areas I wanted to see looking better.

I only experienced one problem with the treatment…which I freely admit was my own fault!  We went over to my mom’s to help her repot some vegetable plants into some larger containers.  I had on my hat and my sunglasses, but ended up taking the hat off because it was getting in the way.  I did have some sunscreen on…but it was only 15 SPF and I really should have reapplied it.  We worked outside in the sun for about an hour.

Later that evening, I noticed that the skin on my face felt really sensitive.  I skipped the retinol that night, but my face continued to feel a bit tender.  So I continued to skip it.  (Which I really disliked doing, because I was really pleased with my results!)  I finally decided to call Paula’s Choice for more information and tips on using the product.  Their 800 number has an option for beauty consults (and they also have the option for live chats on their website).  I called and spoke to the most helpful young man.  He recommended that I stop using the retinol treatment for one skin cycle (the time for the epidermis layer to slough off), which can be 30-60 days.  Then, he recommended that I use the serum as directed (meaning start slowly, not the way I did it so quickly) so that my skin could gradually get used to it.  And last but not least, to use a strong sunscreen!

I’ll be doing all these things.  But I am so, so happy with Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment!  I love its results, the way it feels, and the overall company philosophy of Paula’s Choice.


Now you can get free shipping, and a discount on your own purchases at Paula’s Choice!

Just use the code PRRETINOL16 at Paula’s Choice.  This will provide both free shipping and 20% off your purchase, through July 31, 2016.

And remember, membership at BzzAgent is totally free.  If you like to sample products, provide feedback on them, and share them with your friends, you might love being a BzzAgent!  Just visit BzzAgent to learn more.

Enjoy!  –Wren

**From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.