About Raisin Toast, Contests, Book Reviews & More


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The Blog, Sections, Book & Product Reviews, Advertising, Contests, and TypePad Design Services too!



The Blog:

Raisin Toast is my life journal.  I love to write, and blogging has given me the opportunity to mix my love of writing with my life's passions - my family, my children, my home, fine art, painting, drawing, sewing, quilting, photography, homeschooling, and more. 

Anything, and just about everything, that is important to me or passes through my day will get mentioned here on Raisin Toast.  For me, blogging is a lot of fun, and hopefully my readers will enjoy stopping by on occasion and be a part of my day.  I enjoy getting to know my readers and learning a bit about you too.  That is what makes this so much fun.

The name "Raisin Toast" came about after 3 days of not being able to figure out what to call this blog thing I was starting.  I have a thing for raisin toast in the morning, so while I was sitting at my computer one morning eating breakfast I said to my son, "you know, I really love raisin toast" to which he replied "I do too, Mom.  You should call your blog "Raisin Toast" and maybe everybody will love it too.  Is that inquisitive thinking or what?  So that is how the name came to be.

BubblegumMachineStottThe Sections:

My Opus is my life in a nutshell.  Personal stuff.  Fun stuff.  Crazy stuff.  And, all the stuff that isn't so great, and not so fun.  I find My Opus to be my place to suck it up and spit it out as well.  I'll speak what is on my mind, and humbly admit my mistakes and regrets too.  I think it is important for each of us to admit when we are wrong, to step up to the plate and ask for forgiveness, to admit that we are human, and to sacrifice for others.  Not many people agree with me, but I believe that if we do good for others, admit the err of our ways, and strive to do better, we will live a better and more fulfilling life.  That is My Opus. 

Atelier is my studio, my creative home.  My tiny Atelier in the back corner of my home.  It is where I sew and quilt and craft my day away.  It is where I read and relax and take lots of pictures of my projects to share with you!

Fine Art & Crafts is my art studio.  I have pretty much taken over the house with my crafts and projects, and my art studio is certainly the biggest one yet.  Our living room "is" my art studio.  It is where I paint in oils.  I have about 5 easels going all at once scattered around the room.  If you stroll through this section you will find my artwork, and also my e-Boutique where I sell my crafts, quilts, paintings, and more.

Giveaways are so much fun!  I am fortunate that publishers, distributors, and media companies find me interesting, because I receive goodies in the mail and can share them with you!  I only share the good stuff though.  If I don't use something and enjoy it myself, or if I don't think a book is worth mentioning, I won't waste your time.  But, if I share it here and write a review, you can bet I think it's worth your time. 

School Days is one of my "sidebar" sections.  Simply put, it is our homeschooling and high school experiences.  I share with you our curriculum, lessons, games, activities, resources, and more.  It really does take a village to raise a child and I am dedicated to my children's education.

Home & Garden is another one of my "sidebar" sections.  It is about this place we call home and all the things that we've been up to that make it a better place to live and raise our family.  Somehow we manage to get the house that needs a lot of work, but being the Do-it-Yourselfers that we are, we dig in and get it done - eventually.  

You will also find some fantastic recipes from my dear, long-time friend, Beth Sollars.  We've been friends for about 25+ years and I love her to pieces.  Beth is like a sister to me.  I just wish she lived closer.  She lives in Florida while I am in North Carolina.  Her cooking will make your mouth water and keep you coming back for more.  I can cook, but I hate it.  I just don't like all the mess and preparation.  Beth, on the other hand, is quite the chef and she shares her recipes and a number of her secrets here with you.  She has also recently published a cookbook of her own called "Singingirl Cooks!" that is guaranteed to keep you busy in the kitchen and your family and friends happy as clams.

I also love photography and messing around in Photoshop, and offer up tutorials now and then about all the things I have learned to do in Adobe Photoshop CS4.  Being creative and artistic is a big part of who I am and what I love to do, and I enjoy sharing it with all my readers.

TheStoryTimeNo2StottBook Reviews & Product Reviews:

Book Reviews are my way of sharing with you the books I have read and enjoyed, and some that I haven't enjoyed all that much. I love to read and when I come across a good read, you can bet I'm going to share it with you. 

I appreciate the books I receive as gifts from publishers and authors for reading, and while I cannot review every book, I do my best to write about the ones that I have enjoyed - but only after I have read them.  I appreciate the work that writers and publishers have shared with me, and I am grateful that you thought enough of me to send me your book. 

Product Reviews are my way of sharing with you my experiences with products that I have used.  I will not review a product that I have not used.  If you have a product that you think I, or my family, might enjoy, send it on.  If it is a product that one of my children would enjoy, then the review will most likely be from them.  Out of the mouths of babes comes a profound honesty like no other.  I am also quite candid here.  If I have had an experience with a product that I have purchased or received that is flawed, you'll hear about it - and I will probably offer up ways you might think to improve your product.  Value and Safety are important to me. 

Again, I really appreciate those of you out there who have created products for our use and enjoyment.  I respect the effort that went into the design and function of each product.  I have designed and created a few products of my own!  I will do my best to review and mention each product that I receive, but only after I receive them and have used them, and only if they conform to those standards that I have promised to maintain within my agreement with Blogher Ads, and my standards too!

If you have a book or product that you would like to send my way for review, or just because, send me an email and I'll let you know where to ship it.


Blogher Ads I am a publisher for Blogher ads.  They are a great company and I am proud to have my blog associated with their advertising campaigns and advertising clientele.  I trust that the advertisers that are on my blog are suited for my audience, will not be embarrassing, will be helpful and valuable to moms everywhere, and will hopefully stimulate the economy. 

Private Ad Campaigns I also publish ad banners in my sidebars for certain advertisers who want to reach my audience.  When I accept an advertiser, I may decide to create an advertising banner for your company or product that will be visually attractive in my sidebar, and below the Blogher Ads.  I appreciate when you have your own banners, but if they don't look nice on my site and benefit my readership, I'll have to say "no thank you."  Whatever I create for you will be "yours" to use on any other site you advertise on.  I am more than happy to help you with your advertising and marketing needs with:

Banner creation (all sizes)
Logo Design
Tag Lines
Advertising writing & more

I work with each advertiser on an individual basis based on marketing and advertising goals and needs, banner creation if necessary, ad placement, calendar days of your campaign, and more. There is too much involved for there to be a strict template of cost.  Your needs are as individual as your Ad campaign.  I want your advertising on Raisin Toast to be successful and profitable.  Remember - Blogher Ads is my prioritized Advertising Medium.  I will not advertise for competitors of Blogher Ads. 

Banner1TelephoneTypePad Design Services:

Services I enjoy working with Six Apart and TypePad and have developed quite the repor with this wonderful company.  I now offer bloggers and artists:

TypePad Advanced Template Design services
Masthead creation
Logo Design
Sidebar Navigation Design
Banner & HTML creation (so that other blogs and sites can show their appreciation for your blog)
Sidebar Image Linked Banners
Rotating Sidebar Banners/Images
Google Search setup
Currently Reading Creation
All kinds of sidebar elements
Background creation
SEO (Search Engine Optimization
and more ...

If you would like me to help you with any of these things, just scoot me an email at [email protected]


OpenBkandGalaAppleContests & Giveaways:


I enjoy having contests and giveaways here on Raisin Toast, but usually, that only occurs when I can afford to purchase the gift myself that I will be offering you here.  Most of the contests here on Raisin Toast are sponsored by me and my hubby - Big Bear, but since he has been out of work, it's been tough to sponsor the contests & giveaways myself.  So, on occasion, my prizes to you are sponsored either by personal friends or by the manufacturer of the product, retailer, author, distributor, or publisher.  Whenever I have a contest or giveaway, I will tell you in the post who is sponsoring the gift to you.  Based on FTC rulings for bloggers, I have to let you know where I got the gift, and that is the right thing for me to do anyway!  You need to know these things.  

Just know this, I will not offer any gift to you here on Raisin Toast if I have not used the product myself and really love it.  Sorta like Oprah's Favorite Things, the gifts that I offer here are my "favorite things" and even if they are sponsored products, they are being offered by me here only if I have used the product and trust that it is safe and enjoyable for you.  I absolutely will not endorse a product that I have not used and trust and like very much.  

But - and there is always a "but" in there somewhere, I cannot guarantee that every gift I giveaway will be perfect.  I cannot guarantee that you will love it as much as I have.  I cannot provide you with replacements either.  When I send a gift to you, I will make every effort (if the gift is being shipped directly by me) to ensure that it is wrapped and boxed for maximum protection during shipping.  If, on the other hand, it is being shipped from somewhere else, I have no control over how it is wrapped and packed.  We can only hope that the individual who wrapped and packed the gift took the care needed to ensure that you receive your gift in new and working condition.  

If you have any questions concerning my contests and giveaways, please email me at [email protected].  I will get back with you just as soon as I can. 

If you have any questions about anything that I have not answered here, just scoot me an email.  I will get back with you as promptly as possible.

[email protected]


Paintings throughout this post by Contemporary / Realist Artist Christopher Stott