Shop Small, Shop Local on Small Business Saturday

It’s Saturday morning. Maybe you’re browsing the internet while sipping some coffee. Is that coffee made or sold locally? Haven’t thought about it? Many don’t.

As you go about your day today, I suggest that you intentionally think about where everything you consume or use, comes from.

Maybe you’re taking your children out for a special treat this afternoon. Are you going to a large chain restaurant or going to that local restaurant which is owned by your neighbor?

You’re attending a holiday party this evening. You enjoy the delicious food that is served and you know the host didn’t make it all. Maybe you could ask where they got it. Maybe, you could order from that local business to get your child’s birthday cake, your snacks for your own holiday gatherings, or for that dreaded company meeting.

The big question is this…

Are you supporting big box stores or mom and pop shops on a regular basis? Everyone has their preferences, and conveniences are wonderful. As a mom, I admit I take advantage of conveniences.

But maybe, sometimes, we can take that extra step and go out of our way to help others in a more personal way with our purchases. One small purchase can make a world of difference in a small business owners success.

Every individual purchase from a small business matters and makes a difference. MANY small business sales allow a mom to contribute to her family’s finances, puts food on the table for a local family, allows children to take dance lessons or join little league. If more people thought of it in that way, I think more would join us in supporting small businesses all the time.

Today is Small Business Saturday and we’d like to encourage you all to help support your local business owners. Your friend or neighbor that bakes, makes jewelry, sells candles, owns a bookstore, etc… Consider checking out their products or shops TODAY and make a purchase. If you can’t make a purchase, show support to your local businesses. Share them. Trust me, when I see someone simply share the existence of my businesses (even this blog!), it puts a smile on my face and hope in my heart.

Do you own a small business? Feel free to share your links in the comments below. Looking for some small businesses to support? Here are some businesses owned by your bloggers here at the Boy Meets Girl blog.

Keepin’ It Radio:
Radio Station focused solely on LOCAL and INDEPENDENT musicians from around the world.

Because of You Confections and Creations:
Handmade jewelry and homemade fudge, buckeyes, bread, and more!

American Serenade by Michelle Rouzzo:
Fair trade coffees, Organic teas, Wine, Chocolate Covered espresso beans and more!

Something Tiafied:
Cakes, Chocolate Covered Oreos, Coffee/Cocoa Stir Spoons and more!


Fire Kids Edition with Kid Proof Case is worth the extra expense

I have been hearing about the Fire tablet a lot lately and I was even asked if my daughter would like one for Christmas this year. It sounds great and I was shocked to see the low price of $34.99.

Then, I was sent a link to the Fire KIDS edition and I fell in love more. The Kids edition has a kid proof case that comes in blue or pink. The case being included alone had me excited since we would have been buying one for the regular tablet anyway. Knowing that it’s a KID PROOF case, made it that much better.

Fire Kids Edition

The Fire Kids edition is shown enduring spills and falls onto concrete in the video below. While my kids are pretty easy on electronics, they are still kids, so those perks are absolutely wonderful to me.

Here are the rest of the perks on the listing:

  • Up to $109 in savings on Fire, 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited and a Kid-Proof Case, plus a 2-year worry-free guarantee
  • Not a toy, a full-featured Fire tablet with a 7″ IPS display and front and rear cameras. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
  • 2-year worry-free guarantee: if they break it, return it and we’ll replace it for free. No questions asked.
  • Unlimited, free access to 10,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited included
  • Best-in-class parental controls allow you to manage usage limits, content access, and educational goals

Okay, I was excited about a kid proof case. BUT if somehow we still managed to end up with a broken tablet in the first two years – we can get a new one FREE. No questions asked! (They must know they’d get some crazy stories from us parents!)

This tablet comes with a year of free, unlimited use of Amazon Freetime. This is what will give your child access to 10,000+ movies, books, games, and more. After the year, it’s only $2.99 to $4.99 a month to continue on which is absolutely reasonable and affordable.

My children are going to be 7 1/2 and 5 at Christmas this year. For about a year now I’ve been contemplating getting a tablet of some sort for them that allows for games but also educational apps, reading, movies, and more. One of my biggest concerns was giving them something with the ability to do all of that and have them stumble upon something not kid friendly. Knowing that the Fire Kids Edition has built in, manageable parental controls really sets my heart at ease.

The Fire Kids Edition can be purchased on Amazon for 84.99, free shipping. Yes, you could go with the cheaper ‘adult’ version, but all of the perks to the Fire Kids Edition are absolutely worth the price difference in my opinion.


*This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through my link, helps my family. :)

TWO DAY savings with American Serenade

I am SO excited about this discount being offered to our customers for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! You have TWO DAYS to figure out what products you want to stock up on and get them ordered.

Black Friday Special 15% off

I am a consultant for this company and it’s truly because THIS brand MADE me a coffee drinker. I’ve never been able to stand the taste of coffee until this came in to my life and now I have at least one cup a day. I believe it is because of the small businesses involved in getting this coffee to me. American Serenade offers fair trade and organic products which come from other small businesses in the United States. The coffees and teas are made in small batches which allows for better quality and taste and the coffee is ground upon each order.

Coffee, tea, wine, chocolate covered espresso beans and more… Head on over to and order yours today. Please, choose Michelle Rouzzo as your consultant when you place your order.

Feel free to also connect with me on Facebook:
American Serenade by Michelle Rouzzo


Book an Amazon Home Service, Get $30 Gift Card

Did you know Amazon offers home services? This is definitely new knowledge to me. I just browsed through the 334 results of home service offerings. I am amazed! While some services are not available in all areas, they have a LOT to offer.

Need a garbage disposal installed? Let Amazon Home help you out!

Need assistance assembling your treadmill? Amazon Home can do that too!

Some of the other services offered include:

  • Light Fixture Replacement
  • Patio Heater Assembly
  • House Cleaning
  • Dryer Vent Cleaning

and SO many more.

It is definitely worth your time to check out the services offered over at Amazon Home. There may be a service you need now or will be in need of in the future.

Right now Amazon Home is offering a special deal for Black Friday and the weekend. If you book a service worth $75 or more, you’ll receive a $30 gift card. This special offer ends on Monday, November 30, 2015. Gift card is sent within three weeks of the service booking.

Black Fridays deal galore on Amazon

I just wanted to stop by real quick to remind you all to check out the Black Friday deals on Amazon. If you’re not too crazy about leaving the comfort of your home, this may be the route for you to go to get your deals. I know I prefer online shopping over the madness of the stores, myself. I’ll be back to share more specific deals, but in the meantime, check out what’s being offered here:

Amazon’s Black Friday deals

10 Best Children’s Books of 2015

Parent’s Magazine has just released their list of the Top 10 Children’s books for the year just in time for holiday gift ideas!

Hi! by Ethan Long

Hi! By Ethan Long

In this story about the ways animals and humans say hello, bouncy rhymes like “hoo” and “moo” and “chirp” and “slurp” made our toddler testers giggle. “The comic-like illustrations are just as much fun as the text,” says one mom of a 3-year-old. Birth to 3, $8

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $6.04.

Wolfie the Bunny

Wolfie the Bunny, by Ame Dyckman and Zachariah O’Hora

A zany premise (a family of bunnies adopts a baby wolf left at its doorstep) leads to suspense (repeated refrains of “He’s going to eat us all up,” from his bunny sister) and a surprise ending. “This fresh take on sibling rivalry is so much fun to read aloud,” says Ginny Collier, a children’s librarian in Atlanta. Ages 3 to 6.

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $12.88. 


 Counting Dogs

Counting Dogs, by Eric Barclay

The format won families over: Bound in a sturdy box, the book contains graduated pages and die-cut tabs. Turning each one reveals an adorable spotted dog encountering an increasing number of animals, such as three turtles, nine fish, and, finally, ten counting dogs that look just like him. Ages 1 to 4.

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $10.13.


Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, by Sally M. Walker and Jonathan D. Voss

“No way—Winnie is real?” exclaimed one 6-year-old reviewer after hearing this sweet-as-honey account about a Canadian soldier who brought his pet bear Winnie (short for Winnipeg) to be cared for at the London Zoo while he was in battle. Christopher Robin came to visit the zoo with his family, and the rest is history. Ages 4 to 8, $18

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $11.44.

The Day the Crayons Came Home 

The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

The story is funnier than the creators’ original blockbuster, The Day the Crayons Quit. Each crayon sends Duncan, the main character, a postcard highlighting what’s happened since they walked out. From neon red: “Looks like I’m almost home. … Just crossing New Jersey by camel now! New Jersey has giant pyramids, right?” Ages 4 to 8, $19

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $11.56.

Ballet Cat The Totally Secret Secret

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, by Bob Shea

Although the vocabulary is simple enough for early readers, the story of a cat and a pony doesn’t lack substance. “It helps children learn how they can express their desires without compromising a friendship,” says Lorie Bonapfel, children’s librarian at The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. Ages 4 to 6

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $9.18.

Journey to the Moon 

Journey to the Moon, by Andy Mansfield

Kids oohed and aahed over the pop-ups (especially the spirally moon landing), but parents got a kick out of the twist ending (let’s just say it’s extraterrestrial!).Ages 4 to 8, $13

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $11.40.

The Story of Diva and Flea

The Story of Diva and Flea, by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi

Fans of Willems’s Elephant & Piggie series will grow into this 80-page story about a streetwise cat and a tiny dog who explore Paris. Says one 8-year-old tester: “I liked the pencil illustrations.” Ages 6 to 9, $15

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $9.53.

 Roller Girl

Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson

A relatable main character, realistic dialogue, and expressive illustrations won over our tween reviewers. “Even though I can barely roller-skate, I felt like I was reading about me and a couple of my best friends,” says one 9-year-old. Ages 7+, $13

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $7.14.

 The Marvels

The Marvels, by Brian Selznick

Testers thrived on unraveling the mystery of how two seemingly stand-alone stories (one told entirely through nearly 400 pages of illustrations) are connected. Says children’s librarian Elizabeth Bird: “It will keep your kids guessing.” Ages 8+, $33

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $18.14.

*This post does contain affiliate links.

Christmas Shop in Akron is open THIS weekend!

The annual Christmas Shop is taking place THIS weekend. The shop is located in the Cottage Grove E.C. church in South Akron. This is our church’s HUGE annual fundraiser for the missionaries and charities our church supports, including Akron Pregnancy, Pregnancy Services of Coventry, and Haven of Rest in Akron.

Cottage Grove E.C. Church is located at the corner of Killian Rd and Cottage Grove Road. (It is the brick church.) Signs are in place to help you find it. The address is:

Shop hours are:
Friday, November 6th          9AM to 8PM

Saturday, November 7th      9AM to 2PM

The Christmas Shop includes:

Homemade Bake Goods
Homemade Crafts
Silent Auction (Friday*)
White Elephant room (NICE used Christmas things and more).
and more!

There are many wonderful baskets available in the silent auction. They include items such as tea, bath and body products, movie basket, and even Cleveland Browns tickets. The Silent Auction will be open for bids until 7pm on Friday and winners will be announced at 7:30. You must be present to win or have someone there in your place.

The Masked Saint set to hit theatres early 2016

“The Masked Saint” is a movie based on true events about a professional wrestler turned small town pastor. After witnessing growing problems in his community, Christopher ‘The Saint’ Samuels decides to moonlight as a masked vigilante to fight the injustice.

The Masked Saint features Brett Granstaff, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Diahann Carroll, James Preston Rogers, and the late Rowdy Roddy Piper.

I’m looking forward to watching this when it releases on January 8, 2016. You can check out the newly released trailer below.

Halloween is upon us!

Halloween has creeped up on us and now everywhere I go, everywhere I look, I see and hear about the candy, the costumes, the parties, trick or treating. I love this time of year as our children get to dress up as anyone they want and this year mommy and daddy are joining in as we become a family of superheros together. Halloween is a fun start to fall and the insanity that comes along with Thanksgiving and Christmas soon to follow.

As you’re taking a break from the planning and festivities, you can check out our previously posts about our thoughts on this holiday.

Halloween: Is It for You? The Truth About the Dangers and Benefits of Trick or Treating

Is Halloween Too Evil for Christians?

The True Meaning of Halloween

Cover Art

WWE 2k16 Preview: The Future of the Series Is Here. (part 2)

Part 2: Time to play the game!
(didn’t read Part 1 yet? Click here to read it)

Rollins vs Sting
Rollins vs Sting

Gameplay (continued):
One great example of the upgrades made is the ability to change who you are targeting while you’re setting up for a finishing move. Waiting to hit Sweet Chin Music on Triple H but Chris Jericho got up first? With the press of a button, you’ll be laying Jericho out with the fine tune of Shawn Michael’s boot instead. As if the gameplay wasn’t already made so much smoother and enjoyable with these other updates, several hundred new moves making their way into the game helps a lot too. Included in this are new finishing moves from the 2nd rope position and finisher reversals that allow you to reverse a finisher with another finisher – while limited to catching finishers (and certain new moves being able to be countered with catching finishers) this year, it’s a sign of what is to come to the series and is a definite step in a much needed right direction.


Rollins vs Balor
Rollins vs Balor

Let’s be honest. WWE 2k15 lacked in a lot of areas, despite being a wonderful game overall. One of the most crucial areas the game lacked was match types. This year, several of our missing matches have returned such as handicapped matches, new variations of ladder matches, and tornado tag, plus others that we definitely had missed last year. You’ll find yourself entertained much more this year with the return of these favorites and many others!

Universe Mode:
Universe mode is a personal favorite game mode of mine when it comes to this franchise. The ability to take over the WWE Universe and make it your own is an incredible feeling, from assigning your rosters and champions to deciding what matches and rivalries will take place. This year we’re getting a bit more freedom with our Universe, with incredibly helpful minor additions like allowing a superstar to show up on two brands at the same time.  This allows us to return to the brand split like before between Raw and Smackdown if we wish, while still allowing our top superstars to perform and compete in rankings on both shows. On top of that, there are some great additions to the customization options in this mode as well, but I can’t quite go into details on that just yet. Stay tuned though, more information about what’s new in Universe mode is coming VERY soon!

MyCareer Mode:
Last year, Next-gen systems (Xbox One, PS4) introduced the new MyCareer Mode, but fans found the mode to be lackluster and spotty. This year however, we’re looking at this mode showing its full potential to be much more advanced than we originally thought. Create your own superstar and make your way into the WWE battling it out in NXT until you’re brought up to the main roster. There’s going to be plenty of obstacles along the way as you can either side or go up against the Authority and other rivals, all while working your way up the ladder to win multiple championships. During your career, you’ll be interviewed by Renee Young and given options to talk respectfully about your opponent or to put them down. In the process of all of this, you’ll find yourself taking on the roles of manager, referee and even forming tag team partners (something that was heavily missing from last year’s installment). An incredible 15 year career awaits you, as does the WWE Hall of Fame… Are you ready?

Austin 3:16
Austin 3:16

Showcase Mode:
Last year we saw showcase mode highlight several different showcases of rivalries and careers, from the rise of the Ultimate Warrior to rivalries like the famous 2011 feud between John Cena and CM Punk. This year, we’re getting rid of the multiple showcases and seeing ourselves following ONE showcase and ONE showcase only (but the DLC this year is going to be exceptional – and we’ll be discussing that in the very NEAR future). This year, we focus on the career of WWE legend, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, following his career from the days of ECW, to WCW and finally his arrival and rise to fame in the WWE (including his famous Austin 3:16 speech).  On top of reliving great highlights of Austin’s career, such as his feuds against the Undertaker and the McMahon family, you’ll also find a sweet collection of extra matches to relive… and the large roster allows for plenty of “What if…” moments.  Get excited, because this year Showcase mode puts all of the focus into delivering one “Stunning” experience.

Stone Cold vs Jake the Snake
Stone Cold vs Jake the Snake

Creation Suite:
Every year, we await news on the creation suite of the WWE franchise games, and for good reason. This series has seen some of the most in-depth, advanced creation modes available to any sort of annual game franchise. Last year, most of our creation modes were removed from the game, and the ones that remained became incredibly limited.  However, this year, we’re getting everything back, and it stands to show it was removed for good reason – to allow room for major improvement. While I can’t get into the details too much just yet, I can tell you that the creation suite this year is spectacular. We see the return of Create an Arena, vast improvements to Create a Superstar, the return of Create a Diva and to top it off, the return of Create a Championship. Information is coming within the next 2 weeks on these features and we’ll be giving another update as well, so be sure to check back soon for more information on what to expect of WWE2k16’s Creation Suite AND a look at the DLC! And that’s the bottom line!

WWE 2k16 releases in the US on Oct. 27th for Xbox360, PS3, Xbox One and PS4!