Connect With Your Kid’s Favorite Author? #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaway

2015 January 26

Win $150 worth of beloved T.A. Barron Books Here!
Hurry FLASH Giveaway!

Have you ever fallen in love with a book or even better, a series and… maybe you wondered if the author of your new favorite novel might be on Facebook. Or… Twitter? And maybe they are, but not surprisingly they don’t have a lot of time to chit chat with you. Oh well. Nice try right?

TA Barron 18 YA books #Giveaway $150 value! Hurry Flash Giveaway from #GoodNCrazyMy bad. Didn’t mean to be all stalker-ish.

In case you don’t already know who T.A. Barron is or maybe you haven’t met the characters in his LARGE library of books… first there’s… a certain boy who-would-be Merlin? Or a savvy street urchin kid in his newest series about the lost Island of Atlantis? And several other quirky, yet strong and smart kids who capture your mind and then your heart within a few pages.

Here’s the thing.

Mr. Barron is NOT one of those authors with no time for his fans. I dare you. Reach out to him on Twitter— he’s @TABarronAuthor.

Ask him about his newest release in the Atlantis Series {Atlantis in Peril}. Or ask him about his newest project: The Wisdom of Merlin… go ahead. Ask him what the 7 Magical Words are? Check out his Facebook page and see if he doesn’t respond when you request a super-secret insider’s tip about his new releases this spring?

I’m not even a kid but first… I enjoy his books.
And second… Mr. Barron happily gives me a few minutes of his time when I reach out to him using social media. I’m just FLAT IMPRESSED with him as an author—a father and as a real life human on the other end of the keyboard.

Because we love his books {and him!} we are THRILLED to be giving away nearly his whole library of books in one GIANT #GoodNCrazy giveaway! We thought it was a perfect fit for our month of Smart Kids Smart Fun!

#GoodNCrazy Giveaway | $150+ Value
18 TA Barron Young Adult Books — Including the WHOLE Merlin Series!

One Winner will receive a box filled with ALL the books shown below widget. Please fill out the Rafflecopter Widget to enter.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


ARV $158.26 {All 18 books}

Merlin Series by TA Barron YA books #GiveawayMerlin Books WHOLE Series: Books 1 – 12!


Atlantis Series:

Plus these Titles as well:


{Sneak Peek} Check out this preview of the new Wisdom of Merlin book due out this Spring…

Mandatory: Must Fill out Rafflecopter to enter. Must answer first question. Giveaway open to US Only, 18 years and older. Winner will be randomly chosen via Rafflecopter, contacted via email and must respond within 48 hours. If no response after 48 hours a 2nd winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary. Please note #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaways are only products I know and love. Please come back each week to see the next Flash Giveway!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. We have read and loved several of Mr. Barron’s book series’ and we recently began digesting our own “Advance Reader Copy” of Atlantis in Peril!


Why Does Every Family Need A Mobile WiFi Device?

2015 January 26

On a road trip…. What’s Music to a Mother’s Ears?

For my GoodNCrazy family the main reason we need (and love) having our own mobile WiFi device is…

GoPhone Unite Mobile WiFi for FamilyHappy kids = busy kids especially on a long roadtrip. Dare I suggest they read a book? Okay at least read their Kindle App, right?

Having a mobile WiFi Device like the GoPhone Unite, literally means you can take the power of SILENCE with you on any road trip.

Kids of all ages will love you. Like my son below using his new Zooti Tablet catching up on his favorite nerdy YouTube obsessions. And your husband will love you, too. Because traveling with teens and tweens means they all have their own devices—and mom & dad can listen to the 80s station for a change!

13 MORE Reasons You NEED a GoPhone Unite
(AT&T Service, no Contract necessary)

  1. GoPhone Mobile Hotspot with tween in car watching YouTubeGoPhone Unite is only a $69 one time purchase of device.
  2. No contract. No contract. No contract.
    (Wait, Did I mention No Contract?)
  3. Connect up to 10 devices.
  4. Between $15 and $50 for data plans (per week or month).
  5. Refill your data each month via multiple options, retail cards, on your phone or auto refill.
  6. Perfect for a college kid living with roommates.
  7. Great gift for grandparents who want to keep up with family but don’t need a full home internet package.
  8. MOBILE—let’s talk about using a hotspot on long car trips, on vacations where WiFi is hard to come by or in airports where the free WiFi is slow (and unsafe) or expensive to purchase.
  9. Saves your phone’s battery so you can use your phone AS A PHONE, when you really need it!
  10. Gives younger children freedom and access to WiFi with their non-cellular devices… tablets, iTouch, gaming devices WITHOUT worrying about handing over your smart phone to a kid.
  11. Userfriendly, the GoPhone is super easy to set up and get started within minutes of unpackaging
  12. Truly FAST internet while on the road, with several devices all connected… (This was my family’s experience on South Carolina Freeway—Roadtrips, strong signal with 3 and 4 devices).
  13. Can turn off your GoPhone usage at any time, then turn back on again if maybe you have a busy month of travel or will be outside of your normal WiFi access.


There are a couple negative aspects to the GoPhone Unite for our family’s set up and data usage:

FIRST: The monthly data expense is hard to justify if you ALSO have a data plan via your own cell phone company. We are Verizon cell phone users and the GoPhone uses AT&T service.

HOWEVER NOTE: if you are an AT&T customer already, there is a Unite Pro device you can use as a hotspot and it will use data from your family ‘bucket’ cellular data plan. The cost for this option is very efficient.

SECOND: If you use your own internet in your home more than anywhere else, then likely this service will be duplicative. (See point number 13 above, the GoPhone is fabulous when you need extra data while traveling more than usual or if you need a few weeks of additional data maybe when family is visiting?)

 GoPhone mobile hotspot tween watching YouTube on tablet on roadtrip

You might be thinking… wait, my phone can act as a hotspot in a pinch?

Actually, most phones do a poor job as a hotspot. You’re using more expensive cellular data dollars and your phone’s battery will get sucked dry really quickly. Also cell phones as hotspots have really SLOW bandwidth. In my experience using a phone as a hotspot is WAY more frustrating that it’s worth! Plus it heats up the phone something fierce.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, however we were given a GoPhone Unite from NetGear to test and share our family’s feedback. I’d love to hear if you have used a GoPhone or other mobile WiFi device and how you use it?

The Year of Modern Art in my GoodNCrazy Life

2015 January 12

Some People Choose a Word of the Year as a Theme.

Water? Reading? Meditate?

Or maybe they make one large resolution like reading more good books or increasing their spirituality.

In the past I’ve created tongue in cheek resolution lists.
Mused about the word: “Resolution”.
And dreamed up multiple categorized resolution lists.

But this year I’m going to focus on something that has been percolating in my life lately.

Modern Art

I don’t even know why. It just makes me happy.

The first modern art installment where I literally stopped dead in my tracks to stare at it… was in the World Trade Center sometime in late 1995. I wrote about that giant 2 story Miró Tapestry on an anniversary of 9-11 because as you might imagine, sadly it was destroyed.

Miro painting at Nasher Museum till end of February 2015

IMAGE: Joan Miro, Femmes VI (Women VI), 1969. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 36 1/4 inches. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain. Circa 2014 Successio Miro / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, New York / ADAGP, Paris, France.

I had no idea who he was or WHAT that huge rug with all the crazy stuff hanging off it was. Sure I’d heard of Dali and his melting watches. I knew about Picasso and his portrait of a woman who couldn’t decide if she wanted to face the artist or be in profile. And a few other wacky artists.

But to stand next to something that huge? And well.. THAT weird?
Was the beginning of a lifelong love of modern (and often bizarre) art.

Since that time, I learned that Joan Miró is pronounced (sho-ahn) with a soft shh at the beginning. Because he’s from the Catalonia area of Spain and that’s how they pronounce it. I’ve seen his works in the Modern Art Museum in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago and several others. I’ve BEEN to Barcelona and wandered through the Miró Foundation.

Modern Art + Modern Sushi = AMEN!

Recently I drove up to Durham, NC and saw a traveling exhibit of Miró’s paintings and SUPER wacky sculptures at the Nasher Museum, part of Duke University. Is that a person? Oh? It says it’s a woman. I see that now (no I don’t). The art exhibit at the Nasher will be there until the end of February. Entrance is only $12 and it’s TOTALLY worth it.

I don’t pretend to understand the art. Or the why’s behind the creations. Or the madness. But holy wonderful(!) I simply LOVE to wander through a modern art show and let it whisk me away on a journey. Okay maybe more like and ‘Acid Trip’. But still.


Miro Exhibit at  Nasher Museum-1

Raleigh Cowfish try the BurgooshiIf you drive up there from Charlotte – be sure to go eat lunch at the CowFish in Raleigh. The HUGE aquarium was a treat as are all the burger-ooshi combinations!! My new favorite is The Nature Boy’s WOOOOO–shi BuffalOOOOO–shi Roll… spicy but not overwhelming if you take off the jalepenos! NOTE: I was a guest of both the Nasher Museum and the Raleigh Cowfish.

Miro Exhibit at  Nasher Museum-7

Guess Where we get the Word Gaudy from?

antoni gaudi apartment building with waves on the outsideWhile I was in Barcelona last summer I met my new fascination in the Modern Art world. His name is Antoni Gaudi. And I HAD NO IDEA!! See, he was an architect. And people… he put giant geckos on the outside of buildings. He created tile mosaic gates that probably caused car crashes (or more likely horse & carriage crashes since he worked around the turn of the last century). I will be sharing some of my favorite Gaudi photos soon! Until then, go Google his name. You’ll See. I’m sure he was brilliant, but ya gotta admit, kinda crazy too?? Warning. I’m obsessed. And you have to travel to Barcelona to see it. He only designed buildings there.

Your necklace is too gaudy. That word? EXACTLY what Mr. Gaudi was. OVER. THE. TOP. He adorned the fronts of apartment buildings so they looked like waves of the ocean! And don’t get me started on the Cathedral he designed. I promise more talk of Gaudi in 2015.

Past Modern Art Obsessions

Besides my love of Miró, and locating his work anywhere I travel, I also fell in love with the live action art of Christo. I don’t even know how to describe his live, short lived outdoor art installments? Weird. Well yeah.. it’s MODERN Art after all? But beautiful and wonderful and… NEVER SEEN BY ME! Things like wrapping bridges and Opera Houses with fabric. Or creating live painting with Umbrellas in Japan!

I’m totally pouting.

Christo created several of these temporary 3-D visually stimulating pieces of history really… over the past 50 or so years. And I moved away from the New York area a few weeks before his last art installment. I was SO upset. It was called The Gates, set up in Central Park… you walked under these spaced out fabric gates around the park. And I LOVE Orange!!


Anyway. There is a possible new Christo exhibit coming to the Arkansas River in Colorado… But it’s been stalled for YEARS. Environmental concerns. If it ever happens I am taking my family on a ROAD TRIP and we are SO going to see it. I Will NOT miss it this time. The dude is getting OLD. There won’t be any more!

My Plans for Modern Art in 2015

First I’m heading out on a Media Press Drive with Chrysler and FCA US driving from Detroit to DC next week! And we are stopping along the way in Pittsburgh… making a special stop at the Andy Warhol Museum. Oh Marilyn! Oh Campbell’s Soup Cans! I’ve been waiting YEARS to meet you!

Another dream is to visit The Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’m thrilled to see any Dali paintings but I’ve been dreaming of seeing his version of ‘The Last Supper’ since I first heard about it in high school (100 years ago). A bit of research says The Last Supper is actually in DC though. So I’ll have to add DC to my list of 2015 museum stops too?

More locally I have a goal to locate and visit the various outdoor Modern Art Installments around the Charlotte area. There’s a giant hand statue I once saw when driving by but can’t seem to find the name of it or where it is again? And I’ve read about the giant moving HEAD called Metalmorphosis, but I haven’t seen it yet either! And most people know about the Disco Chicken in uptown Charlotte right, it’s just turned 5!?


Homeless Jesus Statue St. Albans Davidson NC Modern Art-1

Over the Holiday break I talked my husband into driving up north of Charlotte to a quaint little town called Davidson to locate a newer statue placed in the front area of a Church. It is a park bench with a statue of a homeless person laying on it wrapped in a blanket. Only his feet are poking out and upon closer inspection they have holes pierced through them.

It is a statue of Jesus Christ. Made to look like a homeless person.

Homeless Jesus Statue St. Albans Davidson NC Modern Art-2

And the statement it makes is truly something to reflect.
Matthew 25:40.
Have YOU done it unto the least of these? Have I?

There are several other fun photo opps of outdoor art installments within driving distance of my house and I intend to FIND them ALL this year!

What are YOUR plans in 2015.
Any crazy Modern Art in YOUR Future?

Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted the photos here are my own. Getty and Nasher images are not. I was a guest of the Nasher Museum and the Raleigh Cowfish, but my thoughts and opinions are my own. I have been a fan of Miro for 20 years! I went to them for a visit not the other way around.

Fill Your Kid’s Brain With Science… EVERY MONTH! #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaway

2015 January 12
Fill Your Kid's Brain With Science... EVERY MONTH!  #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaway

Winner will receive a 3 Month subscription to the Spangler Science Club!


Free Vintage Valentine Card Art

2014 December 26
Free Vintage Valentine Card Art

download this free vintage valentine art!!


Lil Smokies in Grape Jelly? WHAT?!

2014 December 26
Lil Smokies in Grape Jelly? WHAT?!

I had no idea Grape Jelly was the main ingredient for the Lil Smokies in Chili Sauce found at New Year’s Eve parties around the nation. WHAT??


Christmas Day Movie Releases 2014

2014 December 18
Christmas Day Movie Releases 2014

We have created a  new tradition of sorts… Now that our kids are all older there is less ‘Early Morning’ present chaos and more… ‘can we sleep in on Christmas Morning’ types of conversations going on over here. We get up and I toss our favorite Breakfast Casserole into the oven. Everyone comes down at […]


You Need this Bag from TravelonBags! I’ll Tell You Why | #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaway

2014 December 15
You Need this Bag from TravelonBags! I’ll Tell You Why | #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaway

Do you worry about your purse being stolen? Or worse… have you had credit cards stolen? Do you carry around an RFID credit card?


Last Minute Christmas Cards! There’s Still Time!

2014 December 15
Last Minute Christmas Cards! There’s Still Time!

A whole bunch of hilarious Christmas Cards.
You Still have time. You could even print at home with some options!


When You’re Looking for a Modest Prom Dress?? Ask a Mormon.

2014 December 11
When You're Looking for a Modest Prom Dress?? Ask a Mormon.

I know I’m on a soapbox here, but I’m hoping if you’re reading this you feel at least a little bit like I do. Finding a modest prom dress is YOUR JOB as a mom.


Are Boots On Your Wishlist This Year? #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaway

2014 December 8
Are Boots On Your Wishlist This Year? #GoodNCrazy Flash Giveaway

I’m giving away a $150 Gift Code to, because I love boots. Who doesn’t? And I love the thousands of boot options over at CountryOutfitter. They also sell handbags and children’s boots!


Shhh It’s a Secret! The Best Gourmet Homemade Hot Chocolate!

2014 December 8
Shhh It’s a Secret! The Best Gourmet Homemade Hot Chocolate!

I might be a tiny bit addicted to all things hot cocoa. Lately my main love affair has been with locating salted caramel syrups to add to cheap instant mixes. But once a year. During the magical sparkly Christmas Tree Lights time. I break down and make the true best hot chocolate in the world. […]


10 Reasons to Find out What Popmoney Is!

2014 December 4
10 Reasons to Find out What Popmoney Is!

Here’s where the brilliance of Popmoney shines. It ISN’T an online wallet. If Carissa sends a note to her 9 other siblings to send her THIS exact amount of cash via Popmoney, that money will come directly from their checking account to hers. They don’t even have to set up an account with Popmoney if they don’t want to. It can all take place on a computer or directly on a smartphone.

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