Monday, June 30, 2014

Runners Be Aware- Your Safety

Yesterday, headlines broke out about a woman in a different county who had been shot and killed while on a run! At this time they do not have a suspect, but authorities believe it was someone who knew her and possibly knew her running habits/ route. This evening, we're going to talk about safety, especially since many of my blogger friends are women.

Wear bright, reflective outer layers. Wearing bright, reflective clothing is the one of the best things  you can do, because then cars, bikes,and other runners can actually see you, especially if you're running in a wooded area. If you're wearing bright clothing, you're likely to be seen, which will keep you SAFE!

Bring identification and a cellphone. Both of these items will help if you find yourself in an emergency, lost or injured. I always try to let someone know where I'm going. Additionally, Iphone can be set up with a tracking, so your spouse can track your location if that feature is turned on.

Mace You can buy a keychain of mace and stick it in your pocket or clip it on to a hair tie on your wrist. The small mace costs $10, but can potentially save your life.

Running with a Partner: Running with a partner is always a great way to get a run done, especially a long run. It also is a great way to keep you safe. Run in numbers!

Run against traffic. Stick to sidewalks in well-lit areas when possible. If you must run on the road, which I do, make sure you  face oncoming traffic so you can clearly see the cars. I know many people don't follow this thought process, but say to run with traffic, but I would rather see traffic coming at me.

What are your running safety tips?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Family of Jesus

Karen Kingsbury has done it again! 

In her latest book "The Family of Jesus" Karen Kingsbury, writes the powerful story of the family of Jesus. She writes this book in a fiction way where the reader sees the perspective from Joseph, Mary, James, Elizabeth, John the Baptist and Zechariah. Each character, we see a different angle and side to Jesus, but all interwoven beautifully. Karen does a remarkable job keeping this book truthful and based on biblical context. 
For someone who may not understand the Bible, find it boring or simply just want to better understand how the people are connected to one another in the Bible, Karen does a remarkable job. The historical details and insights are fantastic. Each character also has a further study for each day in the back of the book for five days. This would be great to do for a small group.

Thank you Howard Books for providing me a review copy of this book, I truly loved it.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fly A Little Higher

Book Description: 
Laura Sobiech tells the amazing story of how God used her son’s battle with cancer to touch the lives of millions.
“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”
This is what Laura Sobeich prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.
At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing good-bye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed not one life but millions, making him an international sensation.
But Zach’s story is not just about music. It’s a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It’s about how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the music industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and school children across the globe.
Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” Fly a Little Higher is about how God used Zach to do something big.

My Review: 
This book by far has been one of my favorite summer reads. I laughed through this book, I cried on several occasions. In my opinion, it is WAY better than The Fault in our Stars. This book is the real deal. "You Don't have to find out you're Dying to Start Living" which is exactly the way Zach lived. Flying a Little Higher, by Laura Sobiech marks the story of her son Zach battling Osteosarcome, cancer. Initially, the outlook was good for Zach, but it came back attacking his pelvis, lungs and his hip, which is where it originated. His family knew they had been given a gift of a year or less for him to live and they need to live in each day, doing things that really mattered, being intentional about life and the things they participated in.  Zach's mom wanted him to write letters to those who mattered, but instead he wrote songs. I never knew of Zach, until I read the book, but his song "Clouds" was a number one on Itunes. This book is a book that I will read over and over to gain perspective when life seems to get in the way. We often get caught up in our own worlds, in the busyness of life, in the mundane things that don't matter, but Zach teaches us to not waste a breath of time on those things. I need to be reminded of that. I loved this book and highly recommend it as one of your summer reads... It will make you laugh, cry and just make you feel human again. 

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing me a copy of this awesome book to review. I was not compensated for a positive review, but was provided a copy of the book to give me honest opinion. 

Adventures Under the Mango Tree

Lillian Kleep writes "Adventures Under the Mango Tree as a journal of personal stories of their family and the many people/ orphans they help along their journey in Sudan. Plagued by a war, cancer, malaria, poverty, poor schooling and many other dilemma's this family faced, they were always on their knees praying. Their faith was evident and tremendous.

This book is filled with love, generosity and many stories of the calling one has to be a missionary overseas. The pages are filled with victories and battles as the Klepp family trusts God in all situations, especially when they are faced with medical needs are required to go back to the United States for treatment. It shows the power of prayer and how despite in the middle of uncertainty, we can trust in him for all THINGS.

I loved how Lillian just took on this new adventure, with an open heart and was flexible even when many situations seemed dimmed. Or when in danger and seemed like their wasn't a way out, God showed up and kept her safe. 

The book has plenty of pictures that are beautiful and will just allow you to realize that this isn't just a journal about the Klepp family or Sudan, but that their are real orphans and people live this way. This book is encouraging, a quick read that is broken up into 21 short chapters. This would be an awesome devotional to read with your tweens or teens. You could even read this nightly for 21 days. 
This book was provided to me by the B&B Media Group for my honest oponion. I was not compensated for a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own thoughts.

Friday, June 27, 2014

75 Thoughts Every Runner has, while out for a run

Happy Friday!! I found this list through Buzzfeed and thought I've had some of   of these thoughts on my runs. Either way, it gave me a Good Friday laugh and I thought I should share. Some of these are ridiculous too. 

1. What a beautiful day for a run!
2. This sucks.
3. Well, five miles is only two and half miles each way, which is basically two miles each way, so I'm really only running four miles. That's not too far.
4. It's starting to feel far.
5. How long have I been running? A year?
7. I can barely remember what my life was like before I started this run.
8. OK, concentrate. There are still four-plus miles to go. 
9. But who counts the first and last mile? This is pretty much an easy three miler. 
10. Oh, shoot! A fellow jogger!
11. Should I wave?
12. I'm totally gonna wave.
13. OOOK, they didn't wave back. Never doing that again.
14. Just keep running, no one saw. Except that old guy who may or may not be averting his eyes.
15. Man, I think I'm hitting that "second wind" thing my gym coach was talking about.
16. Wait, never mind. I've been running down a decline. 
17. If I leap to avoid dog shit, does that make me a CrossFit athlete?
18. What the heck is CrossFit anyway?
19. Mental reminder: Google CrossFit when I get home.
20. If I ever get home.
21. If I had a heart attack right now, I wonder who would find my body.
22. OMG, I hope I never find a dead body. Joggers always find dead bodies.
23. Bodies. Body. Bod-ay. Runnin' all day, no one can catch ... may.
24. OK, I must be halfway done by now.
25. What?! Only two miles in?
26. Alright, stay focused. What am I going to eat when I get home?
27. I'm running five miles so I should probably eat five slices of pizza.
28. Or I could buy one pizza and ask them to cut it into five slices.
29. I should probably get a side salad too.
30. ...
31. Forget the salad actually.
32. Man, what are these people doing in front of me? Walking?!
33. Is this a contest to see who's the worst at walking? Because you are both champions in my heart.
34. Maybe if I pound my feet on the ground they'll hear me coming and let me pass.
35. Oh, Gosh. They didn't turn around and now I'm right behind them. They're going to think they're getting mugged by the world's sweatiest criminal.
36. You know what? Now seems like a good time to run in the street.
37. * Jumps off curb * Parkour!
38. Hi hi hi please don't hit me with your car. 
39. Pedestrian pedestrianizing over here, let me cross. 
40. Thank you, Mr. Blue Honda. I'm trying to smile at you but it probably looks like I'm having a stroke. 
41. Actually, I wonder what I look like right now. 
42. * Checks out reflection in shop window * Yeesh.
43. Is that what I look like when I run? What am I, a newborn deer with a drinking problem?
44. Whatever, I must be almost done by now. 
45. Heck yes. Three miles down, two to go. It's all downhill from here. 
46. Except for that very real uphill in front of me. 
47. Wait, is that... Is that...
48. A DOG! 
49. Hi dog! You are so cute. You are now my mascot. I will finish this run for you, pup.
50. And — hello — what do we have here? Your human is pretty cute too.
51. Hope you like drunk fawns, Cute Human.
52. Watch my bambi butt prance up this hill.
53. Crap, prancing is exhausting. I am exhausted. 
54. Honestly, I don't even like running.
55. Why do I even run?
56. Why does anyone even run?
57. Why are we even alive?
58. OK, let's not go down that road.
59. Focus. Focus on that sweet, delicious 'za waiting at the finish line, calling your name with its cheesy breath.
60. Wait, less than one mile to go? I am KILLING this run. 
62. YES, including ostriches.
63. Honestly, I should sign up for a marathon.
64. What is it, like 30 miles?
65. That's just 15 miles each way, which is practically 10, and 10 is twice five, and I can run five miles EASY.
66. That's it, I'm doing it. Thirty miles.
67. Thirty-mile marathon...30-mile marathon...30 Rock marathon.
68. On second thought, I'll probably just binge-watch every episode of 30 Rock. That takes a lot of dedication and I will be winded from laughing so hard.
69. But I could probably do a marathon IF I wanted. 
70. OK, almost home. Should I shower first and order pizza or order pizza and shower before it shows up?
71. Yep, definitely ordering first. I earned that.
72. Oh, no. Another runner. Should I wave?
73. No, be strong! Do not get burned again. 
74. OMG, SHE waved first! Hello! Yes! We are both runners! Look at us run!
75. I guess running's not so bad.

My favorites are #2, 3, 22, 27, 38, 70.

Which ones do you like?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Highs and lies of weight loss

I read a post by Mindy and I told her I would respond. Mindy is trying to lose weight to hit her 100 pound weight loss goal, which means she would need to be 133, I told her I wanted to respond, but knowing my  comment would turn into a post.

I've been on a weight loss journey that has had many highs and lies. It hasn't been easy, it hasn't been fun and sometimes it's been AMAZING.

Let's Start with the Lies: 
- Every pound you lose, no matter the goal, can you leave you craving to drop more and more. It can become an addiction if you let it. Trust me, it gets frustrating weighing in weekly.. However, I'm happy and not planning on really dropping. If I hit 135, I'd be super happy, but the goal is to be under 140.

-  "You'll be happier"
Wow, that's temporary. Sure, it's great to lose weight, I feel better about myself , but it has brought on an insecurity I've never had before. Now instead of clothes being too small, I have to worry if they look like a bag on me.. Who wants to live like that?

-"You'll start living more"
I had more energy when I was heavier, because I was bulked with muscle and didn't have so much doubt . I'm slowly gaining my confidence back. Darn NAYSAYERS!

- "You'll be more confident"
That's temporary because everyone starts immediately criticizing you for an eating disorder the moment you skip a meal, pass on dessert or forgo seconds. I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I was okay. This keeps sending me the message "I'm not okay."

 - "You're doing this for your health"
So many people have asked if I'm sick. Uh, no. Last I checked according to the BMI, I'm still 6 pounds overweight because of my height people. Shush! Again, hitting the insecurity button!

- "If you're smaller, everything you try on will fit." 
Lie. Clothes fit, but they look so dumb. I get so frustrated. I basically have to look at teens or be prepared to spend $70 bucks on a shirt to fit right.. Ridic. Not always, but seems lately.

These are the mental lies I've had to overcome and continue to overcome since my journey from 160 lbs to 137. 

The Highs: Joyful Moments

1)Buying my first pair of shorts in a size 6, was glorious. I was a size 5 in the seventh grade. I've never been that size.

2) Looking in the mirror and seeing a flat stomach.

3) Going to the beach in a two piece bikini and feeling semi-confident for the first time.

4) Taking my wardrobe and putting it in a plastic container in exchange for a new one at the mall.

5) Going into any store and picking any shirt, dress and knowing it will fit, but will it look good is always the question?

6) The compliments from friends and relatives who haven't seen me in a while, well, that's always a good confidence booster, as long as they are kind.

My final thoughts: 
As I've started my weight loss journey near 160 and am currently 137, I can honestly say it has brought on and off layers of emotions that I didn't know were there. From the naysers to the cheerleaders, I have had to find my place and overcome. Anyone can lose weight, but be prepared to do the mental battle because people are the ones who have hung me up in bondage instead of propelling me forward towards my goals. The funny thing, I'm still 6pounds overweight. Mindy, I'm cheering you on, girl! You got this! Don't self sabotage, and don't let anyone stand in your way, but be prepared and be ready to cut out these thoughts and people away from your life for awhile until you get your head in the game! You've got this!
Go girl!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesdays Things I'm Loving

This morning I weighed in at...

Honestly, can we get to 136 folks? I mean I love 137, but how many weeks do I need to see that number? Really?

 I bought this super cute dress on Monday with my mom! I can wait to wear it on vacation. It's light and airy. It's a size small too, from Charming Charlie's... That has never happened thanks to my lady friends, but not anymore!

I may have mention this journal about two years ago, I have been writing in it again. Not faithfully for the past three years, but on and off. Wow, what a difference one year makes in a lot of things... It's crazy.. I've been reading some of my old journal entries and life last year and the year before was so different. You can buy these at Barnes and Nobles, but I encourage you to get one.

I'm super excited that this show is releasing on DVD and will be on it's second season in July! 

Yes, I am a huge fan of sappy Hallmark, please forgive me. Starting July 4, they will have Christmas movies for all of you Christmas lovers out there :)

Happy Wednesday!

Q: Do you Journal or only use any online format to document your life???

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Running in the rain

It's constantly raining here and I'm ready for the sun!!! Where did you go?
I wake up it's raining, I go to bed it's raining.. Ugh. It's putting a damper on my running plans. I ran 2.5 miles and it totally just STUNK! Oh, well! This is what happens when life happens and you take time off from running.
I'm hoping the rain will quit soon and then I won't have squishy feet or a wet IPhone.

In the meantime, it's back to Yoga! 

Did I mention I dumped membership to the gym? Yes, i did! I stopped using it!

What do you do on the days you can't get a run in outside?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Vega Sport, Recovery Acceleratory

As a runner and someone who has lost a lot of weight, I am always looking for new ways of fueling my workouts or recovering from them without lots of sugar. 

I had the opportunity to review the Vega Sport recover in a tropical flavor. I love that it is dairy, gluten and soy free. If you have any if those allergies or are trying to stay away from those ingredients, this recovery mix is free from them. I was a bit nervous at first when I read the warning labels that said to consult with your doctor first if you are on any prescription medication. I'm on several medications for my Epilepsy, so this made me a tinsy winsy nervous, but I still tested it out twice anyways and had no problems!
So, I gave this product two different test runs to see how I would like it. On my first try, I thought that maybe I have diluted it with too much water. It says for 12 oz of water only, but I did 16 oz because it seemed funny when I was mixing it.. It was chunky looking, so I thought it needed more water, clearly I was WRONG! 
On my second try, it was better, but the flavor tasted like Tropican Orange Juice. I'm not much of a fan for orange juice, so I thought the flavor was not stellar. However, I have heard that that Vega Sport has other flavors and I would be curious to try those.
The benefits; I could definitely tell my recovery time was faster since drinking this drink or at least it felt that way. I loved that I was getting the electrolytes and energy I needed without all the sugar from other drinks. I could also tell a difference in reduction of inflammation in my joints and muscles.. Maybe that is all in my head, but I have been having some knee pain on and off. Surprising after BOTH runs, I had none... WOOT! WOOT!

Would I purchase Vega Sport Recovery accelerator again? Yes, just not in this flavor! I can tell the benefits of this, just not a huge fan of drinking Orange juice, but maybe you would like this flavor...

Do you have a favorite supplement post-workout that you love that is gluten free???? 

I received this product from Vega Sport and Sweat Pink for review with no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed here are my own and my honest opinions.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rival Hearts- Book Review

New from Quilts of Love | Rival Hearts
They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?
Rival Hearts
Back of the Book:
Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests. Can girly‑girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he‑said, she‑said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

My Review:

I read this book cover to cover in two and half hours. This book is a book once you pick up, you simply cannot put down. The challenge of a work promotion between Molly and Ben is enough for the reader to want to keep turning the page to find out who will out do the other person in an effort to get the promotion of their dreams, but is it the dream that each had anticipated? When Molly has to rely on her brother to learn how to coach her in how to learn to Kayak only to her to hurt her wrist, will her efforts be worth the trouble? When Ben starts to follow his heart and doesn't really want to this to be a competition anymore because he cares for Molly and is upset that her quilt goes missing is it enough to restore a friendship and possible romantic relationship? Who ends up getting the promotion and do they accept or reject? Do the two end up working as a team for American Legend Magazine? The only way to know for sure it to READ THE book YOURSELF! I promise you will not be disappointed.. This was a great way to spend two hours on a Saturday evening curled up in my chair. I couldn't give this book anything but five stars as it held my interest for so long. The competition in this book had me from page one and I was instantly hooked!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Seagrass Pier

Seagrass Pier
In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.
Seagrass Pier

Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.
But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.
Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.
The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter.
Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet.
Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Colleen’s website.

 My Review:
This is my first read by Colleen Coble, so I wasn't sure what to expect from her books. If you like a book that has a romantic suspense, you will definitely need to read SEAGRASS PIER.  The book starts out a little chilling, capativating and definitely a page turner. Elin has had a recent heart transplant, but is having flashbacks of her donor, Laura Watson, being murdered on a cruise ship.. Um, freaky!!! Right? Since her husband passed away, she buys a house on an island with her four year old daughter, Josie and her mother with dementia. Elin continues to recall vivid details of Laura's death and she is also believes she is being stalked. Several times, she has had someone intrude her home and now FBI agent, Marc Everton is starting to pay attention to her accusations. Despite all of this, Elin continues to get more care for her mother and to make sure Josie stays out of harms way. This book had a lot going on and I felt bad for Elin as she was trying to be a caretaker her for her mother suffering from dementia. She was also trying to be a mother to Josie, but her daughters father showed up out nowhere and then she was having these nightly flashbacks about Laura. What a lot for one person to handle. If you enjoy romantic mysteries, you'll like this.
Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing me a free copy of this book to provide a review. This is my honest review.

Author Info:
Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. "Seagrass Pier," the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble’s addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday! Finally after a week later, life is slowly getting back to a new normal after Grandma's passing and I am so thankful for that.

1: I spent the entire day scrapbooking yesterday.
My mind needed brainless effort and really to not think about anything, so this was perfect.

I'm thankful to have spent a day at the campground with this guy relaxing, no makeup. Us, family, food and the beach. Perfect.

3: Our Anniversary is coming up, which means we are going to our local place of celebration and I couldn't be more thrilled!!!!

I'm thankful my weight continues to stay there and the scale doesn't move upward, despite all the stress, lack of sleep and crazy eating patterns I've had this past week. I'm comfortable in my size 6 and small shirts, I just need more clothes. My wardrobe is so limited. I cannot wait for clearance season!!

5: Finally, I can't wait to dive into this book and start reading..

Q: What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Until I Found You Book Review

Until I Found You is written by Victoria Bylin, which is a new author for me, but I highly recommend her and this book. It gets five stars from me :)

Kate Darby swerves off the road to avoid hitting a California Condor, which leads her to being scared and trapped in her car. Luckily, Nick Sheridan comes to her rescue. However, this love story doesn't come together immediately. Nick is a Christian who is on a dating sabbatical and Kate is not a Christian, which makes things very complicated. Kate moves from LA and takes time off from her marketing job to help Leona who has recently suffered from a stroke. Leona is the only family Kate has left and she can't bare the thought of something happening to her, so she goes to help her with the local newspaper along with Nick. Nick throughout the story leads by example on how to be a Godly man despite his humanly flaws. In the end, Kate goes back to her old job as she struggles between her faith, Nick and trying to figure out who's in charge of her life. Will she realize that only God is in control? Will her and Nick end up together?

From start to finish, I read this book in 2.5 hours . Perfect novel for the beach or a road trip. 

Thank you Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to review this book. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

RIP: Grandma Storm

Please forgive my lack of blogging about running, reading and life in general. Friday, Grandma Storm passed away and went to be home with her savior. Although we are all grieving her loss, we know she is no longer in pain. Her visitations are this evening and her funeral  is set for tomorrow. 

I will deeply miss this wonderful lady and I'm so blessed to have been her granddaughter for so many wonderful years.

My blogging will resume it's normal scheduling shortly. Thank you for your love, prayers and kinds words.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Smart Money, Smart Kids

Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey have teamed up to write a book on how to help parents raise their children to win with money. Rachel is the daughter of Dave Ramsey and gives an account for what it was like being a child living in the Ramsey household. The book is kickoff from financial peace university, but it's tailored to raising children with practical and simple solutions on how to help them with money.

The book goes over teaching your kids to be hard workers, how to spend with cash  and not use a credit card. It also goes over saving and paying cash for a house, rather rhan going into debt. It talks about the importance of tithing and showing your children that if they see you tithe, they will pick up those habits as well. The book talks about college, contentment and family. These are just many of the topics that Rachel and Dave weigh in on their latest book. This book is great for parents looking for creative ways to help their children learn to be better stewards of their money.
Thank you booksneeze for allowing me to review this book.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Grandmas are Forever

Grandmas are so special! I'm so lucky to have married in to a family with a very special grandma!

My Grandma Storm is a very special lady. She's a one a million that's for sure. She is the sweetest thing you'll ever meet and she'll never say an unkind word... 

At this time, Hospice is now taking over and will be taking care of her in her home. It's a matter of time before she will be in Heaven, dancing with the angels and seeing her family.  I will miss her dearly, she has been one I have always been able to go to for advice. Sometimes life gets rough and you just need a GRANDMA!  She has always given me the best advice, with a lending ear or allowed me to borrow an extra tissue when needed. She also has a lending library of books where we swap books constantly! I will miss talking to her about the latest books I've been reading or hearing about the ones she's been digging into. She's always keeping me on my toes and I think she's read more than I have.


Her and Grandpa have been married for over fifty years now! They are absolutely adorable together and such an inspiration for what marriage should look like. They aren't perfect, but they love each other, work it out and always do their best to laugh. They always joke with one another and are each other's best friend.

Although her fleshly body is still here, I know she will not be here for long, so I have prepared in my mind that she her beautiful smile, kind eyes and generous spirit will go before onward to Heaven. I know that in whatever time she has left on earth, I will remember her for the wonderful person she is and how BIG her heart is.

Grandma, may you feel free from pain as you fight your earthly body and move towards your heavenly home. You are loved unconditionally and we know you're tired of fighting the sickness that entraps your body, please know you are free to go. His arms are open and waiting for you! 
I love you, your granddaughter,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Never Go Back- 10 Things You'll Never do again (Book Review)

My Review:

Dr. Henry Cloud is probably best known for his famous book titled "Boundaries." If you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it! It's a game changer!  In Never Go Back- 10 Thing You'll never do again, Dr. Henry Cloud addresses that we all make mistakes whether big or small. Sometimes these mistakes can take us down different paths and send us into destructive life cycles and sometimes they can teach us some of the most valuable lessons. The question is, do we want to make the same mistake or make new choices? If we make new choices are we going to follow through and carry on forward? Dr. Henry Cloud shares 10 ways to success and once we walk through these success, we will never go back to the person we used to be. His methods are based grace, love, not guilt and shame. I love that this book outlines the 10 steps in such a way that is clear, concrete and doable. I never felt intimidated as I read this book and I really feel like there are some areas in my life where this book will help me over come some struggles I have been facing in a real way. It's not sugar coated, but its' not in my face making me feel guilty for the mistakes I've made either.

I also loved that this book can applied to all areas of your life whether you work environment, relationships, faith or your own personal growth. This book is for anyone looking to seek growth in areas of their life. The book has several chapters and touches on some of the following : 

Never again return to what hasn't worked.
Never again be something you're not.
Never again try to change another person.
Never again believe you can please everyone.
Never again choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit.
Never again trust someone or something flawless.
Never again take your eyes off the big picture. 

I think this book will really enhance your life if you put these things in to practice. I really enjoyed many of the chapters. You don't have to read this book cover to cover. You can read it as a devotional, reading a chapter a night, which is the way I read it! I really enjoyed this book and think you will do too. It will enhance your life. 

I received a free copy of this book from Howard Book, for my honest review. I was not compensated for a positive review, except for a book to read. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Happy to be Alive, Because

Happy to be Alive, Because
Happy to be Alive, Because
Avery is a seventeen-year-old girl whose reality has just been shattered by the death of her mother. Feeling a desperate need to flee from what has become her life, she follows a travel plan meant for her mom and her that leads her to the little beach town where her mom grew up. It’s there that she meets a group of three adventurous friends who adopt her into their circle, allowing her to experience a summer she never thought would be possible after suffering such a great loss. Unfortunately, her summer full of experiences threatens to end abruptly when she realizes that one of the three has a secret that causes her to question everything about the new life she has been building.
Avery must learn to balance her grief and her desire for a future in order to achieve her mother’s final wish for her: That she would be happy to be alive.

About Author: 

Chelsea grew up with an immense love for words--both reading them and writing them. She obtained her degree in English and has spent the time since then getting married to her high school sweetheart and chasing adventure so she'll have something to write about. When she's not drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing, she spends her time reading, playing with her puppy named Gatsby, and dreaming, always dreaming."

My Review: 
This book is excellent! I give this book high praises, especially since Chelesa is a first time author. I can't even begin to describe the feelings and emotions I had as I read the emotional journey of Avery, a 17 year old girl who has just lost her mother to cancer. Avery finds that her mom planned a vacation for the two them in a drawer. She finds plane tickets, an itinerary, lots of details and Avery can either decide to live with her aunt or hop on a plane and see where this journey her mother wanted them to take together. Along the way, Avery meets wonderful people and deals with her grief, but also has to battle with her future. Chelsea did a fantastic job at pulling all the characters together in this book. I could not put this novel down. I was highly impressed. This is the perfect vacation book or beach read. You will be hooked from page 1 till the end. I want to start my own journal about the reasons why I am happy to be alive because....
Thank you Nytree Press for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. I look forward to seeing more books from Chelsea Jacobs in the future!