Monday, September 29, 2014

Hope

If you ever lose hope or wonder if life is worth living for, I look in the eyes of this beautiful girl and know it's worth fighting for.
Emma, a hero and a fighter continues to remind me that life is a gift and should be treated that way. Each day is not promised, so live in the moment, enjoy everything for what it is and even when life is rough, you keep fighting.
She helps me see what's important, she makes me realize that God is in the mundane and her family, they are some of the best people I've ever gotten to know. When you meet people in your life who make you realize your priorities are a mess, that your life is restless and your wasting your time chasing meaningless empty things, you have found something priceless.


I'm so blessed and humbled by this beautiful girl and her family.

Q: Who in your life is a blessing?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Skinny Taste Cook Book

Everyone I know is trying to learn how to live and have a more healthier lifestyle. Whether exercising, clean eating or using less chemicals in their home, people are committing themselves to life style changes that are better for their families, the environment and their overall life. 

Eating is no exception to this rule. As someone who has been on a journey to better portion control and eating differently, I am always looking for different recipes and ones that are simple, yummy and things I can do. 


When I had the opportunity to review Skinnytaste by Gina Homolka, I immediately did not hesitate at the chance! She is one of the must trusted women in American for the most low-calorie, with natural ingredients her blog SkinnyTaste is extremely popular for people who are looking to slim down. Her foods are low in sugar, but are so delicious you can't help but love her recipes.  

This cookbooks features 150 recipes that include delicious desserts, soups, chili's, salads, meat dishes, pasta dishes, fish, chicken and many other wonderful dishes. Gina is well known for trying to lose weight through weight watchers and when she struggled she learned how to turn some of her favorite foods and tried to make them into lower calorie meals. I used many of her recipes while doing weight watchers. 

This book includes at least nearly 100 photographs and nutritional information for each recipe. This book will make you want to learn how to cook or at least start to enjoy cooking again.


This book is very good and well worth the $30.00. Usually, I would not recommend spending this amount on a good book, but this would be awesome for a Christmas or birthday gift for that special someone in your life. It's a great book with a lot of an ideas, pictures and and recipes. 

Thank you to the wonderful people at Clarkson Potter Publishers for allowing me to review this book. This is a great book with a wealth of knowledge and information. 


Christmas at Rose Hill Farm- Book Review


Christmas at Rose Hill Farm 


Christmas at Rose Hill Farm
 Back of the Book:
Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn’t who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It’s time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy’s cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos’s wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can’t forget Billy.
When a “lost” rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That’s his plan. The only catch is that he’s having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can’t get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.
As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy–and Amos, too–that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

Find out more and purchase a copy at Suzanne’s website.


 My Review:

While Bess is preparing a wedding her heart is torn because she is secretly smitten with an old love, Billy Lapp. However, she has found a good man, Amos Lapp who loves her, is kind and a hardworking guy. The problem is, Bess can't stop thinking about Billy. She has found a real dilemma on her hands when Billy comes back into Stoney Ridge to help with a lost rose. As the history of the rose is discovered, Billy, Bess and Amos discover that miracles still do exist. This book is a great Christmas read and I love the dynamics of the book. With the fall turning cold here in Michigan, Christmas books are the perfect read when its cold, especially with a warm cup of cider in my hand. This is a great book and it appeals to many different readers. 5 stars in my book! Thank you Litfuse for allowing me to review this book for my honest review.


About the Author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including "Amish Peace." She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Joyful- Book Review


Joyful
 Return to Sugarcreek series





Joyful

Back of the Book:
A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.
When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.
Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.
Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.
Learn more and purchase a copy at Shelley’s website.




Book Review:
 This is the third book in the Sugarcreek Series, not having read the first two, I thought it was a good read, but not my cup of tea. Would I recommend it? No! Not unless you have read the first two. Honestly, I felt like this book was really confusing. The book starts with Elizabeth and Randall who have a broken relationship, but within time Randall has to show Elizabeth how he feels. Meanwhile, there are a series of other side stories going on in this books going with other characters. Pippa is an interesting character that has a side story, that isn't like an Amish book I have read before and I'm not sure I really enjoyed it. Then, every couple chapters we would get back to the main characters of Elizabeth and Randall. I just felt like this book was all over the place, was hard to follow and I would have benefited from reading the other two books. If you're going to read this book, I think maybe read the other two first, or don't waste your time. It is not a book that can be read as a stand alone. Just not a fan on this one..


About the Author:
Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

3 things Thursday

Happy Thursday!
Three things today!! 

1.
Big Brother:
Um, I can't believe Big Brother is finally over. It's the one reality show my husband got me addicted to this summer. It had quite a cast for sure and the finale was last night. I won't ruin any details if you haven't watched it yet.


2.
I haven't done an official weigh in, so I thought I better get in the habit again. It holds me accountable and keeps me in check.
So, since the summer I have managed to lose 2 pounds. I'm not trying to lose weight, it just happens. I'm happy with this Weigh in! Yay!!😁

3. Sisters
This past weekend, we celebrated my sisters 19th Birthday. It's great having a sister and I'm so blessed by having her in my life. I'm just so thankful to have a sister. The thing I'm learning in life is to tell people how much they mean to you because you'll never know, until they aren't there.




Monday, September 22, 2014

Tuesday Homemade Toothpaste

Over the weekend, I decided to make some toothpaste out of my Young Living oils. I have heard awesome benefits of this product and thought about making my own.

First, you are going to need the following ingredients:

           Organic Coconut oil
          Baking Soda (Organic if Possible)


                      Thieves Oil
                   Peppermint Oil

So, first you need a cup of coconut oil and then you mix it with a cup of baking soda. You stir the two together in the bowl and mix well. It's a bit gritty. 

Then you add 3-5 drops of both 
  Thieves Oil & Peppermint Oil into the bowl
and mix well. 


Next you will need a glass jar to hold this tooth paste. You can't put it in plastic because of the type of oils. I decided to buy baby food jars and make us our own tooth paste. Both my husband and I each have our own jars. 

Report:
It's been making our teeth noticeably whiter and I don't have a problem with bad breath like I had with other brands, which I find very interesting. My medicine makes me have bad breath, so to not experience this has been good. 

Q: Would you make your own toothpaste and try this out to reduce putting chemicals in your body or the plastic that has been found in leading tooth paste brands???





 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

940 Saturdays Family Activities & a Keepsake Journal



The title of this book states "Family Activities & a Keepsake Journal" under "940 Saturdays".  When I got this Journal to review, I was excited to see what activities and ideas it came with. I was thinking there would be 940 ideas, so I couldn't wait to try these out.

However, I was sadly disappointed..

There are blank lines to be filled for 940 Saturdays of your own adventures, which is great, but I was hoping for wonderful ideas. So, I guess this would be a great gift for a new born baby and a mom could keep track from the child's birth till their 18th Birthday of all their child's Saturday adventures, but I wasn't thrilled with this and for the cost of $24.99, I would not recommend spending the money.

Thank you Crown Publishing for providing this journal for my honest review. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Returning to Running

Man, I feel like I can't my posts squared away. This school year I'm totally slacking. It's been a rough start. Evals, lots of move in students, it's been crazy! Anyways, I went for a run on Wednesday and ran 3 miles! 

I was totally geeked about it. It was so slow, but whatever, it was a stinking run. Praise The Lord! It was 3 miles and it was beautiful weather. I was happy to be in the sun, in shorts and home early from school.

After my run, I came home, stretched and took a shower... Upon looking at the ceiling in our apartment, yes, we are renters paying off our student loans! (UGH!) I think they might overtake me at some point. 

I noticed the ceiling tile appeared to have a bubble. I figured I would check out the title afterwards. Thank goodness I did. 

                Look what I found....
                 And lots of it!! Mold!!! 

So, all of our ceiling tiles were removed and it's being further tested to find out what kind of mold. Houston, we have a problem!!!! 






Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Whasssup Wednesday?

Y'all I'm so glad it's Wednesday! My week has been crazy at my job and I'm just ready for the weekend. Ya know? 

I got this awesome Bible to review, which is nice because it allows you to read the Old Testament and the New Testament in a year, plus you can throw it in a bag and go. It's faboulous! I can't believe I have gone so long without one of these! Stop feeling guilty about being behind, this will get you right on track!
If you are trying to dive into scripture more, but feel like you don't have the time, this is an awesome tool. Thank you Zondervan! This is so handy and has five stars from me!

Second, I wanted to fill you in on my pits! Yes, I'm talking about my armpits. So, I have decided to go with oils, especially with the company Young Living and I am using lavender to put on my arm pits for deoterant. So, how is it working? 
 
Um, it works GREAT! I will not switch back to chemically based deoterant. I feel like I'm going CRUNCHY!! I never thought I would be sniffing oils, nor putting them on my body, but what a difference it is making in my attitude as well. I would have never believed in this stuff, but it works. 

How's your Wednesday?







Monday, September 15, 2014

Young Living- Essential Oils

After a lot of research, I have decided to go all out and become smelly!
You may have heard of this amazing company called Young Living that sells essential oils to improve daily functions. I'm all about better living and living with less chemicals in my body. 

All of these oils can be combined with other oils to help alleviate or eliminate medical conditions. Although Young Living claims no medical treatment by this oils, so many testimonies of people who have used these oils to get rid of medical problems.

The initial kit comes with all of these oils. 

It also comes with this beautiful diffuser to help transform your home to create a spa and relaxing atmosphere.


This is what it looks like at night! It's wonderful..

And this awesome share kit to share essential oils with family and friends!

This also comes with Stress Away oil and who doesn't have a little stress in their life??? 

Q: Would you try oils to solve headaches, muscle aches, back pain, crapping, flu bugs, ect?







Friday, September 12, 2014

Before Amen- Max Lucado

Back of the Book:

Before Amen

Pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29 and receive a FREE ebook copy of Max’s best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.
We all pray . . . some.

We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.
But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?
Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.
We aren’t the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.
And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn’t we use the same?
In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.



My Review:
If you're anything like me, your working and your trying to do a million things at once, but seem to not have enough time in your day. Sometimes sitting down to read a book can seem like the last thing you want to, especially when it comes to thinking about reading about the power of prayer.

However, if you read anything by Max Lucado, you know he's worth a read. "Before Amen" is no exception because this book hits prayers right where YOU need it and where I need it. We all pray, whether big prayers, small prayers, long prayers or short prayers. We all pray. Sometimes we pray with  great faith, other days with no faith, but just hoping the God of the universe is listening to us. Somedays and moments I don't want to pray a long prayer, but something simple, something I can remember and something I will relate with. I love this book because it has simple prayers, but ones that will help me to have big faith. These prayers aren't just meaningless, but will help you find peace and rest that a consistent prayer life can bring. I loved the ABC'S of thanksgiving. That was the best idea and one night my husband and I prayed through all of the ABC's things we were thankful for. It was really cool. We kept swapping letters back and forth throughout our prayer and it was interesting to hear what we were both thankful for. This book is practical, useful and a quick read. 


About the Author:
More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

#Whippingchildhoodcancerchallenge

 Happy Thursday!

The month of September is dedicated to bringing awareness to childhood cancer. As you may know, my husband and I, are huge advocates to bring awareness to this issue. Of course, we took on the #whippingchildhoodcancerchallenge because we believe in bringing awareness to this issue.

Social media has a huge influence and we believe in the power of one person making a difference in the lives of others. 46 children are diagnosed with cancer each day and 7 children are lost. Folks, we just cant have this! It's unacceptable and cancer doesn't just affect the child, but the entire family. It creates a tidle wave for everyone. 


So, here's how to get involved. You must record a video of yourself taking a pie to the face (can be a paper plate with either whipped cream or shaving cream). Once completing the challenge you must choose a pediatric cancer charity to donate $7 to and tag/challenge 7 friends (46 if you're feeling really bold!) to make their own pie in the face video. If you're unable to complete the challenge within 46 hours, you must donate $46 and tag/challenge 7 friends.

To learn more information click here!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Just another Day

Happy Monday!!

So, this past week was the first week of school and I hope to get in some regular blogging in this upcoming week. The first week is always hard as you're trying to re- establish routine.

In establishing routine, I was also looking to establish a fall running plan, but that is on the back burner. I went in for a massage and it appears my arches have dropped in my feet. What we thought was plantar facittis that wasn't getting better, may actually be something worse.

I feeling a bit stressed about that. I was ready to get back into a regular running plan, but for now I just wait till I get into the Dr. so we can set an appointment for the podiatrist. Just another day in the super hero life of a social worker.

Q: How do you deal with running injury setbacks? I'm tired of them!



Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Natural Pregnacy Book

It was a long winter here, so LOTS of people I know have been having babies or are close to their due date. Babies are exciting, stressful and there is so much to know about being pregnant. Um, I've never been pregnant and at some point, we would like to start a family...

I have been doing research on pregnancy, books and what resources are out there for mothers who are looking for Holistic choices. When I had the opportunity to take a look at this book for a review, I was excited to see the variety of topics it covered. Not only does it cover the usual things that many pregancy books cover, but it covers some very things like Herbs, physical exercise, emotional changes for each trimester, specific changes to your family, magazines to subscribe, nutrition and lots of other various topics. The Natural Pregnancy Book has a wealth of knowledge on so many topics for a soon to be mommy or someone who is recently pregnant. This book is a total resource that is worth $17.99, especially with the wealth of knowledge it contains inside. I love that it has holistic options.


My only hangup about this book, the lack of pictures or organization. As a person who needs organization and pictures, this book contains a lot of knowledge, but could have used a different layout. However, most people don't care about that, they are more concerned about the knowledge inside the book.

Thank you to Ten Speed Press for allowing me to review this book. The opinions expressed here are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Move On- Book Review

So, I've been on a journey for spiritual growth and have been reading lots of books this summer. To grow as a person, you have to be challenged, shaped by others ideas and be willing to change areas of your life to make change.

Change is never easy and if we wanted to do it by ourselves, we wouldn't need others to help us with that growth. 
Move On
Having the opportunity to read "Move On" by Vicki Courtney, she is spot on about either getting honest about things in your life or moving on. If we remove the veneer and expose the truth that's hiding behind our lives, people could see us for who we are. We wouldn't have to walk around being something we're not. This book is refreshing is so many ways because Vicki is honesty on so many levels and I appreciate her authenticity.

If you're life is messy or if you feel like it could be a hint of a mess, this book is for you if you want to get honest. If you're not looking to get honest, then don't even think about looking at this book. If you're wanting to get past legalism, shame, guilt struggles, getting beyond broken dreams and Christian snobs, this book will help you get through those sticky situations. I really enjoyed this book and was challenged by this book, but challenged to make good changes in my life.

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary copy for review. I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Treasury of Bible Stories Childrens Review

Magnificent Tales: Treasury of Bible Stories 
Magnificent Tale Collection (David C. Cook, September 2014)

 Treasury of Bible Stories

Children ages 4-8 will be delighted by these rhyming Bible stories pairing spiritual truths with playful illustrations.
Featuring lyrical stories full of lighthearted moments, this colorful collection of Magnificent Tales is perfect for reading out loud. As families read these stories night after night, they will make memories together while learning about the Bible.

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




My Review:
The pages in this book are brilliant in color and instantly gravitate your attention to the illustrations, which is very important to a child who is trying to imagine the Bible. The Rhyming that went into these Bible Stories is Amazing and I don't believe I would have the talent to write these as well as the Kelly Pulley did. With that said, I think many children will love these Bible Stories because they can relate, laugh and treasure the rhymes. I think this type of Bible Stories book will help children remember Bible Stories and making going to bed enjoyable. As an adult, I love thought these were funny and I can't wait to curl up with a child to read these fun stories.

About the Author:

Kelly Pulley works from his middle Tennessee home writing and illustrating children's picture books, most recently "Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn" and "The Cycling Wangdoos." He is best known for illustrating dozens of books in the Beginner's Bible series, including "The Beginner's Bible" (over 1.25 million copies sold).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alls Fair in Love and Cupcakes

{MORE ABOUT ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND CUPCAKES}

All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.


My Review:

This is such a sweet book, literally and you can see the depth of love Lucas has for Kat that he's willing to sacrifice his own dream to help her accomplish hers. I think Lucas' childhood made him always take care of others, which is why he wanted to help Kat. I also love Kats personality and the way she describes people in terms of cupcakes. It's super sweet and sugary goodness. Finally, you won't want to miss the cupcake challenge in this book between Lucas and Kat. Will it bring the two together or apart? This book is great and will have you turning the pages from the start all the way to end as you can't wait to find out the ending. For another book that I enjoyed, you should check this one out!

Learn more and purchase a copy on Betsy’s site.

Betsy St. Amant

{MORE ABOUT BETSY ST. AMANT}

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Find out more about Betsy athttp://www.betsystamant.


Thank you Zondervan and Litfuse for allowing me to review this book. I was provided a complimentary copy for review purposes and was not compensated for a positive review.