Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weekend Book Review: Betting On Hope

Betting on Hope (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)
A bet gone wrong. A small town’s meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch.
Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it’s beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie’s bosses know this is the opportunity she’s been looking for to launch her career—and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat.
Betting on HopeTru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he’d like, but he knows it’s the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru’s fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do—for her own good.
In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart’s desires.

My Review:
Romance, a horse trainer and a girl who is confident in interviewing, but terrible at a riding a horse, who wouldn't want to read this book? Sparks are bound to fly or at least an attraction? Well, this book has more than just an attraction in Wishing Springs. Do you believe all the pain and hurt we go through is never wasted? Maggie was hurt in many different ways as a child, but she still clung to hope, which is a valuable lesson that can be taken from this book, aside from it being just a good book. This book also has a side character, Jenna. Jenna has to do the unthinkable because she wants to do the right thing, but doing the right thing isn't always easy. It's heart wrenching. Jenna and Tru show us sacrificial love through their actions in the book. Ultimately besides this book being a great and fun romance novel, this book speaks to having hope if we just trust God in all situations. Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to review this fun, entertaining, lite, but serious book all wrapped into one. I was only compensated by receiving a complimentary book and the opinions expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Debra Clopton

Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Weekend Book Review: Miracle on HIgher Grounds Cafe

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.
Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.
Miracle at the Higher Grounds CafeWhen a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

My Review:
This book is great. Can you imagine going to a coffee shop, typing a message to God and him responding with either an answer that you're wanting to hear or something you know that you need to do? Higher Ground Cafe isn't an ordinary Cafe, but a place where people are sending messages to God and getting answers back. Chelesa, the main character is always finding the courage to ask questions about her personal doubts. Would you be willing to do this yourself? If you believe in God, would you ask him anything and would you believe in his response when he answers back something very specific to you? I love the message behind this book and this is extradorinary. Well done, Max! The story line was fantastic and unlike anything I have ever read before for a fiction book. 

About the Author:

Max LucadoMore 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.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Lent Season or just Wednesday!

Yay, it's Wednesday! 

So, thankful we've made it to the middle of the week. On Monday, I found out I need to start doing some physical therapy ony feet and or possible surgery as I have some major scar tissue built up between my middle toe and my fourth toe. Not excited, but I'm willing to do whatever to keep running and to keep getting faster. 

The other thing that has been so helpful for my running is the food I'm using to fuel my body. I had the opportunity to read this book called 10 Steps to Your Faith Inspired Transformation by Kim Dolan Leto, fitness expert.
Dolan Leto found herselfin a place where millions of Americans are today: unhealthy, overweight and unsatisfied with their bodies. She became a fitness competitor which evolved into modeling writing and now speaking. Her faith in God is what kept her fighting to meet her fitness goals, despite her age.

 FIT is a amazing book that focuses on every aspect of the whole and healthy living. This book touches on diet, exercise healthy thought processes and finding your identity in Christ. It has amazing quotes, tips, journaling and isn't just some quick weight loss program, but focuses on the whole person, which I love!
I just love this book and think if you're on a weight loss journey you will love it too! It's the whole person, not just the weight. This book helps you figure out where the unhealthy thought and eating habits have begun and how to address them. I am truly inspired by Faith Inspired Transformation and cannot wait for the Cardio DVD that will be released. For more information, please visit

Thank you to the publishers for allowing me to review this book. I was not compensated for a positive review, but was provided the book for review purposes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Devo's for Kids, calling Duck Fans!

The first devotional for kids by the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame! With the Robertson clan's flair for down-home wisdom and their wholesome family values, this devotional reveals the heart and faith of this much-loved family from A&E's hit show Duck Dynasty. The more than 6-million moms, dads, and little ones who are loyal fans of the Duck Dynasty family will love this collection of inspirational messages.
Each devotion contains a brief message, an anecdotal story from America's favorite family, a passage from Scripture, a prayer, and a Duck Commander in Action. Not only are the messages motivational, but they are also mixed with the characters' trademark wit and revelations from their personal faith journeys. An ideal companion product for Duck Dynasty fans, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who want to grow in their faith, Duck Commander Devotions for Kids is certain to inspire little ones in their faith journey.

My Review:
I just started watching the Duck Dynasty show on Netflix this past weekend and I thought these guys were hilarious. When I saw this devotion for children, I thought I would take a look at it and see if kids could really relate to these guys. Well, turns out Willie, Ms. Kay and the rest of the Duck Dynasty clan is able to take stories from their lives and relate them to the Bible, but also relate them to kids.  This devotional is good for children between ages 8-11, but it could be used for older or younger depending on where they are at spiritually and how much they love the Duck Dynasty family. I could see an older child loving this devotion because of the wisdom instilled in it, but it seems like it is meant for ages 8-10. That seems to be ideal to me. This devotion has gorgeous illustrations and is written well.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary copy. I was not compensated for a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentines Weekend

Happy Presidents Day! 

Normally for Valentines Day, my husband and I don't make a huge deal out of it. We usually order a pizza, rent a movie from Redbox and call it good. This year was a little different.  We ordered a gluten free pizza on Friday night, especially perfect for carb loading for a long run Saturday as my body is getting in the habit of those agains. Got 7 miles in Saturday and I was happy with my time. The dreadmill work is paying off and we continue to make peace with one another, even though I would love to live somewhere warm and run outside.

My first race coming up in April, is the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon! I am super excited for this race! I've never done it before, but hoping for a fun time.

We then headed to the store and stocked up on Gluten Free Brownies and cookies after our runs. Yumo! Can't wait for my gluten free cook book to come in the mail. It's changing my life and my stomach!
My Valentine bought beautiful roses, Dove chocolates, Andes chocolates and a beautiful card! He's such a great catch! So thankful to have him. He doesn't have to buy me anything, but it's sweet when he does! 

Later that even my sister, Rachel, Thomas (her boyfriend), my husband and I went to go see Paddington Bear! It was such a super cute movie. I loved the British accents and Paddington was cute. We laughed a lot. Valentines does not require that one be serious all the time.
Of course we went out to dinner and just laughed! Red Robin is a fun place to eat and I ate way to many fries, but they were yummy!

Rachel got me a new pig- Pinky! I love Pigs!
Pinky is super cute! Gotta love this sweet little pig. She's adorable! 

Valentines weekend was super relaxing and wonderful. I even read a few books, watched some tv shows on netflixs and just enjoyed myself. Overall, a busy and relaxing weekend.

Q: What did you do over the weekend?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Q&A Journal

Imagine over the next five years responding to a question daily and recording that response. From year one, to year five, your life will be dramatically different. Whether you've entered college, are a new parent, newly married or anywhere in life, five years can record your life history. 

This handy journal is the perfect size for a brief case, backpack or purse. It's the perfect graduation,bridal shower or even wedding gift. It's so unique, I'm getting one for a friend, for her upcoming birthday. Wherever life goes, I can't wait to see where I will be in five years!

To purchase yours, check out Amazon. Thank you to the wonderful publishers and Amazon for this amazing journal!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Adventure is out There!

Happy Tuesday! Did y'all catch the bachelor last night? Craziness!! Chris has some interesting ladies for sure. 

Today, registration opens for that 10th anniversary half marathon at Disneyland in California! You can also participate in the Dumbo challenge or earn your coast to coast medal! We had an absolute blast when we ran during the Inagural event!
 If you're thinking about it, I highly recommend registering today because registration sells out fast! Dumbo will sell out in less than an hour. We loved the Dumbo Challenge! 

I bought this cute Disney mug the other day!! I love it! It reminds me of how I feel about running, races and Disney races! 
Adventure is out there, we must go find it! I signed up for a half marathon last weekend. More on that later. This morning I'm drinking out of this mug as I'm thinking about the adventures of life that lie in front of each of us. My grandpa passed away yesterday. We only get one life, one shot at a great adventure, let's make it great! 

Let's make our life a great adventure! I wanna hear that's it's been "well done."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Major Running PR

Good Morning and Happy February third!
I'm so glad we're in February because that means we're getting closer to Spring and farther away from winter. 

My blog post is quick, but so very important! 

Last night, I scored a major PR and one I didn't even think I was capable of pulling off, I'm hoping and believing this is the year I come back strong!
My running has taken off this year and I am super excited to see the gains my body makes. Running isn't just physical endurance, but mental endurance as well. With each run, my brain is able to push a little farther, faster, and stronger. It's encouraging to finally see success, after such a long road of running detours.#Runlikeagirl

Q: What has been your proudest moment? Running Moment?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Finally finding peace with the treadmill

Happy Monday! Did y'all here we got slammed with snow? Cuz we totally did!!! It's pretty to look at, but I'll continue to pass running outside until it warms outside and save my lungs from getting any crazy infections.  We got another Snow Day out of it!! Yahoo!
            Drifts from my window

I'm more excited to tell you what happened this weekend on the dreadmill. Well, first the hamsterwheel and I are becoming friends. Doesn't that shock y'all? I didn't think the day would come. I've never been able to pull off more than 3 miles on the thing, but this past weekend I pulled off six miles. I'm training for a 25k and a half marathon. 

I was pretty happy with my time from last weeks run to this week. Last week called for five, this week called for six. My pace is getting faster. Let's compare numbers.

The difference in pace was a 7:21 min mile by adding another mile. Somehow and don't ask me how, my body is adapting to an increase on the dreadmill for pace. It's a great feeling!

When my runs at the gym are done, I feel like I might die, but I'm killing them and it's a beautiful thing. I'm super proud of my accomplishments at this point in my training right now! My husband is just knocking a PR out of the park every time we go. It's nuts really!!!!

I'm getting super excited for spring races here!!!!  Is it May yet??? 

Q: What was your proudest training moment?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Nourished- Sunday's Book Review

Authors and bloggers Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph address the common daily stressors of women with humorous stories, trial-and-error plans, and practical take-away insights.
Order-loving Rachel Randolph and her laid-back mother Becky Johnson might be opposites in some ways, but there’s one thing they both want to figure out: why is life so hectic and draining? Through interviews with friends and lots of research, they determine the most common stressors that mess with a woman’s mind. Together, they cook up a plan to live a less depleted and more nourished life.
The wise and witty co-authors of the heartwarming We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, Becky and Rachel share their successes and failures as they make peace with their imperfect bodies, create living spaces they love, get wiser in their relationships, tame jam-packed schedules, settle into God’s love, and more. In short, they stumble and journey together toward a life that better nourishes them—body, mind, soul, and spirit.
With humor, honesty, and faith, this mother-daughter duo offers a breath of fresh air for readers of all generations and life-stages who find themselves drained, discontent, or discouraged—and know there has to be a healthier alternative.

My Review:
Are you running around feeling empty? Burned out? Is your cup empty? Nourished  is a self-help book that both Becky and Rachel wrote to tell of their own successes and failures as they learned they need to nourish themselves. They learned that not only by doing this for themselves was beneficial, but also for their entire families, their health and their happiness. This book is filled with practical tools like menu planning, exercising, organizational advice, how to handle stressful dinner situations with children, making peace with your worries and things to soothe your soul. These are just many of the ideas found in this book, but there are so many more. This book isn't just for moms, but for women in general and can be applied to so many working women I know who are burned out and stressed too. I loved the practical advice it gave. As a stressed out, worn out woman, this book was perfect for me! Why not start making yourself a priority?
Thank you to Zondervan for providing me a complimentary copy of this book. I was not compensated for a positive review, but provided this book for review purposes only.