i am…A work at home mom, former coffee addict turned tea addict (ok I'm still addicted to coffee), writer who lives in this semi-large town in arkansas, is strapped always to her iPhone, Litfuse nester and is a sinner saved by grace. Dirty diapers, books, running (or not), paper loving, instagrams, messes, lover of one. Welcome to my world.
Category Archives: review
After living a majority of my life on a semi-small “farm” (we had cows, chickens, goats, and a garden at one given time), I got married, became a “city girl,” and jumped from apartment to apartment (six of them, to be exact—we are not escaped convicts, I promise).
Six years later, my husband and I have finally landed in a home of our own—with a sizable backyard. After twenty years, my parents are moving into town (right down the street from us, in fact) and my sister has gotten married and has started her apartment life. After one Friday night dinner, we decided that a Melton-Moon-Krumm garden was going to be a necessity the coming year and, as luck would have it, between the three of us, my backyard is the only one suited for a garden.
As luck would also have it, one of my besties from college (I even worked for her mom for a stretch there) has written the manual just for us. Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is the perfect guide to backyard farming, gardening, living in the midst of living “in town.”
Angela England has written a guide for eating healthy, saving money, and living sustainably in the space you have —or if you are looking to buy, she even has a chapter on what to be sure to look for. Angela takes the questions out of planning and the “I can’ts” out of gardening and farming. Gone is scratching your head and what is trying to be said. Angela’s tone is more conversational and easy to understand. You’ll quickly be lost to the fact that you are reading a book, not actually sitting with Angela listening to her explain the in and outs of backyard farming. Angela helps you plan efficiently, making sure there is no waste. I cannot pick a favorite section from the book, because I really can’t decide! The book is packed with so much useful information, the whole thing is my favorite—making me excited for planning my upcoming garden (and crossing my fingers my husband lets me get a few chickens as well!).
Whether you are just wanting to plant a garden this coming year or have a full-fledged mini-farm, Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is the guide you need to read!
I’m super excited about this book as I’m going to be doing my darnest to garden (and possibly have some chickens — my dream is 5 — Jane, Lizzy, Mary, Lydia, Kitty — we’ll see what happens). You’ll hear all about it on my blog in the coming months!
I love the story of Ruth. I didn’t realize it until recently. I have done multiple studies on Ruth and have read many re-tellings (fictional stories based off) of Ruth. However, The Girl’s Still Got It brings the story of Ruth to life.
Liz Curtis Higgs is not new to the story of Ruth. Her novels Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night are two fabulous books that set the stage of Ruth in eighteenth century Scotland. With her new book, Liz breathes life into the characters of Ruth and Naomi and Boaz. Verse by verse Liz walks you in the lives of Ruth and Naomi — think of it as time travel!
The Girl’s Still Got It is a wonderful book for a small group or even just to be more intimately connected with this incredible woman.
–About the Book–
Joel, Seraphina, Ibrahim, and Christiana are average children: they have hopes and dreams. But what makes these children different is not that they live in different countries. It is the fact that they exist in extreme poverty and illness. Still, this does not define them; instead, their adventures are about incredible faith and willingness to be used by God. Their stories are collected in Tales of the Not Forgotten, and will most definitely inspire other people, young and old, to ask God to lead them to a mission.
~I really liked the way this book was organized: each chapter was a story about a different person, and within the story, the point of view would switch from the main character to the missionaries that were helping them. This gave a unique view of every aspect of following God as He leads to unknown places and unknown (but very important) people.
~The theme of this book was a beautiful promise: you are not forgotten. In the darkest, dirtiest of circumstances, God proves Himself bigger and stronger than anything that faces you. Also, the book made me want to reach out to others to share that promise, and to tell them that I haven’t forgotten them either.
~Something very special about Tales of the Not Forgotten is the fact that, although it is targeted at an audience of ages 8-12 (and I think it is a fantastic book for kids, my 12 year sister found it interesting), there is absolutely no reason why it cannot be convicting to youth and adults. Beth Guckenberger writes a captivating read, in no way watered down.
~My book also came with the Tales of the Not Forgotten Leader’s Guide: Kid’s Missions Resource, a DVD containing printable lessons for leaders or Sunday school teachers. I haven’t used this resource yet, but it seems like it would be a really helpful way of extending the discussions about missions with kids! The lessons include Bible story scripts, conversation cards, and activities to accompany the teaching lesson.
Overall, this was one of the best pieces of nonfiction I’ve read in a long time! I don’t want to read this book and forget it. No, I want to begin praying earnestly for God to show me my mission.
I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my unbiased review.
I can’t say enough about this girl’s review writing! I love it. I’m sure I’m a little biased, but see for yourself just how great it is!
Brielle is cold. And it’s not just because Stratus is chilly this time of year. She carries a burden of guilt that threatens to freeze her very soul — all because of a horrible tragedy she believes was her fault.
But maybe moving back to Stratus from her boarding school and spending time with her dad and old friends is a good thing. Still, it does nothing to cleanse her of this cold weight. That is, until Brielle meets Jake. His very appearance emanates warmth. And when he saves her life, she realizes that there is something very different about Jake. In addition to the crazy heat, there is something odd about Jake’s mysterious but kindly guardian, Canaan. And there is definitely something more to the story of tragedy that haunts Brielle.
Epic showdowns between good and evil will challenge Brielle’s — and the reader’s — view of the not-so-ordinary day battles going on during this very moment.
My thoughts on this book:
~ Angel Eyes makes me think of this song (especially this lovely phrase: “once you feel the weight of glory, all the pain will fade to memory”). Now I realize that there is always a reason to trust God, utterly despite the circumstances. There always will be a morning of rejoicing after a night of sorrow.
~ There were some amazing quotes in this book:
“God chooses to use us…but really, He can do it all on His own.”
“A righteous God isn’t bound by time. He has an eternity to make things right…He doesn’t owe me an explanation. I owe Him my life.”
“He is adamant, intense — emphasizing each word like it belongs in its own universe.”
~ Dittemore’s prose is exquisite. I literally could not put the book down–if I started a chapter, I was captivated fully from the first word to the last. Her presentation of the Terrestrial (earthly) and the Celestial (spiritual) was extremely thought provoking, and her interpretation of angels and demons reminded me of Bryan Davis’ books. The romantic elements of her book were beautifully moving and pure. I would recommend this book a thousand times over, to any reader–whether young adult or adult, it will decidedly challenge your faith and touch your heart.
I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my review.
Do Right. Fear Nothing.
It can be hard being a preacher’s kid. It puts pressure on you to be perfect, and causes people to treat you differently. This is the struggle that Sam Hopkins faces, and he is tired of it. So, he starts to run with a bad crowd, breaking the law and living dangerous. But when the bullies he has been “friends” with begin to attack Sam’s bizarre schoolmate, Jennifer, Sam has a choice to make—should he do the right thing, or the easy thing?
Sam’s choice pushes him into a plot deep in suspense, excitement, fear, and (naturally) danger. Jennifer seems to know more than anyone about the scary things that are happening in Sam’s town, and her visions of demons begin to appear more and more credible as Sam’s world spins out of control.
High speed chases, moving character relationships, and striking faith-filled themes make Crazy Dangerous a masterpiece. This was the first book I have read by Andrew Klavan, and I was left wanting more. Even if you are not a huge fan of teen fiction, this book is worth a read. You will be amazed by how captivating it is!
My thoughts on this book:
The other day, after I finished Crazy Dangerous, I was thinking about the powerful statement the book centers upon, “Do right. Fear nothing.” It reminded me of 1 Samuel 17—the David and Goliath story. Reading it, I discovered David’s reason to not fear as he faced Goliath: “for the battle in the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands (verse 47).” Sam’s response to his fears was the same–he chose to trust God even though no one believed him, and he chose to do the right thing even though it did not feel right.
I also thought it was interesting that the words “fear” and “not” occur simultaneously in 66 different verses in the NIV, like these two:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” –1 John 4:18
A remarkable lesson that I learned from the character Sam in Crazy Dangerous is that we must simply do the right thing before we can claim the promise of fearing nothing. We may be terrified when we strike out into the unknown, but if we go anyway, we will not be alone.
I love Jesus and I am a dreamer . He died for me, I will live for Him. I love my family and friends, reading, playing piano, music, writing, and riding horses. I am a hopeless romantic. Visit me at my blog Inexpressible Joy
Fruit of the Spirit: Love and Joy an album of instrumental hymns is a new CD by Discovery House Music. On it you will find the classic hymns such as: The Wonder of It All, Love Lifted Me, ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, Victory in Jesus, We’re Marching to Zion and many others — 10 in all.
This album of the classic hymns is a fabulous way to relax at the end of a stressful day or to start your morning off in busy traffic.
If you enjoy listening to hymns from the good old days, you will love Fruit of the Spirit: Love and Joy. If you’re like me, you will find yourself randomly humming along or sining words to these beloved songs.
Get your own copy here (and listen to a snippet of each song), and check out the other albums in the Fruit of the Spirit Instrumental Hymns series.
This review first appeared on Luxury Reading — You can read this and other great reviews here.
The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women is a book on running. No, seriously. I know what you are thinking. How interesting could a book on running really be? Especially one geared towards non-runners (non-runners running is somewhat of an oxymoron)? I am here to report that this book was exceptionally good. I honestly could not put it down!
I have wanted to run a 5K (yes, only a 5K) for quite a while now. I figured it could not hurt to read this book (after all running is running, right?) Reading this book has almost inspired me to run a full marathon – almost (not sure if I am that crazy just yet). Dawn Dais’ book tells of her real life marathon training experience going from a self proclaimed couch potato to an all out full marathon runner. She provides a training schedule as well as many much needed checklists, such as a checklist of gear for a novice runner.
I think what makes The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women so interesting is Dais’ wit and humor throughout the entire book. She includes excerpts from her running journal that she kept while training for her marathon – which are laugh out loud hilarious. Dais also added extra pages to the back of the book for you to journal your own marathon training experience, prompts and thoughts on running related issues, and much more.
Whether you are a seasoned runner getting ready to train for a marathon, someone toying with the idea of running a marathon, or a bonafied couch potato who is just wanting a good read, I highly recommend picking up Dawn Dais’ The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women. However, I must warn you that her story just might inspire you to start running yourself (she does bring up a good point about eating all the carbs you want…)
Deeann Gist’s Love On The Line was an amazingly fun read full of excitement and adventure! You won’t be disappointed! Disclaimer: You probably won’t be able to put it down
Deeanne is thrilled to introduce Georgie and Luke to the word in her latest novel, Love on the Line. To celebrate Deeanne’s publisher, Bethany House, is hosting the Love on the Line iPad2 giveaway an Author Chat on Facebook! Enter today and follow the link below to RSVP for Deeanne’s rip-roarin’ Facebook Party!
One fortunate winner will receive:
- A Brand New iPad2
- An Autographed Hardback Copy of Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at Deeanne’s Author Chat Facebook Party. Deeanne will be wrapping up the Love on the Line celebration by chatting with friends new and old! So grab your copy of Love on the Line (it’s okay if you don’t have one yet- you might could win one!) and join Deeanne on the evening of November 8th for a rip roaring book chat, a little trivia and lots of giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!
Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 8th!
A while back I decided that I wanted to go more natural with my cleaning products. At the time I was pregnant and didn’t want to have to worry about smelling harmful fumes, but didn’t want to compromise on cleanliness of my home. Now I have two little ones running (well, running and going to be crawling in about 4-6 months) around. The last thing that I want to be worrying about is whether or not my cleaning products are going to be harming them. Clorox has a line of natural cleaning products out, but I am not to fond of the smell. I was roaming through Target one day and the Method brand caught my eye. For one, I loved the simplicity of the packaging. Second the smells (and while I was pregnant that was a big deal). Since finding the all purpose cleaner and loving it, I have been slowly “running out” of my “normal” products and replacing them with Methods brand. It happened to be the bathtub cleaner’s turn.
If you know me, you know that I loathe cleaning the bathtub. Not only are you stooped over in awkward angles trying to scrub who knows what from the bottom of the deep tub, but it’s also a rather stinky job. I only ever used Ajax to clean my tub. The powder gets everywhere including up your nose and then you start worrying that you’re going to have something grow out of your ear because you smelled the fumes and forgot to wear gloves. Since I had ran out of my can of Ajax, I quickly ran to Target to get a bottle of Method’s tub cleaner, le scrub. I was actually excited to try it out in the tub to see if it worked.
First thing that stuck me with this stuff was the smell. Holy Batman it smells good! Which for one made it so much pleasurable to have to scrub the thing. The back recommends using a sponge to clean with. I only ever used a scrub brush, but I was up to try a sponge. It actually wasn’t that bad! I did get a bit of an arm workout, but then again it’s been a little while since I’ve actually cleaned my tub (blush).
I can now proudly say that my tub will probably get washed once a week now… instead of the once a month it had been getting cleaned (I know. Totally gross). I’m actually looking forward to cleaning the tub now!! All because of this amazing little product!! It comes highly recommended!!
By Susan May Warren Summerside Press $14.99, 367 pages ISBN 9781609362188 Fiction/Historical Take a sneak peek here
Heiress, book one in the Daughter of Fortune series, is about the two beautiful daughters, Jinx and Esme, of newspaper icon August Price. Esme, Price’s oldest daughter, dreams of becoming a newspaper reporter and one day taking over her father’s paper. She has no desire of things that society requires of her. Her dreams are shattered, however, when her parents arrange a marriage to the eligible Foster Worth. Jinx wants the glamorous life that a well matched marriage of society can provide. In a turn of events, Esme is all but thrown from her home and moves out west to make her dreams come true. Jinx, the family’s only hope to stay in the good graces of society, marries well and finally obtains the life she has always dreamed — or so she thinks.
Heiress is a story of high society, scandal, love, betrayal, and forgiveness at the turn of the century. It is storytelling at it’s height. Susan May Warren will suck you in from page one and will not let you go! You will fall in love with the Price sisters and will laugh, cry and grieve with them. I promise you will not be disappointed!
I was given a copy of Heiress for free for review. A positive review was not required.