Sunday, August 30, 2015

Glory Days by Max Lucado

The Israelites spent forty years wandering the desert. They were free from Pharaoh but not free from fear. Saved, but not yet to their promised land.

Maybe that's exactly where you're at. Yes, you're a Christian but you're fighting the same battles you did when you became saved. You feel stuck and it's hard to see the Joy that Jesus gives us. You feel stricken with grief and excessive guilt.

The good news is that you don't have to live like this. Just like the Israelites, you can get out of the wilderness and into the promised land. This is exactly what God wants for us. He doesn't want us in a place where we can't receive the gifts He's given us.

Our family has always loved Max Lucado. Even my oldest who is now 9, always had a special place in her heart for his "Hermie" videos and they messages they portrayed. Once again, I am impressed with Max Lucado's ability to help believers like myself  apply Biblical truths to our lives. He presents the Bible in easy to understand analogies. I think it would be appropriate for new and old believers alike, and I will probably come back to this book just because the truths are so valuable to me. I would highly recommend this book.

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.


Are you stuck in the wilderness known as midlife misery? Can you name the day you became a Christian but can’t remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer? Find encouragement in Max Lucado's new book, Glory Days. With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.

Now through August 31, 2015, pre-order Glory Days and receive free gifts!

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There are two pre-order options:

Option 1:

Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format), and receive a free digital download of the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.

After you've pre-ordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at GloryDaysBook.com.

Option 2:

Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format) AND one copy of God is With You Every Day (Max's brand-new, 365-day devotional—any format), and receive both the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace and a paperback copy of Traveling Light by Max Lucado (U.S. addresses only). 

After you’ve preordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at GloryDaysBook.com.

Pre-order today and get your free gift by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the offer ends on August 31, 2015.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Brianna is an ambitious young lady who wants more than just a husband in her future. Her father, James O'Leery, is an Irish immigrant who has made a name for himself at Irish Meadows, thinks only of his financial gains by marrying off his two eldest daughters, Colleen and Brianna.

With college in mind, Brianna must find a way to convince her father that college would be the best option for herself. But she finds the matter to be a little harder than she anticipated when her father makes some decisions for her. Then Gilbert Whelan returns home and turns her entire world upside down.

Meanwhile, James puts an end to Colleen's childish ways but assigning her to work with their distant cousin, Rylan Montgomery at the orphanage in town. Colleen ends up falling in love with the one man she never imagined possible. Will the two O'Leary women follow their hearts or follow their father's wishes?

Irish Meadows is a historical fiction novel that kept me interested right from the very beginning. The writing was flawless, the characters were well-developed, and I think the story had just the right amount of suspense and intrigue. I rate this book as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Will Brianna and Colleen have the courage to stand up to their father's schemes to save their horse farm and instead pursue true love? Don't miss Irish Meadows, the newest book by Susan Anne Mason! As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, their father grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

Join Susan in celebrating the release of Irish Meadows by entering to win her Kindle Fire giveaway and RSVPing to her September 1st author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • One copy of Irish Meadows
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 9/1. The winner will be announced at the Irish Meadows Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Susan and other readers, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Paper Goods Projects by Jodi Levine

Paper Goods Projects: A super make-it book by Jodi Levine is a book specifically made for all craftiness made out of paper. This book features 57 crafts which include: doily butterflies, coffee filter flowers, and cupcake paper crafts among many others.

There were also balloon crafts, which ironically had nothing to do with paper crafts.

The only crafts I really enjoyed in the book were the toilet paper roll crafts. The author did an excellent job of creating adorable animals such as elephants, sharks, and giraffes.

The illustrations were very nicely put together, and the instructions seemed easy to understand, but sadly I was not impressed with this book. I felt like I could have found most of these on Pinterest. I do not think this book is worth the money.

To say I was disappointed in this book would be an understatement. Jodi Levine's Amazon author bio page states under that Jodi is a lifelong crafter who has been on Martha Stewart's staff for 19 years as a product designer. I guess I just expected a little more from this book. I don't mean to sound harsh, but I requested this book for my 9 year old, and even she thought many of the crafts in this book were just silly. I rate this book as 1 star.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

My First Hands-on Bible: Pretty Pink Deluxe Edition!

My First Hands-on Bible: Pretty Pink Deluxe Edition is an adorable Bible which is sure to have your little one feeling very grown up with their grown up Bible! It features a bright pink, soft imitation leather cover with the two adorable little animals on the front. The Bible itself is an NLT version, so little ones can easily understand what they are reading. It is approximately 8.5" by 5.5" inches, which seems like a perfect size for little hands. My 3 year old enjoys just picking it up and carrying it around with her or putting it in her bag. 

The stories are short and easy to understand. Sometimes I will tell my 3 year old two or three stories at a time and she is able to sit through them. Each Bible story includes a prayer and colorful illustrations. 

I think this is a great option for a child's first Bible. My oldest daughter had the first version of this Bible a few years ago (which we still have). It is very similar to this Bible here and we love them both. Just a great Bible all around. Perfect size, illustrations are wonderful, and the message if very clear. I would highly recommend it!

I received a copy of this book/Bible in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore

I've never enjoyed cooking that much but I suspect that has a lot to do with my numerous food allergies. Luckily, this cookbook may be just the thing I need to start enjoying it! Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore is a cookbook created to help remove toxins from your diet, promote gut health and to lose weight naturally.

There's no gimmicks here. Megan wasn't raised as a healthy eater. But she was tired of feeling bloated or sluggish after every meal. Her journey to healthy eating began as a way to lose weight but ended up turning into so much more. This is not a no-carb, sugar free diet. It is learning to eat REAL food the way God intended it.

Megan classifies food into six categories:          Fresh fruit, Starches, Animal protein, Nuts, Seeds and Dried fruit, Nonstarchy Vegetables, and Neutral items. The idea is to choose just one category at each meal, fill the rest of your plate with raw or cooked nonstarchy vegetables, and wait 3 to 4 hours before switching categories. The author then lists a few exceptions to these rules.

There are multiple food categories to look through: Liquid nourishment, Morning favorites, Dressings and sides, Soups, sandwiches and wraps, Casseroles and comfort food, Sweet treats, and Back to basics. My favorite chapter is probably the Casserole and comfort foods for obvious reasons. ;) The recipes look delicious and enjoyable. The broccoli cheese soup looks absolutely amazing to me and I can't wait to try it! I've always loved Broccoli cheddar soup but having a dairy allergy has made it impossible for me to find a recipe I can enjoy.

There were also some delicious desserts listed which I can't wait to try. I rate this book as 5 stars. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

"NIV Bible For Teen Girls" Review!

The "NIV Bible For Teen Girls: Growing in Faith, Hope and Love" is designed for 13-18 year old girls! It includes daily readings from multiple famous young ladies including: Bethany Hamilton, Annie Downs, Nicole Weider, Denise VanEck and many more!

Each book of the Bible introduction page includes the book name, the year this book took place, who is mentioned, verses you might recognize and what the basis of the book is about! Book introduction pages include cute chevron patterns and pink backgrounds. Each page features adorable pink fonts to point out the beginning of each chapter, and the daily readings are interspersed every couple of pages.

The Bible itself is hardcover, which I absolutely love! A Bible is something your teen will hopefully have for a very long time, so you want it to be able to stand the test of time. I think this Bible is created in a way to help that. There is a large glossary included in the back for easy reference if you are looking for a Bible verse on a certain subject. There is also a glossary for the Daily Readings, a Topical Index, and a Women of the Bible Index. It also includes a Table of Weights and Measurements.

I think this is a lovely Bible for a teenage girl! If I had a teen of my own, I would be giving this to her. I really feel like the colors, patterns and design make it sort of personable. I love the little birds on the front cover and the shabby chic feel to it. I would highly recommend it!

I rate it as 5 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias- Four Southern Love Stories

"Among The Fair Magnolias- Four Southern Love Stories" is actually four separate stories written by four different authors: Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser. Each story is somewhat of a historical fiction novella.

"To Mend A Broken Dream" by Tamera Alexander is the story of a young girl named Savannah Darby who lost her parents and her childhood home at a young age. She now decorates houses for a living to try to support herself and her younger siblings. Savannah jumps at the opportunity when she finds out she will need to redecorate her childhood home for the young attorney, Aidan Bedford. Will she be able to find the secret treasure her father stashed so long ago? And what could be in it?

"An Outlaw's Heart" by Shelley Gray is about a young man named Russell Stark and his return visit home. He knew when he arrived, his past would confront him head first, but he knew it was important to see his mother one last time. What he didn't expect was running into the woman he loved so long ago, and that perhaps he still does love her.

"A Heart So True" by Dorothy Love is about a young girl named Abigail. Her family expects her to marry a distant cousin, Charles, but her heart belongs to another...Dr. Bennett. Her father cares more about social status than what Abigail really wants. Will Abigail's father find out the truth about Charles?

"Love Beyond Limits" by Elizabeth Musser is the story of a girl who lives in the era of plantations and slavery. Emily loves her childhood friend, Thomas, but she doesn't feel that he shares her same convictions about slavery. On the other hand, she loves one of the freedmen that works on her family's plantation. Her father would never let her have a relationship with the freedman but she doesn't know if she can share a life with Thomas. I loved this story because it had two huge twists at the end!

I usually have a hard time reading Novellas or short stories because I just want them to keep going on and I feel that they were too short. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this series of stories! I think each author did a fantastic job of keeping readers engaged and interested. Also, what I think is really neat is that "Magnolias" which are mentioned in the title of this book, are mentioned in each story but in a different way. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff and I loved it!

I would definitely recommend this book to others who enjoy a good love story! I rate it as 5 stars. I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. http://litfusegroup.com/author/fairmagnolias

Four best-selling novelists bring tales of four Southern women who face near impossible choices on their journeys in life and in love during the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history in Among the Fair MagnoliasDon't miss this collection of stories from Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser.

Join the authors in celebrating the release of Among the Fair Magnolias by entering to win their Southern Hearts Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to their August 13th author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • One copy of Among the Fair Magnolias
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/13. The winner will be announced at the Among the Fair Magnolias Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tamera, Dorothy, Shelley, and Elizabeth, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 13th!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

Vanessa is a newly engaged Paramedic in the midst of planning her wedding to her fiance, Ted. Always the practical one, Ted tries to plan their destination wedding around his medical conferences he must attend and sends Vanessa on a mini vacation to get the planning started. But there's one reason Vanessa is apprehensive about going back to Destin, Florida and his name is Logan.

Destin is where she married her first love, her risk-taking husband, Logan. When Vanessa returns, she will have to face Logan head on almost immediately after arriving. They both admit they have each made plenty of mistakes, but will their marriage from so many years ago have been a grave mistake or the biggest blessing?

I found myself rooting for Logan from the very beginning! I really didn't care for Ted at all. He just seemed too safe, and didn't seem to have a connection to Vanessa at all. It was almost as if they were only together because they were in similar professions, and they had a few things in common. It was obvious there was not much love shared. I think things like this add a fun element to books.

I always love a good love story! I know that sounds cliche but it's true. :) I think this book had an interesting plot and was just fun all around. Who doesn't love a wedding story set in beautiful Florida?! The praise reviews in the beginning of Beth's book is enough to assure you that what you are about to read is going to be fantastic.

I think this would be a fun book to just relax with on a nice summer day, whether it be at the beach, or at home relaxing in your hammock! I am eager to read more books by this author!

I rate this book as 4 stars! I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion. To purchase a copy, please visit: http://bit.ly/1VkD0s8


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

Lazarus Awakening Study Guide and DVD is the newest study by Joanna Weaver. You may have read some of her previous books which are fairly popular, "Having a Mary heart in a Martha World" or "Having a Martha Spirit."

Lazarus Awakening is a study of the spiritual truths we can learn from someone who doesn't even say a word in the Bible. Someone who is only briefly mentioned after his death. Lazarus. John 11:5 tells us "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus." Which mean there is hope for all of us. No matter what happens, you and I are loved by Jesus. God is calling us to let go of our doubt, our guilt from past failures and to rest and live in God'd embrace.

I received both the Study Guide and the DVD for review. The Study Guide is very well put together. It is divided into an eight week study which can be used for personal or group use. This bundle does not include the actual Lazarus Awakening book, and I don't think it is absolutely necessary for this study to work, but I think it might explain things a lot better if you had that as well.

Each chapter has a short lesson and then a Bible verse to memorize. Then there is a section called "Word Time" which is a one-page tidbit on how to apply the Bible to our lives and ways to understand the Bible better. Next is "Israel Moment" which describes a little bit of life in Bible times. After this, there are a few reflection questions, and then the actual study where you will use your Bible to look up answers to the questions. The chapter closes with a "Who I am in Christ" statement and another video clip.

Now onto the DVD portion:
There are actually two different aspects of the DVD which are important. First is the actual study. These are each 17-20 minute sessions which correspond to the Study Guide. There is also a downloadable leader's guide, promotional material and retreat format included. The second aspect of the DVD is the "Israel Moment" footage. These are short segments which are actually made in the Holy land. It is said that once you visit the Holy land, you will never read the Bible the same way again. Find out why the Holy land is also called "The Fifth Gospel."

I think this is a great study guide. There is a lot of material here, and a lot of value for the money spent. If you are planning to use this study as a group, I would suggest planning on at least 2 to 2.5 hours per evening to go over the material as a group. There is also a bit of studying that can be done at home during the rest of the week. I rate this study as 5 stars.

I received this Study Guide and DVD for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

100 Things for little Children to do on a trip: Wipe clean cards!

Usually, my reviews are mainly on books, but these amazing little cards have become a favorite in our household! My girls love using them on long car rides, in the doctor's office, and even when we are just at home playing together!

These activities range from dot-to-dots, mazes, finish the picture activities, word searches, find the difference activities, find the match activities and so much more! I have found that my 9 year old is a little beyond most of these activities but she still enjoys playing with them. I would probably recommend these for a 3-7 year old child.

These cards are relatively small in size, at approximately 4 x 6 inches. They are the perfect size to pack in a diaper bag or purse. Each package contains 50 double sided cards and one erasable marker. Cards wipe off easily with a damp cloth for easy cleanup. There are a few other similar products available through Usborne if you are looking for something a little different. We also carry the Memory Puzzle cards, Word Puzzle cards, 50 Brain Game cards, Animal Doodle cards, and a few others!

I plan to purchase a few other types of cards just to have on hand! They are only $9.99 for each pack! If you would like to purchase a set, please visit my shop site: https://l4508.myubam.com/p/588/100-things-to-do-on-a-trip