Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 3

The Carols of Christmas {a Review}

I'm a sucker for Christmas, I'm a sucker for Christmas books are always a soft-spot for me. I love them. I recently finished The Carols of Christmas by Andrew Gant, which was a good read. A bit heady at parts, but I loved finding out a bit of the history behind some of my favorite Christmas carols.

I did think it would read as more of a short story narrative, particularly given the title mention stories, but it read more as a research paper. The author has definitely don't his work and knows what he's talking about. It's just rather lost on me, who doesn't have much musical history or theory knowledge. All in all it was an interest book and one I'm sure I will go back and look at again and again.

I received this book for free through the BookLookBloggers review program. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. You can find my disclosure policy here.

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook {a Review}

First off, I thoroughly enjoyed the original The Trim Healthy Mama and most of what they said I could completely get behind {I just don't care for Stevia}. The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook is exanded with tons more recipes and ideas of healthy eating! This book does work as a stand alone to the original, but if you read the original first it will greatly improve your understanding of the whole system.

The book starts with explaining, briefly, what the basics are of following their plan. Goes into what gadgets and special things you need to have and keep in mind, then follows very quickly into the recipes. I love cookbooks. I love all the pictures of food. This book has beautiful pictures all through out, with really great descriptions and directions on how to prepare the dishes.

Looking through the book every single recipe was something that sounded delicious! So much variety and possibilities for someone who is looking to lose weight, while still feeding their family food that their kids are actually going to eat! 

If you're someone who dabbled in the THMP {Trim Healthy Mama Plan} before, this might be just what you need to get back in the saddle. If you're not, it's a great place to start with healthy meals for ANY family {regardless of whether you want to lose weight or not}.

I received my copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review: You can read my disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, September 15

God Gave Us Sleep {a Review}

Have you ever read any of the God Gave Us... series by Lisa Tawn Bergren? If haven't, you should, they are fantastic! We have several of her books, the first that we had was God Gave Us You, which I bought after Avie was born. They are some of the kids favorite books! When I saw the chance to review a new one in the series I jumped at it!Untitled

God Gave Us Sleep, because what parent doesn't want their child to realize the blessing to be had in sleep?! I know I d0. Just the other day James was telling me that I didn't have to go to bed that night, that I could spend the night on the couch and not sleep. In his words, it was a special-treat. In my mind, it was torture!

This book leaves nothing wanting. The illustrations are adorable as always, as are the animals and the story. My favorite parts of the story were that it talked about what happens when we can’t sleep {we get grumpy the next day} and what to do when we have Scary-Bad dreams, always point little readers to God and His provisions for us!

God Gave Us Sleep is another score in our house!

*I did receive this book for free from; however, the opinions expressed are entirely my own. You can find my disclosure policy here.

Monday, August 3

The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival {a Review}

Another super sweet Berenstain Bears story!

Synopsis from Amazon:
Autumn is a beautiful time of year, and the folks of Bear Country are looking forward to everything the season brings. So when the Chapel in the Woods holds its first ever Harvest Festival, people gather at Farmer Ben’s for a wonderful time of family, friends, fun, and praising God for his gifts.

The kids love all of the Berenstain Bears…I, however, am a bit more discerning about them. They all gave the book two paws up. I liked it too, but felt it wasn’t one of the better, more developed story lines from the Berenstain Bears series. The pictures are beautiful, how could they not be with the fall colors, and the story follows  the bear family through all the joys of fall….apple picking, pumpkin pie, time with family and friends, the bounty of God’s blessings.

Even though it’s still Summer here, I am beyond looking forward to Fall. This book was just enough to take the edge off of my wishing for Fall. The book releases today and is available on for $2.00!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post contains affiliate links: You can read my disclosure policy here.

Friday, July 31

Longing for Paris {a Review}

I have to admit…I have always had an inkling to hop on a plane and disappear to another place. As a mom, those days happen far more often and the dream even less likely to happen than ever before. It’s just not possible, but what am I supposed to do about that longing? How am I supposed to find peace and contentment amongst the mess and noise of 5 kids, when I just want to disappear?


Sarah Mae has a new book, Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure—Right Where She Is, that addresses these very questions. And let me tell you….it’s a good one! I was fortunate to land a spot in Sarah Mae’s launch group, so I get a PDF copy for free prior to the release {but it was so good that I bought myself a paper copy to share with others…it will be here on August 4th, the day it releases}.

I felt like every page had such truth and wisdom in it, a new way to think about what I felt and why. How about this? Our longings for Joy, Beauty and Adventure are completely natural, God given even, because we are not meant to find contentment in this world, we are meant for so much more, we are meant for Heaven. We were created in the image of a God who created all of the beauty that we can experience in this world.


Sarah Mae talks about how we can go about finding the beauty and adventure that we long for in this world, even as mothers and wives and women who have constant demands on our time and energy. More important than satiating our own hunger for more, Sarah Mae talks about the importance of stirring that hunger in our own children, and how, through words of wisdom from Sally Clarkson, we can.

She talks about how we can get caught up in looking for the thing that will fill that longing, letting it consume our time, all of which never will. There is only one way that longing with ever be satisfied…

“…doing too much of anything at the expense of getting quiet with the One who knows the depths of your soul is to forfeit the gospel. It is to forfeit the beauty we have before us and in us and that, when cultivated through the work of the Holy Spirit, will shine out of us.” pg 72

If you’re completely content in your life and have no longings for anything beyond the immediate, then this book isn’t for you, but if you do….THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! This book is for anyone who feels trapped and needs to breath, who wants to climb to the mountain tops, to revel in the adventure and the glory of God’s world. Who feels like there has to be something MORE to this life than what we experience ever day.

“I’m not going to neglect my kids. And because of my small capacity, I can’t go full steam ahead with my ideas and dreams. But I’m sure not going to kill my dreams, because that would be denying what God put in me.” pg 148

The best part is…right now the book is only $7.91 on, and if you take my survey {which closes tomorrow morning} you could even manage to get it for FREE if you win the gift card.

You can find out more about Longing For Paris at

*This post does contain affiliate links, you can read my disclosure policy here. I received a PDF copy of Longing for Paris in exchange for my review of the book, the opinions expressed are solely my own.

Thursday, July 9

The Art of American Whiskey {a Review}

A long while ago, I decided I had time to get a few more book reviews done before the baby was born…and then they didn’t happen. Well at least this one didn’t happen, because, you see, I showed Matt the book and it kind of disappeared. He and my dad were pouring over the pages of it. We’re kind of in the process of a new business venture, for which this book was extremely relevant; designing and creating our own labels for our own adult beverage {as we call them in our house}. 


The pictures in this book are gorgeous!  The history behind the different labels and companies, their graphics and their recipes were all spectacular! I particularly loved the old photographs of different distilleries and from Prohibition. There are so many different labels in this book, companies I’ve never heard of, and from a design standpoint it is incredible to see what other distillers have done over the last few hundred years!

If you know anyone who is at all interested in whiskey or in commercial graphic design, this is a serious thrill of a book to sit down with. It even has a few recipes to enjoy while you peruse!

**I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own. You can read my entire disclosure policy here. You can find this book for sale on

Sunday, May 10

Soul Friends {a Review}

I really wanted to love this book. Friendship is such an important thing to me, and something I struggle deeply with…the desire for truly meaningful relationships with other women. I was really hoping this book was going to give some insight into faith-friends and developing those kinds of relationships, but it really just left me bored and disinterested {probably why after a month I still haven’t hit page 100}.

The chapters were really short and easy to get through, but I felt like the book was not cohesive and really had a hard time staying on track. It was a wonderful concept, but failed to meet with the title or description of the book. More of a self-help for developing your own spiritual relationship, but really no mention of friends. If I had no preconceived notions of what the book was or about, I think I would’ve enjoyed it much more, as the stories, anecdotes, and application were all very good.

I am hoping to actually finish the book, I hate not finishing a book,  and will come back to amend my current review, but I’m not hopeful that it will get much better.

*I received this book for free from BookLookBloggers: The opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own. You can read my Disclosure Policy here.

Friday, April 24

How I Manage to Find Time for Fun

You can find this post on my new blog,, by clicking HERE.

Friday, January 23

The Biggest Brag {a Review}

Ave has gotten such a kick out of getting new books to review. I couldn’t deny her the thrill when I saw a new Berenstain Bears book was available: The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag. Brother and Sister are getting into it on a fairly regular basis about who is the best at pretty much everything, until Grandpa catches wind of it and puts an end to it.

The book follows right along with the Berenstain Bears Living Light series, with lots of good topics of discussion and a solid biblical basis for the story, for a child’s perspective. It's a simple and excellent story to explain the importance of humility and the trouble with being prideful.

Ave gave it 2 thumbs up and has requested it several times. While we’re not to the competition stage of siblinghood…I know it will come inevitable, and I’m grateful to have this book in our library.

*I received this book for free from the program; however the opinions expressed here are my own. You can find my disclosure policy here.

You can purchase this book on Amazon or any other book retailer.

Thursday, January 1

Books 2015

I’ve been keeping track of what I have read for the past 5 years, which is awesome! It gives you such a great list of books to recommend to friends! Not to mention it’s a great pat-on-the-back to accomplish something. 
Books I've Read in 2015
My List of Accomplished Reads for 2015
*No Longer a Slum-dog: Bringing Hope to Children in Crisis by KP Yohannan
*Little Princes by Conor Grennan
*The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
*My Life in Paris by Julia Child
*Who Are These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom? by Faith Bogdan

Friday, December 12

Forever Christmas {a Review}

This post may contain affiliate links, ready my disclosure policy here.

I recently read the book Forever Christmas by Robert Tate Miller, which is the story of a man, Andrew, who has gotten things a little mixed up in his life…his priorities being top. It’s just before Christmas and through a series of events his wife ends up getting hit by a car on Christmas Eve, fortunately the story doesn’t end there, because that’s just depressing at Christmas. He’s given a second chance at how he’s been directing his life, and that is what this story is about.

At first I really did not like this book or the character Andrew. He was just the type of character that I wanted to give a swift kick in the pants, but that’s the point: We aren’t supposed to like him. Just as he’s given a second chance at how he’s living his life, we get a second chance to see him as he should be.

I found the story to be a quick read, enjoyable {once you get over the initial nastiness of Andrew’s story line}, and an all around good story. I also happened to love the cover of the book!

*I received this book for free from as part of their blogger review program. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, December 10

Monday, December 1

Friday, November 28

Where Treetops Glisten {a Review}

I just finished a wonderful Christmas book: a compilation of 3 short stories, by 3 different authors, all about the same family.IMG_5969 The stories take place in the town of LaFayette, Indiana, during WWII, following the three siblings of the Turner family as they struggle through their own disappointments during the war.

First off, I love anything Christmas and I love anything WWII. Each of the stories drew me in, because they were so different and yet were all part of the same families history. Each story is titled off of a popular Christmas carol of the year, 1943, 1944, and 1945.

I really enjoyed the book, managed to finish it in 4 or 5 days, which says something for me in the book reading department lately. I thought each story was well written and way too short. I could have read a full length book of each one.

I felt the characters were well developed, as was the plot line. These stories aren’t meant to be monumental masterpieces, they are meant as enjoyable and emotional stories of Christmas. At the end of the book I will admit, I had a few tears.

If you’re looking for a light read during the Christmas season and enjoy historical fiction. You’ll definitely want to check out Where Treetops Glisten.

*I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, November 21

Monday, November 17

It’s my Blog-o-versary!

Well folks, somehow it’s happened…I’ve officially been blogging for 7 years! My first post was the lyrics to Jason Aldean’s “Laughed until We Cried”; I had no idea what blogging even was, but thought of it more as a journal/pinterest/whatever spot. Obviously, those posts have long since been gone, and many other things have changed.

This blog started out about infertility, then the longer that took, the more it became about other things, my quilting, books, cooking… then suddenly we had Avelyn, and I didn’t really qualify as an “Infertility Blogger” anymore, then we had triplets, and I REALLY didn’t qualify as an infertility blogger. Since then I’ve kind of been in a difficult dilemma, with trying to figure out what exactly I am when it comes to my writing.

I struggled struggle with the idea of being more than “just” a blogger, that perhaps I am a writer {duh! which every blogger is}, but it’s hard to embrace something and slap an official label on it. Makes it much scarier.

I have no idea where this blog is going in the next seven years or what God has planned for our family, this blog, or my writing, but I hope that you’ll continue to join me along the way!

It's a week of giveaways in the White House: Celebrating my 7th year of blogging!

Over the next few days there will be a new giveaway every day, all of them for books that I have enjoyed and want to pass along, or books that I SO enjoyed that I went out and bought multiple copies to share with my friends! Be sure to check back every day or sign up for the blog posts via email {the sign up is over there in the sidebar} so that you don’t miss out!

Here’s the first one:

day 2

I loved both of these books and bought copies in bulk to pass along: I hope whomever wins them enjoys them and gleans as much wisdom and hope from them as I did.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 20

Blessed are the Peacemakers {a review}

Ave and I love the Berenstain Bears. I know not everyone does, and a lot of people think they’re rather “campy”, but I love them. They always have a good message, a good story, and lots of great discussion starters for important conversations: Blessed are the Peacemakers is no different.Blessed  are the Peacemakers

The story follows Brother and Sister bear, and their friends, as the school prepares for their production of “Romeo and Grizzliet”; obviously there’s conflict and not everyone is getting along. Until Brother and Sister, and a few other important characters take a stand and explain the importance of getting along to everyone, adults and kids a like.

Interestingly enough {I read the back of the book} Jan and Stand Berenstain {the creators of the Berenstain Bears} passed away a few years ago, and it’s been their son Mike Berenstain who has continued the family tradition of writing and illustrating these books. Avelyn loves the stories, the lengthy pages are a bit lost on the triplets though, so I think anyone 3 and up would enjoy these books. The illustrations, story, and message of this book is right in line with all of the Berenstain Bears books.

I think it’s a great read and definitely recommend it.

Now for some fun! As part of Ave’s school work I wanted her to do a review of the book…here’s our video {since she’s not old enough to write yet}.


***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” You can read my own disclosure policy here.

Kombucha Revolution {a Review}

by Stephen Lee with Ken Koopman

Matthew’s been making kombucha for the past few years, mostly for my parents and himself. I suppose it’s the natural progression of a homebrewer to be interested in all things fermented.


I was looking through the books available for review from BloggingForBooks and asked him if he would be interested in checking this book out.

Now, before you think Kombucha Revolution is just a book full of different flavored Kombucha recipes, let me just tell you…it’s not. There’s all kinds of recipes in this book, with one common ingredient Kombucha!

The book starts out with an introduction of Kombucha, what it is, it’s history, and explaining all the parts and things needed to make Kombucha {it’s a lot easier than you think…Matthew makes it in 1/2 gallon Mason Jars}.

It follows closely with several recipes for making your own flavored Kombuchas and then quickly moves into smoothies, “spirited” cocktails, and a variety of salad dressings, cold soups, and other yumminess!

I’m looking forward to delving further into all the recipes in this book. I may have to try a few myself and not let Matthew have all the fun of fermenting!

The book is well written, with great recipes and instructions, and awesome photographs, that catch the eye. Definitely worth checking out!

**I received this book for free through the BloggingForBooks program, in exchange for my honest review. You can read my disclosure policy here.

**Other Resources: If you want to find out more about the benefits of fermented foods, be sure to check out these other sites:
God Centered Mom Podcast
Passionate Homemaking
Wellness Mama

Tuesday, September 30

Our Favorite Books for Autumn Enjoyment

You can find this post on my new site, Click HERE.