Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. 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

Monday, June 1

5 New Baby Must Haves {from a Mama of 5}

**This post does contain affiliate links, meaning that I earn a few pennies on purchases made through the links: You can read my Disclosure Policy here.**

When you’re having your 5th child and you’ve had 3 of your others at once there really isn’t anything that you need for a new baby. You kind of decide at this point that you have way too much baby stuff and need to purge immediately and for your own sanity. I’ve been going through all of the kids clothes, shoes, toys and paraphernalia that we have; deciding what to keep, what to yard sale, and what to sell on ebay. It hasn’t been easy {my bedroom has looked liked this for the past 2 months}.

All of this also helps me to realize that perhaps I’m a bit of an expert on the necessities for baby. Obviously, there are some things that are absolutely not negotiable…like a car seat, especially if you plan on being in a car, or diapers and clothes. The rest is just an extensive list of things that would be nice, but aren’t necessary. To me, these items are the must-have-end-all-be-all of baby necessities.

A Carrier
I don’t care who you are or how much you love your baby, at some point you’re going to want the use of your hands again, but that little one is probably still going to want to be held. With the rest of our kids we had a Moby Wrap, which both Matt and I loved! It kept them close and warm, it was comfortable to wear, even with the clingy big sister in it.

This time it’s summer though and warm isn’t exactly something I’m looking for. I asked a few friends about the Ergo and the Boba and several others, before deciding that we would ask for a Boba with #5. I need ease of use, comfort, and flexibility…especially going into the summer when we have swimming lessons, the fair, and Matt is gone a whole lot more.

*Ergo Baby Carrier {Borrowed one of these from a friend and I really like it}
*Boba Baby Carrier {I liked the features of the Boba better than the Ergo}
*Moby Wrap {Love this one…it is a bit tricky to get into at first, it’s pretty easy after you get the hang of it, but it can get quite warm}

Cloth Diapers

I realize that specifically cloth diapers are not a necessity. But I love my cloth diapers, if I could wax-poetic about them I would. I’ve missed them, since we moved out last year and the triplets went in to disposables. My whole box of them has been pulled out, lovingly prepped and waiting for use once again. My favorite is still a Bum Genius. {If you’re not into cloth, we’ve always had great luck with Huggies Little Movers and OverNites}.

*Bum Genius {These are my favorites and I have no complaints whatsoever about them}
*Fuzzi Bunz {I love the colors on these so much more than the BG, but the elastic does not hold up well..they do have an awesome repair policy though}.


Once little one will let you put them down and sleep comfortably some place other than on your person we loved having a swing. I didn’t have to go up and down the stairs to the baby’s room and they slept well. I think we got our’s at a consignment shop for quite a bit less than brand new. Some of them get ridiculously expensive, but a good, basic one doesn’t have to cost tons of money, just make sure to get one that has an AC adapter…batteries get expensive.

*Fisher Price Rainforest {This is the one we have, I think I paid less than $100 at consignment}
*Fisher Price Zen Swing {We’ve borrowed this one with Ave, it’s nice, but way too expensive}

Sound Machine
I know for some people this is an unnecessary item, but for us…they are awesome! I never used to sleep with a sound machine, until I visited Matt at college with his mom {who had one}. Now I don’t leave home without it and each of the kids’ rooms has one. They’re great for creating a gentle sound that can drown out the rest of a crazy house.

*Cloud B Sound Machine Sheep {I don’t like that this one turns off after a while, baby usually wakes up when that happens}
*Graco Sound Machine {This is my preferred sound machine}

Coconut Oil

That’s right coconut oil. It’s great for diaper rash, sore nipples, dry skin, a quick spoonful for energy…you name it and coconut oil is probably good for it. With Ave I just used the lanolin ointment which reminded me of the smell of wool sweaters in Ireland {lanolin is the oil in sheep wool}, with the triplets we had coconut oil for everything.

*Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

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, 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.

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.

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.

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

Making Organization Fun!

With all of the renovations and changes going on around here, I’ve been trying to set us back up with a modicum of organization. When kidecals contacted me a few weeks months ago about reviewing some of their labels and decals I jumped at the chance. I ordered some awesome chalkboard labels for our pantry, some washable labels for Avelyn’s ballet stuff, and some fun labels for Matt’s creations.


Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t expect them to show up so fast! I couldn’t believe it! It was only a few days later and I had them in my hands! Of course it was a little bit longer before I actually got to put them to use. IMG_3793

The chalkboard labels are awesome! Whenever anything says chalkboard I’m always worried about just how well they’re going to clean up. Honestly, I’m one of those who love the new-ness of a washed chalkboard, and these cleaned up just fine with a damp paper towel.IMG_4373

As for the washable labels, I was a bit skeptical about whether or not they’d actually stick to the clothes and stay on them after being washed. A lot of labels just don’t do well on clothing, especially if they’re not a fabric label.

I felt like I was having a hard time getting them to stick to the silkiness of Ave’s ballet leotard, but they stuck, surprisingly well. I’ve been washing her leotard every week and the sticker has yet to come off!

Matthew’s been having fun with the “From the cellar of Matthew White” labels, slappin’ them on any bottle he gives to someone. He’s a sucker for a well labeled bottle.

Overall, I’ve been really impressed with kidecals and their products. They work well, hold up well, and clean up well: Kind of important for labels in daily use. At first glance the prices are a bit steep, but once you take a look at what you’re getting {quality and quantity} and how well they work, it’s worth it.

If you’re in the market to do some label organization in your own home, be sure to visit their site and see what they have to offer. They always have free shipping and often have discounts codes.

*I received these labels from kidecals for free in exchange for my review of their products. That said the opinions expressed here are my own. You can read here for my entire disclosure policy.

Friday, September 12

Your Real Food Journey {a Review}

*This post does contain affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission on your purchase, at no additional cost to you. Read here for my disclosure policy.

Your Real Food Journey A Gentle Guide to Steady Progress by Trina Holden at - Book and Recipe Review from

It’s been more than 5 months, since I’ve had a home, and time, to focus on the food we eat. Not living in your own space, with your own habits isn’t easy. Moving back into your own space at the height of chaos isn’t easy either.

Between projects and the fair Matt and I have spent next to no time with any sort of focus on cooking. It has been whatever can be slapped together when it’s thought of, even if that meant hot dogs twice in a row.

I read Trina’s new book, Your Real Food Journey: A Gentle Guide to Steady Progress, during nap time. That’s right. The whole book took me a total of 1 hour and 50 minutes to read. It was enjoyable. It was informative. And it gave me what I needed to get us back on the path to eating better, right at the time when I had absolutely no motivation to do so.

Where as Trina’s first book was all about the what of eating Real Food, this book, is all about the why. Why you should; Why you can. Without making it some complicated science project that blows up in your face.

We eat pretty healthy, but Matt is very much into eating healthier and eating more fermented foods {he is a home-brewer after all}. He’s been pouring over this book and the recipes in it, fortunately not with a list of things I need to do. Right now, as I’m typing this, he’s working on making sauerkraut {Trina’s recipe for German Kraut}.

So, just how easy are the recipes in this book?

Tonight was another night that I had no idea what to make for dinner. I knew I had a plethora of ground beef in the house, but had no desire to make tacos, chili, burgers, meatballs or meatloaf {my usual ground beef fair}. I then decided to scroll Trina’s book for a ground beef recipe, and came upon Cheeseburger Soup {page 81}.

Honestly, the idea of ground beef in soup is not my cup of tea, but I figured I’d give it a shot. In the pot went my meat, potatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Tossed in the salt, pepper, {lots of} garlic, and some other spices {we kind of do our own thing around here with spices and herbs}. Mixed in some roux, milk, plain whole milk yogurt {I didn’t have sour cream}, and cheese.

IMG_3661A little while later, dinner was ready! Think of cheesy cream of potato soup with ground beef and carrots: YUM! Even Avie was excited to have soup for Friday’s leftovers.IMG_3666

Where can you get this little gem for yourself? You can get it through Trina directly at And when you do, enjoy the ease in which you’ll be cooking better and more healthful meals for you family, without feeling like you’re going to fail or be overwhelmed.

Friday, August 22

The Blessings of Friendship {a Review}

by Mary Engelbreit

I have long loved Mary Engelbreit. IMG_2982[1]Growing up I always had a day by day calendar with her whimsical illustrations. I still have 2 of those pages on our fridge, one showing a mother lifting high a toddler, with the quote “Within our dreams and our aspirations we find our opportunities”, and the other a father with 3 children {all aptly gendered and hair colored to our own crew} with “Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad”. They’ve been there on my fridge for the better part of 8 years.

When I had the opportunity to review The Blessings of Friendship through BookLookBloggers, I snatched it up! No way would I pass up the opportunity to have some of Engelbreit’s beautiful work in our home. The Blessings of  Friendship is a short collection of illustrations, poems, and verses, all to do with Friendship.

Ave and I read it the other night at bed time, as we both enjoyed each detail of the book. Beautiful words, beautiful pictures, beautiful message of the value of friendship.

This book is great for a little one or to share with a friend. It’s one that I know we will all enjoying looking for years to come.



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.”

Thursday, August 7

My Happy Pumpkin {a Review}

I love Fall. Like really, REALLY love Fall. It could stay Fall pretty much all year, with a few exceptions. As you know I do read and review books, but I’ve never read a children’s book with the intent of reviewing it, until I saw this little gem on the website: My Happy Pumpkin by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gevry.IMG_2064

I’ve gotten a few of this style of book before {Christmas Angels and My Christmas Stocking, both by the same author—Affiliate Link} and the kids and I have loved all of them. This book was no different! It’s a sing-song rhyme-y story telling little ones about God’s love and how He cleans out our yucks and fills us with His light for all the world to see.

The pictures are vibrantly colored and detailed enough for little kids to enjoy. The book is a nice sturdy board book {my kids destroy them way too easily, but I think this one would last at least a week in our house}.

Some of the other reviews stated that they didn’t like the theology, that it somehow emphasized that being good/obedient was the way to be saved. The book simply states that we show God we love Him by obeying, and trying to be good so that other’s can see God’s light in us.

All in all I felt this was a pretty cute book, that makes a great little gift to get people in the spirit of Fall.

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.”

Monday, May 19

The Nesting Place {a Review}

I’ve been eyeballing TheNester’s new book for a while now, and have had it on my to-purchase-with-Amazon-rewards list. While I’ve long loved the Nester, her style isn’t particularly mine, but there are usually a few things I’m oohing and ahhing over on her blog: It’s one of those spaces that are always so clean and bright looking. So you can imagine my pleasure when it popped up as available for reviewing with


While I have never, ever in my life, rented, this book had general all around awesome tips on how to make a house {or apartment or anything else} a home, without getting caught up in the convoluted idea of “Perfect” {which doesn’t exist by the way}.

Myquillyn talked about her own personal struggles with house envy and realizing the need to see beyond that and her budget. This book was just what I needed to help me start thinking about all the new spaces that I’m going to soon be decorating in our home {It gave me a definite paintbrush itch!}

I have always drooled over Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, The Company Store and any other home catalog, only to look at the prices and think yea right. The problem with those “homes” is that they’re not real, people aren’t LIVING in them.

While I would love for my home to be magazine perfect and company ready, what I really want is a home for people to feel comfortable in, and that is Myquillyn’s most important point in this book, creating the home that serves you, your family, while welcoming others into it.

If you’ve been struggling with being happy in your own home or having things just the way you want them, take a gander at this book; because it is so much more than just a how to guide on making your space beautiful.

*I received a digital copy of this book for free from BookLookBlogger in exchange for my review, my opinions here are entirely my own.

You can purchase a copy of this book at or any other book store.

Monday, April 21

Notes from a Blue Bike {a Review}

My grandfather said, just before he died, “Life is like a dream, you blink your eyes…then it’s gone”. And he’s right, the older I get the faster they seem to fly by; and never faster than when I look back. How on earth have Matt and I been together for 14 years, or that Avelyn is 4.5 already, my babies are almost 2.5….it’s crazy!

It took me a while, life has been crazy, but I loved Tsh’s book, Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World. While we aren’t globe trotters or expats, we are human, and we prefer to take things slow. For us, family time is priority, mommy’s creative outlets are a priority, we eat slow to save money and sometimes all the other stuff just needs to fall by the wayside.

Tsh takes her readers through years of her thoughts and experiences of finding what worked best for her and her family to live intentionally. To enjoy this crazy life, without wishing you were doing things differently. Sharing what she learned while living abroad and her processing in figuring out what worked in the crazy American lifestyle.

There are such awesome ideas and tips, as well as insights on how to make your life your own, to not just live the way we’ve grown to believe is normal. In the back of the book there is several pages with information and questions to ask yourself, to figure out the life you want to live.

The price of the book is steep for me, but maybe you and a friend can go in on it together, or buy a copy and pass it around or donate it to your library when you’re done. It was a great read, easy to get through, enjoyable and it overall helped me to put words to the way we feel about how we live our own life in our home. It also helps that I absolutely love the colors on the cover and have my own blue bike.

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers. The thoughts expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, April 9

Mended: Thoughts on Fear, Love, and Leaps of Faith by Anna White {a Review}

A while back I received an email from Anna White, asking if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing her book, Mended: Thoughts on Fear, Love, and Leaps of Faith. I’m always up for a new read!Mended Thoughts on Fear, Love, and Leaps of Faith by Anna White


Mended is a collection of essays inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of beautiful repair. Kintsugi is based on the idea that broken things can be repaired, and once that process is complete they are even more beautiful than before.

I've been broken. I know what it's like to feel shame at my weakness, to starve myself to be worthy, and to want to sleep forever. If I had to guess, I'd say you might be a bit broken too.

But being broken is not the worst thing. We can be mended. Our cracks can become beautiful. We can be even better than new.

This collection of essays focuses on the struggle of living with anxiety and depression, and how to also live with grace and faith in the midst of darkness. It is raw and honest, and does not provide any easy answer or gloss over the pain. It is a narrative of struggle, but also of prayer, of hope, and of rescue.

View the author talking about the book in a short video here:
Book Trailer for Mended

Anna’s book was a joy to read, and a source of joy. With artistry and raw truth she shared her own struggles with depression and her brokeness. Throughout the book Anna beautifully describes the light that broke through her struggles; writing about the every day and how in the every day God began to heal her, and how in each little healing she is getting stronger and better able to find hope, and fight against the darkness.

Mended is all the more gripping, because it is written during the darkest times and as the storm begins to roll back, and the waves crash once again against the shore. Being able to see Anna’s story from inside is a beautiful thing, helping the reader to not feel so alone and devastated by the struggles with depression, and to reach for the bits of light that shine through the every day hurt.

If you’re looking to share in the story of someone else’s brokeness and be able to see how God is mending those broke pieces into something new and beautiful, Anna’s words will give you a renewed sense of God’s work even in the blackness.

You can find Anna’s book on Amazon, or any where else, in both print and digital. Anna blogs at