Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy Cooking A REVIEW

I was just talking to a co-worker whose daughter got married a few weeks ago and she did not receive one cookbook at any of her bridal showers or as a wedding gift. I think cookbooks are somewhat of a lost art, but if you're looking for a good cookbook to give as a gift, this one would be perfect! Every category of dining is included in this awesome book (including a Clean Eating section!). My favorite section is the Weeknight Warrior recipes. As a busy mom, I am always looking for easy dinner recipes for the family.

This book is chockfull of pictures of yummy foods that won't stress you out. That's the premise of her new cookbook, "Make Every Meal Count...Without Stressing Out".

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. Opinions are mine.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Time Chamber *My Review*

Adult coloring books are all the rage these days.  They have become very popular in my Instagram circle of friends.  The benefits of sitting down and coloring can be many.  Stress relief, relaxation, brain stimulation, and increased focus are just some of the benefits one can experience.  I cannot remember the last time I sat down and colored.  I live with 3 boys, so we aren't necessarily the "sit down and have quiet time" kind of family.  But I told my boys that I am going to start taking a little time just for me and engaging in this activity.

The Time Chamber is the perfect book just for me.  The pictures are amazing and look like lots of fun to color.  The cute story that as told also gives me something to look forward to.  Now I just need to sharpen my colored pencils and talk one of my boys into joining me!! {I'm not holding my breath on that one!}

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  Opinions are mine*

Friday, November 6, 2015

Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine *BOOK REVIEW*

I have been reading Crystal's blog Money Saving Mom for years!  I think hers is one of the first blogs I found when I first googled how to save money/be more frugal.  Crystal has really become popular in the blogging, speaking, book writing world.  I have read each of her books and always learn something.  This book did not disappoint me.

I will say this book is geared towards moms who are wanting to make some kind of income from home.  (Disclaimer...I am a registered nurse and have worked in some capacity in the healthcare field since I graduated from IU School of Nursing in 1996)  While I have been working more hours recently (my kids are all in school), this book is full of encouragement and ideas.  Crystal gives practical advice and ways for moms to start earning money from home.  There are several examples of people who have been very successful thinking outside of the box when it comes to making money.

In order to be successful, you have to have a plan and follow through!  Good intentions do not get you very far if you don't take any action.  I think the last 2 chapters of this book are my favorite.  Crystal talks about how we are able to bless others when we have an abundance (whether it's money, clothing, food, time, or other resources).  I have been on both ends of this (giving and receiving), and every time I come away blessed.  Crystal has been blogging for 10 years, and she is a great example of giving to others.  I am glad to be able to share this book with other moms who will be blessed by her words!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review from BookLook Bloggers.  Opinions are mine.*

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Things I've Said to my Children *A REVIEW*

As a mom of three boys, I'm always looking for a little comic relief! This book is just that and more. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each page of "Things I've Said To My Children". And I might have said a few of them myself over the years. I think this would be the perfect gift to give to brand new parents at a couple's baby shower.

The reality is kids do crazy stuff, and you will find yourself saying things you never thought could come out of your mouth. Included in this book are cute illustrations with each sentence. One of my favorite pages is "We Do Not Poop On Books". Made me laugh out loud for sure!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. Opinions are mine.*

Thursday, October 29, 2015

TastyKake minis Influenster Review

My boys love a good after school snack, and thanks to Influenster, they now know all about TastyKake minis!  When we first tried them, they loved them and begged me to buy more.  So for the last month or so I've been searching every store I go into for them.  I even searched stores in Florida while we were down there on fall break.

Last night my oldest son had basketball training, so I shopped at a different Walmart and was so excited when I found the display of TastyKake minis.  I think I heard the Hallelujah Chorus playing in my head.  I had to hide them last night, but will definitely surprise the boys when they get off the bus.

What I love about these is they are pre-packaged in small portions, so no one fights over how many they get.  Everyone gets one package with 3 minis and that's all.  They are really tasty also...just ask one of my boys.

Thanks to Influenster for letting my family try these yummy TastyKakes!  They are now a regular item on my grocery list.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Year of the Dunk *A REVIEW*

Do you ever look back on your life and think, "man I wish I would have (fill in the blank)", or "gee I should have really tried to (fill in the blank)". I am a tall girl and get asked all the time what sports I played in high school. My answer is always the same....none. I often think I should have tried volleyball or basketball or softball. Who knows what might have happened. The author of this book takes this kind of question one step further when he decides to take a year and try to learn to dunk a basketball.

This book is more than his journey. It is a basketball encyclopedia with tons of information on the history of all things basketball related. I thoroughly enjoyed the facts about players and the game of basketball. He included some great stories! As a mom of three boys, I have watched my fair share of basketball in person and on television. This book has given me some good conversation starters for the next time I sit in the bleachers with fellow basketball moms.

To find out if the author learns to dunk, you'll have to read the book yourself!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe *REVIEW*

I have been a big fan of Max Lucado and his non-fiction books for a long time! So I was very excited to be able to read his newest work of fiction. This book revolves around a wife and mother of school-aged kids who is struggling through lots of change in her life. Something I can totally relate to! This book also brings to life the spiritual realm of angels and how they are always nearby protecting us. This is something that is a little harder to relate to, but I loved reading and thinking about it!

"Personally I think there's more going on around us than we realize. I think God uses even the bad and ugly things in this world to lead us to a good place." (pg. 100) This is one of my favorite quotes from the book. And sometimes it is hard to grasp this concept, especially when things are really bad! But this book is full of hope and encouragement for those difficult times. I will definitely be passing this on to a friend who is struggling.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. Opinions are mine.*

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Noah's Voyage *Review*

This is a great book for kids who are just beginning to read. I love that ZONDERkidz has taken the time to create such good books with even better illustrations! My kids loved looking at the cute pictures while reading the story.

I love being able to read simple Bible stories with and to my kids. The lesson in this book is that Noah trusted and obeyed God. After reading this book, we talked about trusting and obeying God today. I love sharing life lessons like this with my kids. It's also a great reminder for me!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  Opinions are mine.*

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Letter to My Mom Review

Mother's Day has come and gone.  The kids get out of school in two days and my productivity will go way down.  It's hard to read when the entire neighborhood is at your house playing basketball and asking for water!  Nine weeks of summer will fly by, then I'll be complaining about homework again.  As a mom of three boys, it was such fun to read this book.  One day I hope to get a letter from one of them {don't worry, my breath is not being held!!}.  

I love reading other people's stories.  Everyone has a mom, and reading stories of love, loss, joy, anger, fun, hard times, and just life in general can be very encouraging.  Some days I wonder if what I'm doing really matters.  Some days I wonder why I was picked to be the mother of my children.  Some days I wonder if we will survive 9 weeks of summer.  Then I read one of these letters and remember being a mom is hard and wonderful and awful and incredible all in the same breath.  Perspective does wonders for the soul.

Any mother would love this book.  A birthday, holiday, or just an ordinary day, this book will bring a smile to your mom's face.  And you can include your own letter to your mom on the first page of the book.  Priceless!!

*I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  Opinions are mine.*

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dial Baby & Dial Kids Review


Do you have messy kids like me?!?  Somedays my boys just like to play in the mud and make a giant mess.  Somedays I let them do just that.  It makes for lots of muddy clothes and towels but happy kids.  Somedays happy kids are more important than worrying about a mess!

This is a picture of my twin boys after a particular muddy, rainy afternoon in the back yard.

Thankfully Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash came to our rescue.  We started by washing hands and feet in the sink with this awesome foaming soap.  One squirt goes a long way.  I love foaming hand wash for this reason.  After hands and feet were clean, they could make their way to the bathtub.  Dial for Kids is a great smelling product that my boys look forward to using and sniffing.

As a Purex Insider, I am able to give away a coupon for a FREE Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash/ OR a FREE Dial Baby Body + Hair Wash).  Just leave a comment saying how many hands are in your family!  Contest ends May 5th at midnight (Cinco de Mayo!).  Good luck.

*The Dial brand provided me with a sample of the Dial Kids Foaming Hand Soap in exchange for my review.  Opinions are mine (and my kids)!*

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Better All the Time *Review*

This is a brand new author for me to read.  Carre Armstrong Gardner is married (like me), has three boys (like me), and is also a nurse (like me!).  The book I read is the second book (of a 3 part series) in the Darling Family.  I've always wondered if authors write all three books at once or if they write one book at a time.  I don't know which would be harder to do.  I have yet to write a book, so I have no idea what the process is like.

This being the second Darling Family novel, I was introduced to several characters.  A large family with kids of all different ages plus some foster kids sprinkled in the mix.  This book concentrates mainly on two sisters.  One who just got a job at the local community theatre and another who is working her way through nursing school.  Both of them are single and seem to be "looking" for someone special, and one of the sisters, Sephy, is on a weight loss journey.  She lacks self confidence and is put in a couple different situations that addresses this problem she needs to deal with.

I really enjoyed getting to know this family.  They have a Thursday evening dinner ritual where everyone is invitation required, which I think is a great idea.  Towards the end of the book, the parents are given some difficult news about the father's health.  With Christmas, a Christmas Day wedding, and their annual New Year's Eve party to plan, they decide to wait to share the news with the family.  I'm thinking this will be discussed in the next book.  I'm looking forward to it already!!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.*

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Gift of Love: One Woman's Journey to Save a Life REVIEW!

I am a Registered Nurse who really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the medical aspects that were talked about, and I learned a lot of things I did not know about kidney transplants. Ironically in the small town I live in, there have been 4 people who either needed a kidney transplant, just got a kidney transplant, or are right now looking for a kidney donor. The age range for these patients are between 11 years old and 70 years old. It really hit home when a mom my age got a new kidney (from another mom my age) over Spring Break. What a gift of love!

I really enjoyed reading the ups and downs of the journey this couple went on. Being chronically ill is hard on everyone in the family. But having a positive outlook and trusting in God can go a very long way. I am thankful for the education this book provided and plan to pass it on to others in my community who will be touched by this story!

I received this book in exchange for my review.  All opinions are mine.  Apply to review books with BookLook Bloggers.  They have an awesome selection of books for bloggers to review!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

PUREX POWER SHOT easy measure liquid laundry detergent

GIVEAWAY IS OVER.  WINNERS (Maureen & EverythingSarah) have been contacted.  Thanks for your participation!

Who wants to win a bottle of the newest PUREX laundry detergent product, PUREX POWER SHOT???  As a Purex Insider, I get the chance to try out new products and share them with my friends and readers.  So what is so special about this new no-spill easy measure liquid detergent?

*this takes the guess work out of measuring laundry detergent
*this is the only bottle that automatically dispenses the right amount of laundry detergent
*super concentrated formula with 50% more stain fighting power
*built-in auto-dosing technology with no waste
*easy to use
*flip the bottle upside down to deliver one dose of detergent
*flip upright and you are done
*use 1 flip for regular loads and 2 flips for extra dirty or large loads


Making this mom's mountain of laundry every few days a little easier to maintain.  What mom doesn't want to make her life easier!!  The PUREX PowerShot is a win-win for me.  Want to win a coupon for a free bottle of this laundry detergent?  Just leave a comment with how many loads of laundry you do in a typical week.  I'll choose 2 winners (one coupon each winner) on February 28th.  Good luck winning this awesome no-spill laundry detergent.  I'm off to so some laundry!!

It Was Me All Along

You have no idea how much I loved this book!  Andie Mitchell is an excellent story teller.  Want to know the part I can relate to the most?  Being an overweight kid!  I was never a small person, and I have spent many years trying to get past this.  Is it easy?  Usually not.  Most days I just try my best to forget about the past and live in the present.  How many diets have I been on?  Too many to count!  How many Mondays did I start a new diet?  Every single one!  Do I love food?  You bet I do!  Have I struggled with my weight?  Every day of my life!  That is why I love this book.  Andie Mitchell has too!  

I love her story and all she represents.  I love that she "gets it" and is so real.  I love that she wants her readers to feel love and accepted to matter what they weigh, eat, or what size their clothes are.  The struggle is definitely real.  Every single day.  This book will be kept in my arsenal and reread when needed!

*I received this book in exchange for my review.  All opinions are mine.*

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The 13th Gift Book Review

This is a long overdue book review.  I got this book in December.  I love to read Christmas stories during the month leading up to December 25th!  And I put off a lot of things until the week before Christmas.  Then I got sick.  Like I cannot get out of bed sick.  I went to work for a day and half drugged up on tylenol & motrin, then I would collapse into bed.  The rest of the week before the holiday I stayed in my bed.  I didn't even make it to our Christmas Eve service at church.  So I learned a little lesson in 2014...if you put off things until the week before Christmas, they might not get done!!  But I am finally getting around to posting this book review.

The 13th Gift is centered around a woman whose husband has died.  She has three children, works full time, and is facing the first Christmas without her husband/father of her children.  She is sad and lonely, and the last thing she wants to do is think about the looming pressure of Christmas.  One evening, their doorbell rings and a package is left on the doorstep with no one in sight.  This turns into a nightly tradition.  It is always a holiday related item (think poinsetta, candy canes, ornaments, cookie cutters, etc...).  And they never catch anyone "in the act"!  This leads to some great conversations, some good quality family time, and lots of excitement for this household.  For a widower who was stuck living in survival mode, this jump started her way out of her funk!  What a great idea to help someone out.

I love this quote at the end of the book by the author Joanne Huist Smith, "We don't all have to become gift givers dashing across darkened lawns in ninja outfits to experience the high that living a generous life can bring.  But even in moments of deepest grief, we can turn off self-survival mode and share with others all that we've learned along the way."

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  All opinions are mine.*