Friday, November 22, 2013

Unconventional Headboards

I am about to embark upon a project, a curtain headboard project.  I have the smallest bedroom in the house and too much furniture as it is so I have no headboard or footboard. I have been trying to decide between a painted headboard and a curtain headboard.  I purchased a curtain panel tonight on clearance and and am going to give it a try.  I don't have a bedframe and only one panel so it may not loof this full or rich but these are some great inspirations for some not so conventional headboards.

What is your favorite?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vanity Removed

I remember as a teen waking up very early before school to hot roll my hair... yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, what on earth are hot rollers? They are incredibly hot torture devices girls of the eighties used to use to beautify ourselves. I would sweat my butt off sitting in front of a fan waiting for my hair to set hoping my makeup didn't melt in the process.

Vanity? I suppose. Vanity seems to die along with age, or is it just me? Don't get me wrong, I still try to look nice. Perhaps it was the cancer and being bald. I am not sure but somewhere I have mellowed out a bit and don't mind so much what others think.

Our society puts so much pressure on us to conform to look a certain way.  It is sad really.

I recently took some medicine to reduce water gain in my ankles. Unfortunately, it absorbed the fluid that had been residing in my breast which had a quadrant of tissue removed from breast cancer seven years ago. Now I am totally lopsided and there is over a two cup size difference.

No worries right? I am alive. I am healthy.

Until bathing suit season comes...

See? Society. I am blessed. Period. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter to me and no one else should be looking to notice anyhow.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe: A Review

Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe

by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro
Annick Press Ltd.

My Thoughts: 
Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe is a colorful, rhyming book for preschoolers and early elementary which focuses mostly on shapes.  The title is deceiving and the book is nothing at all about Zebras.  This title is a good reference to introduction a child to shapes.  I give this book three out of six stars. 

Publishers Synopsis: 
This little book shows children that squares are here and there, and if they keep an eye out,
then stripes are everywhere.
The fun, simple text and vibrant design of Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe explore the concept of squares and stripes. Using words such as 'cube,' 'line,' 'block,' and 'band,' short poems encourage readers to spot the similarities (and differences) between the shapes of the stripes on a zebra and the stripes on a crosswalk, for example, or between a square soda cracker and cubes of cheese.
A square puzzle piece has four corners, as does a square chocolate (until someone takes a bite)! Slats on a fence and striped socks both have lines, too -- but on one of them, you can't see through!

I was furnished a digital copy of this title free of charge from the publisher for review.  This is my honest opinion of this title.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alphabet Everywhere: A Review

Elliott Kaufman
Abbeville Press

My Thoughts:

"Letters Everywhere" encourages letter recognition and turns the alphabet into an everyday scavenger hunt game. There are no words in this book, only the pictures that are portraying the designated letters of the alphabet, five photos for each letter of the alphabet. All the photos are of object that resemble letters of the alphabet by photographer Elliott Kaufman.

Alphabet Everywhere is a fun, creative book. The one negative aspect, the lack of an example, actual letter would pose difficulty with beginner readers. I would suggest this book for a moderate level or advanced youngsters to encourage letter recognition through artistic mediums in an interactive activity.

Publisher's Synopsis:

There is a world of letters just waiting to be discovered in the world around us -- if we know how to look for it.

n this engaging and delightful book, photographer Elliott Kaufman reveals the "secret" life of the alphabet through his photographs, showing how letters can be found in things we encounter every day. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by multiple images, each unintentionally created by the intersection of architectural details, shadows, light, or natural elements as caught by Kaufman's keen eye. Some are obvious, while others demand a little more imagination to recognize, inviting the readers to start their own game of hunting for letters! This fun approach also reinforces the notion that learning to see the familiar in new ways encourages visual literacy and creativity.

Elliott Kaufman is an architectural photographer whose work has been displayed in venues such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Light Gallery (NYC). He currently teaches at Queens College and the International Center for Photography.

I received a free digital copy of this book. My opinions are my honest opinions.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Feng Shui Simply: A Review

Feng Shui Simply
Change Your Life From the Inside Out
Cheryl Grace

Hay House, Inc
I have attempted to research Feng Shui but have little success. Cheryl Grace's book is not just the simplicity implied in the title, but how each lesson is so easy and practical and leaved you empowered enough to put the methods into practice. Her explanation of how clutter affects the subconscious mind, and blocks the flow of energy in our lives is definitely an Ah-ha moment.

The author explains the aspects and elements that make up Feng Shui in a very "simple," understandable way. Each area of living space is oriented by the position of the front door, and a Bagua map is provided to help the reader to orient their own space. The nine sections represent aspects of one's life such as money or relationships. The purpose is to enhance or balance these areas using Ying and Yang and all five Chinese elements - water, fire, etc. which are represented by materials as well as colors.

I highly recommend this book.

Publisher's Synopsis:
In Feng Shui Simply, Cheryl Grace digs deep into the principles of feng shui to present an exciting new view of this age-old concept and shows that feng shui isn’t just about rearranging your furniture or painting your walls; it goes much deeper. She opens your eyes to how feng shui can be used to balance the energy of every part of your life—both in your external and internal environments. Grace shows that bringing your focus to both of these worlds is a powerful way to design the life you’re meant to live.

In these pages, Grace takes you on a journey to design your living spaces using the classic Bagua map—a chart separating physical spaces into nine areas, each representing a different aspect of life, such as wealth, family, and career. But perhaps more importantly, she goes one step further, teaching you the inner work of feng shui using her own Inner Wisdom Bagua map, which correlates the characteristics, beliefs, and attitudes that will help you flourish in each area of your life.

Sharing anecdotes from her own experience switching careers from an ESPN executive to a feng shui consultant, as well as her clients’ success stories, Grace walks you through each area of the standard and Inner Wisdom Bagua maps to create unique solutions for your life. She teaches you to harness the power of your intuition to determine what’s true and important for you. And she offers practical tools based on concepts such as Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, and the Magical Day, to help you figure out which enhancements will be the most effective in transforming your life.

By celebrating key principles like universal gratitude, a positive outlook, and living in the present moment, she shows you how to manage life on a day-to-day basis and points you toward your life’s true purpose.

I received a digital copy of this title from NetGalley in return for my accurate, true opinion.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sunday Dinners: Our Favorite Pastors Bring Together Family, Food and Faith to the Table: A Review

Author: Diane Cowen

My Thoughts: I adore cookbooks. This one is terrific. Sunday Dinners focuses on meal planning from well known ministers across America, such as Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. Each pastor contributes their favorite recipes along with full-color photos. I am looking forward to trying several of these. There are recipes for every cook level, taste and size of family. Great resource.

I would have like to have seen more recipes and a little less Biography of the contributing pastors.

Publisher's Synopsis: A cookbook that feeds the body and soul, featuring recipes and inspiring stories from some of America’s most prominent pastors, and encouraging everyone to come to the table and celebrate Sunday suppers with grace and good food. Sunday Dinners brings readers to the kitchen and dining-room tables of fourteen of America’s favorite pastors and their families as they share their Sunday traditions, mealtime blessings, inspiring stories, strong family values, and favorite recipes.

Research shows that eating dinner together strengthens a family’s bond, and Sunday dinners are especially sacred. They are a time to bring everyone together, catch up, teach children manners and social skills, stay connected with teens, learn about family history and values, and nourish our bodies and souls.

In Sunday Dinners, the pastor families who share their experiences are known not just for their successes in the pulpit and in their communities but also for the strong families they have built. They preach it, and they live it, and that’s inspiring. This is a cookbook to be read and savored, to remind us that no matter how busy we think we are, we can still take time to come together, break bread, and connect with family and good friends.

I received a free digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself: A Review

Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself
Lissa Rankin
Hay House Publishing

My Thoughts:

I highly recommend this book.  Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology teaching you to take more of an active role in your own health, especially for those times when you do need the help of doctors and medicine.

Dr. Rankin gives us a six-step program to help with your own healing process. These steps help us discover where we are off balance and then form a positive solution for those areas which allow us to tune into our body's signals so we can take steps to heal.

“By the time you finish Mind Over Medicine, you’ll have made your own Diagnosis, written your own Prescription, and created a clear action plan designed to help you make your body ripe for miracles.”

An index would have been a great addition.

Definitely worth the read. 

Publisher's Synopsis:
 We’ve been led to believe that when we get sick, it’s our genetics. Or it’s just bad luck—and doctors alone hold the keys to optimal health. For years, Lissa Rankin, M.D., believed the same. But when her own health started to suffer, and she turned to Western medical treatments, she found that they not only failed to help; they made her worse. So she decided to take matters into her own hands.     Through her research, Dr. Rankin discovered that the health care she had been taught to practice was missing something crucial: a recognition of the body’s innate ability to self-repair and an appreciation for how we can control these self-healing mechanisms with the power of the mind. In an attempt to better understand this phenomenon, she explored peer-reviewed medical literature and found evidence that the medical establishment had been proving that the body can heal itself for over 50 years.     Using extraordinary cases of spontaneous healing, Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology. She lays out the scientific data proving that loneliness, pessimism, depression, fear, and anxiety damage the body, while intimate relationships, gratitude, meditation, sex, and authentic self-expression flip on the body’s self-healing processes.     In the final section of the book, you’ll be introduced to a radical new wellness model based on Dr. Rankin’s scientific findings. Her unique six-step program will help you uncover where things might be out of whack in your life—spiritually, creatively, environmentally, nutritionally, and in your professional and personal relationships—so that you can create a customized treatment plan aimed at bolstering these health-promoting pieces of your life. You’ll learn how to listen to your body’s “whispers” before they turn to life-threatening “screams” that can be prevented with proper self-care, and you’ll learn how to trust your inner guidance when making decisions about your health and your life.     By the time you finish Mind Over Medicine, you’ll have made your own Diagnosis, written your own Prescription, and created a clear action plan designed to help you make your body ripe for miracles. 

I received this book free from NetGalley to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mindful Living Miraval: A Review

Hay House Publishing

My Thoughts:

Miraval is a luxurious spa retreat in Tuscon, Arizona. This would be a great coffee table nook. I receive a free digital copy from the publisher for my honest review. This book was NOT designed to be viewed digitally. The font was very small and too light to read. This is definitely a beautiful book you would want to flip through but not purchased digitally.

The photographs are absolutely gorgeous. Each chapter follows the calendar year and address a topic with that month. There are spa treatments, recipes, meditations.

Publisher's Synopsis:

Mindful Living is designed to help you more fully celebrate each moment of your life. Twelve specialists from the Miraval resort—ranging from exercise physiologists to chefs to spiritual healers—bring their expertise to chapters centered on the key tenets of the Miraval philosophy, such as balance, joy, and developing the ability to overcome obstacles. This book brings Miraval to the reader and is designed to be helpful for both those who have never visited and regular guests of the resort. Through recipes, exercises, meditations, and spa treatments, readers are shown a wide variety of practical ways to implement the changes they desire. While the topics addressed in Mindful Living may seem broad, they are held together through the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to live in the present, using simple tools like the breath to help you remain focused, calm, and capable of making the kind of decisions that will lead to a better life. Just as life is a journey, so is Mindful Living, moving through the months of the year and encouraging you to get the most out of each stage of the cycle.

I received this book free from NetGalley to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Review: I Dream of an Elephant

By: Ami Rubinger
Abbeville Press
Abbeville Kids

My Thoughts:
Adorable!!  I admit the cover of this book does NOT do it any justice at all.  I was not expecting much but this book is simply adorable.  I Dream on an Elephant is: Rhyming and interactive, colorful and creative, just the perfect length.  This mom of six is past the picture book stage but my seven year old daughter loves it anyhow.  I highly recommend this great book.

Publisher's Synopsis:
From the author–illustrator of Abbeville's Big Cat, Small Cat comes another rhyme–completion concept book, teaching children about colors through bright landscapes of loveable elephants.

I Dream of an Elephant takes readers through a wondrous world where they will encounter elephants of many colorful shades that sing, dance, and play. Each page's descriptive sing–song text leaves out the last word, allowing little ones to chime in and complete the rhyme while learning a range of colors. Amusing color–themed illustrations provide clues for the words that have been left out. I Dream of an Elephant teaches children about colors with a fun, fill–in–the–blank challenge that encourages participation.

Accomplished illustrator Ami Rubinger once again turns his humorous and imaginative eye to an otherwise simple subject. His colorful elephants will make little faces smile, and the rhyming game will have them learning words and colors.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I loved it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Review: The Washington Post Cookbook

Readers' Favorite Recipes
Bonnie Benwick (Compiler),
Phyllis Richman (Foreword)
Time Capsule Press, LLC
Bookmasters, Inc

My Thoughts:
The variety of recipes will ensure every reader will find recipes he/she loves. The layout is beautiful, the photos mouth-watering (though too few for my taste). The caramel apple pie and lemon chicken are on my too try this week recipes.

I love to “read” cookbooks, they are one of my greatest weaknesses. This is a keeper.

Publisher's Synopsis:
This first-ever cookbook from the Washington Post’s Food section contains over 150 favorite recipes from a variety of categories including drinks, meats, salads, soups, starters, vegetables, and desserts. Selected by the editors of the Post’s Food section, the book includes a foreword by Phyllis Richman, its long-time editor. The Post’s Food section has been recognized nationally for its food reporting as a past James Beard Award winner.

I received a digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. My review is honest and purely my opinion.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Review: Year Round Slow Cooking

By: Dina Cheney
The Taunton Press, Inc.

My Thoughts:
This is a great resource for the avid crock pot cook. Most of the recipes included require a bit more preparation time than this working mom of six has though.

This cookbook contains: Separate sections for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall recipes, colorful photographs and easy to understand instructions.

I would have loved to see more dessert recipes though. This is a good resource for anyone wanting to step up their crock pot database of recipes.

Publisher's Synopsis:

Slow cookers are popular for good reason: They’re the ultimate kitchen problem solvers. If you’re watching your budget, they’re well worth the $30 they cost since they can turn the cheapest cuts of meat into unctuous, mouth-watering results worthy of a five-star restaurant. Slow cookers also do the hard work, cooking for hours while you’re out of the house only to come home to a meal just about ready to eat. And since slow cookers keep food warm, they allow different family members to eat at different times: a practical option in a world of staggered schedules.

Yet, slow cookers have an image problem. Most home cooks use them for cold weather meals only, while others think slow cookers can only produce food that’s mushy, bland, and watery or rely solely on shortcut ingredients like spice packets, bouillon cubes, and bottled sauces.

No longer does this must-have kitchen tool deserve to be stored away when spring months hit. In Year-Round Slow Cooker, home cooks will find 100 delicious, modern, practical slow cooker recipes featuring seasonal produce. Recipes speak to the home cook whose palate is more sophisticated and who wants to incorporate seasonal produce into all of her meals.

Organized by season, Year-Round Slow Cooker features notes about the featured seasonal ingredients as well as invaluable tips throughout to help cooks maximize the power of the slow cooker.
Note: I received a digital copy of this book at no charge and the opinions given are mine alone, I have not been compensated in any way.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

I have decided to participate in the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge.  I am now on Day Four and feeling great!  I actually slept last night and I am a MAJOR insomniac!  

The Spark Energy drinks get you going and keep you going without the crash from sugary drinks or coffee.  I am very glad I have decided to do this challenge.

If you would like any more information about Advocare please stop by me new micro site here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Featured Art

Kiera's Masterpiece - Age 5

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beautiful Front Walkways

I am on a quest to make an entry walkway from the driveway to the front door (truly so no one breaks a leg tripping over one of the bikes on the porch but shhh...).  I certainly don't want to increase the taxes on my house so concrete is out.  Eight residents also means trippers (pavers, throwing discuses) are out of the questions as well. I am thinking about a  gravel walkway.  Here are some photos of styles I am leaning toward.  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Amazing Concrete Floor Treatments

1.  We have a new puppy in the house.
2.  Our house is home to six kids, two grown ups, three cats (two outside) and seven, yes seven, dogs (five are outside and most are available for adoption, hint, hint, hint).
3.  This house was a rental for about fifteen years, we rented it for two years and then we purchased the home.
4.  The whole house padded indoor/outdoor carpet that has the special skill of snagging and getting sucked up in the vacuum brush roller, followed by cursing and surgery on the vacuum....

I want new flooring!!! I need new flooring!!! Our budget most certainly will not allow hardwood flooring, carpeting or even vinyl so I am considering treating the concrete slab under the carpet.  There are so many creative people out there.  I have seen, stained concrete, painted, concrete, paper bags glued to the concrete and then polyed over, so many ideas!! (Eeeek)

Here is a great ideas I ran across on the web, what is your favorite treatment?

Google Images


What do you think?

70 Percent of Easter Items at Select Target Stores

Heads up bargain hunters, readers say Target has now put Easter clearance to 70% off.  Check your local stores to verify the clearance percentage.  

I always scan each and every item at a self serve price checker to verify prices before I go to the register, some items actually ring up for less that the 70% off.  Happy Bargaining!  

I already stocked up on Monday at our CVS store (50% off) so there will be NO MORE CANDY IN THIS HOUSE.  For the time being that is...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Special K Chocolatey Delight and Red Berries Reviews

Kellogg's Special K Chocolatey Delight, not delightful in our household'a opinion.  I always love the flakes in all the Special K cereals. The flakes have substance, good flavor, hold up well in milk and best of all have a crunch factor!  However the "chocolate" aspect tastes nothing like chocolate. It must have some chocolate in it because I have the first pimple I have had in about two years thanks to the two bowls I had last week... ugh. Even my sixteen year old son said there was something wrong with the chocolate in it.  I bought three boxes of it at Wal-Mart for one dollar a box.  I never would have payed the higher than average retail price.

Kellogg's Special K Red Berries, very enjoyable.  I loved this cereal and wish I had grabbed more than five boxes of it when Wal-Mart was closing it out at one dollar a box. We woofed that stuff right down!  However, the higher than average price for a box of this delicious cereal will not have me placing this in my shopping cart, I shall stick with the store brands.  The store brand flakes don't hold up as well or taste as good but for that much savings I will buy store brand.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My February Reading List

Here is a list of some of the books I am set to review this month.  What are you reading??

You're Still the One

By Janet Dailey, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Bass, Mary Carter

Headlined by New York Times bestselling author Janet Dailey, a compelling collection of four contemporary romance novellas in which couples who were once together—and then broke up—find their way back to each other many years later.

“The Devil and Mr. Chocolate” by Janet Dailey tells of art gallery owner Kitty Hamilton, who is newly engaged to a delicious Belgian chocolatier. But her artist ex-husband, Sebastian is determined to sabotage her plans with an even more tempting indulgence—the irresistible chemistry they still share.
In “The Apple Orchard” by Cathy Lamb, when an injury lands Allie Pelletier in the emergency room, she comes face-to-face with the only man she’s ever truly loved—Dr. Jace Rios. Can Jace mend their wounded past and show Allie they’re destined to be together?
Mary Carter’s “A Kiss before Midnight” introduces Rebecca Ryan, who has never forgotten the magical night she spent in New Orleans with musician Grant Dodge. Now 20 years later, Rebecca is reunited with Grant. Their attraction is as electric as ever—and they have more to catch up on than either imagined.
In “Romeo & Juliet…and Jane” by Elizabeth Bass, veterinarian Jane Canfield’s first love, Roy McGillum returns to town, and memories of their high school performance as Romeo and Juliet—and their real-life romance—come rushing back.

Like Bug Juice on a Burger
By Julie Sterngerg


I hate camp. I just hate it. I wish I didn’t. But I do. Being here is worse than bug juice on a burger. Or homework on Thanksgiving. Or water seeping into my shoes. In this sequel to the critically acclaimed Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Eleanor is off to summer camp. At first she’s excited to carry on the family tradition at Camp Wallumwahpuck, but when she gets there she finds icky bugs, terrible food, and worst of all: swim class, where she just can’t seem to keep up with everyone else. But as the days go on, Eleanor realizes that even the most miserable situations can be full of special surprises and that growing up is full of belly flops.

The Cassoulet Saved our Marriage:
True Tales of Food, Family & How We Learn to Eat

edited by Caroline M. Grant, Lisa Catherine Harper


The oysters they ate together the first night in their new city. The chicken Milanese she learned to cook after weight-loss surgery. The cassoulet that both anchors and rebuilds their crumbling marriage.
From the $6 peach to boxed macaroni and cheese, food is never just about what we eat. It is the fuel for our life stories. The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage is an anthology of original essays about how we learn (and relearn) to eat, and how pivotal food is beyond the table. Without mantras or manifestos, twenty-nine writers serve up sharp, sweet, and candid memories; salty irreverence; and delicious original recipes.
You will recognize yourself in these stories. These writers, journalists, and chefs are also parents, husbands, wives, children, and caregivers-just like us. They let you see behind the scenes into the kitchens (and shopping carts) of real American families. With crisp honesty, they articulate for us how food-in our culture, in our lives, and in our families-is sometimes as simple as a pasta sauce, or as complex as cassoulet. The true gift of these essays is that they give voice to our own innermost thoughts and questions. Who hasn't considered the ethics of not eating meat, or eating meat again? We all mull over fat, calories, GMOs, and whether to shop at big-box stores or farmers' markets. We celebrate and grieve with food, and we wonder what to do when food becomes the enemy. With reassuring candor, these writers show that it's never too late-and easier than we think-to change what we serve on our tables every day.

Princess Addison Gets ANGRY

Written by Molly Martin
Illustrated by Melanie Florian


Princess Addison is used to getting whatever she wants. But when it starts raining and she can't go outside with her dogs, she gets very angry. Princess Addison becomes Princess Angry and must learn how to deal with her emotions.

From the Princess Heart series. For ages 2-6. The Princess Heart series offers charming, relatable stories that help a child identify and deal with emotions. Fresh art and adorable princess characters will fill every heart with happiness!

* Perfect for teaching how to deal with different emotions
* Different princess character in each story offers variation to the series
* Universal topic that girls can relate to: every girl wants to be a princess; young children experience these common emotions (anger, happiness, sadness, and fear).

Every Day is a New Shade of Blue:
Comfort for Dark Days from Psalm 23

By David Roper
Many people live each day overwhelmed with anxiety and fear—afraid of what has happened in the past, unable to deal with the present, and anxious about the future. Finding a sense of peace and direction can seem hopeless, especially when your heart is troubled.
Every Day Is a New Shade of Blue offers wisdom from Psalm 23 to strengthen your faith and encourage your heart. Focusing on the Shepherd and sheep relationship and drawing from the well of his own experience, author David Roper shares biblical insights and timely quotes that reveal the heart of God as the Good Shepherd.
Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of trusting God to provide for you, guide you, and protect you. Discover how you can put your trust in God, develop an attitude of contentment, and experience a sense of well-being under His watchful care.

There's a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse

By Jessie Clemence


There’s no doubt about it! Motherhood changes your life—mentally, emotionally, and physically. “So if you’re feeling inadequate for the job, join the crowd!” says Jessie Clemence. “No one is adequate! We all need to humbly seek God’s wisdom and blessings to raise these children.”
There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse creatively expresses many parenting issues faced by moms and offers encouragement to help you on your journey. You’ll enjoy Clemence’s sense of humor and casual tone as she explores God’s perspective on motherhood and also shares her personal experiences as a mother of two. Not only will you find practical insights and biblical wisdom, but you’ll also find a funny quiz, interesting interviews with moms, study questions, and more.
Reminding you to rely on God to help you display humility, patience, and love, Clemence says, “Thanks to God’s grace, I have far more patience than I ever knew existed. And you, too, can have this blessing.  May God teach you about His patience as He continues to teach me.”

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Review

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By Jamie Ford

My Thoughts:  I review books and receive most of them free for review but I actually purchased this book full price for my Nook. I was disappointed.  I had been on a blah book reading run and really wanted to read something good. The storyline was good.  The writing style lacked though.  I did read it through though and toward the end did pick up and become more enjoyable.  Personally though, I would recommend using your hard earned money on something a little more entertaining.  If I was asked directly by a friend what I thought of this book I would say – It is fair, though not my "cup o' tea".

Publisher’s Synopsis:  In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

Soup of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year

Kate McMillan (Author), Erin Kunkel (Photographer)
My Thoughts: As a fulltime working mom of six I have become a pro at tweaking my recipes to match my measly grocery budget. Over the years I have come up with some creative ways to stretch my grocery budget, most of which include a casserole, soup or stew. This recipe book from Williams-Sonoma is right up my alley! I am a seasoned mommy chef/cook so I absolutely love using recipe ideas to conjure up my own creations. This book has some terrific inspiration. Whether you are a strict recipe follower or a creator like me you will definitely enjoy this book. It will become your go to resource when you are craving some comfort food. Highly recommended. Five Stars

Publisher’s Synopsis: Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day offers a tantalizing collection of 365 soup recipes: one for each day of the year. Colorful calendars at the beginning of each chapter offer an at-a-glance view of the dishes best suited for the ingredients, occasions, and typical weather of the month. From January to December, you’ll find a seasonal soup that will satisfy any craving, and match any meal ranging from a quick weeknight supper to an elegant dinner party. A handful of the recipes are even appropriate for the holiday table, while others are perfect for using up a leftover roast or chicken. Notes accompanying each recipe offer ideas for ingredient variations, garnishes, and other helpful tips. All of the soups can be dressed up or dressed down; served in rustic earthenware mugs or on heirloom china; garnished with a flourish of fried herbs or dollop of pesto, or stripped down to the bare, tasty essentials—the possibilities are endless, but always delicious.

Whether it’s a hearty beef stew suited for a chilly winter evening or a cool tomato gazpacho perfect for a hot summer day, the wealth of simple and delicious recipes and beautiful full-color photography will satisfy any soup-lover’s craving throughout the year. Soup of the Day is also available as a digital edition on the iBookstore.

Disclosure: I viewed this e-book free from the publisher through I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Review: I Didn't Sign Up for This: Navigating Life's Detours

I Didn't Sign Up for This: Navigating Life's Detours
By Aaron Sharp

My Thoughts:
The book is based upon Elijah and 1 Kings 19. The author also explains how to use the Bible to retrace the steps of how we get on these “detours”. The author teaches that a detour often is a result of unmet expectations. This book is inspirational and uplifting and could benefit people who are currently facing life’s challenges. Readers will develop an understanding that sometimes God is silent, sometimes he intervenes and sometimes he speaks, it is His choice, not ours. Four Stars

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Without the least bit of notice, life can take a sudden turn down a road we never anticipated or never would have chosen to travel. I Didn't Sign Up for This: Navigating Life's Detours offers insights from the life and times of the prophet Elijah to encourage readers who have suddenly veered off the road into a wilderness experience. It provides guidelines and tools to help readers align their expectations with God's plan, fuel their lives with faith to overcome their fears, and find their way home. It offers fresh perspective on the need for God's direction throughout life's journey.

Disclosure: I viewed this e-book free from the publisher through I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.