Friday, December 2, 2016

I'm Glad About You

I'm Glad About YouI'm Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I got about a quarter in & just didn't connect with this one.
I'm getting better at letting go of books that I don't care for. Why waste the time - so many good books, so little time.
I think it didn't help that I read reviews before & got the jest of the ending... & then a quarter through, the characters just irritated me & I flipped to the last few pages of the book (GASP!!!) & read... & yeah, knowing the ending, it didn't make me want to fill up the 'in between' so I just scraped it.
Maybe I'll try it some other time... probably not.

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The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia StoryThe Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cant even begin to say how much I loved this book. I want to buy it for every one. For every woman, for every mom, for every person with a dream.
I love Chip & Joanna Gaines anyways but to read their life story makes me love them even more.
I honestly swooned so many times in this book. Just to hear the story of these two individually, & together & how their show came to be & their success. The stories of their childhood, to how they met & the wisdom they have learned through the years is just so heart warming. & I love how they balance each other out through so many of lifes ups & downs. How they clearly saw God working in their lives & feeling His presence.
Y'all, I can't say enough about this book. If you like their show, if you like them, you are going to ADORE this book. If you have no idea who they are, I'd still think you'd like this book. It's just a good true life story that is filled with heart, wisdom & love.
I'm sad to see it end.... it gave me the warm fuzzes the whole time.

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These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.

The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.

In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:

The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby

Joanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children

When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck

Joanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home

Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple

Memories and photos from Chip and Jo’s wedding

The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do

The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way

And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”

Friday, November 18, 2016

Listen, Love, Repeat

Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered WorldListen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World"... man, if that doesnt describe today's world, I dont know what does.

I absolutely loved this book.

It's full of things we already know - putting people first, loving the unlovable, giving of yourself in your time & your gifts - but its just good to be reminded of these things. Its full of great ideas too & tips to learn how to hear people's "heart drops" - the things that matter to them. They're there if we just notice.

I really loved the reminder on how everything we have here is not ours, but God's... & we need to use it to glorify & honor him.
& of course, I loved that in this book, there's a Beauty & the Beast shout out! HOLLA!! I had to laugh when she asks if anyone know thats movie & I'm sitting there with a Belle bookmark holding the page ;)

Probably the best take away I got from this book though is how Jesus always served the person in front of him... even if he was traveling to help someone else. It was really eye opening to me to notice every one in my path every minute of the day. How can I serve that one person, that group of people. This was really moving to me... a kick in the butt by Jesus himself.

This really is a nice easy read - full of tips & ideas. I love how there the tips are scattered throughout, as well as little snippets. I especially loved the one with about "sandpaper spouses" - the opposite that can rub you the wrong way - or to make one another better, stronger. (Was Karen watching Ricky & I when she wrote that snippet?)

I wasn't sure if this was going to bore me - which some of these self aware books do - but this one was really enjoyable to me.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Starting Now

Starting Now (Blossom Street, #9)Starting Now by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always enjoy Debbie Macomber. Clean stories that are refreshing & laid back, always holding good values & sense of faith, grace & all the good things of God.

I really was excited to see another book in the Blossom series. When "A Good Yarn" came out, it was one of my favorite. A story revolved around a yarn store & knitting? I'm so there! And its been nice to see all the books following including all the people who have stopped into this little store & we've gotten to know. It was nice to visit with Lydia, Brad, Casey & Cody again.

This time, we meet Libby. A lawyer who has no time for knitting... until she gets laid off. Her life changes completely. How do you go from being a workaholic whose only concern is making partner, to someone who spends her time rocking babies in a hospital & mentoring a young middle school girl.

Libby learns what friendship is, what it means to invest in others, how it feels to fall in love again... but what happens when she gets her old life back.

I enjoyed reading about Libby's life & decisions she had to make, but as most Macomber books, I could tell you how it was going to end, & how it was pretty predictable. That's my only grief with it... but I still enjoyed it... & looking forward to meeting more people who stop on Blossom Street.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always been a fan of Liz Curtis Higgs... Shout out for a Louisville gal!!!!
But I love her writing & her personality which shines through her books.

This one is a little different than some of her others as this can be used as a devotional, which I've been doing.

She had asked for some of women's favorite scriptures & she took the top 31 that people sent & this is what the book is - a break down of the scriptures for every day.

& I love the way she breaks it down. It's not 'teachy' in the over-your-head way teaching scripture can be - but a way of breaking it down like you're sitting with your girlfriend & she's explaining to you in the simpliest of terms.

Liz urges you to memorize these scriptures too so you know they deeply & more personally as well.

I really do love this book & am glad to have it & learn from it.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

This is Where It Ends

This Is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure if I should give it one star or be generous & give two... but I just really didnt like much about this book at all.
First, I knew the topic of a school shooting was going to be intense. I just didnt realize how intense this was going to be. Like a little too much for me. A little too much in the sense that it was too fast & too scattered in the story telling.
We're seeing this story of a teenager come to an auditorium & lock the students in & go on a shooting rampage. Why? Because he obviously is troubled. He's lost his mother - his father is abusive - & apparently he can't handle his sister's sexuality. It all just angered me because it felt like none of it made any sense. I guess in reality, most shootings dont make sense - so I'll give it that.
& in each chapter, we are visiting with each of the 4 people centrally involved - Ty's sister, her girlfriend, the girlfriend's brother & Ty's ex girlfriend.
To say there were a lot of characters to keep up with is an understatement. For every 4 of the stories, there are a few more people connected to each one. It can get sketchy on whose who.
& in the end? I was just angry at who didn't make it out of the school at the end of the day & the results for Ty.
I didn't find any enjoyment in this book at all. Left angry & frustrated. Again, could make it a better than 1 star rating? But let's just chalk this rating up to my anger speaking.

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10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Everything is Beautiful - Adult Coloring Book

Image result for everything beautiful coloring book

I have the Whatever is Lovely coloring book as well
.. made by the same people...
These are the BEST .. seriously, the BEST.
The paper is so thick & nice. I use colored markers & they dont bleed through to the page below it.
& the paper makes it smooth to color on as well.
The designs are all so beautiful - hence the name I guess ;)
But I really could take some of these & pull out & frame & make a collage on my wall.
They are that worthy of the artistic look these pages have.
I gave a bunch of the Whatever is Lovely coloring books for Christmas last year.
This may be my go-to gift for this year.