Thursday, December 31, 2015

Whatever is Lovely

Whatever Is Lovely: A Coloring Book for Reflection and WorshipWhatever Is Lovely: A Coloring Book for Reflection and Worship by Waterbrook Press
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am such a fan of the Adult Coloring books & love they are coming out with these ones that have such special meaning with motivational & spirtual pages to color.
Being a Bible Journal fan, this just feeds into that love I have for this sort of art.
Cant say enough about these books.
Note: I use Crayola markers & they dont bleed through - great quality paper.

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Promise Me

Promise MePromise Me by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always like to read a Richard Paul Evans book during the holidays...

they are easy to read, fast to digest & just lovely little stories.

This is the one about a woman who finds out her life isn't what it seems when her husband reveals some truths before he passes away, leaving her guarded & afraid to trust anyone.

& then enters Matthew. A man who knows things that he shouldn't & a man who helps her trust again. But where is he from & how does he know these things?

I thought the story was going to go one direction & it went another.
I don't want to give any spoilers, but it was a little hard for take in the direction it did go.... while it has a sweet story to it, it just rubbed me as a little strange. Even if you suspend belief to follow the story, its still just "odd"...

Saying that, I did still enjoy reading it during the holidays just because it was a quick, easy, laid back kinda read during a busy time.

I dont think I could ever NOT like a Richard Paul Evans book...

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Library of Souls

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #3)Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The final book of the series.

I was so excited about it especially after loving book #2 so much.

... & in usual fashion, I like book #1, LOVE book #2... & book #3? ... meh...

This closed up the series on the Peculiar Children, who at the end of the book #2 were kidnapped, as well as Miss Peregrine herself & the other ymbrynes (I know - talk you wont get unless you read the book) ... & so Jacob & Emma are pretty much on their own, as well as a talking dog, Addison, & who they meet along the way, to get their friends back, rescue all the ymbrynes & get to a loop where everyone will be safe.

It was definitely action packed - a LOT happening.. & that may have been what didn't strike me so much. It just seemed like a lot of action was happening for things that didn't really need to happen. Felt like a lot of space filler. I also didn't like we didn't have the whole gang for more then half of the book. I like them working together, using all of their Peculiar powers together...

I think I may have even skipped a chapter or two to hurry it up - BUTTTTTT - towards the end, I did really enjoy the way they wrapped it up - even though it did feel a little rushed after 300 pages of leading up to it (again, filler?) ...

& really, I liked the way the book came to conclusion, so thats why I ended up giving it 3 stars... & in all honestly, I can see another book or series coming from this later or maybe even Jacob's children? grandchildren? ... that'd be fun to pick it up again in another story line.

Until then... it was nice to meet all the Peculiar children & Miss Peregrine.

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The Time Garden

When I saw this coloring book was up for review, I had to jump on it.

If you know me, I am a coloring addict - & am loving all of these adult coloring books.

& this is a beautiful coloring book to add to the collection - a REAL book.

Beautiful pages - so many different designs - I love it.

I use markers & none of my pages bled through & held the color so well.  I really am impressed with this book & now I want to check out the others in this series.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Before I Fall

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked it, but I didn't want to like it...

I mean the story is about a girl who dies but she relives a day over & over again - almost like a Groundhog Day for a teenage girl & all the drama that carries with it... but I was just hoping the ending would be different.

& I actually wasn't sure what the ending was going to be. I couldn't wait to see what happened every time Sam woke up to start the day all over again. Spending it with her friends, Lindsay, Elody & Ally. & her boyfriend Rob... & Kent, the boy she's known since childhood who always is kind to her even when she shoves him off. & Juliet - the girl her & her friends would pick on & call names & send a rose to every Cupid's Day to humiliate her. How Sam handled every day differently every time - going through all the motions of anger, not carrying, living it up, to finally learning how to get things right, how to find peace in her world. But every time a chapter would end, I would hold my breath at what would happen next.

Yep - didn't like the end ... at first... but I guess it makes sense. I had to sit in it for awhile. & I found I really did like the book.

Its kind of deep if you think about it all.

& I just found out that its actually going to be a movie in 2016 so I'm glad I read this before I saw the movie trailer which would make me want to read it even more.

I definitely will have this book stuck with me for awhile...

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015


#16thingsithoughtweretrue#16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Morgan is famous for a viral video - she's also a Twitter user who is working to get 5,000 followers.
She keeps to herself since her video has brought all the attention her way, making her a loan.
Its when she starts talking to a strange girl, Amy, at work that she starts to get a new friend.

Morgan never knew who her father is & it isn't until her mother has health issues that she learns the truth of her life. With her new friend Amy, & the manager at the amusement park that she works at, Adam, they head out to find the truth about her father.

Morgan finds out the truth on his trip, as well as finding new friendships that she comes to rely on.

This was a easy read. Nothing great. Just a nice story. It had its funny moments - had its moments that just got to me - like some of the things being repeated over & over, like the exact same sentence said in a few pages span. Strange.

I dont hate I read it - not something that I feel like the world needs to read - but a good filler book to pass the time. #thatsthetruth

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Heart of Tin

Heart of Tin (Dorothy Must Die, #0.4)Heart of Tin by Danielle Paige
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh wow.. my ratings are just going down & down in this series. & I was a big promoter of this Dorothy Must Die series. But something has been going downhill after the first book & the first 3 novellas....

This was another one of the novellas - a quick read to catch up on the story of the Tin Man & all about his heart & how much he loved Dorothy & was so ready to woo her when she returns to Oz.

It just sort of got irritating to me. The helpless puppy act was just getting old.

& then when it talks about the change that occurs with him & slightly with the Scarecrow (his novella is out next) - it honestly just is getting a little too dark for me. Parts of me made me literally nauseated. It seems to have gone from a young adult novel to some sort of twisted story.

This makes me very nervous for the next book... I'll give it one more shot. Hoping for the best, not sure what to expect.

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Friday, October 23, 2015


TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not SickTOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick by Suzanne Somers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This sort of thing intrigues me. The toxic things in the air & environment.

I wish I didn't want to know about it all because it all freaks me out. The way it affects a body & our health? I finished reading this wanting to move into a bubble... but am concerned for the plastic content on that :)

This book isn't a light read - its full of words that have a lot of letters in them & I could never pronounce.

But it does have some real life stories & some tips & tricks & hints on how to make yourself healthier in this area.

I know people give Suzanne Somers flack for some of her health choices & being a voice in this field, but she lives it - so I'll give that to her.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Royal We

The Royal WeThe Royal We by Heather Cocks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just loved this book.

I was pulled in by the cover anyways being such a Royal lover & then kept seeing all my blog friends talking about this book as well so I was excited to jump into it.

The story of Bex (Can I say, I've never known this to be a nickname for Rebecca) & Nick & how they met & the journey they are on as it leads up to their wedding day.

I just loved everything about this book. The drama, the excitement, the love, the friendships, the relationships.

& sorry, I couldn't help but picture William, Harry & Kate along with Diana & Charles in my head the whole time. You had to right?

I wasn't sure how this was all going to end but loved the ending... I was very happy that I finally read this one.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hollow City / Book #2 of The Peculiar Children

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2)Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I just saw this book on my Timehop that I bought a year ago... & just got around to reading.

I'm glad I did wait though because its such a cliff-hanger ending in itself & the 3rd book is getting ready to come out soon so I'm glad it sat on my shelf for awhile.

I bought this after I just finished the first in the series, "Miss Peregrines Peculiar Children" - which I loved. It's almost like a little set of x-men. Children caught up in 'loops' that have special powers. But at the end of the first book, where Miss Peregrine's loop is destroyed, the kids have a new adventure on their hand.

& by the use of the word adventure, it means, trying to save their kind, being chased, being in the middle of World War II & trying to find other loops that can help them return Miss Peregrine to her original form.

Jacob, the boy from the first book who discovers his grandfather is not crazy, but Peculiar himself, discovers that the gene has been passed on to him - so he leaves his life behind to help his new friends.

This book is all about seeing what their future holds as they travel between different loops, trying to find any ymbrynes that they hear have all been captured, & meeting new peculiars on their way to London.

Once again, I am so in awe of the photos that are used in this book & how they are woven into the story - that is the best part of this whole series to me. & once again, it makes me want to start looking at old pictures in antique stores myself. I'll never look at them the same again.

I loved this book just as much as the first... & cant wait for the next on in this odd little series.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Where'd You Go Bernadette

Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely adored this book.
I want to meet Bernadette - a quirky woman who marches to the beat of her own drum.
Who is married to a genius of a man, while she is a talent in her own right & they have an amazing smart daughter together, Bee.
The telling of the story of Bernadette took me a little bit to figure out who was speaking as it would jump from person to person or letter to letter but once I got in the groove of it, I couldn't get enough.
It was all so interesting how misunderstandings & personal relationships all came back to play in the present.
I so didn't want this book to end... I wanted to know exactly where Bernadette ended up... along with Bee ... & what the future held for this family.
This book got a lot of attention - now I see why. I wish I had jumped into it sooner.
Now, where are my big sunglasses, scarf & fishers vest?

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A year of Living Prayerfully

A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer LifeA Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life by Jared Brock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cant say enough about this book.

The journal a man took over a year to find out what prayer means to others, to different religions, to different countries - how it can change in his own life & bring he & his wife closer to God.

The travels & adventure took him literally over the world as he went to Italy, England, North Korea & leading him to leaders of churches, including a face to face with the pope, getting near Benny Hinn & even trying to get in to see Billy Graham.

This book is so full of insightful information about the different ways people believe in God & the way we can relate to Him, but its also full of real life experiences, full of history of how things came to be & of course, full of humor. The little side notes marked on the bottom of the pages usually had me laughing - literally - out loud.

It was also so sad to see how people believe in North Korea, to the opposite side of South Korea in the biggest church that has 7 buildings that are basically sky scrappers. Or the people in Westboro Baptist Church that feels so selected by God & has the most messed up view of God's love & grace then anyone I've ever read about. But the call Jared has to pray for these misguided people is something that still lays on my heart. God can reach them as well as the people of North Korea, as the people who live Anywhere, USA that all need Jesus.

Not to give any spoilers because I think we all get this - but like Jared found out, a trip around the world doesn't show what prayer is - its basically a Dorothy moment - in your own back yard. It's about your faith in our Father. Returning to our first love. Spending time with your Father. Just talking. Just communicating.

I can't recommend this book enough - I really can't. It's full of amazing words that will stir your soul... & maybe change the way you pray daily yourself.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Dancing Through Life

Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and ConvictionDancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction by Candace Cameron Bure
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK... everyone that knows me I love 2 things in this life. Jesus & Dancing with the Stars.
You think I'm joking.
It's true.

So you have to know that this book was just made for me to devour.

I so loved when Candace Cameron Bure was on DWTS in Season 18 & the faith she showed - getting Jesus name out for the whole word to hear. She carried herself so well during that season & loved she made it to the finals.

This book is just a glimpse of her experience with the show, what happens behind the scenes & little glimpses at what we didn't see. This even made me like Mark even more as we got to see deeper into how he was the partner leading Candace on this journey.

But what makes this book so cool, as every dance goes on, she finds a way to connect it with a growing spiritual thought for us all to learn from in areas of our own lives. I loved the blend of the worlds & the teachings from this.

I smiled throughout the book at the scripture used & how it all applied so perfectly to the experience she went through on the dance floor... & even had tears come to my eyes reading parts. The chapter where Candace messed up & Mark was talking her through the dance & encouraging all the way? ... my favorite chapter of the book....

If you love Candace - if you love DWTS - you can't pass up this book!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Wicked Will Rise

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2)The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We're back in Oz...

the messed up, dark world of Oz!

& Amy Gunn is still after Dorothy, Glinda & her 3 friends, the Scarecrow, Tin man & Lion.
We also see Amy & the darkness that is taking her over as she knows she needs to kill the 3 friends & then go after Dorothy.

Mercy - this book just got really serious & DARK. I knew the first one was a little dark - this is just plain YIKES at points.

I still liked the story - the difference insights of Oz & how Ozma came to be & how she has turned into a little bit of a 'slug brain' ... but I was a little disturbed at scenes in the book. The childlike images you have the WOZ characters - it wont be the same after this book.

Going into the Fog of Doubt, or into a kingdom of monkeys, or into an Island of the Lost or a village literally "over the rainbow" - it still has great imagination. & it was good to see old characters back, like Nox, Pete & even the witch Mombi again.

I wish I had read the first book all over again before reading this one. & I'm sure I'll have to do it when the next installment comes out. I will say, this has all left me waiting anxiously for the next book in the series - that's for sure.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Beautiful Day

Beautiful DayBeautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had heard about this book & saw it was at the library...

let's just say, I wasn't that impressed. Maybe if I was by a pool & needed something to just pass time, it would have been better to me.

Its the story of a wedding taking place & what's leading the bride? A notebook her mother who had passed away left her to give instructions - wanting to help her daughter when the time came & knowing she wouldn't be around.

The drama comes when the wedding happens & all the family has their own issues, from the bride's sister & the messy relationships she gets into, to the bride's father & the realization that his new wife is nothing like he envisioned his life to be, & the many people in the wedding party, from brothers & in laws to step sisters.  The whole gang has drama.

This didn't knock my socks off, but it was alright... like I said - a good beach read.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected

Anchored: Finding Hope in the UnexpectedAnchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected by Kayla Aimee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I'm not a big fan of reading about babies or births or anything that hurts my heart about not having a child of my own, but for some reason I was drawn to this book... & so glad I did.

This is the story of Kayla Aimee & the birth of her daughter Scarlette as she came into the world earlier then she should have. The things that precious baby went through & the story of her life & the way that Kayla survived it all, with her humor, with her heart, with her family, with her faith & hope in God, its such a good story.

Its written in such a grabbing way. I didn't want to stop reading. One second, you are aching for this little tiny baby that is so small she can fit in your hand & the next, you are laughing at the memories that Kayla shares with you reflecting on her life & memories. It's such a mix of emotions - all making up a fantastic read.

I have since found out Kayla Aimee is a blogger & I just love reading her writing even more when I can. She's got such a joy that shines through her words. I'm going to be adding her to my list of people that I know that we'd be best friends if we lived near one another. :)

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Big Little Lies

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've seen this book going around for awhile & I keep hearing about this author.

It didn't disappoint.

I was so intrigued by this book & couldn't wait to get to the end.

This is sort of a mystery book so I tread lightly not wanting to give anything away. The idea is though its a story of a group of ladies who all tied together through families, friends & children in kindergarten together. All leading up a a death on the night of their charity event. Who is it that dies? You don't know till you get to the end. But the ride is so fun, with each chapter starting or ending with 'interview' questions from a reporter trying to get to the bottom of the death.

I had so many thoughts on how it was all going to go down... & I was wrong.. which I LOVE.

I so enjoyed this book & can't wait to pull Liane Moriarty's next book off of my shelf now.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Wizard Returns (Dorothy Must Die, #0.3)The Wizard Returns by Danielle Paige
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can NOT get enough of this series! Seriously.

These little novellas are fantastic too for quick reads & a little bit more background on the characters.

I loved this little snippet of the Wizard. Who he is. What happens to him after he takes off in the balloon.

I'm not just ready to jump into the next full novel... & already preordered the next novella on the Tin Man...

Give me more!!!!

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Miracles from Heaven

Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of HealingMiracles from Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing by Christy Beam
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story of a little girl that was born with health issues with her digestive system leaving her in the hospital, & on lots of medications & without a normal childhood life.

Annabel is one of 3 girls, with 2 loving parents & a host of family that loves her. They all have to work together to deal with Anna's health issues.

But she's still a little girl who wants to have fun with her sisters.

So when one day she finds herself climbing a tree with her sisters & ends up having an accident where she falls INSIDE of the tree, her worlds gets changed forever.

A rescue has to happen to get her out & miraculously Anna comes out with just a few scratches. And before long, Anna is telling everyone that she sat on Jesus's lap & the experience has when she went to Heaven when she first made that 35 foot drop to the bottom of the tree. With instructions that she had to go back & everything would be fine, Anna's life certainly would be fine.

Besides surviving the fall, her digestive issues all seemed to be healed as well.

This story really was an interesting read written by the mother, Christy Beam.

I know there's a lot of touchy subjects about "heaven" stories but I still enjoy reading experiences of it... believe it or not yourself. I especially love the story of the miraculous healing of this little girl - regardless if you believe the Heaven part.

I will say, not a lot is really mentioned about the Heaven experience. It's more a biography of Anna & her family... I always love a good biography.

While not the most exciting book I've read, it did hold my attention & I was excited to see a glimpse into this family's life.

TD Jakes is apparently making this book & this little girls story into a movie as well... & we all know a book is better then a movie :)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ghost Boy

Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own BodyGhost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love true stories. Something about them just makes them so much more alive to me as a reader.

This is the story of Martin. A young boy who had some sort of health issue that left him pretty much in a world of his own unable to communicate, allow him the use of his body, leaving him in a wheelchair with little understanding of what was going on around him.

He slowly starts to become aware of his surroundings more & more, while it takes those around him a while to notice. Thankfully, a nurse could sense he understood more then everyone thought & pushed to have him tested. Once they realized his brain was coming back, it was time to work on a way to communicate. The story is the way Martin was able to come back to the world & become PART of the world.

Reading what was going through his mind while no one understood was tortious to me. I can't even imagine. Having to sit, sometimes in painful condition, to listen to everything going around him & even to have horrific things happen & he having no way to tell anyone or cry for help... or to even have an opinion on what to eat or wear, the basic things. I cant even imagine.

We see that with technology, & with a lot of hard work for Martin to regain strength & the natural ability he had to deal with computers, he was able to come back into the world & talk with his family & even find love.

After hearing of some of the things he lived through, I was so glad he had a happy ending.
So deserved.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Yeah, Maybe

Yeah, maybeYeah, maybe by Joey Hodges
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So the power of blogs... I saw this book popping up everywhere a few weeks back.

Joey Hodges is a blogger who has a pretty decent following so people were really promoting her book. Plus it was on a Amazon Kindle special so I decided to give it a go.

The story takes you back to high school & the relationship between 2 best friends. 2 completely different young ladies starting their freshman year together. And while they have been best friends their whole lives, they never went to the same school. Would their friendship last in a different environment?

It's really a easy read bringing back high school memories of drama, of the popular gang & the way they can influence those around them, the dirty way that teenage girls can act, the first love butterflies & meeting the cute boy in school who likes you as well, the emotions of it all & the way it can tear friendships apart.

This book had a little twist when it came to the relationships Annie had with her parents, which wasn't something I saw coming expectantly, & sort of just felt odd to me in the story, but whatever.

I loved that we did see Annie become a stronger person throughout the book though. I did cheer for her through her whole freshman year.

So yeah, I did enjoy the book. Is it the best read of all time? Maybe not, but it was fun to take the journey back to high school for a few hours.

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Hot Body Year-Round

Cassey Ho's Hot Body Year-Round (Enhanced Edition)Cassey Ho's Hot Body Year-Round by Cassey Ho
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've never gotten a book before with Fitness in mind, but I was excited to get this new book from Cassey Ho. I love her videos on YouTube & her idea of healthy / clean eating which made me excited to see what this book had in store.

In it is a plan for year round. Recipes & exercises that are made specifically for each season with the idea you can pick out your exercises to do every day & mix it up as the next season comes up. I like that. It's not the same thing the year round. There is a page that has a suggestion of what sort of plan should be followed for your level in fitness.

Also, the recipes for each season look AMAZINGLY delish! Clean eating is the menu plan & I appreciate that a lot of them are vegetarian friendly.

The book really is a nice thick book that will come in handy for both the recipes & the workouts. I'm excited to see what Cassey has in her future for all of us trying to stay fit.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

You'll Get Through This

You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesYou'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Something about Max Lucado books that just speak to me. So easy to understand- so full of real life lessons - full of Biblical truth. I just enjoy every one of his books.

I don't even know what made me pick up this book. I don't really have a "tough time" happening right now, but I guess the saying always goes - you're either in a tough time, coming out of a tough time or getting to go into a tough time - well, that came to mind. So I know I may not be in a tough time now, but I know one lies ahead. It always will.

& this book was just good for tough times of normal every day life. Small frustrations. I'm aggravated at my job & there was even a little part that spoke right to my heart about that situation.

The book is centered around the story of Joseph & his story of being betrayed by his brothers, left behind, rejected. The people he ran into during his life, the people who promised him things but soon forgot him, the woman who framed him while he kept his morals & values, the position that God led him into to ultimately save so many in a nation, including his brothers that ultimately left him behind for harm. God works in all things. God can bring good. You are Joseph in your generation.

I really can't say enough good about this book. I'm thankful I picked it up.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Capturing the Moment

Capturing the Moment: Inspiration and Techniques for the Modern PhotographerCapturing the Moment: Inspiration and Techniques for the Modern Photographer by Sarah Wilkerson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a neat book.

This is such a beautiful book to have for inspiration, to learn some tips, to get some ideas.

This is made from all the ladies at Clinkin' Moms - a site that I love to go visit & see what questions they are answering & to see what the latest is.
This book is a collection of their works broken out into categories.
It's not so much a book that gives you direction or teaches you anything, but on each picture, it does let you know the settings of the camera, which is good to know so you can practice yourself.

The book is heavy & thick & well constructed as well.

For a photographer, I think its great just to thumb through to get inspired. Glad to have it.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society (Sweetgum Knit #1)The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So you know I'm going to love a story that revolves around a group of women who get together every month & talk about a book they've read & do a knitting project along with each book. How can I NOT like this?

I found it was written by the same lady who wrote "Heavens to Betsy" & the follow up to that - books I so enjoyed reading, I even reached out to the author & emailed her how much I loved them.

So yeah, this book was just as good as I expected it to be.

The story of 5 ladies who are in the Sweetgum Knit-Lit Society. All different stories, all different life dramas that are coming at them. Secrets they keep from everyone. And enter a troubled teen who has to 'pay' back for damaging a library book & she's ordered to join the club for awhile. The way this young lady, Hannah, touches the lives of the women & how her life is changed herself, it all comes full circle.

I have the follow up book & can't wait to dig into it & see how my new knitting friends are.

& this book just makes me want to start up a knitting group so badly, I can't hardly stand it. My own knit-lit group... maybe it'll happen.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Not that kind of girl

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" by Lena Dunham
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I just don't get it.

I know I've seen this book everywhere with everyone reading it.

I thought I was going to pull the hairs out on my arm for more entertainment than this.

Let's just say that I get it - I'm a totally different person than Lena Dunham. We have different up bringing, we have different ways to approach life situations - & apparently we have different outlooks & values in life. Maybe I'm just a prude. Half of the book, I'm shaking my head at the language & the stories & the other half, I was just sort of bored.

I don't get what all the huff is about.

I'm totally disappointed.


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The Way Home

Cain stars as Randy Simpkins, a husband and father torn between the demands of his job and commitment to his family. Asked by his wife Christal to watch their two-year-old son Joe for a few minutes, Randy is distracted by work and Joe disappears. Racked by guilt, Randy joins Christal in a desperate search for their missing son alongside hundreds of others from their church and community. Randy and Christal’s strained marriage must now weather the ultimate test - the potential loss of a child. The Way Home is the story of Randy's powerful spiritual journey back to love, faith and a Godly understanding of what must always take first priority in a man's life - his family.


I thought I did this review ages ago but found out I didn't post it...

Who doesn't love Dean Cain.  Superman!!!

& who wouldn't love Dean Cain in a Christian movie showing the importance of family, faith & God?

I love that they are making more videos with a deeper purpose & good quality stories.

This one I found out is a true story based on a family that has a 2 yr old son missing & how it effects the family & ultimately, making them rely solely on their faith.

If you get the movie - be sure to check out the extras because you will see interviews with the real family. I always love when you can hear the true emotions from the people who lived through experiences.

(This DVD was given to me for an honest review from Book Look Bloggers)

The Unveiled Wife

The Unveiled Wife: Embracing Intimacy with God and Your HusbandThe Unveiled Wife: Embracing Intimacy with God and Your Husband by Jennifer Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I just love getting emails every morning with prayers about how to be a better wife.

So when I was able to get the book to see what the whole story was, I was excited. I love Jennifer Smith's heart for marriage & the struggles that just come with it only because we're humans.

I ended up reading this book in one day. It's such a easy read with really insightful questions that would make this a good book for a women's Bible Study group.

The book wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, but I still enjoyed it. It told the story of Jennifer & her husband Aaron, the relationship starting young, two people who had expectations of what their spouses should be & keeping God focused in it all.

As everything, marriage isn't everything you THINK its going to be. I so appreciate Jennifer talking about that. We have expectations of what marriage should be, the happily ever after, & we get frustrated when its not what we feel like we deserve.

The book was mainly the issues that Jennifer & her husband experienced as they became married & ventured into those first years of marriage. The book is basically about their story, & not until the end does it seem like its more of a marriage help book for every one else, which is more of what I was expecting. I'm not saying that's a fault. It's just different from what I was going in thinking it was. & I always love to read about someone's journey & especially someone's triumph in their journey.

I still am looking forward to the ministry that Jennifer has in her life & will still open my email every morning anxious to pray along with thousands of woman who are covering their marriage in prayer.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Maybe One Day

Maybe One DayMaybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story of 2 girls who are best friends & one suddenly gets cancer....

Oh mercy, you know this is going to end in tears.

Olivia & Zoe are have been best friends growing up together, dancing together, becoming teenagers together. Suddenly, as they are rejected from their dancing troupe, Olivia is discovered to have a rare form of leukemia.

The story follows Olivia as she goes through treatment & how that affects her older brother, Jake, her younger twin brothers, her parents & of course, her best friend who she spends every minute with, as teenage girls do.

This book was hard for me to read. Having seen a friend go through leukemia as a teenager & then loosing a best friend to cancer later in life myself, it just tugged at my heart in different ways. It made feelings come right back to me, especially after the loss of a friend & I appreciated some of the words that Zoe had said because they felt true to me having been in a similar position.

I will say, I didn't like about this book that they made God seem like a jerk ... or worse, nonexistent. The girls would make fun of prayer & make comments about how God couldn't exist to let things like this happen. I really thought, because it was mentioned so much, that it would be a focal point of a turn around in a relationship with God. Nope. They still all hated God by the end.... which to me, with a book focused on young adult, made me sad to have that as a focus with no hope. Just me.

If you read it, be prepared to be sad... & remember that life always continues on....

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Friday, February 27, 2015

What Good is God?

What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That MattersWhat Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters by Philip Yancey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've never read any of Philip Yancey's books but came across this one in the library.

It was an up & down read for me. It came to points where I was thoroughly interested, but then it would go to just streams of boredom to me. Some wonderful stories of faith that people have had in awful times, & then stories that seemed to not even connect & left me confused.

The book talks about some of the tragedies that has happened lately & how it causes people to question where God is in difficult situations & if God cares. While some of the stories talks about people holding onto faith & how good can be worked out of bad situations, I'm not sure the book ever gets around to the main point of what I thought the book was to be about.

I'll never say its not worth reading a book that can draw you closer to God.... I'm just not this was the best read, for me anyways.

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The Witch Must Burn

The Witch Must Burn (Dorothy Must Die, #0.2)The Witch Must Burn by Danielle Paige
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A little teaser to hold me over.... the next book in the "Dorothy Must Die" series comes out in the end of March. I am so in love with these books! & I love that the author puts out these little novellas to at least keep you involved in the mixed up world that Oz has become.
Good has become bad... bad has become good... everyone has changed...

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

What I know for Sure

What I Know For SureWhat I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this in the library & it intrigued me.

I am leery about Oprah... I enjoy her insight on some things, but am uncomfortable on what her views are on spirituality. I still was intrigued about the book & I did happily enjoy this book. I did run into parts that made me sort of made a funny face, but for the most part, the things Oprah talked about as things that held truth, I had to laugh & agree on a lot of them. Things like friendships, money, finding time for yourself, direction for your life.

It really was inspiring & made me think of the things I know to be true in my life... & the things I NEED to change to make my life more fulfilling. I am glad I took the time to check this one out.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

My Big Bottom Blessing

My Big Bottom BlessingMy Big Bottom Blessing by Teasi Cannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I ran across this book in the library - never even heard of it before... but so glad I did.

It's the story of a woman who suffers with her weight & felt like it was the source of her worth. The things she learned about God as she learned to love herself & how she saw God loved her, regardless of her weight, this is what the book is about.

I really enjoyed this book because parts of it, its like Teasi was reading my mind.

It's full of scripture, full of real thoughts, full of Godly wisdom, full of laughs.

I am so glad I stumbled across this & really feel like women who struggle with their weight will find some Biblical wisdom in these pages...

I really have left this book feeling a little bit better about myself & am reassured that God has made me for a reason, God loves me regardless of any number & in all my own struggles, God can teach me things about myself & Him throughout it.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

I remember you

I Remember YouI Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can love cross time?

Juliet keeps noticing Lucas, the hockey player jock in school, looking at her. He soon is talking with her, trying to spend time with her, easing his way into making her care about him. It's then he lets her know what he's going through & what has drawn him to her... they've been here before.

The story is a mix of YA romance, sci-fi, star-crossed lovers sort of thing. Lucas has come back through time to his seventeen yr old self to see Juliet one more time, to let her know how he really feels about her. Does she believe him? She starts to when the things he predicts will happen starts to really occur. But the fact that he's going to join the marines when he turns 18 just will lead to the path that will ultimately put Lucas in harm, where his life will be in jeopardy, causing this change in time....

Can Juliet convince Lucas not to join the marines as his 17 yr old self & avoid the life risks he will be put in?

I really got caught up in the story, anxious to see how it all turned out. & I have to say, I really like when a book surprises me in the ending. This one did just that. I had no idea how this was going to end up. I was sad to see it end.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Freeing Yourself from Anxiety

Freeing Yourself from Anxiety: 4 Simple Steps to Overcome Worry and Create the Life You WantFreeing Yourself from Anxiety: 4 Simple Steps to Overcome Worry and Create the Life You Want by Tamar E. Chansky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Being someone who really is trying to get a hold on anxiety, I was anxious to get into this book.

I will say, it was more delightful & informative then I thought it would be... but of course, it did have those moments of complete boredom.

I did get some really good insight though.
* Don't change the thought - change the reaction.
* Just because worry took the wheel, it doesn't mean it knows the way.
* STAY IN THE PRESENT!! (This was huge for me)
* Opposite of 'negative thinking' isn't positive thinking - its POSSIBLE thinking.
* Just because I can vision something doesn't mean it will cause it to happen.
* BREATH - you're intentional breathing can be a sign of a new beginning with each breath.
* Fight ALL OR NOTHING thinking
* Facts Vs. Feelings
* Turn statements into question that are open to interpretation.

All of this really helped me as I waited for test results I was a nervous wreck about.

For that reason, I had to check that I liked this...

I'm not usually a 'self help' book reading person, but for this one, I'm glad I picked it up.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Hiding Place

The Hiding PlaceThe Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A much talked about book...

I was anxious to get around to it. It definitely feels like a book that you need to like. I will say, this isn't my style of book. I do enjoy a biography, though I don't like books that war-driven, or even books that make me so uncomfortable. Granted, I know this book is real life & sometimes we need to feel uncomfortable looking at history.

What I did love about the book is of course the attitude of the ten Boom family. The faith that they have in trying to hide people from horrible things, only to be put in the same position because of their actions. How Betsy kept her faith & her conviction even in the worst of times & treatment, always reminding her sister how powerful their God was & how they could tell others about Jesus in the misery that were experiencing... hope...

I think I could go through & 'like' every quote that is written from the book. Powerful words.

Honestly, I wasn't sure how to rate the book. I don't like it... I don't like the treatment of people during the Holocaust ... I don't like feeling that nauseated tingle in my stomach.... but I did love the wise words that were given - the encouragement I received that in the worst of times, you can hang onto the promises of God & reflect it to others. Giving hope that, as flowers, a time will come when things will bloom again.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

10% Happier

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really am interested in mediation & the health benefits that it can give your mind & body...

For me, prayer can be a form of meditation. I guess what really turned me against this book is the fact that it seems to be really against Christianity.... I was very disappointed in the views of a belief system & how this is book strickly entails it as a Buddhism method.

More so, the book isnt really that much about meditation as it is Dan Harris's journey & almost biography with drugs, anxiety, & his path to meditation.... & he ultimately is a confessed athiest who believes in the practices of Buddhism as well. Again, to each his own, but when I read words from other mediation gurus that call God "the dead white guy", I'm sorry - I'm instantly sickened by the book & am done with it.

& the advice on actual meditation was just basically a 3 step process ... something I can find on Pinterest.

I did give it 2 stars only because I always do enjoy a biography of someone's life... thats the only reason it got anything.

Now, I'll search Google for real ideas on mediation :)

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It was me all along

It Was Me All AlongIt Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always am interested in the story of people's lives, especially when it comes to people that struggle with the same things I do. In this case, it is weight. The story of a girl who grew up over weight & after getting in college, turned her life around.

The first part of the book really sets the issues that seems to cause Andie to overeat & start her path down the road of being obsese. An alcoholic father cause such turmoil & tragedy in her life. It was a very sad story & one no child should grow up in. The only comfort in the midst of arguments & fear was food.

We then get to see Andie as she goes through high school & then into college. The roller coaster of weight piling on & the unhappiness that came with that. Andie comes home from college during the summer &decides to make a change... & change she did. We see the roller coaster start the decent... the weight coming off.

But life isn't always as happy as you think it would be once you get weight off. Other issues & obsessions begin, like the fear of gaining the weight back or the obsession of exercise.

If anyone has ever lost weight or dealt with food addictions, you could relate with so much of the story.

I will say, the beginning of the book was very slow to me. It was a LOTof talking & describing of food... a LOT. It did pick up for me & I did enjoy reading the journey she was on to make a change in her life.... but the whole story was just OK to me.

Andie became a blog writer after trying out other jobs &really, this is what the book felt like - a big blog post. Nothing wrong with that. I just had a hard time connecting 100% with her... so I could take it or leave it. It wasnt a life changing book, but it also wasnt a full boring read either....

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Bossy Pants

BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my gosh. I don't think I have laughed so hard at a book in my life. After being on a roll of biographies of funny people (NPH, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kahling) this is by far my favorite. I don't know how I put off reading this.
From Tina's view on women with 'yellow hair' & the secrets of beauty (Who cares?) & I got a special laugh out of her chapter on photographers & photo shop. And moments of the book touched me. Like the chapter on her father & the pressure that women puts on other women.
I think I'm glad I saved this book for awhile because it really was the icing on the cake for funny people biographies...
& the older that Tina Fey gets, I hope she becomes that 'crazy lady' which means she'll never stop talking...

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Friday, January 16, 2015


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm probably going to be one of the few that doesn't give a lot of stars for this book.

I'm sorry - it was sad & boring to me.

I wanted to read this book before I saw the movie. I love Reese Witherspoon. I think the idea of a woman hiking the PCT trail on her own in order to 'find herself' is interesting. I think I would have been better off with the movie. (& I probably rarely, if ever, would make that statement against a book)

The story of Cheryl Strayed is everywhere right now. A woman who did something not a lot of people do, much less a woman... by herself. Cheryl lost her mother to lung cancer & her family & marriage just fell apart afterwards, leaving her mixed up in meaningless relationship & trying drugs to comfort her.

This journey was to help her start a new life... which ultimately, it does.

But the whole journey to me was just slow. Now, I will say, I did like the beginning. The story of her relationship with her mother. I sat & cried at the passing away of her mother & thought how unfair life is. But the rest of the book of being on the trail & the people she meets along the way & the different detours she has to take to get to her final destination? Yawn. It just became mind numbing to me.

Maybe I need to go hiking by myself to understand better why everyone is going crazy over this story...

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The 13th Gift

The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas MiracleThe 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle by Joanne Huist Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel like such a Scrooge giving this book 2 stars, but I just didn't really care for it.
Its the story of a family that lost their husband/father & how their first Christmas was. 2 teenage boys who are rebelling, 1 young girl who still has the innocence to her of wanting everything to be OK, & a mother/wife who is grieving & doesnt want to make new Christmas memories without her spouse.
I think why I didn't enjoy it was because it was just so sad to me. It was something I dont really want to think about or feel & I could feel the sadness this family was experiencing. Yes, this is a true story, which made it even heavier in emotion to me.
Of course, I did appreciate the point of the story - a mystery person who left a gift on the front porch of this family the last 12 days before Christmas, & ultimately brought this family close together for the holidays... & even more, set a future plan & surprise for future families that needed support & love during the holidays.
I have to say though, I was glad the story was done. my heart couldn't take it.... so while I'm rating more on how this book effected me instead of how the writing is, its my own personal view.
Sorry if it sounds like Ba Humbug...

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Yes Please

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

i love funny people & even more when funny people can actually be funny in print. its not something everyone can do (Mindy.... I'm talking to you). I always love Amy on SNL & Parks & Rec, so I was glad to read & see she's basically just an every day person who has issues, like sleeping problems & anxiety, but can still find humor in her own way. i especially love she's my age & when she talks about her childhood & teenage years & what kids today will miss out on, I'm sitting here shaking my head the whole time.

i especially love the chapters from behind the scenes. The fun things on SNL & how they came up with idea of all the women at the Emmys to come on stage together. I love that scoop stuff. but also love she stays private & doesnt down her husband or want to cause drama with anyone. even love the chapter of her admitting when she messed up & had to aplogize.

i just was really sad it came to an end. i can now add Amy to my list of,people i know would be my best friend in life.

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