Moving from Broken to Beautiful through Forgiveness

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

*About the Book*
Since we don’t have alligator skin and a heart of stone, people will hurt us especially those closest to us. We also make mistakes in life and hurt others. Yvonne uses personal anecdotes and the timeless truths of God to help women trade shame and guilt for God’s grace to forgive themselves, to overcome anger and bitterness and with God’s power forgive others, to break free from the prison of the past, and gain the peace and freedom of forgiveness. With forgiveness comes living life to the fullest. This is book three in the series, Moving from Broken to Beautiful®.

*My Review*
This was my first time reading anything by Yvonne Ortega, but I was very pleased with this book. "Moving from Broken to Beautiful through Forgiveness" is simple yet powerful at the same time. 

The thought of forgiving someone who has severely hurt us is never easy and many time we are left feeling guilty because of our lack of wanting to forgive.
Ortega gives us the answers to the truth behind forgiveness, while skillfully using Scripture to reinforce her points. She explains what forgiveness really means, & most importantly outlines what forgiveness is not.

This is a really short read & is one of the most direct and powerful explanations I have every read about a hard topic, especially for Christians who are struggling with forgiveness.
Ortega uses her own personal story of abuse, & goes on to talk about the emotional difficulty that forgiveness can bring to those of us who feel that forgiveness is allowing people to get away with their wrongdoing. 

As a Christian, I myself have had difficulty forgiving even though I understand what the Bible says about forgiveness, but thanks to this book I am working on it daily.

This book has exercises to make you think and to help you with the process of forgiveness & gain the peace of mind we all deserve. 

This is an amazing book, and I encourage everyone to read "Moving From Broken to Beautiful Through Forgiveness".

Soup’s On In The Medieval Times Kingdom! Enjoy A Castle Favorite, The Tomato Bisque, & Help Dallas Life With Food Donations.

This post is sponsored by Medieval Times(Dallas). By sharing about the food drive for Dallas Life I will receive tickets to Medieval times for myself and my family.
Winter's chill is taking hold of the kingdom this January and

February, and what better way to warm up than with a hot, delicious bowl of soup! Known for

their famous tomato bisque, Medieval Times is partnering with non-profit Dallas LIFE to help

those in need create their own healthy soups by tackling hunger in North Texas with a food

drive and by releasing the bisque recipe for all to make.

To donate, bring any non-perishable food item to the Dallas castle and receive 45% off adult

admission for a Thursday, Sunday or the 2 pm Saturday show through February 12 th. Suggested

food items include the makings for soups including tomato sauce, beans or peas, broths or

stocks and canned vegetables.

The history of soup is as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients

in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was

inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and travelling cultures, rich and

poor, healthy people and invalids. Soup (and stews, pottages, porridges, gruels, etc.) evolved as

dictated by local ingredients and tastes. There was no tableware, so soup was drunk right out of

the bowl, as was any type of stew.

Soups are a great option nutritionally, they provide us with lots of important nutrients including

vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories. Soup can be a simple addition to any meal and

a great way to make sure that you and your family get the essential servings of whole grains,

vegetables and protein in one bowl.

“There is no secret to creating an amazing soup,” said Frank Dameron, Director of Food Services

at Medieval Times. “It’s all about the ingredients. The best herbs and fresh produce will help

keep even the coldest Dallas/Fort Worth winter days at bay.” 


2 tbls. canola oil

2 ea. medium carrots, peeled

1 ea. celery stalk, cleaned and trimmed

½ ea. medium onion, peeled

1 tsp. garlic, minced

2 ea. 6 oz. cans tomato paste

1 ea. 15 1/2 oz can tomato puree

5 cups water

1 tsp. paprika

3 tbls. sugar

2 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper

Pinch Italian seasoning

½ ea. lemon, for juice

1. Cut the carrots, celery and onion into small pieces about ½ inches. Place the carrots,

onions and celery into a food processor fitted with the knife blade and pulse until they

are finely minced, almost pureed.

2. Heat the canola oil in a 5 – 6 quart stainless steel sauce pan or pot. Add the finely

minced carrots, onions and celery and cook until vegetables are soft but not browned,

about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the tomato paste and stir into the vegetables to combine well and cook for another

2 minutes.

5. Add the tomato puree, water, paprika sugar, salt, ground pepper, Italian Seasoning and

juice from ½ lemon.

6. Bring soup to a boil while stirring frequently. Once soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to

a simmer and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, while stirring frequently to prevent

soup from scorching.

7. When soup is finished cooking, remove from heat, taste and adjust seasoning if

necessary. Serve immediately.


The pageantry and thrills of an authentic jousting come to life inside Medieval Times Dinner &

Tournament. Based upon the true story of a noble family with documentation dating back to

the 11 th century Spain, the walls of King Don Carlos’ castle come to life when six armor-clad

knights on valiant horses seek the title of champion.

While witnessing almost two hours of jousting, swordsmanship, thrilling hand-to- hand combat,

displays of extraordinary horsemanship and falconry, dine with King Don Carlos and his royal

court during a four-course meal which includes garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted

chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes, the pastry of the Castle and select

beverages. Vegetarian meals and special allergy accommodations are available upon request.

Medieval Times began with two dinner/entertainment complexes located in Majorca and

Benidorm, Spain, and have since grown to nine locations in North America. The first North

American castle in Kissimmee, Florida opened in December 1983. The Dallas castle, located off

Stemmons Freeway in the Dallas Design District, opened in June of 1992.

For more information, visit

2021 North Stemmons Freeway

Dallas, TX 75207

1-888- WE-JOUST (935-6878)


Dallas LIFE reaches out to homeless men, women and children with food, clothing, shelter,

education - and a proven path to recovery and self-sufficiency. It is the largest homeless shelter

in North Texas, housing up to 500 people per night.

Dallas LIFE welcomes the needy. Whether it is a homeless man, a single mother with children,

or an entire family, Dallas LIFE is a safe place to recover from the trauma of homelessness.

Some come beaten and bruised; others addicted and confused. All need a fresh start and a

loving hand-up. At Dallas LIFE, these needs are met every day! For more information, visit

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart | Let His Truth Find a Home in Your Heart

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

*About the Book*

Here are the words of hope you’re looking for when your faith needs a boost or a friend needs encouragement. Chosen by more than a thousand women as their favorite verses in the Bible, each one is worth learning, worth sharing, worth remembering,

You’ll find verses you already know and love: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13)Others may be less familiar but are no less powerful: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25). All of them capture the truth of God’s goodness, mercy, and love for His own.

Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs invites you to experience—

* a deeper, richer understanding of thirty-one treasured verses.

* a fresh look at how these timeless truths can impact your life. 

* a new passion for memorizing Scripture, verse by verse.

* thirty-one creative ways to keep them in your heart forever. 

With a study guide included, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart is a daily devotional and a small-group Bible study, wrapped in a lovely gift book overflowing with joy!

*My Review*

I've never read anything by Liz Curtis Higgs, but I love the way she walks you through each verse word by word. 

"31 Verses to Write on Your Heart" is a great way to memorize scripture. It also serves as a study guide. Liz encourages her readers to read the book in what way works best for them. 

This could mean reading a chapter or verse a day. This book would be great studied in a group or alone during your quiet time.

20 Years Of Bottled Up Tears Finally Released

24, Dec. 2016 

9:00(ish) AM 
My Grandmother's headstone. I marked off her name for privacy reasons.

It's been an emotional 2 hrs! Clay and I got 6(fake) red roses & drove out to the cemetery(I drove bc we were in my old stomping ground). 

The closer we got to Gueydan(GAY-don, or GAY-Dun)...the worse my anxiety. I hadn't been out there to "see" my Mamie since we were there to bury her when I was 12 yrs old. I've been over the years to bury other family members, but after the ceremony was over we left and I never had the chance to go over and see her grave. 

I've been wanting to see her for many years now, but wasn't sure where she was buried...but had an idea, so I parked near that area and just started walking. 

This is the part that seemed weird to me. While I was walking around, I felt as though I wasn't myself. I can't really explain it, but I've only felt this way one other time. 

The more I walked around these graves the more my anxiety hit...I wandered around like a lost little puppy. I was sobbing the whole time, I'm sure it was a pitiful sight to see. I started crying out to God to please let me find her grave because I didn't know when I would be out there again.

I had walked around that one whole section and looked in another section and felt the need to talk to my Mamie. 

Now, what I'm not saying that what was said next(not do I actually believe this was why I found her grave) was what led me to find her grave. But, it did help me feel a little better and I even got a chuckle out of it.

I was blinded by extreme anxiety and grief while walking through the cemetery that I overlooked her grave.(I never really grieved over the loss of my grandma). 

I said "you know, you always were a stubborn woman. So, guess what...I'll have another daughter and name her after you told me to NEVER to come on already & show me where you are already!"

Not 5 seconds after I said that,  we got to the end of the other section and I crossed the road within the cemetery & I saw her grave....I was like  "really...😐seriously?! I JUST walked by here about five times!"

So I sat by her and "talked" to her. Cried, sobbed, told her I was sorry that I've broken her promise to her by crying(She always told me to NEVER cry over her death because she was better off). I Told her I missed her & that I tried to bring her yellow roses because I knew she loved them, but I couldn't find I got red ones. 

I also told her that I hoped she would be proud of who I have become and of the man that I married. I also told her that I knew she would just love her 3 great-grand-babies & that I know she is loving on our 3 angel babies up there in Heaven.

When we was time to go, clay cleaned up some of the old nasty dry rotted flowers that had fallen on the ground, picked up an old tattered flag for a WWII Veteran that was buried behind my Mamie, he carefully rolled it up & placed it on his grave, then I walked hand in hand with my husband and we drove away. 

I'm thankful for my husband. He is my rock. My love. My Hero. My best friend. I'd be even more of a wreck if he hadn't of gone with me. 

I'm ashamed of how horrible the family has let her grave get. It's an insult to my Mamie and I hate it. I will be going back out there sometime this year to give her a new pretty flower arrangement, and to clean the grave up a bit. 

After we got back into Gueydan, I drove down Main Street, down to where mom and I lived when I was little and drove past where grandparent's house used to stand. 

It felt so weird to be back there, so many memories(both good & bad) in that town, but it was a burden that needed to be lifted. Not all of it was but it was enough to help me carry on lighter emotionally. 

I recently saw a quote that I loved & I will end by saying this; Today I close the door to the past, open te door to the future, take a deep breath, step through it & start the new chapter in my life....

A Shadow Bright and Burning | (Kingdom on Fire, Book One)

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

*My Review*
I was super excited after I read the snippet for "A Shadow Bright and Burning". I quickly requested it for review. Not for myself, but for my 13 year old who LOVES to read. She especially loves these types of books that involve "sorcerers", "monsters" & "bloodthirsty demons". When the book arrived in the mail, I fell in love with the cover because, it is absolutely beautiful.

I decided that I would read the book myself to make sure that it was appropriate for my daughter to read since I have never read anything by Cluess before or even heard of her.

Even though i requested this book for my daughter, I really enjoyed reading this book myself. I read this 4004 page, 32 chapter book in about 5 hours(which RARELY happens). I stayed up later than I should have at night because I just could not put this book down. 

My daughter is now reading this book. I know she will love it just as much as I did. This will be a book she reads over and over again. I am super excited to see what happens in book 2!

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years. The prophesied one. Or am I? 

*About the Book*

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. 
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one. 
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?
Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.

*About the Author*

Jessica Cluess was born in Los Angeles, moved to Chicago, and then moved back when the weather became too weather-y. She wrote her first book, A Shadow Bright and Burning, while working at a coffee shop and selling lattes to the rich and famous. A graduate of Northwestern University, she uses her education to study the vast intricacies of the Victorian era before slapping sorcerers and monsters into the whole mess. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Where Does Love Hide?

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

*My Review*
Where does love hide is a simple lift-the-flap book, that teaches children a big lesson. The point of this book is to help children understand some of the different places in their lives that they can find love. 

From helping others to sharing toys." Where Does Love Hide?" is geared towards ages 1-3 yr olds, but 5-7 yr olds who are learning to read can enjoy it as well, but some of the words may be a bit hard for them.

My 5 & 7 yr olds LOVED this book. my 7 yr old knew just about all of "words all on her own and she now reads it to her little sister daily(sometimes several times a day). This would make a great gift for the little ones in your life.

*About the Book*
In Where Does Love Hide? children are reminded that they not only receive love but have the opportunity to share love. Looking under the fun, lift-a-flap feature, children will see examples of everyday love opportunities. Each page includes a memory verse and an example of a way to share God’s love. In life, children hear the words “I love you” repeatedly, often beginning before birth. However, because love is an abstract concept and young children are concrete thinkers, they must gradually learn to understand love by what they experience. In Where Does Love Hide? children are given the opportunity to see love in action and learn what love looks like.

*About the Author*
Mary Manz Simon is an award-winning author whose titles have sold more than three million copies in the Christian channel and are available in ten languages. A long-time columnist for Focus on the Family, Mary has authored numerous articles for a variety of periodicals. Her speaking venues include Book Expo of the American Booksellers Association (BEA), National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), and International Retailing Show of the Christian Booksellers Association (ICRS). She serves as an adviser to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and was quoted in McCall's magazine as one of "America's top parenting experts."

The Story of a Southern Girl Who Went through Fire to Find Her Way Home

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

"I don't know how old I was the night the trailer burned down, or if the rumor was true that Daddy was the one who set it on fire."

*My Review*
I rarely read memoirs, but "All the Pretty Things" is one that will break your heart and heal it all at the same time. I just couldn't stop reading it. 

I laughed, I cried...and by "cried" I mean big ol' ugly tears. 

If you are dealing with brokenness, addiction, divorce, or have just simply lost your faith....then I urge you to please read this book. 

Edie's story is heartbreakingly beautiful and full of hope all at the same time.

*About the Book*
For a long time, Edie thought she had escaped. It started in an Appalachian trailer park, where a young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor. But every day, Edie woke up to her reality:a poverty-stricken world full of alcohol and violence, where getting out seemed impossible. She taught herself to drive a stick shift truck at twelve years oldso she could get her drunk daddy home from the bar.  She spent Saturdays at Brushy Mountain prison visiting her incarcerated cousin.  She watched adults eat while her stomach gnawed and then there was torching of the family trailer, where she dug through the ashes to try to salvage her most prized possession--her Tammy Wynette album.

And at the center of it all was her charismatic daddy. She never knew when he would show up but when he did he was usually drunk; she learned the hard way that she couldn't count on him to protect her.  So she told herself it didn't matter.  All she wanted was to make him proud. Against all odds, Edie "made doctor," achieving everything that had once seemed beyond her reach. Only, it was too late, because her Daddy died a year before she graduated medical school. She split the cost of his funeral with her sister.  
When her past finally caught up with her, it was all too much so she did what her Daddy would have done--she set it all on fire.  
 It would take her whole life burning down once again for Edie to be finally able to face the truth about herself, her family, and her relationship with God. Readers of The Glass Castle will treasure this refreshing and raw redemption story, a memoir for anyone who has ever hungered for home, forgiveness, and the safe embrace of a father's love.

*About the Author*

Edie Wadsworth is a speaker, writer, and blogger who has been featured in various print and online media (including Better Homes and Gardens in 2013 on the topic of her family's home rebuild after a fire). After overcoming her difficult upbringing to become a successful medical doctor, Edie left her practice to raise her family and pursue her love for writing. Her passion is to love her people well and to see women embrace the full measure of their life's passion and purpose. She has shared her story at conferences and churches around the country. Edie is a Compassion International blogger who traveled to Nicaragua in 2013. She blogs at on a variety of topics that center themselves on home--including vocation, hospitality, faith, parenting, cooking, and life in the Appalachian South.