23 March, 2016

{{Book Review}} Sweeter off the Vine | Fruit Desserts for Every Season



A cozy collection of heirloom-quality recipes for pies, cakes, tarts, ice cream, preserves, and other sweet treats that cherishes the fruit of every season.



Celebrate the luscious fruits of every season with this stunning collection of heirloom-quality recipes for pies, cakes, tarts, ice cream, preserves, and other sweet treats. Summer's wild raspberries become Raspberry Pink Peppercorn Sorbet, ruby red rhubarb is roasted to adorn a pavlova, juicy apricots and berries are baked into galettes with saffron sugar, and winter's bright citrus fruits shine in Blood Orange Donuts and Tangerine Cream Pie. Yossy Arefi’s recipes showcase what's fresh and vibrant any time of year by enhancing the enticing sweetness of fruits with bold flavors like rose and orange flower water inspired by her Iranian heritage, bittersweet chocolate and cacao nibs, and whole-grain flours like rye and spelt. Accompanied by gorgeous, evocative photography, Sweeter off the Vine is a must-have for aspiring bakers and home cooks of all abilities.

*My Review*
It's not often that I open up a cook book and want to try every recipe, yet this was exactly how I felt when I opened up "Sweeter Off The Vine". Not only does this cookbook amazingly delicious recipes, but they are divided by season making it much easier to plan desserts using ingredients you have access to.


I promise you won't be disappointed with this cookbook. 



22 March, 2016

Nourish Your Family's Spiritual Health this Easter


Spring-into-Faith-&-Fun

If your family is like most, breakfast is rushed to get everyone out the door. Lunch is spent at school or work. So where does that leave dinner? Nourish your family's spiritual health as you eat supper together. Adventures in Odyssey and Odyssey Adventure Club want to give you a free resource to help you begin your new dinner tradition of making the most of your family mealtime, beginning this Easter season. Simply head to this page and fill out the form to receive a free sample of Whit's End Mealtime Devotions.

90-Devotions-for-Kids-Quote-4 

Want new resources to continue to build your family's faith, even after Easter is over? Consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter. and Pinterest.

{{Book Review}} The Heart's We Mend





Thirteen years ago, Evie's firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty, leaving her to raise their young son, Cody, alone. Now, Cody is marrying the love of his life, and as he packs up his belongings, the house feels as empty as Evie's heart. But for all her planning and mad organizational skills, Evie could never have anticipated the dramatic shift her life is about to make.

Tattooed, rough-around-the-edges Jack raises quite a few eyebrows in the tight-knit community of Banister Falls. Where Evie's life is stream-lined, Jack's approach to living is moment-by-moment. But as Evie gets drawn into Jack's world---a world that isn't as safe or predictable as the one she's worked so hard to create---he challenges her to open her eyes to the problems outside the walls of the church.

Jack doesn't make Evie feel comfortable, but he definitely makes her feel something. Something she hasn't felt since Max passed away---or, maybe ever. Because even though Jack isn't anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/21Zw8Tk


*My Review*

"The Hearts We Mend" By Kathryn Springer is a fast & fun read. I loved every page of this book. This was my first time reading anything by this Author. I read this book on the way home from our vacation to Colorado. It was a 15-18 hr drive(with the stopping to stretch/eat) and before I knew it I was reading the last page!

The characters are all so easy to love. I do need to say that I feel this book was not long enough for me I absolutely hated to see it come to an end.

I think everyone needs to read this book to see what happens to Evie and Jack. I HIGHLY recommend this book. 






About the author: 

Kathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books --- which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written nineteen books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.

18 March, 2016

Our AMAZING Colorado vacation!!



First I want to say that I am forever thankful that U.S. Family Guide & Crested Butte Property Management(& Whitney for being wonderful in helping me book our stay) for doing the 3 night stay in a 2br condo inMount Crested Butte.

I signed up thinking that we probably wouldn't win, but that's okay because maybe we would. In November I received an email saying that I had won! I couldn't believe it. It had been a rough past few days prior to that email, so being told that we won was just what I needed to make the rest of the week, no....the next 4 months amazing.

Just knowing that we would be getting away from Dallas, Tx for 3 whole days, gave me something extra to look forward to. After the condo was booked, my husband and I sat down and was looking at the list of local resturants and trying to decide where we wanted to eat while we were there. I had also found that you could take a sled ride(pulled by a pack of huskies), so I DEFF wanted to do that, actually I didn't care about the ride. I just wanted to play with a bunch of huskies in the snow.
We didn't actually get to go see the dogs, or anything like that, but it was still fun, just being somewhere new & looking at the amazing mountain views,

We left Sunday night the 13th(well, early Monday morning) & it took us 15 hrs to drive there! About 10 days before we left, Whitney emailed me and told me that she had upgraded up to a THREE(3) bedroom condo.

Most of the drive was just to get OUT of Texas. I slept most of the way there, but my husband woke me up once we were about an hr into Colorado, so I could see the mountains. When I looked up...this is what I saw....

Aren't they just gorgeous!? The last 4 hrs of the trip I stayed awake, just looking at the mountains, and the snow. I honestly had no idea what Crested Butte or Mount Crested Butte looked like, but I had an idea of how I thought it would look/be...and boy...was I wrong!

The town is so cute, I absolutely love it. I said just about the whole time we were there that Crested Butte looks like it belongs in a Hallmark Movie or something...it's just THAT adorable.

The top left photo(with our zebra print monster, Worren from Lu & Ed)is up a bit on the mountain looking into town. See all those little buildings? lol thats the town & it was about 3 miles away!

Since we got there after 8pm, we didn't get to do much the first night we were there, except hang out in the condo and just enjoy being a family. I am forever spoiled now, because of the heated floors. They were AMAZING to step on instead of a super cold floor that makes your feet hurt. 

The 2nd day we were there, we let the girls play in the snow a little bit, then we just kinda drove around the town. I seriously had the giggles because I was in the mountains, and snow..REAL snow...not this ice stuff we get here in Texas. They kept the roads darn near perfectly clean from any snow & it snowed just about the whole time we were there!

I did have some issues with the elevation(we were nearly 10k feet up), as well as lovely allergies, but I didn't even let that keep me from ejoying our trip.

Oh, and the people there are ALL so sweet! I guess I've lived in Dallas for so long now(almost 4 yrs) that I've forgotten that there are still friendly people around. I absolutely loved the small town feel, and I am competely in love with Crested Butte, so much so that even before we left I was crying because I didn't want to leave. Everything is just so beautiful there. I haven't felt like this about a town/city since we left SC..and even then I didn't cry as much as I did the day we left! 

I used to think I loved the ocean more, but now I'm not so sure. The mountians have a way of pulling you in and making you love them.

If you are looking for a great vacation spot and love the mountains, snow, outdoors and that "small town" feel, then I strongly suggest you visit Crested Butte & Mount Crested Butte. I had a few people ask me why I wasn't out skiing. lol my reply was "I can barely walk on my own two feet without breaking a foot/leg...let's not add skiing to that" 

Here is a video I made from our vacation. Enjoy! 



Oh! before we left I put 2 bunnies around town, gave one of Whitney, and the other 2 to someone else in town. I had 6 total, but when we were at a rest stop, we saw a small army convoy, so I had my 12 yr old(and husband) run over and give one of the soldiers a bunny as they thanked him for his service. My daughter came back and said he said "thank you" and had the biggest smile she has ever seen on a soldier(her words).

(5 bunnies I left/gave away in Crested Butte)

Each bunny had my business card on them & another tag that said "Free! take me home" and on the back it said "with <3 from texas".

(This one was left at the town clinic)

(This one was left in a chair at the visitor's center)


Thank You Crested Butte for having us, and for being beyond amazing. You will forever have a place in my heart. Until we meet again....

*Disclaimer*
This post is sponsored by U.S. Family Guide & Crested Butte Property Management. My family and I were the winners of a 3 night stay in a condo in Mount Crested Butte, Colorado. I am not required to post a review, but I felt it is the least I can do after they have been so amazing to us. 

16 March, 2016

9.5 x 11" Hexagon Metal Print from AdoramaPix




AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their contemporary metal prints capture memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Because your images are infused right into the metal, and not painted on the surface, their metal prints are extremely durable. Not only will your metal image be water and weather proof, but scratch resistant as well. You can even clean it with glass cleaner. Your memories deserve to live in true, archival luxury with AdoramaPix metal prints.

You can find all the fun gift ideas HERE: 
http://www.adoramapix.com/app/home/

My readers get to save! 25% off Hexagon #Metal Prints! Use promo code: PXHEXMTL25 expires 06/ 15 /2015




*Disclaimer*
This post is sponsored by U. S Family Guide & AdormaPix. I am not paid for this post, but I will receive a free 9.5 x 11" Hexagon Metal Print in exchange for my honest review

{{Book Review}} I Want It All | God created you for exceptional impact. Exceptional power. And exceptional blessings.



Gwen Smith knows how easy it is to dismiss God's plans with the thoughts, I can't make a big difference for God because I'm just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life. Yet God created us to join Him in doing amazing work in the world. He created us to live with abundant joy, courage, and influence. But not the joy, courage, and influence of the world. He offers His grace for each failure, His love that shatters hate, His peace that soothes the turmoil, His comfort, guidance, wisdom, rest, power, and significance. Every blessing He has for us is ours for the taking.

I Want It All will ignite a fire in your heart to experience more faith, more power, and more impact. More of Jesus. All of Jesus. Everything that God has for you.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1oDu9W9


*My Review*
Sadly for me, "I Want It All" wasn't a hit for me.I never like writing a less than perfect review, but if I always wrote reviews whre I said I loved every book, that wouldn't be a true review & I want to give my readers my honest opinion, while not being too harsh on the Author. With that being said,it is always helpful to read about the trials of other people and see how their faith helps them through. I didn't really feel connected to the material in this book. That doesn't mean that other readers won’t find her book inspiring. It just wasn't for me.


About the author: 

Gwen Smith is an author and volleyball enthusiast who lives in sunny North Carolina and has been married to her college honey, Brad, for 23 years. They are tired parents to three competitive-sport-playing teens who keep them on their toes and on their knees. Her online friends meet at GwenSmith.net to connect and be encouraged, and her goal is to help women think big thoughts about God and be inspired to live out the grace and truth of Jesus. Gwen speaks, leads worship, and eats potato chips at women's events everywhere, and she is a co-founder of the conference and devotional ministry Girlfriends in God.

15 March, 2016

Easter Devotions and Activities for Your Whole Family



Easter-Download 

We're down to the final two weeks before we celebrate Easter and Jesus' resurrection. Do your children understand and grasp the full meaning of why we celebrate the holiday? Adventures in Odyssey and Odyssey Adventure Club want to provide your family with a week of meaningful, fun Easter activities to help make the holiday come alive this year. Simply head to this page and sign up to download your free PDF full of family devotions, egg wraps, recipes, crafts, and cards. Oh, and as a bonus, here's a free activity sheet from Focus on the Family!

90-Devotions-for-Kids-Quote-3 

If you're looking to dig into the Easter holiday more and want to build your kids' faith, consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter. and Pinterest.

A marriage is only as strong as its foundation | {{Book Review}} Tying The Knot



Considering marriage? It's easy to spend all of your time before you get married concentrating on your wedding day.

But it's not a great wedding celebration that makes for a strong and lasting marriage. A marriage is only as strong as its foundation.

Rob Green, a pastor, counselor, and veteran of many premarital counseling sessions, shares that the joy, fun, companionship, and love couples hope for before marriage are not only possible, they are God's plan for marriage. But those things don't "just happen" after you tie the knot. A strong and lasting marriage is built on Jesus. As you find your life in him, you will also find that you can love and serve your spouse. A strong and lasting marriage grows as you live all of the ten thousand little moments of your life depending on Jesus's love and help.

What will you get from Tying the Knot?
  • A day-to-day vision of Christ-centered marriage that is realistic, hopeful, and practical
  • Field tested and recommended by multiple counselors in a thriving counseling practice
  • Highly practical and accessible for couples, requires about 60 minutes of weekly at-home work
  • Chapter-by-chapter exercises and questions for couples to do separately and together to build communication and intimacy
  • An appendix for mentors to guide couples through the book

*My Review*
Tying the Knot by Rob Green is very easy to read, while at the same time having that in-depth premarital counseling guide.


Mr. Green also stresses on how important the relationship with Christ in each person's life.The ONLy relationship that should be more important than the one between a husband and wife.

Each chapter ends with discussion questions this is a great guide for a couple preparing for marriage.
The chapters in the book are listed below;

Chapter 1: Jesus Must Be the Center of Your Life
Chapter 2: Love with Jesus as the Center
Chapter 3: Problem Solving with Jesus as the Center
Chapter 4: Roles and Expectations with Jesus as the Center
Chapter 5: Communication with Jesus as the Center
Chapter 6: Finances with Jesus as the Center
Chapter 7: Community with Jesus as the Center
Chapter 8: Intimacy with Jesus as the Center

 Meet the Author


Rob Green, MDiv, PhD
, is the Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN), as well as an instructor and counselor at Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries, Biblical Counseling Coalition Board member, and author of counseling minibooks. He and his wife, Stephanie, have three children.



07 March, 2016

Walk Through Holy Week with Odyssey Adventure Club


90-Devotions-for-Kids-Quote-2 

The Bible is no doubt a timeless book, but often it's seen by the younger generation as ancient and antiquated. How can we make the stories of the Bible—particularly the Easter story—alive and exciting for our children? Adventures in Odyssey has created a free activity kit for families to experience the Easter story brought to life through eight days of Christ-centered and fun activities. Click here to sign up and download the kit for free.

Spring-into-Faith-&-Fun 

If you're looking to bring the Bible to life further during the Easter season, consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter. and Pinterest.

04 March, 2016

{{Book Review}} The Flower Workshop | Lessons in Arranging Blooms, Branches, Fruits, and Foraged Materials


Written by a celebrated floral designer and lavishly illustrated with full-color photography, this book not only provides step-by-step instructions for 50 stunning floral projects from simple to spectacular, but also equips readers with the skills to customize arrangements at home. 


Whether hosting a party, helping out with a friend's wedding, or wishing to incorporate the beauty of flowers into everyday life, The Flower Workshop allows you to create dazzling arrangements that go beyond merely pretty and into realms of the dramatic, the unexpected, and sometimes even the magical. Written by a celebrated floral designer and lavishly illustrated with full-color photography, this book not only provides step-by-step instructions for more than forty-five stunning floral projects from simple to spectacular, but also equips you with the skills to customize arrangements at home.


Known for her hands-on flower workshops at FlowerSchool New York, Ariella Chezar walks you through the nuts and bolts of creating a variety of small flourishes, tonal arrangements, branch arrangements, handheld bouquets, wreathes, garlands, grand gestures, and more—all accompanied by detailed photography. Chezar offers advice and philosophy on everything from texture and color to foliage and containers, providing an overall approach to living and working with flowers, with an eye toward fresh, local, wild, seasonally influenced floral design. For every occasion, from relaxed and simple to lavish and monumental, The Flower Workshop celebrates the special moments in your life with glorious, fragrant floral arrangements and enhances your surroundings with abundant beauty.

*My Review*
This is such a gorgeous book with great insight. This book is for anyone who has any interest in flowers. I couldn't believe how beautiful most of the designs were and how the author(s) went more of the natural route which adds so much to the flower arrangements. I thought this was juat a book on flower arranging, but is so much more than that and I am proud to have this beautiful book in my collection. 

02 March, 2016

Begin Prepping for Easter with Odyssey Adventure Club


Witness-the-Greatest-Story-Ever-Told

Easter is right around the corner! It's an exciting time of year for families, churches, and Christians everywhere as we remember the greatest story ever told: how God loved us so much He sacrificed His Son so we could spend eternity with Him. Take advantage of the Easter season to spend more time with your family investing in your kids' faith.

To get you started, you can download a fun cutout to have a craft night with your family and to prepare them for Palm Sunday. Plus stop by this page for a slew of crafts, recipes, and stories to share with your family during this special time of year!

90-Devotions-for-Kids-Quote-1

If you're looking to take one more step in investing in your kids' faith during the Easter season, consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.