Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Review: 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path



Take Heart, Beloved.

His Light Is Shining, 
And Your Path Is Clear.



Wherever you are on your journey, here is the wisdom you need for the road ahead. Maybe you’re stuck and want to move forward. Or you feel anxious and long to know what’s next. Or you’re ready for an uplifting reminder that God holds your future in His loving hands.
Chosen by hundreds of women as their favorite verses in Proverbs, these thirty-one nuggets of truth reveal how faithfully God honors His promise, “I will instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths” (Proverbs 4:11).
Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs examines each word with care and adds a sprinkling of humor through her honest stories and personal examples. For each verse you’ll find a unique “One Minute, One Step” challenge—a do-it-now task that requires one minute or less. You’ll soon discover how practical and meaningful the book of Proverbs is as you apply its ancient wisdom to your thoroughly modern life.
With a study guide included, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path is a daily devotional and a small-group Bible study, wrapped in a beautiful gift book brimming with encouragement!


My Review:
This book is a great way to connect with God and quiet yourself for a few minutes every day.  The reflections are short and sweet.  Each reflection ends with "one minute, one step", which challenges you to reflect and grow.  I appreciate the short and sweet.  Proverbs is so filled with wisdom and instruction, especially as a woman, wife and mother.  I am excited to delve into all of the Proverbs and reflections in this book.  There is another series that Higgs has written also and I might check that one out next.  I highly recommend this book for the woman in your life.


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: The Daily Question





A Simple Way to Reflect on Life and Faith

This keepsake daily journal prompts you to record what is happening in your heart and spirit. The short questions at the top of each page are quick to answer—but their impact could be life changing! You’ll go back and answer the same question a year later for five years in a row, creating a time capsule of soul transformation.
 
With questions about…

·  your view of yourself (“What three words would people use to describe you?”),
·  your view of God (“What attribute of God are you thankful for today?”),
·  your current circumstances (“Who do you wish you could talk to today?”)


…this journal keeps a beautiful record of your hopes, thoughts, and spiritual journey.



My Review:

This book is so cute.   This book is a great way to reflect on your life over the past 5 years.  The lines for each reflection are only a few and they are written one for each day with spaces for the next 4 years.  I love that you can look back on what you wrote the previous years.  Leaving only room for short answers makes this journal easy to follow through with although I am guessing some answers would use more room.  I appreciate that aspect.  I am excited to start using this journal and am also excited to see my previous responses.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Book Review: A Prairie Girl's Faith



The beloved author of the Little House books was not only one of America's great pioneer storytellers but a woman of vibrant faith.

A Prairie Girl's Faith provides the first extended, in depth discussion of the Christian faith of one of America's most beloved pioneer women--Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although the faith of the Ingalls' family pervades books in the Little House series, the more specific details of Laura's faith have never been fully explored. It took extraordinary pluck for anyone to survive the harshness of frontier life--from the heartbreak of sudden crop losses to murderous storms to unrelenting loneliness. This book reveals how in surviving, the brave Laura drew not just on her character, but found encouragement, strength, and hope in her relationship with God.



My Review: 
I am a huge Little House on the Prairie fan so I was so excited to get this book.  One of the things that I love and admire the most about their family is their faith. I was thrilled to get to read more about that part of their lives.  This book is written in a way that makes it super easy to pick up, read a bit, and then put it down for the rest of the day.  That is what this mom needs in most books!  It is written in short little "stories" or examples of how they lived because of their faith.  I loved this book and will treasure the ideas and stories in it.  I highly recommend this book especially for Little House lovers!


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: Nourished




A noted entrepreneur, food writer, and recipe developer serves up an evocative adventure story about her quest to find healing, meaning, and a place at the table.
 
Hunger comes to us in many forms, writes Lia Huber—we long to be satisfied not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Nourished invites readers on Huber’s world-roaming search to find the necessary ingredients to nurture all three. 
     She begins her quest with an Anthony Bourdain moment in a Guatemalan village: she's slipping fresh vegetables into a communal pot of soup she's cooking up for chronically undernourished children. Village grannies look on disapprovingly... until the kids come back for more. 
     From there, Huber takes readers to the Greek island of Corfu, where she learns the joys of simple food and the power of unconditional love; to a Costa Rican jungle house (by way of an 8,000-mile road trip), where she finds hope and healing; and finally to California's wine country, where she steps into the person she was meant to be and discovers her calling to nourish others.


My Review:
I felt like this book was somewhat like a more foodie version of Eat, Pray, Love, which I loved.  In this book Huber discovers more about herself while giving of herself to others.  I am excited to pass this book on to other people who I know will love the introspective, generous nature of this book while also appreciating the recipes and love of food.  I highly recommend this book!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: The Creeps





A follow-up to the New York Times best-selling Deep Dark Fears: a second volume of comics based on people's quirky, spooky, hilarious, and terrifying fears. 

Illustrator, animator, teacher, and comic artist Fran Krause has touched a collective nerve with his wildly popular web comic series and subsequent book Deep Dark Fears. Here he brings readers more of the creepy, funny, and idiosyncratic fears they love illustrated in comic form--such as the fear that your pets will tell other animals all your embarrassing secrets, or that someone uses your house while you're not home--as well as two longer comic short-stories about ghosts.

My Review:
This book is pretty hilarious if you have the tiniest bit of dark humor in you.  It is filled with short little comics about many of the things we find strange or creepy.  The comics turn these issues into hilarious little bits.  I chose this book to give as a gift to someone who will appreciate the darker humor that Fran Krause shares in this book.  I know she will love it and I might need to buy another copy or two and definitely check out the first in this "series".

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  





Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: Hacking Growth



The definitive playbook by the pioneers of Growth Hacking, one of the hottest business methodologies in Silicon Valley and beyond.

It seems hard to believe today, but there was a time when Airbnb was the best-kept secret of travel hackers and couch surfers, Pinterest was a niche web site frequented only by bakers and crafters, LinkedIn was an exclusive network for C-suite executives and top-level recruiters, Facebook was MySpace’s sorry step-brother, and Uber was a scrappy upstart that didn’t stand a chance against the Goliath that was  New York City Yellow Cabs. 

So how did these companies grow from these humble beginnings into the powerhouses they are today? Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t explode to massive worldwide popularity simply by building  a great product then crossing their fingers and hoping it would catch on. There was a studied, carefully implemented methodology behind these companies’ extraordinary rise. That methodology is called Growth Hacking, and it’s practitioners include not just today’s hottest start-ups, but also companies like IBM, Walmart, and Microsoft as well as the millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, managers and executives who make up the community of GrowthHackers.com.

Think of the Growth Hacking methodology as doing for market-share growth what Lean Start-Up did for product development, and Scrum did for productivity. It involves cross-functional teams and rapid-tempo testing and iteration that focuses customers: attaining them, retaining them, engaging them, and motivating them to come back and buy more.   

An accessible and practical toolkit that teams and companies in all industries can use to increase their customer base and market share, this book walks readers through the process of creating and executing their own custom-made growth hacking strategy. It is a must read for any marketer, entrepreneur, innovator or manger looking to replace wasteful big bets and "spaghetti-on-the-wall" approaches with more consistent, replicable, cost-effective, and data-driven results.


My Review: 
This book is a great read for business owners and people in sales.  The ideas are that businesses need to grow and develop in order to keep up with their customer's demands and desires.  Data backs up the information given but it is given in a way that is still easy to understand and interpret.  The book gives great ideas for the present and also shares how successful businesses have also "hacked growth".  I highly recommend this book if you are in sales or a business owner who wants to grow an even more successful business.


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Review: Before I Forget

















 
 
Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's
 
“I know where I’m going. I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I’ll say to myself, What are we going to do? How long are we staying? It’s like I’m talking to my other self—the self I used to be. She tells me, This is what we need to buy—not that. I’m conscious of that other self guiding me now.”

Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at 66 with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer's patient.  She’s not alone. Every 67 seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.

B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with Alzheimer's day-to-day challenges: the family realities and tensions, ways of coping, coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.

At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story: illuminating a love of family, life, and hope.
 
 
My Review: 
This book was heartbreaking for me especially because my grandmother just died and she had Alzheimer's.  The disease is real and scary.  It confuses everyone.  I loved reading this because much of it was written from the woman who is struggling with Alzheimer's.  Her viewpoints were different from what we often hear about and see.  We imagine what it is like to deal with someone who has the disease but we often don't think about how the person with the disease feels. 
This is a great book and unfortunately it is one that we all could use on our shelves.
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's by [Smith, B., Gasby, Dan, Shnayerson, Michael]

Friday, January 27, 2017


Based on Maja Säfström's delightful book The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts, this collection of 50 collectible postcards is the perfect way for animal lovers and art lovers to share and collect Maja's charming illustrations.

Housed in a keepsake box and arranged, much like a recipe box or card catalog, in tabbed sections (air, forest, sea, etc) this posctard box lets the user share all the curious knowledge and amazing artwork that makes Maja's book so special. From the Otters (they hold hands when they sleep in the water so they don't float away from each other!) to the elephant (mother elephant pregnanices last two years!) each postcard presents a unique look at the animal kingdom that will delight and astound. 50 postcards; 25 designs repeating, printed on toothy uncoated stock, with the animal's biological classifcation on the back.

My Review:
These were so cute.  The facts were a bit simple, but great for a short and sweet postcard.  The pictures are wonderful.  You can definitely color them in, but they are great alone also.  I love that there are two of each because I might not want to send them if there was only one.  I can't wait for my kids to pick out which ones to send to family members.  Definitely love and definitely recommend!

I received these postcards for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Book Review: Accidental Saints


New York Times Bestseller | One of NPR's Best Books of 2015


What if that person you've been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today?

And what if that's the point?

In Accidental Saints, New York Times best-selling au­thor Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA. 

As she lives and worships alongside these “ac­cidental saints,” Nadia is swept into first-hand en­counters with grace—a gift that feels to her less like being wrapped in a warm blanket and more like being hit with a blunt instrument. But by this grace, people are trans­formed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own. 

In a time when many have rightly become dis­illusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints dem­onstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike. 

Told in Nadia’s trademark confessional style, Accidental Saints is the stunning next work from one of today’s most important religious voices.


My Review:
I was really intrigued  by this book and the author but I was not as impressed with this book as I thought I would be.  It is a very easy, enjoyable read and the author sounds like a lot of fun.  I enjoyed everything in the book except that the stories were... just not doing it for me-I'm not sure why.  The stories are about ordinary, imperfect people who influence us and "show" us a bit of God.  The stories were touching but so much of the story was spent on the author continuing to tell about her imperfections.  I appreciate reading that so much, but only so much, I guess.  I am excited to gift this book to someone who I think will easily relate to the author.  

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Game Review: Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers



From the daughter-father duo that created Brooklyn's beloved live pun competition comes Punderdome, the "Punderful card game [that] will replace Cards Against Humanity at your next party" (Mashable.com).

One part game, one part conversation starter, you don't need to be a pun master to master Punderdome: the goal is to make bad jokes and have fun along the way.

A player (the prompter for that round) draws two prompt cards from the deck, and then reads the prompts to the rest of the group, who have 90 seconds to create a single, groan-worthy pun that combines the two prompts.     

When time is up, pun makers share their puns with the prompter, who awards the prompt cards to the player whose pun he or she likes best. The winner then draws the next pair of prompt cards and the process repeats. Players win by obtaining 10 pairs of cards.

Every Game Set Comes With:
·         200 double-sided cards (100 White and 100 Green)
·         2 Mystery Envelopes with fill-in prize slips
·         2 80-page pads for drafting puns
·         1 instruction card and 1 pun example card
·         A stu-PUN-dous time for 3 or more players

My Review:
This game sounded like lots of fun.  It definitely is if you are clever.  I am the person who thinks of great come backs days later.  I am not a clever person in that way.  The game was fun to watch, since I am much better at observing this game than playing.  I am planning to gift this game to some people in my family who are all pretty "pun"tastic.  It would be a great game to play at a party!!  It may be just what your holiday party needs!

I received this game for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review: The More of Less


Don’t Settle for More
 
Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter, and we tire of cleaning and managing and organizing. 
 
While excess consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, fancier technology, and cluttered homes, it never brings happiness. Rather, it results in a desire for more. It redirects our greatest passions to things that can never fulfill. And it distracts us from the very life we wish we were living.
 
Live a better life with less.
 
In The More of Less, Joshua Becker, helps you….
 
•          recognize the life-giving benefits of owning less
•          realize how all the stuff you own is keeping you from pursuing your dreams
•          craft a personal, practical approach to decluttering your home and life
•          experience the joys of generosity
•          learn why the best part of minimalism isn’t a clean house, it’s a full life
 
The beauty of minimalism isn’t in what it takes away. It’s in what it gives. 
 
Make Room in Your Life for What You Really Want
 
“Maybe you don’t need to own all this stuff.” After a casual conversation with his neighbor on Memorial Day 2008, Joshua Becker realized he needed a change. He was spending far too much time organizing possessions, cleaning up messes, and looking for more to buy.
 
So Joshua and his wife decided to remove the nonessential possessions from their home and life. Eventually, they sold, donated, or discarded over 60 percent of what they owned. In exchange, they found a life of more freedom, more contentment, more generosity, and more opportunity to pursue the things that mattered most.
 
The More of Less delivers an empowering plan for living more by owning less. With practical suggestions and encouragement to personalize your own minimalist style, Joshua Becker shows you why minimizing possessions is the best way to maximize life.
 
Are you ready for less cleaning, less anxiety, and less stress in your life? Simplicity isn’t as complicated as you think.

My Review:
This book couldn't have been suggested at a more perfect time for me and my family as we just left a 2100 sq foot house to move into less than 400 sq feet in an RV.  This book starts out with the father postponing his play time with his child because he has too much to do.  The too much was all based on stuff...on things they had accumulated.  Living with more is a very American way of living and one that causes us many issues that often don't even seem related.
This book can help you start release the ties and see what good could come.  I highly recommend it.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.