A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance. All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake. It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.
This is a very raw, in your face, uplifting memoir. I am so happy I got the chance to review it.
It is unusual to find such an honest book. Andrea takes us through her weight loss journey from beginning to end. You get the good and the bad, happy and sad, and everything in between. A book that doesn't just talk about diets or losing weight but rather delves into the more complex areas of it.
And it shows readers, who may also be on the weight loss path, there is definitely hope if you just stick with it. Set realistic goals, take baby steps, want to change, and realize it isn't going to be easy nor instant.
I love that the author takes us from her early childhood, through parental issues, through relationships, and is just real about it all. It makes her much more relatable and you feel as if you are right there with her. This is definitely an intense book. While I loved it, I did find myself irritated during some points. I felt as if Andie had a lot handed to her and often took those things for granted. Such as plastic surgery, business opportunities, etc. When those things were brought up throughout the book there seemed to be little emotion from the author. However, it didn't irritate me enough to distract from my enjoyment of the book overall.
Eating disorders are a very real issue, especially in this day and age when so much is put on body image. Honest memoirs like this are great for those who struggle because it can bring hope, and possibly even change.
I give this book a five star rating and highly recommend it.
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::From the back of the book:: Spain, 1748. Caridad is a recently freed Cuban slave wandering the streets of Seville. Her master is dead and she has nowhere to go. When, by chance, she meets Milagros Carmona—a spellbinding, rebellious gypsy—the two women become inseparable. Caridad is swept into an exotic fringe society full of romance and art, passion and dancing.
But their way of life changes instantly when gypsies are declared outlaws by royal mandate and their world as a free people becomes perilous. The community is split up—some are imprisoned, some forced into hiding, all fearing for their lives. After a dangerous separation, Caridad and Milagros are reunited and join in the gypsies’ struggle for sovereignty against the widespread oppression. It’s a treacherous battle that cannot, and will not, be easily won.
From the bustle of Seville to the theatres of Madrid, The Barefoot Queen is an unforgettable historical fresco filled with characters that live, suffer, and fight for the lives of those they love, and for the freedom they can’t live without.
I must say I have mixed feelings about this book. While I liked it I also found it to be heartbreaking. There is so much tragedy mixed in here. It is an excellent work of historical facts mixed with fiction that brings those days more to life than we could have imagined. At the same time this is not a read for the faint of heart. There is a lot of tragedy, murder, rape, misfortune, etc. There is also strength, characters overcome obstacles with a will power you wouldn't believe, and there will be times when you find yourself on the edge of your seat. Of course during the time frame this book is set in that shouldn't be a surprise as slavery was big back then and unfairness to African Americans and Gypsies was no secret sadly. It's much different reading about it with a story that makes it come more to life than you could imagine.
I found myself frustrated by a lot of the characters, however. Especially Milagros, a young gypsy girl who despite what her family warns her against decides to take matters of her love life into her own hand. This of course leads to misfortune on her part as you soon find out. I won't go into details as I don't want to spoil anything, but if you give this book a try you will see what I mean. I felt a lack of emotion on the characters parts. I was frustrated that most of them just seemed to take their lot and accept it regardless and there was little felt by them. It was hard for me to continue reading this book. At times I was drawn in by characters or circumstances, and at other times I was disgusted and couldn't read on. I felt there was little passion from the characters when there needed to be during certain scenes which made it harder to visualize. But I do recommend giving this book a try if your interested in history. There are some interesting facts in this book mixed up in the fiction, and it's definitely worth a try. I did not completely dislike the book, I just seen a lot of places for improvement. The last section of the book is where it really got good so I'm glad I stuck with it. I am glad I read it even if it was harder for me to get in to.
In the end, it will be okay because God is always with us.
Whether we like it or not, growing up brings change. For many children, this conjures fears that are sometimes real and sometimes imagined. How can kids learn that even when they face new and unfamiliar situations, they don't have to be afraid?
Little Seed and Little Fox are facing changes and brand new circumstances-and they don't like it one bit! Through this unlikely friendship, children will discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstances, God is always with them. The whimsical art by Natalia Moore will put a smile on kids' faces and put their minds at ease. Just as Little Seed and Little Fox learn to trust that the Farmer is good and kind, children will also learn to trust God.
Written by New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst, It Will Be Okay will help kids discover that the end, it really will be okay because we have a God who is good and kind and always with us.
We all go through change whether we want to or not, whether we are ready or not, it just happens. And for kids this can mean a variety of things: moving to a new home, getting a new sibling, starting a new school, beginning a new grade, making new friends, trying something new, etc. The list is never-ending. It's nice to see books that show that when change comes about we have to trust God and do our best to be brave. Being scared is an inevitable feeling, but even if we are scared we can be brave. This book shows just that. Little Seed is afraid to be planted but he just shoulders through and before he knows it he is a great plant! Little Fox is scared to be without his friend, but gets him back in a whole new way. And through it all the two characters see how well the Farmer cares for them through it all. Even when they don't see the Farmer or what he does to care for them they both slowly begin to realize that he waters them, plants food for them, makes shelter for them, etc.
I did think the book had a bit too much going on and could have went into a bit more detail about the Farmer or included the Farmer a bit more, but all in all I was happy with this book. Both my children ages 7 and 3 understood it. We took time to talk about each page after reading it, I asked them questions, and not only did they answer but they understood! That is a huge plus for any book we read to our children that they understand the meaning behind it or take something positive away from it.
The illustrations were also very well done, colorful, and captivating. I would recommend this book. It's great for any age really, and I am eager to check into more Little Fox and Little Seed stories.
Most Christmas stories you come across are based on Santa, Reindeer, Elves, etc. You do occasionally get the Christmas miracle stories which are also great to read. Sometimes though we just want a bit more. This is one book that takes some of the classics and puts them all together into an insightful, spiritual book that readers of all ages can enjoy. I actually had not even heard most of these stories myself so it was nice to get to read them. And each story you read will make you think and count your blessings! It's great for the whole family.
I love the way this book is set up also. Each story different, and a reader can take it at their own pace. You can read a story a day, or even more if you choose. Read aloud as a family or silently to yourself. If there's some stories in here you have already heard you can either re-read them or read the ones you haven't heard.
I love reading Christmas stories that make you think. All of the stories I read in this book are eye openers. They are heart-felt, insightful, spritual, and they can really get you thinking. Filled with kindness, peace, and goodwill after reading this book you'll be left with some great Christmas stories you won't soon forget.
Paperback: 339 pages
Publisher: Plough Publishing House (October 1, 2014)
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for free from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Let me start off by saying that not only is this an ADORABLE book but we really loved it. How refreshing it is to find children's stories about Jesus. Especially books with such a powerful message! How simple of a reminder that all we need to do is look at the stars and think of Jesus. Another reason why I love books such as this for my kids, especially as we are now in the Christmas season, is because it's a great reminder at what the season is all about. Not gifts and such, but the birth of Jesus and celebrating Him.
This book is excellent for children in many ways. The words rhyme often and are very easy to understand. The illustrations are vivid and very well done. It will capture your small child's attention. Especially for the really small ones. This is a board book and easy for them to hold with no worries on ripping pages! I would highly recommend it to any of you parents out there with young readers. It's a good lesson to be reminded of how the three wise men followed the star to where Jesus was, and how we can remember to worship Him today. My children loved it. Especially my toddler he has had me read to it to him almost every night since we got it. So parent and kid approved in our house I am glad to say. We hope you will check it out! :)
::From the back of the book:: "God made the stars and put them up high to shine down on earth from up in the sky." But long ago God made a special star. He put it in the sky to send a message: "Jesus our Savior has come …" We can look at the stars at night. And we can remember that a long time ago, Jesus' star shone among them.
Would you like to purchase this book for your little reader? Board BookNook
Age Range: 2 - 5 years
Board book: 14 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (August 29, 2006)
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.