Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful

I was first drawn to this book by the cover. It just kind of draws you in, and makes you curious. And then once I read the book summary I knew I just HAD to read it ASAP.

::A bit about the book from my own description::
Ivy Clark is a twenty four year old model who suddenly learns a hard lesson about how fickle the fashion world really is. Being thrown into the modeling world at the tender age of fourteen she has had many successful years, but suddenly finds that it is all quickly about to come tumbling down. She feels the desperate need to hold on. What does it matter that nobody cares about the real Ivy Clark? As long as she looks good for the camera, that's all they need.
So when Ivy is thrust into a modeling job for her stepmother's bridal wear line she realizes that may be her one hope to hang on to the ever fickle fashion world.
Ivy is not prepared for Davis Knight, her unusual photographer. He walked away from a successful life that Ivy could only dream of, and to be a maintenance man at a small town church. Not only does she not understand his life decisions, but Davis treats Ivy differently than any other man. Davis looks at the deeper her, and cares more about looking good for the camera. The problem is that Davis looks to the depths and Ivy isn't ready to go there.
Deeming herself unworthy Ivy can't understand how Davis or anyone else in her life could see her as more than just an outer shell, or how she can see herself as more than that.

::My thoughts::
I love this book. I used to model many years ago. Nothing big time, just a few small things here and there. I know a little bit about how cruel the fashion world can be which is why I quickly changed my mind about that kind of life. You are just there to take pictures and that's it. Opinions rarely matter from the model, and the outward beauty is all that matters. It's a sad reality.
This book had me so captured. Right from the beginning I just knew I was not going to be able to put it down. There is so much tension, passion, need, and hurt that you can almost feel it sizzle from the pages.
I hurt for Ivy. She had to endure emotional pain from such a young age, but I also felt annoyed with her many times. She was like a brick wall that wouldn't let anyone in. Most times she even acted like a completely spoiled brat.
I was equally as furious with Davis Knight. While he was more compassionate and always tried to see the best in Ivy, he is as stubborn as a mule when it comes to himself. The two paired together definitely provided a page turner.
You can almost feel the passion between the two characters sizzle the pages, that also had me hooked.
There are many other characters in this book that I fell in love with, but Ivy stuck with me. Throughout her childish behaviors she learns many important lessons about life and herself. This is definitely a book that will make you take a look at the world's perception of beauty, and maybe even your own perceptions. If I would have to sum this book up in one word I would say powerful! There isn't just one message to take away from this book, but many. You don't find that in every novel, and I am excited to have gotten the pleasure to read this book.
I am a huge Katie Ganshert fan, and this book only made that stronger. I read her book Wishing on Willows last year, and it was equally enthralling. I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeling for more of her fantastic novels, and I urge you to do the same. But while your waiting go ahead and read this one. I highly recommend it! I rate it five out of five stars.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601425902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601425904

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Noah and the Mighty Ark

This is an exceptional book for children that tells the story of Noah and the Ark in a rhyming, easy to remember way. It is written in such a way that a child of almost any age, especially the young ones, can relate to. It is filled with big, bright, colorful, wonderful illustrations that will capture your young readers attention immediately.
My children ages 6 and 3 really loved reading this book. We read it often, and have fun counting and naming all of the animals that go in and out of the ark. Plus there are a lot of fun sounds in here to have fun with as your reading. My kids got such a laugh out of that. Like when the snakes s-s-slither. The book is hardcover so sturdy enough for younger children without being heavy, and the pages are glossy and easy to turn.
My favorite thing about this children's book is not only the story, but the fact that the author does a fantastic job of staying on track to tell the story accurately and in a short amount of time to capture a child's attention. It is put in a way the children can understand, and while you may need to explain a few little words to your young reader it is definitely worth it.
The Bible verse Genesis 6:14-19 is included in the front of the book, and this is the verse on which the story is based. It helps connect the actual bible with the story and better opens discussion opportunities with your little one.
I would recommend this book to any child's personal library, for a children's Sunday School class, etc. We have a lot of fun reading this book as a family for fun, and for a bedtime story. Books like this help our children understand the stories of God, and in a way they can more fully understand. This book is recommended for ages 4-8 although I think it fits even a bit younger, and maybe even a bit older children who still enjoy illustrated books and the rhyming technique of storytelling. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, and highly recommend that you check it out soon! :)

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310732174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310732174

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the above mentioned book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/12/2014

Hello all. Sorry I am getting this post up rather late. I have had a busy morning and will be having a busy afternoon. I'm re-arranging house right now and that includes going through more stuff, getting rid of stuff, etc. Plus I've had some additional errands to do today that took up some of my morning time.
Did you all have a Happy Mother's Day? I had a Happy Mother's Day post that I thought I scheduled to go up yesterday, but I apparently didn't set it up right. So Happy Late Mother's Day to all you fellow mothers out there. I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful day yesterday.
Even though I have been battling being sick we had a great weekend. Hubby was off Friday and had to work the other days but he more than made that up, and me and the kids had a blast just spending time together.

Photo Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
To join in with Happy Homemaker Monday please visit the blog by clicking here and add your Happy Homemaker Monday post to Mr. Linky. :)

::As I look outside my window::
It's a little cloudy but the sun shows itself time and again. There is a breeze but it's very humid today. I can't complain too much tough, I'll take this over the snow and freezing temps right now. LOL We are in for some rain today I believe. I am kind of looking forward to it to be honest. I love the rain. :)

::Right now I am::
Drinking some tea with honey, and hoping it helps this awful cough I have. I cannot believe it but I am out of cinnamon completely so that is now on the shopping list for this week. Typing up this post at the kitchen table.

::Thinking and pondering::
About how relieved I am that there are only a couple weeks left of school. Almost three really counting this week. We had to make up a lot of days due to the winter we had. School got canceled for a week straight here.
And about how I am so over this sickness. I ended up with sinusitis and bronchitis and have been battling it for over a week now. I'm ready for it to go away, now would be good. LOL

::On my bedside table::
My Bible
My body lotion
My bedside lamp

::On my TV this week::
Monday- Safe Crackers with hubby
Tuesday- Real Tori
Wednesday- South Beach Tow
Thursday- Impractical Jokers (depending on if it's a new episode or one I've already seen)
Friday- catching up on some unseen Hoarders episodes
Saturday- catching up on some Kitchen Nightmares and Undercover Boss episodes
Sunday- Long Island Medium

::Listening to::
Nothing at the moment. My little man is having a late nap.

::On the menu for this week::
Monday- Chicken Stir Fry with Rice and Breadsticks
Tuesday- Grilling out cheeseburgers, waffle fries, potato salad
Wednesday- Fried Chicken, Chicken Rice, Peas
Thursday- shopping day so not really sure yet
Friday- see above
Saturday- see above
Sunday- see above

::On my to do list::
Change Bed Linens
Re-arranging furniture
Call the insurance company again (they messed up on some stuff and it's so hard trying to get them to straighten it out even though the fault is with them and not us, so frustrating)

::Happening this week::
Monday- Nothing besides what is on my to-do list above. Random chores, errands, making calls, etc
Tuesday- Karate (my little man is getting promoted! He will have yellow stripe now, I'm so proud)
Wednesday- Mopping floors, vacuuming floors, library
Thursday- Playgroup for little one, grocery shopping, paying bills, Karate
Friday- errands

::What I am creating::
Nothing at the moment. I actually finally bought some new yarn, but I have tons of my husband's work clothes to repair right now. LOL

::My simple pleasure::
Cuddling up with my kiddos on rainy days watching old cartoons which we all love.

::Homemaking tips::
Keep a magnetic notepad, paper, dry erase board, etc., in the kitchen. When you find your running low on something or run out of something you can refer to that when you are making your shopping list for the week. We have a small dry erase board and besides just using it for that I also will occasionally jot down meal ideas. Sometimes while I'm cooking one thing I'll think about making something else sometime so I jot it down so I don't forget.

::Looking around the house::
Everything is pretty much done except for laundry which is never done.

::From the camera::
Nothing this week

::Prayer List::
Friends and family needing prayers.
Everyone out there that needs prayers out of our reach.

::Bible Verse / Devotional::

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The inScribed Collection - A Collection of Studies by Women

I am proud and pleased to say that I got to wonderful opportunity to review the inScribed Collection from Thomas Nelson publishers. The inScribed Collection is a series of bible study books for women that help them become closer to God and cover many challenges Christian women face.
What I love about these books is they are not all written by one author, but different women so you are getting many different experiences, points of views, and advice.
The inScribed Collection is a fantastic bible study series to read on your own, or as a larger group. Each book is easy to delve right into and just get lost in. I also believe every woman can take something away from each book, and bring yourself closer to God.
Below I've included my thoughts on each book as well as a bit about each book:

Dive Deeper by: Jenifer Jernigan
Finding deep faith beyond shallow religion

In this book find out the difference between knowing the Bible and actually understanding the Bible. Written by a preacher's daughter d.i.v.e. deeper right along with her. Get out of your safe zone with this book and come to really understand Scripture, deepening your relationship with Jesus beyond your own thoughts. While I read this book I realized that while I know the Bible I don't fully understand many parts of it, and that is a problem. We can't just get by knowing the Bible, but we need to understand it.
This book features:

  • Helpful tips for Bible study beginners
  • Useful tools to encourage familiarity of the Bible, its contents, and study helps
  • Scripture from the book of Ephesians.

Leaving Ordinary by Donna Gaines
Encounter God through extraordinary prayer

In all of our hearts our deepest desire isn't always easily known by us. We long for our hearts to know and be known by God. We crave that relationship whether we readily realize it or not. We don't have to long for Him in our hearts, we can experience it. Prayer can be the channel for us all to link our hearts to God's. In this book we see how God gave the pattern of the tabernacle to the Israelites. Through it God taught them how to approach and worship Him before their journey to the promised land. This author uses the tabernacle and its articles as a guide, and we are led down a path through worship and intimacy with God.
This book features:
  • Explore the tabernacle and discover how it can be a guide for prayer today.
  • Learn how to gain a stronger, more intimate relationship with God.
  • Develop your own personal prayer testimony as you experience His presence.

Amazed and Confused by Heather Zempel
When God's actions collide with our expectations.

Sometimes we find ourselves praying desperately for something only to find we are left either confused or disappointed by God's response. We then begin to question how God could have allowed bad things to happen to good people, especially if we pray desperately for a different outcome. Why doesn't God answer some of our prayer requests? Doesn't he hear them? Doesn't he hear us? These are all questions that we all ask from time to time. And this book helps to answer some of those questions. In this book we learn more about the book of Habakkuk and explore the prophet's prayer, God's response, and the prophet's journey from confusion to worship. This is a very interactive Bible study, and is the perfect choice for those who are hurting, confused, or find yourselves asking questions about the outcome of God's response to our prayers.
This book features:
  • Helpful guidance on a question without an easy answer
  • Practical tools for studying the Minor Prophets
  • Easy-to-understand, accessible language

Living So That by Wendy Blight
Making faith-filled choices for the midst of a messy life

This is an interesting study book. This takes on a completely different approach to understand God's Word, and focuses on some of the most powerful verses in Scripture. 
This author writes with an easily approachable style, easy to understand, and includes many personal examples along with her biblical teachings. In this book the author shows ways to take the Word of God and live it so you can impact the world around you. You will find a new light on living, and find that you can use biblical truths to make decisions even in the present-day. It's a very enlightening book, and was by far one of my favorites. It is very easy to understand, and incredibly enlightening.
This book features:
"Going Deeper" sections encourage readers to dig further into the truths presented
"Call to Action" sections challenge readers to take practical steps to apply what they have learned.
Helpful tips and tools for practicing active faith.

I strongly recommend the inScribed Collection for any women's Bible study group, or for the woman that wants to do Bible study on her own. This is by far one of the most easily relatable, most enjoyable, Bible studies I have had the pleasure to read. You will find yourself on a path you didn't expect and learning along each step you take with these four books! You will definitely be able to expect life change after reading this collection. 

You can find more at:

Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned books complimentary from the publisher Tyndale in exchange for my unbiased reviews and thoughts. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday 05/05/2014

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and here's to hoping for a good week ahead! :) I do want to share something real quick. I stumbled upon this facebook page with tons of gorgeous antiques. It's so exciting just to see them and read about them! If you like antiques and vintage items then you should definitely check this page out. I would love to have so much of the stuff they post on there! lol I am always on the search for such stuff in thrift stores, rummage sales, etc. :) You can also post some of your own antique pictures on their page and have it featured!
Here's the facebook page:
Here's the website:
And here is just one of the beautiful pictures they have featured: 
Photo Credit: Bridget Borchert on Dusty Old Thing
 I just had to share that as I know a lot of you also love antiques! And now it's time to get on with Happy Homemaker Monday! :)

Photo Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
To join in Happy Homemaker Monday visit Sandra's blog @
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, find her latest Happy Homemaker Monday post
and add your HHM blog link and name onto the Mr. Linky provided! :)

::As I look outside my window::
The sun is up and so am I. I'm sure it's a bit chilly still right now although I haven't stepped outside just yet. I hope today is as gorgeous as it was yesterday. Yesterday we had all the windows open letting in the breeze and fresh air. I love the mild temps when it's not too hot and not too cold, but JUST right. It's so relaxing. 

::Right now I am::
Sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a cold glass of Ice Water with fresh cut lemon slices. (I have been feeling so parched lately), and I am typing up this post. I woke up wide awake so no need for any coffee this morning which is unusual for me. Everything is quiet in the house at the moment. It's that time before everyone wakes up and I'm enjoying it. lol

::Thinking and pondering::
About all there is to do today, and what is ahead for the week.
Also about priorities. We were planning this huge family vacation this year out of state but now I don't think it's going to happen. We really need to get some financial things taken care of first. Sitting down doing our budget and trying to plan for this big vacation just made me realize how hard it will be to do that at this point in time. We have come so far but we still have a bit of ways to go. I mean we could manage the big vacation but it would put some other stuff on hold and we would really rather not do that. It would be easier to just get it taken care of and go on some mini-vacations and local family activities. That way it doesn't break our budget. It's really not a big deal to me though just as long as we are getting family time and having fun. 

::On my bedside table::
My new reading lamp hubby bought me for an early Mother's Day Gift. I absolutely love it and it's just what I needed and have been wanting since my last one got broken when we moved.
The book I'm reading: Saving Amelie
My Bible
My body lotion
My Kindle

::On my TV tonight::
Monday- Safe Crackers and some of the hubby's shows
Tuesday- unsure
Wednesday- unsure
Thursday- Impractical Jokers
Friday- unsure
Saturday- unsure
Sunday- unsure

::Listening to::
Silence. It's that time in my house when everyone is still asleep except for me. 

::On the menu for this week::
Monday- Shrimp Poppers, Rice, and Peas
Tuesday- Chili
Wednesday- Lasagna, Garlic Bread & Salad
Thursday- Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes w/gravy, and corn
Friday- BBQ Pork Chops, Mac & Cheese, Cornbread, Asparagus
Saturday- Corn Dogs, Sweet Potato Fries
Sunday- Grilled Steaks, Veggie Kabobs, Baked Potatoes

::On my to do list::
Going through storage stuff and eliminating
Grocery shopping

::Happening this week::
Monday- Chores and purging household/storage things
Tuesday- Karate
Wednesday- Playgroup for youngest
Thursday- Errand day & Karate
Friday- Library

::What I am creating::
Still nothing, it's been so crazy hectic around here I still haven't picked up any yarn and I need to badly.

::My simple pleasure::
Taking walks

::Homemaking tips::
When you go to the store and pick items up like meat and veggies you can always portion out what you usually use and freeze the rest. That way nothing goes to waste and you have more to use for later or for something else. We often buy bulk sizes when there is a sale that way we can just take out what we need and freeze the rest. In the end we usually end up saving more money that way.

::Looking around the house::
My wax burner is going on the kitchen counter. I love starting it up in the morning. Everything is quiet and clean for now. That will of course change within the next hour as everyone starts getting up and breakfast gets under way.

::From the camera::
From last week's zoo field trip. I always love looking at the colorful Pink Flamingos :)

::Prayer list::
My family and some financial issues we have going on at the moment

::Bible verse/Devotional::
We fallen humans generally make decisions by sight, which often means that we let our emotions be our guide. We do what we want to do, and pride and feelings rule.
Of course, God created our emotions and He intends for them to be fulfilled, but He does not intend for them to rule us. If they did, our lives would be roller-coaster rides, moving up and down with every whim and trend. God transcends our feelings, and when we elevate the above His wisdom, we are placing ourselves on the throne of our own heart--where only He belongs.
God's prescription for our wisdom is to find His. His is constant; His is eternal; His is deeply rooted in reality--the way things really are. His wisdom is everything our emotions are not. A believer who forsakes his or her own feelings for the much more reliable guidance of the eternal God has become wise. Sight is limited; faith is not. We must walk by faith, not sight.

                       -taken from 365 Pocket Devotions by Chris Tiegreen

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV

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