Saturday, October 14, 2017

A picture of a highschool mom's frequent view

Homeschooling high school students in a semi-rural area means a lot of driving for me.  Lots of waiting. Lots of time spent in the car. We live a ways away from the city, so I'm often there, sitting and waiting in the car (unless it's crazy cold!)

Sometimes I'm tempted to get frustrated with all this car time, but I'm reminded that it's really just a short phase in our lives, another step in raising up responsible adults :) so I thank God for the opportunities that He provides, and relish the time spent together, and the great conversations to be enjoyed during the driving times.


Friday, October 13, 2017

The LifeGiving Table by Sally Clarkson -- my REVIEW


We probably all long for the peaceful, lighthearted, inviting meal pictured on the front of this lovely book, The LifeGiving Table by Sally Clarkson.  Am I right?  I look at that and just feel like that's a dinner that I would like to be invited to!

Sally Clarkson's lovely book gives you that same feeling, a longing to have a table-life like she and her family do.  The subtitle of the book is, "Nurturing faith through feasting, one meal at a time."  

Throughout the book, the author describes how she has utilized mealtimes (and snack/tea times) as opportunities for sharing her life, wisdom, and faith with others.  She shares abundantly with her family and children as well as with others she comes into contact with.  

One of the purposes of this book is to encourage the readers to use meals/mealtimes as opportunities for service.  Serving others through offering food, conversation, encouragement, and more.  There are practical tips for how to make a welcoming space and a welcoming attitude.  There are illustrations of how meals have been used in different settings.  Family traditions are explained.  Ways of encouraging others are laid out.  Delicious-sounding recipes are included!

I enjoyed this book, in a "wishing that were my case" way.  I'm not sure if I can quite explain how I felt reading it, it was kind of a fairy tale of a book for me.  I don't mean to say that I thought it wasn't true, no, not at all...I know that people DO live like that.  I applaud her service and sharing her life and the Gospel through her hospitality.  It is just hard for me to imagine how I could live up to this ideal.  One thing is that I think it helps if both husband and wife want to serve in this way. Otherwise, it is . . .difficult.  I also felt like we maybe don't measure up to her standards.  I do know that I can serve through meals, but my meals and setting would be different. My days are filled with homeschooling, loving, and growing my three teenagers into Christ-following, God-fearing, kind, responsible adults. I think maybe we (my family) just aren't up to her economic level, but truthfully that doesn't matter so much.  We do what we are called to do, we live as we are called to live.  As I read this, I needed the reminder from Scripture, " Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have..." Hebrews 13:5a (KJV)  But I think that her portrayal is beautiful, and brings out a longing in me.  Even though I wouldn't do things exactly the same way, I can be inspired by her life and live for Christ through mine.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


Beauty

So much beauty (and work!!) in this season . . .

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Adored -- my REVIEW


Adored (365 Devotions for Young Women) is a devotional book by Lindsay A Franklin, written for girls ages 13 and up.  This book is designed to allow young women to spend time thinking about a verse each day, as well as learning more about God's love for them and how that plays out in everyday life.  


Each day's page begins with a Bible verse, followed by a short writing about the verse and how it relates to God's love for each of us.  There are entries about why you are special and how you are loved, as well as others about the characteristics of God and how He wants his people to live their lives.  
At the end of each page is three or four lines for readers to respond with their thoughts.

So...my thoughts on the book?  It's pretty :) I like the cover art as well as the page borders.  I think it's a little short and kind of light for a teenage girl, but maybe she could use it as a part of a regular time spend in reading the Bible and praying.  I really like the idea of the lines at the bottom of the pages for a response, but I think it would've been better to give a little writing prompt of some sort (at least that's what helps my daughters to write, usually.)  So basically, I thought it was okay, but with the plethora of devotionals out there for teenage girls, this one probably wouldn't be my first choice.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

365 Devotions for Living Joyfully by Victoria York -- my REVIEW


It's no surprise to you that we live in a rather dark world.  News events and other happenings are hard, violent, stressful, scary.  It is easy to forget that we have a Savior who is in charge of our lives and our destiny.  Many times in the Bible we are reminded to trust God, cast our cares on Him, and etc. yet how many of us find ourselves worrying, pessimistic, and just plain stressed?  

Reading the Bible daily is a discipline that feeds your soul, and this book would make a great addition to your daily time with God.  365 Devotions for Living Joyfully is a book by Victoria York which gives daily meditations based on Scripture aimed at reminding us of the hope and joy that we can experience through Christ and His work in our daily lives.  


The book is organized with one page of reading per day, and it's dated, so you can read the reading for the "correct" day :)  Each day begins with a Bible verse, followed by a thoughtful narrative which will return your thoughts to the hope and joy that you have within reach.  The last sentence is a suggest response or prayer to God following the reading.  I won't suggest that this book would take the place of regular time spent reading the Bible, but it is a very easy-to-read little book that will remind you to find the joy that you can have to enhance your life.

The book is a cute little book, bright yellow with a bicycle on the front (and inner covers). There is a little ribbon bookmark to save your place, and the end of the book features a Scripture index which will allow you to see where specific Bible verses are referenced.

I think this is a valuable book for you, and would also make a great little gift to give!  It's pretty and bright, and it IS an important topic, especially in this day and age, when we could easily sink into thoughts of despair.  Buy a few, keep one for yourself, and give some as gifts!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Monday, October 2, 2017

My new favorite hair accessory -- Lilla Rose Flexi-clip -- my REVIEW

So, I will preface this review by saying that I am not really a type of person who likes to wear super-fancy things or styles, and truthfully -- the easier the better!  :)  I was introduced to the Lilla Rose Flexi Clip  and oh my word...I LOVE THESE THINGS!!!!!!!  


So, what are they?  Well, these little decorative clips are a one-piece thing that you can use to put your hair up easily and prettily.  Check this out:


Do you see (above) that there is a figure-8 section and a stick-like section?  The figure-8 section is flexible and you kind of place it over your cluster of hair (form a pony-tail with your fingers or else a partial one if you just want part of your hair up).  You put the main body over that and slide the stick part through so that it extends into the other end of the "8".  There are little ridges on the stick (see the picture below) that keep it from sliding in or out too far.


Does that make sense?  Here are some pictures with my finger to show you how it works ( I know, weird with the finger, but it does make it more visible!) 




There are many sizes of these clips, as well.  The website easily shows how to measure your hair for the optimal sized clip.  We ordered one to fit my (regular) hair as well as one for my daughter's crazy-thick and curly hair.  Mine was a small, and hers was a large.  

We were amazed at how well it held her hair!


  

So, they look awesome, how easy are they to use?  Well, I will say that there is a little learning curve, getting used to the feel of putting it in, but once you've done it a few times, it is very easy!  You can put your hair up in a flash!  

The quality of these flexi-clips  seems to be great as well!  They are very pretty (so many styles!  look at them all!)  The price...looks pretty pricey, right?  If I had not used this clip I would never have thought of spending money like that on a hair clip, but now that I've been using one for a month, I LOVE THEM and have just ordered several for all my nieces for Christmas, my sister, and also another one for myself.  I think that although they are pricey, they are a great value.

I've been wearing my flexi clip for a month now, popping it in my pocket when I think I might need to put my hair up, and then using it to make a quick ponytail or put my hair up partially.  My daughter, as well, loves hers.  We have been telling everyone about them!  

So--YES!  I definitely recommend this product, these flexi-clips by Lilla Rose.  Look on their website for some other great-looking products as well!  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this bookproduct for free for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

My pizza dough trick :)


Do you make your own pizza dough?  Do you ever get frustrated because when you try to spread it out in your pan it just springs back so it's not in the nice shape that you wanted it?  Well, here's my amazing trick :)  Well, maybe not so amazing, but good advice nevertheless.  When you first lay it out on the greased pan, go ahead and spread it out a little (like the dough on the left).

Then... (here's the magic part!!)

Let it sit for 2 minutes or so...

                       ...then spread it out...

                                                  ...and voila!  It amazingly spreads out nicely to fit
                                                      your desired size/shape!

Now go and make some delicious pizza without frustration!  :)