Friday Reads Book Club: Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

book-club

Welcome to another Friday Reads Book Club this week Joann from A Whimsicle Life is  reviewing Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson. I am hosting this weekly affair along with two other amazing Arizona bloggers, Sarah at Neroli Blossoms and Megan and Joann at A Whimsicle Life.

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Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

By: Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson

Have you ever thought, “I just can’t be a mom today?” I have. That is why I am so thankful for this book. Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe is written by two wonderfully different women. Sarah Mae is a young mama trying to find her way through the motherhood jungle. God placed Sally in her life at a time when she was depressed and losing the joy that being a mommy should bring. Written in two wonderfully complimentary parts, Sarah Mae starts each chapter by sharing her letters to………read more of this review at A Whimsicle Life.

We encourage you to:

  • Visit the host’s blog, check out each week’s book review and leave a comment with your thoughts.
  • Post your own book review in our linkup. (Please link back to us on your own post when you do!! Also, grab our Friday Reads badge to let everyone know you are participating!)
    book-club
  • Visit other blogger’s reviews that are posted in the linkup and leave a comment on their post.

 

Have a Great Weekend! Love and Peace!


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Friday Reads Book Club: The Way of Kings

book-club

Welcome to another Friday Reads Book Club this week Sarah from Neroli Blossoms is  reviewing The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I am hosting this weekly affair along with two other amazing Arizona bloggers, Sarah at Neroli Blossoms and Megan and Joann at A Whimsicle Life.

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The Way of Kings

By: Brandon Sanderson

I need to preface this review – I love classic fantasy. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter – you’re speaking my language. But outside of that, I really haven’t read much in the genre. I love the idea of fantasy stories, but there is so much junk and smut out there that I’m very hesitant to pick up any other fantasy book. The Way of Kings came highly recomended by Goodreads and Amazon ……… read more of Sarah’s review at Neroli Blossoms.

We encourage you to:

  • Visit the host’s blog, check out each week’s book review and leave a comment with your thoughts.
  • Post your own book review in our linkup. (Please link back to us on your own post when you do!! Also, grab our Friday Reads badge to let everyone know you are participating!)
    book-club
  • Visit other blogger’s reviews that are posted in the linkup and leave a comment on their post.

 

Have a Great Weekend! Love and Peace!

Strawberry Cucumber Lime Salad

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I am so excited to share this recipe and the Pampered Chef tools that I used with you today! Sister 4 and I drove to visit Sister 2, her hubby, and the baby recently. We decided at the last minute that we were going to stop by the Local Farmers Market to see what goodies they had. We came across a man that sells home grown sprouts. At this time Sister 2 was just gushing about how great they were and which ones were her favorite so I decided I needed to give them a try. I really enjoyed the taste of the sprouts so I decided I would bring some home. Once I was home with the ingredients I had in my house I made this refreshing and tasty salad.

Ingredients:

1 pint of strawberries (cleaned and cut into quarters)

1 handful of bean sprouts

1 peeled cucumber

Dressing:

1 lime (Zest and Juice)

Balsalmic Vineger

Olive Oil

Spices

Featured Pampered Chef Tools Used:

StrawTools

Citrus Press: Coated cast-aluminum press is rust-resistant and dishwasher-safe. I love the citrus press at just $19.50, I use this all the time. I like to use it if I am making any kind of meat and want to add in just a bit of flavor. I will juice either a lemon or a lime to add to the flavor. I have also used it to make “sick tea” when I am feeling under the weather. Hot water, spoonful of honey and the juice of one lemon. Works like a charm and the best part is I just throw it into the dishwasher once I am done using it.

Microplane Zester: Stainless steel Microplane® Zester finely zests a variety of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. A good zester is needed to add just the right flavor to any recipe for food or health and beauty product you make. For $15.50 this zester also comes with a cover so that you can store it easily in your drawer.

Procedure:

1) Wash and cut strawberries into quarters.

2) peal and cut cucumber into bit size pieces, cut up bean sprouts so that they are easy to eat.

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3) mix balsamic, oil, juice from one lime, zest from one lime, and any added spices you would like to add to the dressing.

4) Place all chopped ingredients into a large bowl and then top with the dressing.

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5) ENJOY!

 I had this salad for lunch the weekend after visiting Sister 2. I would add chicken or salmon to it next time I make it. Some other ingredients that might be a nice add are sunflower seeds, grapes, pineapple, or avocado.

Let me know if you try out this awesome salad recipe 🙂

Love and Peace!

Book #13: Christmas Letters (Goal 50)

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Christmas Letters

By: Debbie Macomber

This was the next book in the Blossom Street series I have been slowly reading through. I loved this book and not just because it was a love story and involved my favorite fictional knitting shop, but because it was a book of true friendships and discovering love. I thought it was super cute that the main character of the story was working at Christmas time as a writer who would write your Christmas letter that the families would send out annually. There was the added excitement of Katherine’s sisters kids being raised the way Dr. Wynn says to raise them. This book was a cute, funny, easy and fun read. I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend that if you like Christmas and love stories to read it even though I say it is a part or a series you could totally just pick up the book and enjoy it as a stand alone.

Amazon Summary:

Katherine O’Connor often spends her days at a cozy café on Blossom Street in Seattle—where she writes Christmas letters for other people. She’s good at making their everyday lives sound more interesting. More humorous. More dramatic.

But for Dr. Wynn Jeffries, who also frequents the café, Christmas means lies and deception. In fact, the renowned child psychologist recommends that parents “bury Santa under the sleigh.” Katherine, however, feels that his parenting philosophy is one big mistake—at least, based on her five-year-old twin nieces, who are being raised according to his “Free Child” methods.

She argues with Wynn about his theories, while he argues that her letters are nothing but lies. They disagree about practically everything—and yet, somehow, they don’t really want to stop arguing.

As the days—and nights—move closer to Christmas, Katherine and Wynn both discover that love means accepting your differences. And Christmas is about the things you share….

What books do you recommend?

Have you read this book?

Tell me what you thought!

Love and Peace

One Word, One Prayer #19

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Where do I start for this One Word, One Prayer post? I had such a GREAT weekend!!! I went to an Insta meet up and met other business owners and bloggers! I had such a GREAT time and was on such a high once I came home. I have lots of great post ideas in the works and other bloggers that I would like to work with! Then, I went to church on Sunday forgetting that there was a BIG NAME leading worship this week. The sermon was AMAZING and the worship was OUT OF THIS WORLD! So, the BIG NAME asked everyone to have a seat and sang one of his songs for us. As, I read the word on the screen I began to cry. The lyrics are as follows:

“Tell Your Heart To Beat Again”

By: Danny Gokey

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again

Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again

Danny’s story is heartbreaking. He lost his wife in surgery  just a few short months before trying out for American Idol. I did not loss anyone to death but I went though a really hard patch in my life about 7 years ago. I share this story to try to help and reach people out there knowing they are not alone. I had met the man who I thought was the man of my dreams. After getting married and being married for a year he decided that we should legally separate which in turn became a divorce. I was so crushed and broken at that time in my life.  Looking back I view this event as a speed bump in my life in which made me who I am today.

I LOVE the man I with now and know that a relationship takes work. This song spoke so strongly to me because this is exactly how I felt after the divorce. I had to remind myself that I was starting a new beginning. I have also had a few friends that recently have been going though hard times. They are speed bumps in the journey of life. Even though you can never forget what has happened you have to “step into the light of grace.” This week I will be praying and thinking about the word BEGINNING. I pray for all the people that are starting over and getting over their speed bumps in life. God is great and will move in your life in great and amazing ways.

Love and Peace

Friday Read Book Club: Bridge to Haven #14 (Goal 50)

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Welcome to the 2nd week of Friday Reads Book Club! I am hosting this weekly affair along with two other amazing Arizona bloggers, Sarah at Neroli Blossoms and Megan and Joann at A Whimsicle Life.

This “book club” is intended to create a community where we can all share fantastic books that we read and want to recommend to others. Each week, one of the blogger hosts will write a review of an outstanding book. We will also have a linkup each week where fellow bloggers can post book reviews and recommendations.

We encourage you to:

  • Visit the host’s blog, check out each week’s book review and leave a comment with your thoughts.
  • Post your own book review in our linkup. (Please link back to us on your own post when you do!! Also, grab our Friday Reads badge to let everyone know you are participating!)

book-club

  • Visit other blogger’s reviews that are posted in the linkup and leave a comment on their post.Bridge

Bridge to Haven

By: Francine Rivers

 I was talking with a good friend recently and had told them about my plan to read 50 books this year. She then suggested that I read the book Redeeming Love by: Francine Rivers. I went right out and purchased the book. As I was looking up reviews about the book I had just bought I saw that she was coming out with a new book. I reserved it at my local library and when it came in I began to dig in. As I read this book I felt like I was living with Abra along side her cheering her on and she made the good choices in life and cringing as she made the wrong choices. I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to my friends. As I finished the book at times I had chills becasue this is one of those books where you are left with a lot of questions and loose end that are tied up at the end. If I had the chance I would reread this book.

Amazon Summary:

To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.

To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua—Abra’s closest friend—watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.

In this riveting and highly anticipated tale of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best.

What books do you recommend?

Friday Reads Book Club

book-club

Welcome to the new Friday Reads Book Club! We are hosting this weekly affair along with two other amazing Arizona bloggers, Sarah at Neroli Blossoms and Megan and Joann at A Whimsicle Life.

This “book club” is intended to create a community where we can all share fantastic books that we read and want to recommend to others. Each week, one of the blogger hosts will write a review of an outstanding book. We will also have a linkup each week where fellow bloggers can post book reviews and recommendations.
We encourage you to:

  • Visit the host’s blog, check out each week’s book review and leave a comment with your thoughts.
  • Post your own book review in our linkup. (Please link back to us on your own post when you do!! Also, grab our Friday Reads badge to let everyone know you are participating!)

book-club

  • Visit other blogger’s reviews that are posted in the linkup and leave a comment on their post.

For our first Friday Read:
Where’d You Go Bernadette?

by Maria Semple

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Head over to A Whimsicle Life to check out our first review!


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Book #12: Until I Say Good-Bye (Goal 50)

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Until I Say Good-Bye

By: Susan Spencer-Wendel

After I had finished Crash on my nook I thought man is this convenient to only have my nook to carry around and read my book so I decided to start another one on my nook. This book I had purchased awhile ago after I had read a review either in the paper or in a magazine. This book is about a woman’s journey with her family as ALS takes over her body. It is so amazing to me how one can loose function of their body but their mental state be still so sharp. As Susan was getting weaker and losing functions that she was so used to doing on her own she turned to her friends and family. I found this book to be very inspiring and I really loved the way she lived her life and wanted her husband and children to have these great memories with her as she lives out the remainder of her life. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.

Amazon Summary:

Susan Spencer-Wendel’s Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

After Spencer-Wendel, a celebrated journalist at the Palm Beach Post, learns of her diagnosis of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, she embarks on several adventures, traveling toseveral countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones. One trip takes Spencer-Wendel and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Marina, to New York City’s Kleinfeld’s Bridal to shop for Marina’s future wedding dress—an occasion that Susan knows she will never see.

Co-written with Bret Witter, Until I Say Good-Bye is Spencer-Wendel’s account of living a full life with humor, courage, and love, but also accepting death with grace and dignity. It’s a celebration of life, a look into the face of death, and the effort we must make to show the people that we love and care about how very much they mean to us.

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Be on the look out for the Friday Reads Book Club! I will be linking up every other Friday with some AWESOME bloggers!

Baby Shower for “J”

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 I am so EXCITED to share this post today. My family and I had planned to have my sisters baby shower before she had her sweet baby boy but God had other plans. I am so thankful that he was out of her belly to be passed around and LOVED on! My sister and her husband planned not to know what the baby was so we planned a gender neutral shower. Growing up she LOVED the song “You Are My Sunshine.” I thought what a great way to incorporate what she likes with a gender neutral color YELLOW! As soon as I got the OK from my mom to go ahead and plan the shower I started searching the internet. I was so excited with what I found.

FOOD!

While talking about food for the shower I wanted everything to be finger foodish (YES that is a word!) and easy. I had seen some cute veggie cups (1st picture) while spending time on Pinterest and I thought what a great and easy idea. So we went to the dollar store and picked up some cute sun stickers and the cups. My youngest sister and I cut all the veggie ahead of time and my mom made a homemade sour cream dip to add to the bottom. Along with sunshine and grey cloudy skies comes the rainbows so I thought what better way to display the fruit then to make rainbow kabobs (2nd picture) along with some LARGE marshmallows. I figured if I place something sweet on the end that more kids and adults would be interested in eating the fruit kabobs. If I was to go back I would make a rainbow on the plate but the fruit would be separate just placed in the shape or a rainbow. I found some AWESOME cake topers from Pinterest and just HAD TO place them on the cupcakes (3rd picture.) My Sister 4 and I baked both chocolate and yellow cupcakes. We did indeed make them from a box. The cupcakes were wonderful!

 

Veggiecups rainbowfruit

 

 

cupcakes

 

 GUESTS:

We had a great turn out to celebrate my sister and the newest addition to our family. I took the following picture so that one day we can look back at it when  these girls are getting married and having babies. These two girls are sisters and they were Sister 2 and my sidekicks. The older one I babysat until I went off to college then came along the younger one and she was Sister 2’s other half until they were old enough to not need babysitters. This family is very dear to both Sister 2 and I. We are so glad that they were able to come and snuggle this cute baby. Who knows maybe one day they will be babysitting for Sister 2’s little man.

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Games:

My sister did not want to play the tradition baby shower games, so we searched Pinterest to find some fun and creative activities. All the guests had a great time and they made some awesome things for baby “J” to have as he grows up. Sister 4 found a fun activity where you write on the outside of a diaper so that there are funny sayings on the diapers as mom and dad are up late changing the new buddies diaper. The saying were super funny and I am sure they will bring a smile to my sister and brother-in-law’s faces changing late night diapers. 
Game4

I was looking up game ideas on Pinterest and found this very sentimental “game.” You buy 18 birthday cards for the new baby and you ask the guests at the shower to each sign a card. For each birthday the baby will get to open up a card. My extended family all lives in the midwest so when we traveled back we had our grandma’s, grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins all sign cards. I am so excited as baby “J” grows to see his face of love as he opens each card.

Game3

Sister 3 planned an AWESOME activity that one day baby “J” can actually use. She had suggested that we have the guests each color a page with a letter of the alphabet and then put them together into an ABC book. This will become baby “J’s” first ABC book and all that people that love both him and his mom have all had a hand in helping make it.:) Thanks for the great idea Sister 3.

Game2

I have a good friend that was due right around the same time as my sister and at her shower she had made these super cute cards in which there was hopes and wishes for the baby. I thought this was such a cute idea that baby “J” and mom and dad could hold onto and look back on with fond memories. Every guest filled out a card and even people that did not attend the shower also got to fill them out. I hope this is a keep sake from the shower the family will treasure.

Game1

The next three pictures are of the decorations and the favors made for the shower. We had several spots throughout the house in which we placed these cute sunshine looking decorations. Sister 4 and I did LOTS of crafting before the shower. We made all the jar cups in which the guests were able to take home to reuse. When I first started planning the shower because we did not know if the baby was a boy or girl I thought these Hershey’s bars would be fun to hand out. I had already finished coloring all the chocolate bars and then my sister went into labor where we found out the baby was a boy. So, instead of redoing this craft project I thought it would add to the charter of the shower to just cross out the SHE part.

Enter

Jars Chocolate

 

Sister 4 and I had such a fun time planning, shopping and crafting for this shower. I LOVED the way it all turned out. Baby “J” and mama felt loved by all the guests that came to shower them.

LOVE and PEACE

One Word, One Prayer #18

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This weekend at the church I have been attending they had friend Sunday. The public figure they had invited out was Sean Lowe from the show The Bachelor. Growing up in a family of girls we would always watch The Bachelor. I knew Sean and I watched both the seasons he was on. I had forgotten that his father was a pastor so I figured I was going to go to church and hear Sean share his testimony instead he was asked several questions. One thing he said caught my attention not because it was new but because it was a great reminder. He stated that “Love is a verb, it is an action.” Sometimes I think that my words show the people around me that I love them but it was a great reminder that what I DO is how I show the people around me that I love/care about them. When I took the love languages quiz mine was physical touch but my fiancee was acts of service. He is really big on me showing him through specific actions that I love him. So this week I want to be intentional about DOING LOVE! I want it to become an action verb for me. So this week my word is LOVE!

How will you show someone LOVE this week though your actions? (Friends, boyfriend, husband, coworkers, anyone)