Friday, February 16, 2018

Trade Your Cares for Calm Book Review

Trade Your Cares for Calm
By: Max Lucado

I loved this little book! The size, the design, the words.... it did not disappoint!

If you’re trembling on a tightrope of fear and worry, get ready for the best trade ever: your cares for God’s calm.

What if faith, not fear, could be your default reaction to circumstances? Imagine being able to walk away from worry, conquer the need to control, get rid of guilt, and end if-only thinking.

That’s God’s offer. He wants to exchange your burdens for an abundance of mercy, gratitude, and trust. To replace striving and stress with a faith-filled life in which you’ll see God’s goodness, feel calm in chaos, and find peace through prayer.

Author Max Lucado understands what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by anxiety. Through unforgettable stories and biblical wisdom, he offers powerful tools and scripture to help you manage your fears and worries and give our cares and anxiety to God.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Zen Camera Book Review

Zen Camera
By: David Ulrich

Now, that we all have a camera in our pocket and are taking photographs and sharing them all over social media, this book helps you to become more fully in the present moment and to be able to find your own authentic vision by creating your own masterpiece

Zen Camera teaches mindful attention through the medium of photography and cultivates a personal development and awareness for its readers to look at their own photographs in a totally different way.

This book reminds us that with even just an cell phone camera in hand, we can capture the stunning world around us. The photographs are exquisite, and the stories are inspiring. This book makes you want to get outside and start  immediately. 

 Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, January 22, 2018

How To Make Your Bedroom A Beautiful Haven of Rest...

Here's our bedroom before we started decluttering.... I never thought of us as being packrats or having a cluttered home until we started going through our house room by room and getting rid of stuff....

Here's some ideas to help you unclutter your bedroom and make it a beautiful, relaxing space.

Closets - clean them out! Get rid of all the clothes, shoes, purses, and anything else you don't use reguarly or items that you have more than enough.

Get rid of all the fake plants, they only collect dust.

Wall decor - less is more! For example: In our room we have four wall decor items. One is a picure fame with a wedding photo, an old window frame from my Grandpa that I decorated, an old windmill blade and my jewelry holder which I made. We do have a mirror hanging on the back of the of the bedroom door.

Decor items, shelves, display cabinets - get rid of at least 75% of the stuff in your room. If you get rid of the extra and just keep a few items you love, those few items will be much more meaningful to you. I love finding antique items to use in my decor.... this oil can came from my dad's shop when I was a kid.

Fresh flowers are a great way to add to your decor... And I got this little type 3/type 2 elephant at a yard sale a few years ago.... I love this little elephant because it reminds me of myself.... all crazy, unpredictable, adventurous, and unique!

Paint the walls, the doors, and the trim. Get new hardware for the doors. Painting is the cheapest way to update a room. Find a color that you like or that looks good in your home. For example: I'm not really a huge fan of purple but this purple hue goes perfectly with our interior gray walls throughout our house, and I find it cool and calming in our bedroom - especially compared to the previous pink coral/salmon colored walls.

Hubby painting.... 

Dressers - get rid of any extra dressers you have. You only need one dresser for two people.

Dresser before... the attached mirror makes it look dated and the items make it look cluttered.

Below is the same exact dresser with the same decor plus one extra piece.... notice how much cleaner and clutter free it looks?

Ps. My husband and I share this one dresser.

This is the true actual color of the walls in our bedroom.

Curtains - open them up! Take down the ugly, old, dusty ones and clean them or buy new, clean, fresh curtains. Place curtain rods 1/2 way between the ceiling and the window trim (usually 6-8" above the window) - it makes your room look more open and your windows larger.

Make sure you have a nice comfy place to sit, talk, and relax. (Chair from Ikea). 

While on the subject keep your room clean and your bed made. We keep our bedroom as a getaway for the hubby and I.

Get rid of all the stuffy pillows, dated bed skirts, and old blankets. I used to have 7 throw pillows in my bedroom - while I will always love throw pillows, 2 or 3 is now my max.

Under your bed is not for storage.... if you have storage under your bed - you have too much stuff!

It amazes me just how much junk we used to stuff into our bedroom. We had collectible cars, tractors, magazines, sewing stuff, old picture frames, too big clothes, too small clothes, childhood toys, old cell phones, fake plants, gift wrap, suitcases, etc.

Never again! I love having a calm, clean, relaxing bedroom!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hospital Folks

I have spent alot of time in a children's hospital since my son had emergency brain surgery. We have went through lots of tests and lots of waiting....

While I'm waiting, I often watch the people.

 There is the poor family that looks like they don't have a clue of what's going on..... walking around in pajama pants - wishing they could be home drinking the pain away.

There's the rich folks in their $500 shoes, typing on their fancy electronic gadget's looking like maybe the can work the pain away and wondering "how in the world could this happen to my child?"

There's the family that has kids at home and kids in the hospital - trying to juggle being a parent, visiting the sick kids, keeping up with the house and working a full time job.

There's the grandparents with the look of sadness in their eyes, as they ponder the seriousness of the situation.

There's the young parents who look like kids themselvese unsure of what's going to happen - not sure where to look to for help.

There's the tired parents that have been living in the hospital or driving back and forth for months... trying to keep it all together...

Then there's the kids - the brothers and sisters who are worried about their sibling. Or the kid in the hospital - always worried, sometimes in pain - wondering what tests will be next and when they can go home.

There's alot of sadness and dispaire in a Children's hospital.... but if you look around, you see alot of joy too.

You see nurses painting a little girls nails or singing frozen to a lonely child.

Doctors taking time to answer all your questions and put the kids mind at ease.

A stranger bring balloons and teddy bears room to room.

A church group making lunch for you and taking prayer requests.

Friends coming to visit.

Child life specialists bringing legos and toys to help pass the time.

Therapist playing music or playing games - helping to get the kids mind off their pain.

So although a kids hospital is a sobering place to be, don't forget, that you can make it a more happy place for those that are there.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hello Mornings Book Review and Psalm 143:8

Hello Mornings is an inspiring book that is based upon a really simple 3-minute, 3-step routine that helps you begin your day by focusing on God first – then establishing your plans for the day – then doing something healthy. While Kat offers specific steps to get you started, she also provides workbook style guidance – with space for journaling.

I love how the verse Psalm 143:8 was the center for this book and for a morning routine. I have come to love this verse over the last few weeks.

I really appreciated how Kat Lee focuses on the "why" of developing a morning routine, which is to serve the Lord better through focusing on Him first thing, making a plan to be effective for Him that day, and developing healthy habits so we have enough energy to serve the Lord well. 

 All that said, I'm a little bummed about this book. While I love the idea of a 3 minute morning, the book contradicts itself by at the same time wanting you to add in much more than 3 minutes. In the end, I'm not sure if the book is really about a three minute morning or not. 

To comply with regulations by the FTC, the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Talking About God Book Review

Honestly, I'm confused with this book. I've heard such good things about this book.... how it shows you to step into faith conversations with honesty, transparency, and integrity. And while I agree with the book, it was hard for me to stay focused and just didn't do anything for me.

I do believe that people do want to really talk about God, and we need to remember that we are not selling something, but rather inviting people into a relationship with their Creator and that is not a process to rush or take lightly. 

Yes, the eternal destiny of our family and friends should be important to us, but we have to relax and let God do the work.

For me personally, the book didn't do anything to help me with talking about God to others or show me truths I already didn't know. I was disappointed.

To comply with regulations by the FTC, the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Closet Challenge

It's a brand new year, so how about starting it off right with a simple closet challenge.

It's common knowledge that with very few exceptions, it's likely that clothing you haven't worn in three to six months is clothing you will not wear again. It could be donated and used by someone who needs it.

Often, we have good intentions on getting rid of clothes that we don't wear, but very seldom do we follow through with the idea. There is usually something that keeps us from completing the task... we don't have time, someday we might fit into them, they remind us about a memory or special time in our past, we don't know where to start, we think we'll do it later..... etc.

If you find it hard to let go of clothing even when you never wear it, this is for You!

 Take all of your clothes that are on hangers and put them in the closet backward, so that the open end of each hanger now faces you.

Set a calendar reminder for three months from now. Then go back to your regular routine:

Every time you wear a piece and go to put it back, make sure the hanger faces the usual way (the opening facing away from you).

In three months, any hanger still facing the wrong way is holding an item you haven't worn, ready for the donation bag.

Here's my own personal closet - all ready for the challenge.

I also hang my clothes left to right. When I do laundry I put the clothes in their correct spot in the closet on the left side.... This way I can rotate my clothing and if something stays on the right side for over a month without me wearing it, I donate it.

Please note: I have kept my wedding dress, even though I do NOT wear it. I'm hoping to wear it one of these years on our Anniversary.

Also, use common sense.... don't throw out all your summer clothes, just because the next month or two is cold out. Do the challenge with your winter clothes now and go back and do the same with your summer clothes in a few months.

The Best of 2016


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