Saturday, December 16, 2017

30 Days To Peace Journal Review


The 30 Days To Peace A One-Month Creative Journal is a little book that features writing and drawing prompts, along with peace related quotes throughout the book.

This journal is a way for you to unwind and find peace amidst our busy lives and is perfect for this time of year when the hustle and bustle of the holidays have you stressed to the max.

Even though the book is small, there is plenty of  space to express yourself. If you are not into drawing, you can create a collage or include photographs.

The only down side is that the pages are thin and if you color with markers (I use fine point ones), the marker bleeds through to the next page, which ruins what you have written. Also, I am not a fan of the colors on the cover.

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

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Capital Gaines Book Review


I love watching 'Fixer Upper' and just about any show on HGTV! 

 TV personality Chip Gaines' Capital Gaines:  Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff gives us a transparent look into his life - Gaines shares his successes and his failures.  He's incredibly honest about his shortcomings... 

 In this book, he shares many successes and failures he has in starting many businesses, growing relationships with those he works with, life as a husband, and father. He is a man of faith and hard work ethics.

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, November 22, 2017

Old Friends....

"Spending time with old friends is good for the soul."

Old best friends are like magic. You may not see them for months or even years, yet when you meet, it seems like yesterday that you were having a good chat and drinking tea! 

Old friends remind you of parts of yourself that you might have forgotten about. Even if you have changed a lot since that time, you will be reminded of the path that it took to get you where you are. Those memories are treasures.

Old friends allow you to skip the small talk and go deep. There’s nothing like picking up right where you left off; that’s the beauty of connecting with an old friend. You can cover so much ground in such a short time because the foundation has been laid.

Old friends make you feel loved and secure. There is a depth of connection between old friends that wraps around you like a warm blanket. You feel known, and safe. Few words are needed, because they understand you– your heart, and how you process things. 

Old friends refresh you - not stress you! They are the ones you can be yourself with, and if your house is a mess or your food flops, they don't mind at all. Old friends are the ones you invite back again and genuinely enjoy it went they come! 

If you’ve ever had a really good friend (and if you have you are blessed) then you know what I’m talking about. True friendship is unique, and enduring.

So to all of you — call that old friend! Send her a text, write an email, book a flight, or plan a trip. Don’t put off connecting with your old friends! You need it more than you even realize!


My friend Suzie and I at my wedding in 2005 -it was taken at the end of a long day and the picture isn't the best, but it's the only photo I have of us together.
Thank you Suzie for being my friend. I love our talks and spending time together!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

He Holds My Hand Book Review


He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God's Presence... 
By: Carol Kent

To be honest, I was rather dissapointed in this devotional book.
This is not a traditional book of devotions. Ms. Kent has used the format of writing as if she is God speaking to the reader. That was a turn off for me.

In the Introduction, the author shares her deeply personal story and how her family's life drastically changed, however, she never goes on to include what her thought process was during that difficult situation, as the synopsis leads you to believe! 

This book contains 365 daily devotions. Each daily devotional includes the title, quote, devotional text, and scripture verse. 

The one and only thing that I did like about the book was the following quote:
"My goal is not to provide all the answers to your tough questions, but to remind you that God holds your hand--in every situation. At His right hand there are eternal pleasure (Psalm 16:11), even in the middle of your darkest experience."
 *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Three Ideas to Minimize

Today, I'd like to give you three Ideas to minimize stuff you don't need. Many people often think that getting rid of clutter is a long, hard process, but in fact it is simple.

1. Look around your home and see what items you would take with you in the event of a hurricane, flood, tornado etc... I bet there's not a super large amount that would make the cut.... I did this a few months ago and realized there's not a lot of stuff that means a lot to me. So, now you know what items you treasure.... 

2. Next add in the items that you need. For example sheets, towels, dishes, toilet brush, lawn mower, broom, toilet paper, clothes.... these are the items I'm talking about. Everyone knows you need these items, but most of us own way too many. For example two towels for each person and 2 sheet sets per bed are plenty. 

Dishes.... do you really need and use all that you have? For years I have collected a Chutney Corelle dish set, which I still use and love, but many items in my set I did not use - I only had them because they matched.... needless to say I got rid of some of my prized dishes and don't miss them at all.

Clothes.... I mean do you even like or wear half of them? I have gotten rid of lots of bags of clothes and I'm finding that the ones I have now, I actually like, wear, and feel great in them. Another added bonus is that I love opening my closet and admiring the extra space.

3. What things make you happy? Keep those things. I put decorations, curtains, live plants, throw pillows, picture albums, etc. into this category. While I have never liked or had a cluttered house, I do love a well decorated cozy home..... my decor makes me happy... No, I don't have a lot, but the items I do have are on display and I love the way my home looks, and the peace I feel every time I walk in  the door.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Know Who You Are Book Review


 Know Who You Are, Live Like It Matters
by Tim Tebow

This is a great book for homeschool students age 11 - 14. Tim will guide you through thirty-six weeks of lessons, each based on a key Scripture, to discover who you are. You will also have the opportunity to write down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on topics such as: building godly character, maintaining great relationships, standing out from the crowd, and doing things that matter in the big picture.

Throughout the book, there is one subtle theme: You can make a difference, even though you're a teenager. 

I really like how Tim is able to talk to teenagers in a way that speaks to them with authority and wisdom, without treating them like children. He can speak their language and still be an authority figure. 

Get ready to live bigger than ever before…with your faith and identity secured in a God who loves you beyond measure!

I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kids Need Love

Watching love comes softly movies. I'm amazed at how the family's heritage not only passes down though the generations, but how the family dynamic changes. How family isn't always blood, and how you can always grow to love someone, given time. I love how the grandpa tells Belinda in Love's Unending Legacy that they are not there to replace any other grandparents, but that they believe that a child can never have too many people love them.


Here's the Love comes softly family tree:


Clark Davis  
 + Marti Clarridge 
             - Son Arnie Davis
      + Aaron Clarridge
             - Son Aaron Clarridge Davis
 + Ellen Barlow Davis 

             -  Daughter Missy Davis LaHaye Tyler
                                 + Willy LaHaye 
                                        - Adopted Son Jeff Huff LaHaye
                                        - Son Mattie LaHaye  
                                        - Daughter Kathy LaHaye
                                 + Zac Tyler
                                        - Adopted Son Jacob Marshell LaHaye Tyler
                                        - Adopted Daughter Belinda Marshell LaHaye Tyler 
                                                                        Drew Simpson
                                                                             - Adopted Daughter Lilian Simpson Owens                                                                          + Lee Owens
                                                                             - Expecting Baby Owens

In four generations of the same family, there are 50 bloodlines. (To put that in perspective there are only 9 bloodlines in a 4 generation family that has no 2nd marriages or adoptions.)

Life back then was hard. Burying your loved ones young, was a way of life that left widows, widowers, and orphan children.

Today, mixed family's are caused by divorce, drugs, alcohol, abuse, random sex with no commitment, and rape. But, I believe the same principles back then apply to life today. Family doesn't always mean blood... Family is who you choose it to be.

Kids need love, and people to care for them. It shouldn't matter who that person is..... in this world of hurt that we live in. Kids need all the love they can get. It's time to put our differences behind us and put the well being of our kids first.

Why is it that a lot of divorced parents try to keep the kids from seeing the non custody side of the family? You know, I used to be one of those people..... but, I've learned a lot the last 15 yrs. 

As a previously divorced mom, I wish now, that I'd have done things differently... I took grandparents, aunts and a biological dad away from my kid because I was afraid of the unknown, and because I thought my kid was better off with me. Don't get me wrong - I know she was/is better off with me - but looking back I deprived my kid of even more love - and for that I will always feel guilty.

I had full custody of my daughter. Her birth father never asked for visitation. Once he was out of our life, he remarried, than a year later, I remarried. I wanted to keep my little girl safe. I became over protective. I never again took her to see her birth fathers side of the family. I thought I was doing the right thing. WRONG! - Kids need all the love they can get.

Now, to be clear my ex husband's side of the family smokes, drinks, and don't fit in with how I choose to live my life. However, they are not bad people. You see my daughter could have grown up knowing a wonderful caring grandpa, a step grandma, and two fun aunts who would have loved and doted on her. Instead, I kept my daughter to myself. Never once thinking that I was destroying her chances at having more love in her life.

Is her life ruined? No. I remarried when my daughter was 4 yrs old. She has a wonderful dad who adopted her when she was five. She gained a set of grandparents and 5 great grandparents, lots of great aunts and uncles and other extended family. She is thriving. She is an artist, violinist, pianist, guitarist, and a gifted writer. I know that I did the best I could for her.... I just wish I could have opened my eyes to letting more people love her.

kids just need to be loved... it shouldn't matter who does the loving....

Friday, November 3, 2017

Please Don't Gift Me Things....

If you wish to bless someones life in someway -give them an experience, a memory or a consumable item, but please don't be offended by someones lifestyle choice to not want things to add clutter to their lives.... 

Here are some ideas:
  • Take them out to eat
  • Gift cards to restaurants, a favorite store, a gas card, or music download
  • A membership to the zoo, gym, garden club, Shaklee, etc.
  • Buy them lessons/classes - florist class, music lesson, dance lessons, pottery or art class
  • Make them some yummy food - most people love homemade goodies
  • Put together a fruit basket
  • Box of chocolates - who doesn't love chocolate?!?!
  • Gift certificate to a massage therapist, hair appointment, or a nail salon 
  • Give them a Get Clean Kit to get chemicals out of their home and help them live better.
  • Lotion or bath salts (make sure the person you're gifting too actually likes and uses them)
  • Send some flowers - flowers are my love language and I truly enjoy them.
  • Airplane tickets to travel or a gift card to use to travely
  • Tickets to a musical, symphony, concert, or play
  • Movie tickets along with a few $$ to buy some popcorn
  • Give them a clean, natural Skincare Kit that they will love - it's like having a facial everyday!
  • Send a note - almost everyone appreciates a hand written note
  • Spend time with them - take a walk, lend a helping hand, or a listening ear
  • Hugs are one of the best gifts ever!
  • And finally, you can never go wrong with the gift of money.
Did you know that nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69%) said they would skip exchanging gifts this holiday season if their friends and family agreed to it and 43% of those who spend money on anything related to the holidays said they feel pressured to spend more than they can afford. This is crazy! 


 It's not that I'm being ungrateful, I just genuinely don't want!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

GIF's - Just Say No

Alert!!!! 
Unpopular opinion below: 

I hate GIF's.

There you have it! You heard me. I’m coming out and saying it. GIF tyranny must stop.

I get it, some people think GIF's are good for a laugh, but when it comes to social platforms, GIF's aren’t my style.

 I’m seeing a ton of marketers — many of whom want the attention of my demographic — using them to get my attention. Instead, those GIF's are turning me off. I am seriously thinking of unfollowing some business pages that I actually like because to me, the GIF's are childish, stupid and very unprofessional.

Of course everyone has the right to express themselves in whatever way they choose, but those of us who find GIF's irritating also have the right to block them if we can or decide to end a friendship on a social platform if we choose.

So please, think about others before filling their newsfeed full of GIF's... people like myself will thank you!

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Well-Crafted Home Book Review

A Well-Crafted Home: Inspiration and 60 Projects for Personalizing Your Space

 By: Janet Crowther 

Being a crafter (and a somewhat of a good one) I am very disappointed in this book. 
There is nothing classy in this book that I would want to have in my home. I like my home to look like Joanna Gaines decorated it, not put together by odds and ends a teen could make.

Sorry, but there are better ideas available on Pinterest. Don't waste your money on this book.

I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Getting Healthy - Part 2

Continued from Getting Healthy - Part 1....

..... So, last year, hubby and I really started searching for options. We knew that to make a lifestyle change as big as I needed - I would need the best tools to help me succeed. In October 2016, I attended a health seminar and started meeting with a dietitian monthly.

Over the next few months, I continued meeting with my dietitian, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas we didn't do awholelotta changing. I did manage to lose 10 lb. through - the monthly visits with the dietitian helped to keep me accountable. We decided to start 2017 out fresh with a lifestyle change, not just for me but for our whole family!

Well, that was the plan.... life had other ideas. 

You see, I have multiple autoimmune disorders. The last couple months I had been seeing a different specialist for other ongoing health problems. That Doctor set a surgery date for March. The surgery, although it was out patient, set me back quite a bit.


During this time, I had lots of testing done regarding other health issues and another doctor set yet another surgery date for May. My plan was altered. I was still seeing my dietitian and during that time lost another 10 lbs. But was kinda in limbo waiting for the next surgery, which would be a big one.

The day before my scheduled surgery - it was cancelled - partly because of a paper work mix up and partly because of another auto immune disease that they found in my pre-opt testing blood work. They wanted me to see yet another specialist and more testing before they would go through with my scheduled surgery.....  this actually turned into a blessing, because 3 days later, my son was emitted to the hospital for emergency brain surgery.... He was in the hospital for 5 weeks.... and home with transfusions for another 3 weeks.

During that time, I saw a new specialist and another doctor who (although I do have yet another auto immune disease), she signed off on me going ahead with my original surgery....

My surgery was on August 2nd. I was in the hospital for 4 days - ended up having complications and a second emergency surgery 12 hours after the first one, on a liquid diet and didn't have strength to exercise, so I just mainly walked.

 The surgery was hard, both mentally and physically, and it did set my lifestyle change back by about 8 extra months, but it was actually a blessing. As a result, I lost another 20#'s and also started eating healthier! 


The best part about having the last major surgery was that it was a success and many of my health problems are no longer a problem!

So, in August, I really hit my lifestyle change hard! 

The main changes have been: 

  • Portion control - instead of eating 5 cookies, I eat and enjoy one and no more. 
  • Eating high protein foods first. I supplement with Shaklee protein when I need extra.
  • Eating low-carb. I still eat carbs - I just try to be aware of how many I eat.
  • Taking high quality whole food supplements - believe me, I've done the research, there is nothing better out there with the science to back it up! I've taken Shaklee supplements off and on for over 7 years. But I now am consistent with taking my food supplements and have noticed a big difference.
  •  I do regular activities with my hubby and kids - like riding bike, playing 4 square, and walks. 
  • And I continue seeing my dietitian...not as much as I did previously, but it helps keep me accountable, and she helps me find ways to change my negative eating habits into healthy ones.
Since I started seeing my dietitian and consistently taking my Shaklee, eating a high protein diet and exercising, I have lost a total of 54 lbs since October 2016. I started at 240 lb. and a size 22/24, and a BMI of 45.9. I am now 186 lbs. and wear a size 16/18.



I've still got a long way to go - but with Gods help, this is a lifestyle journey that I want to continue... not just for me but for my family as well. 
My goal is not to be skinny or to be a certain size. My goal is to be healthy, happy!

To be continued......

Read Getting Healthy - Part 1 here

Note: We have chosen NOT to discuss or to explain my surgeries with anyone, as in the past, discussing my health has caused unnecessary drama. I, Rhoda do suffer from multiple auto-immune disorders, cancer, and chronic stress. The doctor said without this surgery, I would only have a 3% chance at going on to live a healthier life style, so for me and my family's sake, this has been the right thing to do. We will not apologize for not explaining!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why I Didn't Rebel - Book Review

Why I Didn't Rebel
By Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach

I have followed Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog To Love Honor and Vacuum for years now, so when I found out her daughter Rebecca was writing a book, I knew I wanted to read it.

 I love this book. I think the most important thing you can do as a parent is to communicate and teach your kids respect, and right from wrong, when they are young. I feel that the ideas in this book are how we are trying to raise our kids. My oldest daughter, Faith, is 16 yrs old, and although she has made a few mistakes, she is a great kid and I'm really proud to be her mom. She also read the book, so I thought I'd include her take on it too:
"The methods that Rebecca describes in her book as having been raised by are roughly the same as those of my own childhood (minus the hot-tub... for that, I'm a bit jealous). I feel that my parents are doing a great job raising my siblings and I, and I'm very grateful for the close relationship I share with them. I think one of the biggest things that parents need to understand is that we're not always going to make the right choices. We need a solid foundation to lean on when we do make mistakes. To trust that we have people who can help us grow from them and have a safe place to express our thoughts and feelings is what we're really after, and I think Rebecca did a really great job explaining that."
I received this book free from the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Quick & Easy Garlic Butter Lemon Salmon

This Garlic Butter Lemon Salmon is a great tasting, easy, and flavourful dinner to make anytime. We like it with steamed rice, broccoli and cheese sauce.


Garlic Butter Lemon Salmon
5Leave a review

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ pound salmon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ crushed red cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 *F. Line a baking sheet with foil. The piece of foil should be big enough to fold over and seal the fish.
  2. In a small bowl, add lemon juice, garlic and melted butter. Add salt, peppers, and oregano. Whisk everything together.
  3. Place salmon onto prepared baking sheet.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the salmon.
  5. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon. Make sure it is well sealed so the sauce does not leak.
  6. Place into oven and bake until cooked for about 25-30 minutes. (Baking time may vary slightly due to thickness of fish and your oven.)
  7. Open the foil and broil the fish for 2-3 minutes or bake for another 5-10 min.
  8. Remove from the oven. Using a spoon pour some of the butter sauce left in the foil onto the salmon before serve. 
  9. Serve it with veggies, salad, or rice.


Enjoy!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need Book Review


The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need
 By Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty

Since I own my own small business, I thought this book would be a helpful self help book to increase my ability to negotiate. 

Everyone negotiates with others in their daily life. It can be a simple process of buying furniture to the more complex like buying of a car or a home. Then there are the things like asking for a raise or even negotiating deals at your job. 

This book suggests that if you are planning to continue having a good relationship with the person with whom you are negotiating that you should plan for a win-win solution. You want to be the person that people are happy to return to when they next need to negotiate with you.

While I agree with most of the book.... sometimes I think people who are always negotiating are missing the BIG picture. It's not always about what a person can get from another person.... it's about doing the right thing.

For example... in my own business, there are many times where I purposely choose to let the other person win even when that makes me loose. I want to do what is right no mater what. Sometimes, you simple can't negotiate.

It doesn't mean I'm wrong, it just means I respect doing the right thing better than having a win-win.

Overall, it was not a book that I was impressed with....

I received this book from BookLookbloggers for this review.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Beauty In Simplicity

~ "there is beauty in simplicity" ~


Look for the beautiful in the simple things.... in daily life, routine, and the unpleasant tasks. Beauty is everywhere and more often than not, it is in the simple things. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Favorite Kitchen Products

A few months ago, I shared some of my favorite house hold hacks, and it got me thinking about some of my favorite kitchen gadgets and products....
USA Pans - cupcake, loaf pans, cake pans, 1/2 sheet pan, etc. USA Pan is a professional grade bake ware. It has perfected the nonstick coating process so that food won't stick to the pan. It is warp resistant, heavy-duty, reliable, and very easy to clean.


Pampered Chef Products I love are the Pampered Chef Round Stone,
Executive Nonstick Cookware pan set (I have both the 7 piece and the 5 piece set), mix & chop - meat chopper, glass batter bowls, spice rack, tool turn about, mini serving spatula, pan scraper. coated Knife set, Chefs silicone basting brush
Tupperware thatsa bowl set, store and lock containers, snack cups and mini cups, cookie containers 8x8 and 9x13


Kitchen Aid Mixer - I use mine multiple times a week... mixing bread dough, cookie dough, icing, puddings, etc.


Ninja Professional Blender - This is well worth the money! I use it to make my Shaklee Protein drink with crushed ice!
Dish Drying Mat - I haven't had a bulky dish drainer for over 10 years! These work great!

 

Speaking of dishes, the best dish soap ever, both automatic dish washer and hand dish soap.


Scour off- caning pots and pans with burnt on food, cleaning the glass stove top or oven, getting rust off of dishes, etc.


Corelle Dishes - I love my chutney correlle dish set. I have canisters, colander, baking dishes etc to match. Most people save their good dishes for company, but at our house the most important people in my life is my family, so we use the good dishes at every meal!



Ikea cups, plates, and bowls.... great alternative to paper products. Perfect for kids or for controlling adult serving sizes.


Glass Darhma Straws - Glass straws are the BEST!
All American pressure cooker. Best pressure canner for canning produce, meat, fruits, etc.
Basic H (all natural)- use it to wash fruits and veggies and use it as all purpose cleaner.
Vitamin holder/ turn table. - high quality vitamins are very important in our home. They have literally changed our life! 


               

Other kitchen items I wouldn't be with out are : Waffle maker, crock pot, electric skillet, and toaster.


What are some of your favorite kitchen products? leave a comment and let me know!


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bridal Shower Lingerie and Paint Party


My sister Marla found her man!!! Don't they make a cute couple?!?!

Photo credit: Alicia Magnus

I wanted to have a small intimate lingerie bridal shower for my sister. Since she lives in Montana, we don't get to see her often. The guest list was small, just mom, sisters, sister in laws, and her two oldest nieces (4 ppl could not make it). I didn't want to have the normal 'how well do you know the bride' games, so this is what I came up with instead...

The theme was "In His Time"....

"Take Time to Date"
When guests first arrived... They could write down date ideas on wide pop cycles sticks and place them in the "Date Jar".


"Take Time to Play"
We started the evening by playing games.
The first, involved each guest, and the bride to be making a veil out of toilet paper. They had 5 min. and we're judged at the end. 




Next involved a bottle of sparkling grape juice and a garter. Each guest took turns trying to toss the garter on the bottle. The bride got to keep the garter (and if she wasn't flying back to Montana with limited luggage space, I would have also given her the bottle.)


Next was a fun "Panty Poem"
I read the poem as someone held up each pair of panties and then gave them to the bride.


Opening gifts came next.... 
PS. plastic wrap is always appropriate at a lingerie shower...


"A Time to Eat"
I decorated the table with gold dollies, rings, rose petals, pearls, a clock (which was gifted to the bride), flowers, and a sign that said: "God makes all things beautiful in His time".


The food was simple...
Taco salad (which I forgot to put tomatoes in it!)
Cornmeal rolls
Buckeyes
Cheesecake
Wedding punch


"A Time to Listen"
We all filled out advice prompt cards and the bride read them out loud, while we guessed who wrote each one.

"A Time to Create"
I wanted an activity we could do together, so that we could talk and have a good time.... so, we all painted a canvas. I purchased canvas, brushes, acrylic paints, and sponges. Then set cups of water, a spray bottle of water, paper plates, and paper towels around the table.


We printed off a picture to use as a reference and we all started painting.


 It was relaxing and so much fun!!! It was so cool to see how each person's painting reflected their own personality...




Overall, I think the party turned out great and was exactly what I had anticipated.

How about you? What do you do to make a bridal shower/party special? Tell me in the comments...

The Best of 2016

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