Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Day at the Beach Book Review


This book wasn't exactly what I was looking for when it comes to a devotional. It felt shallow, and left me feeling empty, longing for a deeper conception to God and myself.

I'd have to say, the best thing about this book is the cover and it's size. The soft leather feel to the cover, makes it wonderful to hold. It is the perfect size to carry in you pocket or put in your purse. I liked the orange cover.... the perfect color to go with the blue of the ocean.... yes, the cover was the greatest thing about this book to me.

*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.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5 Best Household Hacks

There are some 'household hacks' that I think just about every body has heard of by now, like heating a bowl of lemon water in the microwave before cleaning it and it will wipe off effortlessly. But then, sometimes as I'm using a household hack, I think to myself, I wonder if people know to do this, because I love it so much!

So, today I'm sharing 5 of my favorite household hacks....


1. Upside Down Laundry Room Towel Rack
How many times do you have a wet rag with no where to put it, so it ends up on the washer, counter, floor, or flung over the hamper to dry until laundry day? Well, I don't know about you, but at our house we go through a lot of wet rags.... I had hubby screw in a towel rod upside down under the laundry room cabinet. It is the best thing ever! Now we hang the wet rags up, and when they're dry, I toss them into the hamper. Having this in my laundry room has made me a happier person!



2. Spinning Spice Rack Pampered Chef
I used to have the little spice rack shelf where every single time you reached for a spice bottle, about 3 or 4 other ones would fall over, creating a domino effect and they would all come falling out. Every. Single. Time.
Now, if I had a huge kitchen with lots of drawer space, I'd love to have the ikea spice rack drawers to lay my spices in. But since I have a modestly small, (just right for me size kitchen), I absolutely love my pampered chef spice rack spinner! (PS. If you need a great Pampered Chef lady.... Rose is awesome! And, no, I don't get any perks for saying that) but please let her know that I sent you her way!
     


3. Plastic Shoe Boxes For Medicine Cupboard
Our bathroom closet used to look like a tornado hit it on a regular basis.... it was chaos to find anything, bottles would fall over, I would end up buying 10 tubes of toothpaste, because you couldn't find the other 6 I had already bought that was hiding out in the huge mess! I took everything out of the closet and bought 6 plastic shoe boxes. Then I sorted everything into piles: slaves and creams, first aid, colds and flu, eyes and razors, teeth stuff, and allergy...... I got rid of anything out dated or no longer used and put each pile into the perspective box, put a label in the front and walla! -Now you can find everything your looking for and the closet always stays clean!


4. DVD Albums
At our house we have 3 kids and 2 adults with vastly different movie preferences. We don't pay for TV, and we don't own any Wii or Ps games or anything like that and do not have a library close by, so for our entertainment - we enjoy watching DVDs. Over the last 10+ years, we have acquire quite a few movies! (Let me insert here that I try to spend no more than $3 per DVD with the exception of season sets). As, you can imagine, I had a whole closet full of movies (both VHS and DVD's). Well, I decided something had to be done, so when our VHS player quit, we got rid of all the VHS tapes, then went through our DVD stash and gave over 70 away.....

Anyway, we were left with still a whole lot of movies, but also ones we like to watch, so I ordered Cd pages, bought albums, and organized the albums by kind. 

Right now our album titles along with the kind of movies are as follows:
Dads (Fast and Furious, Ocean 13, Duck Dynasty, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.)
Moms (Love Comes Softly Season Set, Lipstick Jungle, Fireproof, God's Not Dead, Mom's Night Out, etc.)
Kids (The Fox and The Hound, Secret Garden, Robots, Finding Nemo, American Girl Movies, Horse land, etc.)
Family (Ice Age, Madagascar, RV, Princess Diary's, Flubber, Disney Cars, etc.)
Little House On The Prairie - Complete Seasons Set
Heartland - Complete Seasons Set
CSI - Seasons Sets (we will sell this set after we finish watching it)
Everwood - Complete Seasons Set
Parenthood - Complete Seasons Set
7th Heaven - Complete Seasons Set
Sex in the City - Complete Seasons Set and Movies 1 & 2 (don't judge - its my own personal secret indulgence.)
Gilmore Girls - Complete Seasons Set (another favorite of mine)
Christy - Complete Season Set

This system has made things so easy and the best part is, it has given me back my closet. I can now keep all our movies in the bottom of an end table!


5.  Cutting Curtains
If you like redecorating your home.... I'm sure you know that it can get somewhat costly. I shop second hand stores, antique shops, craigslist, etc. and try to keep my costs down but the one thing that always surprises me with the cost is curtains! Even a cheap curtain panel will usually cost around $18 - $25..... and that is for just one panel. Well for two windows, you'll easily have $80 just in curtains.... While $80 for curtains might not be much for some, for me, that is a whole lot of $$$!

So, in stead of buying 4 panels for the 2 windows, I only buy 2 panels. I measure and cut the panels in half. Then I hem them up where I cut, restitching the rod pocket and guess what? I now have 4 panels!! A word of caution: I only do this for windows that I am using either a blind, shade, or sheers in, as I am just using the panels for decoration. Here is the girls room, that I just made last week.

So, there you have it.... I'd love to hear some of your favorite household hacks in the comments!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How Well Do You know The Graduate Quiz

Here she is.... Our oldest daughter, Faith Dahlia... a graduate of the class of 2017! ..... We are so proud of her!


We had the following quiz at her graduation party....

How Well Do You Know The Graduate?

What is her middle name? Dahlia

What is her favorite color? Blue

What is her favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate

What is her favorite holiday? Thanksgiving

What is her biggest pet peeve? Tardiness

What is her favorite food? Fish

If she could go anywhere in the world, where would she go? Ireland

What was her favorite subject in high-school? English (funny side note - she hated English in grade school and had to take 4th grade English three times!)
What is her dream job? Writing or Acting

What shoe size does she wear? Size 7½

What is her favorite book genre? Fiction

What super power would she choose? Invisibility or Flying

What is her favorite movie? Lord of the Rings

How many musical instruments can she play? Four - The violin, piano, ukulele, and guitar  
         
How many States has she visited? Twenty-Two

What is/are her favorite animal(s)? Horses, Dogs, Cats

What US State would she like to live in? Washington State

Where was she born? Greenville, OH

How old was she when she started riding horses? Four years old

How many times has she flown an airplane? Three

What is/are her favorite hobby(s)? Writing and Drawing

Where did she volunteer at for 3yrs? Redkey Veterinary Clinic -  Redkey, IN

Where would she like to go to college? College of the Ozarks, Missouri

What was her 1st published newspaper article about? Saving Grey Wolves


What is one thing she wants to change in the world? Hatefulness



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tuesdays With Morrie - What a Great Book!

"The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves.  The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was The Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience. 
No grades were given, but there were oral exams each week. You were expected to respond to questions, and you were expected to pose questions of your own. You were also required to perform physical tasks now and then, such as lifting the professor's head to a comfortable spot on the pillow or placing his glasses on the bridge of his nose. Kissing him good-bye earned you extra credit. 
No books were required, yet many topics were covered, including love, work, community, family, aging, forgiveness, and, finally, death. The last lecture was brief, only a few words. 
A funeral was held in lieu of graduation. 
Although no final exam was given, you were expected to produce one long paper on what was learned. That paper is presented here. 
The last class of my old professor's life had only one student.
I was the student."
- reading that had me hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I too, wonder why we as people seem to confuse what is important in life. 

Morrie reminded me of my Grandpa Stump, always interested in people and having a smile on his face. 

My Grandpa lived out the last few months of his life at my parents house, where he was surrounded by people he loved. I was privileged to give him his lunch the day before he died and to sit on the porch swing with him, listening to the sounds of nature....

I cherish every memory that I have of my Grandpa!

Here is my Grandpa Stump with my kids Dec. 2013

I think everyone could benefit from reading Tuesdays with Morrie and taking time to contemplate the bigger picture of life. This book will be added to my bookshelf.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Class of 2017 - Baz Luhrmann Inspirational Speech - Wear Sunscreen

My oldest child is graduating high school this year.... where did the time go?!?! 

My hubby had me listen to the following speech a few months ago and I keep going back to it....  While it may have been written 10 years ago, I think it is still great advise for today's Class of 2017!
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2007, wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists.
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind. You will never understand the power and the beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in twenty years you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now - How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future or worry that. Know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you. 
Sing.
Don't be reckless with other peoples' hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. 
Floss.
Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. 
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Stretch.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-old's I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll divorce at 40.
Maybe you'll dance the "Funky Chicken" on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much. Or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. 
Dance. -even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room.
Read the directions even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings, they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go. But a precious few, who should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle.
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Travel. 
Accept certain inalienable truths.
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old and when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young - Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders. 
Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you'll never know when either one will run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're forty, it will look eighty-five.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off. Painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Listen to Baz Luhrmann Speech and the song here.

So, to my beautiful daughter - remember the sunscreen..... and these words of wisdom! - Congrats to the Class of 2017!



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lord, Have Mercy Book Review

This book had my attention the minute I flipped it over and read the back cover...
"Just when you think you’ve got this wife and motherhood thing down . . .Your toddler expresses his inner Picasso on your freshly painted walls . . . In permanent marker. Your 14-year-old demonstrates her newly acquired modeling skills . . . via every social network known to man. Your husband pulls up in a new car that you can’t afford . . . and only has two seats. Lord, have mercy. What are they thinking?"
...... story of my life!!! Well, not quite, instead of a toddler I have a 7 yr. old daughter and "mess" is her middle name! And my teenager is almost sixteen - but other than that.... it's pretty much right on! .....and my hubby loves pulling in the drive with a mustang.... at one time we had 3 of them, all at the same time. Right now he's talking about a new truck, or RZR for him and the kids, so one or the other will probably be pulling in the drive any day now!!

When this book came In the mail! I was in love with it! The front and back cover is pretty much my life.... right down to the teen selfies, on social media, the boy plays on a tablet or looking at ATV magazines, the youngest is always noisy.... thankfully we are out of the baby stage, but she is a loud little girl and then me.... most days I feel like burying my head, giving this whole mom thing up and trying again another day!!!

I love the cover of this book so much, I recreated it, with my family.... 
picture coming soon.....

I have to say though, upon reading the book, I was a really somewhat disappointed. I was expecting it to be written from a mom still in the thick of raising young kids, not from someone with kids already grown. While the book did have good points, I felt a disconnect with the author.... so for all the emotion that I feel when I look at the cover, I'm gonna cherish my recreated family portrait and pass the book on to someone who can get more use out of it then me....

This book, just wasn't what I expected.

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.

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