Friday, May 30, 2014

A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert Book Review

Claire Massey's affluent life comes crashing down when her husband, Tuck, is arrested for fraud in Kellie Coates Gilbert's new book Woman of Fortune, A: A Texas Gold Novel (Texas Gold Collection).  Claire and Tuck Massey, who have been married for 20 years have built a beautiful home in Texas and throw large parties for the elite of society.  Claire thrives on travel, the latest fashion and connecting with her three grown children.  Tuck is a cattle broker and keeps his business to himself.  No one saw what was to come.  Tuck is arrested for fraud which leaves his family to pick up the broken pieces.  Claire's life is turned upside down.  But Claire's resilience gives her strength and hope to move forward with her life and make better decisions for the future despite the constant challenges she faces.
This was an amazing book told by an author who witnessed a real life cattle fraud case and the devastation it caused.  But Kellie Coates Gilbert takes a new twist and molds her character to show grace under pressure.  This book is full of contrasting emotions: grief, hate, joy, sorrow, confusion and peace.  When all is stripped away, the true self is revealed.  Claire had deep roots that kept her strong through the storm.

Be sure to check out the BOOK LAUNCH party with lots of fun and great prizes on June 3.


A Woman of Fortune Book Trailer

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author. All opinions are my own.*

Check out my review of Kellie's other excellent book Mother of Pearl!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

42 Simple and Healthy Dinners by Brandy Ferguson, Stacy Karen and Emma Swanston Book Review

42 Simple & Healthy Dinners (42 Days to Fit) by Brandy Ferguson, Stacy Karen and Emma Swanston is a great little book of recipes for dinners that can be simple and healthy for your family.  The book is divided into categories for beef, fish, poultry, pork and vegetarian options.   All of these recipes focus on the whole food or real food diet.  Each recipe has a list of ingredients, a list of instructions, a color photo and a short personal story for making the meal delicious for your family.  Every meal is refreshing and made with food you will enjoy eating and having as part of your regular diet.

I recently finished 42 Days to Fit and I loved that program.  This recipe book would be a great compliment to that program, but could also stand alone especially if you want to incorporate real food into your menu planning.  There is nothing like eating a well balanced dinner that is made with yummy food that is good for you.

I tried the Garlic Lemon Chicken and Pasta.  I really liked being able to pull some ingredients from my garden!  It was delicious and a perfect meal with plenty of flavor. 

Be sure to check out this new book and start making healthy dinners for your family!

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author.  All opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lifestyle Medicine

Hi Friends- I love going to visit my sister and brother in law.  They always give me so many things to think about in regards to my health.  Both of them eat special gluten free, dairy free and sugar free.  Yikes!  I eat all that, but I wonder what would happen if I cut out some of that stuff.

My brother in law is a doctor with a  passion for helping people learn to take care of their bodies by what they eat and how they live rather than poking them with a needle or giving them a drug.  He has started writing a monthly newsletter with great topics.  Be sure to subscribe HERE

Not only that, whenever we visit, they make fabulous food for us.  I never imagine when you strip away all of that, there is another world of possibilities.  I really want to move our eating habits to mirror more of what they do.  

For breakfast they made this yummy sweet potato hash from Nom Nom Paleo.

For a dessert they made this crust (from Nouveau Raw) and used it as a topping over strawberries with a yummy whipped coconut topping (found in Nom Nom Paleo's new cookbook).

And be sure to follow Dr. Wagner's Lifestyle Medicine News to Use Facebook page.  I was talking to him on our visit and he's planning some great new ideas to add to his platform.  I look forward to all he has to share.

Also, here are some books he recommended to me that I put on hold at the library:
*Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

*Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan

Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My firstborn is 5! (Well, 5.5 now!)

I usually post on my children's birthday, but I can't believe I missed this one so now my son is 5.5 years old.  Here is his 5 year old letter and pictures.
Dear Shrade,                                                                                          11/27/13

I can’t believe you are 5 years old today!  I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with you that I was already thinking about you when you would be 5 years old since that is the age of students I had.  On the day you were born I was so excited for you to come and I was pretty nervous.  In the last several years I have watched you grow into a creative big boy.

This year you were able to do so many new things.  You started reading in January, but really started with more confidence just this past month.  You went camping with daddy on the 4th of July and went hiking in the mountains.  You went to Day Camp for a week and VBS for a week.  You had a blast with your cousins in Bend for our family reunion.  You also rode on the Amtrak train with Grandma Linda.

One really exciting thing for me was starting Homeschool PreK with you.  You actually didn’t want to.  You wanted to go to “school.”  But I tried to make it fun.  I am amazed at how much you have learned- writing your name, drawing, more cutting and gluing and reading.  I see you learning new things everyday and I’m so proud of you.

You absolutely adore your little sister and want to play with her all the time, chase her and copy her.  You still have strong emotions, cry a lot and sorry to say, you still suck your food, but chew apart water bottle straws.

You love working with daddy, playing in the garden, cutting paper, drawing, spinning in circles, Cubbies and playing at the park.  You always want to go somewhere.

What I love most is that you still want to cuddle with mama!  I love you, buddy!  Love, Mommy

Organizing shoes

Making cookies with mom

Elephant from Cubbies on our cabin trip

Drawing people for the first time

Camping with grandma and grandpa

His babysitter

"Making" breakfast

Sunday, May 18, 2014

100 Days of Summertime by Jennifer Tankersley from ListPlanIt

eBook ad
I absolutely love books that spell everything out for me step by step.  That is what Jennifer does with her 100 days books.  She breaks down the long list of to-do's for the season and makes them easy and manageable as well as fun.  In 100 Days of Summertime, you will get a calendar from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Each day there is a little task, inspiration, a list to make, a party to plan or dates to make for the future.  She has lists for every part of your summer and lots of great ideas for graduations, weddings, summer camping, outdoor fun, indoor fun, traveling, and fall projects to think about and more!  You will be motivated to get moving and going to make this a successful and enjoyable summer.
You can get this book for only $5 (download) by using this code: 100DAYS3OFF.
Get your summer started!!
Coupon code: 100DAYS3OFF
*I was given a complimentary copy of the book for review.  All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rugged Romance Sweepstakes from Dani Pettrey

Enter the RUGGED ROMANCE Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey!

In SILENCED, Book 4 of author Dani Pettrey’s award-winning Alaskan Courage series, a relaxing day of rock climbing takes a dark turn when Kayden McKenna’s route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Was the climber’s death a terrible accident or something more sinister?
When the case is handed to Yancey’s overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With the truth of Jake’s past now revealed, Jake agrees to use his investigation skills for this one case–but nothing could prepare him for where the case will take him.
As Kayden and Jake work together to uncover the truth, will they also find a refuge in each other?  Or will the deadly plans of a killer destroy their chance at love?
To celebrate the novel, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the RUGGED

ROMANCE SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

Timeframe & Notifications:
This giveaway starts May 1, 2014 and ends May 21, 2014 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Friday, May 23, 2014, and announced at

About the Prizes

Rugged Romance Sweepstakes Grand PrizeGRAND PRIZE:
In SILENCED, Kayden’s adventurous nature and skills as a pilot come in handy as she and Jake race to uncover the truth. If you’ve always dreamed of hopping on a plane to chase your own adventures, but don’t have a well-trained pilot and a Cessna at your disposal, we’ve got the perfect prize for you.
Our Grand Prize winner will receive: a $250 gift certificate to Alaskan Airlines, good toward travel to multiple destinations across the Continental US, Alaska, and Hawaii

Rugged Romance Sweepstakes Second PrizeSECOND PRIZE:
As Jake and Kayden crisscross the Alaskan wilderness looking for answers, they also see some of the most glorious scenery on earth:  soaring mountains, crystal clear lakes, and incomparable wildlife.  Could there be any better setting for a glowing romance? Now you can share in the romantic scenery, even if you don’t live in Alaska.
Our Second Prize winner will receive: The Kiss at Wonder Lake 31″ x 23″ Framed Art Print

Rugged Romance Sweepstakes Third PrizeTHIRD PRIZE:
Kayden has always been practical, no-nonsense, and slow to trust. She’s definitely not a romantic-at-heart who longs for a handsome man to whisk her away for a picnic in the mountains.  Right? ; )
If you, like Kayden, have secretly dreamed of a romantic mountain-top picnic, this is the prize for you.
Our Third Prize winner will receive: The ultimate picnic pack for a romantic afternoon. This insulated backpack includes silverware, plates, napkins, plastic long-stemmed glasses and a wide selection of gourmet picnic snacks

How to Enter:
Go to and complete the entry box, anytime between May 1 and May 21.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

30 Days to a More Beautiful You by Kylie Bisutti Book Review

30 Days to a More Beautiful You: A Devotional for Girls by Kylie Bisutti is a practical and honest devotional for girls by a former Victoria's Secret Runway Model.  Kylie shares her journey of how her worldly thinking changed to a godly perspective.  She discovered that the truth to true beauty lies in Jesus and not in the shallow victories of this world.  Each day she shares a Bible verse, a story, asks questions and leaves the reader with a true beauty tip.  Kylie has learned the secret that inner beauty is lasting and God values each of his children not by what they look like on the outside but because we are his children.

I really enjoyed this 30 day inner beauty makeover.  I think it took a lot of courage for Kylie to step away from a high profile career and start this new ministry for sharing God's love with young girls.  She has the perfect platform to encourage others to transform their inner lives to reflect Christ and keep that as their main focus.

From the back cover:
Despite what the world leads us to believe, true beauty has nothing to do with outward appearances. The more we focus on what we look like on the outside, the more insecure we become.

Fortunately, God doesn't measure our worth by how we look. We have value simply because we are His children. The more we focus on getting our hearts right with the Lord and honoring Him, the more secure and confident we will become—and the more we will exude true beauty.

In 30 Days to a More Beautiful You, former Victoria's Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti gives a complete inner-beauty makeover with succinct devotional readings designed to transform your heart, body, mind, and soul and put you on the path to becoming a happier, healthier, more beautiful you.

The perfect gift for every young woman, this devotional will forever change the way you define the word beautiful.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book for my review.  All opinions are my own.*

Read Kylie's Story: I'm No Angel

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It Just Can't Be, Jessna is 3!!

Today my little girl turns 3!  I can't believe it.  I barely made it through year one with all the crying, then year two was all about moving and this year was all about moving and talking.  Oh, my!  Jessna is sure one of a kind.  I don't think I have ever met any child quite like her and I know lots of kids since I was a teacher for 12 years.  She has me running in all directions daily, but her cute smile usually brings me back to center.  Here are a few pictures of our year.

My dear Jessna,

When you came into my life I never dreamed you would be such a busy girl with a funny personality and so independent for one so young.  This year you proved to me that you are a girl of action.  You dance, jump, climb, bounce, tumble and do it over and over again every single day!! You also sing and try to play the piano.   In the fall, you began taking off your diaper and making a mess in your bed and other places.  I reluctantly started potty training you.  And then you started climbing in and OUT of your crib.  So in about a month's time you had a new bed and no diapers (only during the day).  And on top of that you stopped napping (only on occasion).  You could take off your clothes and put them on all by yourself!  And you often said, "I can do it myself!"  You asked "why and what" a lot and you got into everything!  You found things I didn't even know I owned.  But most of all you wanted snuggles, "Please snug me."  You made the silliest faces for sad, glad, sleepy, scared and surprised.  But what I loved most is that you became best friends with your brother.  Every single day you get up and play all day with your brother.  There is no other way I would have you, little girl!  You are my precious daughter full of love, laughter and wiggles.  We love you to the moon and back.  I pray you will stand strong for Jesus some day and use all your energy to glorify Him.  Love, your mama