*Thrifty Living * Homeschooling * Natural Living * Creating * Baking * Learning * Exploring * Subscription Boxes * Childhood Cancer* Death of a Child*

Friday, August 29, 2014

Move On

I'm a bit conflicted on how to review Move On by Vicki Courtney. On one hand, it is well written. Some of her writing hit head on. 

"Many of our churches have ceased to be hospitals for messed-up people and opted instead to become showrooms for polished pretenders."

I like how she brings up using our struggles (and we all have them!) to glorify God. Making our story, the good and the bad, showcase God's work. How pretending to be the perfect Christian (there's no such thing!) does more damage than good because people can relate to others like themselves...and we all have struggles and issues to deal with. The first several chapters found be nodding my head to lots of what she said.

Towards the middle and end of the book I started to lose interest. I still can't put my finger on what bothered me about the book, except maybe to say that Vicki is very straight forward about being a self-proclaimed agnostic and feminist in her twenties and having been judgmental of Christians. And while her words are wise, and often very true, about very fake or hypocritical Christians, I still get the feeling from her that she is judging others for judging. That if someone isn't her type of Christian then they aren't Christian at all. It was all beneath the surface of the book, but there was just something bothering me about the last half and that is what I feel it is.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

100 Days of Real Food

A couple years ago I started following 100 Days of Real Food on Facebook. It was an easy way to see lunch ideas and get some great recipes for our family. I visit their blog occasionally and have pulled some of our favorite recipes from their (the creamy wheat macaroni and cheese is a favorite of my husband's!).

I was thrilled when I heard about their cookbook. And even more excited when they offered me a copy in order to review it! 
100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake is more like a Bible for food and healthy eating. The recipes are divine, yet family friendly and easy to make. The pictures are gorgeous (you know I love a cookbook with photos!)
Macaroni Casserole, anyone? (Page 252)
Fall is right around the corner, which means soups and stews! How about some Vegetable Chili? (Page 248)
The lunch box ideas are fantastic, and there are several pages of ideas. Perfect for any lunch, really, not just one away from home!
But it's not just recipes. The first half of the book is about the Leake's own food journey and how to get started on your own road to real food. From "What is Real Food?" to "Making Changes; Don't Overthink, Just Start!" 

There are menu plans based on seasons, what to watch for in food labels, how to shop, snack ideas, and so much more. As a busy mom, with limited time in the kitchen, this is the book on how to change our diet while not having anyone rebel at mealtimes! 

I am thrilled to add this to my bookshelf and see myself using it time and time again. Perfect for all degrees of cooks, the recipes even list the difficulty from easy to advanced.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bear Hugs

My dear friend surprised the kids with a bear, made out of Jacob's clothing! She had heard about a woman who made bears for people from their loved one's clothing and immediately wanted to buy one for each of the children.  
Becca exclaimed"Jacob's clothes!!!!" when she realized what these precious bears were sewn out of.
I'll admit to feeling anxiousness when I had to decide what to do with the clothing of Jacob that no longer fit Joe. I didn't want to pack it away, nor did I want to get rid of it. So when Francesca brought up this idea I was enthusiastic, after getting over my fears of placing them in the mail and hoping they wouldn't get lost. 
What a treasured keepsake! I've been staring at the bears and holding them as they feel like a little piece of Jacob. The kids are loving and squishing on them. It gives them something to squeeze when they are missing Jacob.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Once again, cookbooks are calling to me. And what could be sweeter than a cookbook about sweets? The Food Network Magazine has this new book titled SWEET. And sweet it is! While it was the cupcake chapter that drew me in (Tea Cakes with Earl Grey Icing, Mint Patty Cakes, Cranberry Cupcakes!!!) it was the pictures that I fell in love with. I love, love, love a cookbook with pictures. Every single recipe includes a picture of the finished project and it makes me want to try everything in this book. While, without pictures, some of the recipes would have sounded blah, the finished product looks delicious!

This cookbook includes the simple (yet how delicious do those chocolate chip cookies look?!) to fancy, to holiday. I can literally just open up at a random spot and see a recipe I want to try.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

A few things that I am loving this week:
Bath & Body Works Bourbon Butterscotch candle. Oh my goodness! This smells like butterscotch pudding to me and makes my whole house smell so yummy! This is totally a new favorite scent.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I'm only half way through this book but am loving it. The writing, the character, the thoughts, the storyline. I really hope this author writes more books in the future!

Rainy days. We are finally getting some rain and hearing the rumbles of thunder and the rain hitting the windowpane is music to my ears. I opened the windows, even though it's sticky and humid, just to be able to hear the splashing of cars driving by and the raindrops splattering on the sidewalk.

Friday, August 22, 2014

September PopSugar Must Have Spoiler

There is already a spoiler for the September PopSugar Must Have box! This beautiful scarf, with a $125 value!
I received a scarf (a different brand) in last fall's PopSugar box and love, love, love it! My sister even tried talking me into giving it to her because it is so soft and warm and lovely. I'm so excited that I resubscribed (after taking the summer off from this box) because this scarf looks awesome...and it's just one of the many items that will be in the box!

Plus, for new subscribers, you can use the code MUSTHAVEMOM for $10 off your first box, making it just $29.95! I'm thinking this will be a great box you won't want to miss out on!

Disclaimer: Referral links included in post.

Let's All Be Brave

I have seen this book reviewed on several blogs this summer so I was thrilled to get the chance to read it. I've never heard of Annie F. Downs or read her blog but the reviews were all great and a book about courage has to be awesome, right?

I just couldn't get into this book. I tried, I really did, but I didn't like it. 

First of all, this book is about courage, yet the most courageous thing the author did was move overseas (then back again a few months later) and then a few hours away from her parents and cried every time she left from a visit. I didn't feel a vibe of courage from her throughout the book at all.

Second, the author and I are of the same age (actually, she's a year older) but I felt as though I was reading a book written by a teenager. The writing is not bad at all, but the season that she is in is a completely different one then my own. Maybe that's it...I feel this is a book written more for a teenager (her other books are) than an adult, married woman raising her own family.

I'd recommend this book to my younger sisters, but not to people my own age. I was actually surprised at all the wonderful reviews, so maybe I'm really the oddball out and the only one who doesn't connect with this book at all.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August Phone Case of the Month

For $10 a month you can get a new case for your phone delivered to your door with Phone Case of the Month! What I like best about this box is that the cases are limited to 200 of the same artwork, so it's a fairly original case that you will be holding in your hands. There are several varieties that will be sent out so you never know what your case will be, even if you have seen spoilers! 

I was thrilled when I pulled this month out of the bag! A fox and a little bird on a branch? Perfect for me! It looks even cooler in person. You also get a little treat each month, which happened to be a piece of bubble gum. :) This is such a fun subscription and I love switching up my phone design each month!

You can get your first case for just $5 by going through this link

Disclaimer: Referral links included in post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August IPSY Bag Review

My IPSY is here! The theme for August is "Beauty Schooled" and I'm always happy to see the bright pink mailer in my mailbox!
There are usually 15-20 different items each month and your bag will contain 4-5 of those based on your profile answers. Your "glambag" will update on the 10th of each month so you can peek in your account to see what your bag contains (and the other items that others are getting that month), or you can wait for it to arrive and be surprised. I never can wait!
This month my bag contained:

*Absolute You're the Balm (Green Apple) This stuff smells amazing! Love it...now I want to try all the scents!

*Urban Decay Perversion mascara. I've never been disappointed with an Urban Decay product yet!

*Dr. Brandt Pores No More pore refiner. I loved the Dr. Brandt scrub I received a few months ago so am excited to try this product out.

*Lord & Berry eyeliner. Not terribly exciting but I will use it.

*Coastal Scents Forever Blush samples. The colors should work for me.

*A cute little bag. A little too cute for my tastes so I will be handing this over to Becca to use for her pencils!

IPSY is just $10 a month which includes 4-5 makeup items (sometimes full size, often generous sample sized) and a fun makeup bag. The value is often high and this is one of my favorite subscription boxes. Think Christmas gifts for those items you can't use...this would also be a fun subscription for teens or college students.

Disclaimer: Referral links included in post.

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Angelversary

 I heard someone whisper your name, when I turned around to see who it was I found myself alone then I knew, it was my my heart missing you. - Anonymous
 If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever. - A.A. Milne
Though sorrow may impede my heart, It is of great love to have known you.” ― C. Elizabeth

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Happy Finds

The other day I was feeling down in the dumps. I decided I must get out of the house for a bit so I loaded up the kids and we headed to our neighborhood thrift store. It is really a hit or miss. Sometimes I find something fantastic, sometimes it's all complete junk.

This particular day I found several packages of stationery (50 cents each for vintage Hallmark stationery!) and this lovely little quilt for just $2. 
Quilts make me happy. :)
Another thing that makes me happy is my clothesline. Especially when it is filled with little pretties. I traded with a woman from Facebook a nice little package of Baby Boden outfits for a voucher that I had. It was so fun to receive that package in the mail, wash it, and get it hung on the line. Amy's wardrobe is getting ready for fall!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August Birchbox Review

Birchbox is a beauty subscription, somewhat similar to Ipsy. You get five to six product samples each month for $10. The part I like best is that you can then review them in your account each month and earn 10 points per review. 100 points equals $10 to spend in the Birchbox Shop. So essentially each box will earn you $5-$6 in points each month.

Each box is drastically different, there are so many variations each month. The August theme is "Lighten Up" and is all about keeping cool this month.
The first look was fun...I loved all the colors!
*Jasmine Seven fresh feet wipes for kids. Perfect for my kids dirty little feet after the park or creek!

*Marcelle B.B Cream; I've gotten hooked on using this stuff instead of heavy foundation for summer.

*Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
*Ojon advanced hair treatment oil

*The Balm Stainiac tint for cheeks and lips

I was pleased with everything this month. Did you also know that there is a Birchbox for men? I haven't tried it yet but may have to try a month of it to see how well my husband likes it. 

Disclaimer: Referral links included.

Thursday Thoughts

Here is a bit of an Instagram dump for you...
This weeks CSA share. Lots of yummy goodness which we are enjoying greatly! Those blueberries taste nothing like the ones in the store - these have flavors and depth that taste like candy! Amy literally screams for more!
Speaking of Amy, she often brings me the oddest assortment of items. The other night it was my keys and some hair spray. I wonder what she was trying to tell me?
My kids play to their hearts content each day and have the dirty faces, hands, and feet to prove it by the end of the day!

I don't have a picture but the other day a whole load of my clothes went through the dryer with a green crayon or marker (I didn't ever find the culprit). The whole load is now tie dyed green, and not in a good way. Scrubbing, soaking, vinegar, dish detergent, hot water, hanging on the line, and crying didn't work. Two of my favorite pairs of capris are ruined. I'm tempted to still wear them like that, as they are so comfortable. Sigh...I knew I should have hung them on the line in the beautiful sunshine we were having but I felt lazy that day. Look what that got me.

I'm following Jennifer for Thursday Thoughts!


Related Posts with Thumbnails