Thursday, August 3, 2017

Read with Me


Having loved a similar book (Praying for Boys), I was excited to review Praying for Girls. Even though it is by a different author, the Biblical truths and easy prayer prompts are still just as present in this book. Pray for her identity, her heart, her mind, her relationships, her purpose...I love that there are blanks for you to insert your daughter's name - praying specifically and out loud has changed my prayer life.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

This adorable hard back Bible (The Blessed Garden Bible) is the perfect little girl Bible. Illustrated devotional thoughts are sprinkled throughout the Scriptures. "Why should I read the Bible?"  "How do I forgive?" How can I let God's love shine through me?" And the International Children's Bible is easy for them to understand. I look forward to reading the Word with my daughter.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

After taking a "Women in Church History" course in college, I have loved learning about the powerful women who have helped Christianity to spread throughout the ages. Sometimes it was them going into a scary country on their own. Other times it was a wife supporting her leader of a husband. Reformation Women is a welcomed addition to my collection of books on Women in Church history. What a powerful reminder of what God can do with a heart surrendered to Him.

I received this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! The Good News in Four Words is an adorable children's book with cute illustrations and a clear gospel message. From the fall of mankind to the cross to the tomb, my kids were able to see how all these Bible stories fit together in God's perfect plan. What a perfect way to share the Gospel with your children.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

As a young adult, I was an avid reader. I loved tales of missionaries and their adventures to advance the Gospel. God's Smuggler is a true account of Brother Andrew, written for middle-school age readers to enjoy. A few black and white illustrations are sprinkled throughout the story.

I received this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Even though I have two small children already, I still learned so much from this book. Things I wish I'd known Before We Became Parents. by Gary Chapman.  I chuckled at some of the concepts because of their truth. You'll find chapters that include these topics (and more): That having children radically changes your schedule, that potty training is no laughing matter, that sometimes parents need to apologize, and that marriages do not thrive on autopilot.

Many of these ideas are easy to forget in the day-to-day life with kids. This is a book I plan to re-read every so often, reminding myself of the truths found within. I always appreciate Gary Chapman's teaching style.

I received this book from Moody in exchange for an honest review.

A Layman Looks at the Lord's Prayer is a great, simple resource for any believer. Each phrase from the Lord's Prayer gets its own chapter - Scripture is used to further break down the principles that Jesus taught his disciples. What a great short book. What a great resource on prayer.

I received this book from Moody in exchange for an honest review.

You can do this was not a book I would read again. Seemed to focus more on self-.promotion. I understand the need for confidence building, but inspiration for this book seemed to come from man's quotes rather than Scripture.

I receveid this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

Jane of Austin was a fun, lighthearted Christian novel. I had never heard of the author but was lightly entertained by her easy writing approach. It was a fun summer read.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

I love Hannah C. Hall's "God Bless My..." books. They are adorable. They rhyme perfectly. And the board book format is perfect for little hands. The covers area always padded and the illustrations are beautiful. God Bless My School is a fun addition to our collection. It focuses on getting ready for school and the activities that can take place throughout the day. This could be used for kindergarten or a preschool setting.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

HelloFresh - a Fabulous Coupon Code!!

I love to cook...I hate trying to come up with what to cook. We tend to eat the same thing on repeat. A friend offered a $40 code for my first box of HelloFresh and so I decided to give it a try.


And let me start out by saying that this kiwi salsa from one of the meals was so good and so easy. It will become a regular recipe to have at our house and to share with others.

The regular price of the box I received was $60 (which does NOT fit in my normal grocery budget), but with the code, I was willing to try out 3 meals for around $20.

I chose the 2 serving portion option for my three meals. I know that they offer a family portion for a higher price, but I was sure that would be too much food for us.  Having two preschoolers that eat rather well, I knew that I could substitute a little here and there and make this two-person portion work for our family.


When the recipe had me roast potatoes, I added 2 potatoes. For the steak fajitas, I made the kids cheese quesadillas and added corn on the cob. Using the box this way worked for my family. We didn't really have tons of leftovers, but everyone was full.

The food arrived fresh and packaged well. There were two giant ice packs inside a well insulated box. The ingredients for each meal were bagged separately. Upon receiving the box, I put all the bags and meats into the refrigerator.


When it came time to cook, I simply grabbed the meat portion and my ingredient bag and got to work. The brown paper bag that the ingredients came in worked great for containing the scraps and trash from the meal prep. So, they even provided an easy clean up plan.


The recipe cards are large and super visual. The instructions were clear and the process was fun! The way the cards are laid out would even make them easy to let the kids help! They could easily see the ingredients needed and the next steps.


We thought the food was yummy. And I received new ideas from each meal that I will definitely repeat (like the kiwi salsa).  I loved that I could select what meals I wanted out of the 5 or 6 listed for the week. And, since I wasn't wanting to commit to the box every week at the full price, I simply canceled my subscription as soon as it said that my box was on its way. The process was easy.


If I ever want to try it out again for a week or so, I can easily reactivate my account and select my meals.

If you want to give this a try for the $40 off price...here's my coupon referral code.

https://www.hellofresh.com/?c=SOTHEC

You'll receive $40 off and I'll receive $20. This coupon is for new customers only.

And, if you do give it a try, I'd love to know what your favorite aspects and meal ideas were! 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Let's decorate a wedding...

 It's amazing the encouragement and strength that can come from a person who knows you well and sees you through different phases of life. My college friend Melody is one of those treasured individuals. Melody and I spent countless hours studying together, taking classes together, painting signs together, praying together and sharing queso dip at Applebees. When she asked if I would be interested in helping her decorate her wedding, I was honored and thrilled to be a part of her day by doing something that I love.

We discussed her ideas, looked at pictures, painted signs, and assembled a few friends to help.


It was a breezy fall day in November. The trees were beautiful and her desire for "simple and rustic" matched the venue  perfectly.


Moss. Wood slices. Pine cones. Tree branches. Lanterns.




Gold frames. Chalkboards. Wrought iron.

 The decor items were simple on their own but made a beautiful collection together.  What a perfect picture of marriage! I pray Adam and Melody are better together!




The constant breeze from the water forced my decorating friends and I to be a little more creative - finding boxes and baskets to contain the cups, hot chocolate packets, and anything else that was blowing away.



Special friends and family members brought pies of all kinds to share at the reception.



The bread table beside the buffet lines quickly turned into one of my favorite reception details.


Bamboo skewer signs helped to label the different types of bread. And the Acts 2 verse seemed appropriate to prop up in the center of the table.  It was my gift to the couple, praying that their home would continue to be a place where friends gather and the Lord is honored.




The bride had this beautifully aged gold frame that we were able to turn into the perfect sign for her photo booth guest book instructions.







I loved watching the joy on my friend's face that day. Friends were gathered and the Lord was glorified.





Using items to decorate the wedding that reflected the bride's style kept costs low and made items reusable. Signs from the reception currently decorate her home.




Since your home should reflect who you are and what you love, wedding mementos make the best decorations.

I am so thankful for this 12 year (and counting) friendship. Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day!