Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Keto Reset Diet

After many years of my friend touting the Keto Diet I decided to give it a try.  The only problem... I am a former vegan and current vegetarian.  I never had an aversion to meat but when my doctor said I had high cholesterol I did something about it and became vegan for 2 years a lower it to normal... but I digress.

I was excited to start this diet with my husband.  He had heard about it and was equally excited.  I read the book and made some coconut oil and butter pucks for my coffee (which is pretty darn good). The author does a great job of explaining the science behind the diet. He put it in easy to understand format and made all those big science-y words not so scary. But when it came time to make the food I froze. I honestly didn't make any of it due to the cost of the diet itself.

I am not opposed to spending money on food but when you come from feeding your family nothing but fruits and veggies for 2 years and jump into a meat and fat laden diet it becomes a huge pill to swallow. Most of the recipes looked great and I will hand onto the book and possibly try them but as for now we just can't do this diet.  I have passed it onto friends who have been successful with it and for that I would recommend this book.

I guess one day I hope to be able to give this reset diet a try.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Could not put it down...

I am one of those people who really, really want to be a reader.  So getting myself to read is a hard task.  But this book was so easy and quick to read.  I loved every second of it.  The author describes the scenery so well that you feel a chill go up your back as you are reading about the winter scenes.  He uses words that are quick and easy to read, adding just enough detail without going overboard.

I loved the characters.  Both Ben and Ashley are beautifully complicated and flawed.  Since this book is written from the voice of Ben, I found myself constantly needing reminding that it was a man speaking... apparently most of the books I read are from a female perspective.  I really loved the flow and simplicity of this book.  Each step that the characters took, I took.  When they cried, I cried.  I tried so hard to keep my Christian perspective during some of the scenes, and even found myself angry with the characters.

The author does a great job of inputting God and Christian values throughout this book.  They aren't loud and shoved in your face but rather subtle.  He adds a human touch to them.  We all face hard times in our marriages and life and I think he did a great job of addressing these subjects and keeping God there.  I would highly recommend this book!

** This book was given to me to review by Blogging for Books.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Instantly Transported

I love reading a book that instantly transports me to another time and place.  I felt like I was walking among the characters... experiencing life side by side.  This book makes me want to visit Sri Lanka.  The author uses such vivid imagery and develops the characters so well that I didn't want to put the book down.

As a married woman in a new country, Gwendolyn is torn when her English husband become distant and a new exotic man shows her some attention.  Reading the twists and turns made this book exciting and fun to read.  Does Gwendolyn have a dark secret that could ruin her marriage?

I love books that keep me intrigued and wanting more.  This book would make a great summer read!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rooted in Prayer

Prayer... most of us throw that word around like we do the word Love.  We tend to casually say, "I will pray for you".  We say it with good intentions but what does it mean to really PRAY.  In this book I learned to search deep within myself for what God was calling me towards.  I had to really stop and get on my knees to find the answer to all that I was searching for.

I love how Mr. Liebscher uses David as an example of how we are to be faithful and never stop praying.  Sometimes we can hear God nudging us in a certain direction almost instantly and some times it takes years to hear that voice.  I love having this book in my library because it causes me to stop and look over my life.

Being a stay at home mom I often feel sheltered and set aside in my calling from God.  But after reading this book I have put Post-it notes all over my house reminding myself that Motherhood is my Ministry.  And while this may be true for this season of my life I am happy to return to this book again and again as I move through different seasons... always returning to learn where God wants me next.

**I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Vegan Chef Cookbook

I really, really love to cook (sometimes).  My father was a chef and would use every single bowl, knife, pot and pan when he cooked a meal at home.  I, on the other hand, really like things simple.  On occasion I like to chop all my ingredient first and then start cooking but most of the time I have to turn the heat off after adding my garlic because I am in the middle of chopping the next ingredient... Why am I telling you this?

Because I like simple cooking.  I am a mother of two young boys and need things to be simple.  I need to get dinner on the table while helping with homework or running out the door to Scouts or sports. 

This cookbook is full of amazingly delicious recipes.  Ones that I am happy to cook and take the time with.  Gently loving each ingredient as I add it.  These dishes are so full of flavor and exciting to the vegan palate (which sometimes gets a little tired of tofu and plain veggies).  I loved taking my time to make many of these recipes but I honestly have to to save them for special occassions.  

While this cookbook will stay of my shelf and I will always look through it.  I think this is best left to the people who have more time.  Don't get me wrong, I really want to make everything from this book but I lack the time and energy in my life right now.  This book is full of great recipes that will add some variety and spice to any home cooks repertoire!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Goodbye Lists, Hello Organized House

I don't know about you but I love Excel... you know the computer program.  Ever since I first learned to use Microsoft Excel I have loved making spreadsheets.  I make them for grocery lists, cleaning lists, school items and household things too.  I make them for the most mundane of tasks that do not require a spreadsheet at all.  I love making little boxes and putting borders around them.  I love to merge cells and wrap text.  Call me a nerd if you will but I love it!

I only just now realized that I need to stop making lists and spreadsheets.  Mind you I won't give them up all together but I need to think about how I utilize them and the stress they cause me.  I have been a stay at home mom for almost 8 years now... and if this was a paying job I would have been fired long ago.  Anyone else feeling me?

I have tried to fly with the FlyLady (she is great!!! but I can never keep up)... I have tried to modify her stuff to fit me.  I tried to send my boys to grandmas for the weekend and clean my house from top to bottom and then it gets messy again within weeks.  I made spreadsheet after spreadsheet, trying to keep myself on track.  I even bought a new notebook at the start of the school year, you know, when everything is fifty cents!!!  And nothing has worked.

I just keep trying and seems to do nothing but setting myself up for failure... until I found Marie Kondo.  Have you ever watched a news report and seen an idea and thought, hmm that is pretty awesome, and then file it away in your brain which already holds too much information?  This is what I did when I first heard about her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!  I really wanted to try it but was too cheap to buy the book or too lazy to try anything new.

Until I found it at Costco!!  Am I right ladies, everything looks better at Costco.  I love to walk up and down the aisles at all the things I don't need for my home.  I peruse the books as if I have the time to sit and read!  Then I saw this book...

I already knew that this is what it looked like and I have to grab it.  And it was only $10 and I thought lets do this.  I think you have to reach a certain point in your life where you need and WANT to change.  I thought I was fine but after reading this book I didn't know how lost I was.  This book reads to quick and easy and the more you read the more you want to finish the book so you can tear apart your house and find peace!

Being the mother of two young boys that word, PEACE, isn't something that I think of when I envision my house.  But I am learning that I can have it and how desperate I am to find it.  Do you ever come home and find yourself so angry with how your home looks that you really just want to climb under the covers and hope some magical cleaning fairy will show up?  I was in a constant state of moving piles, piles of papers off my counter and to my dining room table then off that again so we could eat.  They always were shifted from one place to another until I got so sick of it that I finally dealt with them.

But how is that a way to live?

After reading this book I tackled my closet since she says clothes go first.  I am not going to give away all the details because you need to have this book!!  I was able to refold my husbands t-shirts and underwear and freed up three drawers in his dresser and I cleared two whole hanging racks from my closet.  And was able to have this space to enjoy...

How crazy is that?  (By the way that is the first dollar I ever made!!)

I have a beautiful closet.  I got rid of some clothing items but for the most part I just folded them properly and put them away... GET THIS BOOK!!

Check out her website too!

But now that my closet is looking nicer and my downstairs catch-all closet is organized I still have to clean the house right?

And we are back to the lists... the never ending checklist of all the things that need to be accomplished on top of doing the dishes, making the beds, picking up after myself and my family, doing the laundry and finding some time to eat and exercise?

I was mad... so mad that I took my hedge trimmer to my rose bushes and trimmed those poor defenseless plants to almost nothing!  And then by the grace of God (my savior) I found the solution!!

No More LISTS!

Bye bye spreadsheets and never ending to do lists.  We all know that we need to clean the mirror, counters, sinks, tub, shower and toilet when we clean the bathroom, right?  So why did I have every single detail of every single thing I needed to do.  I know I need to make the beds in the morning and get dressed.  I know I need to do the dishes every day and water the garden.  Why was I setting myself up for disaster but overwhelming myself with a plethora (one of my favorite words to say!) of things to do?

So from now on for Monday it will simply say... Sheets and Bible Room.  (The Bible Room is our front room that we have dedicated to not only the first thing you see when you enter our home but also a declaration of our love for the Lord.  We read our bibles in there with our boys and display our collection of crosses that we gather on our travels.)

I know that Sheet and Bible Room means to wash the sheets and clean the Bible Room.  I don't need a list telling me that I need to dust and clean the blinds and sweep, mop and vacuum... forget that noise.  I know what needs to be done.  So once this is published I am taking down my silly checklists and putting up a simple weekly list... 7 sections (cause you know there are 7 days of the week) and their corresponding tasks.  DONE.

Granted I still have a long way to go to make my house tidy and organized like the book says.  But I feel so much better about making my life work.  And not having my husband want to fire me when he comes home!  (just kidding, I am lucky that the Lord sent me a patient and understanding husband and not the guy from Sleeping with the Enemy where all the cans had to be lined up and facing the right way!)

So please if you have $10 lying around and you need a change... get that book and see that it really is LIFE-CHANGING!!!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

God Gave Us Sleep

I was so excited to get this book to read to my boys.  They are 5 and 7 and they loved it.  There are many times that kids do not, I repeat, DO NOT want to listen to their parents.  I am sure that I am just starting to get my taste of it.  This book covers the story of a little polar bear cub who doesn't understand that rest is part of our day.  My boys are the same... they do not want to go to sleep and then wake up upset, just like this little cub when they don't get enough.  But this book seemed to break through to them.  They notice how their days go wrong, as if they woke up on the wrong side of the bed so to speak, if they don't rest enough.

I love this book and am going to get it for a friend to welcome her new baby.  I would love to get more of these books from the series.  For our family having books that speak God's wisdom to us is very important and I am thankful for books like this which help us guide our children.

** I was given this book for FREE as part of the Blogging for Books program.