Monday, April 26, 2010

Asking for Trouble~A Tyndale Book Review

It can be difficult to find juvenile fiction works that display good morals while being entertaining and fun to read. However, Sandra Byrd has created just that with her new London Confidential series.

When Tyndale asked me to review the first book in the series, Asking for Trouble, I said yes, even though I am not exactly, ummm....juvenile. It was a fun read.

This book is about an American girl named Savvy, who moves with her family to England. She struggles with the many changes, but displays good character and judgment throughout the book. As she develops as a reporter and writer, she lands a column in the school newspaper.

This book is perfect for the young teen who is searching for answers to life's many challenges, as Savvy applies Biblical counsel in all of her decisions. These decisions not only apply to her advice column and to her personal life, but also to the readers' real life situations.

I cannot say that I'll be eagerly awaiting the remaining books in this series, but I will be excited to recommend the London Confidential series to the young teen daughters of my friends.

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of the

Tyndale Blog Network
book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The NLT Girls Life Application Study Bible~A Tyndale Book Review

Isn’t it pretty?? It's the Glittery Grape NLT Girls Life Application Bible!

This Bible definitely has real ‘girl appeal’. The rich purple leather-like cover has a very up to date feel. The pink accents and flowers on the butterfly add depth, and even the page edges are highlighted with pink and purple accents. This Bible will appeal to young girls while being cool enough for the older girls. It has a 'hippie' feel, making you think.....GROOVY.


girls bible

*Note that this photo includes the gift box. The Bible itself is all purple, other than the pink and silver accents you see through the clear panel of the box.

This Bible has several very nice features:

  • What Now? teaches girls to make good choices by showing them Scripture that compliments a variety of real life situations.
  • I Survived! features stories from older teens about difficult situations.
  • At a Glance focuses on the lives of women in the Bible.
  • Is it OK? helps you discern what the Bible says about questions and situations girls face.

The New Living Translation is a plus. An easy to comprehend version, this Bible translation will encourage young girls (and girls of all ages) to dig into God’s Word, preparing them for more complicated translations in the future.

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of the Tyndale Blog Network book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ecosmart Giveaway Winner!

I truly appreciate each of you who participated in my Ecosmart giveaway. I admit, I am a little disappointed in the low participation. But, hey…it’s a busy time of year.

I’m telling y’all. There are going to be some regretful folks sitting at the ball field, fighting off the mosquitoes!

Let’s get on with it…..The winner of the Ecosmart Home Value Bundle is………….



And comment number 3 is……………….

Sheri @ The Shades of Pink

Friday, April 16, 2010

What Could this Be?? Chickenpox??

Hello to the Friday Followers!

Happy Friday!

My little one hasn't been feeling well this week. Late Monday night, he began running a fever. He was lethargic, coughing.

By Tuesday evening, he was all congested, runny (nasty) nose, coughing, fever....just feeling bad.

Wednesday night he seemed to be feeling a little better. That's when I noticed him scratching his head. He had some itchy bumps here and there on his scalp, and what looked like a zit on his cheek.

Yesterday, he developed a few more bumps on his face.

(He really isn't as happy as this picture makes him appear!) See the spots?

And the red, raw nose, along with the spots?

Here's one on his hand....

Close up of my miserable boy...

(Yes, that is the chocolate of a Cadbury egg! Good for all that ails ya!)

I consulted Dr. Google and discovered that, although rare, you can get Chickenpox from the vaccine....which he had just 3 weeks ago. His fever started on day 18 and Dr. Google says the incubation period is 10-21 days. These cases are usually mild with fewer than 20 spots.

I'm thinking it probably happens quite often and parents just fail to report it due to the mildness.

So, what do you think? Is it Chickenpox????

Join us at the Friday Follow:

BookSneeze Review~66 Love Letters

Quite some time ago, I received a complimentary copy of 66 Love Letters, by Dr. Larry Crabb, from Thomas Nelson Publishers. It has taken me way too long to publish this review. However, I wanted to have time to get a true feel for this work before writing about my opinions.

66 love letters This book is divided into 66 chapters, each covering a book of the Bible. Each letter, or chapter, is written as a personal letter to the reader from God, explaining the meaning of that particular book of the Bible.

The book itself is very handsome, with an old world feel. The font and size are easy to read and the light hint of pattern on some pages adds to the overall feel. However, the content of this book is definitely the winning attribute.

Anyone with the desire to read and understand the message of God’s Word should own this book. Dr. Crabb’s writing style is comfortable. He draws you in with his uncomplicated language and obvious love of the Bible and encourages you to dig deeper as you learn more about the true meaning of life.

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wish I had Something Good....

.....to link up and share via the Transformation Thursday this week. I just haven't done much in the way of home improvements this week. If I could do something sorta big, I would love to get rid of this....

...and get something new in the way of lighting. Maybe some recessed pot lights? Or something dangly and impressive?

I don't know. Just something other than what's up there now.

It's so....generic. (And crooked.)

I'm pretty happy with the rest of my kitchen. I would like to have granite, but the countertops I have now serve their purpose. And they look pretty good.

I'm thinking I should forget about throwing down that big chunk of change on granite and invest it in other things for the kitchen.

Maybe a new fridge (dreaming!) or cookware...or knives! Oh, I would love some nice, sharp knives...

Hmmm.....maybe the ladies that link up to Transformation Thursday can help me choose lighting for the kitchen. Suggestions?? What would y'all choose?

I have worked in the flower garden this week. I could share that transformation! It was a neglected mess! The weeds were outnumbering the emerging flowers.

In this photo, you can see where my daughter was weeding and stopped. (Behind the lilies.) See the difference?

And the lilies are really coming along. I can't wait for them to bloom....

I've already posted about the new azaleas, but they are so pretty, I thought I'd mention them again.

And guess what! My husband came home last night with two more azaleas for me. I have a feeling those remaining dwarf boxwoods are his-to-ry.

I'll be sure to repurpose them to the backyard patio area....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday~I Just Wanted a Photo...

....of your trip to Chuck E. Cheese....

And, um....no. This is not child abuse. ;O)

Even he giggles when he looks at this photo.

*For more Wordless Wednesday, go to 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Break Update....Because You Know You Want to Know...

Nice title, heh? It's Spring Break this week and I guess I'm feeling a little punchy. It's really nice to be on my own schedule for a change. No rush to get up and get cranky, sleep-deprived kids off to school.


It's only Tuesday, but we've already had a fun-filled break. Yesterday was a very busy day. We celebrated a birthday!

Here we are having a family birthday dinner, singing "Happy Birthday" to Cade. He doesn't do well with direct attention, so this type of thing is a bit uncomfortable for him.

Poor little guy...

Honestly, our singing isn't that bad!

And did you notice the dining area? This is an unplanned spoiler if you read my last DIY post (artwork)...

This little guy LOVES singing "Happy Birthday" and sings it long and loudly! (Much to his older brother's dismay.)

Blowing out those candles!

Now that the singing is done, this new 9-year-old is happy to ham it up for the camera!

See what I mean???

Earlier in the day, we took a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. This was his birthday wish. This pencil sketch photo was done by a machine for one token. It's priceless! Look at the joy on my little one's face and the sheer excitement in Cade's eyes! I love this so much.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Cade!
Mama loves you!


Over the weekend, my girl and I started working on our flower beds. We listened to music and talked while we dug, pulled, and planted.

Good times....

I praised her for her hard work.

She made fun of my discomfort. (I do not like dirt on my hands. At. All.)

We dug up a few of these....

And moved two of them to the back yard and one in front of the A/C unit.

Then we replaced them with these...

Pink Phlox (hope to get more...) and some type of hedge called "Firepower". It's a pretty lime green that turns burgundy in the winter.

And we added a few of these...

Prudence Pink Azaleas. Look, they are already blooming!

The hostas are coming in nicely....

Can you see the cat? Grrr.....

We used a lot of hot pepper pet deterrent spray. (Looks like it's working. NOT.) And we used a lot of this EcoSmart flying insect spray on the wasps. It DOES work. If you enter my giveaway, you might be able to see for yourself! You know you need that bug repellent for your nights at the ballfield!

The kids are all out doing there own thing right now, except for my little one. He isn't feeling well today, so we're hanging out together here at home. Watching Toy Story.


And enjoying our Spring Break...

What are you doing today???

Thursday, April 8, 2010


As I posted a few weeks ago, I have been on a home decor re-do kick. My goal is to finally (finally) fix up our home, but to spend very little money doing it. So far, I've shown you the results of cutting down our armoire into a credenza. I also told you about finding a great fabric sale in that same post.

We've done a few more projects in the dining room, so I thought I'd link up and share for Transformation Thursday.

First off is a piece of wall art I made for the dining room. I thought I'd share a close-up of one part of this art piece for now.

I want to save the full photo for the final reveal. I love it!

Next is a snippet of the banquette bench my husband built for our dining room. AND, the brand new (to me) farm table he wheeled and dealed and surprised the heck out of me with....

Isn't it perfect with the banquette?!?!?

I love that the chairs are already worn in spots. I'm thinking I should go ahead and do some sanding on the table legs. What do y'all think?

And this glass bowl was given to me by a neighbor. She was always decluttering and sending things to me via her boys. lol! I love the look of this bowl, especially when it's filled with fruit.

And what do you think about the fruit? It's fake and was only $1.00 each at Wal-Mart!

Remember the fabric sale I mentioned? The store was going out of business and I was able to purchase yards and yards for very little money. I think I have a total of 50 yards of fabric and I only spent $29.00! That's amazing when you factor in that most of the fabrics are home decor fabrics and then there's the toile...

I plan to use these in the living and dining rooms. How do y'all like the combination?

I love it!

This toile and white sheer will be for curtains in both rooms. These rooms are separated by a semi-closed staircase, but they share the front wall.

All of these will be used for accent pillows. I hope to use the plaid to also make cushions for the dining chairs.

The darker green tiny check will also be used to make seat cushions on the banquette.

So, there's the progress I've made in the dining room. Admittedly, it's mostly good ideas that still need to be executed. I'm working on it! I'm looking forward to hearing input on what I've done and what I'm planning.

And I cannot wait to see the finished project (and to share it with y'all)!

Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to enter my Ecosmart giveaway. This spring is already showing us some serious bugs.....You NEED this natural bug killer. Jus' sayin'....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Got Bugs? Natural Bug Killer to the Rescue! (Ecosmart: A Review and Giveaway!)


If you have been here at all over the past few weeks, then you are aware that I am extremely happy to see the green grass, the budding trees and new life and all that. But, MAN. The bugs are driving me c-r-a-z-y!

Just in the past few days I've battled spiders, wasps, and ants.

Oh. the. ants.

In. my. kitchen.

There is an entire army of ants living on the edge of my kitchen, just waiting for me to leave so they can attack.

There must be MILLIONS.

I've used sprays, powders, gook...you name it. They all work, sorta, but the toxins cannot be good for my family. It's the kitchen and our food...

Enter my friends at Ecosmart. They were kind enough to send me a value bundle of their products, including a natural bug spray that kills, you got it... ANTS. (Among many other bugs...)

I received the value bundle pictured above a few days ago and I have been happily attacking the bugs ever since!

Not only are the ants dead, but once I use the bug spray, they stay gone for a long time. I'm not sure why, and I don't care. I think I'm killing off the colony.

The spray has a unique smell that is unlike any bug spray I've ever used. Assorted family members think the spray smells like:

  • Peppermint
  • Rootbeer
  • Pepto Bismol (??)

The fragrance of these sprays can be quite strong, especially if you are heavy-handed. If you follow the directions on the can and wipe up the excess, it is not a problem, and so much more pleasant than chemicals! (Saying this, I do have a couple of kids with sensory sensitivities and they are not fond of the smell.)

We have used the home pest control to conquer the spiders in the flower garden, and also to treat around the windows and doors for more ants.

We also have witnessed great success with the flying insect killer. I've never seen anything take down a wasp quite like this product. Well, except maybe a shoe, but how awkward. This was much easier! My daughter sprayed it directly on a wasp's nest and they all just dropped.


You can purchase these products from Ecosmart by clicking the links in this post. OR...

You can win your very own home value bundle here!

Rules and such:

This giveaway is open to all readers over the age of 18 years. Participants must live in the continental USA to be eligible for this giveaway. Giveaway starts today, April 7th, 2010 and will end on Saturday, April 17th, 2010, at 6:00 pm, central time zone. Winner will be announced at the end of this giveaway.

No compensation was received for this product review and giveaway, other than the safe home value bundle supplied for testing and review. Retail value appx $24.00.

To win it:

  • Leave me a comment telling me why you need this safe home value bundle for one chance to win.
  • Follow my blog for a second entry.
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest for a third entry.
  • Blog about this contest for a fourth entry.

Four chances to win some great, natural products just in time for the bugs! Tell your friends!

It was a Good Good Friday....

One kid was at school, two kids were at Mamaw’s, and one kid was 'too cool to go on an outing with his parents'. That left only one little kid. So...we hit the road for some fun!

Mom, Dad, and one kid rarely happens…

With the promise of ice cream, we piled into the car and headed out to a local state park. Of course, we stopped at Sonic for sweet tea (for the adults) and a dish of ice cream for the ride.

Once we arrived at the park, we strolled around the lake while Eli got dangerously close to the water in order to throw in a variety of items. In the water went rocks, sticks, leaves, sweet gum balls…

He was having a great time!

Once we had rescued Eli from the water’s edge several times, we decided to find a trail instead.

*Note the walking stick. So cute!!

It felt great to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine. (Thank you, Claritin!)


The weather was perfect!

Yep, he brought the stick home....

Posing with Daddy....

As we were driving out of the park, we spotted an old deserted playground. We just had to stop and slide on that old metal slide…

Working up the courage....


It was a good Good Friday.

Even though I often found myself pushing back the crucifixion images from The Passion of the Christ, it was a good Good Friday because I know that the crucifixion was not the end of the story:

Luke 24:5-7 (NIV)

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the
men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still
with you in Galilee:

'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified
and on the third day be raised again.'

Happy Easter!

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