Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Devotions For A Deeper Life by Oswald Chambers

I thoroughly enjoy devotionals that make me think. Devotions For A Deeper Life by Oswald Chambers does just that. The author, Oswald Chambers, is a world renowned theologian and well known for his other book, My Utmost for His Highest, which is also a great read. 

Devotions For A Deeper Life by Oswald Chambers is a beautiful hardcover devotional book with an attached ribbon book mark for keeping one's page very easily. This is a daily devotional, starting with January 1st and ending on December 31st. Each devotion starts with a scripture, followed by a short devotional and ending with a prayer thought and suggested reading from the Bible.

Whether keeping for yourself as a beautiful devotional, or giving as a gift, I really think anyone looking for a great devotional would enjoy this as much as I do. It really is gift ready and perfect for the nightstand, whether doing devotions in the morning or evening. You can purchase it here 
Zondervan Publishing or at your local bookstore or favorite online shop.

*I received Devotions For A Deeper Life by Oswald Chambers free for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Christmas Card Season ~ AdoramaPix Has You Covered

AdoramaPix is an amazing company that lets you create beautiful, extremely high quality Christmas cards. The prices are fabulous and the quality! I cannot say enough about the beauty of these cards. This is our second year getting them and I couldn't be happier. Photo cards can look cheap and quite frankly, can be pricey for the quality you get. These will not disappoint! I have never been disappointed with anything I have purchased from AdoramaPix, so I can put these on mythe "I highly recommend this" list!

I was more than thrilled to open my cute little AdoramaPix box this afternoon when the mail came. I LOVE sending out Christmas Cards, and it is the only time of year we do family pictures. It has become a tradition for us, so I was definitely looking forward to it. The experience to create the card was a good one. It is so easy to create your own personalized cards, whether using a template they already have on the site or making your own from scratch.


There are four Trim's you can choose from: Square, Side, Bracket or Ticket. We chose Square this year because it just looked best with our format and pictures. There are also four papers to choose from: Classic Linen, Royal Matte, Royal Felt or Pearl. We chose Classic Linen for our cards. From there, you upload which photo's you want on your card, add additional text or fun stickers or borders if you want to personalize it even more and most important DON'T forget to change the names to your families name :)

This is the front and back of our cards

The ordering process is extremely easy too. Just choose the amount of cards you want/need and checkout! I chose standard shipping, which was only $5.95. I ordered in the late evening on November 17th and received them today, November 21st. That is really fast in my opinion and now I can start sending these out!

Zoom in to look at the quality of the paper and envelopes

There cards are not the only beautiful things you can purchase on their site. I have gotten the metal prints, which are amazing quality, framed pictures and picture books. They also have other gift idea's like calendars and photo collages as well as canvas prints. I don't think anyone could possibly be disappointed in the price and quality that AdoramaPix offers.

Find the full review here: AdoramaPix ~ Capture the Moment

Find the full review here: AdoramaPix ~ Capture the Moment

Find the full review here: AdormaPix and Metal Prints

To start your card project go here: AdoramaPix Greeting Cards and you may even get lucky and find a discount code on their site. As I type this they have 40% off Greeting Cards with code PXCARD40 I don't know when they will pull this off of the site, so hurry and order now!

*I received these cards as a promotion in exchange for my honest opinion and review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, November 21, 2016

KidCreate Studio ~ Introducing Kids to the Wonderful World of Art

I am always looking for fun things to do around the city, whether it be cultural, educational or just plain fun. One of the most recent Fun and Educational things I have found is Kidcreate Studio - not just any art studio, but somewhere that children can express themselves through their own creations.

My son and I participated in a Thanksgiving Craft Party class and had so much fun! The kids made their own clay turkey - just in time for Thanksgiving - as well as some Goo Gunk, which was a fun science lesson.

The class was led by Kendra, along with her helper Linnea. Upon walking in, the atmosphere was bright and happy. Kendra was extremely welcoming to the parents and their kids, which is a great way to set any environment for learning.

She started us off by having the kids sit on a mat while she went over the simple and easy to follow rules of the class and introduced us to Ferdinand, her clay turkey (who was just adorable!). As an ode to Thanksgiving, she also asked each child what they were thankful for, which was such a blessing to listen to. Answers included, "My mom taking care of me and loving me", "My big brother" *awww*, "My self", "My cat", and my favorite because it was Benjamin's "My mom and dad" *blushing* He is the sweetest.

After this short session, the kids were all presented with their blob of brown clay that would eventually turn into their own turkey masterpiece. Kendra sat right down at the table with the kids, instead of hovering over them, which I truly appreciated. She took the time to tell each child how she liked their unique turkeys and if questions were asked, she patiently helped and answered them. I was very impressed by her patience and kindness with all of the kids.

It was neat to see each child's individual self come out in their little clay turkeys. Between the shapes of the turkey themselves to the tail feathers used, each child ended up with their own unique clay turkey. Benjamin named his turkey "Sunny" which I thought was a great name for such a cute little turkey.

Once all of the turkey's were finished, Kendra brought out the ingredients to making Goo Gunk; a fun substance made from Borax, glue and food coloring. At first Benjamin wasn't quite sure about the texture and feel - it was kind of yucky - but after the water was squeezed out, he really liked it and ended up taking home his own bag of it.

Our experience at Kidcreate Studio was definitely a good one. As I said before, it was a very positive environment and I think all the kids had a lot of fun. They have a studio in Eden Prairie, which is where we were, and in Woodbury. Both locations offer a large variety of classes and parties for kids starting as young as 18 months old. 

One of the programs that caught my eye was the Homeschool Program. As a homeschooling mom I love a variety of activities to keep Benjamin's education and skills budding into the best he can be. The program has a few options, which include Weekly Classes, Masters in the Morning Workshops and Private weekly classes for your co-op group. You can find the brochure for the Homeschool classes here at the bottom of this page: Homeschool Program

They also do Birthday parties , Ladies Night Out Parties and an On-The-Go Studio as well as many other programs. Make sure to check them out at to book your class, party or workshop today!

*I was invited to the Thanksgiving Craft Party in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bedtime Read and Rhyme Bible Stories by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

Bedtime Read and Rhyme Bible Stories is a beautifully illustrated book and is the perfect addition to the family night time routine. I keep this on my son's dresser and we read a few stories every night before bed. They are short and written in poem form so are easy to read and fun for kids to listen to. 

As you would imagine, the stories aren't thoroughly detailed but are great to get your child started on a variety of Bible stories, or supplement one's already known to the child. Stories include the Creation, The Ark, Daniel and the Lion's Den and Queen Esther for the Old Testament stories among many others. The New Testament stories go beyond the life of Jesus and into the gift of the Holy Spirit, Saul's change of heart and even touches a little bit on Heaven in the book of Revelations. Each story/poem (over 90 altogether!) ends with a short prayer, so this can be a complete, short devotional for kids before bed. 

The illustrator, Robert Dunn, does a fabulous job keeping the pictures matching the stories so children can easily imagine the stories and they are bright and fun. The book is a gorgeous hardcover that has a golden ribbon to easily keep your place and also includes a To, From, Date page towards the front of the book to make this a great gift. 

Bedtime Read and Rhyme Bible Stories  can be purchased at a variety of bookstores and online. Purchase here: Tommy Nelson Publishers This is the perfect Christmas gift for that special child in your life. 

*I received this book complimentary from Book Look Bloggers for review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Dates I Will Never Forget

You know how you have to write down people's birthdays on the calendar so you don't forget about it? Or even sometimes special days in your life, like your own birthday, or God forbid, your Anniversary! It happens all the time to me with a lot of things. But there are two dates I don't need to write down. Two dates that are burned into my memory so much so, that the days leading up to these dates are full of the memories they hold. Those two dates are 7-17-13 and 11-9-15; the days we lost Adora Ruby and Theodore Andrew.

As Theodore's "birthday" is approaching, I can't help but remember those horrible days. I started spotting on Halloween; right before we went out for trick-or-treating I saw it. Nine days later I was in the hospital being told I wouldn't be going home, that in fact I had an ectopic and they would be doing emergency surgery that night. The numbness I felt can't ever be matched. I vividly remember asking for pain medicine, not because my body physically hurt, but because my heart was sick. An ectopic is supposed to be painful so I played off of that. The worst part was that the morphine didn't touch the pain. It never reached that burning depth in my soul that was on fire. The cry that went out from my heart will never be forgotten. For we had not only lost one baby, but now another. One more dream smashed, ripped and literally cut out of me. I have major scars on my abdomen that will always remind me of that haunting day. I'll never forget the after math of the surgery; not being able to go to the bathroom because my muscles were still in shock, sitting in a hospital bed for 5 days, alone, wondering what on earth did I do to make this happen.

My heart is still filled with the intense pain that I felt then as I write this. Wednesday I will go visit his grave, for yes he has a grave site. His life mattered. He was a beating heart, just like Adora was a beautiful soul taken much too soon. My babies are in heaven waiting for me, and even now as I am 27 weeks along with Samuel, nothing can ever replace them. They are special in their own way.

So with all the hubbub with the election going on and having just moved into a new home, deep inside, my heart still burns and aches with a pain that will always be there. A pain that takes my breath away and brings back those memories. I miss my babies and always will.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Legend by Eric Blehm

Legend by Eric Blehm is the inspirational story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez. Within the first few pages of this book, Eric captures the readers attention with the bravery and the heroic actions of this great hero. Just those few pages made me HAVE to keep reading. Thanks to Eric Blehm, Fred Barbee, The Associated Press and Brian O'Connor the story of Roy Benavidez has not been lost.

This book begins with the childhood of Roy Benavidez. His early exposure to war through the newsreels at the local theater regarding World War II struck a sense of adventure in Roy. I can totally picture how he would pretend to be one of the paratroopers he watched in the newsreels to fight the Nazi's, almost like my own son pretends to be a super hero. Those feelings of heroism don't die easily, and with Roy that proved to be more than true.

What eventually got him into the military was his hot temper. He wasn't a tall man and not big either, but strong and fit from hard work. You will have to read for yourself the incident that actually got him in on page 25, but it is quite interesting and according to the author, was a legend among Roy's buddies. At 19 years old he became Private Benavidez, just another step into his legendary life.

The other plus about Legend are the pictures. I know that may sound juvenile, but for me it is all about capturing history. Seeing the men behind the words in this book bring a personal level to it. You can almost catch a glimpse of who they are, as well as match them up to what was read in the book. I love finding the picture of someone I'm reading about. 

I don't want to go through the specifics of this book, as a review is just that, an overview of what was written and my perception of what I read. I personally feel that reading stories like this, TRUE stories, breed patriotism. One cannot read this book without feeling a sense of pride. The men and women who serve and have served this country so selflessly deserve so much more than given, but to let their stories live on is important. As soon as my son is old enough, he will be reading this book.

Find your copy here  Legend or look for it at your favorite book store or online store.

Follow  Eric Blehm on Facebook here: and Twitter here:

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Homemade Apple Oatmeal

It really is that time of year for the taste of apples and cinnamon! The other day I wanted something hearty, filling, yet healthy for breakfast. The chilly mornings leave a desire for something warm as well so I concocted this delicious yet simple recipe that is ready within minutes! 

Homemade Apple Oatmeal

1 apple, peeled, cored, cut into 8th's, then sliced thinly into a small saucepan
1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (add more if you like more)
Dash of nutmeg, cloves and salt

Stir together in the small saucepan. Add 1 cup water of milk (I used water) and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pan. Once the apples are soft it's done!  

Delicious, filling and fairly healthy. Enjoy! Oh and this is one serving :)

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