Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goodbye to Yesterday Book Review

A Goodbye to Yesterday
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Goodbye to Yesterday by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the first of six in the Discovery series.

Join Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus, an Amish couple who are faced with the greatest challenge of their young lives. Financial struggles. Arguments. A suspected pregnancy. A last-minute trip to Middlebury, Indiana. A drug addict on the run. A deadly encounter at a Philadelphia bus station. Will their love and faith be enough to bring them back together again, against all odds? (Goodreads Description)

I have read many of Wanda's books and I like the idea of spliting up this story into six books. When I received the book in the mail I was a tad confused simply because I hadn't done my research on this series. This book is tiny, about half the size of a normal book, and only has eight chapters.You could easily read this book in an hour. I like where the story is going but Brunstetter wrote it to keep the reader interested in the next book. The end of chapter eight leaves you hanging and I now have to read the rest of the books that follow. Starting in February there will be a book from this series released each month.

I reccomend this book to read because the story is good so far, but I wouldn't buy it yet. I would wait until all of the books come out.

"I received this book for free from Handlebar Direction For Publishing in exchange for an honest reveiw."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Glorious Ambition Book Review

One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix, a Novel
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One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix by Jane Kirkpatrick is a historical novel based off of the true life story of Dorothea Dix. The start of the book drew me into Dorothea's life as I watched her grow from a young girl to a woman. The story starts in 1814 and ends after the civil war, so it spans over quite a few years and travels to many places. Dorothea is not interested in focuses all of her gifts and life on finding a husband, so she decides to teach. Teaching becomes her passion and she continues to teach in various ways throughout her life. Different characters and friendships come and go in her life and the end of the book centers on her effort to help those considered "insane". This took her to politics as she saw a need for those people to be recognized as more than crazy people. 

I really enjoyed this first part of this book. Though it is fast paced, an entire lifetime summed up in one book, I did enjoy the overall story of her life. The book is split up into three main sections, the last was my least favorite because it dealt with a lot of politics. I find this story more fascinating because Dorothea was a real person in history who made a huge change for those who needed treatment in mental asylums. 

 Jane Kirkpatrick is not a new author to me but this is a very well researched book that must have been quite a task to finish.

This is not a typical historical novel, it is not romance, it is simply a life beautifully written about.

I recommend to those who enjoy biographies.  


This book will be available for purchase April 2, 2013.  

 "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Once the weather gets this cold I like to enjoy some hot chocolate-but I like to make my own!

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Here is the recipe that my family always made and I usually change it up a little each year. 

Hot Chocolate Mix
10 2/3 Cups Dry Milk (if you are going to make more than one batch I suggest buying the bigger box-cheaper in the end)
2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Powered Coffee Creamer (plain old creamer or vanilla is good too)
2 Cups Chocolate Drink Mix (Nesquik or Ovaltine are the ones I have tried)
2 T. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Ground Cloves

Mix together in a large bowl-this makes a lot! You could cut in half if needed.

If you like it extra chocolaty just add more of the chocolate drink mix. This seems like a lot, dry milk is expensive, but this makes a huge batch and tastes so much better. 

There is also another way I make it, depending on what I have in my pantry.

Hot Chocolate Mix #2
1 lb. Dry Milk
1 (7oz.) jar of coffee creamer
1 lb. Can of Cocoa
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Mix together.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes

During the week I don't cook at all in the mornings-I just try to get out the door to work. The weekends are a different story. I love cooking mid morning breakfast and try to do something new each week. 
After finishing up with chores for some friends, I was craving oatmeal pancakes that I hadn't eaten for years.

The main recipe makes a lot of mix in order for you to store it and when you need it again it's already made. I like this idea because it has a lot of ingredients to mix up every time. 

Here is the most delicious pancake recipe! 
Makes 10 Cups of Mix

4 Cups old-fashioned oats
4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (It can be made with regular flour or a mix of the two)
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Cup Instant Dry Milk
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
4 tsp. Salt

Mix all ingredients together well. Store in air-tight container.

This could be cut in half if you would like but it's nice to have the extra mix.

Using the Mix to Make Pancakes
2 Eggs
2 Cups Pancake Mix (from above)
1 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Canola Oil (I made mine without the extra oil and it turned out fine)

Mix all together and heat up the griddle!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pinterest Mini Cinnamon Rolls

This beautiful Sunday turned a tad chilly after our late brunch and I saw something delicious on Pinterest. Mini cinnamon rolls!! I have made cinnamon rolls before but these are mini so in my mind-healthier right?

Oh so yummy! This recipe is so easy it only took me a few minutes. Here is the original link from the lovely gal that included great pictures and measurements.

1-8oz tube crescent roll dough
2 Tablespoons butter-give or take a tad
brown sugar
For the maple icing:
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon skim milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar

I usually don't put icing on my cinnamon rolls, it makes it too sweet for me but it sure does make them look better.

So, if you haven't seen this on Pinterest yet-check it out!

Have a wonderful Day!


Friday, January 11, 2013

It's a Day for a London Fog

I (ironically) had never heard of a London Fog until I moved to Kansas. With the town I live in being so small, there wasn't any type of coffee shop until just over a year ago. One of the shops on main street decided to open a coffee shop in the store. Well I love coffee and everything that has to do with coffee, so when it opened I went there far too much. Anyway, one day the special was a London Fog. Anything with the word London in it has to be good so I ordered the drink special. The only downside to this drink is that it does not involve coffee but tea instead. While I still love my coffee drinks, the London Fog has become one of my all time favorite drinks.

 Here is how I make it:
  • Vanilla syrup (to taste. I don't like mine super sweet like how they make it at the coffee shop)
  • Earl Grey Tea (1 tea bag)
  • Steamed Milk (1/2 cup or more if you want it creamier)
  • Hot Water (1/2 Cup)
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To start brew a typical cup of tea but use half the amount of water. You want a strong Earl Grey flavor so it needs to steep for a few minutes. 

Next, steam the milk.
We have an espresso maker at home but you can make this without the milk being steamed. Steamed milk is definitely better but you can heat the milk and use a frother or just heat the milk. I usually steam a tad more milk so that it is creamier.

In a coffee cup add some vanilla syrup (this stuff is really sweet, it doesn't take much), add your steeped tea, and finish off with the steamed milk. Having done this everything should be mixed together and you can enjoy your first delicious sip of the London Fog.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Everything Christmas Review

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Everything Christmas by David Bordon and Tom Winters was a delightful read! I received the book after Christmas so I didn't read the book like its supposed to be read. I had no idea what this book would be like and I am really excited to use it this upcoming Christmas. The book is set up as if reading a chapter daily for 25 days in anticipation for the big day. Each chapter includes a story that relates to the holiday, quotes, fun facts, recipes, crafts, and Bible verses. Each day a person can make those goodies or ponder on the story that is read while preparing for Christmas.

This was such a fun book! I highly reccomend!!!

Check out this website if you want to read more AND there is a free printable under the "News and Video" tab.

Here is also a link to the authors website.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pictures from the Holdiays

 This is Silas and it was his first Christmas!

 Hi there.

 This is my husband playing with our friend's son. They get along real good.
 I can only imagine when we have kids!

 Getting the Christmas stuff out.

 Stockings at Chance's parents.

 These lights are awesome. I had to take pictures.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Secretly Smitten Book Review

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Secretly Smitten is written by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. This book is unique because of the multiple authors and how they tie four different "books" into one main story. The setting is in Smitten, Vermont, which is the romantic destination. The book starts out with Tess being the main character of the family. Dog tags are found in the attic that belonged to a man that had supposedly died but his body was never found. As the book continues they discover that this man, David, is very much alive, yet how did the dog tags get into the attic?

The next part is about Zoe, she is one of the sisters in this family. There are no men in this family and the woman take care of themselves perfectly fine. The third installment is about Anna, the sister's mother, and the fourth is about Clare, the last sister. Each story ties together with the same characters and dog tag mystery but focuses on a different woman and her love story.

After completing the book I would say that the first part of the book about Tess was my favorite, but I did enjoy the rest! I was a tad disappointed at the ending, it seemed to easy, but still a good read. 

This is actually the second book in the Smitten Series but this could easily be read on it's own.

Here is a link to the website dedicated to Smitten Vermont.

"I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through their Booksneeze program. This is my honest opinion of the book."