Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Cooking Cook Book Review


About the Book

Giada De Laurentiis, one of the most recognizable faces on the Food Network lineup, invites readers to get to know her as never before. The celebrity chef is back with nearly 200 new recipes and helpful advice on everything from hosting a potluck or open house to what to pack along for lunch every day. Drawing on the time-saving tips and healthy eating strategies that keep her functioning at the highest possible level in her roles as working mom, restaurateur, and tv personality, she has assembled a year-round roadmap to vibrant good health and delicious eating. Readers will be inspired to try new ingredients, new wellness practices, and create a wholesome balance between peak nutrition - and the occasional decadent indulgence. Featuring her New Year's cleanse, homemade Christmas gifts, and ideas for every holiday, special occasion, and casual weekend in between, this is Giada’s 365-approach to cooking up a happy life. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is the first cookbook by Giada De Laurentiis that I have really looked at so I don't have any comparison to previous books. It was a lot larger book than I expected so be ready for many recipes! I really like the simple dishes, and the breakfast ideas. There are lots of pictures, which I love in a good cookbook, and she includes side notes on different topics.
I guess the only thing for me is there really isn't anything in this cookbook that makes it stand out from all the rest. It's a good cookbook, but it is not much different from the hundreds of others I have looked at. If you enjoy her cooking show, and Giada De Laurentiis in general, then you will love this book.

Four stars.

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

All is Bright Review


About the Book

As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friends at the grand hotel overlooking the ocean. While picking up still more twinkly lights and some last-minute groceries for the reception dinner, a huge truck runs her off the freezing, wet roads into the dark night. Her car stops just short of an enormous tree and the truck speeds off into the night. Delilah escapes with her life and has almost convinced herself the whole thing was an accident, but then she begins to receive threatening phone calls. With the wedding just hours away, she’s distracted and anxious. Then Sheriff Tom Bourne stops by the inn and volunteers to help.
Tom has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. But he is pulled away by a bizarre Christmas stunt that has the neighborhood reeling, and Delilah is attacked again.
Will Delilah have to cancel the Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn? And will Tom’s protection be enough to save Delilah from the shadowy figure looming in the background? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

For a shorter story this book packs in a lot! In typical Colleen Coble style, the book starts off strong with suspense and intrigue. I have read all of the books in this setting of Tidewater Inn and it was fun to read this story. Delilah is almost killed and the story is trying to figure out who did this and why. Since this is a fairly short book, the ending wraps up nicely, though the romance is rather rushed along.

If you are a Coble fan you need to read this book. If you are new to this setting, this is a stand alone novel, but I recommend you read the other books in the series first.

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review."

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rest Assured Review Review


About the Book

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28

Women are overcommitted, overconnected, overburdened, and overwhelmed. Their lives are full, but oddly, their souls are empty. They are aching for a bold challenge one that will bring rest to their longing souls.Rest Assuredis for the daring women who truly want to disrupt their current patterns and see lasting change.

Divided into two parts, Rest Assuredoffers not just an intervention: The Badge of Busyness The Exhausting Pursuit of Happiness Tethered Souls Worried Sick

But also a recovery plan: Prioritize the One Thing Needed: Time for God Create Room to Breathe: Time for Solitude Give Yourself a Break: Time for Leisure Pay It Forward: Time for Others

If the soul is weary, it s time for an intervention.Rest Assuredis not a quick fix, but rather a bold challenge that aids women in identifying the negative patterns that prevent them from experiencing rest in their souls. Most importantly, it will give them the tools needed to break the cycle.

A Rest Stop challenge is included at the end of each chapter for use in Bible studies and book clubs. Bonus material includes a 30-Day Restitution Plan and 100 Ways to Give It a Rest." (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have done a study by Vicki and this book has a similar writing style. She is very honest and shares her own personal stories within the book about her busy life. We all need rest, but more than that we need to not overload our every day lives which is essentially what this book is about. Each chapter has "homework" you can complete to make it more personal to you. The thing that really stood out to me with this book is the huge list in the back. It includes ways in which to "rest" such as watching a sunset or planting a garden. I think this list gives ideas for your own creative thoughts so you can add to it. 
The main thing is while many of us have probably heard about what she is saying in this book before, Vicki makes it applicable to our own lives. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review."

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Five Times I Met Myself Review


About the Book

What if you met your twenty-three year old self in a dream? What would you say?

Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.

So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.

Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go of . . . and his greatest fear is it’s already too late.(Goodreads)

 My Thoughts

James Rubart has such a unique writing style that his books tend to grab my attention. This story line will twist your mind (as his books do) and by the end I was confused yet intrigued. The book goes between present day and past younger Brock, so I really had to pay attention to the dates because it can get confusing fast. This book really makes the reader think about the decisions made on a daily basis. If Brock had chosen one thing differently in his past, his entire future would be completely different. On that same note though, we can't live in fear of making the exact right choice. We can't see ahead and even if things aren't smooth sailing, our character is built by the choices we make. I think this book displays this is a unique way and Rubart has once again written a great novel.

"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review." 


Martha Stewart's Appetizers Review-YUM


About the Book

Snacks, Starters, Small Plates, Stylish Bites, and Sips

Hors d’oeuvres made modern: Today’s style of entertaining calls for fuss-free party foods that are easy to make and just as delicious as ever. With more than 200 recipes for tasty pre-dinner bites, substantial small plates, special-occasion finger foods, and quick snacks to enjoy with drinks, Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is the new go-to guide for any type of get-together. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I am a fan of food. I'm not the best cook, and I really like to have some kind of guideline to go by when I cook new meals. This book is fantastic!! A few of the items I would not ever make, but this book has me gearing up for the holiday season. Here are some of my favorites: stuffed mushrooms, salsas, cheese balls, pull apart lobster rolls, dumplings, multiple ideas for deviled eggs (who knew!?), and mini crab cakes. In the back of the book is also a selection for cocktails, the cranberry sparkler looks the most delicious to me. So if you need some delicious inspiration with delightful pictures-this is the book for you! It would also make a great gift!

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Our New Place

 View from porch.

The river in front of the house. 

A Cup of Dust Review


About the Book

Where you come from isn’t who you are
Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff’s family, they’ve got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They’re who the town turns to when there’s a crisis or a need—and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.
Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother’s unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn’t sure she likes.
Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he’s really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won’t be the only thing darkening Pearl’s world.
While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl’s voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavyhanded. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

To be honest I don't have a ton of thoughts on this book. I was so looking forward to it but this was so difficult to get through.I love the setting bu the characters just didn't grab me. The point of view from Pearl is unique but at the same time I feel like things didn't flow as good through the story line. I'm sure there are many who will enjoy this book but from my personal perspective this just wasn't the book for me.

"Thanks to Kregel for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas Time It's All About Jesus Review

About the Book

Since Christmas is such a captivating time of year, it's the perfect setting for telling children about the miracle of the Lord Jesus Christ's birth. Using selected passages from the first chapters of the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Christmas Time - It's All About Jesus tells the story of Jesus' birth in a delightfully poetic and child-like way. The sensational illustrations create an unforgettable image, so a child can always remember the true meaning of Christmas. As an added bonus, Pastor Russ and Sue have developed devotionals to be used by families to enrich their Christmas celebrations. These are complete with attributes and names of Jesus, questions for discussion, and activities to do as a family to share Christ with those around them. Coupled together, this story and devotionals will enhance your celebration of Christmas during the season and all year long! 

My Thoughts

This book is very cute. It tells of the Christmas story of Jesus' birth and does so in a way that captivates kid's attention. The only thing that makes this book stand out from the many others just like it is what is in the back. Christmas time devotions for kids! It actually takes kids through the story they just read and makes them ask questions about it. There are quite a few great questions and it actually gives this story more meaning in their minds. I think that it was a great idea for the authors to come up with this idea. So if you want a little more in depth kids book about Christmas and Jesus' birth-this is a pretty good one!
"I received this book from Aneko Press for free in exchange for an honest review."  


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Parable Treasury Kids Review


 About the Book 

With more than 1.1 million units sold in the Parable Series, Liz Curtis Higgs has given parents and kids alike beloved parables they can read throughout the year. This adorable compilation, Parable Treasury, allows families to get all their favorite stories in one value-packed book.

For nearly twenty years, Liz Curtis Higgs has made the holidays a little brighter throughout the year with her Parable Series. In a lovely padded hardcover format, the Gold Medallion–winning books from the Parable Series will include:

The Pumpkin Patch Parable,which focuses on the harvest season and shows that we can let God’s love shine through us

The Pine Tree Parable,a heartwarming tale of the farmer and his family, who nurture tiny seedlings into fragrant Christmas trees

The Parable of the Lily, which helps children understand the power of grace and forgiveness and the true meaning of Easter

The Sunflower Parable, which helps children discover the value of planting seeds, not only in the ground but also in the hearts of those around us
With simplicity and creative storytelling, this is sure to be a family favorite. (Goodreads)

 My Thoughts

What a wonderful book! I love the illustrations and while being simple parables for kids to understand, they have a great lesson! There is a story for each season and a farmer is included in each story. Something I noticed is how Liz Curtis Higgs explains her fall story and how it's not about Halloween or creepy things. She wanted kids to see that this time of year is not about the scary but about a new season. This is also a much bigger yet better made book than I was expecting. It's got a nice cover and is in an easy to read format for kids. This would make a great gift or just something fun for kids to read. Verses are included with each story so you can talk to your kids about the Bible stories that parallel these. 

Five stars. 

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review."


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Time Chamber Coloring Book Review


About The Time Chamber

Korean artist Daria Song’s sequel to The Time Garden takes readers on a visual journey into a magical nighttime world seen through the eyes of a fairy.

This second book in the bestselling Time coloring series features the voyage of a fairy who, when the cuckoo clock chimes midnight, enters the human world. To the tiny fairy, everything seems enormous and magical, from the curtains to the chandelier to a mystical rowboat that takes her further into an inky adventure. With her she packs her favorite items, which colorers can find throughout the book’s pages: an owl-feathered pen, a star-scented spray, a time tape measure…even the key to the time chamber itself!

Filled with the imaginative, intricately detailed illustrations Song’s readers have come to love, The Time Chamber presents a view of our world made new—and ready for coloring.

The Time Chamber features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and colorable. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

My Thoughts

What a FUN book! I have another one of these books but this one I think I like better. It's the same format just different pictures that I like more. I think these types of books are a great idea and for those of us who can't draw, it's nice to be able to color in the lines in a pretty picture!
For adults and kids alike, though every one is very detailed so it would be tricky for younger kids, this is a great giant coloring book!
This would be a perfect Christmas gift!

"Thanks to Blogging for Books for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review."