Thursday, August 20, 2015

Book Review: For The Love by Jen Hatmaker

If you are looking for a new book that offers fun and laughter coupled with great advice to women on living life in today's world, along with a few great recipes, THIS IS THE BOOK. For The Love by Jen Hatmaker is one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in a long time. I dare say after a stressful past year or so, God knew I needed to lighten up with this book and gain a fresh perspective.

For The Love is subtitled Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. This book is divide into four sections: loving yourself; loving your people in your household; loving your friends, neighbors and people in your life; and loving people in the church and on the mission field. She also includes some pretty funny "thank you notes" in each section. I did laugh and enjoyed this book. But I also learned something about loving myself (Boy, do I wish I had had this book in my 20s) and loving everyone else. Reading this book is like pulling up a chair on Jen's porch and chatting about the Christian life for moms in today's world. It is easy reading but it is not all fluff. There were some good points that I learned along the way. Some of her best advice comes from her years of experience in ministry. I think her perspective allows her to share advice from an angle the person in the pews doesn't see, but needs to hear.

I highly recommend this book. I can't say enough good things about it. Get a copy. (You'll be glad you did.)Take a break and enjoy!

I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: Crash The Chatterbox by Stephen Furtick

I don't know about you, but there are days I know my self talk isn't good. Days those negative voices get the bigger spot in my head then I would like. Steven Furtick's new book, Crash the Chatterbox, offers great advice on "Hearing God's voice above all others" and helping you deal with those negative thoughts or inner chatter.

Pastor Furtick focuses on four areas that are difficult for most people: insecurity, fear, condemnation, and discouragement. In answer to these four areas, Furtick reminds us in response to these areas, through four sections in this book, that our God Says I am, our God says He will, our God says He Has and our God says I can. With God we can overcome the negative chatter in each of these areas by continuing to focus on Him and His Word.

Steven Furtick uses vivid stories from Scripture, from his life and from other real life people. I found this book to be quite helpful and the illustrations stuck with me. I didn't rush through it though, I took my time and let Furtick's words sink in. I recommend that you do the same thing. There is also a section at the back of the book with discussion questions for groups using this book or to ask yourself as you read it to get more out of it. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to help change the focus of their inner chatter. I read his book Greater and did a study on it. It was good too, but this book really spoke to me more deeply.

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

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick
Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church.

In just under seven years, Elevation Church has grown to more than 10,000 people in weekly attendance, meeting at seven locations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Elevation has been named one of the fastest growing Churches in America by Outreach Magazine for each of the past six years.

Pastor Steven has been privileged to minister to a global audience, speaking at conferences and churches around the world, including Catalyst Conference, Hillsong Conference, and the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Greater, and the nationally acclaimed Sun Stand Still.

Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He and his wife Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.
- See more at:


Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review: Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore

With moving these past couple of months, I could feel the effects of the stress and eating things on the run. As a result, I wanted to get back into eating more healthfully. Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore offers advice and recipes on eating healthfully to help your body feel better on a daily basis.

Megan Gilmore starts the book by sharing her story. She didn't start out being a healthy eater, but she says she did enjoy cooking. After years of diets, binging and unhealthy eating, Megan went to school and became a Nutritional Consultant. She shares that this book offers recipes developed with digestion mechanics in mind. She offers a basic plan for combining foods to help your body digest better. She also shares great advice on how to stock your kitchen with healthy essentials. A jump- start seven-day menu begins the recipe section. . .if you want to use it. She doesn't want you to get bogged down in the rules so much that you can't make the changes. Megan says you can make her plan work whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or a carnivore. 

The recipes include chapters on: liquid nourishment; Salads, sides and dressings; soups, sandwiches and wraps; casseroles and comfort food; sweet treats; and a chapter on the basics like marinara sauce and healthy coffee creamer. Many of the recipes are flanked by beautiful color pictures making all of the recipes look delicious. Lentil chili, cauliflower flatbread pizza(on the cover), go-to Greek salad, maple mustard glazed salmon and strawberry lime sorbet all look so yummy! I highly recommend this book for someone who wants to eat healthier on a daily basis with an emphasis on whole foods. I personally found most of the foods were easily available at our local grocery or food coop.

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

About the Author:
MEGAN GILMORE is the creator and recipe developer behind, a website that makes healthy living easier and more accessible. Though she wasn’t raised as a healthy eater, Megan credits her former junk food habits—and a penchant for baking—in helping her re-create healthy favorites using whole-foods ingredients, without sacrificing taste or texture. Megan is a certified nutritionist consultant and health coach, and her recipes have been featured in The Guardian as well as Shape and Clean Eating magazines. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and son.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Book Review: The Big Book of Hormones published by Siloam

As a woman in her perimenopausel years, I have had some questions and concerns regarding some hormonal changes in the past couple of years. I thought The Big Book of Hormones would be helpful in giving me some answers. 

The Big Book of Hormones offers a comprehensive look at female hormonal changes through the years, from being a young woman through the postmenopausal years. I felt it was part textbook, part medical/nutritional guidance book and part Christian encouragement. 

The cover of this book states that it offers "survival secrets to naturally eliminate hot flashes, regulate moods, improve memory, lose weight, and sleep better." This book explains in depth the hormone types, what they do for you, changes you may experience and ways to improve your hormonal balance. The Big Book of Hormones also helps women consider ways to improve their health in general related to breast health, diet, exercise, heart health and better sleep. While the cover sounds like all of the options the book discusses will be natural, there is also a lot of discussion in the book about hormone replacement therapy and some discussion about medications for certain issues, along with the risks and benefits of using either medications or natural therapies. There is a lot of food for thought.

This would be a good book for a woman to read just prior to the perimenopause years as it offers a good amount of general information and an overview of menopausal hormonal changes. I didn't learn a lot that was new to me as someone who has been through a lot of hormonal changes already but it was a good refresher. I also appreciated the Christian aspect of this book. Each chapter ended with a related verse on the topic covered. Some chapters offered Biblical advice on how to look at certain aspects of your life changes. I especially liked the end of the introduction section that shared "five ways to pray for your well being." I thought the Biblical aspect was great. 

I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review: A Bone To Pick by Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is the New York Times only opinion columnist covering the food beat. A Bone To Pick is a compilation of his best columns in one book. While I have read a few of his pieces, I had not read many so I enjoyed this compilation of opinion pieces. I resonate with his thinking in many ways but these pieces challenge me to think more about our current food and agriculture situation in the United States. And I think Bittman would think that is a good thing.

A Bone to Pick is divided into sections: big Ag, sustainability and What's in between; what's wrong with meat?; what's Food and what is not?; the truth about Diet(s); the Broken Food Chain and Legislating and labeling. Each section consists of several of his columns complete with the date they were published. 

This book is a great read for anyone interested in the while food world in the United States today. I found it to be thought provoking even though I am fairly 'up' on much of what he is talking about. I also appreciate that he ends the book with two essays that encourage the average person to keep doing the little things tat they know they can do to make changes in their lives with regards to healthy dietary change. I agree with Bittman, it feels overwhelming at times to make changes and fight the big companies, but if we all do small things, those small changes can make big ripples. Personally, I think if you eat, you should read this book. You likely won't agree with everything Bittman writes, but it will help you think and be challenged to make better choices in today's American food system.

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

About the Author

When Mark Bittman writes and talks about food, America listens. In his weekly New York Times food column, his monthly New York Times travel features, his bestselling cookbooks, and his award-winning public television series, Bittman grabs our attention–and keeps it.

Bittman’s bible of cooking, How to Cook Everything, has sold over a million copies. Dubbed “the new, hip Joy of Cooking” by the Washington Post and winner of both the Julia Child and the James Beard Awards (plus several others), it’s a must-have book for every American Kitchen, the favorite of millions of American cooks. In 2005 Broadway Books published his eagerly awaited follow-up: The Best Recipes in the World.

His weekly cooking column, The Minimalist, is followed by more than two million readers, including home cooks and professionals, and has profoundly influenced American cooking since its inception. (Three award-winning cookbooks have resulted from his column: The Minimalist Cooks at Home; The Minimalist Cooks Dinner; and The Minimalist Entertains. These three will be published in an omnibus paperback edition in the spring of 2007, entitled Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times.)


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Review: Your Blueprint For Life by Michael Kendrick

This week we started moving into a new house in a new town after my husband made a job change. I also turned 50 in December. Those two changes have left me re-evaluating how my life is going up until now. It also leaves me wondering if I need to do some things differently to better serve God. I found Your Blueprint for Life by Michael Kendrick offers a good solid plan for making some defining decisions at any age.

"How to align your passion, gifts and calling with eternity in mind" is the subtitle on the cover of this book. Kendrick starts out encouraging the reader to ask themselves, what will I do today that will matter for eternity? Kendrick offers advice and questions to ask yourself to discern your calling and gifts. He then shares advice on the five spokes of the wheel of your calling--your spiritual life, relationships, physical health, finances and your career. He says that when these five  are in balance, you are in a position to fulfill your calling and glorify God. I did find some good insights throughout the book to apply to my own life.

This book was interesting and full of good information and life advice. As a midlife woman, I found it helpful in reflecting on my life and my calling. It is a great book for someone of most any age wanting to discern making life changes for living. It would be especially great to give someone for a graduation gift or, because of the emphasis on Christian living, it would be a great gift for someone who is just starting to walk with God. If you are looking to share it with a non-Christian there is also a salvation message in the back. Kendrick's faith is also woven throughout the book.

I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review: I'm Happy for You by Kay Wills Wyma

I don't know about you, but after being on social media, I have felt more discontent instead of content with my life--if I am honest with myself. I log in and I see EVERYONE else's perfect vacations, kids, houses, pets, etc. After a few minutes on Facebook, I assess my life as mediocre and boring. Kay Wills Wyma addresses our current culture of needing everyone to "like" our life photos/updates, our Pinterest perfect birthday parties, or our tweeted performance updates.

In I'm Happy For You, Kay Wills Wyma offers encouragement and advice on how to live a more contented life in our world today. If you are tired of performing and feeling weighed down by the pressure to present the perfect life to the outside world, Kay encourages you to get escape the comparison trap and excessive competitiveness in our culture today. each chapter offers advice on looking at your life a bit differently to lesson the pressure on yourself. I, for one, found this book to be highly beneficial. It was encouraging to me to see that I am not the only one that is feeling tired and ready to settle down to a more relaxed look at life. Plus, I enjoyed the writing style and the examples she shared from within her family and life situations. It was easy to apply to my life.

I'm Happy For You would be a great book to use in a book club or reading circle. There are some good discussion questions in the back that could help people open up and share more honestly.I also liked that at the end of each chapter is a quick summary on how to apply that chapter's lesson to your own life.  I would recommend everyone read this book.

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

About the author:
Kay Wills Wyma has five kids, ages four to fourteen, and one SUV with a lot of carpool miles. She holds a bachelor’s from Baylor University and an MIM from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). Before transitioning to stay-at-home mom, she held positions at the White House, the Staubach Company, and Bank of America. She and her husband, Jon, live with their family in the Dallas area.