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Friday, April 20, 2018

The Road Home By Beverly Lewis: A Book Review

*Psst - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review through Bethany House Publishers on Netgalley!

The Road Home
By Beverly Lewis

The story: Sent from Michigan to Pennsylvania following the tragic death of her Amish parents, Lena Rose Schwartz grieves her loss and the separation from her nine siblings. Besides the fact that Lena has never been so far from home, she hasn't met the family she will now be living with. But worse than that is having to live apart from her close-knit brothers and sisters. How will they manage without her to care for them--especially six-year-old Chris? And will her new beau, Hans Bontrager, continue to court her despite the many miles between them?

Yet even as Lena Rose holds on to hope for a reunion with those she loves most, she discovers that Lancaster holds charms of its own. Is she willing to open her heart to new possibilities?

My Review: 

This novel is all about choices, trust, and love - three things I'm certain we all meet on a weekly basis! Beverly Lewis is one of my favorite storytellers - she knows how to pull you right into a scene, a new family, and a new adventure! This book certainly met my expectations for all of those things. Lena Rose is the main character, and she is caught between two worlds - one of family and one of true love. Typically in a book like this, I'd get frustrated with the main character for being too wishy-washy about things - but Lewis has that author magic that just makes you feel for the character, and never get bored of their thoughts and feelings. There are also other things that happen in the book that make Lena's life pause for a time and shift her priorities, which make the storyline all the more interesting. 

Whether or not you've read one of Lewis's books before, I would highly recommend this one. It's a good, clean novel (you can share with your teens!) about not only romantic love but the love of family. A great summer read to add to your list!

Get Your Own Copy Of A Road Home By Beverly Lewis Below! AVailable in paper back or ebook.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

3-Ingredient DIY Paint

The weather has certainly not been on our side lately in this neck of the woods. Today brought in a pretty icy day, leaving us no choice but to spend it indoors. So with 2 little ones full of energy (the teen knows how to entertain himself at least!) I had to come up with something quick! Usher in the ingenuity of motherhood and this 3-ingredient paint was made in our kitchen today!

It's a really neat paint to play around with, that has an almost chalk-like finish. My 6 yr old loved how the paint seemed to 'sparkle' thanks to the salt in it, and my 4 yr old loved how the paint seemed to puff up. It's super easy, super fun, and no it will not make a huge mess on their clothes. Heck, it's even safe to eat - although awfully salty๐Ÿ˜›

You'll be needing flour, water, salt and some food coloring or other things to color your paints with. If you haven't got any coloring, you could always go for spices - turmeric for yellow, chili for red, etc. It makes for quite the sensory experience too!

So want to know how to make some already? Here ya go!

3-Ingredient DIY Paint

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • food coloring or other coloring options (spices like turmeric, chili, and cinnamon, or watercolors)

Step One: Mix up your flour, cold water and salt. I like to use a whisk to get all the lumps out. The kids love doing this too!

Step Two: Separate your mixture into different containers, or use a muffin tin like we did. 

Step Three: Let the kids go crazy coloring! This was actually my daughters favorite part. Even more so than the actual painting! It's also a great way to teach about mixing colors :)

Step Four: Paint! If you find the paint too thin, add a little more flour. Too thick? Add a few drops of water to each container. Here are just a few of the masterpieces that were created here today!

Enjoy Painting!

Monday, April 16, 2018

5 Inspiring Quotes For This Week

Typically, this time of year I'd be cleaning up our yard and thinking of all the wonderful things to plant. DOing the raking, the digging and the hoeing are things I truly love to do, and there is nothing quite like putting in a hard day's work and relaxing in the cool of a Spring evening. 

But lately here (and I hear, around where you may live too!) it's been a crazy Spring for the weather! Ice storms, winter snow, and freezing rain have all been falling and it's starting to get everyone a little bit down! Just this week I spent almost every day at the park with my kids, only to see that we're supposed to get 15 centimeters of snow tonight! Blah!!

But eventually, we know that winter will end and bring in the "dog days of summer" as they say. We'll be complaining about the heat then, but also enjoying running outside without spending an hour getting dressed in snow gear first ;) So for this week's quotes I wanted to focus on themes of caring and happiness. 

So here are 5 inspirational quotes for this week, for parenting, fitness, difficult times, work, and your morning! I actually wrote the parenting quote for this week, which had me thinking about my kids, but could reach out to anyone in any walk of life, so I hope you enjoy it! Enjoy and I hope you feel encouraged above all ๐Ÿ’•

For Parents: A smile can last a lifetime, A touch can reach to the heart, A word can change them both, Choose kindly!
-Debbie Jean

Fitspo Fitness Inspiration: Do nothing and stay the same, or make a change and get even better. -Unknown (know who said this originally? comment below and let me know!)

Getting through a rough time: In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity - Albert Einstein

Getting Through Your Work Week: "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work" - Stephen King

To cheer up your morning: You'll never have this day again. Make it count! -unknown (know who said this originally? Let me know in the comments below!)

Cheer up, buttercup! If you're reading this then you're alive!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

5 Inspirational Quotes To Get You Through The Week

Getting through the week can seem like a long haul sometimes! Spring is taking its sweet time to come to us here this year so that makes time feel extra slow! And while we try to get out and enjoy the week anyway, sometimes we need a little push!

I’ve always believed in the power of words. It’s the reason I love to write! Words can build you up or break you down, get you there faster or run you over. That’s why I love reading inspirational quotes. And why I’ve decided to make this kind of post a regular thing!

So here are 5 great quotes to get you through the week - in the morning, parenting, work, your workouts and difficult times. Please feel free to share, pin or post them  on your own blog - anywhere you’d love to spread a little happiness. Hope you enjoy!

To Get Through Your Morning
Every day we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

For Parenting
To be in your children's memories tommorow, you have to be in their lives today.
-Barbara Johnson

To Get You Through Your Workout
Do something today your future self will thank you for tomorrow.

To Get Through The Workweek
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.
-Earl Nightingale

To Get Through A Difficult Time
What the caterpillar calls the end, the master calls a butterfly
-Richard Bach

Enjoy your week!

The Promise by Susan Lantz Simpson: A Book Review

Psst! I received a free copy of this book from Kensington Books through NetGalley.
Book Synopsis

In the beautiful spring warmth of Southern Maryland’s Amish country, love always finds a way to bloom . . .
Like most Amish young women, Phoebe Yoder has dreams—but not of a courtship—at least not yet. She dreams of caring for the tender-hearted alpacas at her Englischer neighbor’s farm and learning the business herself. But that longing falls away the moment her baby sister goes missing. In that horrifying instant, desperate for her sister’s safe return, she whispers a promise to Gott: she will give up her dreams and marry Micah Graber, a man she doesn’t love, but who is determined to make her his wife.
Benjamin Miller hasn’t been back in Southern Maryland for long before he meets Phoebe and begins to imagine what a fine life they could build together—beginning with an alpaca farm of their own. But he can see that Phoebe’s brash vow is all she will consider, no matter what her heart wants. As Ben falls for her gentle manner and sweet, sad eyes, he comes to understand his daunting task: to convince Phoebe that together, they can make a new promise that will never be broken . . .

My Thoughts

Seeing as how Susan Lantz Simpson was a new author to me, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this book. I tend to stick to my favorite authors when it comes to Amish fiction. All too often I’ve read books where the authors clearly don’t research the Amish at all, or just barely, and the result is pretty horrible. Given that, I must say that I was seriously impressed with the writing - and couldn’t put the darn book down!

Simpson obviously knows her stuff and writes a captivating story. There are a few different characters and quite a few details going on in this story, which I love, and she manages to keep all the stories going and straight. I love her descriptions of her characters and how she understands the intricacies of the Amish community.

That being said, I must say that about 70 percent through the book I started to get a little frustrated with the main character, and when you read this book you’ll see why. But hold out until the end, because it’s worth the emotional roller coaster of a ride! I also wish the character of Belinda would have been explained and shown a bit more.

Overall, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and definitely plant to pick up Susan Lantz Simpson’s books. She has definitely made it onto my “go-to” list of Amish fiction authors.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Free Printable Planner Agenda For April 2018

One of my favorite things to do on a  Sunday is planning my week out! I have a slight to-do list and agenda obsession and can't get on with my day without writing a few simple goals down.

I modeled this printable planner after how I like to make my to-do list. It's divided into 3 sections which you can use however you like. I like to divide my day into morning/afternoon/evening. You don't have to divide it all - just make a list of what needs to get done. It has plenty of space for writing down everything you need to be done in your day - cause I know we're all busy!

It's made big enough to put on your desk, fridge or wall, so you can easily see it. You could even slip it into a binder. You could also either print out a few copies for each week of April or laminate it in a sheet protector and use dry-erase markers on it. Plus it has a handy little calendar at the top corner so you can keep track of the date.

I really hope you get some good use out of this printable! If you'd like anything on it to be different, I am totally open to feedback too :) Just leave a comment down below. I am planning to release a calendar every month, so I just might take on your ideas!
Get Your Free Planner At The Link Below↧

Pin it for later^

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Mother's Gift by Charlotte Hubbard: An Amish Fiction Book Review

Charlotte Hubbard is one of my favorite Amish fic writers. Her stories, characters, and settings seem to just pull you into another world. There is just something about the way she describes things that really sets up a great scene. 

Psst - I received a free copy of this book for being a member of - Join free here!

A Mother's Gift is a wonderful story about many different mothers. The main character, Leah, falls desperately in love with a widower named Jude. Leah's own mother fears for Leah's marriage since she will be taking on a  houseful of kids and a persnickety mother-in-law. Leah herself becoming a mother is no simple task - she scares Jude's youngest son, still hurting over the loss of his own mother, and she can't find any way to get Jude's troubled teen daughters to like her either. Jude's own mother is another mom in this story, one who highly disapproves of Leah's way of managing a household, always comparing it to his previous wife's. But Jude's departed wife held secrets of her own that threaten the family even after she's gone. 

All in all, it's the story of how a mother's love can change people. For better or for worse. You're going to love how invested you'll quickly become in this story - I know I was! This book actually comes out today and I hope you enjoy the story as much I did.