Sunday, May 31, 2015

#Review of The Proposal at Siesta Key by Shelley Shepard Gray!

The Proposal at Siesta Key (Avon Inspire, May 2015)

A young Amish woman, yearning for freedom, crosses paths with a handsome Mennonite celebrity in a deeply moving tale of friendship and self-discovery—the second installment in the unforgettable New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Penny Troyer rarely disobeys her parents. In the years since her sister’s tragic death, they’ve wanted nothing more than to keep her safe…even if it means never leaving the house.
But tonight, she’s bending the rules because Michael Knoxx, the most famous member of The Knoxx Family Singers, a traveling Mennonite Evangelical family —is scheduled to speak. Penny has heard of Michael—how he lost part of his leg in a terrible accident and uses the experience to inspire others—and knows she must meet him. So, for the first time ever, Penny stands up to her parents and goes out on her own.
Though he speaks about living life to the fullest, Michael knows he needs to take his own advice. Life on the road is grueling and Michael wants to slow down, to rest…to perhaps meet someone who sees him as a man, not just a celebrity. So when a twist of fate allows him the chance to stay a little longer in Pinecraft, Michael knows God is showing him a new path, especially when he discovers how much he and Penny Troyer have in common.
But new friendships can’t stop time. Soon, Michael’s time in Pinecraft will be over and he’ll be back on the road. Her time with Michael has brought her happiness, but will she be able to follow her heart? Or will she be faced with the one thing she’s sure she’ll never have the courage to do?

MY REVIEW-Shelley Shepard Gray is a miracle worker. No really! I personally am not a fan of Amish books but yet here I am loving this series by her. They are interesting, funny and thought provoking at the same time. Plus the characters are so well written you just have to love them.

The Proposal at Siesta Key is the second book in the series and it follows many of the same characters, but we also get to meet some new ones. Beverly is the owner of the bed and breakfast where much of the story takes place and I really like her. Friendly and outgoing but also still hurting from something that happened in her past. Penny is the main heroine and she is such a shy sweet thing you just have to love her. I liked how she finally found the courage to stand up for herself even though it had to be soo hard to follow through on. Michael is the young man she falls in love with and I enjoyed his character. I only wish he wasn't as hung up on himself. Which he does change and we see that, but at first he is so used to the crowd loving him and being waited on that he is a bit full of himself.

At the end of the book is a tidbit from the next installment and I cannot wait. Already fell in love with the feisty dog and his cute owners:) Shelley is an author who has a way with words and I seriously could not put this one down til I finished it. My lunch went a bit long that day;) An excellent book and a great middle to the story!

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Reality Show, The Briefcase, Premiers Today!! @CBSTweet

I recently had the opportunity of previewing a new reality show called, The Briefcase. The concept was so interesting that though I sat down to only skim the episode, I found myself viewing the whole thing in one sitting. And I think when you see what this is about, you will be as enthralled as I was. Take a look and make sure to get the details for the premier tonight!

CBS announces the new reality show THE BRIEFCASE, featuring hard-working American families experiencing financial setbacks who are presented with a briefcase containing a large sum of money and a potentially life-altering decision: they can keep all of the money for themselves, or give all or part of it to another family in need. 

The series premieres Wednesday, May 27 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

“THE BRIEFCASE is an eye-opening look into what matters most in people’s lives, taking the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride with a shocking ending each week,” said THE BRIEFCASE Creator and Executive Producer Dave Broome. “I've been incredibly impressed by just how generous Americans are, even with shrinking paychecks and rising debt, when there’s little left to give.”

Each week, two families have 72 hours to learn details about each other’s challenging circumstances and make the weighty decision of what to do with $101,000.  However, what they don’t know is that the family with whom they are considering sharing this financial windfall received an identical briefcase with the same instructions. Throughout their journeys, relationships within both families will be tested and beliefs questioned as they find out what really matters most in their lives, and how much importance they place on values such as love, generosity, compassion and faith.

THE BRIEFCASE is produced by 25/7 Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Dave Broome (Creator and Executive Producer, THE BIGGEST LOSER) and Faye Stapleton are executive producers. 

Now don't get me wrong, I have no clue what I would do if I was put in the shoes of these people. Can you imagine being handed that amount of money and being told that you could keep it? Or give it away to someone in need? I would like to think I would make the right choice, or the one I believe would be the right decision, but in reality, none of us knows what our decisions would be until we were put in that place. The two families shown below I was able to see as they were put into this hard place and given the choices of their lives. And believe me when I say that these decisions are very hard. One spouse is worried about their family while the other spouse wants to give most of it away. Both spouses get to make decisions about the money and I found myself at a loss while watching it. And yes, there were some funny moments but also life changing moments. It isn't just about the money, but the friendships you make in life.

Bergin Family

Joe: Ice Cream Truck Owner     
Kim: Part-Time Event Planner   
Three children, ages 15, 13 and 12
Matthews, N.C.
After Joe was laid off from his corporate job 10 years ago, he and his wife, Kim, started an ice cream truck business which is struggling.     

Bronson Family

Dave: Injured Retired Iraq Vet
Cara: Nurse
One child, age 3, with another on the way
Manchester, N.H.
Dave is an American hero whose Humvee exploded when he was in Iraq and he lost his leg. He and his wife, Cara, are expecting their second child this summer. Living on one income with a growing family has put a significant amount of stress on the Bronsons.


**DISCLOSURE: This post was written in conjunction with Beyond PR. I did receive payment but all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Evgie Wall Decal #Giveaway! $120 Credit for Wall Decals at the Evgie Etsy Store

This event is brought to you by Evgie Wall Decals and Blogger is not responsible for fulfilling the prize.

Is it time to change up the look of a room in your house? Sometimes it is the little things that make a room look new. Whether it is adding pictures, putting in carpet, or painting the walls. But painting can be very expensive and so much work. Why not change the look of a room with wall decals? They come in a huge variety of shapes and styles and they make a room look like you hired a professional to decorate. Plus, it is so much easier than getting paint in your hair or worrying about smudges on the walls and floor:)

Evgie is a great place to find wall decals. Here are a few of the most popular options. Their vinyl decals are made from high quality matte (made in Germany) vinyl which looks like it is painted on the wall. It is removable, so it's simple to transform any room over and over again. Just peel and stick, it's so easy! They will apply to most smooth surfaces. It's also removable and won't damage walls! Check out some of our favorite designs!

Space Astronauts Wall Decals

Baby Nursery Wall Decals

Safari Wall Decals

Panda Bears Wall Decals

Teddy Bears Wall Decals

They are also customizable. For example the Safari Wall Decals different colors are available at no additional charge and you can choose up to 7 colors from their color chart. With every order you get 3 FREE CUTE MINIATURE COPIES of their decals, your choice of monkeys, elephants or dogs or combination. You may put it on mirrors, glasses, your laptop or just hand it to your friends and relatives as it makes a great small gift.

More Reasons to Shop at

  • 100% SATISFACTION - If it turns you don't love your decal you may ship it back and they will refund your money!
  • FREE test decal for you to practice on and EASY Step-by-step detailed instructions!
  • They can adjust the decal size larger or smaller and add additional colors. Contact them for pricing!
  • They also offer custom designs. If you have an idea in mind of a custom design, let them know!
This is a great way to decorate a nursery or any room in your home! Enter below to win a $120 credit to spend on wall decals from Evgie's Etsy store. This giveaway is open worldwide but if you are outside the US you will have to pay the shipping difference (appx $20 - $25). Good Luck!


**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Woods Edge by Lori Benton with #Review

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Wood's Edge

WaterBrook Press (April 21, 2015)


Lori Benton


Lori Benton spent her late teens and early twenties pursuing a career as a wildlife artist, attending the Maryland College of Art & Design before she began painting professionally. When not writing or researching, Lori can be found exploring the mountains of southern Oregon with her husband, Brian. Lori's first novel, Burning Sky was nominated as an ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award Finalist and also received double nominations for 2014 Christy Awards. The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is her second novel.


At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Wood's Edge, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS-Wow!! I have enjoyed every book written by Lori Benton but this one just totally gripped me from the beginning. I started it in the evening, bad decision I know, and literally had to force myself to put it down around midnight. I went right back to it the next free moment I had and didn't put it down til I was finished. Lori Benton is an author with a knack for words and drawing the reader into the mind of the character. You feel their joy and happiness, their pain and their torments. and not only that but for each person you read about. Her writing style reminded me of Laura Frantz when I first started reading her books(definitely an honor as Laura is my go-to author for historical frontier novels) but now she stands on her own. This is an amazing author you will want to put on your favorites list. Loved this one!!

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Motivate Your Child Action Plan with #Review

I recently received this book, Motivate Your Child Action Plan, for review. I had read the book that goes with it last year when it released and totally agreed with the purpose and the spirit of the authors. They knew families and they knew how to help make changes in other people's lives. So when the opportunity arose to work with them again for the action plan, I jumped at the chance. And I am so glad I did.

This book takes the companion book and gives the parents plans to work through when difficulties arise. Hence the name, Action Plan. And it really is a book about taking action. There are guidelines and questions, tips on recognizing problems and what actually lies at the heart of the matter. This is not a cure the symptoms book but a cure the source plan. These are practical and down to earth steps that make a lot of sense. Even if you aren't struggling with issues right now, this is a book that will stay on your shelf til your children are adults. And then you can use it for the grandchildren:)

One of the steps that really hit me came in Chapter 8. This talks about not just praying FOR your children, but praying WITH your children. The spiritual connection is so much more than just praying they are okay throughout the day. But rather showing them how the Spirit works in their everyday lives. I also felt that the coaching subject was right on. Believe me, dealing with teenagers, it comes into play a lot. Coaching and not just focusing on wrong actions bringing consequences works wonders with your children.

This is an excellent book to give new parents, parents who have several children or to put in your church library. I would urge you to buy a copy along with the companion book, Motivate Your Child. These are excellent parenting tools that are easy on the eyes and very simple to use.

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

When Grace Sings by Kim Vogel Sawyer With #Review

When Grace Sings (WaterBrook Press, March 2015)

When trouble roars into quiet Arborville, Alexa and Anna-Grace find themselves the target for discord and exposed secrets. Can they continue to seek the God of all grace amidst the fog of confusion?
Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.
But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.
Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.

MY REVIEW-I recently had the opportunity to review this new book by Kim Vogel Sawyer. She is one of my favorite authors and I have read all of her previous books. She has a knack for making even Amish books interesting:) This one is a little bit different and I found myself somewhat confused at times, just because there are soo many characters to keep track of and how they are all related. Still, it was a good book to read and I enjoyed it.

There are not really two main characters like in your typical fiction book but rather several. Some of whom are related in distant ways which makes for a fun storyline. Alexa is part owner of a bed and breakfast and probably my favorite character. Her strength of spirit is amazing. I also had a good laugh or two over her guests. They are quite funny and Briley is a hoot. Their first meeting you want to slap him but once you get to know him, you realize he isn't that bad. The Amish culture is very well played out and I felt like I learned some about them. An excellent book from Kim Sawyer!

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Kids Academy Apps Are Great! #MomBuzz #FREEKidsApp

This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media Blogger Network. All views & opinions expressed below are my own and are not influenced in anyway.

Kids Academy

Educational Apps for Children

I don't know about you all, but when it comes to finding fun apps for the kids that are also educational, it can be a bit difficult. Too many times they just want the fun games that don't help with learning or cause them to think. That is why I am such a big fan of the Kids Academy Apps. They are both educational AND great fun for the kids!

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Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Kids Game Educational Books & Free Songs

This app here is one of our favorites. The graphics are really bright and easy to look at so the kids enjoy playing around with it. And the fun of it is that they don't even realize they are learning at the same time! This one here allows the child to learn not only recognition of the numbers, but also how to write them. This is done through tracing games and also through simple math. The math problems might be a bit hard for a little one though so please make sure they are able to do it without getting frustrated. I know for a 5 or 6 year old it should be no problem at all but I think for any younger than that it might be too much. Overall though this is a fun game with snazzy music that plays while the kids enjoy the learning.

Download Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Kids Game

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Bugs, Shapes and Robots Face Paint for Toddlers

FREE for a limited time! (usually $2.99)

Kids Academy has plenty of fun apps for children. And this Bugs, Shapes and Robots is one of their best. It is great fun but I love how it teaches at the same time. You start out tracing shapes and collecting fireflies as you go. The child goes from squares to circles and triangles and then ends up tracing robots! It all comes together to build a square face with circle eyes and a triangle nose. There is some room for error allowed but if they mess up too bad it asks them to try again. Excellent for toddlers to learn their shapes on!! If you have children who are young enough to play this, you definitely want to get it. Great for traveling or flying!

Download Bugs, Shapes, and Robots

**DISCLOSURE: All thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spring into Summer with new Colors from SinfulColors!

If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you know how much I am a fan of SinfulColors. When I saw their new line, I was super excited! Not only are they spring inspired, but also lots of fun ways to change up the colors and designs. I don't have a giveaway this time but next time there will be one for sure. Check out the new colors below!!

For my review I received Petal Be The Day, Prized Plume, Standing Bloom Only, Why Not and Thimbleberry. Catch the theme there? Totally spring with flowers in bloom galore! It would be hard to decide on a favorite. I really liked the Thimbleberry and Petal Be The Day. But they all were nicely named and most of them went into my keep bin. One of them didn't make it but it was just because of how light it is. Take a look and see how I mixed and matched colors to get some different styles.














As you can see, the colors came out great. My favorite was the pink with the purple glitter on top. These are great to use as party favors, in gift baskets, for teenage girls, or just to splurge on yourself:) I know when I go to buy nail polish, these are the ones I choose.

Be sure to check out SinfulColors on the following social media sites.

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Using Music For Recovery from Addiction #RecoveryMusic @RecoveryUnplugd

Did you know that music has a special ability? Music has many definitions for different people and I know for some it can be energizing, for some it brings back memories while for others it can be healing. On a personal level, I find it to be many of these things. How often do you feel down and pop in a CD, only to be renewed and brought up? Or the times where you feel like doing something you shouldn't and the melodies playing in your ear buds keeps you from it? Today I want to tell you about a program, Recovery Unplugged, that I found to be quite intriguing. You could call it a recovery from addiction program, or even a drug rehab therapy system. But for me, I think I would call it something like medicine through music.

This program is based not just on talk-therapy, but is specialized for each individual. After much research and time spent browsing their website, I was encouraged by the system I found in place. Music is special to me and I have seen it work many times before. I attend church and that is a place where I see things happen. Melodies can be soothing and gentle while calming a person and other times I have seen it encourage and rouse the spirit. For myself I feel as though music speaks to the body and the spirit. It can be a drug of sorts and it can heal. Using it as a treatment for patients is something I hadn't thought about in depth but after doing the research for this, I totally stand behind it. This drug treatment center uses not only music and live performances to help clients but also writing lyrics and recording songs! I couldn't believe when I saw the work and all the effort that goes into a program like this.

What about for you? What does music mean to you personally? Is it your lifeline to hang on to or is it something you pop in when you need encouragement and relaxation? I would love to hear your thoughts below so go ahead and leave me a comment!!

*Disclosure* I received compensation from Recovery Unplugged for this sponsored post, any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Friday, May 15, 2015

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Today!!! #FCblogger

*Disclosure* I received an appreciation certificate in exchange for this post. All thoughts are 100% mine. 

Well, today is a day that I am really standing behind. Does anyone know what day it is? Oh, sorry about that, I did put it in the title didn't I? :) Today just happens to be Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Personally in my life I know a few men who are members of law enforcement. And I daily thank the Lord they are working where they do. Though at times it can be scary, I am appreciative for all our men and women in uniform. So today it the day to go out and thank them. It could be someone you know, or maybe as you go to dinner tonight you drop off some pizzas at the local fire station. Or one of my favorites would be to get together a gift basket to take over. Check out some ideas below for goodies I would put in my basket:)

First off, you can't make it up without a basket. Your options are endless on this so choose wisely. For me, I would do a smaller size basket because our town is relatively small. But for those who have a larger fire station or police department, just pick up a larger one.

And now comes the fun part! Fill your basket with whatever catches your fancy. I would add in several movies, some snacks or baked goods, as well as some Gospel literature. Throw in enough copies of the movie so that the guys can all take one home with them, or do some different ones so they can pick and choose.

I know some of you probably think this sounds somewhat girly, but our men in uniform really need our support and appreciation. There are several movies that would be great for this basket. Fireproof is one you could use for the local fire department. While Courageous is great for any department.

There are also book options for you to include. Many of these brave men and women fight their own battles and could use some encouragement. Check out the Law Enforcement Bible I found! I never knew they had one of these but looking at purchasing some for the guys at our local department.

I know there are also books made from the Courageous and Fireproof films so those might be a good option. Once you have added your products, bake up some cookies or breads and nicely wrap them up to put in the basket. I do this around Christmas time and people always love home baked goodies. If you don't want to go that route, you can always purchase from a store.

So, what do you think? This is a great time to share the Gospel through literature or movies and the law enforcement members will enjoy being appreciated.

Leave a comment below if you have done anything like this, or what you would put in the basket.

*Note, all the products shown can be purchased through the Family Christian website. Be sure to check them out for all your appreciation needs.*

**DISCLOSURE: All thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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