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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliot

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch in Crime
Abingdon Press (January 20, 2015)
by
Cathy Elliot



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.

My Thoughts on This Book:

If things were going to go wrong, they did for Thea James. She wanted to organize a quilt show extravaganza for her town of Larkindale, but one thing happened after another, turning her beautiful evenings into police investigations. Someone gets injured, an antique piece of jewelery stolen and the big event reveal of a famous quilt, taken. Can Thea's luck improve to finish out the quilts events and will the mysterious Dr Cottle make an appearance? Full of mystery, a hint of romance and you got a winner in my book.. Loved it!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch in Crime, go HERE.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 3: Unprocessed Kitchen Series

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Welcome to our third week of the 14 Weeks to an Unprocessed Kitchen.
Have you already started your unprocessed journey or are you new to this? 
This is a great place to start by taking 14 weeks to getting yourself on track for healthy living. 

You can find Week 1's post HERE
You can find Week 2's post HERE

This week I'd like to touch base on another commonly used staple in your kitchen cupboard. That's oils.

Not all oils are created equal. So I'd like to touch base on the common oils used in any kitchen and point out the ones you should be using and the ones that are not good for you to use.. Let's begin...

Vegetable Oil
Most vegetable oil products are not healthy for you. This type of oil is similar to junk food because it is processed. During the production stage, most of its nutrients are extracted which leaves only the oil, so when you go to consume it, your eating pure processed fat. Vegetable oil contains a good amount of saturated fat, which stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol. Hidden inside most if not all Vegetable oil is G.M.O ingredients. Genetically Modified corn.

Canola Oil

 Some have said that Canola oil is heart healthy and good for you.. The answer to that is no it's not! Canola Oil is high in monounsaturates which is anything but healthy. Just like vegetable oil.. Canola is most likely G.M.O corn, and is highly processed and refined. The end result of all of this refining and processing are oils that are highly inflammatory in your body when you ingest them, damaging your cell membranes, contributing to heart disease, weight gain, and other degenerative diseases.

The high heat processing of canola oil strips any good qualities the oil may have had in it's virgin state and on top of that they process this oil using caustic refining, and bleaching while using questionable chemicals.

 Sunflower Oil

Sunflower seed oil is commonly used in frying, fast-food prep and packaged and processed foods. It is so common I am certain that if a food comes in a package, you'll find sunflower seed oil in the ingredient list.

Sunflower seed oil is very high in omega-6 fatty acids. In some cases, the omega-6 content is as high as 70 percent! It exacerbates the inflammation in your body and puts you at risk for disease.

Grapeseed Oil


Grapeseed oil comes from the seeds of grapes. It is extremely high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fat. This oil is over 70% Omega-6 which is really high. This oil is processed like the ones above using high tech machines and chemicals. It is a healthier alternative of the oils above since it contains lots of Vitamin E, it's non-hydrogenated, and has 0 trans fat. It does have no cholesterol and very little saturated fat. Even with these benefits, our bodies aren't designed to consume much or if any Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUMA) which this oil is very high in. I'd avoid this oil if at all possible.

--------------------------------------------

Now that we've discussed some oils to avoid in your kitchen.. Let's talk about a few oils you should always have in your kitchen...

Organic Extra Virgin- Cold Pressed Coconut Oil


This is the oil I purchase and love. It's the perfect cooking oil and use it for baking, sauteing, and cooking. It's non hydrogenated, contains no trans-ft, and is cholesterol free. It is not refined, nor bleached or deodorized. I also use coconut oil instead of shortening since shortening is not good for you at all. 

Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


 This is another oil that is always in my kitchen. I use this in baking, stovetop cooking and oven cooking. Extra-virgin olive oil is extracted from olives using only pressure, a process known as cold pressing. Extra-virgin olive oil has just 1% acid. It’s the oil that comes from the first pressing of the olives, and is considered the finest, having the freshest, fruitiest flavor.

Extra virgin olive oil is fairly nutritious.  Olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fats and contains a modest amount of vitamins E and K. True extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful health benefits.

Avocado Oil


 Avocado oil, derived from the avocado fruit, boasts unique healthy properties. Avocado oil is high in Vitamin E and unsaturated fats and contains more protein than any other fruit and more potassium than a banana. Avocado oil offers a variety of nutritional and medicinal benefits. Avocado oil improves blood vessel integrity, prevents cancer, promotes faster healing and better skin quality, moisturizes hair and skin, and lowers blood pressure. This should be an oil you use in your cooking and healthy skin products..

This week was all about unhealthy and healthy oils to have in your kitchen. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this week's post. Please stop by for Week 4 of 14 Weeks to an Unprocessed Kitchen next Monday.. Until then...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 2: Unprocessed Kitchen Series

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Have you already started your unprocessed journey or are you new to this?  
You can check out the first week's post HERE to get started. No time like today to help you and your family become the healthiest you can be..

 Last week for our first challenge, I asked for you to let go or start to wean yourself off of fast food. While letting go of fast food, I asked you to add 2 servings of fruits and veggies to your daily meals.. If you participated last week, how did you do? I would love to hear your response in the comments..

Now onto our second week together as we work towards an unprocessed kitchen.

After we decided to eliminate fast food back in 2005, we needed to find healthy alternatives so we could replace those meals with better options. I was introduced to a book called "Eating For Your Blood Type" I was very new to the idea of eating all healthy. Reading this book inspired me to find new foods to try. So many foods that I've never heard of popped up in the pages of this book. I thought I was going to replace the tasty fast food with eating cardboard.. I was wrong.

After gaining knowledge of the whole foods and unprocessed items that are out there to consume, I was excited about getting started. Our first 'test food' was Ezekiel Bread. Oh how delicious it was. My palette was so used to the greasy fair of restaurant food it didn't really know how to handle the real tastes of real food. This was our first challenge 10 years ago. Retraining our tongues to enjoy real food.

Let's talk first about Ezekiel Bread since I mentioned it as an item we've eaten.

 Ezekiel Bread is made with sprouted wheat which is healthy for your body. When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you’ll find that sprouted wheat contains 4X the amount of Niacin and nearly twice the amount of Vitamin B6 as unsprouted wheat. It contains more protein and fewer starches than non-sprouted grain and it is lower on the glycemic index. Since it's sprouted you must store this bread in your refrigerator as it spoils quicker. This bread is a great alternative from white bread for those not interested in making your own bread at home. 

So now that you've gotten the run down on one type of 'good for you' bread, let's discuss our options this week that pertain with flours and salt since these two ingredients are the main staples in today's bread, Either store bought or home made.

 It's really important on your journey to eating unprocessed foods to stock your cupboards with items that won't put you in the same boat nutritiously as eating boxed food. If you find yourself putting bleached flour in your cart at the grocery store and regular table salt  then you are not doing your body any justice.

I'd like to point out some healthy alternatives for you to look for the next time you go grocery shopping..

SALT

If you are going to put salt on or in anything you cook it's important you find the best salt available to use. Table salt is stripped of any nutrients as it's bleached and chemically processed and contains fillers which can cause health issues. Regular table salt contains no naturally occurring minerals because any minerals that were present are removed during the refining process.

Regular table salt contains no naturally occurring minerals because any minerals that were present are removed during the refining process.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5449879_mediterranean-vs-regular-table-salt.html

Let's look at some healthier options to regular table salt.


Iodized Salt

Table salt with an element of iodine. This helps you with iodine deficiency. If you can't afford any of the better salts this is a great place to start.


Iodized Sea Salt

Sea salt is the generic term for unrefined or minimally refined salt, usually containing many of the trace minerals found in sea water as it has been naturally evaporated from a living ocean, sea or bay. This is even better than the iodized salt.


Himalayan Pink Salt

Mined from pure salt deposits that lie high in the mountains, and they both possess the rich, mineral flavor


Mediterranean Sea Salt

Mediterranean sea salt is obtained from the water of the Mediterranean Sea.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5449879_mediterranean-vs-regular-table-salt.html
Mediterranean sea salt is obtained from the water of the Mediterranean Sea.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5449879_mediterranean-vs-regular-table-salt.html
Mediterranean sea salt is obtained from the water of the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean sea salt naturally contains a wide variety of minerals. Trace amounts of fluoride, potassium, iodine and magnesium can all be found in Mediterranean sea salt.


Celtic Salt

Harvested near the Celtic Sea, Celtic Sea Salt supplies all 82 trace minerals needed by the human body for optimal health and longevity. Since it is unrefined, it does not contain any chemicals, preservatives, or any other additive.

My family uses Celtic Sea Salt in our baking and cooking as well as the Mediterranean sea salt. We do use Iodized Sea Salt on occasion when I'm making big baking batches since the other two salts are a little pricey.

FLOURS

Let's discuss flour options because they are all not considered equal. I highly recommend you to never purchased bleached white flour ever again or any bleached white bread. There is nothing in this to give you any nutrition and is wasted calories.

I highly recommend finding flours that are unbleached and unbromated.

What is Bromated?

Bromated flour is flour which has been enriched with potassium Bromate, a maturing agent which promotes gluten development in doughs. Potassium Bromate is classified as a potential carcinogen, meaning that it may be harmful when consumed.


Bleaching of Flours and Breads?

 Flour bleaching agent is a food additive added to flour in order to make it appear whiter and to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains and help with developing of gluten.

Consider what gets lost in the bleaching/refining process:

Half of the beneficial unsaturated fatty acids
Virtually all of the vitamin E
Fifty percent of the calcium
Seventy percent of the phosphorus
Eighty percent of the iron
Ninety eight percent of the magnesium
Fifty to 80 percent of the B vitamins 

What are you left with? Nothing of any value to your body.

My Top 3 Picks of Flours That are Unbromated/Unbleached I Use and Love:


Wheat Montana Flours are unbleached and unbromated and also non GMO. I live in Montana so I use this flour and eat their bread regularly. If you can't get this where you live see if you can purchase this online.

Wheat Montana has different kinds of flour available for all your baking needs.


Bob's Red Mill is another great option to find unbleached unbromated flour.


King Arthur Flour is Unbleached.
I'm not sure if it's unbromated but this is a great alternative if you can't locate any of the other flours above.

My Top 3 Picks of Different Varieties of Flours That I Use and Love

Spelt Flour
One of the most popular and widely available of alternative baking flours.

Coconut Flour:
 It is ground from dried, defatted coconut meat. It is high in fiber, and low in digestible carbohydrates.


Whole Wheat Flour
Also called graham flour. It is made from the whole kernel of wheat and is higher in dietary fiber and overall nutrient content than white flours.


Top 3 Bread Companies/Brands That I Love:

Ezekiel Bread

Dave's Killer Bread
 
 Rudi's Bread

I hope this week's unprocessed post will help you make great choices in your future flour, salt and bread purchases that will lead you to a better healthy life.. 

 Hope to see you back here next Monday for Week 3 of 14 Weeks to An Unprocessed Kitchen. Until then...

Friday, January 16, 2015

From Scratch- Chicken Pot Pie

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Looking for a wholesome healthy real food dinner meal for your family? Maybe your following my 14 Weeks To an Unprocessed Kitchen and this week's challenge is to add 2 servings of vegetables to your daily diet. Well this recipe will give that and more! Full of flavor and so delicious!

Chicken Pot Pie From Scratch

Ingredients:

4 TBS butter
Half a medium onion, diced
4 organic carrots, diced
4 organic celery ribs, diced
3 cloves of organic garlic, minced
1 small package of frozen organic peas
1 lb organic cooked chicken, cubed
4 TBS whole wheat unbromated flour
2 cups of organic chicken broth
1 cup of organic milk
3/4 tsp iodized salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat unbromated flour
1/4 tsp salt
12 TBS real butter, chilled
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
4 TBS coconut sugar or organic cane sugar
1/2 to 1 cup chilled water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large pan over medium heat, add butter.
  • Once heated add onion, carrots celery and saute until it begins to soften
  • Add garlic, peas and cooked chicken for about 2 more minutes
  • Add flour and stir
  • Add broth and milk and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens into gravy like consistency
  • While that simmers prepare pie crust by adding all the ingredients (minus water) into a food processor
  • Put on medium speed and slowly add the chilled water until you get a dough like consistency
  • Place on floured surface, divide dough in half
  • Roll out into pie pan shaped and line bottom pan with one half of dough
  • Add parsley, pepper and salt to ingredients 
  • Stir and then place in pie crust and lay the other layer onto top, crimping edges to seal
Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown


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You can find a printable friendly version of this recipe HERE

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 1: Unprocessed Kitchen Series

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Welcome to our first week of the 14 Weeks to an Unprocessed Kitchen.

Have you already started your unprocessed journey or are you new to this? 
This is a great place to start by taking 14 weeks to getting yourself on track for healthy living.

I'm looking forward to sharing what I've learned over the past several years so you too can walk alongside me in getting your kitchen and lifestyle on track to being unprocessed, and full of healthy choices.

Years ago, back in 2005 my husband had surgery to remove a benign tumor that was growing on his spinal column. Right after his surgery our family decided it was time to make some changes in our diet so we could be a healthier family. Since we were new to this eating healthy idea we decided that the first thing we needed to let go of was fast food. We were consuming fast food from a variety of choices almost daily in our home and we knew it was time for a change.

Studies show that over 37% of the daily calories are consumed by eating fast food with an average of 50 million customers being served daily. That's a lot of calories and a lot of processed food.

Just by taking this temptation out of our daily lives we were helping our bodies and our life. It's been 10 years now since we've eaten any form of fast food and a blessing it has been. Not only is our health better from this decision but our pocket book is shouting a big 'thank you'...

I know taking fast food out of your diet can be a challenge for those who eat it frequently but it's something that should be highly considered if you want to live an unprocessed life.


For the first week of our unprocessed journey I encourage you to let go of fast food. 

 If you go daily then maybe try to go every other day. If you go twice a week then maybe go once. Weaning yourself from the cycle is a great way to change your habit of heading to the nearest restaurant. Only you know how often you eat out and you are the best judge to decide on how long it will take you to let go of the habits of fast food consumption.

A great help would be to make a list of how often you go. Then figure out a plan of how many days/weeks you'd like to take to finalize your fast food journey. If you don't go often it will be easier to let go of this habit than if you go multiple times a week.

I'd love to encourage you this week as you take this important step towards eating clean, healthy, unprocessed food. Please leave a comment so I can help you along your journey.....

Over the next few weeks, on top of these Monday posts/challenges, I will help you with choosing healthy foods to replace the urge to get a quick meal while out. I will be posting throughout the week some recipe ideas, essential oil options/ideas, food choices and also share some new ways to use different foods in your daily meal planning. So please check back often throughout the week to get even more help in becoming unprocessed.

As we work together each week on eliminating something from our diets I'll be encouraging you to add something that will benefit you and your family.

This week I'd like to encourage you to add 2 servings of fruits and 2 servings of vegetables to your diet each day.

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I'll be working alongside you this week adding more fruit and veggies to our daily meals since we've become relaxed in this area of our diets. As you can see we are all stocked up on our fruit including grapefruit, bananas, oranges, pears, and apples.. (We have strawberries, grapes, raspberries, and pineapple in the fridge)

I am also stocked up for my veggies with broccoli, green beans, peas, carrots, zucchini, and corn.

(I highly encourage you to choose organic vegetables and fruit when your budget allows you to.) One of the things we are working on eliminating is toxins and genetically modified foods.. Eating organic will help you know that your food you are eating is truly healthy.

I will be touching base more on G.M.O's and organics over the course of our 14 weeks... I don't want to overwhelm you all at once..

What's To Come

Each week I'm looking forward to sharing an area that will help improve your goal of being unprocessed. I will include a challenge for you to take to help you let go of something that's holding you back from a healthy life and to gain something healthy in it's place.

I hope you will stick around for the entire journey!

Please comment that you are taking the Unprocessed Challenge and would love to hear if you are interested in letting go of fast food to help you in your unprocessed transformation..

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

 

Love at Mistletoe Inn
A Year of Weddings Novella
by Cindy Kirk

They've helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

 About This Book:

An owner of a Victorian inn and charming rustic barn is used to creating the perfect setting for other couples' nuptials. But when she falls head over heels for the new man in her life, will she be prepared to walk down that aisle?

My Thoughts on This Book:

I've enjoyed each of the 12 novellas from 2014's year of wedding series and was excited about reading this year's. I wasn't disappointed at all when I started reading this one. The story is fast paced which is typical for a novella and I didn't feel like it took away from the storyline at all.

 Hope lives in a town close to Boise, ID and lives with her Aunt Verna. After dating Chet for sometime, her old high school sweetheart, John, returns to town to make things right with the two of them. After finding out that their past mistakes have resurfaced, what will John and Hope do to make things right? Will love conquer all or will past disappointments take over and love is lost?

Fantastic read.. Don't miss out on the first book in this year's series..

I received a free e-book copy of this novella free in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Win Free Copy "Organize Now!" Contest Ends 1/17

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Is organizing your life and home a New Year's Resolution for 2015??

Don't really know how to tackle such a big task??

How about winning a FREE COPY of this book above?

"Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry

This book is a week by week guide to simplifying your space, your stuff and your life. Breaking down your clutter to give yourself the freedom of an organized home and life. Each week is written to give you manageable tasks to complete one week at a time for 56 Weeks. Built in checklists for each week for those (like me) that like to check off the items you've accomplished each day/week. 

This book is divided into 8 Sections and after you complete the entire book you will have Organized:
Yourself
Your Papers
Your Things
Your High-Traffic Areas
Your Personal Spaces
Your Storage Areas
Your Special Events
Your Routines

Every area of your life to give you a simplified and organized 2015.

I am giving away a FREE Brand New Copy of this book to one lucky winner.. Contest ends Saturday 1/17/2015 at 11:59pm MST

One lucky winner will be selected randomly using Rafflecopter below. Please click on link or photo (if shown) to follow the instructions on how to enter to win... The more you choose the more entries to win.

Please LIKE my Facebook Page HERE
and leave a comment on my page to let me know you stopped by..


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Medicine Ball Workouts January Challenge

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Photo Background Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Since mid December I've decided to try something new in my exercise routine. I'm bored of the basic gym workouts: treadmill, elliptical, stepper..

I needed to try something fresh to help lift the plateau I've been in for many months and be able to workout at home as well as the gym.

MEDICINE BALL WORKOUTS

I actually laughed out loud thinking a medicine ball could be a full blown workout. I kept saying, "I'll have to add cardio and free weights to give this a full body workout"

WRONG!

A 30-45 minute medicine ball workout will touch every single muscle in your body. It did me! It worked muscles that running, treadmills, stairstepper, and elliptical just don't do.

Let's KICK OFF 2015 with a January Medicine Ball Workout Challenge

I'd love to share the workouts that I've been doing and will be working on for the month of January. Please  join me this month as we work together to reach our fitness goals while using the medicine ball.

My daily workouts are between 30-45 minutes and have varied between four different websites that have several different medicine ball moves to work your core plus upper and lower body.

I'm working out with the medicine ball 4-5 days a week. Each workout uses different moves so that I don't give my body the opportunity to know what's coming next.

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I have two medicine balls that I use for my workouts. When working out my legs I choose my 8lb blue medicine ball (this one is squishy with a bean core and soft rubber outer shell) and when my workouts are focusing more on upper body I use the gray 6lb ball (this one is hard like a basketball) while I work on gaining more upper body strength.

It's great to use different weights, (like weight training with free weights) Add more weight as your body gets used to the workouts.

Here below are the different websites that I've been using to design my daily workouts from.


Follow THE ALMOST VEGAN for 8 different workouts

Medicine Ball workout
Photo Credit: About-Health

Follow ABOUT HEALTH for this great strength training workout which includes 14 different workout moves.

1. Stir The Pot
 photo credit: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com

Follow LIVE STRONG to choose from 10 more medicine ball moves that will get your core into shape

H.I.I.T.-Medicine-Ball-Workout
Photo Credit: Skinnyms.

Looking for a H.I.I.T Medicine Ball Workout.. Check out SKINNYMS. This website gives you videos on how to do each exercise...

Please join me for the month of January to use the medicine ball as your primary exercise (I'll be adding walking when I can and snow shoveling when there's snow- the joys of living in Big Sky Country Montana) and let's kick this year off with some medicine ball workouts..

Comment below to let me know you're joining!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

14 Weeks to an Unprocessed Kitchen Starts 1/12

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2015 is all about changes. Working on fitness by adding strength training to my exercise routine and the best part.. getting back into the kitchen and eliminating processed food for good. The saying that I've heard floating around is that our efforts in the gym (exercise) = 30% and our efforts in the kitchen (eating) = 70%. So if we don't have our food choices under control then our time working out and exercising is in vain.

Instead of jumping back in 100% from the start, I'll be implementing ways to get our family back to the unprocessed lifestyle one week at at time for the next 14 weeks starting Monday January 12th.

Each week I'll introduce an area that we will need to work on or eliminate to help us get our health on track by getting our kitchen's set up for success.

I'd love for you to join me the next three months as we take charge of our health by eating right and getting rid of processed food for good.

 One area at a time.. We can do it! 

Are you in??

Monday, January 5, 2015

A November Bride by Beth K. Vogt

 

A November Bride
by Beth K. Vogt
A Year of Weddings Novella

About This Book:

Sadie McAllister is fastidious to a fault-but that serves her well as a personal chef to her clients in Denver. But her earliest attempt at managing romance was a bust when Erik Davis declined her invitation to the school's eighth grade Sadie Hawkins Dance.

Having celebrated the big 3-0 by ending a relationship, Sadie is tired of romantic relationships-by-text. The only man she knows willing to put down his iPhone and have face-to-face conversations with her is Erik. It's time to put a 21st-century twist on the Sadie Hawkins' tradition of a woman going after her man. He may not be the hero of her romantic dreams, but she can propose to Erik and achieve some sort of happily ever after with her best friend.

Erik is good at two things: his freelance job and maintaining casual, no-one-gets-hurt relationships with women. What is Sadie thinking, proposing to him? This is marriage-not a middle school dance. Erik decides to show Sadie what romance looks like when the man takes the lead. And while he's at it, he'll prove just how wrong they are for each other. But when he realizes he's fallen for her, can Erik convince Sadie his just-for-fun dates were the prelude to "'til death do us part"?

My Thoughts About This Book:

I fell in love with this story from Chapter 1. I couldn't put it down until I was done. A quick read, and well worth it. You too will fall in love with the characters of this story while rooting for Sadie and Erik.. Sadie is a personal chef and her best friend of 17 years just started his own job. After years of friendship, can their relationship move to the next level? Beth gave this story life, filling the virtual pages with romance, fun, laughter and love. Pick up a copy of this story along with all the others in this series. Loved them all.

About the Author:

 Beth K. Vogt believes God's best is often behind the doors marked "Never." She's the wife of a former Air Force family physician who said she'd never marry a doctor-or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four who said she'd never have kids. She's a former nonfiction writer and editor who said she'd never write fiction. Beth's novels include Wish You Were Here, Catch a Falling Star, and Somebody Like You.

I received an e-book copy of this novella free in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Masterpiece Marriage
Abingdon Press (December 16, 2014)
by
Gina Welborn


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After Gina Welborn earned a Communications degee from an Oklahoma university, she thought the perfect career choice was working at a news radio station writing commercial copy, public service announcements, and news reports. A PSA writer, sadly, can only be so creative when describing ketchup and Geronimo’s grave. (No, she never combined those two elements in the same script, but now that she thinks about it, she wishes ... ) Thus Gina "retired" to focus on goal, motivation, and conflict within her family before discovering her niche in writing romances. A member of RWA and ACFW, Gina has four published novellas, including one in the ECPA-bestselling Mistletoe Memories, and three short historical romances: The Heiress's Courtship, The Marshal's Pursuit, and Masterpiece Marriage. A moderately obsessive fan of Community, Once Upon a Time, and Chopped, Gina lives in Oklahoma with her pastor husband, their five Okie-Hokie children, a box-lab, two rabbits, four guinea pigs, and a fancy Russian dwarf hamster named Tom Bob Deucalion. Gina is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

ABOUT THE BOOK


After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane’s Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs. Eager to acquire his aunt’s quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him. Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn’t mean sacrificing her ambition?


If you would like to read the first chapter of Masterpiece Marriage, go HERE.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

52 Books in 52 Weeks- 2014 Wrap Up

2013 / 2014 Blog Button 

It's that time again. 52 Books in 52 Weeks 2014 Wrap Up.

This year was a bit different than years past when it comes to reading. With my passions and hobbies changing I've been using my time that I would of for reading to do other things. So this year I read only 39 books.  I will continue to read my books and write down their titles but I won't be participating again in the 52 Books challenges. My goals for this blog and my spare time will be focusing more on fitness, healthy eating and DIY projects.

Here is the list of books I've read in 2014 in the order I read them.. 

  1. Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell
  2. A December Bride by Denise Hunter
  3. Greetings from the Flipside by Rene Gutteride & Cheryl McKay
  4. My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
  5. Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  6. Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson
  7. Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard
  8. Katie's Choice by Amy Lillard
  9. Gabriel's Bride by Amy Lillard
  10. A January Bride by Deborah Raney
  11. A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant
  12. An Amish Miracle by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reed & Mary Ellis
  13. A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  14. Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
  15. A March Bride by Rachel Hauck
  16. Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund
  17. The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
  18. Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin
  19. A Promise in Pieces by Emily T Wierenga
  20. Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester
  21. The Miting by Dee Yoder
  22. A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert
  23. An April Bride by Lenora Worth
  24. Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
  25. Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer
  26. The Digital Mom Handbook by Audry McClelland (Non-Fiction)
  27. Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
  28. A May Bride by Meg Mosely
  29. A June Bride by Marybeth Whalen
  30. Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg
  31. Bouquet of Love by Janice Thompson
  32. Hidden in the Stars by Robin Carroll
  33. A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears
  34. Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey
  35. An August Bride by Debra Clopton
  36. A September Bride by Kathryn Springer
  37. An October Bride by Katie Ganshert
  38. Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven
  39. The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
Are you making a goal this coming year? Do you think you can read 52 Books in 52 Weeks? Check out the blog that started it all HERE..