January 29, 2016


Ok, I want to start doing one of these a month if I can.  We will start with a winter set...

This is a crocheted hat and cowl.

This is what it looks like on.
Made with this yarn

If you are interested in getting this please leave a comment below telling me about a special homemade gift you received sometime in your life.

I will give each person a number and draw for a winner on Friday of next week.  Once I draw a winner I will contact you and get your address and then mail it to you....ALL FREE FOR YOU!

Feel free to share this with your friends!

Only one entry per person please and United States residents only.  :)

Well, that month just flew by!

January started with a bang and then just flew right by me but not before I made a few goals and worked on a few projects so I thought I would jump in and share a few things that went on in January.

First of all, my word for the year... 2016... is healing.  No, really.... that is the one I got.  I have no idea where this will take me but I am embracing it.  

This is somewhat ironic since I started the year sick.  I have been sick for almost the entire month and finally started a course of antibiotics just yesterday to rid myself of this plague.  It started as an innocent cold that sent me to bed for a few days and then kinda snowballed from there.  This is typical of most people with autoimmune issues.  Illnesses that take most people a few days from which to recover take me about one to three weeks and I often wind up on an antibiotic to kick it.

In the midst of sickness, though, I was able to do some fun new dishes in the kitchen to start the new year and I knocked out a few crochet projects.  I also did some cleaning and clearing in anticipation of some more work on the house soon.  We are on the list for repairs with our "guy" so that we will, hopefully, have some new living space soon as well as some repairs and paint on damaged areas around the outside from last summer's hail damage.

So, I know you came for the photos.... here are some crochet things I have done.

This was a gift for my cousin

This was the first one I did using this pattern and 
I really love how it turned out so I did more for gifts for Christmas.

A set I will be giving away in another post.... so stay tuned!

My pale purple bobble hat made with this pattern 
which is a free Ravelry download 
and it works up very quickly!

another quick cowl

This was my very first triangle shawl and it is cozy warm!

another view... I LOVE these colors!

a heart coaster for a friend who ADORES orange

a Valentine Sock Monkey cozy for my girlie

A daisy heart dishcloth (there will be more of these)

I will share more on some goals and some things I have put into play since the new year started.  I know it is late but it is never too late to make changes.  I got a little carried away working in my Bullet Journal on all of the new year stuff but missed sharing it here.  It is coming...

January 15, 2016

So, Anyway.... by John Cleese

So, Anyway... by John Cleese
is an autobiography.

It has been released now in both hardback and paperback and I got the paperback copy for review for free in exchange for an honest review.

What is any autobiography about?  It is stories of John Cleese's life told in his own words.  He really does begin at the beginning and spends about half the book talking about his early life before Monty Python connections began to form.  I enjoyed that he spent a lot of time with the early years because, as long as I have been watching him on the screen, I have never really known about the life that led up to the funny man we see in public.  

It was a charming and candid read about what shaped him with photos of family and school years to enjoy as you go.  It is upbeat and casual as he tells of his years in school, teachers he had, and family and friends along the way.

He tells a story in a quiet but thorough way and I enjoyed that about this book.  I could savor it.  The flow of the stories feels like you are sitting there listening to him tell them with a group of friends around him on a weekend afternoon.  

I have spent a great deal of time enjoying his work on the Monty Python's Flying Circus and in my favorite Britcom - Fawlty Towers, so I am very familiar with his voice.  As I read I could hear the words in my head in that voice.  It was splendid!

For those who are not aware... this is not a Christian book by any stretch of the imagination BUT if you are a fan of anything he has done and you enjoy biography/autobiography genre books I think you would enjoy this one.  He tells a great story with humor when the occasion arises and with sincerity when that is necessary.

I would give this book a solid 5 out of 5 and highly recommend it to Cleese fans everywhere!

January 07, 2016

Let Food Be Your Medicine by Don Colbert, MD

After reading MANY books over the years of stories of illnesses and diseases that have been changed through holistic medicine I think I can bring a rounded perspective to this book.

Dr. Colbert begins with his own story of a near death experience and years of consequences to his health that were brought on by this event and stress.  He eventually discovered that he had an issue with gluten and peppers that was exacerbating his health problems.  It began wearing on his body in the form of Psoriasis.  

Using his medical expertise and his research over years of practicing medicine he shares many things he has learned about the food and exercise connection to our health.  He spends this book pinpointing how a Mediterranean diet can help with a plethora of ailments including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular health, dementia/Alzheimer's and autoimmune/inflammatory disease.  

He lays out the Mediterranean diet for us clearly and shares how eating and exercise can bring much relief and in many cases can reverse disease and illness completely.  In each section, he also gives modifications to the diet for certain illnesses and conditions.  He addresses GMOs and gluten issues as well as pesticides.  His premise is... if you remove the thorn the body will begin to heal itself.

He is not trying to blatantly promote and sell supplements  or gear in this book. (but there is a page at the back of the book if you are looking for something like that)  He is open and honest about how this diet changed him and how, through his own research, he feels it can help many people out there that are suffering, too.  He shares a four day menu sample at the end of the book of how to implement the plan.  

He seems very genuine and I liked that about this book.

What made this book different for me was the Christian faith element.  Don and his wife are Christians and share their walk through illness and recovery from a faith/biblical perspective.  I don't see a great deal of that in other health/nutrition books.

I loved this book and will be using it as a reference a great deal in 2016 as I move through my own goals for fighting the autoimmune battle.  If you have a family history or are already struggling with any of these issues I recommend this book.  It is very affordable and his writing style is very enjoyable and encouraging.  He is not condescending like other nutrition/health writers I have encountered.

Learn more about Dr. Colbert and his methods and research at his website.

I gladly give this book a solid 5 out of 5 stars!

As we begin a new year I am on the prowl for books for better eating and exercise and health.  With Lupus this is a constant battle for me.  I jumped at the chance to review this book when it came available through Worthy Publishing for review.  They sent it to me for free and all they asked from me is that I give it a read and give an honest review.  This is my honest opinion of this book.

December 09, 2015

Making it Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose by Emily T. Wierenga

What is the book about?

In reading this book you see Emily as a quiet sensitive soul from the very first page.  She has a beautiful spirit and a very thoughtful way of writing that draws you into the small quiet moment she is sharing with you.  This book is a memoir of how she found what home looks like for her and her family.  She has lived some hard things in her short lifetime.  She has struggled with an eating disorder, death, miscarriage, foster parenting, moving from place to place and country to country as she grew up and more.  She assumes... and rightly so, I feel, that everyone is looking for that idea of "home".  Much of her story is told in a diary or journal format and vignettes of moments and pieces of her life. She is very real and personal in this one.  Her story is real with all the bumps and bruises and heartaches that come with life, home, and family.  I believe most women would be able to relate to her on some level as she tells her story.

What I Thought...

I like a quiet thoughtful book but can only take it in small doses.  It took me a little longer to read this one because of that.  Her story is beautiful and, as I said earlier, her spirit is open and lovely.  The only real issue I had with this book were some questionable theological statements as she moved through her story.  Just a few matters that did not line up with scripture.  Keep that in mind as you read and find what God says for yourself in His word as you read.  I recommend that with any and all books you read that are suppose to be Christian books.  That being said, it is still relevant and healing as she shares her tragedies and struggles.  It is rare to see an author really open up this way.  I did enjoy it very much.

I would give this book a 3 stars out of 5.

If you want to read more about and by Emily Wierenga feel free to check out her website/blog.  She is well traveled with many life experiences that she shares with us there each month.

This book was sent to me free of charge by Baker Books in return I am to give an honest read and review of the book.  You just got that...  :)

December 08, 2015

Taming the To-Do List by Glynnis Whitwer

What is the book about?

The title really threw me off just a little when I first saw it but the first chapter lays it all out for us beautifully!  I clearly chose it based on the To-Do List aspect but was pleasantly surprised when I realized it is for those of us in this world that PROCRASTINATE!

Glynnis Whitwer, very clearly, shares her story and what brought her to write this book.  She shares from a biblical perspective, throughout each chapter, reasons we may be procrastinating.  She shares personal examples of how procrastination has harmed her along the way and kept her from doing things God has called her to do.  She lays out ways to overcome this monster in our lives and how to live in victory and in God's will for our daily lives.  It is one of the most practical books I have read in a very long time.  

My reaction to the book...

The timing on this book, for me, was perfect and yet, here I am getting my review up late for this very reason... procrastinating.  Clearly, this book was written for ME!  LOL

I have some work to do with this book.  As I begin the year 2016 I have some very logical and practical things I have gleaned from this book to push me forward.  This book really fits beautifully with the Rubin book I read earlier this year on developing good habits but the aspect of God's word makes it even more convincing to me that I need to drop the procrastination once and for all.

If you are a procrastinator.... this is YOUR book, too.

My favorite takeaway comes on page 85...  

Our identity is NOT defined by our actions, and so we will never be a "failure" when our performance doesn't match our expectations.  When we reassign the source of our value and worth to its rightful place, we will be free from the fear of failure or of the opinions of others.

The only thing that matters is what our heavenly Father thinks about us.  We can rest knowing we are safe and secure in God's unconditional love.

Do you want to know more about Glynnis?

You can check out her website and blog posts to read more about her journey as she wrote this book and see what she is working on next.  I am glad to meet her and I will be reading more by her in the future.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5 for being a very practical and applicable for daily living.

This book was given to me at no cost from Baker Books Revell Division in exchange for an honest read and review of it's contents. 

December 02, 2015

Working on the Bullet Journal again

I have joined (loosely) the Plan With Me Challenge for December.

I am making some decisions about my bullet journal for the coming year and want to try some things out before we get there.  I am close to the end of this particular Moleskine journal, too, so there is a new one on it's way soon.  I printed the list and have my calendar already in progress and I am loading it up as things get added to my schedule.  

As for my setup...

I start every month with a printed calendar so I can have that visual and then I write out the list version to the right of it.  

From there I add:

*  Menu plans
* Grocery lists
* Other shopping lists
*  To do around the house lists
*  Books that I want to look for when I have money and time
*  Movies I want to add to our list to watch
*  Crochet projects I want to work on
*  Habit lists
*  Daily to do and checklists
*  Bible study plans and notes from sermons
* Scripture memory verses
*  Quotes from books read and article notes
*  Books in the queue to review (which I am currently behind on because... life!)

Working on other things for the new year like budgeting pages, exercise and food trackers, clothing I need to replace list, big project planning lists, etc...

For the month of December I am doing a 16 Before 2016 list, too.

Want to see more about setting up a bullet journal from a great blogger on this topic?  Check out Boho Berry as she shares her stuff with us!

Other bloggers who run this project each month include Tiny Ray of Sunshine  and Pretty Prints and Paper

How are you preparing for the year ahead?  

Do you have a special journal or planner you use to get you 
through the holidays and into a new year?

November 29, 2015

Advent 2015 Has Arrived

I am sharing our reading plan again this year after not sharing it here for several years.  It got lost in the shuffle so I am putting it front and center for you to find again if you want it.  We would love to hear how you celebrate Advent - church services, home celebrations, food, books, music.... whatever makes this time of waiting for Jesus return special for you and your family. Leave us a comment to share something special you love about this season.

Daily Scripture Readings

Sunday November 29 - Isaiah 42:1-9
Monday November 30 - Psalm 89:1-29
Tuesday December 1 - Isaiah 55
Wednesday December 2 - Isaiah 35
Thursday December 3 - Luke 1:26-38
Friday December 4 - John 1:1-10
Saturday December 5- John 1:11-18

Sunday December 6 - Micah 5:2
Monday December 7 - Malachi 3:1-4
Tuesday December 8 - Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday December 9 - Mark 1:1-13
Thursday December 10 - Isaiah 40:1-11
Friday December 11 - Isaiah 52:1-6
Saturday December 12 - Isaiah 9:2-7

Sunday December 13 - Luke 2:8-20
Monday December 14 - Luke 1:5-25
Tuesday December 15 - Luke 1:39-56
Wednesday December 16 - Jeremiah 33:7-16
Thursday December 17 - Luke 1:57-80
Friday December 18 - Isaiah 61
Saturday December 19 - Revelation 21:1-7

Sunday December 20 - Matthew 1:18-25  
Monday December 21 - Luke 1:28-38
Tuesday December 22 - Revelation 1:10-18 
Wednesday December 23 - Matthew 2:1-12
Thursday December 24 - Luke 2:1-20
Friday December 25 - Christmas Day: Read the Christmas story together from Luke 2:1-38

The Sunday scriptures are the Advent Candle reading scriptures. Here is what we do when we light our candle each week...

November 29 - Prophecy Candle
Scripture: Malachi 3:1-4
Song: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

December 6 Bethlehem Candle
Scripture: Micah 5:2
Song: O Little Town of Bethlehem

December 13 Shepherd Candle
Scripture: Luke 2:8-20
Song: While Shepherd's Watched Their Flocks By Night

December 20 Angel Candle
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25 & Luke 1:28-38
Song: Angels, We Have Heard on High

December 24 (Christmas Eve) Christ Candle
Scripture: Luke 2:1-38
Song: Silent Night & O Come All Ye Faithful

All readings to be determined later...


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