Blogging Break

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 9, 2014

Here we are at the end of August. These next few weeks are going to be PACKED, so I've decided that it is time for me to put up my "I'll be back" sign.

I don't have any posts that are 100% ready to be scheduled and I am absolutely out of time. It'll be quiet around here these next few weeks! 

Enjoy the last bits of your summer! Take some time to rest up, enjoy time with the ones you love, and soak in the warmth from the sun of summer. Start thinking about ways that you can transition into fall. I've got my list of resolves started and I've got my work cut out for me.

I'll be checking my e-mail so feel free to e-mail me anytime:  I'd love to hear from you!

Otherwise, I'll see you all soon!!!


I've been in contact with the winner of the Tropical Traditions Moisturizing Cream Giveaway! I always like it when hosts let EVERYONE know who the winner is, so I'll make the announcement now.

Congratulations, Gayle S., you are the WINNER!!!!

Podcast Time

Monday, August 18, 2014

I got onto the podcast train as soon as it started. With all of the iTunes changes and the invention of Pandora and Netflix and Amazon Prime, I got off. Sometimes, I miss them. About once a year I ask my friends on Facebook about their favorite podcasts. I download a few and then give up all over again.

Last month I was on the hunt for some good podcasts to keep my company when the house is quiet. I came across THIS post about podcasts that Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy put up earlier this year. I read through the comments and ended up with a new list of podcasts to listen to.

So far, the keepers are:

Books on The Nighstand. I like podcasts that feel like chatting with friends. This is that. The hosts chat about books that they've read, hope to read, or are reading. They take calls from listeners and sometimes include chats with guests. I'm looking forward to learning about new authors.

America's Test Kitchen. I love all things kitchen related. This show is both entertaining and educational. I'll take all of the tips I can get!

The Briefing with Al Mohler. (My Mom gets credit for making me aware of this one!) I don't know how he does it, but Mohler goes through the highlights of what's going on in the world. He states facts and addresses current situations from a Biblical Worldview. I heard "the rest of the story" about the Ebola outbreak in one episode and started to worry...Well, he quickly helped his listeners to see that God is bigger than any epidemic and that every epidemic serves as a reminder of our eager longing for Jesus Christ's return. This show is the perfect balance of news and truth!

BBC's The History Hour.  As they state in their description, you can expect to find "history as told by the people who were there." I love history and I love hearing about it through the eyes of people who experienced it. I am really excited to hear about all kinds of things through the stories these people have to tell!

What are your favorite podcasts? 

What do you look for in a podcast? 

Back Burner Mystery

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back in May, I reviewed a copy of the second book in the Drew Farthering series for Bethany House. When they offered me a copy of the third book, I was pretty excited to continue the story!
Julianna Deering's newest release, "Murder at the Mikado" seemed like the perfect August read.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into this one. The back and forth between Drew and his fiance was just too much for me. He was sneaky. She didn't like it. They worked it out. But then they realized that they really hadn't. The mystery seemed to take a back burner, which was disappointing to me. 

There were about 150 pages that were SOLID and had me ALMOST changing my mind about this book. I was eager to figure out which clues were meant to lead me astray. Those pages had me content to keep reading so that I could get to the bottom of exactly WHO was behind the crimes taking place.  

No sooner did I really get into it that the mood changed and it was right back to the on again off again relationships between certain characters.

Deering is so capable of putting together a good story. I'm just not in it for the human interactions and cliche dilemmas that they may face.  

While I couldn't get into this book, you might just love it! If you are interested, you may pick up a copy HERE

* I was provided a review copy of this book by Bethany House. All thoughts are my honest opinion.

How to Stop Wasting Your Life

Friday, August 15, 2014

Yesterday at Desiring God, Marshall Segal put up a great post that I just had to share with you here. You can view the content of the original post HERE. Feel free to click around Desiring God - you will find TONS of food for you soul!

Just in case you aren't in the mood to click over to Desiring God right now, I thought I'd share this video from the post right here:

Living an unwasted life has been a passion of mine ever since I read Piper's book (Don't Waste Your Life) when I was 15. Nearly ten years later, I need all the encouragement that I can get.

Wasting our lives, that is, spending it on ourselves and our glory, is way too easy. The wasted life is one that comes to us naturally.

There is a different life. A better life. A life that leaves us more satisfied and promises eternal joy. That life is the unwasted life, namely, the life lived in the pursuit of God for the glory of God. This life will look like so many things and it will change as the seasons of our life and responsibilities change, but the God centeredness of it never changes.

You've probably highlighted verses like Proverbs 3:5-6. They've probably meant a lot to you. When we take a minute to really think about how these verses can impact our daily life, they came come to mean even more.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Trust God.

Resolve to NOT be self reliant.

Keep turning to God. 

Don't waste your life. You'll be so glad you didn't!

Time to READ

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Whenever I travel, I always bring paper and a few books. I almost never use either. On my vacation last month, I learned that  vacations are for a lot of things and reading is not one of them. I also learned that the day after vacation seems to be about nothing other than reading.

While on vacation I did spend spare minutes getting a good start on F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Last Tycoon". I love Fitzgerald. I've been saving this last (and unfinished) novel of his for "the perfect time". This summer just felt like time.

The day after vacation I was not quite ready to be done with Fitzgerald, so I decided to move onto the next book on my reading list. That's when, an hour later, I realized that I wouldn't be putting down "Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library" until it was finished.

I did take a few breaks (to eat and go to the store and things like that)...but I basically spent all of Saturday making my way through the book. My brother and sister are now eager to read this random book that I read because I found it on goodreads. My Mom already devoured the book and has spread the word to our local library where we hope to host an event featuring the game that goes with it.

"Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" is Willy Wonka meets The Westing Game meets something else that I just can't quite put my finger on. I was hooked because of the pure genius of Mr. Lemoncello and an eagerness to figure out the puzzles before the kids in the story.

Grabenstein loves books and games and works them into this novel. I was pleased to see some of my favorite novels showing up! There were also plenty that I've never read, so I'll be looking into them before too long.

If you're looking for a quick read that will get you thinking and take you back to your favorite books that you read growing up, you'll find it in "Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library" for sure!

My Mom started that book on that Sunday morning, so I grabbed Fitzgerald and joined her on the patio for a bit. We read until it got too hot and then started planning a bit of geocaching. After we got back much later that night, I settled in with Fitzgerald and stopped with 10 pages left.

That's the kind of reader I REALLY am. I hate for a good story to end, even when I have a whole stack of books to dig into next.

What CAN'T Fitzgerald write? This one is written from the perspective of a young woman and it captures that dilemma that is life in Holywood. He always weaves in vague references to romance that I wish he would have avoided. However, he handles setting with perfection and the human mind in a way that is almost spooky. Every book convinces me that Fitzgerald GOT people. Was it living when he did? Was it living with the problems that he did? Whatever it was, he's brilliant.

So...Make time to read! I can't help but believe that you'll be glad you did!

PS - You have until 11:59pm on Monday to enter to win my latest  giveaway!!!! Click HERE.

Books mentioned in this post were:

Sights to See

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Last Friday I SHARED the pictures of US on our vacation. Now it's time for the pictures of the "stuff" I saw on that same trip. Aside from a few restaurant reviews that will be sprinkled throughout the fall, this will be the last post specifically dedicated to our trip. :) Enjoy!