Monday, April 13, 2015

What Makes Us Sisters {Deseret Book Review}

"Sisters take care of each other, watch out for each other, comfort each other, and are there for each other through thick and thin," observes Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president. 
In this delightful and inspiring book, Sister Oscarson encourages all women to look beyond differences in age, culture, and circumstance in order to better nurture and serve one another. She explains that all women—young or old, married or single, working in an office or running a home—have unique talents and gifts to share. Focusing on the boundless blessings that Latter-day Saint women enjoy, Sister Oscarson urges women throughout the Church to live and inspire others in ways that realize their greatest potential.

Sister Bonnie Oscarson has been one of my favorite conference speakers.  She is always so insightful and has such loving, kind advice for women.  In this little book, What Makes Us Sisters, Sister Oscarson asks all women to look carefully at one another and recognize that, while we are not all the same, we are all sisters in Christ and we all have great potential.  It is filled with inspirational pictures, some of which would make awesome "memes!"

I love these "gift sized" books (measuring 6.5" by 6.5").  They perfect for giving in a welcome basket, a special friend who needs to be uplifted, or mothers day!

You can buy a copy at as a hardcover for (currently) $14.99!

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions here are my very own!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Heart Revealed {Deseret Book Review}

Amber Marie Sterlington, the Rage of the Season in Regency-era London, has her pick of men, and she knows what she wants most in a husband: a title and a fortune. Why would she ever marry for something as fickle as love? And why would she ever look twice at Thomas Richards, a third son of a country lord?  But when Amber's social standing is threatened, the character of her future husband becomes far more important than his position. After a public humiliation, she find herself exiled to Yorkshire. alone except for her maid, Amber is faced with a future she never expected in a circumstance far below what she has known all her life. Humbled and lonely, Amber begins to wonder if isolation is for the best. Who could ever love her now?
Ok, I shout for joy every time a new book comes out in this favored Proper Romance series!  I have LOVED every single one I've read and I'm always ecstatic when I get to review another one.  This book, written by popular author Josi S. Kilpatrick is called A Heart Revealed and it features Amber Sterlington, belle of the season.  Amber is beautiful and could have her pick of men and she is out to get just the right husband.  She wants one with a title and a fortune.  Love?  Nonsense.  But, as we read in the teaser her "social standing is threatened" when something dreadful begins to happen to her.  I am NOT going to tell you what it is because it would really spoil the book for you.  She is forced into exile and realizes that love was NOT nonsense and she should've grabbed for it while she had the chance.  Doomed to a life of exile she is surprised by the attention of Thomas Richards and wonders if maybe, just maybe, she might not be forced to live a life of loneliness after all.

It is good.   It is really good.  Every Proper Romance I read just gets better and better.  This "dreadful thing" is unlike anything I've ever, ever, ever read in a historical romance before.  You know another thing I like about this book?  It's tasteful.  Proper Romances always are.

So, I think you will enjoy A Heart Revealed and you can buy it at as a paperback or a Deseret Bookshelf ebook.

Disclaimer:  I received an advanced reader copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you so much Deseret Book!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Real Moms {Deseret Book Review}

I didn’t have gold shoes, and I didn’t have time to go shopping, but I thought I could just spray-paint some heels I owned that I never really wore. I spray-painted them and tried them out for three hours at church where they held up perfectly. I felt pretty good about myself. “Suckers who buy gold shoes when they could just spray-paint them,” I thought, congratulating myself for my frugality and my foresight for testing them out. 
As moms, we improvise. We get along. We make things work. And we make a lot of things up as we go along because, let’s face it, no manual is ever going to cover all the bases a real mom needs to touch. But if laughter and perspective and a renewed energy to face the day are what you’re after—if you too are a “real mom”—this is the book for you!
I am a real mom.  How about you?  While I've never gone so far as to spray paint myself a pair of gold shoes I have gone so far as to make things work with household items like tape and safety pins.  Some thing have worked out and some, well, not so much.  But isn't that what motherhood is all about?  Making things up as we go.  There is not one single right way to do everything and sometimes we just have to improvise, substitute or DIY.

In this book Real Moms: Making it Up as We Go, Lisa Valentine Clark (remember her?  from Pretty Darn Funny?), shares the ups and down of being the Mom.  Complete with rants and "side rants." Lisa offers the reader a humorous and insightful look at Mommyhood.  I found myself laughing along with her foibles and nodding my head yes emphatically over the things NOT to say!  She is a real mom and she helped me discover that I am a real Mom too and that that is a great thing.

Real Moms retails at as a paperbackbookshelf eBook and an audio book!  Don't forget that Deseret Bookshelf app is free and can be downloaded to Android and iPad devices!

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thank you Deseret Book!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

#Amazed By Grace {Deseret Book Review}

What is grace? What difference can grace make in our lives? How does the Savior make His power available to us? And what must we do to gain access to that power?
In Amazed by Grace, Sheri Dew discusses each of those important questions, exploring a topic that she describes as being central to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. "The most compelling, most life-changing message of all time," she writes, "is that Jesus Christ has already triumphed over sin, death, hell, temptation, and every kind of misery."

I have always loved Sheri Dew.  When I joined the church she was a counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency.  She is just so "real" that I felt like she was one person that I could really relate to.  She has never married and I appreciate her optimism and enthusiasm for life even through the trial of being single (when church expectations are otherwise).  I wish that I had been able to face the future with such bravery and faith when we were going through the trial of being childless (also something the church expects otherwise).

I have read (I think) every book Sheri Dew has published.  She is an insightful woman.  This book, Amazed by Grace, was another winner.  She discusses Grace, what it is, and the idea of it being "after we have done everything we can do."  I was blown away by the end of the first chapter when I realized that I had been defining "grace" wrong and I actually had no idea what it was or what it was all about.  It was an easy read.  Sister Dew has a special knack for making complex topics understandable for those that read them.  Sister Dew's unique style of writing is very conversational.  I would sure love to meet her in person one day!

This book is small, perfect for gifting.  (Mothers day is right around the corner!). You can purchase it as a Bookshelf eBook or as a hardcover.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions here are my own.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The First Easter Ever {BookLook Review}

It's not very often I run across a really great kids book that focuses on the events leading up to Easter. The first Easter is often viewed as a tragic time but in reality it is a joyous occasion.  Jesus did what God had asked him to do, to provide a sacrifice for sin and demonstrate Gods love for us by offering his only Son.  This kids book is perfect for reflecting on the joy that is Easter.  Starting with Jesus' ministry we see John the Baptist, his selection of disciples, and his preaching to the people.  We do see Jesus upon the cross but it is tastefully done for small children. 

I have enjoyed every book we own that is illustrated by Dennis Jones.  So well done!  This book is also an awesome little paperback (not a board book).  My 5 year old has happily toted this book around the house.  Check out The First Easter Ever.  It will be a nice addition to your library.  :)

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I review for BookLook Bloggers

Monday, March 16, 2015

To My Friends {Deseret Book Review}

"If you need a burden lifted, I want you to imagine I am in a personal, private, closed-door chat with you. I want to help you if I can." With those words, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland invites every reader of his latest book to become a friend, to receive instruction and encouragement, counsel and comfort.

I love Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  Ok, I admit, I love all the apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  :)  It seems to me that whenever an apostle opens his mouth you can just feel the love and concern for us pouring out.  This new book by Elder Holland is a compilation of past talks with beautifully designed quotations pages on a rich background of color.  It's true that I have heard many of these talks before but they are still wonderful to have in a nice hardbound volume.  His words of comfort and messages of counsel are timeless. 

In this book, Elder Holland addresses these powerful messages "to my friends who love the Lord," "to my friends who want to change," "to my friends who face opposition," and more. Throughout, Elder Holland's powerful witness of the Savior shines through, for, as he writes, "I am grateful for the greatest friend any of us could ever have, in time or eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ."
I enjoyed reading through these messages.  Some I was hearing for the 2nd time but some I was hearing for the 1st time.  (I'm a convert!)  As, I was reading, I was sure wishing I had the ability to frame the beautiful artwork and hang it in my house!  This book would make a lovely gift for a dear friend or family member (think, Mothers/Fathers day is right around the corner!)

To My Friends retails at as both a Booshelf eBook and a very lovely hardcover.

Disclaimer:  I received To My Friends free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you Deseret Book for the opportunity!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Orscheln Chick Days

It's always great to find something to do that is educational, free and fun!  This morning we headed to Orschelns Farm and Home store to check out all the baby chicks at their annual Chick Days!  The employees there are so patient and sweet with the girls and they were able to pick up the chicks and hold them.  I believe this is going on all month so check it out!  Kayley, my nature girl, LOVED it...and Maggie, my girl who likes all things soft and cuddly, was in Heaven. 

A baby turkey...

Those are "fryers."  
Kayley was horrified when she realized that meant they were to eat!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Homeschool Science - the Mentos Fountain!

We have had a lot of fun using Dr. Jay Wile's Science in the Beginning.  I have never had a chance to do this experiment before so it was all new for everyone when we did the Mentos Fountain!
Kayley wore my apron to protect her clothes in case it rained Diet Coke on her, but she dropped the majority of the Mentos on the ground and so the spewing of Diet Coke was slightly anti-climactic, but still FUN!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Silence by Deborah Lytton {Deseret Book Review}

STELLA was born to sing. Someday Broadway. But everything changed when a tragic accident renders her deaf; she cannot hear, much less sing. Trapped in a strange new world of total silence, she must face not only the loss of her friends, her hopes, and her voice but also the loss of her identity and her life's purpose. Who is she is she's not a singer?
HAYDEN is a quiet loner, an outcast, and the only person Stella can communicate with; his profound stutter makes him speak so slowly, she is able to easily read his lips. As they find new ways to communicate despite their disabilities, their friendship grows into an unexpected—but welcome—romance. But is it a romance that can last if Stella regains her hearing and resumes her former life?
Sophomore, Stella Layne has been a quiet, shy presence her whole life.  She has always known she could sing but it was a talent that she hadn't shared much, until this year when she auditions for the school play and shocks everyone with her amazing voice.  Cast as Maria in West Side Story she goes from a virtual unknown to a most popular girl overnight.  It is during rehearsals that she meets a Hayden.  Hayden is an amazing piano player, he's handsome, and he stutters.  While others make fun of Hayden, Stella finds something in his eyes that make her want to get to know him better.
The night before the opening of West Side Story, Stella falls into a pool and hits her head during a cast party.  The next morning she discovers that her world has become silent.  Afraid and anxious Stella tries to slip into a depression but Hayden refuses to let her.  He takes her on a journey, showing Stella that a "new normal" is ok.   And that deaf or hearing, she too will be ok.  
This book was a great, clean read.  I needed a tissue by page 62!  You will cry with sadness and triumph.   Hayden is just so sweet and wonderful with Stella and I really appreciated Stella's maturity in handling this change in circumstances   She is brave and doesn't blame others or lash out.  I think you will enjoy this lovely read by Deborah Lytton!  It would be a very sweet romance for teens!  (and those are hard to find!)
Silence retails at Deseret Book as a hardcover and Deseret Bookshelf eBook!  

Disclaimer:  I received Silence free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you!

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Quick Take On Our Week...

The last week has been interesting.  We had snow, it melted, we had a LOT more snow and now it's melting.  The girls have had a great time just playing and playing in the snow.  I enjoy winter.  A lot.  I haven't enjoyed getting out and driving in it, but I think snow is so pretty...and I don't like being hot.  Cold suits me so much more. 

Our neighbor has a tractor and he comes through and plows our circle drive for us.  We convinced him to push all the snow to the same spot and make the girls a hill that they could sled down.  It worked like a charm!

We cuddled up and watched movies.  In fact, we introduced the kids to Star Wars!  They loved it!

Several weeks ago in homeschool we started studying about countries and cultures.  This week we studied about Mexico.  It has been fun.  We've done some art projects, read several books, learned about Cinco de Mayo and Dias de los Muertos.  We watched the movie The Book of the Dead (which was a pretty cute).  And ate Taco Bell.  (hahaha- We have promised some more authentic Mexican food this weekend).

We have also really enjoyed our science program by Jay Wile called Science in the Beginning.  It is so hands-on that you can't help but learn something new every time.  

Kayley has become quite a helper and she wants to cook.  
Here she is browning some ground beef.  

Oh, I almost forgot.  The girls won some incentive coupons for getting all their chores done.  Kayley choose "be a teacher for the day."  As teacher she opted for a day of "online learning."  

Maggie chose "Pajama Day."  So, it worked out great that both girls basically lazed around in their PJ's and played on electronics all day.  Thank goodness they only earn those incentives once in a while or we'd never get anything done!  ;)

Did I mention that they are good helpers?  
Here they are unloading and reloading the dishwasher!

Oh!  How cool is this?  Peace Hill Press (the publisher of Susan Wise Bauers curriculum) had a quick contest on FB asking for people to run outside and show something that had to do with anything from Story of the World.  If you were one of the first 3 to reply you won a free book!  Yeah!  We are very competitive like that.  We rushed out, dressed up Kayleys snowman as Cleopatra, hurried to submit and won a free copy of First Language Lessons Vol 4!!

Anyway, thats our week in review!  Thanks for stopping by!
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