Thursday, January 31, 2013

LDS Living Greatest Songs of All Time {Deseret Book Review}


LDS Living Presents: The Greatest LDS Songs of All Time features song selections from the results of a survey of the most popular LDS songs ever released. This collection spotlights LDS musicians, artists, and songwriters whose popularity and resonance with audiences can be remembered by the powerful songs they’ve written and performed.

 You may recognize several of your favorite songs on this CD!  It includes:
  • A Child's Prayer (featuring Allyse Smith) - Janice Kapp Perry
  • His Hands - Kenneth Cope
  • I Heard Him Come(featuring Alex Boye) - Jeff Goodrich
  • You're Not Alone(featuring John Canaan) - Michael McLean
  • He Hears Me - Hilary Weeks
  • Consider the Lilies - Roger Hoffman
  • Line Upon Line - from Saturday's Warrior
  • I was Not His Father, He Was Mine - from The Forgotten Carols
  • No Ordinary Man(featuring Jenny Jordan Frogley) - Janice Kapp Perry
  • A Window to His Love - Julie De Azevedo
  • Angel Lullaby - from My Turn on Earth
  • The Greatest Gift - Afterglow
  • The Olive Tree - Felicia Sorensen
  • I Never Stand Alone - from From Cumorah's Hill
  • It Passes All My Understanding - Cherie Call
Thanks to Deseret Book I had a chance to listen to this great CD!
The CD is fabulous with only one little disappointment....many of the arrangements are not the original.  Still good, but just not quite the same.

You can purchase the CD through Deseret Book for $16.19 and you can also listen to music samples.  Each song is also available as a digital download, $11.98 for the entire album, or .99 cents each.

I was interested to receive for review not only the CD in the mail, but the copy of the LDS Living magazine that showcases all of these songs all the way up to the Top 100 Greatest LDS Songs of all time!   LDS Living magazine has been around for several years now and is a great resource for everything to church news, marriage, parenting, food storage, financial advice, missionary, lifestyle, sports and music!  The magazine issue for Jan/Feb has a great article on each of the songs.

Interviews with Janice Kapp Perry, Kenneth Cope, Jeff Goodrich, Michael McLean, Hilary Weeks, Roger Hoffman, and many more give you insight into the the writer/singer/songwriter and history of your favorite songs!  It was really an interesting read!

One of my personal favorites, A Child's Prayer by Janice Kapp Perry has been named one of the top 3 LDS Songs of all time...

Fun isn't it?  You can read the entire list of 100 songs here

If you would like to receive a copy of LDS Living you can order this issue from Deseret Book.  (while supplies last)!


Or, you can subscribe to LDS Living Magazine (we do and we love it!). 
Pricing is as follows:
1-year (limited time): $14.00
2-year (limited time): $24.00
3-year (limited time): $34.00
4-year (limited time): $44.00
5-year (limited time): $54.00


Disclaimer:  A hearty THANKS to Deseret Book and LDS Living Magazine for giving the the opportunity to review the CD and Magazine!!!  I was given the materials free of charge in exchange for an honest review...I didn't have to write a positive review but I LOVE it, so I did!!  ;)  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

eMeals - Making dinnertime easy!

A long time ago... back in 2011 I had the opportunity through the Schoolhouse Review crew to review a great online meal planning program called e-mealz.  I received, free of charge, several months worth of menu planning downloads complete with a handy-dandy shopping list.  I cooked a lot of the meals, took several pictures and offered my thoughts on its yumminess.

EMEALS EASY AND DELICIOUS DINNER RECIPES

Well, believe it or not, once my free plan expired, I bought another year...and I am now starting my 3rd year of using this program!  Now, eMeals (formerly e-mealz) has made a ton of additions to their program since 2011 and I thought maybe I'd share some of the goodness with you!


How does it work?
First of all, with eMeals you pick your food plan.  Plans are based on several different factors including family size, what you like to eat, and dietary needs.  Can you believe there are 10 different food plans?  Choose from:  Clean eating, Paleo, Low Carb, Portion Control, Simple Gourmet, Classic, Low Fat, Natural & Organic, Gluten Free, and Vegetarian!  They also have lunch and breakfast plans too!

Next choose your family size and your shopping preferences (like Walmart, Aldi, Whole Foods, etc).

Next, you print out your recipes and organized shopping list and get to it!  eMeals organizes your recipes for you based on what is in season and what is on sale.

eMeals doesn't only help you save time in the kitchen, saves fat/calories, but it saves you money.  It does!  It has significantly reduced dinner stress in my home and made shopping a snap.


How much does it cost?
eMeals dinner plans are $21.00 for a 3 month plan, $35.00 for 6 months, or $58.00 for a whole year!  (This great value ends up being only $5.00 per month -- so worth it!)  Lunch plans are $4 per month, breakfast plans are $3.

We have taken on the challenge of trimming our budget this year.  Are you wanting to get your family on a budget this year too? Use this simple budget form to get the process started. Fail to plan, plan to fail! 

This is a great time of year to jump in and try eMeals when you use the discount code newyear to save 15% off your eMeals subscription!


eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

I have been enjoying my eMeals membership and I think you will too!  I loved it so much that I have joined the eMeals blogger and affiliate program and I look forward to bringing you news and deals from eMeals throughout the year!  Thanks you for using my affiliate links! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

aaannndd....here's a big update!

It seems that I always have a million things that I want to blog about and I keep procrastinating.  So then, of course, when I finally think to myself "I'm going to blog something!"  I feel suddenly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of unblogged life!  I want to put a family update out there so my blog doesn't become overwhelmed with product reviews (Thank you DeseretBook!) and too-late birthdays or trips.  Here, to wreak havoc, is a hodgepodge of "what we've been up to" updates rolled into one post. 

Maggie:
Well, as you know Maggie turned 3.  She got a trim last week but she is very intent on letting her hair grow as long as Rapaunzel's.  I've mentioned in the past that she has been in and out of the Dr's office, going so far as traveling more than once to St. Louis to visit a rhuematologist.  She was diagnosed with PFAPA (frequent fever syndrome with unknown cause).  They have treated her twice now with prednisone and we have seen a marked decrease in her fevers?  Not what I expected based on all the research I did on the internet.  Very strange but we are very glad!  We had been seriously considering a low inflammatory diet -- I shudder to imagine how challenging it would be to lose gluten but if the fevers had persisted I would've tried anything.  As it it now, we have only had 2 fevers since September...normally Maggie had episodes on a predictable 24 day cycle.

She loves going to Classical Conversations where her teacher "Miss Marie" is wonderful!  We were so excited to discover that Marie was also LDS (I believe we are the only 2 families in the program). 
Homeschooling with Maggie has been a real treat.  She LOVES to do "the big red barn" activities where we identify numbers, letters, shapes, colors, the day of the week and the weather.  She is learning how to cut with scissors, make a gluey mess, and trace.  She is a whiz with puzzles now and I have a hard time staying on top of her insatiable desire to solve them -- she grows bored pretty quickly!  Smartie pants!

We've been diligent in doing chore packs over the last several weeks and we have added Maggie into the fun.  She tidy's her bed, feeds the kitties, helps unload the dishwasher, gets clothes out of the dryer and dusts!  I know, you want her at your house don't you?  ;)

Kayley:
Aaaahhh, my sweet girl who plays like a boy.  At 6 and 1/2 Kayley has gotten pretty hyper-active.  We chalked it up to "just being a kid."  Albeit a wild, boisterous, crazy kid.  I know her hyperactivity frustrates her sometimes as well.  It unfortunately has often caused her to get in a little bit of trouble in the classroom at CC.  While I think many parents or teachers would be quick to label her ADHD I have decided to forgo any "professional" assessments.  I am not fond of labeling children in general and I firmly believe that children are what they learn and what they eat!  With that being said we have been focusing a LOT on training and diet. 

For training we've been using 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan.  Honestly, I cannot say enough about this method.  It works.  I was torn between Love & Logic and 1-2-3 Magic and I must admit the video support made this program so easy to understand and use.  It is a system of time-outs and rewards.  It is effective it involves no yelling, no hitting, no crying (or at least Mom doesn't cry) and no confusion on what the expectations are.  It works for both girls and they will tell you that, while they don't love going to time-out, they are glad for a system that doesn't involve yelling.  (Did I just admit that I yell?  Sorry!). 

For diet I have been doing a lot reading about the Feingold diet.  Feingold is basically an elimination diet.  The same thing you would do for allergies.  With Feingold you remove all food dyes/artificial colors, artificial flavors and unnatural preservatives.  We haven't done anything dramatic yet, I'm sure there would be a revolt.  Mostly I've been observing how certain foods cause Kayley (and Maggie) to behave.  Thankfully while Kayley can get pretty boisterous she is NOT a danger to herself or others and is not generally (certainly not abnormally) impulsive for her age.  But, seriously, cutting out the junk is not a bad thing is it?  Considering most anything that a body wants to eat can be either, made from scratch, or bought without all the chemicals in it.
So, a little more about Kayley.  She is somewhere around the 2nd grade.  LOL.  Isn't that the nice thing about homeschooling?  She reads on a 3rd grade level (at least) and is in 2nd grade math.  She has a love/hate relationship with Classical Conversations.  In fact last week she told me she did not want to go back next year but in the next breath told me she wished we could go every day...go figure.

James:
Who?  Just kidding.  James keeps busy working.  He will be taking over another clinic later this year and we are really grateful.  Of course, this clinic is about 30 minutes from here so eventually we will be looking to move.  Which means...that we will be trying to sell our house.  The upside is that he can commute 30 minutes while we wait to sell so we will not be separated nor will we need to go ahead and move with our house sitting empty waiting to be sold!  Whew!

Me:
I'm pretty excited that I have been invited to review for Homeschool Mosaics.  I spent the last 2 years reviewing for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and it just got to be too much.  I loved the time I spent as a reviewer but the behind-the-scenes just got to be too stressful for me.  I've had a nice break and I hope it'll be fun to review products again.  Not that I haven't stayed really busy with my reviews for Propeller and DeseretBook!  I receive a LOT of review products from DB I'm so blessed!!

We have set a goal this year to live a more frugal lifestyle.  Of course we are only in the 1st month but I'm sure that by February everybody is going to be sick of me saying, "hey!  that's not in our budget!"  LOL.  I have enjoyed the challenge a lot.   We have also set another goal of decluttering.  Whew, those that know us (well) know that we are hoarders.  Ok, ok, not really, but we have accumulated a lot of stuff.  My plan is to cut our household down by 1/3 or more before we get ready to move.  I don't ever want a house this big again (unless I have a maid!) so I know we need to streamline our stuff and make-ready to move into something smaller in the future.

With our new budget and our new dietary ideas I have been doing a whole lot more cooking at home.  I am far from domestic so all this cooking has stretched my imagination somewhat.  On the up side I have yet to make anything, in MY opinion, that was too gross.  Now if you ask Kayley...or Maggie (she gagged on lentils and barfed on her plate)...well, they may not agree with me.  Hahaha!

These are cilantro-lime tacos that were AWESOME!  Really!

So, there you have it, the big, bad, update!    
Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cleaning House - Book Review



One day while Kay was driving her kids to school her oldest son (then age 15) remarked that when he got his drivers license he planned on getting a sweet Ferrari.  After Kay finished choking on her own saliva, she came to the very real conclusion that her children were crippled by youth entitlement.  Her son was pretty clueless about how possessions were given and acquired --other than the obvious:  Mom and Dad.  Kids generally assume that parents provide, on demand, not only the necessities but the wants and desires of a kids life.   While this is true, Kay realized that it should only be true to a point.  It was after this smack in the face that Kay decided to make a change in her household and rid her home of youth entitlement.

Embarking on a 12 Month Experiment Kay, began cleaning house.   To do this she had to change her expectations and require her kids to step up and help around the house.  Teaching her children how to do chores and then standing back and expecting them to work was the first thing she tackled.  Kay also realized that her kids were intimidated by trying new things because it was easier as the Mom to step in and do it or them, or to shuffle the kids off because that chore might be too difficult.  To combat this Kay had to critically examine her own behavior and override her habits and actually allow her kids to try -- and sometimes fail. Ultimately over 12 months she taught her kids 12 lessons ranging anywhere from cooking dinner to getting a job (obviously for her older child).   Sometimes they complained...sometimes they were excited.  Eventually all her children learned how important it is to pitch in and help around the house.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Not all of it applied to me because my kids are still really young but the idea that kids today are all confused by this sense of entitlement was really eye-opening.  This book isn't so much a self-help book that teaches you how to teach your kids to do chores, more so it is a book that touches your heart and helps you, as a parent, want to train your child to be service minded and have an attitude of gratitude for what they have.  Wonderful read!  Loved it!

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to love it even though I totally did!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The 5 Money Personalities {Giveaway!}



Do you and your spouse agree financially?  Do you find yourselves fighting over money more than you would like?  It doesn't matter if you are newly-weds or "oldly-weds," decisions made about money affects your relationship.  It is especially frustrating when the husband-wife team do not see eye-to-eye on expenditures leading to ugly arguments that drive a wedge in your marriage.  We know that money/financial issues is the #1 cause of divorce in the US so learning how to get along financially is essential.

In the book The 5 Money Personalities by Scott & Bethany Palmer (aka The Money Couple) we learn how to speak the same love and money language as our spouse.  Challenging you to start with a 90 Day program the Palmer's first ask for your commitment (and even sign your name to it).  They want you to be 100% committed to making your financial relationship a priority by learning how to respect the wants/needs of each other and understand & respect your differences.

Then the Palmers introduce you to the 5 Money Personalities.  Saver, Spender, Risk-taker, Security Seeker and Flyer.  I bet you can already figure out where you fit...and probably your spouse too!   Breaking down the 5 personalities we are introduced to their strengths and weaknesses eventually learning how they can work together to reach common ground.

I enjoyed reading through this book, in fact, it came at a great time for us.  In the new year my husband and I were already struggling to find common ground on what was most important, where our money was going, where it should be going, etc.  This book is so much more than a "financial book."  It is truly a relationship and marriage book that helps you reclaim your marriage and eliminate the battles over money.

Since I have read this book I have scoured the money couples website for further information.  You can find their webpage and other helpful links below:


{The Giveaway}
How about you?  Are you ready to get a handle on your financial future and stop fighting with your spouse about money?  I am super excited that I can giveaway a copy of this book to one of my readers!!   Enter below using rafflecopter.  Giveaway ends Friday, January 25th at midnight.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Scott and Bethany Palmer are regulars on national TV and radio and speak internationally about "love and money."  With 38 years of combined financial planning experience, they launched "The Money Couple: and have dedicated their lives to helping couples brig their love and money together with the 5 Money Personalities.  Scott and Bethany enjoy an active lifestyle in Colorado with their two young sons, Cole and Cade.


Disclaimer: 
“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Maggie's Birthday...3 Years Old!

It is hard to believe that our sweet, adorable Maggie is already 3!  She is rambunctious yet cuddly, fun and serious, all rolled into one little pack of dynamite.  For her birthday she wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese and were were happy to oblige!

 

 

She wanted a strawberry birthday cake with strawberry frosting with sprinkles...
 

She got several gifts and cards!
 
 

It was a fabulous day.  It will be exciting to watch Maggie continue to grow and change...  She has changed so much over the last year it is unbelievable...  Maybe this will jog your memory?

1 week old...

1 year old...

2 years old...

3 years old...

We LOVE you Maggie!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Home in Drayton Valley - Book Review



A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Tarsie Raines is anxious to escape the deplorable conditions of living in the poor slums of New York City.  The year is 1880 and the promise of a new life in Kansas has Tarsie yearning for a better life.  Her best friend Mary, along with Mary's husband Joss and their 2 sweet children decide to make the trip together.  Tarsie and Joss are unaware of Mary's ulterior motive and when tradgedy strikes, Mary and Joss are thrown together by circumstance.  As they run out of money and jobs are hard to find, Tarsie finds comfort in caring for her beloved friends children and merely tolerating Joss as he grieves and turns to drink.  

Questioning God's will for their future, either together or apart, the couple are unsure whether they should go their separate ways or make a home together in Drayton Valley.

This was a great read by Kim Vogel Sawyer that, at times, had me so annoyed with Joss and then with Tarsie and then with Joss again!  Both are blinded by circumstances and crippled by their inability to communicate through their grief.  

I will be looking for more books by Sawyer!  Happy Reading!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from Bethany House free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  I was NOT required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed in here are my very own.

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