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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday #2

This week I'm thankful for full time missionaries (young adult men and women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints called to officially share the gospel around the world at their own expense for 1.5 - 2yrs).  We had a couple of them over for lunch this week and this time it was a little different.  Usually, we have a meal, have a get to know each other conversation, and then they offer a brief scriptural message.  This set of Elder missionaries went beyond (the turnover of different missionaries over time is moderately high so we get to meet a lot of new ones).  We talked extensively about scripture and I was given "study homework" ... they wrote down questions and provided scripture chapters where I would find the answers.  They also gave me a harvest blessing and because I was at a spiritual struggle, they gave me a personal blessing as well.

I didn't really know what a harvest blessing was ..or better yet, I now know the terminology of such a blessing.  We all knelt in prayer, one of the missionaries offered the prayer for my home and those in it for what we stood in need.  It was like what I pictured of olden biblical times where called men of God would go to proselyte, be invited to a home, and he'd leave the home giving a blessing.  That was what happened and wow, I felt wonderful!  Then I got even more emotional and they asked if I would like a special blessing, just for me.  Hey, I could use all the blessings I can get so I said yes.  There they laid their hands upon my head and offered me a very personal invocation for divine care.  Sacred moment.  My heart was full.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WINNERS! ..and Sale Info

Rafflecopter has spoken.  Congratulations Bina E., Beverly A., and Heather S.!  You entered the author sponsored giveaway HERE and won "The Grimm Diaries Prequels vol. 1-10".  I sent your contact information to the author.  He should be contacting you shortly.

Didn't win?  Well, the very generous author is holding a sale of those bundles again!  For today and tomorrow they are each 99 cents (click on the titles below).  Awesome blossom!! (I don't know why the prices don't show up, I click on "Show All Prices" but still don't show up ..they're 99 cents, honest.)

Come back Friday for another giveaway ..this time, sponsored by me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: The ABC's of Freezer Cooking by K.M. Logan

The ABC's of Freezer Cooking by K.M. Logan, NF, 2012, 53p, Rating=3
Source: own

As easy as ABC, this book is written with the inexperienced, beginner cook in mind. It is not primarily a cook book, but an introduction to freezer cooking.

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to have an extra hour in the evening to yourself and not have to worry about the dreaded question, "Hey Mom, what's for dinner?" then freezer cooking just might be for you.

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to have an extra hour in the evening to yourself and not have to worry about the dreaded question, "Hey Mom, what's for dinner?" then freezer cooking just might be for you. The "ABC'S of Freezer Cooking" covers all the basics to teach you how and how not to prepare freezer meals for your family. From cooking all your meals for a month in just one day, or preparing just a few extra meals for when you're family is particularly busy, this book is full of helpful tips and tricks to help you make it happen.

Included is how to write a meal plan, money saving strategies, 15 basic recipes, and there is even a section on how to utilize freezer cooking as a weight loss tool. If you're looking for a quick read, and an introduction into the world of make-ahead meals then this book is the perfect place to get started. Written with the beginning freezer cook in mind. (Amazon)

This was a quick overview of the author's world in freezer cooking written in ABC chapter format ...A is for Arrange time now to save time later, B is for Baked goods, etc.  Ms Logan used her experience with freezer cooking and spoke of the benefits it holds and encouraged the reader to try it out.  She shared tips that has worked for her. 

The art of freezer cooking is no rocket science so much of what she stated were common sense.  For example, I couldn't wait to get to the letter W for Weight Loss to see what she wrote there.  There she had a two paragraph, one page entry that basically said to package meals in controlled portions ..label packages with calorie count if desired.  Not exactly what I was looking for in that section but this isn't a diet book so shame on me!  This is a book about how freezer cooking can save you time in the kitchen cooking.  So the key that came across was preparation, preparation, preparation ... prepare ahead of time meals that can easily be put together in a snap. 

I don't foresee myself cooking a month's worth of meals like this author does but doubling what I cook and freezing half is doable.  I've done it a few times and this book did inspire me to try it out more often.

At the end, the author imparted ten best tips.  Tip #5 I've put into practice (tweaked for non-freezer meals) and have worked for me beautifully so this book gets a half a star rating up for the idea,  "Keep a meal plan on your fridge of meals you have in your freezer and your lightning fast meal choices.  I don't assign days on my meal plans, I just cross the meals off as we eat them."  See, I'm awful at meal planning.  The most I prepare my meals is see what I have in my freezer for meat the night before, defrost it that night in the fridge, then the next day I hope that there's something in my pantry that would accessorize it!  So this tip is for me!  I now generate a list of generic meals steak, spaghetti, sandwich, etc and cross the meals as we eat them instead of assigning specific daily meals.  Of course, this means I keep up a well stocked pantry.

Oh by the way, this book did include some recipes under Y, Yummy Recipes.  I haven't tried any of it and honestly it doesn't look like something my family eats often so that section isn't for me. ;)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Loot Giddy

My book loot last week.  Free when I purchased them.. may not be free now.

Kindle Ebook Freebies:

*Fields of Elysium FREE on Smashwords until 1/31/13, use code: XX99X


How about you?  Get anything exciting?  Leave me a link and I'll swing by.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday #1

This is a wonderful opportunity to take a moment to ponder and document what I'm grateful for so I'm taking the time and plan to do so each week.

This week I'm thankful for a supportive husband, particularly in regards to helping me with our children. He does a lot of the behind the scene work that I think I get credit for. See, I take my children everywhere church related (and not) and often without my husband. Either because he's at work or it's not his thing (he's not LDS). Hence, I get many warm comments of praise for handling my children by myself.  Yes, I do handle them by myself there but before getting there is key.  Without my husband's support, both physically getting them ready and moral support, it would be much harder to manage my little ones.  My husband's fantastic!

How about you?  What are you grateful for?  Hard to narrow down, huh?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Release and Giveaway: The Grimm Diaries Prequels Bundle #2

Holy guacamole, author Cameron Jace has a fabulous deal going on!!! To celebrate the release of The Grimm Diaries Prequels Bundle #2, which consists of volumes 7-10, he is presenting both bundles at a sale price of 99¢ each until 1/26/13.  That's 10 novellas for $1.98!!  I grabbed my copies already and plan to purchase a couple more for friends.

That's not all!  Just for my readers, he is offering a giveaway of the complete prequels to 3 of you!!  That's right, 3 of my readers will win both bundles!  How cool is that?  Freezing fantastic, that's how cool!!  Thanks Mr. Jace! ~To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  All he requests is that you follow his Facebook Page (full terms and conditions on form).

Make me look good and enter (maybe he'll come back and offer you, my readers, a giveaway of his future books)! ;)

Kindle Ebooks:
Get this for 99¢ HERE
Volume 1- 6: Snow White Blood Red; Ashes to Ashes & Cinder to Cinder; Beauty Never Dies; Ladle Rat Rotten Hut; Mary Mary Quite Contrary; Blood Apples
See my review HERE

Get this for 99¢ HERE
Volume 7- 10: Once Beauty Twice Beast; Moon & Madly; Rumpelstein; Jawigi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Make It Happen by Kylee Shields

Welcome to my stop in this blog tour hosted by The Book Bug.  Thank you Lexie for inviting me and a big thank you to author, Kylee Shields, for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Don't forget to swing by the Tour Page for other fun stops in this tour. Ms Shields is also giving 4 generous Giveaways for this tour, $25 Amazon gift card, $25 Target gift card, and a hardcopy and an ebook copy of the book, so be sure to enter that below!

My Review

Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles by Kylee Shields, NF, 2012, ebook, 136p, Rating=4
Source: provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Purchase:  Deseret Book | Amazon

Title: Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles
Author: Kylee Shields
Release Date: October 2012
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Genre: LDS Self Help

Book Description:
Do you know what it means to be a kigatsuku person? Are you currently in a “hurricane” relationship or a “bridge” relationship? Do you know what it takes to be “righteous in the dark”? Have you struggled to find your place in the world as an LDS single? Do you feel like a misfit or a menace—like a circle trying to fit into a square?
If so, you’re not alone. It used to be an anomaly to be twenty-one and single in the LDS culture, but now there are entire stakes filled with single adults. In this book, author Kylee Shields explains how you can make the most of your single life, even if your current situation isn’t what you expected.
Make It Happen is a collection of principles, blog entries, stories, and conversations had on couches, floors, kitchen tables, and at many single-adult gatherings. It is filled with practical ways to make changes in your life, find hope, increase faith, strengthen relationships, and build the kingdom.

When I was invited to be part of this book tour, I jumped at the chance!  I have a few friends in the single boat and wanted to know what this book had to say about the topic hopes to find something to tell said friends.  I got in the tour, I read the book, and what can I tell my friends?  I don't think much that haven't crossed their minds already, but now just has terms/structure formed by the author ...and that's big!  Ms. Shields had thoughts outlined well, had inspiring quotes and principles, and the "Action Questions" after each chapter served to put some reflective pondering.   All good to get an LDS (Latter-Day Saint, aka Mormon) single motivated to enjoy the now instead of what he thinks should be.

I'm no stranger to the LDS single scene.  I didn't get married until I was thirty-two, so I experienced the longing and heartache for a married-family life.  Hence, I was able to relate to this book.  Ms. Shields was pretty candid about her experiences and that's where the book took an autobiographical feel.  It's a turn-off when there's a look at me/look what I have accomplished force to a read.  So there were points in the read where it seemed to wonder off the main topic yet where she went was so inspiring that it didn't matter and it tied in afterall.  It didn't come off as a look at me/look what I have accomplished obligation but rather sincere imparting of helpful ideas.  Then it was the ending that just brought it to a home run. 

Although this book is geared to LDS singles, the principles and planning guidelines would certainly benefit anyone wanting direction to living happy in the present and knowing the future is for the making.

About Author

Find Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

“My name is Kylee and I am passionate about life. I am the oldest of 8 children and have the most amazing parents ever. I have one adorable niece and one adorable & squishy nephew. I grew up in Oregon, moved my senior year of high school to Utah, then moved to San Diego, Boston, and currently live in Arizona.
I went to BYU and got my BA in English (creative writing/Editing) and a minor in Linguistics. I love words and writing! There is something very powerful in putting words together and expressing human emotions. I love poetry, reading great novels, blogging, etc. I have an old typewriter I adore and like to type out letters now and again and seal them with wax. I am an author and avid reader. I love learning new words and can trace that back to my mom who has the most amazing vocabulary.
I also attended ASU and got my Masters in Social Work (emphasis in child & family therapy). I have always been drawn to the "punk kids" and absolutely love my job. I work as a Shadow (family therapist) at The Anasazi Foundation. I get to do therapy with amazing adolescents out in the deserts of Arizona. My office is on the trail and I get to throw rocks, hear hearts, and get to know some incredible kids from all over. Not bad for a day job!
When I am not with my family, hanging out with my friends, or working I absolutely love to travel. I have been to Egypt, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and almost all 50 of the states. I love music--singing, writing songs, playing the piano, and listening to other musicians. I co founded a Musical Fireside group that is in the process of becoming a non-profit. I have loved watching INSPIRE: music. service.hope grow and touch the hearts of those who hear us sing.
I am a huge Avengers fan (Captain America), I like straws, bridges, swinging on swings, and trains.
I love God and try to recognize His presence in my life. For Him I am indebted for my many blessings and tender mercies. All that I have and am is because of Him.

Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Know Me Better #11

Join the fun and link up @I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This week's questions:

10 words that describe yourself?
Sensitive, forgetful, kind, grateful, nervous, worrier, friendly, quiet, eclectic, private

Favorite TV Shows?
Dancing with the Stars; Monk; Today Show (one with Matt, Savannah, etc., not the one with Hoda & Kathy Lee!!)

If you could take over the world, would you?
No, too much work!

Who was the first boy you kissed?
My first boyfriend, Don.  I was 21.

How do you unwind?
If my husband's around, I'd pounce on him ..otherwise, I'd read or watch a TV movie. ;)

Would like to get to know you too!  Please feel free to give your answers in the comments or provide me a link to your post ..I’ll be sure to stop by. :)

Book Loot Giddy

A very giddy this edition of BLG today!  Two weeks worth of book loot.  I went shopping and got great deals!  I also got a book in the mail that I won!  And of course, downloaded some Kindle ebook freebies. ;)

New, purchased from Albertson's ..yes, Albertson's the grocery store!

New, purchased from Amazon

2nd hand, purchased from Friends of the Library

2nd hand, purchased from Friends of the Library

Open Fire: J. Golden Kimball Takes on the South

For Review (ebook):
Faithful, Fit & Fabulous: Get Back to Basics and Transform Your Life--in Just 8 Weeks!

Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles

Kindle Ebook Freebies:
50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age: New Financial Threats You Need to Know and How to Avoid Them, 2/E

A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation, #1)

Always the Last to Know (Always The Bridesmaid)

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Beauty and the Beast (Faerie Tale Collection, #1)

Caarina the Cooking Fairy

Chocolate Chocolate Moons

In Search of a Love Story (Love Story, #1)

Ready or Not

Sleeping Beauty (Faerie Tale Collection, #2)

Slow Burn (The Fitzgerald Family, #1)

Speed Training for Martial Arts: How to Maximize Speed for Competition and Self-Defense

Stained (Stained, #1)

How about you?  Get anything exciting in the mail or purchased?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Freebie Alert: Jenni James and Sandra D. Bricker

Thanks Melanie for the heads up on these two ebooks!!

Get it HERE

Get it HERE

Oh, "Always the Designer, Never the Bride" by Sandra D. Bricker is also free today!  That's a savings of $14.99!!  Get it HERE.

Always the Designer, Never ...

Happy reading everyone!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: Escucha Means Listen by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

Welcome to my stop in this blog tour hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer.  A big thank you to author, Talia Aikens-Nuñez , for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Don't forget to swing by the Tour Page for other fun stops in this tour. Ms Aikens-Nuñez is also giving a generous Giveaway for this tour, $25 Amazon GC or Paypal, so be sure to enter that at the tour page!

My Review

Escucha Means Listen by Talia Aikens-Nuñez, YR, 2012, picture book in ebook, 22p, Rating=3
Source: provided by author in exchange for my honest review

From the mowing of the lawn to the splish-splashing of rain puddles, Talia Aikens-Nuñez’s bilingual picture book Escucha Means Listen introduces toddlers and babies to the sweet sounds around them.

Take a journey through the world—just listening. Escucha Means Listen helps children discover sounds around them in English and Spanish.

Here is a book that provided introduction to few simple Spanish words translated to English.  As a picture book, it was geared to be read to young children to learn particular words through a theme ...What do you hear? (see excerpt below).  Having such a theme made this book move smoothly.  Also, the illustrations were exceptionally appealing and easy on the eyes (kudos to illustrator, Dina Ashraf Hemi!). 

I did have a couple of qualms.  One was the answer to what was making the "Vrrr! Vrrr!" sound ..not quite accurate!  And two, there seems to be an assumption that the reader can pronounce the Spanish words correctly.  Thus, a pronunciation key would have been great to include in the book. 

Overall, a darling bilingual picture book. 

Buzz. Buzz. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)
Las abejas (The bees) circling the flowers.

Woosh. Woosh. What do you hear?
El viento (The wind) is whistling by.

Shh. Shh. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)
Las hojas (The leaves) are dancing on the trees.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brief Reviews: I'll Follow the Moon; Baby Lit Primers -Pride & Prejudice, Romeo & Juliet

NO!, it's not working now ... I'm still unable to upload images.  These just happen to be on my draft pile.

I'll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara, YR, 2005, Kindle ebook, 48p, Rating=4
Source: own

Cute, rhythmic, and soothing.  The beautiful illustrations enhanced this book.  A wonderful tale about the caring nature of mothers.  A definite great freebie find!

Pride and Prejudice: A Baby Lit Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver, YR, board book, 22p, Rating=5
Source: won

This came just after Christmas so the kids and I were in a jolly mood when we read this and put it to the "Twelve Days of Christmas" tune.

An elegant counting book with fabulous and charming regal illustrations.  This would make for a wonderful addition to your Austen book collection. 

Romeo and Juliet: A Baby Lit Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver, YR, 2011, board book, p, Rating=4
Source: won

Another book that the kids and I read to the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas" because we roll like that! 

If you're a Shakespeare/Romeo & Juliet fan then this would be a lovely counting book to share with your little one.

Side Note:  I personally like the Baby Lit book on Pride & Prejudice better elegant and regal.

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