Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Chocolate Diaries

The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life by Karen Scalf Linamen  was such an uplifting read!  This book explains stories from many women who strive to focus on the sweeter side of life rather than the rocky road that is often offered to us.  This book is a transparent window of how to see life with a "glass half full" mentality, while offering delicious and decadent chocolate recipes.

This book has combine two wonderful things: heart-felt stories and delicious chocolate recipes.  This is a wonderful book to read when you feel at your worst or are going through a difficult time.  The Chocolate Diaries made me laugh, cry and gain a pound or two!  By the way, the gaining was totally worth it!  This is a book you will never regret purchasing.

I received this book from the Waterbrook Multnomah Blogging for Books program for the purpose of reviewing it. All opinions were my own and not influenced by the publisher or author.

God's Promises for the American Patriot

God's Promises for the American Patriot by Dr. Richard G. Lee and Jack Countryman was a wonderful devotional.  This book connects Biblical teachings and verses with the history of the United States.  Be ready to discover how our Christian roots are overpoweringly apparent with many of our historical leaders and our founding fathers.  This book identifies how throughout history people have looked to God's Word for wisdom, strength and encouragement.

This book was very exciting to read because I love to learn history. The scriptures are very relevant to today's culture while helping one to achieve the wisdom that the founding father's of this nation so sought after.  This was a very encouraging book and I loved to learn even more about the story of America.  This would be great as a gift book as well!  Can you say Father's Day? 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Fight of Our Lives by William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn

The Fight of our Lives: Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth and Choosing to Win the War against Radical Islam by William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn was an eye opening book to read.  The authors explain terrorist attacks against the United States pre and post September 11, 2001.  They examine the devolution of how our government has handled these attacks in the last 20 plus years.  The authors take time to highlight how the government in the United States has adopted soft, apologetic political leadership and how they have allowed America to be in the pocket for radical Islamists.  Bennett and Leibsohn take time to point out the lack of ambition our leaders have had in addressing terrorism within our own borders.

This book was captivating right from the very beginning. The authors do a phenomenal job explaining terrorist events that led up to 9/11 and how poorly they were handled.  They explain that our Nation’s desire to be politically correct has hindered us from protecting our own citizens.  The Fight of our Lives does a wonderful job helping readers to focus on where we have been and where we need to be and it helps readers to realize the immense threat we are facing. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book Review: Life Without Limits


Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life by Nick Vujicic is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.  The book is written by an extraordinary man, who was born without any arms or legs.  In his book, Nick Vujicic explains the battles he has faced with his disabilities and the emotional struggles he has faced throughout the course of his life.  He explains how his faith in God changed his pain and humiliation into courage and strength. This book offers practical and inspiring advice on living a fulfilling life.  He explains how true happiness begins with finding the confidence to pursue life without limits.  This book encourages readers to focus on what can be controlled and accept what is out of one’s control. 

Life Without Limits made me reflect on problems in my own life and take a moment to understand how much more difficult life’s challenges must be for Nick.  He sees problems in a positive light always looking and expecting the best, maybe that is why he finds life so fulfilling.  Nick’s humor and emotion comes through with the turn of each page.    This book was a huge encouragement for me.  It was a great reminder for me that no matter what has happened in my life or my past God still has a purpose and plan for my life and for your life too.

I received this book for the purpose of review from Waterbrook Multnomah. The opinions are entirely my own.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meditating on this tonight...

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

Psalm 19:1-9

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review: God's Wisdom for Mother by Jack Countryman

This is a wonderful little gift book for anyone who is a mother or who wants to be.  This book is completely compiled of encouraging scriptures for mothers.  The scriptures are separated into sections like, God Encourages Each Mother to... or God Walks with Mothers. The book is small enough to read quickly or to read a small section each day.  God's Wisdom for Mothers would make a great little devotional.

I found this book to be very encouraging.  As a mother myself, I understand how Christian mothers often strive for a Godly perspective on parenting.  This book is just that, only there is no personal perspective by an author, just God's perspective provided in KJV scriptures.  This book gives you the opportunity to explore God's Word for each verse related to parenting without searching and searching. 

I would highly recommend this little gift book to anyone who is or will be a mother.  God's Wisdom for Mothers would be a great gift for mom on Mother's Day!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. My review is my opinion and not influenced by the publisher or company that sent me the book.

Oreo Truffles a.k.a. Dookie Balls

Oreo Truffles
adapted from Kraft Foods
I got this recipe from The Capitol Baker

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 package Oreo cookies*
16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate**

*You can use any type of Oreo cookies with this recipe- regular, chocolate, mint, or vanilla.  I used one package of vanilla and one package of mint.
**I coated the Vanilla Oreos with white chocolate and the Mint Oreos with semi-sweet chocolate.


Place the entire package of Oreos in a food processor or blender and pulse until crushed completely.  If you do not have a food processor or blender, you can also place the cookies in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies.

Pour the crushed cookies into a bowl and mix with the cream cheese until well blended.  You should start by using a spoon, but may need to use your hands to ensure the cream cheese is evenly distributed.  Place the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.

Shape the mixture into 48 (1 inch) balls and place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes.  While rolling, if you feel the mixture is becoming too soft, simply place the bowl in the fridge or freezer until the mixture becomes more firm. 

Shortly before removing the balls from the freezer, melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave.  If using the microwave, heat in 30 second intervals and stir in between.  Do this until the chocolate is completely melted.  Take the melted chocolate and set aside for 1 minute.  Now you can dip each ball into the melted chocolate and place on a wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  You should have leftover chocolate.  

Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 30-60 minutesShortly before removing the baking sheet from the fridge, take the remaining melted chocolate and if it has hardened you can place it in the microwave for 5-20 seconds.  Wait a few minutes for it to cool and then place in a ziploc bag and cut a small hole in one corner.  Remove the balls from the fridge and pipe the chocolate on top of each ball.
Refrigerate for about 15 minutes and then you're ready to serve!

 My family and friends love these truffles!  They are so easy to make and look beautiful.  The only downside, my two year old calls them "dookie balls". Ha!

My Little Chef

My oldest son, Jackson, has been enjoying kindergarten this year.  He loves his school and his friends.  Recently, he was awarded the opportunity to be the star of the week in his class.  The star of the week gets to be in charge of all the classroom tasks, like being the calendar leader.  This could not make Jackson any happier, there are three things in life that Jackson LOVES:  competition, being in charge and his friends.  So of course he would not turn down the opportunity to combine two of those, being in charge over his friends!

During Jackson's stint as star or the week, he was asked to be the chef of the week.  The chef of the week cooks something fun for their friends.  Jackson chose to cook green eggs and ham for his friends, since this was also the week he was celebrating Dr. Seuss.   Here are a few pictures of my little chef.