Sunday, November 27, 2011


Gorgeous things to make with love

by Ros Badger & Elspeth Thompson

Lots of things to make with stuff you probably already have. Everything from sewing, gardening, and painting to crochet, baking and crafts made from natural materials and more. Unfortunately, I didn't find this book terribly inspiring; the only thing I wanted to try making were the cushion covers made from old wool blankets or sweaters.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Photo Card

Modern Christmas Christmas
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

one thousand gifts

by Ann Voskamp

A dare to live fully right where you are 

Tragedy early in Ann's life and later in her extended family made her anxious and fearful, but one day a friend dared her to write down a thousand things that she loved and that began a tremendous change in Ann's world. She realized that giving thanks is the key to joy and that there is always something to give thanks for.

This is a lovely book and its lessons are true and powerful. I found the style very poetic; this was difficult for me and it took me longer than usual to get through the book. I found she took a lot of words to get her point across and actually seemed to be making the same point several times. Recommended if you like poetic writing and are having a problem with control or fear of the future. Remember, "all really is outrageous grace."

Visit the author's blog at

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Encounter

Sometimes, God has to intervene 

by Stephen Arterburn

Jonathan Rush was abandoned as a child in Alaska and later adopted by a family in Miami. As an adult, he realizes that he is angry at his birth mother and that his anger is ruining his life. His pastor pressures him to return to Fairbanks, Alaska and find out as much about her as he can. With the help of a reporter who befriends him, Jonathan finds more than he had bargained for and has to make difficult choices. There is a section at the end of the book explaining the author's inspiration and reasons for writing the book and also a study guide.

The Encounter is a short but interesting book. The theme of forgiveness, its necessity and difficulty, comes through quite well. The cover says, "sometimes, God has to intervene," but I'm not sure what the intervention was in the story; it didn't seem like anything unexpected happened. And there was a scene where Jonathan was rude to someone and the reporter took him up on it, but it was never resolved or even talked about again. I thought that was rather a loose thread. While this book might be helpful to people struggling with difficult situations, the author seems to expect more results than I would. So all in all, I would consider this a nice story but not really life-changing.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Organized Simplicity

The clutter-free approach to intentional living 

by Tsh Oxenreider

Part 1 helps clarify what is important and meaningful in life and why living simply is better in every way. Part 2 is a plan for arranging your home to fulfill that vision. It lays out a 10-day full house cleaning and organizing overhaul and includes recipes for cleaners and toiletries.

I think this is a beautiful book. The author has obviously spent time thinking about what is of real value and turning her desires into reality. She presents the information in a clear, easy-to-follow manner. I agree with her values and want to put some of these plans into practice.

The author has a lovely blog at You can also read more about her at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 love, honor, and vacuum

by sheila wray gregoire

When you feel more like a maid than a wife and mother

How to reduce stress and bring your housework, relationships, finances and more under control. Sheila shares insights that will help your entire household function better.

I found this book interesting and practical; you can use the information right away. There are even helpful organizational charts in the book that you can use. It's all presented from a Christian perspective and there is even an appendix especially for homeschoolers.

Visit the author's website at