Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One Year Mini Devotional

I got this book early last week and I immediately started doing what I'm probably not supposed to do with this book- I sat down and read it in about 3 sittings. Granted I plan on going back through and actually following this book as a devotional, but at the time I just couldn't put it down.

For those who are new to my blog know that this spirituality thing is very new for me. It is an aspect of life that I haven't spent much time exploring, but now that I have some spare time to form ideas and opinions myself I've taken a great liking to exploring this aspect of life. While I will never disclose my exact beliefs, I think that is a personal matter, I will share my reviews and findings of books on the subject.

I came across this book from Tyndale Rewards, which is this awesome program where you can earn rewards for free books (click here for info). I picked it up because, well I'm busy and I'm a woman so this seemed like a good fit. 

Once I started reading a few of the devotionals I found that I really loved the author's style of writing. I love the little personal anecdotes she includes about her children and her garden and different aspects of her life. Her voice makes the book very conversational and it's almost as if you are sitting in a coffee shop with Jennifer King discussing the various nuggets of inspiration she includes in her book. For someone who is new to this world this book is very accessible for me and the topics bring up very good points to think about. 

I highly recommend checking out this book if you're looking for a generous dose of inspiration.

Leave me love & thoughts in the comments about your favorite daily devotional books!

Paint Me A Story

As far as I'm concerned there are only two ways of telling stories. It doesn't matter if the story is a piece of fiction, nonfiction, or commentary. A writer can either tell you a story or show you a story. Both ways can be effective. Both ways can tell equally compelling stories. However if an author chooses the wrong method of telling his or her story the piece will be nothing more than a flop.

I should have picked up by the title Ruby, a word that is also a color, that this story would be told in a very beautifully detailed and descriptive manner. 

I personally may be very far removed from the black experience in the south, in new york, and in the 1950's (all settings for the story), but when I read Ruby I was taken to a place where I felt a part of the story. I was an active viewer of Ephram and Ruby and their lives together and apart.

Throughout the story Bond relies on these descriptions through color "Lipstick red and think, her cornflower blue sundress," "holding each golden yolk in her pal as the white slid through her open fingers." These deep, meaningful descriptions take the reader inside the story to see the beautiful girl named Ruby, to smell the Catfish and the fresh out of the oven angel food cake. 

The story of Ruby is the kind of story that is shown. You learn about the plot and the characters through what Bond wants you to see while reading, not what she wants to tell you about the story. 

This type of story is the making of a true literary classic. This is the type of story that will be read for generations.

After finishing this book I had to do some research on the author and I was super excited to find out that this book is the first in a trilogy! I am excited to see how Cynthia Bond grows as a writer and to continue to follow Ruby's story in the future.

I was given this book curtsey of Blogging For Books. Thanks again guys for keeping my mind happy with another great read.

Has anyone else read the book Ruby? Let me know with your love and thoughts in the comment section below!

An Adorable Book For Some Serious Baking

I have been interested in learning how to bake my own bread for quite some time. As health and nutrition have become more important to me the concept of making my own food has become a very prominent hobby for me. However two things always stood in my way: 1) my intimidation of making something as seemingly difficult as bread and 2) finding a good, healthy, doable recipe. 

These things stood in my way until I met this book.

Just this month Erin McKenna, founder of BabyCakes NYC, released her third cookbook. This one focuses on making that light, fluffy, carboy stuff we all know and love. 

The cookbook not only has easy, doable recipes for various types of bread including: a sandwich bread, pumpernickel bread, and even a yummy cinnamon-raisin bread, but also she has recipes for croissants, crackers, pizza dough, and even pretzels.

The book is laid out in an easy to follow manner. While there are plenty of recipes to choose from, you won't get overwhelmed by too many recipes. The pictures making your baking easy to follow and give you a good idea as to what the end product should look like. 

McKenna even included a little Q&A section to the beginning of the book. If you're baking something and it just isn't turning out right the answer to your problems is probably right there in the beginning.

My own complaint with the book is that because it is a Gluten-Free baking book all of the recipes use different ingredients that I don't normally carry in my home kitchen. If you've ever shopped the gluten free or organic section of your local market you'll know that many of these ingredients often carry a nice sized price tag. I wasn't quite able to dig in to every recipe right away like I hoped, but I'm slowly adding a few of these ingredients to my pantry every couple of weeks. I think this is just going to have to be one of those time when patience will have to rule over my impulsiveness.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. If you are looking for some delicious recipes make sure to pick up a copy.

I was given a copy of this book courtesy of Blogging for Books. Thanks for keeping my mind happy with the new book!

Has anyone else read this book? What's your favorite recipe from it?

If you haven't read this book, what's your favorite bread recipe? 

Share your thoughts and love in the comments! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

No More Excuses For Me

I've read a lot of diet books. There is so much information out there about health, fitness, and well being that it can get pretty overwhelming to know what's what. For me personally I like taking bits and pieces from all over the place to create my own personalized plan for health success.

When I got the book the No More Excuses Diet I didn't have any background knowledge on Maria, but I turned to the author section of the book cover and I saw a picture of her planking with three young children on her back. I thought, Clearly this woman A- means business and B- knows what she's talking about. 

The book covers both the diet and exercise elements of a fitness journey. Maria breaks everything down into 3's. 
3 Days. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Months.

My favorite part about her approach is that she really focuses on the goal setting aspects of a health and fitness journey. A lot of books will lay out what you're supposed to do with plans that certainly work, but they forget the mental process of achieving health and fitness goals. They don't give you a plan for how to catch your head up with what you want your body to do. This is where Maria's approach is different. 

My other favorite part of this book is the section in the back of different strength training and stretching exercises along with the home workouts in chapter 6. She gives very doable, but effective workout routines that are perfect for someone who is looking to get themselves into fitness. At $26 for the book this is a much better deal for a busy person than any gym membership, session with a trainer, or a meeting with a nutritionist. 

I received my copy of this book courtesy of