Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Book Review - Switch On Your Brain by Dr Caroline Leaf

Publisher's Blurb: You are not a victim of your biology!

The vast majority of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses.

Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives you a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns. She exposes the "switch" in your brain that will enable you to live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life where you achieve your goals, get your thought life under control, and even become more intelligent. And her 21-Day Brain Detox Plan guides you step-by-step through the process of replacing toxic thoughts with healthy ones.

Ready to reap the benefits of a detoxed thought life? Read on . . .

My Review: What to say about this book? How about, I was extremely disappointed in this book. It is not at all what I was expecting. How the author considers herself a scientist is beyond me. She states that is science is not backed up with scripture, she does not believe it. She is doing her clients a great disservice. I do not recommend this book at all - it is simply Christian fundamentalism disguised as a self-help book.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book Review - Fired Up by Mary Connealy

Publisher's blurb: When a doctor who attracts danger falls for a cook determined to make it on her own, there's going to be trouble in Texas!

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to make a go of it on her own. In a town full of men, Glynna decides she can support her two children by opening a diner--never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent.

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment--which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Though his doctoring business is booming due to Glynna's questionable cooking, Dare seems to encounter unexpected dangers wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And the fire. And then the shadowy figure with a knife. Can Dare survive it all long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

My Review:  This is the 2nd in the series- I really enjoyed  both books. Genuine & likable characters, fast-paced story line, great book overall.  I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book Review - Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman

Publisher's blurb: A Touching Story of Two Unlikely Friends.
The Power of Trust.
The Struggle of Pain.
And How, Sometimes, Following God Can Lead You to the Most Unexpected Places.

A talented runner determined to make the Olympics, Sabrina Rice had her dreams shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she's forged a new vision for her future that has nothing to do with running, which she's buried deep, intent on forgetting...

Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world class potential, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a troublemaking teen. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina realizes she's Brandy's best hope to salvage a life about to spiral out of control forever.

My Review: I liked this book. I found Sabrina a little secretive about her illness, which I found odd. The characters were engaging & likable. Quick flowing story line. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book Review - Orchard of Hope by Ann H. Garbhart

Publisher's Blurb: The smoldering embers of unrest are stirring--and even Jocie's sweet spirit can't put them out.

It's already been an eventful summer for Jocie Brooke. Little does she know, things have only just begun to heat up. Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill and it seems as if everyone is waiting--for rain, for a fresh start, for the next step toward the future.

Into this tense haze of anticipation comes a new family, aiming to make a better life for themselves by planting an orchard on the outskirts of town. Fresh off the freedom train, Alex and Myra Hearndon are sensitive to what the color of their skin may mean in the segregated South. And even though Jocie quickly befriends the family, suspicion from both sides of the racial divide proves a formidable obstacle. Can Jocie help bridge the gap? Or will life in her quiet community fall apart at the seams?

Bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you back to Hollyhill for a gripping tale of unexpected friendship, forgiveness, and the bright promise of a new beginning.

My Review: I loved this book. I really enjoyed the 1st book and this one was just as good if not better. Engaging characters and ever changing story lines make for a great read - I would definitely recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Another "where the heck have I been" type post

I know if has been ages since I have posted anything other than a book review. Life has been busy to say the least.

Currently, my mother in-law is living with us because of some health concerns & because she has early stage Alzheimer's and needs daily care. This has not been an easy thing for me to adjust to. My mother in-law & I never much liked each other to begin with and now I am with her 24/7 in a care giver role that I am really not cut out for. We are managing ok I guess. We are both somewhat stressed. She is overwhelmed with all the new things happening to her & doesn't remember most of what she is told about these new ailments. I am doing my best to be patient with her, and most days that works. Although I could really use a break.

She is going home to her daughter's house for the holidays while her daughter is off work to care for her, so I will get a bit of a break. But then she will be back here indefinitely until her other health concerns are worked out.

I haven't been looking for work as I really need to be home with her right now, so applying for anything would not be a good idea - she cannot be left alone for long.

I have had 3 craft shows this fall/winter. I did progressively better at each one. The last one with the Durham Region Community Crafters Guild was the best - I will be sure to enroll in their next sale. I like that it is all hand crafted items and no "gift" type booths such as Scentsy, Tupperware or Pampered Chef.

Otherwise, we are all doing well. Christmas has snuck up on me & I haven't even started shopping, not that I have many people to buy for.

Here are a couple pics from my most recent craft show.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Book Review - A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson

Publisher's blurb: Rachel Milligan never imagined that she and her seven-year-old niece would spend the week before Christmas on a quaint Amish farm in Ohio. But with so many unexpected occurrences of late, perhaps she shouldn't have been surprised.

With her young niece Holly in tow, Rachel anxiously makes her way from Chicago to Ohio's Amish country. As love begins to blossom, family secrets emerge, and old wounds are healed, Rachel realizes that she will do whatever it takes to ensure that Holly has the loving family she needs.

My Review: I found this book interesting & frustrating at the same time. Learning how other people live is always interesting, and adjusting to different lifestyles can be challenging. I liked the characters in this book. I did feel Rachel was a bit too much of a pushover and could have been more assertive. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book review - Christmas at Harmony Hill by Ann H. Gabhart

Publisher's blurb: A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas

It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?

As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.

My Review: For the most part, I enjoyed this book. I found the characters both likable & believable. However, I must say, I don't think I much care for the Shaker lifestyle. It was a good book overall, and I would recommend it to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Book Review - A Untamed Heart by Lauraine Snelling

Publisher's blurb: The Long-Awaited Prequel to the Red River of the North Series 

Twenty-year-old Ingeborg Strand is certain she is destined to be an old maid. It's not that she's lacked suitors, but now she no longer can have the one she loved.

With the future looking bleak, her mother suggests that she leave Norway and start afresh in America, as so many others have done before her. But how will she accomplish that with little money and no one to accompany her?

Roald Bjorklund is a widower who has been planning to go to America, lured by the promise of free land. He's a good man, a hard-working man--with a young son who desperately needs a mother. Ingeborg can tell Roald is interested in her, but what about love? This isn't how she's always imagined it.

Ingeborg Strand has a heartrending decision to make...

My review: I didn't really care for this book, Perhaps if I had read the previous book in this series, I would have liked it better, but as it was, I found it disjointed and pointless. The endless details of preparations to travel up the mountain, the endless details of life once they are there, was boring and redundant. The summary of this book is very misleading. The mention of Roald has you expecting him in the book, he only shows up in the last few pages. The entire summary is incorrect, it deals with the last chapter of the book only. I am going to assume this book is good if you read the previous books. I would not recommend it for anyone who has not.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book review - A Bride For Keeps by Melissa Jagears

Publisher's blurb: Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He's already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn't in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn't given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she'll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she's experienced there.

Although Everett doesn't see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she's more than just a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other in long enough to fall in love?

My review: I really enjoyed this book - it was very funny in parts, that I found myself laughing out loud :) This book shows how a simple lack of communication can cause complete chaos. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Latest Secret Project Reveal!

I had hoped to have this ready for the beginning of October, but real life got in the way :) - better late than never I guess

I came up with this idea a few months back, started working on it a couple months ago & then let it sit for several weeks while my creative mojo wasn't flowing.

I now have it finished! It is..... insert drum roll...

The Christmas Fireplace Card & Address Book Holder (kinda long huh?)
(building pattern for sale below if interested)

The top of the chimney flips open to hold your address book or list of people you regularly send Christmas cards to. The mantle opens to hold your handmade or store bought cards & envelopes. You can also store a pen and stamps in there for convenience.

I created the brick by cutting a brick stencil (I know I could have bought one, but I didn't think I had time, nor that I would use it again) out of thick acrylic packaging. I used tile grout (that I had) with white glue added and paint added to get the correct colour. I then applied it through the stencil. I like the way it turned out.

The front of the fireplace mantle is made from wood trim cut to fit, and then painted to look aged.

I do have the complete pattern (how to make the fireplace & address book) for sale in my Etsy store for those that are interested in making one. NOTE: The pattern does NOT include decoration instructions.

Of course you could decorate it and complete it any way you would like - I do not provide decorating instructions in the pattern. You could simply use really nice patterned paper as well.

Thanks all for looking :)

Monday, 30 September 2013

Book review - Trapped by Irene Hannon

Publisher's Blurb: A runaway teen, a desperate sister, and an intrepid PI determined to discover the truth

When Laura Griffith's sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned private investigator James Devlin to help. Dev knows time is of the essence with runaways--just forty-eight hours can mean the difference between recovery and ruin.

But the deeper he and Laura dig, the more Dev begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl's disappearance. And in the icy winter weather, the trail is going cold . . .

In her latest thrilling read, queen of romantic suspense Irene Hannon outdoes herself with a fast-paced tale of fear, deception, and just the right dose of romance.

My review: When I read the summary of this book, I thought I would really like it - it read like an episode of Criminal Minds, which I love. However, I didn't find the book as good as the summary. I never connected with the characters, they seemed too flat and emotionless to me. I found the story overly predictable and at some parts, unlikely. I would not recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book review - Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

Publisher's blurb: She's dedicated her life to ending violence. But has she moved too deep into a treacherous world?

When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common--a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. As they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities--and their hearts.

My review: I wasn't all that fond of this book. I found the female lead very unsure of herself and openly so. I didn't connect with the characters - they didn't have substance. The plot was good but I found the story lacking. The story overall was forgettable. Would not recommend it to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Sunday, 15 September 2013

New Stuff for Craft Shows

I am hoping to do at least two craft shows this fall, one in November & one in December.
So I have been busy making things to sell - here are some of those things.

Altered shabby chic wooden boxes

Large Mini album

Small 4x4 mini album

 4x6 mini album

6x6 mini album

3x3 mini albums

3x3 accordion mini album

I put photos in this one as a sample so people know 
what to do with them - they are adhered with temp glue

One night J came and cuddled Peanut in her bed, then he fell asleep, 
hubs came and took Peanut to bed with him, leaving J asleep in Peanut's bed :P

Peanut in her usual comfy position :)

Thanks for looking :)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Day in The Life of Me

So I finally decided to get my hair cut yesterday. I was long overdue for a cut as it had been at least a year since my last cut. I tried a new place just around the corner from home.

When I called to ask about prices, the person answering the phone didn't know the answer and just yelled it out to someone in the salon. I was told it cost $25-30 for a wash, cut & style for long hair. That should have been my first clue, as that is pretty low. But I needed it done and really didn't want to pay a lot anyhow.

So I show up there yesterday and there is only one other client there. I get my hair washed with slightly too cool water. She never asked if the temp was ok or not as most stylists do.  Then, they have no capes, they are all in the dryer, remember, there is only one other client there. So they give me an ill fitting robe, I am a large woman, so this thing didn't close int he front, so I got covered in hair.

Also, most stylists will ask how you want your hair cut while it is still dry, this one didn't. I told her I wanted it cut shoulder length, and the sides layers to brush back. I also said I wanted it long enough to still put into a ponytail. As soon as she cut the sides, I could see she had cut off too much - not much point of mentioning it then, the deed was done. I guess she didn't consider hair shrinks up as it dries.

So she cut the length & texturized all the ends - but never put any layers into my hair. I ended up with a bob at about chin level - I hate it!

They charged me $28.50 for it. The only good news is that there is much less to colour.

During my time there, the owner was working on the other client. Another client came in to ask a question about eyebrow threading. The owner just said, "I'm busy & I don't work tomorrow, call some other time."
Really? How unprofessional? How about setting up an appointment for another day she is in? That is what the receptionist, who was just sitting around should be doing.

So now I am hoping my hair grows quickly & I'll have to find a different salon in the next year.

I called hubs who was on vacation that day, to come and meet me for lunch at the pub next door.
I had finally got back to eating lowcarb the previous day. So I figured a grilled chicken breast on a greek salad would be safe. Wrong, after I poured the small container of dressing over my salad, I tasted a drop from the lid - it was SWEET! I had given up sugar! Now the whole salad tasted bad & I knew it would mess with my progress. I put some vinegar on it to try to cut the sweetness some.

Yesterday just was not my day *sigh*

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Back to school time YES!

1st day of grade 11 for my kiddo. Ain't he cute? :)

And they gave him homework, so right off the bat we are arguing to get it done! It is gonna be a long year!

Not a lot else happening at the moment. No job prospects. I submit to at least one job per week, but hear nothing from them.

I have signed up for one craft sale in Dec and will possible sign up for another two, one in early Nov & the late Nov.

So I have been busy making stuff for the sale(s). I think I also have to order some plastic bags, so that I am not putting sold stuff into recycled Walmart or Shoppers bags, which kinda looks tacky. They don't cost too much on Etsy for a 50 count. I am also thinking to order a banner for the front of my table that says Kim's Creations. Again, not expensive via VistaPrint, about $10 I think. I have been making my own business cards, so that is covered.

I have posted a couple items on my Etsy store LaLaLaLovelies and hope to post more after the sales, whatever doesn't sell I guess.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How to Make Your Garden into a Play Space for Your Child

There are multiple uses you can find for your garden if you use your imagination. It is an empty space that could suit a whole range of purposes depending on your needs and your possibilities. If you have children, it can be transformed into the perfect play space for them. If you do it right, you even get a place where you can host all of their birthdays from now on and we can help by giving you a few helpful ideas.

1. Pick the Right Furniture

Whatever kind of furniture you choose, remember that it is intended for kids.

This should mean two things:
1. It shouldn’t be very expensive since it is likely to get damaged and 2. It shouldn’t be too big, either. Neither point should be too much of a problem as you can find small, but durable garden furniture designed especially for kids. Don’t forget a few umbrellas to shield them from the sun.

2. Add Things to Climb

Kids have a lot of energy so your garden needs to have stuff that puts the energy to good use. Climbing frames are a good choice, as would be a slide. You do have to remember that kids will also climb the stuff they are not supposed to like a gazebo or trees so don’t be surprised when you’ll need to buy a replacement gazebo canopy because the old one was damaged.

3. Inflatable Pool
One great way to have fun on a hot summer day is with an inflatable pool. It is easy to set up and you won’t have anything to clean up afterwards and the kids can lounge around in it all day.

When you are in the need for new items for your garden, visit Yes Com USA and you will find a wide range of products to suit your needs.