Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Taste Of Home Cookbooks Review & Giveaway

A few weeks ago, Fred and I decided that we were going to start some meal planning. Our days would literally end with us asking each other what was for dinner around 4:30pm! That would mean we'd have to figure out what we wanted and then go shopping for it. Now we spend Sunday pulling out cookbooks to pour over and picking out 6-7 meals. When I was given the opportunity to review two Taste of Home cookbooks, I knew I was in!

The first cookbook, Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes has some amazing options! Here's the funny piece. We got the cookbooks two weekends ago, but we had already prepared our meal for the week and gotten the groceries. Then this week we only have one meal we're cooking at home when all of us are here. My hubby made dinner tonight, and by the time we had all finished eating, I asked him, "Was this a recipe from the cookbook that I didn't take a single photo for?" To which his reply was, "Yes?" GAH! So, my only photo is an after the meal was cooked. Let me say, it was delish! Even my youngest son ate his entire sandwich.

I went through and tabbed all of the recipes I want to start off trying! I've bought a ton of ingredients to make sure I'm prepared with the basics. One of the categories I want to try more of is homemade breads. Fred can try more of the entrees. I just picked out ones that looked like the whole family would enjoy.

In this cookbook, you find helps like "Fast Fix" which means the recipe can be made in 30 min or less and "5 Ingredients" which is a recipe that can be made with 5 ingredients or less (excluding water, salt, pepper, and oil). This winter I want to dig into the soups. One of the first ones on my list is the Cheesy Broccoli Soup In A Bread Bowl.

Next, and can you believe I get to try this one, is the Taste of Home 365 Days of Cookies! COOKIES! If I can do anything, I can do cookies. Ah, famous last words. I decided to get "healthy" with my first recipe. I was going to start with whole wheat flour and was told absolutely not. So I skipped that. Then I remembered I had almond flour and was told that was a "go" in place of the all purpose flour. Look at me go.

Well, I "went" until I only added TWO cups instead of 3. hahahahaha I had the runniest cookies I've ever seen. I got distracted while I was combining the ingredients and forgot the last cup. I can't even believe it. So, I finally got the third cup in and now they're coming out much better. No, I'm not showing you what the first round looked like. Sheesh. The rest turned out much, much better.

The beginning of the cookie book gives you some basic tips, which can definitely come in handy! Then there are 5 sections: Cozy Bites, Celebrate Spring, Summer Fun, Fall Flavors, and The Most Wonderful Time Of Year. Obviously the cookies can be cooked whenever your fancy strikes, but I like how they're broken up by season. You can also find national "Days" such as National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day on January 3rd with a cookie that's baked with that day in mind! And the pictures...get out! They're amazing as always.

Now you have the opportunity to win both of these cookbooks! Can you believe it?! So many recipes so little time.

Welcome to the Gobble Up Giveaways Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!

Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"Play Ball" with Chrysler & Sesame Street

I owned a Chrysler Town & Country Limited minivan for almost 11 years and loved, loved, loved it! It was a minivan ahead of it's time and came with all of the bells and whistles a mom could ask for! I still miss my minivan. I learned about Chrysler & "Sesame Street" working together to promote Canine Companions and was more than happy to share. I'm sure our dog Peru approves as well!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s important to remember the real reason for the season – giving back! Chrysler and “Sesame Street” have always promoted the essential values of acceptance, caring and sharing, and their latest video collaboration “Play Ball” is no different. In this installment, Abby and Elmo learn about Mork’s important work as a Canine Companions® service dog, which includes helping Wallis into an upfitted Chrysler Pacifica.

Chrysler is a proud sponsor of both “Sesame Street” and Canine Companions for Independence, both organizations doing good in their own way.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

World View By Marvin Olasky

World View
by Marvin Olasky
ISBN: 978945270833

I know I don't typically read non-fiction, but occasionally one gives me pause because of the topic and I give in to curiosity! That's what happened when I was given the opportunity to read World View thanks to Litfuse Publicity.


How could our world be different if Christians were recognized for not only speaking the truth, but also demonstrating mercy?
What would our lives be like if we reacted to our common culture with not just biblical facts, but also grace and compassion?
For more than 25 years, Marvin Olasky has offered this kind of viewpoint in his columns as the Editor-in-Chief of World Magazine, the leading news magazine written with a Christian perspective. In this collection of far-ranging columns, Olasky's commentary on world events and affairs, as well as his own personal interactions, encourages readers to respond with both grace and truth in every encounter.
A leading voice for standing for biblical truth in the public square, Olasky also believes Christians should incorporate the biblical virtues of humility, kindness, and mercy in all of life. His call for biblical values to include both truth and mercy makes his voice stand out in a world that often falsely divides those goals and settles for a poor imitation of the robust Christianity described in Scripture. These short and punchy columns offer readers a new way to consider challenges in today's world and shows them how to respond to any encounter biblically, but not hysterically, providing a wake-up call for the complacent, while also calming the frantic.
Olasky pin1

My Review:

As I read author, Marvin Olasky's book, I just found myself nodding my head over and over again! I think they picked the perfect first article to start the book off! I hadn't heard of Mr. Olasky before this book, and now I'm wanting to read more of his work.

There are a number of facets that I liked throughout the book. First I loved that scripture and Biblical example were intertwined with the state of our current world. Then I appreciated his way of calling us out as Christians. He will get you thinking, there's no doubt about it. It's also very interesting how he covers a number of years for different presidents.

Nothing seems to be off limits in this book. Everything seems to be fair game such as environmentalism, politics, race, apologetics, media, marriage, and so much more. Each topic is covered in just a couple of pages, easy to read, but it will take time to digest, at least for me it was. He had me thinking after most of the articles.

About the Author:

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of "World News Group," a distinguished chair in journalism and public policy at Patrick Henry College, and the author of more than twenty books, including "Compassionate Conservatism" and "The Tragedy of American Compassion." He and his wife, Susan, have four sons and five grandchildren.
Find out more about Marvin at

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

String Of The Art Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

Have you seen those really amazing string art projects people create? I see friends making them or buying them, and I always think I want to try my hand at that. The only issue for me was, where to start! I was able to partner with String of the Art on a review to learn how.

Whichever kit you choose from String of the Art shows up in a really cool box. It includes everything you need to do the entire project. One of the things I need to try and find is a smaller hammer than the regular one I used. hahahaha That thing was just unwieldy with this project. I also need to practice on making my nails straighter. I didn't do too shabby of a job though making sure they were all level.

I got all of the nails hammered in and then removed the paper. I kept the paper with me to kind of help me still "see" the snowman. Then I started with the most exciting part, the stringing. The directions are super easy to follow. I think at first I had a hard time really giving in to the "free hand" part of the stringing. You really just have to go for it and string till your heart's content.

What I really enjoyed about the String of the Art kit is anyone can do it. You don't have to be Miss Crafty to do this project! If you can follow the instructions, wrap string around a nail, you can totally do these. You can also go as fast or as slow as you want. I'm guessing one of the smaller kits can be done in a day. This one could as well, but I started it later in the day. It could easily be done over a weekend.

One of the parts that totally cracked me up was messing up the white string. The String of the Art created explains that you should hang the string around your wrist as you work. And I did that, but think I pulled the start of the string wrong to start and wasn't able to use it around my wrist. You should've seen me, I was a tangled mess. The consecutive colors I did correctly and it worked like a charm.

You are going to love the project when it's finished no matter which one you pick. I was so incredibly pleased with how it turned out! We don't have our mantle up yet over the fireplace, but once it is, this piece of string art will be going there for the holidays!

I'm ready to try my hand at another one!

One person will win a Dandelion Mini Kit and then another item of your choosing from the site!

   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NIV Inspiring Words Holy Bible Giveaway

NIV Inspiring Words Holy Bible
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 9780310762591

I have a thing for Bibles. I love them! I appreciate being able to go to different versions and reading their translations. I also enjoy how the newer Bibles have the option of being artistic in them! When I saw the opportunity to review this Bible thanks to Zonderkidz, I grabbed it!

Bible Overview:

God’s word is inspiring, and what better way to express our love of God than through art created by our own hands. The NIV Inspiring Words Holy Bible contains over 50 ready-to-color illuminated verses on high quality thick paper as well as the complete text of the New International Version (NIV) translation.

Features include:
  • Beautiful cover with foil makes for a stunning gift
  • Over 50 pages of black-and-white illustrations ready to be colored
  • Each coloring page highlights an inspiring portion of Scripture
  • The full text of the bestselling New International Version translation
  • Presentation page for gift giving
  • Ribbon marker

My Review:

There is a LOT I love about this Bible. To start with, the design on the cover is just fun and whimsical! With 52 scriptures to color, you can do one every week of the year! I've actually felt a little overwhelmed with Bible's that have coloring pages on every other page. lol Too much pressure to be artistic.

Speaking of the coloring pages, a couple aspects of the pages themselves that I really like are the thickness of the pages and the designs. First, the thickness makes it so much better to use a pen and not have it bleed through. I also appreciate that the designs are "colorable". You know what I mean, right? Sometimes there's too much black so you can't color very much. That or the details are so overwhelming and small it gets very tedious. At least it is for me. I want to relax and enjoy what I'm coloring.

One of the only issues I found with the pages to color is how they are attached to the regular Bible pages. Some of them are attached high up near the binding to the regular page. It's all still readable, but some are a bit wrinkled.

The front of the book has a presentation page. I think it would be cook if you were to give this as a gift to actually color it for the person you're giving it to. This would make a great gift for the holidays or even to keep for yourself. This one worked well for my bible study. You can't go wrong with an NIV.

You have the opportunity to win this Bible! Good luck. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Right Zumba Instructor

So, I've been on the Zumba train since February. I've loved it. Like, "for real, who knew this could be SO amazing" love it! When I went to Minnesota in July, I didn't exercise once. I was busy from morning until night. And I'm not one of those people who says, "Gee, since I'm so busy I'll wake up an hour earlier to do _______!" Needless to say, I really felt it when I got back in August.

When you're gone for a month, your Zumba instructor MAY introduce new songs with new moves. Now, I don't know about you, but I need an instructor who leads well. I need to know what we're going to be doing just before we do it.

That's one of my favorite things about Amanda. She knows how to lead a class. If we're going into a new move, watching her hands will show you what she's going to be doing. Are we going to be traveling, her arm will go out in the direction we're moving. If we're going to start doing some 1-1-2-2 kicks, she puts her hand up with the number. She's about to do front steps, she moves her hands in the directions she's going to move.

I've taken a couple of other classes at the gym with different instructors and so far I haven't found anyone who leads like she does. Not only does she lead well, she leads with enthusiasm! She starts each and every class with power and energy. She teases us if we're doing our moves but without the same excitement she's showing. Then throughout the entire hour we're together, she knocks it out of the park. Every. Single. Time!

With my changed fall schedule, I haven't been able to go as much and man it stinks. One week I can go twice, the next week I can only go once. My Mondays have been taken over by my Bible study. I may move it to Tuesdays so I can go back to my Zumba on Mondays. Every other Thursday I have a counseling appointment. So like this week I was only able to go once. Man! I never thought I'd be that person who really hated missing a fitness class?

Turns out I've become that person, and at this point I wouldn't change it. I enjoy Zumba just as much as I did when I started. Actually I probably love it even more because I know what I'm doing (for the most part) and I feel better about myself, my health...unless I'm eating out of a carton of ice cream. I know that my gym membership has been one of the best investments I've ever made for my health!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Watch Ya' Mouth Throwdown

Get ready for the holidays! We bought the original Watch Ya' Mouth earlier this year, and it's STILL one of our favorite games! We thinks is absolutely hysterical. Thanks to US Family Guide I'll be doing a review of Watch Ya' Mouth Throwdown soon!

Watch Ya' Mouth Throwdown Edition is the evolution of the original, wildly popular, hilarious Watch Ya' Mouth game. Rather than just speak phrases, players now go head-to-head with hilarious and challenging tasks - while wearing mouthpieces. Throwdown Edition takes competition - and laughter - to the next level and builds on the multigenerational gaming phenomena.

Throwdown Edition has already been Awarded Top Holiday Toy of 2017 by Toy Insider & selected for the 2017 Amazon Holiday Toy List.

Want a hilarious family game to play during the Holidays? Your search is over. 15% off Coupon Code: 15THROWDOWN

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Libre Tea Glass Infuser Giveaway

How is it possible we're talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas already?! I can't really even wrap my brain around it! To celebrate heading into the holidays I partnered with Libre Tea! I've worked with them before, but that was more when I knew others more loving of tea than me. Surprisingly I've grown to like tea recently, thanks to my mom and loose leaf tea!

This year I have a lot to be thankful for, and I’m sure you do too! To show our thanks to our readers, Anderson's Angels, This Mamas Life, The More The Merrier and Woven by Words, are very excited to bring you the 2nd Annual Turkey Day Giveaway Event! We've teamed up with some wonderful bloggers, to bring you another great giveaway event! Each blog has gathered a prize package worth $15 or more so be sure to visit each blog and enter!

So I bet you've guessed that I'll be giving away a Libre Tea Glass Infuser! You'd be right if you did! Let me tell you a little bit about them and how to use them before you scroll down to enter the giveaway!

I picked the Garden Dance Pink. This infuser is 14oz and while I don't typically go for anything pink, there was just something so whimsical about this, I had to have it! So, since I haven't been much a tea gal, it was fabulous timing when we found a loose leaf tea shop that had a berry flavored tea. Anything that's strongly berry flavored is something I'll try.

The first time I tasted this tea was when I decided to do the review. I had initially figured I'd just add some fruit. I actually tried both ways suggested for how to make the tea. First I added the loose leaf tea to the lid, inside the filter. I poured the hot water into the glass allowing the steam to escape. Then I put the top on and turned the glass upside down allowing the tea to steep. Once that was done, I shook it up a bit, turned it over, and voila, it was ready for me! I cleaned out the filter and was able to drink my tea.

The other option for making the tea is just as simple, but flipped. You add your tea leaves and water into the glass, put the filter on, then the lid. Allow it to steep for as long as needed and once you're ready, you can drink as is.

If you want some lemon water, just pop a couple wedges into the glass and add your ice cold water. Off you go! You could use this for so many things! They also suggest it for matcha, but turns out I'm not a matcha kind of gal. I think I'll probably even use it to take with me to the gym!


Now you have the opportunity to win one yourself! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosts & participating hop bloggers of the 2nd Annual Turkey Day Event are not responsible for sponsors or self-sponsoring bloggers that do not fulfill prize obligations.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Melissa Spoestra's Total Christmas Makeover

Total Christmas Makeover
by Melissa Spoestra
Publisher: Abingdon

Well, by the look of things, it's not too early to start thinking about Christmas. I know people who were already decorating and thinking about Christmas before the end of October! lol I'm getting into the spirit of the season with my review copy of Total Christmas Makeover thanks to Litfuse Publicity.


In the midst of the holiday busyness, have you lost what it means to truly celebrate your Savior? Revamp your family’s celebrations with Melissa Spoelstra’s new book, Total Christmas Makeover. Melissa provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.

My Review:

I'm not sure about you, but I don't always keep the focus of the holidays where it needs to be...on the Savior. And not just on the Savior, but on family, friends, and those around me. That's where this book has really been bringing my heart and mind as I read through the days.

The book is broken into three sections which keep your focus where it needs to be. I've tried not to read each day because I want to keep these reminders coming to me as we head into the Christmas season. I decided to read a page from each section instead of reading straight through. Of course that helped me for this review. =)

I appreciate the author adding examples of her life and how she faces challenges and making over the holidays. We're easily able to relate it to our own lives. Each day starts with scripture, the devotion, a prayer, questions to answer, and how to practically approach the makeover. A couple of the suggestions I've taken away and really want to implement are incorporating more of Scripture into the season and being a "there you are" person. I've always wanted to add family Bible reading during the Christmas season, but never have. You'll have to read the book to find out what a "there you are" person is!

Highly recommend Total Christmas Makeover for reading this during the month of Christmas or starting towards the end of November.

About the Author:

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God’s Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the “First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree,” “Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness,” and “Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible” studies and “Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home” book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Stay Safe During The Holidays With Logitech Circle 2 + Giveaway

It's the most wonderful time of the year...right? We sure think so! We absolutely love the opportunity to get together with family near and far! Thanksgiving then Christmas, I love the holidays. I'm also a big time online shopper! The day after Thanksgiving, oh yea, I'm online shopping. Bring on cyber Monday! lol

The "problem" with online shopping is knowing that we aren't always home when our packages arrive. You hear more and more every year about packages disappearing from porches. You spend all of that time, thought, and money to have some random person abscond with gifts for friends and family. Of course, they do it while you're gone so you have no idea who did it, when, and with what. This is where my opportunity to review the Logitech Circle 2 is timely.

We have the original Circle, but this new one can go outside, too! If you purchase a couple of the accessories, you can either attach the Circle 2 to a window or on the outside of your house. The Circle 2 comes in a wired or wireless option. I've got the wired option.

To try it out I thought, "Oh, I'll set it up so that I can see all of the cute little trick-or-treaters who come to the house on Halloween! I was going to be out of town helping my daughter pick out a wedding dress and I wanted to see the neighborhood children who came to our house and their costumes.

Unfortunately, my plan was foiled by my husband who thought it would be a nifty idea to sit outside and greet all of the children instead of letting them come to the door, knock, and say, "trick or treat!" GAH! I only got one photo of the first kids who came to the door.

One of my favorite features that I've found with the Circle 2 (and the Circle) is the Day Brief. Instead of clicking through every single "Event" I can tap the specific day and watch a sped up version of the day. I was able to go through the days I was gone to capture a couple pictures of the little girl who came to the door. Then I was able to see the day before when two packages had been delivered. I also noticed my son dabbed because he knew the camera was on. Oh my gosh, the things I could've missed if I didn't watch the Day Brief!

I've actually changed the direction of the camera because I wanted to get more of what's going on outside. It would've worked just fine for Halloween to catch the trick-or-treaters who came to the door if my hubby hadn't accidentally thwarted that. What it didn't do was capture anyone walking up the sidewalk, which is what I'll need over the next seven weeks as we get to Christmas.

A couple things I would love for Logitech to work on:

  • If I want to take a picture on my phone of anything, I hear the camera snapping the photo. I can't discreetly take a photo of what I'm seeing because depending on how loud my volume is, the shutter sound can be really loud
  • The fish eye look of the image. I changed the Field of View but it stayed the same. I'd love just a flat/straight view of what I'm seeing
  • It would be cool if we had the ability to swivel the camera. I realize I have the option of having multiple Circle 2s in different areas, but it would be great to have it so that I could have at least one that swiveled. Then I could see out the front door and into the living room

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the holidays and feel pretty secure that my packages will be safe when they're delivered! If not, then I'll know! I've also turned on the "Person" from the Event Filter so that way I easily filter through the day so I know when the camera detects a person in the field of view!

Oh, and I almost forgot, the Circle 2 can work via Amazon Alexa! I just have to learn how to put the two together. Thank goodness for the Logitech website and the Support pages! You can learn to do just about anything with your devices when you go through all of the options. I can't wait to have so much control in my house. bwahahahaha

Whew, how about that for an introduction? lol Know that you know about my cool & nifty Circle 2, you have the opportunity to win the same exact one! I know, you're as excited as me! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 2, 2017


My oldest son is all about this movie! You DO know tickets are already on sale, right? One of our local theaters is having a double feature of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI and the previous movie, The Force Awakens! He has figured out how he can take his final exam and get to the theater in time for a Star Wars night! And, to top it off, it'll be in the newly renovated rooms! We're down for that.

Enjoy the poster, images, and trailers!

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Visit the official STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI website:

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens in theatres everywhere December 15th!

Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.