Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bible Review and Giveaway - Follow Your Heart NIV Faithgirlz Backpack Bible


This is a beautiful leathersoft, compact, and lay-flat Bible for young girls, including 12 full-color pages of Faithgirlz fun that helps girls learn the beauty of believing in God. Some of the other features include the Words of Christ in red and a pink ribbon marker.

In a time when kids are used to a website or an app, they still need a Bible to hold in their hands. Kids especially love being able to touch as they learn and look up versus at church. One way to intentionally help girls start off the school year in the right direction is to learn about and grow closer to God with the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible. It is small enough to carry in a backpack for reading time at school, and to take on an overnight trip. It may even be a tool your daughter can take to a friends' gathering and that you want to buy copies for all the girls in her circles. Or if your are an adult (only by age) you can take this sweet, compact Bible on a trip or keep it on your nightstand for easy reading while in bed.


I absolutely adore this sweet little Bible!! It's a beautiful soft pink color and I love that it has the cardboard protective sleeve you can keep it in for protection in your backpack or purse. The cover has a stitched dark pink heart with the words, Follow Your Heart in the middle (see above picture). There's even an adorable little printed heart on the back cover! These are such a cute details that makes this Bible so special.

When I saw how small it was, I was wondering if the print would be too small for me to read, but no! It is very easy for me to read and the font is actually larger than I imagined it would be for such a small Bible. I had no trouble reading it at all. The Words of Jesus are in red, which I also like. This is especially helpful for younger girls who are reading the Bible as it clarifies when Jesus is speaking. The fact that it's the NIV version, makes it very easy to read and understand, too.

In the front, there is the Faithgirlz promise and this is really a nice reminder for girls to remember that God loves them and who they are in Him. There's also a cute "About Me" section for them to fill out. There are several colorful pages inside the Bible that make it extra special. Here's an example of one page

I really love this Bible! I'm getting ready to go to the hospital for a surgery next week and plan on tucking this Bible into my bag so I will have it to read. It's the perfect size and I'm so glad I'll have it with me there. I highly recommend it for girls or women, like me, who love cute girly things, and the Word of God. I give this Bible 5 out of 5 stars.

*This Bible was provided to me for my honest review by the BlogAbout Blogger Network


I have a copy of this adorable Bible to give away to someone. Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. The giveaway is open until October 4 and I will chose a winner after that. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

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Blessings - Julie

Book Review & Giveaway - Brave Beauty


In an effort to reach the 70% of girls who do not feel they measure up, Lynn wants to impress upon the hearts of girls who are questioning their value the message that you can grow confident in God. In her new devotional, Brave Beauty, she put together 100 ways to look for and expect their relationship to grow and to be who God says they are. Brave beauty includes questions like, "What's ahead? Where do I fit in? What am I good at?" Girls talking about and answering these questions that already circulate in their minds will be able to use this is an incredible source to help reinforce the positive promises of God's active work and place in their lives!

In Brave Beauty readers will:
See who God says they are
Talk about tough stuff
Discover how people of the Bible handle hard things
Learn more about God and how He helps them
Explore how God's words can help them become fearless and brave


This is a great book for teen or pre-teen girls but, as an adult woman, I loved it myself and actually found so much of it helpful for some of the struggles I face.

This book is, first of all, so pretty! I love all the special touches inside like you see above. Flowers, and butterflies adorn the pages and make it a visual joy. Better than that, though, the information inside is really a joy for the soul.

Each day there is a little story to be read and then a section called "Becoming Brave" (see the picture above). There might be a question or a little challenge in this section for you to do. If it's a question, the author has provided lines inside the box to answer, which I loved. Some pages had a "Getting To Know You" section and this was really great as it lets the reader discover how they feel about things. This section has a multiple choice answer area for you to chose what fits closely with how you feel. I think this is really helpful for a young girl.

Finally, at the end of each story is the "Courageous Call" box where there is a prayer to the Lord regarding whatever was discussed in that mini chapter. This lets the girl know that God is with her no matter what she may be facing.

There are different sections in this book dealing with things that girls (and even women!) might deal with like - My Worth - I Can Be Me - or I Can Know He is Always With Me. Each section was such a delight to read and such an encouragement! I love how Lynn always points to God as our friend and that He loves us and created us to be who we are.

I really loved this book and highly recommend it. Putting this into the hands of a pre-teen or teen girl would help them to see how much God values them as they are. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by BlogAbout Blogger Network


I am so excited to have a copy of Brave Beauty to give away to someone. Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. The giveaway is open until September 29th and I will chose a winner after that. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

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Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book Review - So Close To Amazing


This is a book celebrating the incredible, awesome, special individual within each of us. It’s also a book for anyone who has ever mismatched her shoes or trimmed her own bangs when a professional might have been a better choice or added too much soap to the washer and watched it overflow.

(Not that KariAnne Wood has ever done any of these things.)

Fans of The Magnolia Story and The Pioneer Woman will love this debut memoir from the beloved Thistlewood Farms blogger. So Close to Amazing is a collection of hilarious and heartfelt reflections on getting it almost right?and how, instead of giving up, we can choose to simply embrace our real selves right where we are. It’s a story of transparency and honesty and recognizing that perfection is completely overemphasized and overrated. It’s about grace and learning from mistakes and rejoicing in every victory, no matter how small. Because when you find joy in the “you” God created you to be, you’ll discover the amazing that was there all along.

Contains beautiful DIY project ideas anyone can do, whether you’re Pinterest perfect or craft challenged—homemade signs, centerpieces, recipe walls, and more!


KariAnne writes the decorating and lifestyle blog Thistlewood Farms from the back porch of her vintage farmhouse in the rolling hills of Kentucky. She followed God's call for her heart and jumped with her family from the busy Dallas metroplex to the middle of the country, where she lives with her husband and four children. If you turn down the winding country road to KariAnne's farmhouse, you might find her painting mismatched chairs, listening to the music of the crickets in the pasture, singing Scripture, or walking hand in hand with her knight-in-shining-armor husband as the sun sets over the river. She loves sweet tea with lime, thunderstorms, good books, milk glass, and yard sales, and she is an imperfect DIYer saved by grace.

Thistlewood Farms is full of stories of family and faith, and features hundreds of home decor projects KariAnne creates every week for readers. The blog was awarded the 2012 Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger Award for decorating, was named one of the top ten decorating blogs by Better Homes and Gardens, and was voted one of the best DIY blogs of 2015. KariAnne has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens' Christmas Ideas, Country Living, Flea Market D├ęcor, Country Woman, HGTV Magazine, Cottage Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Reloved Magazine, and This Old House, and on popular websites including the Today Show, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Apartment Therapy, Good Housekeeping, Mediakix, Bob Vila, and BuzzFeed. KariAnne has made numerous appearances on television, including Nashville Channel 5's "Talk of the Town" and Channel 8 Dallas


This is such a fun book! It was absolutely a joy to read and I loved each and every page!

First of all, it's a beautiful book! It's highlighted inside and out with one of my favorite colors - turquoise blue. That's just the beginning of the hints that this book is going to be something extra special. The book is just a treasure to hold and read with the thick, glossy pages.

Then when we get inside and start reading, it's really delightful! I love KariAnne's sense of humor! More than that, I love her obvious heart for God that just shines through each and every page. She's so honest in sharing her heart and her successes as well as her mistakes, it made me feel like I'm not alone in the difficult things or when I mess up. I could relate so much to KariAnne and how she felt about things or about some of the things she's been through. I loved how she was always reminding us in her book that God is there for us no matter what.

I love her fun DIY projects she shares and her little notes throughout called, "Total Asides". I really looked forward to these on the pages. Some were profound and some made me chuckle.

This has become one of my favorite books! It has a place of honor on the table next to my bed so I can read it again and again. It's an encouraging book that makes me laugh. What could be better?

I love this book and hope you'll get one for yourself. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Tyndale Publishers

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Calm, Cool, and Connected


For better or worse, technology is advancing rapidly.  Most of us are on our phones and computers more than we’d like to be.  We know too much technology is harmful to our physical, emotional, and spiritual health…but what can we do about it?

In Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life, I will walk you through an easy 5-step plan to help you center your life on God and loving others by decluttering your screen time.  By introducing new habits with your phone and other screens, you can significantly improve the quality of your relationships, waste less time, and be more productive.

It’s easy to lose track of time when playing a video game, shopping online, or answering email.  It’s time to focus less on the urgent, entertaining, and sensational, and to shift your attention to what is most important to you.


Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and the coauthor of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (with Dr. Gary Chapman). Arlene’s other books include 31 Days to
Becoming a Happy Wifeand 31 Days to a Happy Husband. She has been a featured guest on
the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and
Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah.

Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Arlene worked as the associate producer for Turning
Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and
her master’s in journalism from Regent University. Arlene lives in San Diego with her
husband, James, and their three children.

To learn more and for free family resources, such as a monthly Happy Home podcast, visit


This is such a wonderful book for teaching us how to connect to God as well as those around us.

If you're like me, you'll find it's harder and harder to disconnect from your phone, tablet, and social medias. It has almost become an obsession in this day in age. Arlene teaches us five principals for getting free from the electronic life and into our real life in a calm way.

This was an enjoyable book to read with eye-opening information. I was so amazed at how disconnected so many of us have become with our real life and the real people around us because of our phones. It made me really take a hard look at how much time I spend focused on my phone and not my family.

By implimenting these ideas into my life, I've found I'm a lot more calm and available to my friends and family. This is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is finding themselves drawn into social media more than their own life.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Moody Publishers

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - God Space


Think you don't have time or space for spiritual stuff? That intimacy with God is impossible?
Here's how-in the life you already live-you can make time and space for God.

GODSPACE offers seven practices that help busy Christians pay attention to God. They help us align our sometimes messy daily lives with our spirituality. And they strengthen our most important relationships, giving our lives meaning, significance, and purpose.

It's not holding a set of beliefs, reading the Bible, going to church, or even praying that determines how we connect with God. It's our pace of life. When we live hurried and distracted lives, we miss the chance to experience the intimacy we desire with God.

Experience God more deeply and live more joyfully by exploring these seven spiritual practices:
•Critical thinking

With abundant wit, humorous anecdotes, and authentic sharing of her own joys and struggles, KERI WYATT KENT guides us toward a deeper and more meaningful faith in the midst of our overcrowded, cluttered lives.


KERI WYATT KENT is the author of ten books and the co-author of many more. She continually writes for a variety of print and digital publications, including Christianity Today, Gifted for Leadership, The High Calling,, and Today's Christian Woman. She also serves as lay pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, where she has been a member for almost 30 years.


This book encourages us to pay attention to God so we can live a life that is more spiritually abundant and focused.

The seven principles are not difficult and, in fact, I was excited to start implementing many of these ideas into my own life. I really liked how she encourages us to slow down, to set the electronic devices down for a day, and to clear our lives of the clutter that weighs us down.

I really learned a lot about the Sabbath and what it is and what it isn't. Too many rules have been written about the Sabbath and I have felt guilty when I break any of these "rules". She shows us how we can connect with God on this Holy day in many ways.

I enjoyed how Keri was was honest about what worked in her life and what didn't. She shares from her heart and doesn't preach at us. The book is easy to read and very enjoyable. This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to draw closer to God. I highly recommend this to everyone and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by FirstWords

Blessings - Julie