Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Birthday Blast - Part Two

I had such a lovely birthday this year and it was so amazing, I had to make it into two posts! If you didn't read the first part, you can read more about it HERE.

So to continue, I wanted to really celebrate with my family and so we went out for my birthday dinner on Saturday. I chose my favorite restaurant, Olive Garden, and it was quite lovely. I had my favorite meal, Seafood Fettuccine, and they are always so sweet to give the birthday girl a free dessert so I chose the Apple Fritter. We all had delicious meals and I was serenaded by the wait staff with Happy Birthday.  Now, when I was younger, I absolutely abhorred having the attention of having others sing Happy Birthday to me, especially in a restaurant. However, now? I love it as I think it's important and exciting to celebrate my birthday to the fullest. 😊

After our dinner we went to do a little Christmas window shopping together and had a fun time looking at Christmas trees, decorations and all those fun things.

My gifts were so special this year and I received some things that will be treasured for the rest of my life.  First, I received the new Illustrating Bible!

This Bible is so amazing because it's coil bound and has large margins for decorating and writing on.

It comes in a lovely box that I can keep it in and it will be a keepsake for myself and my family. 

Then I received the 100 days of Bible promises journal.

Again, this is something that I will use to grow my relationship with God and also decorate and it will be a keepsake.

Finally, I received an Illustrating Bible kit! It has so many gorgeous elements in it like washi tape, stickers, die cutouts and more! I'll use it for both my Bible and my journal.

Here I'm holding the sweet note that my son had Day Spring send me with my gifts. I thought that was so sweet of him to do that. Here's a closeup of the kit - you can see a lot of the cute elements in there.

I had such a fun birthday spending it with my favorite people. I will remember this birthday as one of my best just because of the special time I had and for the thoughtful gifts that will enrich my life so much. Again, I am SO blessed!

Blessings - Julie

Friday, November 16, 2018

Book/Journal Review - Illuminate Your Story Journal - The Illustrated Word - Faith & Lettering Journal

I am reviewing three different journals on this post. I am doing this because all of them work so well together and I think it's actually something you might want to purchase together. These are all the Ellie Claire journals and they are high quality and beautiful! So let's get started with the first journal....


This is such a wonderful journal because it teaches you step by step how to create beautiful illuminated letters that will enhance your Bible journaling or any type of artwork where you will use lettering. I loved the instructions because they were so easy to follow. I actually took this one to my doctor office appointments to work on while waiting and it was great! I was able to follow each step and learned how to make several gorgeous letters that I will definitely use in my new Illustrating Bible.

The paper quality is wonderful! I was able to use my permanent black fine liner in the book and did not see any shadowing on the next page. I used my art makers as well as my watercolor markers in this book and the paper held up really well with all these things.

I started out using pencil to learn the letters then went over them with the black fine liner and then used my art and watercolor markers to enhance the letters with color. I love how I was able to make each one my own yet they looks so beautiful because of the great instruction! There are also some blank pages for practice or for actually journaling. I absolutely LOVE this journal and am having so much fun working through the letters then using what I've learned in my artwork. It's especially special for my Bible! I highly recommend this journal and give it 5 out of 5 stars.



The next journal is the Faith and Lettering Journal. This journal teaches you how to do lettering as well as banners, and flourishes. There are many color pictures to give you an idea of how to put different elements together and I loved having these ideas. There are several fonts to learn as well as some practice pages that you can trace and learn to do the lettering and flourishes that way.

I love all blank pages that are lined or dot printed for practicing my lettering or writing out Scriptures or anything that is on my heart.

The paper is very high quality and I was able to use my watercolor pens as well as my makers and fine liner black felt tipped maker without ruining the paper or having bleed through. I liked that I could use my art supplies and actually have the journal withstand all my work inside.

I have really wanted to learn to do lettering for my Bible journaling and artwork and this book taught me exactly what I needed to know to do beautiful lettering and other flourishes. I had so much fun playing with this book, coloring in the different pictures and creating my own lettering. I LOVED this book and would definitely recommend it if you're wanting to learn lettering and have a journal to practice in that will be a keepsake! I give this journal 5 out of 5 stars.



This final journal is like a gorgeous piece of artwork! Inside you'll find beautiful pages that you can color. These pieces are so intricate and amazing that you will feel like you've created a piece of artwork from long ago that belong in a museum. Each and every one of these pictures are just amazing! In fact, each drawing is based on a work of art that they show in a smaller square so you can have an idea of how it looks when it's done. Of course, you don't have to adhere to the colors they used in the original artwork but can make them your very own! It's your choice of how you want to color in your pictures.Some have Scripture as a part of the picture and some are just amazing pictures that will stir your heart and inspire you.

I really love all the blank pages inside this book for either writing in or creating my own artwork on. The paper is high quality and I was able to use not just regular pens inside but makers as well as my watercolor pens. I had no bleed through and the paper handled the watercolor pens very well without a lot of wrinkling or pulping of the paper.

I could definitely see using this journal as a place to write my Scriptures or make notes regarding my Bible reading.  I think what I will mostly use it for, though, is my artwork inspired by my Bible reading. The journal is really perfectly made for doing artwork in!

I love this journal and it's something I will always treasure. I can highly recommend it for it's high quality papers, drawings to color in, and for inspiration. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*All of these journal were provided to me by Worthy Publishing. I received a copy of these books to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading, drawing and writing in these journals.

Blessings - Julie

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

DVD Review - Hillsong Kids, Can You Believe It?


Hillsong believes that teaching children to love God and others takes place in both the home and in the church. For this reason they seek to partner with parents (the greatest teachers of all!) and with church pastors and leaders, equipping them with great resources. Through fun experiences, meaningful music and ministry that encourages kids to participate, Hillsong Kids presents Jesus Christ and His Church in a relevant way, creating moments which children will never forget.

“Can You Believe It!? - Songs of Truth” is both a question and a challenge... a statement of gratitude to a loving God and an invitation to explore the very foundations of faith. Classic songs like “My Best Friend”, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” and “What A Beautiful Name” join brand new declarations of faith such as “As The World Shakes” & “Heaven Is Our Home”. We pray that this collection of fun and vibrant songs, help children around the world to declare biblical truths about God’s love and grace for them.


This is a really fun DVD that brings worship to life for children. You'll recognize a lot of these songs as favorite Hillsong worship songs. They are geared toward children, though, and it encourages them to sing along and get to know the Lord through the words of these worship songs.

As a rule, I really don't enjoy hearing children CD's or DVD's but this DVD is so well done and I found myself singing along while watching. The children really do a beautiful job and there is definitely a feeling of worship from them. My favorite song from Hillsong right now is Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) and they do such a lovely job of singing it.

Here's a little sample about the DVD.

This would be a wonderful gift for any child or grandchild. Perfect stocking-stuffer! You could pop this into the DVD player at any time while your child is cleaning or as a fun time with your child and their friends. I think it would also be great for the children's church situation or in any group setting.

I really enjoyed this DVD and I love that it encourages children to worship God! It would be great for any child. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Birthday Blast

I had the most wonderful birthday! In fact, my family made it last for about 5 days! On my birthday, my son surprised me with these two gifts.

The Christopher Robin movie on DVD...

He and I have a love for things Pooh Bear so this will be a special event for us to watch together.

Then he gave me this!

I'm sure you can guess why I received this and why I love it so much!! I am beyond thrilled!

My hubby and I had a lovely lunch and then went out and did a little window shopping for Christmas. I was looking for a couple craft items at Hobby Lobby, too, so we did that as well.

One of the fun things I found that I just had to have was this!

I think my husband was shocked that I fell in love with this. lol  I am a huge fan of the Wonder Woman movie and this reminded me so much of that. I'm going to use it for 2019 and think big and set good Wonder Woman goals. 😁  Here's a little closer picture of the set. It has so many lovely things in it.

Since my birthday was on a weekday when my son has to work, we decided to save the bigger celebration for the weekend. I decided to make my own cake this year. When I was young, my grandmother and mother would make delicious chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I haven't made one for years and really thought it would be wonderful. It was. It isn't fancy but what it makes up for beauty, it more than makes up for in yumminess!

The recipe for the chocolate frosting has never been written down but it's in my head. I bit of this and that and it becomes the most amazing frosting ever.

I will continue more about my birthday next time. Suffice to say I am so blessed and so spoiled by my family.

Blessings - Julue

Book Review - The Sparkle Effect


Former Miss USA Kristen Dalton Wolfe helps inspires women to believe that positive identity transformation and fulfillment in life is possible in Christ.

The world is waiting to experience the gifts of each and every daughter of the King. But how do these women rise to their calling when so commonly burdened by insecurity, discouragement, or lack of self-belief? THE SPARKLE EFFECT is a guide to the total, positive identity transformation that is possible in Christ. It will empower women with the confidence to achieve their biggest dreams and live fulfilled like never before. Once readers stop wasting time trying to meet worldly standards of beauty and success, stop feeling unworthy, and stop hiding in the shadows of their lives, they’ll be open to claim their divine destinies.


Kristen Dalton Wolfe is a former Miss USA and the founder of, an inspirational online magazine that impacts hundreds of thousands of readers a month. She leads a women’s ministry, She Gathers which hosts weekly meetings, monthly gatherings, annual retreats and conferences. Kristen is also a faith based personal success coach. She and her husband Kris are motivational speakers and live in Los Angeles with their daughter, Aurora.


This is such an inspiring book! I loved how she encouraged us to sparkle as ourselves and the way God made us. So many of us feel like we need to be different than we are or change things about ourselves to be like someone else when we would be far better off being the best us we can be.

I love how Kristen shares so openly and honestly about her life and the things she herself has been through or thought. She makes you feel like you're sitting with a friend and she's pointing out the great things about you. She encourages us to use our gifts and not be someone we're not.

Finding out dream is such a wonderful part of this book! So many of us aren't sure what our dream is or we may feel like our dream is too big or silly.  Kristen encourages us to live our dream - to go for that thing that makes our heart happy and excited. This helped me so much!

This is a book that I will re-read many times to encourage me and keep me focused on my dreams and living a sparkle-filled life! How exciting to live a life of joy and sparkle!

This book is for every woman! Yes, it would have been nice to have read this when I was younger but we're never too old to spark and shine for Jesus or to live our dream! I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Hachette Books. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

Blessings - Julie