Ancient Ruins . . . Rebuilt.


I just love how this verse sounds and the redemptive value of it. When it seems like hope is lost, God tells his people that they will be repairers and that they will raise up the foundations of many generations. Isaiah is a prophetic book, written around 700 B.C., so God was speaking specifically to the Jewish people, but the message touches us even today. For this Bible journaling entry, I decided to just doodle my idea of foundations and let the verse speak for itself.


Wonderfully Made


Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

In Jen Wilkin’s book None Like Him — which I highly recommend — she writes that the verses in Psalm 139 go far beyond body image. They are about the awe of God’s power and presence in general. Yet, as I read, I cannot help but see the verse in both aspects: a reminder that God created me wonderfully, and a reminder of God’s wonder that goes so far beyond me and my physical self.

On this Bible journaling page, I celebrated the idea of being wonderfully made. I used crayons to write out “wonderfully made” and then watercolored over the page. On the opposite side, I glued a photo of a time that I took on the physical challenge of walking 6 1/2 miles on the Appalachian Trail with a friend earlier this summer. It took us hours because it was very rocky. There were times when I had to slide down boulders because I am short. Other times, we could barely perceive the trail because everything around us was so rocky. The part we hiked was considered “moderate,” but it felt like a huge accomplishment. I don’t think I would do it again because it was not entirely pleasant, and I was just glad to not bust my face, haha. Yet, it was wonderful to be in nature, take on the challenge, and spend time with my friend. I felt like I was looking down most of the time to keep from tripping on rocks, so sometimes I had to pause just to look around and take in the beauty that was around us.

One step at a time . . .


Staying Fully Present


The verses for today’s Bible journaling entry inspired awe in me. The complete verses are at the bottom of this post if you would like to start your day with them as well. Something I have been considering and that God has been continually bringing to my attention this summer is the idea of how He is the only one who can be in more than one place at one time. I cannot expect perfection of myself because humans were created with limitations. To honor God, it is best to be fully present wherever you are placed at the moment, do your best, and trust God to handle the rest. I typed out some thoughts about that on my computer and used Mod Podge to glue the page into my journaling Bible. This is what I wrote:

Only God can be more than one place at one time — omnipresent. In honor to Him, I can be fully present where I am physically placed. I don’t need to be two places at once; I literally cannot be. I can bring my thoughts back to my present spot when I feel like I am not accomplishing enough, giving enough, or not as “in control” of a situation as I would like to be. I cannot be rested, recharging, nurturing others, and accomplishing a big to do list all at once, all the time. God created humans with this limitation, so I can trust that it is for my own good. I can be reassured that GOD IS EVERYWHERE I cannot be, and I can put the unknown into his hands.

These thoughts came to me after I read the book None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin earlier this summer.


Now, here are the verses that inspired me. Particularly, Psalm 139:7 reminds me God’s presence is everywhere.

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 139:1-18 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Have a great week!


Grace Be With All of You

It’s the start of another school year for lots of people, so I figured this would be a good time to start sharing some Bible journaling with you again each week. I really like how light and airy this journal page turned out, with marker, water color, and white acrylic paint. It just makes me happy looking at it!

Grace be with all of you this week.

xoxo Teresa

Bible Journaling Is Back

I’m going to start my weekly Bible journaling posts again on Monday, so look for those! I’m excited to share some of the pages I made over the summer and the wisdom that He has brought me.

Meanwhile, I have two book reviews to share with you this weekend.

e1004213-7cd5-4ca4-bdc5-e1aa6045c4fd_1-943528531014e0a5c1d30ee522459eb2Really Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs I am pretty sure I met Liz Curtis Higgs at a retreat one time, but I was distracted and didn’t realize it was her. I could kick myself now (lol). What a fascinating lady herself. Anyway, her series of books about the women of the Bible are really enlightening, and they bring the stories of biblical women to life so that it’s easy to relate to them. I like how Higgs combines research of the customs of biblical times with research on the Bible passages to share wisdom for today. I now know that Deborah was a prophetess and judge of all the land of Israel around 1125 B.C. Yes, she was a woman leader that God spoke to and delivered messages to His people through. Higgs writes: “If the question ever comes up, ‘Does the Lord use women in a mighty way?’ Deborah stands as our witness that yes, God most certainly does.” How inspiring! Other biblical women included in this book are the Medium of En Dor, Jael, the adulteress that was brought before Jesus (He showed her mercy and care), Athaliah, Bathsheba, Herodias, Tamar, and the bleeding woman. I had a basic knowledge of Bathsheba and the adulteress before, but the lives of the others were definitely illuminated for me. This book has been in print for awhile, but the new aspect is that it includes discussion questions and a study guide.

240_360_book-1980-coverNIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture I have wanted a Bible like this on my bookshelf for a long time. I have a lot of curiosity about the customs of people throughout biblical history, and I think that knowledge can add a lot of depth to a Christian’s understanding of the scriptures.This Bible has great color illustrations, maps, pictures, and in-depth descriptions of Bible customs. I will let the publisher’s description speak for itself.

You’ve heard many Bible stories hundreds of times, but how many behind-the-scenes details are you missing? Sometimes a little context is all you need to discover the rich meaning behind the stories of Scripture. That’s what the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible provides. Every page is packed with expert insight into the customs, culture, and literature of Bible times. These fascinating explanations will serve to clarify your study of the Scriptures, reinforcing your confidence and bringing difficult passages of Scripture into sharp focus. Discover new dimensions of insight to even the most familiar Bible passages as you take a behind-the-scenes tour into the ancient world.

The Bible was originally written to an ancient people removed from us by thousands of years and thousands of miles. The Scriptures include subtle culturally based nuances, undertones, and references to ancient events, literature and customs that were intuitively understood by those who first heard the Scriptures read. For us to hear the Scriptures as they did, we need a window into their world. The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, with notes from Dr. John H. Walton (Wheaton College) in the Old Testament and Dr. Craig S. Keener (Asbury Theological Seminary) in the New Testament, brings to life the ancient world of Scripture for modern readers.

Features: • The full text of the NIV • Targeted book introductions explain the context in which each book of the Bible was written • Insightful and informative verse-by-verse study notes reveal new dimensions of insight to even the most familiar passages • Key Old Testament (Hebrew) and New Testament terms are explained and expanded upon in two helpful reference features • Over 300 in-depth articles on key contextual topics • 375 full-color photos, illustrations, and images from around the world • Dozens of charts, maps, and diagrams in vivid color • Words of Jesus in red • Additional study Bible tools: cross references, a concordance, indexes and other helps.

I received Really Bad Girls of the Bible from Blogging for Books and the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible  from Book Look Bloggers in return for my honest review.

Have a fantastic weekend. I will be out riding my bike.


An Independence Day Hike

My Sheltie and I took a gorgeous hike through the forest today. It was quiet, misty, and so peaceful. It’s rare that I get to go for a walk without pushing a stroller, so this was a special morning for me. Happy 4th of July!

Slice of Life


WENT: We’ve gone on lots of little day trips — the Baltimore Aquarium, The National Zoo in D.C., a lazy river water park, Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine, and a quick day trip to the beach. I love little summer road trips. We aren’t going to do a big vacation this year, but we are still packing in a lot of fun.

COOKED: I chopped up red peppers from the farmer’s market and roasted them, and then I added cooked corn, roasted cherry tomatoes (halved), a smidge of olive oil, and some salt, pepper, and paprika. It made a yummy lunch.

I also made a concoction in my crock pot using pantry items that I thought came out pretty good. I used two cans of cannellini beans, two cans of chopped tomatoes, some chicken thighs, a generous sprinkle of dried rosemary and dried onion, and enough chicken stock to just cover everything. I cooked it on high for four hours (you might need to adjust this for your crock pot and take the meat temperature), and then I put out blue cheese to sprinkle on top. You could use goat cheese if you like something more mild, or omit the cheese altogether. It came out really delicious. Most people would probably want to serve this over mashed potatoes or rice, but I wanted to go more low-carb.


  • Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher — This book was recommended to me by an English teacher, and I thought it was full of great advice for teaching about writing.
  • None Like Him: Ten Ways God is Different from Us (and Why that is a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin — I thought this book was intelligently written, and it looks at God in a way that inspires awe and honor. It has a lot of spiritual depth, but it is also a relatable book.
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama — I read this to my son at Barnes and Noble and thought it was just adorable.
  • My Mother’s Quilts by Ramona Richards (review)
  • A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock (review)

SURPRISED BY: Little “coincidences” that were meaningful this month — in other words, God moments.

LISTENED TO: Lake Street Dive in concert. Also found a neat record shop in Virginia Beach that sold an old Linda Ronstadt album that I adore. Linda Ronstadt is one of my favorite singers to listen to on old records, second only to John Denver, whose voice soothes me like no other – and followed closely by Elvis, just because he is the Big E.

ADVENTURES: Went to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) at Virginia Beach during our day trip. They’re doing a Hi-Fructose exhibition right now, and if you like art that stretches your imagination, makes a social commentary (and feels a little out-there), you should check it out. I was really impressed.


One of the artworks in the MOCA exhibit: Martin Wittfooth, Incantation, Oil on Canvas, 2014.

I’m also planning on hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail with a friend if the weather cooperates with us soon. It has been raining a lot again.

WISHED: Summer would last several more months (lol).

BOUGHT: A Fitbit and the faux gold Nate Berkus stapler from Target that for some reason kept beckoning me in a way that seemed almost silly but absolutely necessary.

FELT: Wistful. This is going to be my last chance to spend time with my son before I go back into the work force. I’m feeling nostalgic and thankful for the freedom of the past several years at home with him. Being a full time mom takes sacrifice, but there is also a huge amount of freedom in deciding how the day will go and in taking cues from my son to make the day the best it can be. Life is going to become a lot more structured now, but I think it’s going to be a new adventure too. It will be a sacrifice to not witness every moment of my son’s days – seeing every milestone is something I treasure – but at the same time, I will need to trust that God will be where I cannot physically be and that the people I’ve entrusted with caring for him during the day will do a wonderful job. I am so thankful that, after earning my master’s degree in May, a job already opened for me.

Happy July!

xoxo Teresa


Linking up with What I’m Into at Leigh Kramer.

Quilt Giveaway + Review of My Mother’s Quilts

fc3755_625389e815f443ec934fd5b62a1bffdb~mv1thumbnail_Win This Friendship Quilt!

Win one of the quilts featured in #MyMothersQuilts by Ramona Richards! Also up for grabs: loads of other prizes including quilting hand warmers, coloring books, and 25 signed copies of Ramona’s book. Winners will be emailed after the contest ends on June 30, 2016. Click the image to the left to get started!


Mama Muse Me’s Review My Mother’s Quilts: Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith by Ramona Richards is a beautifully printed book, filled with vibrant color photographs of intricate quilts owned or created by her late mother (a master quilter), along with the historical and personal stories behind each one. The pages are thick and glossy, so reading it feels like a treat, and the patterns are beautiful to see. Learning the stories behind each one is fascinating. The book also includes biblical connections, Bible verses to reflect upon, and prayer starters. The way Richards lovingly describes each quilt makes the reader feel like part of her family.

I was really drawn in by the story of a North Carolina quilt from the 1830s or 1840s that had to be buried in a trunk in a barn to keep it from being destroyed. The original colors of the quilt, a bright red and green, had faded to orange and brown — but the colors were still so pretty that I wouldn’t have known they weren’t the original if the book had not explained it. The history nerd in me was also intrigued by how it was determined that the quilt was from the 1830s (wool batting, the handwoven back piece, and a square that appeared only in that decade). Quilts really do tell a story, and they are comforting too.

The book is set up as a devotional, but I recommend taking it to a porch swing, with a cup of tea nearby and reading the short chapters while you take in the summer weather. I like the short passages because I can usually read a few pages before I’m interrupted by my son. This book would also be fun for a car trip.

What drew me to this book? I have always been fascinated by quilts and sewing in general, even though I can barely sew a straight line on a sewing machine myself. My grandmother used to sew proficiently and even worked in a sewing factory at one point in her life, so I feel the connection to my female roots when I read a book like this. I’m also someone who is drawn to the aesthetic beauty and patterns in the quilts. I love stories, and quilts are full of history and stories. I may not have the skill myself, but I have a strong appreciation for the women who do. I took a quilting class when my son was about a year old, and I produced a quilt that I am really proud of. It still hangs on my wall. Honestly, I probably will never attempt to make another quilt again (lol). Though my quilt is not intricately patterned like the quilts in this book, it still gives me a sense of “I did it” and brings me back to memories of when my son was that age.


The quilt I sewed when Carson was one year old.

About the Book’s Author: Ramona Richards is an award-winning editor, speaker, author of nine books, and a frequent contributor to devotional collections. An avid live music fan, Ramona loves Nashville, which she’s called home since she was ten. Sensing her mother was near the end of her life, Ramona documented her mother’s stories and lessons behind each family quilt. These stories form the devotions in My Mother’s Quilts. Find out more about Ramona and her books by visiting her online at She does a beautiful job at honoring her mother’s legacy in this book.

To my wonderful readers, thank you for stopping by my blog again, and have a wonderful summer! Don’t forget to enter the quilt giveaway🙂 xoxo Teresa

Soul Tunes,

Energetic joy pulses through Phil Wickham’s new CD, “Children of God.” Ever since the CD came in the mail this week, I have been listening to it three or four times a day — and that says a lot because I am picky about my tunes. The first morning that I played it, my three-year-old son started dancing to “Your Love Awakens Me.” I took a break from folding the laundry to dance along with him. What a good way to start the morning!

For me, this CD has a great combination of upbeat enthusiasm and of worshipful reverence. The praise band at the church I attend sings “This Is Amazing Grace,” from a previous album of his. I highly suspect that praise bands around the country will be inspired by this new CD too.

I typically listen to pop, country, indie, classic rock, and occasionally Christian music. When I do find a Christian CD I like, it stays in heavy rotation. The last Christian CD that I played this much was Erica Campbell’s “Help.” I  also really like Rend Collective. When someone recommends Christian music that sounds amazing, I take note, and I would say this CD ranks right up there with my favorites. In terms of sound and songwriting, “Children of God” is a substantial album.

It has been three years since Wickham has put out a CD. In fact, in 2014 he didn’t know whether or not he would ever be able to sing again. His dependence on God through that period of struggle led to some beautiful music. I was sent this CD in return for my honest review. If you would like to check out the new album, it is available on iTunes, Amazon, or Spotify.


🙂 Groove on…





What I’m Loving Lately


This has been the rainy view from my front porch for about three weeks. So thankful the sun is shining this morning!

my trike

EXCITED ABOUT: My husband ordered me a trike as a graduation present for earning my master’s degree this month. I rode it for the first time last night and had a great time once I found a spot that was mostly flat! I never learned to ride a bike, and I had scoliosis surgery when I was 12, so I have rods in my back. If I fall off a regular bike, it would probably have to go to a doctor – so this is my way of having the freedom of riding a bike without worrying. Coasting downhill is pretty awesome on this, and my son even rode in the back basket for a little bit. Going uphill with this bike… not so easy (lol). I want to look into getting some gears put into it sometime, but for now, I really like it.

COOKED: My go-to healthy recipe right now is cauliflower soup. I saute a couple shallots with olive oil in my dutch oven for a few minutes, add a head of cauliflower broken into florets, and continue to saute for about four minutes. Then I add homemade bone broth (I make mine in the crock pot overnight) or a box of chicken stock if I don’t have time for bone broth, along with a good sprinkle of garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne, nutmeg, and s&p. I bring the pot to a boil and then simmer it for about 20 minutes. Next, I put the soup into the food processor in batches and puree until smooth. I top my bowl of soup with dried chives, tarragon, red pepper flakes, and a few croutons. I eat this for lunch pretty often.

My favorite recipe that I always recommend to people is engagement chicken. Also, I came up with a burger concoction that my husband likes recently. I make grass-fed burgers, top them with sauerkraut and melt muenster cheese on top. I serve that with a toasted bun and thousand island dressing. It’s a riff on a Reuben.

DRANK: My favorite thing to drink right now is Blackberry Tea from Logan’s Steakhouse. It has lemon, lime, and blackberry in it. It’s really good! It would be pretty easy to duplicate at home.

BIBLE JOURNALING:  I am reading along with 10 Minutes a Day for God. Here’s the link to the first day’s email if you would like to read along too. I’m taking a break from posting my journaling on my blog each week for awhile because I want to focus on God rather than meeting a certain quota. I promise I will post more Bible journaling later though!

READ: I’m currently reading an inspiring, refreshing Christian book, Wild and Free, by Jess Connolly and Haley Morgan, on my Kindle. I’m going to be posting a review on my blog soon. I am definitely being blessed by the wisdom in this book. I was also really happy with the Women’s Fitness magazine with Gina Rodriguez on the cover this month (love her). Mary Oliver’s new book of poetry is wonderful too.

LISTENED TO: I thought this podcast of The Simple Show about spiritual practices was excellent. I’ve been listening to Steve Martin and Edie Brickell a lot. I saw their musical, Bright Star, at the Kennedy Center in December and fell in love with it.


ADVENTURES: We went to Medieval Times for Mother’s Day and cheered for the red knight. Moms got in for free for Mother’s Day this year. My son loved seeing the horses and the falcon, and he was obsessed with the little flashing star sword that we bought him to wave.

WISHED: For a pair of wide-calf rainboots. I still have not found a pair that I like, and it seems like none are getting great reviews on Amazon.

ENJOYED: Our library is offering Quigong classes, and I tried a free one this week. It’s sort of like Tai Chi, but I think it’s easier. While I did the Quigong class, my husband played with my son in the children’s section of the library. It was a fun evening for all of us. Since I have rods in my back, I’ve always felt left out by all the people doing yoga, but this is something I can do with my back, so the class was affirming.

MADE: I’m catching up my Project Life scrapbook with lots of photos and memories. Project Life is a quick and cute way to do memory keeping.

WORKED ON:  Potty training. Enough said.

BIG GOAL: I am walking 20 miles each week with the Leslie Sansone 5 Mega Miles DVD. I think this is one of Leslie Sansone’s best DVDs, and I own several of her others. She incorporates HIIT training and resistance bands. I can always do all the moves on Leslie’s DVDs without having to modify them for my back.

pete catBOUGHT: A swing so that my son and I can swing outside together. I also bought a cute board game called “Pete the Cat” that I’ve modified so that my son and I can play together. He likes to use the spinner, count the right number of buttons to put in his jar, and tell me what colors the buttons are. When he gets a little older, I figure I will teach him how to play it the right way. The game looks like an artwork.

FELT: Inspired by this image of planets that NASA found. The article is here.



DISCOVERED: The phrase “choose joy” has been meaningful to me lately. It is a choice to make daily.

Hope your spring is off to a good start.

xoxo Teresa

What I'm Into


I’ve enjoyed sharing my Bible journaling journey with you over the past four months. Hopefully you have been encouraged through the winter. It has been fun to express my faith in this way; Bible journaling has brought me comfort and challenged me at the same time.

As summer approaches, I’ve decided to take a break from my weekly Bible journaling posts. I want to enjoy the warm days with my son, cherish our time together, and Bible journal just for personal reflection as the spirit leads. I plan on writing some posts and doing book reviews over the summer, so you will still hear from me. In the meantime, looking back, here are a few of my favorites from the past four months.


On a personal note, I am just wrapping up my master’s degree, so this summer will be a much needed break. After church yesterday, my family went out for Thai food and then saw a new Mucha exhibit at a local art gallery, which was definitely inspiring to me. My favorite piece in the exhibit was the magazine cover below. It depicts Literature as a woman in red and Journalism as the woman in white, with her writing supplies propped on a globe. What a beautiful concept.

1909 'Cover of 'The Literary Digest'


Have a lovely Monday!


This is Joy

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6


This is my first ever abstract painting. For a first try, I think it came out pretty good. At times I wasn’t sure if it was going to look right or be a muddy mess because I really do not know what I am doing (haha). The Bible verse I chose for this week is a reminder to have joy in the chaos. God began a good work, and he will see it through.

xoxo Teresa



Romans 5:1-2 (ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

This entry in my Journaling Bible is short and sweet, but I think simplicity can be a good thing. I used watercolors and a marker to make the feather. I tend to gravitate toward verses with the word “hope” in them, and this is a good one!

If you are interested in Bible journaling, I encourage you to check out a new Tuesdays to Create Bible Journaling Challenge . You don’t need a Journaling Bible to do this, by the way, even though it is really fun to have one. Any notebook will work as long as you have access to a Bible or a Bible app to look up the verses. I’ve signed up for Tuesdays to Create, and I’m looking forward to it.

Have a great Monday.


The Biggest Story (and giveaway)



A CD and DVD of The Biggest Story is up for grabs to the first person who leaves a comment on this post. I thought the illustrations on the DVD were beautiful, and I like how The Biggest Story traces God’s word from the beginning in Genesis to Christ’s sacrifice for us today. The film is intended for children, but the subject matter is deep enough that adults can get a nice refresher (or introduction) to the scope of the Bible through the DVD too.

Featuring beautifully animated illustrations, The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film will captivate children and parents alike as they see how all the classic stories in the Bible connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his people. The audio book of The Biggest Story—written and narrated by the best-selling author Kevin DeYoung—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross and to the new heaven and new earth. Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI, husband to Trisha, and father to seven children.

“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. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”biggest-story-blog2x-05-1-1024x540

Book Reviews and Giveaway Reminder

First things first, there are only three days left to enter my current children’s book giveaway. Here is the link. You can read my original book review here.

Punderdome This game is fun for a word nerd like me. I think it would be great in a middle or high school English classroom as well, as long as the students are not “too cool” for cheesy puns. I could picture Jess from The New Girl playing this on a weekday evening after work – adorkable! A cheesy sense of humor truly helps. Shakespeare was a master of word play, so make a pun in his honor.

Life is Better at the Beach The photography in this book is a beautiful way to take a little “beach break,” even if it’s only in your mind. The quotes go nicely with the pictures. The text about bringing the feelings of the beach into your everyday life seemed fairly predictable, but the book is a nice reminder to slow down and appreciate life. I thought it was a very relaxing read, and it would make a good gift.

A Month of Sundays by Paula Hartman This little e-book is filled with retro recipes and warm, humorous stories about memories of Sundays throughout the author’s life. She writes of raising teenagers and recalls Sundays that made a difference in her life. She encourages the reader to take a day of rest and gives ideas for how to spend the day when the church service ends, whether crafting, playing games, catching up with family, or literally doing nothing. Hartman’s sense of humor stands out the most in her essays. So far I have tried two of the recipes from the book — the chicken paprikash and the meatball subs — and thought both were great. A lot of the recipes call for a can of soup, and I tend not to cook that way, but I was very pleased with the recipes that I did try. The paprikash was definitely a hit with my husband. This book is a real bargain for someone who would like to try some new recipes. The recipes remind me a lot of the type of cooking that was at church potlucks when I was growing up, and they are all simple to make.

Punderdome was sent to me by Blogging for Books, and the other two books were sent to me by Book Look Bloggers. All reviews are my personal opinion. Hope you are having a great summer!

xoxo Teresa




Children’s Book Giveaway


The book that is up for grabs is I Love You Just Because by Donna Keith. It is a faith-based book that tells children they are loved no matter what. Three different bear siblings are featured: a polar bear, a brown bear, and a panda bear. The bears consider how they are different from one another — for example, the little panda wants bamboo instead of fish for supper — but each bear is reassured that love does not have to be earned. They are loved just because. I think this book would be wonderful for a family with adopted children, but I also like it for my son because I think it’s good to start teaching children young that people can come from different cultural backgrounds. I also want to express to him that I will always love him no matter what. My son, Carson, especially likes the part when the bears go fishing together. The picture at the top of the post shows my son’s “reading rocker.” The rocker is an antique from my parents’ attic, and my mom put Carson’s name on it with wooden craft letters that we painted to match the rocker. As soon as the book came in the mail, Carson sat down in the reading rocker and wanted to re-read it three times together.

Want a copy of the book? Click the link…  A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Publisher’s Description: Through adorable, cuddly art and fun rhyming text, I Love You Just Because will help little ones understand their parents’ love for them and that it doesn’t have to be earned.With playful artwork and the same friendly bear family you already know and love from Donna Keith’s first two books—I Love You All the Same and I Love You Even When—the sweet story of this book will touch you and your family and will remind you that family members love each other– just because. Parents will gravitate toward the felt need and fun messaging of this book as it seeks to help them explain to their little ones that they are truly loved just because. Here is the book’s link on Amazon.

The giveaway is only for residents of the continental U.S. and Canada. 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. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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