A gift for yourself this fast approaching holiday season

It is amazing to me that we are nearly in October already! I cannot believe how quickly this year is passing us by. Stopping to reflect is something I really need to work more on and one of the ways I am working on that is by using my new coloring book.

I am a multi-tasker through and through. This new coloring book allows me to get some reflection time, calming coloring time and some devotional time as well. Now I realize that I should not be multi-tasking for my devotional time and I wholeheartedly agree, but this is my way of getting a bit extra. This All is Bright Coloring book is just the perfect gift to myself before the stressful crazy busy of the holiday season comes upon me like a freight train.

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This is the second book I have through Tyndale Publishers and  I just love the quality of them. The pages are nice and thick so they hold up well to getting picked up moved around and guarded against the rambunctious children in this house!

I love how these coloring books have so much detail in each page. I cannot wait for December to start so I can dig into this book!

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Check out this book along with others like it on Amazon and pick yourself up a gift before the holiday stress sets in!


I received my complimentary review copy of this book directly from Tyndale Publishers.

 

Links in this post may be affiliate links that could provide monetary compensation for any purchases made at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

 

Getting in the Daily Habits

I know for me I have struggled to get into the word each and every day so this is a great way for me to have something to read and pray over each morning. The selections are small enough that it never feels like a burden to get it in my day. I love that the book is nice and small so I can easily carry it with me to peruse if I need a pick me up. This book has helped me build my daily habit of starting my day off right.

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365 Pocket Morning Prayers – Available on Amazon

I received my copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for providing my honest review.

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Start your gift stockpile now

I have to say I am big on buying gifts throughout the year to create a stockpile of gifts ready to go for when they are needed. I have a combination of specific gifts for people during the holidays or their birthdays but also a more general pile that just hasn’t found its person to go home with yet. One of the things that I really love picking up lately is those darn adult coloring books. Not only do I love having them around for myself, my husband has even picked a few pages to color himself. It has been fun to be able to sit down and color with my kids.

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I came across this Gratitude:A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal by Tyndale. This seemed like a great way to get my daily time in the word and get some coloring done too. When I received the book I was really intrigued by the design of each page. There are some pages that have color on the page and others that are ready for your inspiration. The writing space is smaller in most cases but I like that is keeps your notes and thoughts limited and specific. You will not feel like this is a daunting task each time you open it. I love that each page is so vastly different that you will not get bored.

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You can pick this up right off Amazon: Gratitude:A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for providing my review.

 

The links provided in this post may be affiliate links that may provide compensation for any purchases made at the affiliate site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Everyone has hardships, bouncing back is not always easy

I have been reading a lot of books this year. I have spanned out from my usual genres and authors and I have tried to read more from a learning perspective. I have picked up books about business building, office politics, decluttering, cleaning marriage and then books for the soul. Books that help you heal and grow.
It has been really interesting learning about personalities and how CEOs made some tough decisions to get the company where it needed to go. One of the things I have been really enjoying is digging deeper in to my soul.
No matter how your childhood was, you marriage or any other part of your life, I am sure there is a moment or two where you needed to heal. Life is full of things that don’t seem right to us, things that are just hard to work through. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is pain is pain.
Joy Desalvo’s book Return to Joy walks through brokenness in her life and others she knows. She has created a book that offers many discussion points for healing. She offers a starting point to find your own way through the pain you suffered. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the book as a whole I found there were some points that stuck with me.
Things I found helpful:
• Stories of how people worked through their struggle
• Discussion points – I used this as more of an internal discussion and reflection
Things I had a hard time with:
• The discussion sections were just as long as many of the chapters
• Several parts of the book seems like they were missing something, bits of the story, just overall too vague on what happened or jumped around.
Return to Joy by Bev Desavlvo

 

I received my copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my review.

 

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Creating Happiness in Style

Happiness, got it right! Totally I got this. Wait, how … hmm ok let me think about this a second. Well I have a lot in my life that I think makes me happy and I feel happy at the core of who I am but I still walk around fairly frustrated on a some (ahem, many) days.

How do you define your happiness? Is it things you do, things you have, experiences, time, giving to others? There seems like an endless possibility of what could make you happy, right? Did you know that you could wrap all those up into five simple styles?

Jennifer Dukes Lee just released a new book called The Happiness Dare. In the book she goes over the five different styles of obtaining happiness. She breaks it all down to the Doer, the Relater, the Experiencer, the Giver and the Thinker. Clearly I could pick mine out already, I knew right away I would end up as a Thinker.

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She has an assessment you can take (thehappinessdare.com) to see where you fall for each of the styles and the one you rank the highest is the style in which you find the most of your happiness. You of course can be more than one style but most likely you have one that stands out.

This really got me thinking about how I find happiness every day. This year I was working on a goal of tracking the books I read and reaching for a high goal of 65 books this year. Since I have never really kept tabs on the number of books I read this was a complete guess but I thought it seemed like a fairly large number.

NOPE!

By the end of July I was already over 80. Yes, 80 books in 7 months. Yeah I think I fall in the thinker category of happiness styles. I can so easily dive into a book and just create a space in my head to think through the world created or the situations and scenarios placed by the words on the page and how I may be able to adapt what someone else learned to my life.

Oh, wait I think I am doing that here too. Oh yes, yes I am.

I was so intrigued by what Jennifer wrote for each of the different Happiness Styles and I can see where other people in my life fit in to the different descriptions. This is great because I can use that to help create something happy for them as well. For instance I totally see my husband as an Experiencer so I can use that to thank him for being the amazing and supportive husband he is and surprise him with an opportunity to go and experience something new. He loves going to sporting events, playing in different sports and just getting out there.

Me, that would definitely not get me all riled up and happy but getting to watch him sparks the Giver side of me and my Doer side loves to get the planning of the event put together. Totally a win-win here really. Once the event is all figured out, he is off and getting his Experience and I can sit back and pick up a book in the quiet night.

One of the things that comes in play with reading this book is the actual dare. A dare to get out and do the things that bring the little happy moments each and every day. It could be seeing the flowers at the market and picking them up. Taking a few extra minutes to yourself in the care before picking up the kids. Wearing your new boots on a 90 degree day. Making dessert. Starting or finishing a book. Or even getting a sample of toilet paper in the mail (I have strange children and I apparently need to start buying more toys).

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What can you do today to spark your happiness? How about starting with a copy of this book. Tyndale has graciously provided me with an extra copy to give away. Would you like a free copy of the book to see what your happiness style is? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think your happiness style will be and I will draw a name at random on August 19th.

Pick up your copy today at Amazon 

I received a free copy of the The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee from Tyndale publishers. The links provided in this post may be affiliate links that may provide compensation for any purchases made at the affiliate site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Another subscription service?

It seems like the last few years has brought more and more subscription services to the world. I was unsure of many of these as they seems to be on the expensive side and I just didn’t understand paying for something to be shipped to me on a schedule when I go to the grocery store every week any way.
Well let me tell you I have certainly changed my mind on that idea. There are some subscription services that are truly worth it and many are very comparable pricing. I really love being able to automate some of those purchase once in a while items like shampoo and body wash. I have actually forgotten to pick up some of these toiletry items since I am just not used to going to those aisles of the store often enough.

One of the brands that I tested out a few month back has really become a favorite and it honestly is easiest to get it direct from them in their subscription service. I picked up two of their sample kits to test out the products. I really liked most of what they sent, some of the Home Essentials bundle items sent were just not things I use.

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There were five items in the Essentials bundle.

  • Face and Body Lotion
  • Hand Soap
  • Body Wash
  • Multi-Surface Spray
  • Healing Balm

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I really loved the body wash and the hand soap. I actually adjusted the shipment of my first full bundle to be mostly body wash and lotions. I fell in love with the Sweet Orange Vanilla scent and wanted to try the others. The Face and body lotion I received was unscented but I really liked how well it absorbed in. I first thought it seemed like it may be too thin of a mixture but I was really surprised as it absorbed how smooth my skin felt. My skin was hydrated and not overly slippery. One application lasted the whole day.

The last two items I wasn’t jumping on to pick up more just yet but it was simply my own preference of product. I am really not a balm girl, I had a hard time with this product just because of the nature of balms. As for the spray I actually really liked it but the sample was going to last me a while since I use Norwex cloths in my kitchen and so I don’t use any cleaning sprays.

I had also picked up the diaper kit because, kids. I really liked the diapers and loved the wipes. I felt that the diapers were really comparable if not beating other brands I have used.

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The plain diaper in this image is a generic brand from a big box store- bit of a difference for sure.

Not to mention the cute prints available (though this really doesn’t sell me as they are just covered up).

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I liked the thickness of the wipes and felt they cleaned up a sticky mess quickly. They held up to the tough job.

Check out the texture (I don't know, people just always say things like that).
Check out the texture (I don’t know, people just always say things like that).
Against a popular brand name (yup the bigger wipe is Honest)
Against a popular brand name (yup the bigger wipe is Honest)

Though I have continued on with the bundle on the Essentials (body washes and lotions, some cleaning-ish items to come), but I haven’t actually gone forward with the diaper bundle just yet. I think that this bundle is most beneficial for those with smaller children. My current littlest is approaching two and is attempting interest in the potty so I would rather not waste a bunch of dry diapers in this time. That being said, should there be a need for diapers in the future (NO THIS IS NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANY SORT), I will be getting this bundle going.

I should also note that you can get some really great deals on your first diaper bundle (Get $20 off your first Diapers and Wipes Bundle from Honest), so if you are ready to check out their bundles I suggest going with the trial kits first. You can check out the sample kits here (Get a FREE trial of your favorite Honest bundle), you just pay $5.95 shipping and really I thought it was worth the cost of shipping.

Have you tried Honest yet?

 

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Simple things can make a big impact

I recently have discovered an amazing source of gracious and generous people that have spoken directly to my heart in the words they writing on blogs, social media and books. One of those people was a very recent discovery, though I had heard of his work long before I had heard of him (not entirely sure I should feel bad about that as his work is just so important). Help One Now is an organization that I have heard of over and over and over again. I just never really dug too far into it. When I received an email about a new book coming out from the founder of Help One Now, Chris Marlow, I first applied to be a part of the launch team since I really have enjoyed being able to support authors in the release of their book, not to mention the possibility of getting to read a book before it is available is amazing. The second thing I did was start researching more on Chris Marlow and the work he does with Help One Now and anything I could about the book he had written.

I discovered Chris has a deep passion for his work and he has some amazing people in his corner and along to support the cause. I was intrigued to say the least, and I couldn’t wait to hear if I made the launch team and to read his book.  I was so excited when I received notice that I was on the team. Again I dove right in to get more information.

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Awaiting bedtime so I could dive into this book!

I dug into this book as soon as I received it. Let me tell you this is a fast read book but it hit me so hard in certain places that I had to stop and really think through what was said. I have struggled for a while now thinking about how I would like to make an impact. My thoughts always seem to trail off into “someday” or “when I…”. After reading this book I am realizing how many small things I could do now. Things I can do today. I do not have to wait for anything in my life and circumstances to get to a certain point.

I have always had a strong belief in doing good and being kind. Chris Marlow writes so deeply to my heart in this book. I flagged so many experts that it is hard to find a page without a note.

Sticky notes ready...
Sticky notes ready…

I have started a list of all the things I can start to do to make an impact. Simple things! I decided to start a bit small and go through the ‘inventory’ of toiletry items I stocked at a deep discount using coupons. I have found some scents that don’t work well for me, rather than using it anyway I can donate the unused items to a local shelter or pantry. I am looking at the lists of local facilities for what they are in need of and trying to find the surplus of it in my own house.

See simple!

Doing Good is truly Simple and Chris puts it on paper how easy it is to do good for others so simply. I really felt a connection to Chris and his view of how people, all people should act. Caring for others no matter who someone is or what they believe in. All people should make effort to care for others.
Chris so gracefully walks through how simple actions can make a great impact. I really hope Chris writes more. He is a true inspiration. I am so motivated to find ways to help in my community and a global effort. I truly believe working together small sacrifices can make a huge impact.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy from Zondervan Publishers.

 

Doing Good Is Simple by Chris Marlow – Available on Amazon August 2, 2016

If you pre-order your copy head to DoingGoodIsSimpleBook.com you get a bunch of bonuses as well.

 

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