Hiya! Here I am, trying to play catch-up with my blog posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder FOREVER! Ah well, Summer is always busier than these Midwest Winters! Let's just pretend that these aren't year(s) old drafts and carry on, shall we?

Last August- yes, I'm a terribly late blogger- we went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.  My Mr. had a work conference in Vegas, so I met him out there at the end and we played tourist!  This was my first time to the area, his second, I believe.

I didn't care for the gambling, hustling street vendors, or any of the craziness in Vegas. To me, it's one of the places where you should go once to experience all the hustle & bustle of it, just so you know what it's like.  But, I loved the Bellagio fountains and the sightseeing part of it.  What struck me was the support and love the city showed after the shootings. We went shortly after and it was a little spooky, but I don't think it slowed Vegas tourism down for long.

The Grand Canyon, on the other hand, was my jam! It's another place you need to go at least once. The majesty of it, the scope- so much more beyond what you can see in photos! I loved every second of it, even if my Mr. was fussing that I was getting too close to the edges.   Enjoy my favorite photos from the trip! I've spared you from the hundreds of photos and just picked my favorites!













Playing catch-up

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From Blogging for Books- Whisper  by Mark Batterson

Y'all- GO GET THIS BOOK!  I feel like there is still so much I need to learn about God. And a major thing I'm learning & working on is listening to Him. How do we listen? Is it audible? Is it through other people? Through the bible? There was so many questions and not enough answers for me. And then this book came along and blew me away! I loved how he backed it all up with scripture, but also with "Real world" things. It's hard to describe how much this book has changed how I listen to God, without getting into a long post, so do yourself a favor and go get this book!


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From Bethany House- Courageous Women of the Bible by LaTan Roland Murphy


 It is hard enough to be a woman in this day and age, but I can only imagine how difficult it would've been for the ladies of Jesus' time and earlier. This book helped me to visualize the time period and circumstances of the women of the bible, and how hard it was for them.  The courage they showed took major guts! Everyone would like to think that they would do the same if they were in the same situation and circumstances, but if it came down to it- I probably would have a hard time doing what these ladies did! This book is a good reminder of how courageous we must be to follow after Jesus. 


Lies Women Believe Study Guide, updated: And the Truth that Sets Them Free  -     By: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

From Moody publishers- Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free book and study guide by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

This book and study were just what I needed at the moment I needed them.  A great way to get yourself out of the lies from the enemy, to fight back, to show him we will not let him have strongholds in our minds! I only wish I would've read and went through the study earlier in life so I could've demolished the lies from the enemy sooner. I highly recommend this book and study for everyone at any time.


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The Finishing School by Val Worner

This is a book I purchased on my own & I love it! I did get behind in the book club that Val Marie Paper is putting on now, but it doesn't matter! The chapters are  pretty self-contained so I just jumped in where they were.  Val is a lady after my own bookworm heart. It's so great to know that someone else has issues with reading so many self-help/self-improvement books and doesn't know how to put all of the good tips into action! I bought the ebook but now I wish I would've bought the paperback so I could highlight that baby all up! What's even better is that she has the worksheets to the book for free on her website! HELLLOOO!! So amazing! 


I received most of these books free in exchange for my honest opinion.*
*Jessica is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.  This means that by clicking on & purchasing through the links provided, I get a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you!*


Winners!

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Hiya!! I'm soooooo excited because I'm finally able to release my Hawaiian Seascape paintings! Yay!!

Hawaii is the type of place that captures your heart & never turns loose. So, while I'm sitting here in Chi-beria, waiting on Spring, I decided to paint some of our favorite beaches in Hawaii.

8.5x11" Prints are available now in the shop, and the original acrylic paintings (most are 16x20") will be listed in the next few days.

Hope you enjoy them!














Seascape Release

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Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all! I hope you're celebrating wherever you are!



If you dare to try your hand at making Gumbo, click here for my recipe!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!


Throw me something mister!

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This book couldn't have come at a better time! I'm currently fascinated by the whole tiny home /sell everything & travel around movement, and this book has so much travel in it that I can't get enough! Very descriptive scenes, showing how all events and days in your life mold and form who a person turns out to be. This was my first time reading Roger Thompson, but it won't be my last. 


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OK, it's safe to officially declare Francine Rivers my favorite Christian author! I was first introduced to her through her mega popular book, Redeeming Love, and was immediately hooked! Her character portraits are so detailed, you really feel like you get to know them personally. And this latest book- Masterpiece, is one that I've been looking forward to for a year. It did not disappoint! The characters were relatable, a few twists & turns, but, as always, her message that God loves you shines throughout the book.  I devoured this book in 4 days, and I am debating whether to do a re-read immediately or wait a few weeks! Please get your hands on this book asap! 

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Worry is something I do incredibly well. So when any book comes across, I gobble it up. I love how Dr. Neely not only helps you identify what is concern verses worry, but he tells you how to handle the worry situation. He also backs up everything he says with scripture, which is something that makes me feel at ease knowing that the author's beliefs line up with mine. Only God can provide you with that soul soothing peace, and Dr. Neely's book guides you through the steps to achieve that.

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It is my belief that if you are not actively working to improve your marriage, you will get stagnant and then start drifting away from your spouse. So, I try to find many books on the subject. What I love about this book is that you don't feel pressure and shame over your marriage not being absolutely perfect. We are human, we make mistakes, and the Savages convey a plan to improve your marriage while not being ashamed.  I would suggest this book for every married couple! 


From Baker Books- Called to Create by Jordan Raynor

This book was exactly what I needed, a good motivator! I had neglected my art for years, while trying to deal with being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It takes over your whole life! But, while reading this book, I began to look at my art with fresh eyes. It's a gift from God, the ability to create something from nothing, and it didn't hit me until this book! I loved all of the different stories in here. It really gives you a lot of inspiration to get back to your gift! I would recommend it for all creatives out there.


* I received these books free in exchange for my honest opinion.*
*Jessica is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.  This means that by clicking on & purchasing through the links provided, I get a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you!*


What are you reading lately? I love a good book recommendation! Leave them below!
That Bookworm Life

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Hey Y'all! I know, you're wondering, "Who's this chick?" It's been way too long! This won't be a long update post, or empty promises about posting more. Honestly- I don't think about this blog daily. What it is is a little update on life & what I want to do with this blog from here on out.


This blog was my baby for so long! In the midst of life changes like buying our first home, becoming a foster home, having our first foster children here for 6 months until they moved on. More health setbacks. Tough realizations about how much our lives have changed from when we met to now dealing with my health issues stopping us from being who we were. Lots & lots of changes! This blog was shoved not only on the back burner, but in the back of the deepest closet, like basement closet that only sees the light of day once a year type of shoving! For that, I'm sorry! 

This blog was my outlet. My little space in the world to share what craft projects I was trying, what recipes I loved. I posted 5 times a week, and once all the other life things started piling on top of me, I couldn't keep up. Something had to give, and the blog was it.


So, what do I want this blog to be now? What will you see from here on out? Well, more of my life, more personal things. The Mr. and I are transitioning into & finally dealing with many things, and the blog will reflect that. Some of what you will see is:


  • Trying to become Vegan- more whole foods, plant based to see if it will help with my health issues. (Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Severe Migraines 8 times a month, etc.)

  • On that note, you'll see more about how we are coming to terms with the health issues. What's helping me at the moment, how we are trying to plan a more fulfilling life while dealing with the issues.

  • More crafting updates on my creative journey. How I try to carve out time to paint & draw more than I have been. Also, the journey from an idea of a product I want to offer in my shop, through creating it & finally posting it. 

  • I am toying with the idea of recording short YouTube videos, studio vlogs, painting time-lapses, tutorials, etc. I'm thinking that videos will be easier than long blog posts. What do you think?

  • More on my faith, how I have to cling to Jesus more and more to stay joyful during this life with health problems.

  • More book reviews, especially ones that really make me think or change things about my life.



Lots of new things going on in my life, and I still want to share it with you! I have accepted that I won't be able to post 5 times a week like before, but I still love the blogging community and want this space to continue!

What are you looking forward to the most? Comment below! 
And don't forget- I update the most on my Instagram, so don't forget to follow me there to see what I'm up to!
Well, well, well...

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Don't you just love these free lock screens from Well-Watered Women Co ? 

... I have completely neglected my little corner of the blogosphere for the past 6 months. Forgive me! We've been a foster home for 6 months now.  And let me tell you- foster care is no joke!  I pinky promise to sit down soon to write out a charming blog post about our experiences so far, the good as well as the not so great... but still having to protect the kid's privacy... which requires more brainpower than all the chaos & lack of sleep provides me with on any given day!

  If you are a parent, and you have tips on how to get the kids to get in gear in the mornings so we're NOT scrabbling for the bus everyday... PLEASE comment below or shoot me an email! I'd loveeeeee to hear strategies that actually work! 

 But- I do update more on instagram, if you're not following me there, go follow! Let me add in some snapshots of the past couple of months for ya. 




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So.....

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Many book reviews!!! I know, I've been away learning how to be a foster parent- trial by fire & have neglected the blog. I'm still learning- trial by sometimes BIG fire and until we get the swing of things, it'll be hit & miss with the blog posting.  Today, it's a hit!  I have tons of book reviews for you & some of these were life changing, right when I needed to cling onto my faith the most!

Cover Art


From Bethany House:  Alive in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer
  I've noticed I'm a sucker when it comes to Tozer books. His writing always comes with a bite. It's quick, to the point, no frills or sugar coating, which I need most of the time! This book was no different. I feel like the Holy Spirit is often overlooked.  When I noticed I was overlooking Him, I made a point to try to learn as much as possible about Him, how to relate, how to worship & basically how to talk to Him. This book supplied me with all of the answers I was looking for! I just wish I would've read it when I first began to take my walk with the Lord seriously.



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From Blogging for Books- Enjoy by Trillia Newbell
  Mrs. Newbell knows how to stop you dead in your tracks & enjoy your life! I loved her writing style, more relaxed than preachy. The art work on the cover looks so real I actually thought it was a photo! This book is fantastic for the upcoming Summer season, making you look forward for those slow & steady days instead of the rat race days. It would be perfect for any adult!



From Book Look Bloggers- Devotions for Easter by Stacy J. Edwards
  I'm so far behind on these reviews it's ridiculous! Look, this one was from BEFORE EASTER! Ah, well... live happens!  This book was so beautiful, the writing AND gorgeous flower photos throughout! I love devotionals that lead up to something, and Easter- the most important Christian holiday (in my opinion) doesn't get a lot of the devotional hype as others, like Christmas. So, I was so excited to review this book. And it didn't disappoint me! Loved the simple, sweet, daily messages as well as the gorgeous floral photos! This would be a fantastic gift for anyone who celebrates Easter.

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From Tyndale Publishers- 60 Days of Happiness by Randy Alcorn
  60 Days of Happiness really set my world on fire! I feel like, as a society, everyone is frantically searching for happiness. I want to scream it from the rooftops that I was one of you! Some days, I still am.  But, you'll only find that kind of happiness that you're looking for- from Jesus. And this book helps break it down for you. It's a slow approach type of helping book, not a flip-your-world-upside-down-in-30-seconds type of book.  And I love that the cover is a happy yellow color :)



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From Moody Publishers-  Prayer, How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit, both by A.W. Tozer
  Again, Mr. Tozer is becoming one of my favorite authors! As I mentioned before, I feel like the Holy Spirit gets neglected from most people because the focus is mostly on God the Father & God the Son. So, I'm actively searching for all the info I can absorb on the Holy Spirit. This book (How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit)  shed so much light on Him! It's one of the books that you just know it'll be on your bookshelf for the rest of your life. Tozer gives insights that I know I would not have put together on my own, and I love that!

  Prayer by A.W. Tozer was also a fantastic book! I get tired of praying the same old things over & over. Tozer supplies the how to's as well as the whys , & what your prayer life should look like. I love that he supplies the biblical backup for his thoughts.


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From Baker Books-  The Imperfect Disciple by Jared C. Wilson
  Okay, now this book is AWESOME! I'd never heard of Jared C. Wilson before, but any book that acknowledges no Christ follower is perfect and says so as one of the main points is a book I'm definitely going to read! Wilson delivers many arrows of truth straight to your heart in a funny style of writing that I love! He gives insight, backs it biblically, and it's one of the books that doesn't make me feel like a loser of a Christian because I don't have it all together! I love it! I would recommend this to every. single. last. Christian in the world. Read it! You can thank me later!

Whew, thanks for hanging in there with me! I was so far behind with the reviews!

I am hoping to get a couple of new Foster Home updates going here in the next week, but school will be out soon & only my God knows how much time I'll actually have free to blog.  If you'd like to stay more up to date, follow me on Instagram! It's the one social media outlet I keep up with almost daily.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

**I received these books complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion.**
*Jessica is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.  This means that by clicking on & purchasing through the links provided, I get a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you!*
It's that time again...

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