Since childhood, there has been this girl that I immediately wanted to be my BFF.  Anne Shirley was and still is, such a kindred spirit that I can't wait until we foster children so I can watch them fall in love with Anne as well!

 

  So, here's the plan... when we get a precious foster child, we want to read to them more than just bedtime stories. We are avid readers & want to encourage every child that comes into our care to read and take some enjoyment in it. It's one of the activities that will never fail you. No matter where you are in life, being transported into a book is amazing! And the whole Anne of Green Gables series is perfect for the foster children since Anne is essentially one herself.


   After we get through the first book, I want to make a big deal out of it. Who wouldn't want to, right? And what better way to do that than making a movie night watching the first Anne movie? I'm talking popcorn, ice cream, tons of blankets & pillows in the living room, possibly a fort being made, and hot cocoa, all for these children that desperately need to believe in something and more importantly, have someone believe in them! That they can do anything with their life with enough determination and positivity... just like Anne!


  Y'all, this restoration set of Anne of Green Gables DVDs are amazing! Fully restored, the picture is super clear, and to me that just enhances the whole story. And this mug.. I'm such a sucker for a nice mug!



   When I say that I can not wait to introduce Anne to my foster children, I mean it. It's close to jumping up & down with excitement type of can not wait!


  What other books do you recommend? Comment below!


*I received these items complimentary in exchange for an honest opinion. All thoughts & opinions are entirely my own.*
Anne, you stole my heart

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 Lately, I've noticed a trend- bible journaling. At first, I saw the beautiful works of art on the pages of bibles and thought-- there is no way they can read the words now! Now that I have a chance to review one, I understand that it's not about being able to read the words, it's about celebrating the words & verses that touch us. Y'all, I'm so excited to try this whole bible journaling thing out!


  This bible- the NIV Journal the Word Bible from Zondervan is AWESOME! The delicate floral pattern is so cute, you don't need a bible cover! Pages are nice & thick, so I could even journal with watercolor and it wouldn't be too wavy after. This is the best for a gift, maybe someone in your life is sick, or will have lots of time to sit or lay after an accident, maybe they're like me and have a chronic illness that knocks them down almost daily. Whatever the reason, this is the nicest gift- encouraging someone with the Word while giving them some stress relief by journaling!


  I've noticed on the bad pain days that I tend to seek out bible verses that help me deal with everything that comes along with chronic illness. There are so many encouraging ones, but I just had to share my favorites.




  Have you tried bible journaling? Gimme all your tips for it! Comment below!

**This bible was complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion. **

For the Bad Pain Days...

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 We've been in our new home for about 7 months now, and I'm still organizing, sorting, staging, decorating... I mean, does it really ever end? Probably not. Especially because the decorations and style I love is the whole rustic/cozy, Joanna Gaines style. And thank you to Joanna for making this style popular now because I don't have to scour antique shops for 5 years to find the right pieces. I can find things I love everywhere!  And y'all, how cute are these items?! I'm drooling over here! Let's take a closer look, shall we?



   Normally, each New Year's Eve, I choose a new word of the year to focus on. (You can check out posts for previous words of the year here)  It's a great way to improve yourself or your life and just gives you at least one thing to start working on. I never do resolutions because to me, it puts way too much pressure on you. I'd rather work towards something than take something away.

  BUT, when I saw this pillow,  I fell in love! These words/phrases are everything that I want to work on this year, but I couldn't narrow it down to just one word. So, I'm just going to use this pillow as my words to focus on. It's inspired me already, and it's not even New Year's! To have your yearly inspiration on throw pillow is awesome! Sort of in your face, a constant reminder, and that's perfect for me! 

  This pillowcase is made with thick material, and I know it looks like burlap (which is so cute) but, it's not! It's so soft!  You can either buy a pillow form to put in it, or you can do like I did & buy a bag of batting, filling it yourself. It'll work nice both ways. 




  The next thing I'm drooling over lately is this wall plaque. HELLLOOOOOO Anne Shirley! If you know me, you know that Anne was my first BFF. Just a couple of months ago, I did a re-read of the whole Anne of Green Gables series. You know, the story just seems to get better each time I read it.

  I mean, how can you go wrong with this sign? It brings my love of Anne, combined with one of my favorite bible verses, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

  It reminds me that tomorrow is a new day, always fresh, loads of potential to make it into anything I want. With battling a chronic illness, sometimes you need a gentle nudge to remind you of that. For me, it reminds me 1. of God's faithfulness to us & 2. That no matter how much pain I will be in, I determine my attitude for the day. If I didn't succeed in keeping an upbeat attitude today, I can tomorrow. What it boils down to is: it's all about your attitude and outlook on life, not your circumstances or pain level. Right?

Do you use home decor to remind yourself of things? Comment below!

* I received these items complimentary for my honest opinions.*



Watch out, drooling will commence in 3, 2, 1...

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Y'all, Fall is almost over, but I finally uploaded the photos so I need to publish this ASAP! Although, I used fall flowers in this DIY project, but you could use any kind to celebrate all seasons!

OK, so everything here I found at Michael's, but again, use whatever you have on hand, or whatever type of flowers you'd like! I plan on doing a little arrangement for all the holidays as they come around.


What you'll need:

Container of some sort, this is a little Wilton bucket that I think you can actually bake in
2 bunches of artificial flowers- I used Sunflowers here. You can also use more flowers if you want a fuller bouquet.
2 blocks of flower foam
Sharp scissors or wire snips
wired, wide ribbon,
Any additional picks or extras you want to add to the bouquet.


1. Cut flower foam to fit inside your bucket or container. I snipped off just enough so the foam would fit, but not fall out easily. You want a snug fit.


2. Snip all flowers at various lengths.


3. Starting in the middle of the foam block, stick in the tallest flowers.  Then, add the medium height flowers, spacing them out enough to make it look full. Lastly, add in the shortest flowers. Fluff all the flowers & leaves throughout the bouquet.


4. Add in any picks or additional decorations. I chose two cute scarecrows. They came already on a stick, but you could easily glue something onto a wooden skewer if you can't find anything already on a stick.


5. Time to wrap the ribbon around the bucket & try your best to make a bow. The AMAZING thing about wire ribbon is when you fluff the bow part, it actually stays! Makes it look so much nicer & for minimal work!  I had to put a piece of tape on the back part of the bucket to help secure the ribbon.


There you go! SOOOO easy & you just saved about $20 each!   I think total cost for my supplies was less than $20 for 2 arrangements.  The thrifty part of me is jumping up & down about this! Hopefully, these two arrangements will last many years to come.

What's your favorite ways to decorate for the holidays? Comment below!
Easy DIY Fall Arrangement

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  No matter how hard you try, sometimes you slip further from God. Life gets hectic, you miss your quiet time that day & promise yourself that you'll catch up tomorrow... sometimes you actually catch up, sometimes you slip further. This is when the enemy slips in & tells you.. look- you missed your time with God and nothing happened! You're fine to miss another, go ahead, you're too busy.

   Folks, when this happens to me, when I miss a day of quiet time, I'm crankier; my fuse gets shorter; my words become sharper.

  At first, I may not realize what's happening; but when I do I dive head first into prayers, begging forgiveness for my weaknesses. I know that I haven't been plugged into God and my spiritual batteries are weak, near powering down. Then, I get a bible in front of me- sometimes it's my humongous study bible, sometimes I'm out and about, so I pull up my bible app, just any form of His word needs to fill my eyes ASAP and fill me up!  I'm my best self when I pour everything out to God in the morning, and pray He fills me with the Holy Spirit, sticking closer to me than a mosquito in the South.

  Sometimes you are so spiritually weak that you need a kick start... like devotionals. And lately I've really enjoyed reading works by A.W. Tozer. His words cut through the fluff & hit your heart like a sledge hammer. When I had a chance to review a morning and evening devotional by Mr. Tozer, I jumped!

  These devotionals are pure gold. Mr. Tozer's words connect some dots that I would have NEVER connected before. Clear and precise messages for every day, backed by a verse from the bible, and sticks with you throughout the day? Yes, please!  I feel as if I've found the devotionals that I could read for years on end and never get tired of. I would recommend both morning and evening devotionals by A.W. Tozer for teen to adult.


And sometimes you need to write down verses on sticky notes, on chalkboards, on anything in eyesight to help you when you're spiritually weak. These are my particular favorites to combat Grouchy Jessy, the pretty flowers help my mood also!






** I received these devotionals complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion. **

When you're spiritually weak

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 Monogrammable Dictionary Infinity Scarf with Mint Green Stripe, Only store to offer these!

I only have 2 dictionary scarves with the mint green stripe left, a few with a pink stripe and a couple without a stripe left! Did I mention they're MONOGRAM-ABLE? Yep! 

 If you know a bookworm, these scarves are the perfect gift!  I won't be making any more this year, so hurry before they're all gone! 

And please remember- all proceeds go to our Adoption Fund, so thank you! 

Dictionary Infinity Scarf with Pink Stripe! Only store to offer these!

Monogrammable Dictionary Infinity Scarf, Only store to offer these!




Get it while the gettin' is good!

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 You know what time it is.... Bookworm time!

  Lately, I've been focusing on slowing down and enjoying each day. I don't know if you know, but among the many things that come with chronic pain, one is the inability to sit still. I find myself always craving distractions, and just keep piling on new tasks, or new craft ideas, new books, new projects at home... it never ends! I grab at anything to distract myself off of the fact that the pain is constant, never relenting. Tasks really help my sanity. The downside of this overload method is, your to-do list becomes miles long and then you get stress from not finishing things when you have so many other tasks waiting on you... it's a vicious circle!

  So, I've been putting everything on my plate, all my miles of to-do lists on a silver platter, and praying to God that He takes them all from me, that He guides me to what HE wants me to focus on. I pray that He is now my pain manager and that He makes me slow down from the distractions, so I can really savor this time in our lives. Which explains why lately, all I've been publishing on this blog is book reviews! I've always enjoyed books, but lately, I'm insatiable! I'm sure y'all are getting tired of it, but I am working on more posts now... better posts, posts that are carefully put together and more me than just posting just to have something, anything published.

 From now on, I may only post once a week, or twice.  Hopefully, y'all will understand and continue to visit this little blog of mine! I haven't forgotten about this space, I'm just trying to savor my life, one day at a time. I'm focusing on my daily walk with Christ and trying to be where my feet are.

  Now, onto the book reviews! These are some of the favorites I've been reading-


From Sullivan Entertainment-
The Piano Man's Daughter by Timothy Findley
  This book was devoured as soon as I had it in my hands.  The story, as the title suggests, is about the piano man's daughter, Lily, narrated by Charlie, Lily's son. It's an epic story, weaving in and out of three generations of a family with all sorts of scandal and skeletons in their closets. Timothy Findley wrote an amazing piece of work, and I am obsessed with it. He brings the character's personalities out so well that you feel like you're actually acquainted with them! This is a book that I will recommend to anyone who is looking for an enthralling tale. Sullivan Entertainment also provided me with the movie. Stockard Channing was captivating in the role of Lily, the actual piano man's daughter. Generally, I like to pass on books to friends and family, but this book and movie isn't going anywhere!


From Tyndale Publishers-

All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas by Nancy Guthrie and Lizzie Preston

  Y'all, This is the nicest adult coloring book I've ever seen! Adding an advent devotional & it knocks it out of the park. This is so nice, I'd consider it to be an amazing gift for someone at any time of the year, not just around Christmas time. The daily devotional is very well thought out, inviting you to really meditate on God's word. You can also do this as a family!


  That Faith Sticks, (stickers)
They are the best idea!  You get to color while meditating on God's word, and then decorate your journal or your bible! The only complaint I have is that you can't really use color pencils with them, the lines are too close together. I happened to have Micron pens, and they worked well with the stickers.



Closer Than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ by David Hickman


  Lately, I've been feeling the need to get as close to God as one can get. His pull has been so strong, that I can't ignore it any longer. Unfortunately, being raised Catholic made me feel as if I needed a ceremony to approach Him and have a close relationship with God. So when I had the opportunity to read this book, it was at the PERFECT time. David Hickman shares his personal stories on his journey to having that relationship with God that I wanted. In essence, I felt like he was giving me a road map, a very precious one. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to just shuck all the extras and get cozy with God.


Shaken by Tim Tebow

Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms by Tim Tebow
  In this book, Tim Tebow takes the reader through an unstable period in his professional life, which results in him sinking into his identity in Christ. Encouraging and supportive, this book shows you one man's journey through an uneasy time, and really shows you that even though he's in the public eye, he relies on God's comfort just like the rest of us. I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially for young gentlemen.


9780718039509

From Booklookbloggers-
 Jesus Always, Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young
  I didn't have the privilege of reading Jesus Calling before reading Sarah Young's second book- Jesus Always. But boy, did she do an amazing job on this devotional! I really felt as if her daily devotionals were short enough that you can read it before jumping out of bed in the morning, but in depth enough that the message strikes a cord and sticks with you all day long. These sweet devotionals are absolutely perfect for gifts for any occasion and they will be well received. It really puts Jesus on a personal level for you. Everyone I've talked to about this book says that it changed their walk with Jesus, and I can honestly say that, too! Don't miss this book.




From Moody Publishers:
From Heaven: A 28-Day Advent Devotional by A.W. Tozer
  Until this book, I'd only heard of A.W. Tozer, never read anything by him before. I've missed out on savoring his words all these years! This is an Advent Devotional, and while I've read through it, I can not wait to start it all over again when Advent officially begins. This devotional uses A.W. Tozer's best reflections on Christ's incarnation and to His return. This is perfect for your personal quiet time with God or for a family devotional. It's also a great book to gift to someone.

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
  Again, A.W. Tozer was someone I had not read, but I knew within the first chapter, I needed to devour everything he wrote, ASAP. This book shows the reader A.W. Tozer's deep, personal relationship with God. It's downright inspiring! It's one of those books where you might as well highlight every word because it's that good. He talks about how complicated we've made the Christian faith & his solution for it. I believe this book will always remain in my library and I will recommend and gift this book to as many people as possible.



Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith by The Voice of the Martyrs and Gracia Burnham
  I personally support the Voice of the Martyrs organization so this book came as a gift. It's one that everyone in the faith should read. Often, I think about folks in other countries that can't openly express their faith. Each time I put on my silver cross necklace, my heart hurts for those who want to show/talk about/guide others to their faith. It's heartbreaking! Then, this book comes in and drags you into their world. These women are my heroes! The faith that they have, to do the things they do, all in the name of faith is astonishing. This is more of an adult read, but one that I'd recommend to everyone. It reminds me that no matter what I think is going on in my life that is impossible, there is always others who have it much worse than I do. This perspective is magnified for me after reading this book. Bless them.



From Bloggingforbooks-
Natural Color Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe by Sasha Duerr
  I'm in love with this book! Hardback, very durable for years of use. I sew lots of things, for personal and to put up for sale. I always have a hard time finding the exact shade of fabric that I picture in my head. Combine that with my journey away from all chemicals, and heading to a natural home, this book solves those issues for me! I love how she broke it down to seasonal, making it easy for you to find the plants to dye items with any time of the year. I'd recommend this book for anyone who has ever liked the idea of dye fabrics for any occasion!




From Bethany Publishers-
Discipline That Connects with Your Child's Heart by Jim & Lynne Jackson
  Y'all, as a pending foster parent, this book connects to me in so many ways! I've often wondered how to raise a child up in Christ, but not so much that they are disillusioned once they go off into the world. How to be calm in the face of a child, who has big people emotions or trauma, but don't know how to express them, has forced me to try & read everything I can on the subject. I want to be well informed with a couple of go-to reactions and words when things go haywire, and this book gave me a new way to look at things so I can form those go-to responses. I'd recommend this book for anyone ever coming into contact with any child! Knowledge is power.



Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of the Sabbath in a Busy World by Shelly Miller
  As I said previously in this post, I've given my to-do list to God & asked that He guide me in slowing down and really savoring this time in my life. So when this book was up for review, I felt called to it. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Shelly Miller shows us how to get into a rhythm of slow living instead of a fast paced life that many of us feel compelled to run! She shows you it's all about being intentional with your time, and that even though the world is turning at a break-neck speed, you can have a life God wanted you to, at least honor Him by doing what He asks- resting in the Sabbath.



And lastly,
Angels: Who They Are, What They Do, and Why It Matters by Jack Graham
  This book is one I checked out from the library because honestly, I wasn't expecting to like it. The subject of angels is one that's always fascinated me. However, I didn't want to learn too much about them because I didn't want to be the weirdo talking about angels! You know those types! :)
 But, this book has put me in my place! All of Jack Graham's findings are fully backed up with biblical references. This is THE book to read if you've always wondered about angels.


And if you've read this whole post, I'm so proud of you because that was a major book haul! I hope that at least one of these reviews helped you find your next book!

**Some of these books were received complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion.**



Bookworm Heaven!

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 Happy first days of Summer almost Fall! (You can tell how long this draft has been sitting & not published? SPRING! Oopsies!)

  I never really appreciated Summer like I should've. Growing up in the South, (lived between Georgia & Louisiana all throughout childhood) the official first day of Summer didn't mean much because it was already scorching hot from March 1st! Especially Louisiana, the days when it felt like your face was melting off your head, yeah that happened faster than you wanted!

  Now, living in the North, I wait for Spring & Summer all throughout the brutal Winter! Now that it is almost over, I thought I'd share some of my favs! I love reading about other people's favorite things, so I thought I'd share some of my own, but more like a recap of the previous season. Sound good? Here is what I loved during Spring & Summer...


Website:  lifehack.org-  I could stay on this site forever! SO many interesting articles to read, so little time.


Book of Joshua Cover Begins September 5th

Bible Study: Women Living Well.org has a read through the bible program where you aren't pressured to participate in groups or Instagram sharing if you don't want to. I've been involved in this study for about a year now, and it's fantastic! Courtney really makes it easy to slow down when you're reading your bible by color coding the scripture. It works! And the inspiration from Instagram hash tags is fantastic! You should join us!

                       Prime-Ark® Freedom Blackberry       Giant Blueberry

Home Life:  So the previous owners of our home were pretty great at landscaping. And that's something that we don't have experience in! Thankfully we just have to upkeep what they had, but I wanted to plant some things, you know, to make it feel like it's really ours.
  I stumbled upon Michigan Bulb Company website and promptly fell in love! Y'all, this site has everything you need! It's so easy. You type in your zip code,  it tells you what zone you're in, then directs you to plants & flowers that are for your area! Amazing! I ordered some bulbs & plants for the Fall. Michigan Bulb Co. even waits until it's time to plant them to ship them to you! I ordered blueberry and blackberry bushes, too! Oh yes, I envision many fruit crisps & yummy things to come from those bushes!

AND- we just completed an amazing transformation of our living room! I'll sneak a photo in here now, but come back in a week or so for a tutorial so you can have your very own wall o' shelves!






Hydrating Body Wash-Purely Coconut
Beauty Product: Everyday Coconut Fair Trade Body Wash. This stuff is soooooo awesome! You guys know that since I'm on so much medicine, the doctors have said to cut out all toxic/chemical things to help give my liver a chance since I will be on these medications for the rest of my life. Enter-  EWG skin deep site & researching everything phase! Which lead me to throw out all of our bad products. That's pretty harsh for someone who LOVES bath products!
  After searching for a while, I found this one. It is great for your skin AND it smells like real coconuts, not the perfumy type of smell most "Coconut" products have. Not to mention, I bought it off of Thrive.com. If you haven't checked out Thrive, do it NOW! They have really great, hard to find products at dollars below any other store or website that I've found! Plus, you get 20% off your first order, so stock up!


  Phew, published this post in the nick of time since Summer is almost over! Time just gets away from you when you're trying to settle in a new home. I'm working hard to get a mini-home tour post up so you guys can see our first home! Ekk! I'm so excited to show it to you!  Be on the look out for that!

Question- What is your favorite Spring (or Summer) item this year? Comment below!
Spring Favorites... yeah, I'm extremely late!

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