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!


  Y'all, I've been on a reading bender! I promise to post different content as soon as I can get the posts altogether. It seems since moving, there is always a project to do in this house. When I get downtime, all I feel like doing is reading instead of blogging! Hey, life happens. Sometimes we push other things to the back burner, and I'm not especially sorry about that. I never want my social media/internet presence to come in between me and real life. Can I get an amen on that? 

And now, a feast for your bookworm eyes....

From Moody Publishers-

Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison

Seated with Christ by Heather Holleman

  Heather Holleman gets to the root of the self-absorbed culture these days and shows you a way out using scripture. This book came at a great time for me. While blogging, or even while being on different social media accounts, comparison is a thief that is ever present, robbing you of joy. I'm so happy to stumble across this book. I'm constantly searching for chances to unplug from everything, and this book guides you to do that amongst it all. Highly recommend for everyone.


10 Commandments of Marriage by Ed Young

Dr. Ed Young tackles the hard subjects that he's heard for years of counseling folks. That alone makes me want to read the book! But then he adds every "Commandment" with a bit of humor and I love books that preach, teach, and make you giggle every now and then. I highlighted this book all over, knowing that this could change my marriage and make it even more solid than ever! And when you're about to dive into Foster care/adoption, who doesn't want to solidify their marriage more? I would recommend this book to newlyweds, engaged couples, well... to everyone really!

Punderdome game from Blogging for Books

  This game sounded so fun that I just had to try it! It's a simple setup and instructions. At first, it may take your brain a few rounds to get into that pun mindset, but after that, it's fun! Great for a multitude of people, and lots of fun!

December Caravan by Rebecca Vandemark

  Rebecca Vandemark takes you inside her life, one that has more struggle in a short amount of time than most will ever have in their lifetime. She writes beautifully, and truly paints you a picture of her hardships and faith. One of the things I admire so much from this author is her faith. She always leans on faith and that in itself is a beautiful thing to behold. I can't wait to see what else Rebecca writes, knowing it will be just as beautiful as this book.

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd

  This book touched my heart! I can only imagine what a Christian soldier goes through when vowing to protect our nation, but may have to be or do something his or her faith condemns. Jason B. Ladd gives you insight to this. He tells you what helps him during a spiritual attack, and I plan on taking these tactics with me in everyday life! A solid book for anyone, but I would highly recommend for anyone in the service or about to go in the service, as well as a parent of a soldier. 

From BookLookBloggers-

For Better or For Kids by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk 

  While waiting for a child for adoption, I want to solidify our marriage, and jumped at the chance to read this book! I've always heard the expression, "Children will come and then move away, but your spouse is there through it all," which made me realize that I didn't want my marriage to revolve around a child, but my spouse. This book addresses just that! It helps you stay committed to your partner or spouse even when mother or fatherhood wears you out. I love that she includes conversation starters for you and your spouse. It will help tons when you're worn out from the children! I would recommend this book to every couple who have or will have children. 

Unashamed by Christine Caine

  This was my first time reading Christine Caine, and I love her! I love it when an author is completely honest with the reader. Christine Caine lets us in to help us go from shame filled to shame-free. She doesn't just do it on her own word, but she guides you to the Bible, to God's words. Her writing is superb and I can't wait to seek out more of her work and speaking engagements! I would recommend this to every single person I know.

That's all, folks! I hope you've found a new book to read during this post!

What are y'all currently reading? Comment below! I'm always itching for my next book!
Yep, you guessed it...


  These are the books I'm reading to "Try" to prep me for motherhood via foster to adoption. Since I don't know boy or girl, or even age, I can't know exactly what to prepare for! It's open season here, folks!
  So, I just thought I'd read everything I could get my book worm hands on. This may be a couple of installments, but here are the first ones for now...

Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
  This book is amazing! It's so interesting to see what the American culture is becoming. In my opinion, it isn't looking pretty! When going through the Foster Care classes, you have to come up with a loose parenting plan... how you will discipline, punish, etc. Since we won't know age/sex of the placement we will get, we decided to come up with a VERY broad plan. We knew we didn't want to raise an entitled child. Granted, I think each generation is spoiled a little more than the previous, but lately, it seems to have jumped about 10 generations with the spoiledness of kids I see in the stores!
   The book paints a picture of how American kids compared to other kids around the world and it's mind blowing! I'm determined to raise a well-rounded kid, even if the first precious years were hard for them... I think I can, I think I can!

                                                          book cover

Next up is Keeping Your Kids on God's Side by J. Warner Wallace
  Great book! I'm highlight up a storm in it. I know that the children we may have, (even if only for a short time) may not have heard about Jesus or God or even been inside of a church previously. Maybe, we will be starting from scratch in their faith. I know we will have to answer the basic questions about God, which I'm prepared for. What I'm not prepared for, however, is the really hard questions, such as, "If God is good, why do bad things happen?" Yeah, those gut-punching questions where you have absolutely no idea where to start explaining! This book will give you the answers that they will understand. I'm pretty sure I'll be pulling this book out and having it ready for each of the God discussions!

                                                               Beat Sugar Addiction Now! for Kids: The Cutting-Edge Program That Gets Kids Off Sugar Safely, Easily, and Without Fights and Drama

Beat Sugar Addiction Now for Kids by Jacob Teitelbaum & Deborah Kennedy
  Again, we won't know where these children are in terms of age, but I'm pretty sure no one was concerned with their sugar intake. Along with the majority of America, folks just give kids the "Kiddie" types of cereals and snacks.
   After watching a documentary  on Netflix called Fed Up, I've cut out 95% of my sugar intake. Please, go watch it, it will blow your mind!  Besides special occasions, I try to steer clear of sugar by not buying it.
   Now, picture in your mind, we get a child where nutrition wasn't top priority, and their daily sugar intake is probably through the roof. And now picture how many big people emotions they will be going through in the upcoming weeks. Finally, add me trying to get them off a sugar addiction.... yeah, it's not looking pretty!
  I pray that this book will help us transition them off sugar easily.


20 Teachable Virtues by Barbara C. Unell and Jerry L. Wyckoff
  Practical Ways to Pass on Lessons of Virtue and Character to Your Children book? Yes, please! The virtues they present in this book are so valuable. Every child should have an opportunity to learn these and apply them in their lives. Unfortunately, sometimes a child may not have had that opportunity to learn anything in a rough home life. You bet I will try my hardest to teach them everything I can for the time I have them.

All of these books I have purchased with my own money, (they're not a review for a publisher) and I plan on keeping & referring to them often throughout the years!

Do you have any other parenting books that made a difference in your child's life? Comment below! I need all the advise I can get!

My Book List While Waiting for Adoption


Hi! More book reviews here for you! I normally wait until I have quite a few reviews to publish, but these books were far too awesome to wait!

From Booklookbloggers.com- The Longing in Me by Sheila Walsh
   I can't say enough about this book! Shelia Walsh dug deep to write her innermost thoughts, feelings, and tragedies. My admiration for her being a megaphone for God's grace just magnified a hundred times! Read this book, recommend it to all of your friends, and then re-read it each year... it's what I plan on doing!

From Bloggingforbooks.com- Mother Can You Not by Kate Siegel 
   The relationship between mother & daughter is special, but these two wonderful ladies are truly hilarious! I've followed their Instagram feed for months now, but I have to say, this book is so much better! A funny, easy read, perfect for Summertime or a great gift for someone who needs a little lighthearted laughter in their life.

From NetGalley.com- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
   LOVED this book! I love Shauna's writing style on any subject, but her explaining why it's better to be present than to glorify busy was the push I needed to really believe that. If you find yourself frazzled far too often, please read this book, and then pass it along to all of your friends; it's that good!

Please go out & read at least one of these books this Summer!

*I received these books complimentary in exchange for my HONEST opinion!*
Summertime Reads


Lord, I come to you now to pray for my nation...and my world. Help us, Father, to drive out hate with love. Comfort those mourning. Be with those who have evil thoughts in their heads, help them be strong in their faith, and help them to fight the enemy. Comfort us all, Abba.  In Jesus' powerful name, we pray, AMEN! 

 "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 
 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."  
Colossians 3:13-14
Every Life Matters


  Hiya! It's been a while, hasn't it? My life is all about settling in & unpacking, so it's not terribly exciting, which is why I haven't posted lately! I promise to do a home tour once the boxes are gone and things are on the walls. Until then, I've been racking up in the bookworm department! Some of these I've had for a while and between packing to move, then unpacking, they were lost in the shuffle. Because of that, this post is chalk full of book reviews!

American Heart Association Healthy Fats, Low Cholesterol Cookbook (from BloggingforBooks.com)
  Because we want to eat hearty meals sometimes, but I need to keep in mind & continue our Thrive- subcategory goals from January that was on "Healthy". That, combined with the high cholesterol I have, makes this the perfect cookbook for us! The recipes call for simple ingredients, nothing crazy. Photos and easy to follow instructions make all the difference! I would recommend this book, or buy it for anyone who needs to be on a low cholesterol cookbook, or for anyone looking to be healthier!

Next book is Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae (Tyndale Blog Network)
  Fantastic book! It reminds us that our homes do not have to be perfectly polished, it's more about having folks there to build community and making them feel at home. This book has a 31-day plan that guides you through cleaning and organizing your home to feel... like a home! I love the set up of this plan. You never feel rushed to learn the new way to clean, it's easy to slide right into her plan. You feel like you are talking to a friend and getting tips from her, little by little. The fact that she bases it on biblical perspectives makes me fall in love with this book! I will recommend and buy this book for anyone, but especially for a newlywed! The most important takeaway from this book that I am applying to my life is that my home doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to feel like home.

Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way by Jimmy Wayne, with Ken Abraham  (Booklookbloggers)
   I will confess, I don't listen to country music often, and I did not know who Jimmy Wayne was. That didn't matter, though. This book is about his life of one heartache after another. It's not easy on the heartstrings. You will cry, but you won't be able to put this book down. As someone who is in the process of adoption, this book lets you peek into a childhood that is rough, That's something you don't always get to know about in their own words. I won't go too much more into detail than that. I don't want to spoil it for you, but this is one of those books that stick with you long after the final page. I would recommend it for all adults, especially those that are going down the adoption/foster home road.  

Married and Still Loving It by Gary Chapman & Harold Myra (Moody Publishers Newsroom)
  Full disclosure: I did not realize when selecting this book, that it was about "The Joys and Challenges of the Second Half" meaning second half of your life! We are still in our first half of life, but this book was amazing anyway. The wisdom about life and love can be applied to all. I love Gary Chapman's books, and this book didn't disappoint me. They also write about real stories, from real couples. I love that! Books that give you advice, but throw in real stories makes the lessons from the book stick with me more than just a list of do's & don'ts. It's an easy read, designed to help you breeze through and not get bogged down. And even though I wasn't the target audience, I want the healthy, long marriage so anything that I can get my hands on to teach me how to have the marriage that I want, you bet I will read it! I would recommend this book to everyone!

Between Pain & Grace by Gerald W. Peterman & Andrew J. Schmutzer (Moody Publishers Newsroom)
  OK, this book was amazing for me. I suffer from Fibromyalgia & Endometriosis, and I can attest to the fact that if God wasn't by my side through the bad days, months, years... I would be a completely different person. Constant, chronic pain changes you, and it's hard not to take it out of those you love. This book answers questions the hard questions that you've been asking yourself as long as you've had pain & suffering. It's chalk full of things you need to really make the wisdom it offers, sink in. Again, I love when a book doesn't just load you up on advice but offers real stories from real people. I would recommend this book for everyone, not just a person dealing with pain, but ones who suffer from mental illnesses. This book needs to be read by everyone... those that suffer and those that love people who suffer. 

   And that's all of them! I told you there were quite a few!  Even though I do get books complimentary in exchange for my honest opinion, every single one of these books I recommend to you. They are all on different topics, but I feel like they all can relate to different demographics. If you're looking for a new book, try one of these!

What's on your summer reading list? Comment below!

**I received all books complimentary from publishers, but these are my 100% honest opinions. **
Shh, your bookworm is showing


... I've been absent on this blog. I'm sure you've noticed. Well, aside from doing lots of things to get licensed as a Foster Home, (read more about our adoption story here) we've been making big, bold moves in our lives. And in case you don't follow me on Instagram, this is what's been going on-

We're nomads no longer! For the next couple of weeks, we will be settling in. After that, we will have to have another home inspection, and then will be able to take placements and hopefully, God will send us our child! 

I will also take another week or two before I open up the Etsy shop, and before I start blogging regularly, but I promise to get back to all of it ASAP! 

Now tell me, what's the best new homeowner advice you have ever been given? Comment below! 



  Y'all, this story is one that breaks my heart but encourages it as well. I won't get into the details, you can click the news story links to hear them. To sum it up, tragedy struck, leaving these 4 precious children motherless, and a father in jail. Regardless of the circumstances, these babies had their world turned upside down.  That's the heartbreaking part.

Video- Did the law fail a woman who died after calling for help? 

Article- "Sherriff: Husband shot wife, dumped body in Palmetto canal." 

  The encouraging & downright inspiring part is- an older couple took them in, without a second of hesitation. It is the children's Aunt & Uncle, a couple who'd already raised their family, grandparents even. God took a bad situation and blessed these children with another set of parents who'd love them as their own. That encourages me with our own adoption process. Knowing that, when the time comes, God will give me that no hesitation feeling when I meet our child(ren).

  Unfortunately, they'd long ago rid their home of all children's clothing. Looking forward to retirement and life slowing down. Now, they'd start all over in the parenting world with a 7 yr. old girl, 5 yr. old boy, 3 yr. old girl, & a 6-month-old baby girl.

  When I started this blog, I knew that I'd never put up tons of donation things. Unless it was an awesome cause that I'd prayed over & knew God lead me to do so.  This is one of them.   So, this is where I ask you to now search your heart, pray about it. Give up that Starbucks run this week & put it towards helping this loving couple & these sweet babies. You can donate anonymously, so don't feel embarrassed. No donation is too small.  You can also donate clothes & toys! There is a PO Box listed on the gofundme page. If you have any questions on what they may need, there is also an email address listed.

  Check out the gofundme link below. Know that I know this family, they're from my hometown. As they say, "They're good people." I wouldn't be here, sharing their story, asking for donations and prayers if this wouldn't be legit and super important as well as time sensitive. This all happened a month ago- they went from empty nesters to an instant family of 6 overnight.

On the gofundme page, there are multiple ways to share this story. Please feel free to share their  story any way you wish, and as much as you want to. They could use all the help & uplifting they can get.  Fellow bloggers, feel free to share this post as well!

Above all, I ask that you pray for this family.  God bless you!

Heartbreak to Encouragement



© The Artsy Cajun. Design by MangoBlogs.