Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Encouraging Kids to Live Simply

I appreciated Simple Mom's advice on encouraging kids to live simply, so I want to share her post with you!

It's an uphill battle against the selfishness of our souls and an entitlement culture, but I want my kids to be grateful for the things they have in life, instead of always hungering for more.  Simple Mom's 9 steps summarize many of the ideas we have tried and continue to try in our family.  What has worked for your family?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recipes for Smoothies, Juices, Nut Milks, and Tonics

Green Smoothies
This book came in the mail last week, and it has been intriguing our visitors ever since.  My 14-year old son flipped through it and asked if he could make one of the recipes.  Another 14-year old boy saw it on another day, and asked if he could borrow the book.  And a friend who is super into healthy living was analyzing some of the recipes beside me on Sunday.

The full title is: Green Smoothies: Recipes for Smoothies, Juices, Nut Milks, and Tonics to Detox, Lose Weight, and Promote Whole-Body Health.  There are 66 recipes, each with the following components:
a one-word description, such as savory, slightly sweet or sweet
pictures and words to describe the ingredients
health perks:  both a sentence and icons to describe key benefits
a picture of the finished product.

It's beautiful and inviting.  The recipes are mostly made of simple ingredients that you can find at a large grocery store or healthy foods store.I look forward to working my way through the book, trying some of the author's recipes.  I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to ease their way into a healthier lifestyle by juicing and blending healthy drinks.

I'm glad that the publisher sent me this book to review in exchange for my honest review!

Monday, February 01, 2016

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Product Details

I just finished another great book by Jody Hedlund, Undaunted Hope.  I didn't want to put it down, so I read in every spare moment I had this week.  (always a sign of a good book!)

Here's a description from the publisher:
Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won't be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can't help but say she is in his debt. Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she's the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

Hedlund does an excellent job developing her main characters.  You can feel Tessa's fear and passion.  You can feel Alex's protectiveness, loyalty and longing.  You can feel Michael's grief.  You can feel Percival's evil nature.

She also does a wonderful job painting the scenery.  You can imagine yourself walking into the town, seeing the homes, the mines, the snow, the lighthouse, the water, the treacherous weather...

I appreciated the character struggles, the plot twists, and the struggle for good to overcome evil.  I loved seeing such a strong female character, fighting for justice and for the people.  I enjoyed the love story and the friendships.

Undaunted Hope is a great historical fiction novel, and I would recommend it to readers age 17+.

I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

8 things to give up

I found this on facebook and thought it was perfect;