Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life Lessons from Say Yes to the Dress?


A few Fridays ago, Emily and I were watching Say Yes to the Dress. One of the girls had lost like 75 pounds, yet she kept feeling like she was fat in her dress even though she was tiny. Even though the salesclerk, her mom, and her friends all kept telling her she was beautiful and the dress was perfect, she still saw herself as a heavy girl. Emily commented to me, "That's going to be you when you finish losing weight. You'll have to see yourself differently." I made a light comment back, but it's stuck with me as I continued on my weight-loss journey. A friend who had her nose fixed told me that the doctor told her it would take six months for her eyes to adjust to seeing her new nose instead of the old one. We still see ourselves as what we were.

This led me to think about myself spiritually. In my head, I know God has forgiven me for my sins. I know it's like they never happened in His eyes. But, I think my eyes are more than six months behind...more like years behind. I want to see myself for who I am physically and spiritually...both the good and the bad.
I'm praying for God to let me see myself so that I can praise Him for the good and repent and change the bad.

Who would have thought I'd learn from a fun show about picking a wedding dress?

I'm at 18.5 pounds lost. :) I may post a picture at 20 or 25 pounds to see the beginning of a change.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Giveaway!

Congrats to Michelle for winning Miss Invisible. :) I'll mail the book soon.
Today, I'm giving away Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren. You should enjoy this book if for nothing else than the good looking guy on the front. LOL!
Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, to enter to win, leave a comment with what makes someone attractive to you. To get a second entry, leave a separate comment letting me know you follow the blog.
As always, I can only ship to the US. My sister will pick a number next week.

Thanks for entering!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Night Jihad

Despite the perhaps far-fetched notion of a professional football player who also fights terrorist, Monday Night Jihad is an action-packed novel that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
Riley Covington is a former military hero who returns to the PFL (Professional Football League). When terrorists strike a football game in which he was playing, he is pulled back into military life and is determined to capture the men responsible for the deaths of fans and teammates.
Working together with Khadi, a Muslim, to find the terrorists before they strike again, Riley must confront his feelings for Khadi despite their religious differences. Can they work together to save the lives of Americans?
Fans of Christian suspense will enjoy this series.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Giveaway!

Congrats to Shelena for winning Daring Chloe! Shelena, you didn't post an email address, so email me at by next Tuesday (the 27th) to claim  your book. If I don't hear from you by then, I'll draw again next week.

This week, I am giving away another Laura Jensen Walker book. (In fact, this makes me want to google her to see what she's written lately because I love her books!) This week it's Miss Invisible, which is about a professional baker. To enter to win, leave a comment about your favorite baked goods. I am a cupcake addict. I will drive all over Houston trying new places. To get a second entry, leave a comment telling me that you follow my blog. (If you don't follow me, follow me and then leave a second comment.)
Make sure you leave an email address.
I can only ship to the US.
By the way, once you win, you can enter again the following week. I don't have a limit on wins.
Good luck!

Just a reminder: to get the two entries, leave two comments. One comment with your favorite baked good. The second comment can just be "I follow your blog." If you say both things in one comment, you only get one entry because I just do to pull a number based on the number of comments. I hope that's as clear as mud.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This book is so much more than a historical romance. Rachel is not the typical 1951 woman. She's unmarried and the owner of a dance studio. The book delves into her plight to create a successful business in a society where women are still considered unequal in many ways. One of her biggest critics is Josh Reegan, former Air Force pilot and current journalist, who thinks dance is a silly waste of time.
As their lives become intertwined as Josh is asked to cover the dance competition, the storyline becomes not only a romance but a determination to succeed: Rachel with her dance studio and Josh with his desire to return to political reporting. Will achieving their dreams cost them true love?

Christian fiction fans, especially historical fiction lovers, will love this trip back in time to a beautiful era in America.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Giveaway!

Congrats to Patricia who won Your Chariot Awaits. I sent you an email for your address. If I don't hear from you in a week, I'll pick another winner.

This week, I'm giving away Daring Chloe by Laura Jensen Walker. It's part of the Getaway Girls Series, which is a fun set. To enter to win, leave a comment, sharing the most daring thing you've done. To get a second entry, follow my blog and leave a second comment that you follow.
I can only ship to the US. I'll pick a winner next Tuesday. Good luck!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Circus Ship

This is one of my favorite books to read with the students when they come to my library. They love the story of the animals surviving a horrible crash and escaping a terrible boss. The story is written in a beautiful cadence, which helps kids learn the sound and rhythm of reading aloud. The pictures are vivid and beautiful. The kids love to find the animals on the page when they are hiding from Mr. Paine.
This book is a great addition in the school library (where I work) as well as a kid's home library.

Melody's Knight

When Melody takes an evening run to pray about her future husband, it seems like an answered prayer when an engagement ring lands on her feet...literally. When Avery Knight's girlfriend turns down his proposal, he throws the ring, not seeing where it lands. When Melody returns the ring the next day (turns out they are neighbors), a friendship and flirtation develops.
I liked this book. The characters are great...unique and well-developed. Barney, Avery's dog, is a fun addition and serves as a great supporting character. Melody's love of fencing is also an off-beat but interesting part of the story development.
However, the end of the story felt a little it ended too soon with parts of the plot (like the crazy ex-girlfriend) not wrapped up.
Still, I enjoyed the book. The colorful characters and funny situations made for a light, enjoyable read.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stumbling into Grace

To be honest, I'm not sure what I think about this book. I enjoyed the spiritual lessons through Lisa's often funny and sometimes poignant life experiences, but I sometimes felt like I was reading more of a memoir collection than a spiritual lesson. I think that may have been the author's intention, but I felt like both parts were missing something. Instead of the personal anecdotes leading into the spiritual discussion, I felt they were disjointed and awkwardly joined. I enjoyed the personal stories, and I enjoyed the spiritual discussion, especially the questions and journal prompts. I just didn't like the combination.

However, fans of spiritual growth books with a good dose of laughter will enjoy this book. The set-up is great for a small-group or Bible study since the chapters are short and already contain reflection and discussion questions.

I received this book from Booksneeze for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Giveaway!

Congrats to Michelle for winning The Jewel in the Crown. I'll mail your book soon.

I'm still in the process of catching up on my kindle reading, so I have an older book to give away this week. Your Chariot Awaits is a FUN book. You'll love it. (It does have some wear from me reading it a couple times, but that just means it's good.)

To win, comment explaining what kind of chariot you would want waiting on you? I think I prefer one with AC. :)

I can only ship to the US. I'll pull a name next Tuesday. I'm going to do something a little differently and offer a second entry if you follow my blog. So, enter once with your comment (and email address). To enter a second time, leave a second comment just saying you follow my blog.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finally seeing results!

So, since June 7th, I've been tracking my calories on I love the program as it keeps me accountable and is so easy to use.
This weekend, I hit the 15 pound mark! YAY! I'm starting to see the difference, and people are beginning to notice. Although approval from others should  not be my reason for getting healthy, it is encouraging.
Also, I went in my closet, and I am able to zip some old clothes a size smaller. They are still too snug to wear all day (and keep breathing), but I can zip them! In a couple weeks, I can add them to my rotation. (Now that I am on the Dave Ramsey budget, I don't shop for clothes like I used to, which is so sad.)

Other exciting weight-related news. I've mentioned my sister Jeanelle is my biggest supporter and the one who hooked me up on She said to me the other day that she couldn't wait until I had to go clothes shopping because nothing fit anymore. I asked her if she was interested in helping fund that trip. She said yes! She said she'll donate a dollar a pound to my shop. :) I said she could set a limit since my goal is 83 pounds, but she told me not to worry and to just keep losing. I have the best sister ever.

I'm so thankful for the extra motivation to lose.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fish and Chips

Before I say anything else, I would like to say that I am a HUGE Erynn Mangum fan. I have bought and loved everything she's written. Until now.
The storyline is cute. A girl buys fish from a guy. The fish keep dying, so she has to go back. She and the guy fall for each other.
However, the novella feels like the first draft of a story that was published with little editing. The myriad grammar mistakes and slow down the story. I'm not talking about a well-placed fragments. I'm talking about so many run-ons and comma splices that I stopped counting. I know most people don't care about grammar like I do, but even my sister, who read the book before me, said she felt the book had been written in a hurry.

Fans of Erynn Mangum will enjoy the storyline, but the grammar mistakes create a jumbled mess of words and distract from the story. :(

I finished this book a while ago, but I didn't have the heart to post a negative review for an author I love.