It is FINALLY 2021!! Holy cow! It’s a new year and my first post for 2021…so why not a recap of some of our favorite gifts that we received, gifted, and bought for ourselves this past year. So without further ado – let’s dive in to my BEST of Amazon!!
There are SO many other gift guides coming at you this year – from tech to teens, for the home and homeschool, and so much more! Keep an eye out for more and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!
In a poll on IG stories I asked what you would rather see…some of my personal favorite chapter books or children’s books and 60% of you wanted to see my top picks for children’s books!
I have included an age-range, up to 6-8 years old, so here are some of my favorite children’s books (and note, these books are great for more than one age group):
Baby to 2 Years:
Ages 2 to 5 Years:
Ages 5 to 8 Years:
There are SO many books that I absolutely love and could seriously write many of blog posts about books. These are just SOME of the many that I love and again, these books are great for all ages and can span age groups.
What are your kiddos favorites? Comment below! Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend!
Wednesday I asked you all what you wanted to see for my Friday Favorites, and between Ulta and Amazon…Amazon WON by a LANDSLIDE! So today I am sharing a few of my favorite Amazon finds. It is seriously crazy mixed up and there is no flow to it AT ALL. So bare with me but these are some of my most recent Amazon purchases and finds:
We just purchased this and got our caterpillars earlier this week. My boys are loving watching the caterpillars and hopefully well get to witness a few butterflies emerge from their chrysalis in just a few weeks!
I purchase a few shelf-stable food items from Amazon but I always check the seller first (you should ALWAYS check that the seller is the brand you are purchasing). I have been adding Peruvian Maca to my smoothies and can really feel a difference. It has many benefits, from balancing hormones, cleaning up acne, helping with depression and adrenals…the list goes on!
Miracle Berry Powder
I have shared my love for the Schisandra Berry before…but I really do love it! I purchase it from Lost Empire Herbs and the quality is great! There are so many health benifits as well, and I listed those out here.
My Own Personal Laminator…Because Why Not?!
The best part of homeschooling…laminating! Haha just kidding!! But the teacher is me is seriously LOVING this personal laminator!! I love it so much! It is by far my favorite homeschool purchase! It works so well, doesn’t take up a ton of space, and makes great use of school items so I don’t have to keep printing things over and over again. I even laminated my kiddos chore charts and use a dry erase marker to check off each day! AND IT IS ON SALE!!!
Activate Creature Power!
If you have any Wild Kratt fans in your house, then they will LOVE these fun animal discs! I bought these because my oldest was always making homemade paper discs and then I found these on Amazon and knew he would love them! Sure enough, my two boys have a blast pretending to be animals with their creature power discs!
Pet Pee Pads
Ok ok…hear me out…our 13-year old pup is having some bladder issues as of late and we were going on a road trip and she needed a washable, portable mat to sit on while in the car and at my in-laws home. So I bought these two mats and they are the best! No leaks, washes well, and looks nice…for a pee pad 😉 You’re welcome. 😉
My Kids Favorite Rash Guard
I love this rash guard! I bought one for each kid and they keep them warm, versus all the others we use to buy that would freeze them out after they got wet! It holds up well, washes nicely, and keeps my kiddos from burning. Win, win, win!
The Best Leggings for Only $25!
I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again…THESE ARE THE BEST LEGGINGS EVER! Y’all, you know I don’t spend a ton of money on clothes so when I heard these were super soft and similar to some of those really expensive leggings, I just had to try it! I mean, if it didn’t work out, I would just send it back. I FELL IN LOVE! Take my word for it…the best $25 you will spend! Trust me!
And to wrap up the random Amazon find list…
The Ice Roller For Your Face!
This thing is so amazing! Just pop off that green roller, pop it in the freezer at night, and in the morning pop it back on and roll it all over your face! It is so soothing and is suppose to help with fine lines and wrinkles. I don’t use it enough to know if it really helps, but it sure feels fabulous and reduces puffiness…and thats a win for me!
Thanks for hanging in with the most random assortment of Amazon finds! Next time I will narrow my focus for you, but these are just some of my favorite recent purchases and totally random!
What are you loving right now that you found on Amazon? Share below!
As we wrap up another summer month, I am taking a look back at July and reflecting through pictures! You can see my June recap here. Let’s now take a walk down memory lane of this past month:
I love their smiles and pure excitement for the fireworks we saw on the Fourth. It was just so much fun to watch the fireworks through their eyes and the inflatable mattress and pillows in the back of my hubby’s truck was so much fun!
Oh our little cuddler! He loves to grab you and pull you close and hold on…and fall asleep 😉 We don’t cuddle every night…but sure will take these while we can!
Our liltte first grader started homeschool just four weeks ago! We are loving Sonlight curriculum and just having so much fun with the work. I am so proud of him…he is rocking it and so smart and doing such a great job!
This little tank is just flying on his bike! We dropped the training wheels not too long ago and he just won’t quit! 😉 He never ceases to amaze me…and keep me on my toes! 😉
Our boat rides are made so sweet when he falls sleep. Why do I love their little precious faces so much when they are sleeping?! Those lips just get me! Love my boys 🙂
We enjoyed an adults-only boat ride for our bi-monthly Supper Club and my precious friend snapped this pic of me and my hubby. We don’t get too many pictures of us together (you know how it as a parent…one is taking and one is in it…rarley both are in it at the same time).
These two are just so much fun! I love the joy and the laughter that they bring to every day! I pray that they love each other and remain best friends for life!
These two pictures are my absolute favorite so far from my morning walks and both happened on the same day…a morning that I needed encouragement and felt God leaning in and whispering to me. Love when God shows off! 😉
Also….some GREAT news!
Now through August 4th, you can get 50% off your first month of a new subscription order.
That’s right! Truvani decided to offer their amazing special again!!
Now is the perfect time to try any of Truvani’s products, and they’ll take 50% off your first month when you checkout! Plus you can cancel your subscription any time without hassle.
*Subscribe and save 50% off your first order of any full-priced Truvani product when you subscribe. Discount is taken at checkout on product price only, excludes tax and shipping. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer or discount and cannot be applied to previously placed or pending orders. Offer is limited to new subscriptions only and will not apply to any previous product subscriptions. Offer subject to change or expire at any time. Other restrictions may apply.
Well I can’t believe July is practically over already!
Happy Friday friends! We made it to the end of the week! We have officially ended week THREE of homeschool and I am still loving every minute of it! Monday provided such sweet encouragement and words from both of my boys and it just reinforced our decision to homeschool.
Today for my Friday Favorites, I am sharing some of my favorite at-home workout plans and products!! Please share below what you are loving and what is working for you!
Note: Click the image to go directly to the product on Amazon.
Have to start with shoes! These are by far my favorite jogging shoes! I have them in the color Blue Mirage/Purple Plumeria. I got them at a local running store last year, where they watched me walk and I tired on so many different shoes. This one provides JUST ENOUGH foam, not too thin, not too much. I usually love Aesic’s but it had too much foam compared to these. Now, I go in running spurts…I will run for a few weeks, then be over it! Haha! Recently I’ve been into walking and these are prefect for my morning walks. But they are great for running, too!
I LOVE weight lifting and need to be better about doing it! My favorite at-home DVD routine is this one! Even my 7-year old son asks to do Body Beast! It is nice because it is more like how I use to workout, with reps and drop sets. I love it!
Another plan that I LOVE is the Tone It Up app! I love how fast the workouts are, that they workout multiple body parts at one time (thing lunge with a bicep curl), and it’s just fun! The app also has a nutrition center with all sorts of recipes!
Currently I am on Day 5 of the 21 Day Challenge and it is really great! I am totally sore and feel a difference already!
Now to do both of those workouts, you need a little bit of equipment, but not much. I LOVE our Powerblocks, but it is so hard to find weights right now that don’t cost an arm and a leg! We found our Powerblock set on Craigslist, so search around and find a few weights that work best for you (recommend a set like this where you can easily move up and down in weights but it doesn’t take up a ton of room. Or get light, medium, and heavy individual weights).
These resistance bands are fabulous! They don’t ride up on you, don’t slip or fold, are durable and hold up really well! The TIU workouts use resistance bands (and sometimes puts a weight behind your knee for donkey kicks, but with my Powerblock, I can’t do that…so I use these bands and they are perfect!).
We have this DYNAPRO exercise ball (in pink!) for Body Beast workouts since I don’t have an incline seat and it works really well. And right now this one is on sale!!
I try to get some yoga in a few times a week at least, so a good yoga mat is key. And it is nice, depending on your floors, to have a yoga mat for workout moves that you go on the floor for (sit-ups, donkey kicks, push-ups, etc.). I love that these Jade Yoga Mats are made with sustainable materials, they plant a tree with Trees for the Future for every mat sold, and it is American-made.
Speaking of yoga….THESE PANTS ARE THE BOMB!!! I don’t buy expensive workout clothes and when I heard these pants are like some of the more expensive brands, I had to try it! And boy oh boy…they DO NOT disappoint!!! So soft, stays in place, love the pockets and the high waist…they are just fabulous!
I am loving starting my day with a smoothie and having so much fun playing with different smoothie add-ins and options! The other day I was missing coffee…which I haven’t had since November! My husband grinds the beans fresh every morning and the smell of fresh brewed coffee enveloped and consumed me! I decided to […]
Y’all. This is my new favorite smoothie!! It is so so easy to make and tastes like an almond butter vanilla dessert. I can’t even describe it well because it tastes so dang good! You could easily swap the almond butter for peanut butter or other nut butter of your liking. I used only seven […]
Since battling Candida and other health issues (which I will address all of this Wednesday), I had to avoid most all fruit (until recently). Which meant I could not have my normal fruit-loaded smoothies. I also struggled to find a protein powder that tasted delicious and was safe for my Candida. That is until Truvani! […]
I asked you all in my stories what you wanted to see for my next Friday Favorites and the overwhelming landslide was ‘A’! So today I am sharing my favorite bath/beauty care items, from shampoo and conditioner, to makeup, skincare..all the bath related items!
So let’s jump right on in…to my shower!
In my shower you will find an ASSORTMENT of shampoo and conditioners! I like to mix it up and change my shampoo and conditioner every few times. So here are the ones in the rotation currently:
I am LOVING Amika sooooo sooo much! My amazing hairdresser, Kortnee, has me obsessed! I just bought the orange ones for everyday use and the purple ones are for brighting up the blonde and getting rid of any brass undertones.
I still use my Kenra shampoo occasionally but it has taken a backseat to Amika.
Another brand that I love for my kids is this Love Beauty and Planet shampoo and conditioner. It smells incredible and I like their mission and purpose.
While we are talking hair, these are the products I use out of the shower:
And then every couple of week I use this Olaplex No. 3 for repairing and moisturizing. This stuff is incredible! This at-home treatment makes a HUGE difference on my color-treated hair!
Now let’s hop back in to the shower…my favorite body wash for myself is another Love Beauty and Planet brand item.
This body wash smells divine and makes my skin super soft. It only takes a little bit and lathers up so well.
I love this one as well and my boys use it daily!
Before we hop out of the bath area, I want to share my favorite items for my weekly bath. I try to take a detox bath once a week. Detox baths are a natural way to remove toxins from the body and replenish it with a good dose of magnesium and other beneficial minerals. For my detox bath, I first neutralize the water with baking soda, then fill it with Epsom salt, bentonite clay, coconut oil, and a couple drops of an essential oil of my liking. I’ll post soon more about detox baths and the exact measurements I use for myself and my kids!
I love this toothpaste! The boys use this one as well. I haven’t tried the cinnamon flavor yet…I just cant do that flavor for brushing. I like minty stuff. The boys may like it but I haven’t tried it yet for them. If you try it, let me know in the comments!!
I was using my body brush to help with the detoxifying process but haven’t used it in a few weeks. I bought a set very similar to this on Amazon and it is a nice brush set that has held up really well over the years.
The body lotion I use is this Alba Botanica one and I like this one over a lot of others I have tried. It is not greasy and it is clean brand, plus the size of the bottle for the price is great!
Well that is is for the bath area!
Let’s take a look at my favorite makeup that I am currently using and loving!
As you can see in the picture, I have hit pan on quite a few items!! I am not going to go into a lot of details for each item, because there are so many, but these are the items I use for daily full-makeup. When we go to the lake, I only use the All Good Tinted Sunscreen Butter, in addition to my regular sunscreen primer spray, and the Eco Lips Organic Pure & Simple Raspberry Lip Balm. I bought both at Sprouts but I found the tinted sunscreen at Target as well.
Sometimes I set it all with this powder, but not always. I use Pacifica’s powder only when I am oily and need a touch up. I am in love with Honest Company’s highlighter…as you can tell by the picture! I use it also on my eyes. For blush, I got a free sample from a previous Ulta order, so I am currently using this NARS blush.
As far as skincare, I love the line that my esthetician, Holly Tanella, has put together for me. You can read all about it here.
I just started using her latest product, her OWN line (way to go Holly!) at Boho Med Spa, the YTH Serum (and it it currently 20% off!). I am using this both day and night and it is replacing my dark spot treatment serum as well as my vitamin c serum.
Now one of the BEST beauty secrets is to make sure to include COLLAGEN in your daily routine. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and functions like support pillars for your skin to keep it nice and smooth. It supports the health of your hair, joints, bones, and helps strengthen brittle fingernails. However, over time, your body produces less and less of it.
More and more cutting-edge research points to the health benefits specifically of MARINE collagen. Because as it turns out, the collagen in the skin of fish is very similar to the collagen in the human body.
#2 – GOOD FOR YOU… AND FOR OUR FOOD SYSTEM
Our collagen comes from the skin of WILD CAUGHT fish. The skin is a valuable source of collagen that often goes to waste. So, using it is good for you AND the sustainability of our food system.
#3 – IT’S HYDROLYZED (AND EASY TO DIGEST)
Truvani treats their Marine Collagen with a non-GMO, food-grade enzyme. This process makes their collagen easy to digest (without any solvents or chemicals). So, the amino acids can get to where they need to go!
Hope you all have a blessed weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday!
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost is the same but I automatically receive a small commission. The money I make from these links I use to further my blog and support my family.I only refer products that I personally use and trust.
It’s another Friday Favorites over here!!! I love this day and try to be creative with what my “favorites” are that I share…and today is no different!
If you are gluten-free, you will LOVE this post! I am sharing all of my favorite gluten-free snacks! From pre-packaged items, to fresh fruits and veggies, here are some of my favorite gluten-free snack items:
*Note: I currently can’t eat all of these because of my diet restrictions with Systemic Candida; however, when I was following ONLY a gluten-free lifestyle, these were/are (some I still can eat) my favorites.
**Note 2: I will never be able to eat sugar like I did before. So some of these items I may not be able to eat ever again :(. However, natural sugars (like dates and honey and those from fruits) I will be able to eat again once my Systemic Candida is healed completely.
MY FAVORITE GLUTEN-FREE SNACKS
These are my favorite!! I seriously have eaten an entire bag in one sitting! So watch out! 😉 I have to force myself to stop or pour just enough into a bowl and then put the chips back in the pantry. Eating straight out of the bag is dangerous! Haha!
I love eating these just as is…or with homemade guacamole (just squash an entire avocado in a bowl, sprinkle a little onion and garlic powder, chop up a small cherry tomato, maybe a little purple onion, cilantro and fresh lime juice, stir and that’s it!).
Flax4Life Chocolate Coconut Brownies
A sweet friend introduced us to these AMAZING brownies (ok, maybe not the healthiest snack, but hey, it has flax in it so that counts, right?!?) and they are so yummy! Now I can’t eat this currently because of my diet restrictions with Candida, but for now, my boys and hubby absolutely LOVE these!
I know, SUPER easy but SO good! I use to LOVE to quickly toast a frozen gluten-free waffle (the pumpkin spice was my favorite) and top it with organic almond butter. It was filling and delicious!
Veggies + Hummus
This is the hummus that we buy at Costco and it is one of Clark’s favorites, too! We both love cutting up fresh organic bell pepper and dipping it in this hummus. I also like to dip fresh organic broccoli, celery, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, and carrots.
Coconut Yogurt + Berries
This is one of my personal favorite yogurts. It is contains only raw young coconut, raw young coconut water, and probiotic cultures…that’s it!! They also have a few other flavors, like raspberry, cacao, and vanilla. You could add a little bit of raw organic local honey (how many times can I say ‘raw’?! haha!) and then top with your favorite organic fresh berries. One container gives me at least two servings.
Chocolate Protein Shake
I make my favorite chocolate protein shake often for breakfast or lunch, but if I don’t drink it as my meal, sometimes I will make a super-fast version and drink it as my snack. I use 4 oz coconut milk, 4 oz water and a few ice cubes, 1 scoop Truvani chocolate protein, 1 TB almond butter, and blend! It is filling, delicious, and satiates my sweet tooth!
Apple + Almond Butter
I love eating a crisp organic green apple with a big tablespoon of organic almond butter! My boys love it, too! The almond butter helps to make this easy snack a little more filling, and the crisp apple is just so delicious!
This Kirkland almond butter is the one that I love to purchase. I have also been digging crunchy almond butter recently, so if I am out of this one, I will grab the Sprouts brand organic crunchy almond butter.
Before I had to restrict my fruit because of my Systemic Candida, I LOVED the Carrot Cake Larabar! It was by far my favorite one!! With only a few clean ingredients, these bars are still my go-to bars for my boys and one day I’ll be able to eat these again!
Sprouted Rice Cereal with Almond Butter + Blueberries
I know this is going to sound super crazy…but I LOVED this snack before Candida! I would fill a bowl with this Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps cereal, topped with a heaping tablespoon of organic almond butter, added in about a tablespoon of coconut flakes, some hemp seeds, a few chopped walnut, and a handful of fresh organic blueberries. I would splash just enough of a nut milk (or Ripple milk) to get it a bit soft and be able to mix it together, but not too much! Y’all. It was DELICIOUS! This is one snack (or if I made a big bowl: breakfast) that I miss SOOO much!
Rice Cakes with Almond Butter + Fruit + Honey
I loved topping a rice cake with organic almond butter, slicing a bit of banana and laying it on top, then drizzling it with raw local honey. Such an easy, filling snack that would give me a little boost of energy!
What are some of your favorite gluten-free snacks? Share below!!
See you all back here on Monday! Have a blessed 4th of July weekend!
Links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost is the same but I automatically receive a small commission. The money I make from these links, I use to further my blog and support my family.I only refer products that I personally use and trust.
I asked my oldest son, who is now seven, what his favorite “Bible” books are and below are his selections. He has a couple of Bibles, but the books that he selected are not his Bibles, they are more storybooks and picture books that are perfect for reading aloud with his younger brother at bedtime. I did add the Bible that I use to read aloud to my boys below. I received this Bible in our home school curriculum and really love it!
Y’all! This is the sweetest book! It is SO helpful for kids (and even us adults!) to understand that our feelings are important, but if left unchecked, it will wreak havoc on our day and those around us. In this book, Dr. Josh beautifully reminds us to ask God for help and to not let our emotions rule us.
It’s show-and-tell day at school, and Sam and his friends are feeling lots of emotions. He wonders why he feels flippy in his tummy. And why is Alex stomping his feet? And does Hudson usually have such a big grin?
After several unchecked feelings threaten to ruin the big day, Sam and his friends start to learn how to give each emotion a name and ask God to help them remember that “a feeling is just a feeling—it’s not in charge of you.” In a world where kids are dealing with everything from sibling rivalry to bullying, divorce to tragedy, What Am I Feeling? offers a biblically grounded way for children to verbalize their feelings, develop empathy and self-control, and understand their wonderful God-given emotions.
This is by far my sons favorite book of all time! The Jesus Storybook Bible is beautifully written and shows how all the stories of the Bible weave together seamlessly, all “whispering Jesus’ name.” Each “chapter” probably takes about five minutes to read, which is perfect for bedtime.
“If you are a parent, grandparent, pastor, or teacher looking for a way to teach the children in your life about God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love,” look no further than The Jesus Storybook Bible.”
All of the ‘God Gave Us’ books are wonderful! We own a few of them and I love reading them around the holidays to help discuss what the holidays are about, in kid language. This one, God Gave Us Easter, is my personal favorite.
“A delightful illustrated picture book for readers ages 3 and up, God Gave Us Easter features the adorable polar bear Little Cub, talking with her father and learning about God’s design for the Easter season and what it really means.”
When I was a little girl, my grandmother and grandfather gave me this book. I remember looking at the pages and hunting for the little ladybugs throughout the book as a little girl. When I was going through my keepsake trunk my mom saved for me, I found my original copy and it brought back all the sweet memories! I knew I needed to find a copy for my son and we love reading his copy often!
For quick bedtime reads, I ask him to pick two letters and I read the pages that go with the letters he chose.
“Ken Taylor’s best-selling book is now updated with all-new bright and colorful illustrations and a larger trim size. Using the alphabet as a learning tool, the easy-to-use format of this beloved picture book connects Bible themes and verses that teach kids ages 3-7 Christian values. Each spread represents a letter of the alphabet and a Christian value or moral lesson beginning with the same letter. Kids are encouraged to find the lesson being modeled (or not) in the illustrations. They are also asked questions to help them apply the lesson to their lives. This book is sure to win the hearts of kids and parents alike.”
My grandmother gifted this book to our boys and it is so cute! My boys can relate to Will, and I like how the book addresses putting on all the armor of God.
“Will is a fearless, lovable superhero, well, at least in his imagination. He can leap tall buildings…from his bed…and he can rescue his sister from the jaws of a ferocious beast: his dog, Ralph! Complete with cape and sword, Will’s adventures take him on dangerous missions through the jungle…his backyard. But when he gets confused by the meaning of God’s armor, his dad teaches him that he can do anything with God’s strength and protection. After all, he is Will, God’s Mighty Warrior!”
This Bible is written in a more kid-friendly manner that is aligned to Biblical text and doesn’t sugar-coat the big stuff, which I appreciate. I learned a lot reading it aloud to my boys and I know they are learning in a way that is approachable and accessible for their age and development.
“The Egermeier’s Bible Story Book is a complete narration from Genesis to Revelation for young and old. A classic edition of Bible stories for young children that, while written in an interesting, easy-to-listen-to style, sticks very close to the Biblical text.”
Final thoughts from this former reading teacher…
Did you know that reading to your child or with your child, for as little as 20 minutes a day, could improve their reading level by an entire grade level?
The memories made are an added bonus! Make this a daily priority for your family!
What are your favorite Christian books that you love reading to your kids? Comment below!
I love getting a little creative and sharing a more focused favorites list than just a variety of items.
So today I am sharing some of my favorite Christian chapter books! All of these books I have personally read and LOVE them so much that I have them on my reread list! I included the Amazon link for each book (click the image) and the blurb from Goodreads.
What happens when we give away love like we’re made of it?
In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.
Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Alwaysreveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.
Motherhood is tough, and it often feels like the to-do list just gets longer and longer every day–making it hard to experience true joy in God, our children, and the gospel.
In this encouraging book for frazzled moms, Gloria Furman helps us reorient our vision of motherhood around what the Bible teaches. Showing how to pursue a vibrant relationship with God–even when discouragement sets in and the laundry still needs to be washed–this book will help you treasure Christ more deeply no matter how busy you are.
Sometimes parents wish there was a guaranteed formula for raising good kids–a certain list of rules to follow to ensure they’d have obedient children. But if moms and dads view their role through the lens of God’s grace, they will see that the gospel must first shape how they parent before they can effectively shape their children. In this highly practical book, Paul David Tripp unfolds a more biblical perspective on parenting than merely adhering to a list of rules. He lays out fourteen gospel-centered principles that will radically change the way parents think about what it means to raise up a child, informing everything they do as a parent.
We’ve all gone through times in our lives when we feel like we need a fresh breeze to breathe new life into us–in our work, in our marriages, with our kids, in our friendships, and maybe at church. We’ve all been drawn to people who exude a kind of positive, life-giving spirit. We’ve also seen the difference between environments that exude a fresh air-like atmosphere and those that don’t. But what is it? What is that energy-giving, life-breathing force that draws you, inspires you, and empowers you to be all God made you to be? And how do we get it? How do we put the wind in our sails again, so we can get unstuck, reclaim our compass, and redirect our course? In “Fresh Air,” Chris Hodges, founder and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, reveals how breath–the breath of God–is the essence of life as it’s meant to be. Fueled by the breath of God, we are not only refreshed in spirit ourselves; we have the power to create a life-giving environment of freedom and joyful purpose around us. Both practical and inspiring, “Fresh Air” offers “breathing lessons” for those who long for a cool breeze to resuscitate their spirit, bring them closer to God, and move them toward becoming the people He made them to be.
All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by “good?” And is “being good” really the point?
Mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson contend that every way we try to make our kids “good” is simply an extension of Old Testament Law–a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them.
No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE.
We must tell our kids of the grace-giving God who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message your children hear, if you are just telling them to “be good,” then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too.
Give Them Grace is a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience.
The visionary behind the million-strong IF:Gathering challenges Christian women to transform their outlook and their lives by interrupting their spiraling thoughts and realizing their God-given power to think differently.
Speaker and Bible teacher Jennie Allen hears all the time from women who feel stuck in patterns of frustration and defeat. In her search for a solution, she’s learned that the greatest spiritual battle of our generation is taking place between our ears. How we think shapes how we live. So it’s crucial that we learn how to stop our spinning thoughts and refuse to fall prey to toxic thinking patterns like victimhood, anxiety, and distraction. In this book Jennie draws on biblical truth and recent discoveries in neuroscience to show exactly how we can fight the enemies of the mind with the truth of who God is and who He calls us to be.
Bob Goff’s first two books, Love Does and Everybody, Always, spent dozens of weeks each as New York Times bestsellers with their unique combination of entertaining, witty storytelling, and challenging, surprising perspectives. Now Bob is back with a year-long devotional made up of his distinctive, entertaining, deceptively profound reflections on what it means to live every day in light of the grace of God.
Built on Bob’s trademark storytelling and unique way of helping us to see things in a new way, Live in Grace, Walk in Love takes us through an entire calendar year of meditations on how we can step out in love and confidence in every aspect of our lives. More than a tweet, less than a blog post, these devotional readings–accompanied by Scripture–will inspire and galvanize you live a more liberated, love- and life-giving existence than you ever thought possible.
When was the last time you had some good and serious fun? If your to-do list has become the boss of you, if you’re so exhausted and overwhelmed you can’t remember – all of that is about to change. Have More Fun is your crash course to getting unstuck, laughing freely, and enjoying the ride.
MOPS International CEO, Mandy Arioto, is known to thousands worldwide as a lively storyteller, a force of hope, and an audacious risk-taker. She brings it all in this rollicking adventure of a book bent on helping you do more of what makes you come alive.
Have More Fun is for anyone who has forgotten that fun is an option. In a world where political dramas and cultural uncertainties churn through our news feed every day, Mandy is here to suggest that the answer to many of the most pressing questions is fun.
How do I get more done? Fun.
How do I parent in meaningful ways? Fun
How do I make friends? Fun.
How can I find my purpose? Fun.
How do I spice up my sex life? Fun.
How do I adapt when things don’t go as planned? Fun.
How do I improve my marriage? Fun.
Not to mention that choosing fun can be a spiritual discipline – a place to experience the boundless love and joy of God in everyday, surprising ways. If you have ever waited until your to-do list is finished to have fun or you can’t remember the last time you really laughed, it is possible you might be taking life, work, or parenting too seriously. Weaving together science, historical trends, hilarious stories, practical ideas and spiritual truth, Mandy uncovers fresh ways to take fun seriously instead.
Anxiety is at an all time high, but there’s a prescription for dealing with it. Max Lucado invites readers into a study of Philippians 4:6-7 where the Apostle Paul admonishes the followers of Christ, “Do not be anxious about anything . . .”
Philippians 4:6 encourages the believer to “be anxious for nothing.” As Lucado states, the apostle Paul seems to leave little leeway here. “Be anxious for nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.”
What’s he suggesting? That we should literally be anxious for absolutely nothing? Lucado says, “The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. It’s the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wants to address. Don’t let anything in life leave you perpetually in angst.”
Americans especially know about living in perpetual anxiety. According to one research program, anxiety-related issues are the number one mental health problem among women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. Stress-related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity. And use of sedative drugs like Xanax and Valium have skyrocketed in the last 15 years. Even students are feeling it. One psychologist reports that the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.
“The news about our anxiety is enough to make us anxious,” says Lucado. But there’s a prescription for dealing with it. Lucado invites readers into a study of Philippians 4:6-7, the most highlighted passage of any book on the planet, according to Amazon:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
“With His help you will learn to face the calamities of life. You’ll learn how to talk yourself off the ledge. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will learn to view bad news through the lens of sovereignty; to discern the lies of Satan and tell yourself the truth. You will manifest a gentleness that is evident to others. Anxiety comes with life. But it doesn’t have to dominate your life.”
What are your favorite Christian books?
Share below! I am always on the hunt for more!!
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My skin has been though the ringer! From hormones imbalances, to bad products, and eating poorly in the past…my skin has not seen good days in a long time.
BUT IT IS FINALLY GETTING BETTER!!
Cleaning up my diet and healing candida was one of the first things I had to do. The hormones are slowly getting back in check and that is helping out as well. Lastly is healing my gut. It will take some time but my skin is showing that it is starting to heal.
In addition to healing the inside, I found a new esthetician that has been so helpful in repairing my skin. She picked some products for me and it has breathed life back into my skin! I absolutely LOVE these products!
*If you need help picking out products, message or call Holly Tanella at BOHO Med Spa. She is able to do virtual skin consults (which I did a couple months ago because of quarantine), and is offering some great discounts for new clients.
**I am not a retailer of these products, nor have I been paid for my honest review of these products. I simply want to share because if you have had ANY of the skin issues I have had over the last few years, you know the pain! It is not fun to have hormonal breakouts and scarring. This system has worked wonders for me and I just want to share the love to others.
With all of that said, here are my favorite beauty products and my current skin routine:
Micro-Exfoliating Honey Cleanser
This cleanser washes ALL my makeup off at the end of the day. It has microbes made of natural beeswax that gently cleanse and exfoliate while absorbing excess oil. It is fragrance-free and sulfate-free!
Amandola Milk Cleanser
I use this cleanser in the morning and it smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so soft! It is make of milk protein, vitamins, natural essences of plants, oat and wheat gluten, which all help to retain moisture and naturally brighten the skin. Its great for hyper-pigmentation and aged skin…which I have both!
After cleansing and applying my serums, I use this antioxidant lotion to moisturize. It has an ultra-stable form of Vitamin C and an anti-aging complex which helps rejuvenate skin cells, awaken dull, tired skin and optimizes circadian rhythms. It also contains a moderate level of Vitamin A to promote cell turnover and increases skin strength.
This light moisturizing lotion contains antimicrobial peptides with a tripeptide that reinforces the skin’s natural defense mechanism. It also contains lignans and phytosterols, which help to control and reduce oil production, as well as breakouts, while botanical extracts soothe and smooth the skin.
Vitamin C Reversal Serum
The Vitamin C Reversal Serum is amazing! It contains the most stable and active form of Vitamin C, which brightens and increases the firm look of skin while neutralizing free radicals. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and this serum also contains hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 to hydrate and smooth skin. It is perfect for me because I am in need of rebuilding and restructuring the connective tissues.
Need help figuring out what your skin needs?
BOHO Med Spa offers virtual consults, so give Holly a call and she can get help ya’ out!
If you want to learn more about Circadia and the science behind their products, head over to their website and read up about circadian rhythms and the skin. It really is worth a read!
Cheers to healthy, glowing, happy skin!
Thanks so much, Holly!! My skin, and myself, are so appreciative of all your help!
What products do you love?
Comment below and don’t forget to click that subscribe button! Have a fabulous weekend!
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