Monday, May 25, 2015

Celebrate Memorial Day With Great Resources from Thomas NelsonPublishers

"When it comes down to it, this is about keeping faith with the idea of America, because America is an idea, isn’t it? I mean, Ireland is a great country, but it is not an idea. Great Britain is a great country, it is not an idea. That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history, right up there with the Renaissance, crop rotations and the Beatles’ White album. The idea, the American idea, it is an idea." - Bono, Georgetown University, 2012
Today is Memorial Day.  I would say, "Happy Memorial Day," but that seems a bit odd.  After all, this is a holiday that is meant to remind us of those who have died in the service of our country.  Coming from a family full of service members (Both of my grandfathers, my father, all five of my uncles, and three of my cousins have all served.  My family has served in every branch of the military.) this holiday is a powerful one to me.  So, in honor of Memorial Day, I thought it would be nice to review a couple of patriotic resources.  And thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers, I have two wonderful resources to share with you!

The first is the American Patriot's Bible...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day Dessert: Miss American Pie

We have a ton of strawberries in the fridge (thanks Sam's Club!), so I decided to make a strawberry pie for dessert tonight.  If you've never had a fresh strawberry pie, its DELICIOUS!!!  I still remember the first time I tasted one of these lovelies.  It was at a couple's wedding shower that some friends of my in-laws threw for us.  I'm not a pie fan, but being that this was a wedding shower thrown for me, I didn't want to be rude, so I took a bite.  HOLY COW!  What had I been missing all my life!?!  (Turns out, I'm not a big fan of pies with cooked fruit in them.  Fresh fruit though, BRING IT ON!) 
Anyway, back to today.  I decided to make a fresh strawberry pie for dessert.  But I also wanted to make something patriotic since this is Memorial Day weekend.  And that's when it hit me - blueberries in the strawberry pie!  Add a little Reddi Wip on top and you've got a red, white and blue-themed dessert that will wow your family!  And its super easy to make!  WHAT!?!

BBQ (Pulled Pork) Paula Dean Style

In the South, there are a few things we take VERY seriously: faith, football, and food!  By "faith" I mean our relationship with God.  By "football" I mean college football, of course!  And by "food" I mean our great Southern Dishes: BBQ, ribs, potato salad, green beans, grits, boiled peanuts, pecan pie, Sweet Tea, and all the other glorious things that make the South, well, FABULOUS!  But for years after I was married, I only ate BBQ if someone else made it.  I though that it was "too complicated."  But its really not! A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to this great Paula Deen Pulled Pork Recipe and I've been thrilling my family with homemade BBQ sandwiches ever since!!!  Of course, like most recipes, I've "made it my own" - putting a little more apple juice, a little less vinegar - but I haven't really changed Paula's recipe much.  There's no need!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"The Day Is Waiting" Book Review

It was the illustration on the cover of this book that drew me in.  I was ready to choose a new book to review and I'd decided NOT to review another children's book.  It was time for something for me.  So yeh, no more children's books for a while.  But I kept going back to this book.  It was that illustration.  It reminded me of something my artist grandfather would have drawn.  So, yep, I'm reviewing another children's book.  And I'm SO GLAD I decided to!!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bacon-Lovers' Green Beans

Bacon.  Yeh, you heard that right!  BACON!!!  In the green beans!!!  I made these last night and I'm pretty sure my husband reached a new level of consciousness when he tried them.  He said to me, "Why?  Why would you ever make green beans any other way!?!"  Well, OK.  I guess that's approval of my new dish!

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Quesadillas (Freezer Friendly)

I'm always looking for easy, delicious new recipes to try with my family.  And often, my new creations are born from ingredients I'm trying to use up in my fridge or pantry.  That's how this recipe was born!  Got a packet of ranch seasoning?  Got some taco seasoning?  Any salsa in the fridge?  A few strips of bacon?  Some chicken and cheese?  Bam!

Friday, May 15, 2015

"Look & Find: Old Testament Stories" Book Review

You may remember my blog review at the end of April on Look & Find: New Testament Stories."  I really loved that book and its concept.  (Think Bible story book meets Where's Waldo!)  So when the awesome folks at B&H Publishing offered me the chance to review "Look & Find: Old Testament Stories," I jumped at the opportunity!

"7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" Book Review

"Done. In less than 2 days. 220 pages. Bam! Now, for some of you, that may be the easiest thing in the world. But I have 3 small children, homeschool, a TV addiction, and an inability to read more than 20 pages a day if the book isn't absolutely captivating. But, thanks to @jenhatmaker that's what this book was! Captivating. But this book also made me harbor some hate for Jen. She has a way of making you laugh until you wet yourself and then convicting you until you're on your knees. Darn it Jen Hatmaker!"
That was my post on Instagram this morning.  (You can follow me @theproverbs31mama. You can follow Jen @jenhatmaker .) Seriously, I never finish a book that quickly.  I just don't have the time, the energy, the mental faculty, the drive.  I have friends that read 6 books a week.  I look at them like they've got an alien growing out of their head.  I. Can't. Do. It.   Oh crap!  I can't use that excuse anymore!  Once again, thanks Jen Hatmaker! *#@!!(*

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Salsas And Moles" Cookbook Review

I love salsa.  Its a true love - deep and real.  I have friends from Bolivia and whenever I visit them, they make chicken empanadas and serve it with "aji" (a simple salsa made with just tomatoes, hot peppers, and salt).  Its a meal a devour.  Its incredible.  As I mentioned, I love salsa.

So, I was thrilled to get the chance to review Salsas And Moles, by Deborah Schneider...

The Berenstain Bears "God Made You Special" Book Review

My little ones LOVE The Berenstain Bears!  And so do I!  After all, its something I remember fondly from my own childhood.  The first books were written by Jan and Stan Berenstain in 1962, but their son took over full authorship of the series in 2012 - after his mother's death.  Talk about a HUGE legacy to live up to!  But I think he's done a great job!  And "God Made You Special" is no exception!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Wild Soap Bar Review

I love reviewing natural soaps and products, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to review some items from A Wild Soap Bar.  They have tons of bar soaps, tooth saver soaps, balms, and even doggie soap!  The awesome folks at A Wild Soap Bar were kind enough to send me their Witch Hazel bar soap, their Honey Oat soap bar, their Honey Oat body balm, and their Woof Wild dog shampoo...

Dr. Squatch Men's Soap Review

My husband loves when I tell him I've got something for him to review!  After all, he wants to join in on the fun!  Haha!  So he was excited when I told him he'd be receiving some soaps from Dr. Squatch Men's Natural Soap.  He received 3 different soaps: Spearmint Basil Scrub, Bay Rum and Gold Moss Scrub...

For All The Moms... Hold on to the highs, and just breathe through the lows.

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I couldn't help but think of all my friends who are experiencing new mothering challenges.  I have friends who just gave birth to their very first little blessing, friends who just had their third or fourth child, and friends who are about to take on a new challenge - multiples!  I have friends who have recently adopted, friends who are fostering to adopt, and friends who are caring for someone else's child along with their own - just because they saw a need and felt called to meet it.  I have friends who are on baby number five and friends who have struggled for years just to have one precious blessing.  I, myself, just added a third little person to the list of people who call me mom, so my husband and I have recently joined the ranks of the "parents who are outnumbered by their kids."

"Fast Freddy" Children's Book Review

"Fast Freddy" is an adorable, colorful, fun children's book that teaches kids that its OK to be different.

When I first started reading this little book - about a sea creature named Freddy that has the head of a shark and the body of an octopus - I thought it was just a cute little story to teach kids that they should be nice to everyone.  But its not that simple.  It teaches a lot more!