Saturday, November 18, 2017

Book Review: A Plain Leaving

I could start this book review nearly the same as I did my last book review: A young Amishwoman fled home after a tragic misunderstanding and went to live far away as an Englisher. After 3 years, she learns of her father's death. Jessica returns home to face her past, and ends up looking forward to her future. 

I enjoyed this book much more than the last one I reviewed. The modern day story is set up against another story from 1777, and I love it when two good stories are woven together! I kept wondering, "How is this going to end?? I hope so-and-so ends up with so-and-so!... Oh please, don't do THAT!"

Needless to say, I got involved in the story and thoroughly enjoyed the tale! Oh and there's good news: This is part 1 in a series!

You may learn more about the author HERE.   

I received this book from Bethany House for this review.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: The Proving

A young Amishwoman fled home after a tragic misunderstanding and went to live far away as an Englisher. After 5 years, she learns her mother has died, leaving her to run the family's bed and breakfast. Amanda Deinner must first run the inn successfully for 12 months if she is to inherit the property. Amanda returns home to face her past, and ends up looking forward to her future. 

This is a great Saturday read! Interesting, lots of little twists and turns, and a happy ending. One of those rainy day, poolside, or sick day books that are quick to pick up and spend some time on. A happy book, you might say. 

You may learn more about the author HERE.  

I received this book from Bethany House for this review.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Book Review: Good Night Tales

"Do you remember a time when kings ruled the forest? When the wilderness was not its own, and the mountains were reverent?... Every king in the land was powerful, but only one was glorious. His name was so pure that no creature or tree dared to pronounce it..."

So begins the fist story in Good Night Tales, a collection of fairy tales based on the Bible. 

We loved this book so much! Each story includes the Scripture reference upon which it is based and a series of questions (at the back of the book) to discuss the story. For many evenings we snuggled on the couch, read our story, and discussed the contents. 

The stories are well written, and drew my husband and me in as much as they did the children. The illustrations are beautiful. This is an all around excellent story book/devotional!!

To learn more about the author, click HERE

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers for this review.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Start Where You Are: Week-at-a-glance Diary Revie

This planner is a simple and functional yet pretty option for jotting down your daily to-dos and schedule. The first main section of the book is a row of boxes for January through December, so you can plan "big" things you need to remember.

At the front of each monthly section, is a two-page spread with an inspirational quote, a box for goals, a checklist of important dates, and a half page for notes.

For each weekday there is an unlined box with the day of the week and a line for you to write in the date. You can also circle the month at the top of the page.

At the end of the book are some reference pages: World time zones and international calling codes, Conversion factors, phonetic alphabet, wedding anniversaries, roman numerals, birthdays, and contacts.

Overall, I really like this as a daily planner! It's small enough to slip into most purses, and yet has plenty of writing room inside it. The one downside: There are no monthly calendars, and I like to see my month at a glance!

But overall, an inexpensive, pretty little book that ought to work for most people.

I received this planner from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Glam Bags and Birchboxes: October 2017

October is the month where, here in the south, we begin to get a reprieve from the hot days of summer. It's not exactly COOL, but it's not HOT either. There have only been a few days in the 90's, and some days only make it up to the 70's! 

October is also the second month for me to try Birchbox and Ipsy to compare for you. As in last month, there is once again a clear winner in my book. 

Here is my comparison of Birchbox and Ipsy for October. 

Here's what I got in my October Birchbox:

I received
-Oai Rose hair and body oil (smells good, looks great on legs but makes hair look greasy)
-Clarins Multi-Active night cream (smells nice, tiny sample)
-Lipstick Queen lip liner in Nude (I used this with lip gloss on top, and got complimented on the color!)
-Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner (I like how smoothly this goes on! Easy to use, and lasts well)
-Davines LOVE smoothing shampoo (I like how thick the formula is, but it seems to dry out my hair)

I also received two foil packet samples to try:
-Clarins Double serum complete age control concentrate (Yeah... pretty useless stuff... I imagine I'd have to use it regularly before I see if it knocks off a couple decades and makes me look like a 10 year old...)
-Davines LOVE smoothing conditioner (Thick like mud, which is nice to apply, but seemed to dry my hair)

I think this month's box was even worse than last month's. Though I don't usually use lip liner or black eyeliner, I can use it occasionally. The other samples are either too tiny to be of use or things that I just don't care for. I edited my Birchbox profile to say that I'm only 20, so hopefully I won't get so many anti aging things next time! 

Here's what I got in my October Ipsy:

I received
-tarte deluxe lights, camera, action 4-in-1 mascara (I love mascaras!)
-Cute balms vanilla lip balm (smells amazing and it really is cute! This went straight into my purse!)
-Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eye pencil in perversion (For the first time, I was easily able to accomplish the "cat eye!" Unfortunately, this rubs off easily and makes you look like you have a black eye if you accidentally rub your eyes)
-MDM Flow matte lipstick in Retro (This is a pretty pink color, but the lipstick stinks and is sticky)
-Nail Medic charcoal infused nail polish in Lava (This is a nice mild lavender/grey color). 
-Makeup bag (Deep red with a lacy pattern and an adorable bat zipper pull!)

This month there were 3 full sized products once again, and 2 large sample products! The bag is also amazing, and I will use every product, so once again Ipsy is the clear winner over the two subscriptions! 

If you would like to join in the fun, you can look into Ipsy by clicking HERE, or into Birchbox by clicking HERE. Have fun!

Have you ever tried Ipsy or Birchbox? Which is your favorite? 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Glam Bags and Birchboxes: September 2017

Last month, a friend of mine introduced me to Birchbox. It's a monthly subscription for $10 where you get 5 beauty samples in a pretty box. I have often complained that I don't know how to "do" makeup... I don't want to spend $20 on some product that I may or may not like, only to (maybe) have to throw it out if it doesn't work! So now I am able to try products for $10 a month, and if they're duds, I'll know not to invest, and if they work well, I can purchase full size! (and, knowing me, probably in a cheaper brand!). 

Here's what I got my first month, in August:

I received
-Dry shampoo (dud)
-Mud mask (fun/not necessary)
-Blush/bronzer duo (okay)
-Liquid lipstick (win)
-Day cream (win)

Overall, I was pleased with my subscription, so I decided to keep going. I also decided to add Ipsy, another $10 monthly subscription box, because Ipsy provides more makeup whereas Birchbox provides more skincare products. 

Here is my comparison of Birchbox and Ipsy for September. 

Here's what I got in my September Birchbox:

I received
-Spray in conditioner (haven't tried yet... meh)
-Makeup remover (can't I just use my usual facial cleanser?... meh)
-Anti-aging serum (do I really need this? dud)
-Lip mask (fun to do, didn't see any real results)
-Strobing stick (was broken upon opening, made my face look greasy)

All of the samples in this box are tiny, except for the strobing stick, which is full sized. Overall, this box was a big DUD, but I'll keep up because last month's was great!

Here's what I got in my September Ipsy:

I received
-TWO face masks (so fun and they felt good!)
-Nail polish (Fun! I had a nail salon party with my girls!)
-Primer (I don't really get the point of this... it didn't seem to do much)
-Blush (Looks good on me!)
-Liquid lipstick (Yay! what a pretty color!)
-Makeup bag (in faux leather and a nice satin lining, great quality!)

This month there were 3 full sized products, 1 large sample (2 masks), and only 1 small item. There was also the bag. I enjoyed and will use all the products, so this bag was a very big WIN in my book!

(Here's a closeup of the lining on the bag)

If you would like to join in the fun, you can look into Ipsy by clicking HERE, or into Birchbox by clicking HERE. Have fun!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Game Review: Deal or Duel

Welcome to my very first game review! As the back of the box explains, "In the face of the political instability and financial turmoil of the American Revolution, only one individual always came out on top: ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Pit your survival instincts and spending savvy against all the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) in this historical action card game whose simple objective is as old as Ameritocracy itself: get all the money or die trying."

The game can be played by 2-6 players, so my husband and I began a game one night once the kids were in bed.

It took about 15 minutes to set the game up for the first time, since the instruction booklet is long and very descriptive. The game is refreshingly complex. Each person starts the game with $150 and 9 historical people on their "team." There are two ways to win: Get $1,000 OR be the last man standing by knocking out your opponents' people.

We had only a couple of hang ups:

-We found some dead ends that weren't explained in the game. Like, "What do you do when it's your turn but none of your cards are playable?" But we took up the challenge, and invented new rules whenever we hit a dead end.

-The game seems like it would be MUCH better with more than two players. Some of the cards were pretty useless for a two player game. But that's okay; we're planning to get together with friends to play soon, and then I will be able to post an updated review!

Definitely a play again soon game!!

I received this game from Blogging for Books for this review.