December 11, 2014

Christmas Spirit Essential Oil Blend

Christmas Spirit is a sweet, spicy blend of orange, cinnamon, and spruce essential oils that taps into the happiness, joy, and security associated with the holiday season. With Christmas Spirit on hand, simply open a bottle and start diffusing!

How to Use:
For aromatic use. Diffuse or sprinkle on logs in the fireplace, on Christmas trees, on cedar chips, pinecones, or on potpourri. Use all year round for feelings of the Christmas Spirit.

*Possible skin sensitivity. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, contact your physician. Dilute before using on sensitive areas such as the face, neck, genital area, etc. Keep out of the reach of children. Avoid using on infants and very small children. 

For more info on Young Living and essential oils, check out my group's website at:

December 2, 2014

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson is a witty tale about love, loss, and the amazing aspects of life in-between.

Book Description
Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem—or what we hope they will be.

Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.

Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.” – Someone Else’s Love Story

My Thoughts
Someone Else’s Love Story is a novel that drew me in right away. It is as the title says, someone else’s love story – and I can’t write too much about that without giving the plot away (which I will not do). Seriously, it is a brilliantly written novel that is worth a read!

The author writes this story from two very different perspectives. Shandi is my favorite, she is funny, smart, a bit if a smart ass, and an extremely likeable character. Will is more logical and matter of fact. I like the yin and yang to this. The story also primarily takes place in the present, but it has flashes of certain events that took place in the past. Nothing too often to take the story out of their current reality, so it was done quite well.

I really enjoyed reading this novel because it was written in a different way than most books out there. It is a distinct style that the author perfected with this book, and the characters truly help to give it a life that will capture you in their world for the time you are reading it. I definitely recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Someone Else’s Love Story, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Love Cycles by Linda Carroll

Love Cycles by Linda Carroll helps us to understand the different love cycles that we all go through with those we love. This is helpful for everyone to understand who is in a relationship or wants to be in one.

Book Description
In Love Cycles, veteran couples therapist Linda Carroll presents a groundbreaking model of the five natural stages of romantic relationships — the Merge, Doubt and Denial, Disillusionment, Decision, and Wholehearted Love — and a guide for navigating through them toward lasting love. Love Cycles helps readers understand where they are in the cycle of their relationship and provides a clear strategy for how to stay happy and committed, even in difficult times.” – Love Cycles

My Thoughts
Love Cycles is a book that is great for anyone who wants to make their love genuinely last. The author understands the challenges that couples have in their relationship and how each stage or cycle they are in can make a relationship stronger.

The “Merge” cycle is where it all starts, this is similar to what I would have called the “honeymoon” phase. What comes next is not so fun though, it is the “Doubt and Denial” cycle which is where a lot of people give up on their relationship. This doesn’t have to happen though, and can actually make the relationship stronger – if you know how to handle it. Same goes for the “Disillusionment” phase. The “Decision” phase is where people decide what the future holds for the relationship (if it has lasted this long). From there is where the goal is – the “Wholehearted Loving” cycle.

Overall, I think this is a very insightful book about how to become our best self in a relationship to have a truly fulfilling and loving relationship with another. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Love Cycles, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 30, 2014

Aromatherapy for the Soul by Valerie Ann Worwood

Aromatherapy for the Soul by Valerie Ann Worwood is a great reference book that combines aromatherapy with spirituality. If you are looking for an informative book which does this, this would be an excellent resource to add to your library for aromatherapy use.

Book Description
Renew Your Essence through the Divine Power of Fragrance

Fragrances possess a unique ability to evoke emotions, memories, and visions. Since the dawn of time spiritual traditions as diverse as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Shinto, and Buddhism have used fragrances to enhance the experience of the Divine. WithAromatherapy for the Soul, world-renowned aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood has created a comprehensive guide to the use of essential oils and aromas to enhance spiritual practice. 

Originally published as The Fragrant Heavens, this groundbreaking book draws equally upon the pioneering research of eminent scientists and the insights of leading spiritual teachers. Extensive charts and exercises demonstrate how to use fragrance in healing, prayer, and meditation and in conjunction with vibrational and energetic healing. This extraordinary guide covers more than seventy essential oils and will help you call upon the divine power of fragrance to enrich your spiritual journey.” – Aromatherapy for the Soul

My Thoughts
Aromatherapy for the Soul is a well-researched and well-written book. The charts, uses for the essential oils, aroma traditions of different cultures, how to use with prayer and meditation, and much more is included. The index is also of great help when you need to just grab the book to look up something quickly, making this an excellent resource to have on hand.

As with all of the books I’ve read from Valerie Ann Worwood, I was left with the enthusiasm for the subject and the desire to want to try out some of the suggested uses for the aromas. This is the type of book that any aromatherapy enthusiast should have on their shelf.

Overall, I think this is a very good book on aromatherapy used for enhancing spirituality. It doesn’t contain the recipes I was hoping for, but there are other books for that. I enjoyed reading through this book and will continue to use it for many years to come with aromatherapy. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Aromatherapy for the Soul, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 24, 2014

The Groom Says Yes by Cathy Maxwell

The Groom Says Yes by Cathy Maxwell is the final book in the Brides of Wishmore trilogy. Fans of the series and newcomers will enjoy this book that takes you back in time to the life of Sabrina Davidson.

Book Description
New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell continues her dazzling series, The Brides of Wishmore

He had a noose around his neck and a price on his head . . .

Sabrina Davidson, dutiful daughter, avowed spinster, thought she'd secured a place for herself in Aberfeldy society— until her hard-earned acceptance of her fate is challenged by the arrival of Cormac Enright, earl of Ballin, trained physician, soldier of fortune, and convicted felon.

A prim and proper miss was the last thing he needed . . .

Mac is determined to clear his name, but first he has to find the man whose testimony sentenced him to a hangman's noose. Of course, Robert Davidson is missing and protecting Mac is Davidson's daughter, the most entrancing, frustrating, beguiling, stubborn woman Mac has ever met.

And it doesn't help that he has already tasted her kisses. Or that he has found in her a passion for life and adventure to rival his own.

Mac has turned Sabrina's world inside out—but what will happen when he leaves?

Or will the Groom Say Yes?” – The Groom Says Yes

My Thoughts
The Groom Says Yes is the third in the series that me and other family members I have passed these books on to all love. This is a great series to read, so if this is the first book you want to try out, I will warn you – you’ll want to go back and read the previous two!

Sabrina is a brilliantly written character that you want to cheer for and know what will happen with. Sabrina and Mac take on trying to solve a mystery about her father, but what they uncover may not be what they would have imagined. Sabrina and Mac are characters on an adventure in this novel, and the romance is sure to spring into flames, or will it fizzle out after the newness of it wears off? I’m not telling, you’ll have to read it to find out!

Overall, I enjoyed this series and this is my favorite book in the trilogy. It has ab it of everything, romance, adventure, humor, betrayal, and more! I definitely recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Groom Says Yes, Avon Historical Romance, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 12, 2014

The Alliance by Shannon Stoker

The Alliance by Shannon Stoker is the last installment of the Registry Trilogy. This time, Mia is back risking her freedom to help others gain theirs, and put an end to the Registry.

Book Description
In this deadly endgame, the final move is hers . . .

In America, the Registry weds girls to the highest bidder and raises boys for its army.
Mia Morrissey escaped to make her life her own, and now that she has, she will risk everything so that everyone can be free.

Going undercover as part of a diplomatic mission, Mia returns to America. But life there is more dangerous than ever as the walls grow taller, and the forgotten country faces its most ruthless leader yet, Grant Marsden . . . a shadow from Mia's past. With the help of Andrew, Carter, and other members of the subversive group Affinity, she embarks on a perilous journey to defeat Grant, bring down the government, and destroy the Registry once and for all.

But when a terrible betrayal exposes the operation, Mia discovers that her enemies have used her—and so have her friends. Alone and frightened, she's uncertain of whom to trust—or whether the mission is worth the sacrifice.

With the fate of her friends and the future of her country on the line, Mia knows that her next step may be the last for her . . . and America.” – The Alliance

My Thoughts
The Alliance is a final in the “Registry” trilogy by the author. The conclusion to the series is definitely worthy of finishing the series, and shows real growth in writing skills from the author. I quite enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more from the author in the future.

Mia Morrissey is a strong female character that I could see kicking some serious butt in a movie one day – just sayin’. She has become a very likable character in this series that is fighting for freedom, and has some hero complexes that would show well on the silver screen. The last book does not disappoint with her character or the story, and fans of the series will definitely enjoy reading this one, too.

Overall, I liked this series and the final novel the most in the trilogy. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good dystopian series.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Alliance, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 6, 2014

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is a historical novel set in 17th century Amsterdam. The obsession with wealth and acquiring more desirable objects is the societal influences that the story navigates around. However, the characters involved are just as intriguing as all of the glamour that surrounds them.

Book Description
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's life changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways...

Johannes's gift helps Nella pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation...or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautifully written, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.” – The Miniaturist

My Thoughts
The Miniaturist is a book that I really enjoyed reading. It is a historical novel that shows how the obsession with having more material wealth continues today, and that isn’t necessarily such a good thing. The characters are all interesting, even ones that I didn’t really like. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, and what would become of all those involved. It is definitely a good book to read over a weekend!

At only eighteen years old, Petronella moves to Amsterdam into the arranged marriage she had with Johannes. Not an ideal situation, but she had no real choice in the matter. Her new husband is not at all what she had imagined, and the people in this new city are not as friendly as she had hoped for. The one nice thing he did for her though was to give her a wedding present of a miniature version of their home. However, it isn’t furnished, so she finds a miniaturist to help re-create the furnishings in the home for it. When these new furnishings come, they are amazing – but then, new pieces not similar to ones in the home start to arrive, and strikingly accurate copies seem to magically appear in the home. Who is this miniaturist, and what does all of this mean? No spoilers here!

Overall, I think that this is an excellent debut book from an author to keep an eye out for in the future. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Miniaturist, Ecco, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 1, 2014

Hanes Cotton Leggings Review

With the temperature outside falling, leggings are coming back into our wardrobes. For me, I love this time of year, and I have to admit, the clothing is a big part of it. For a large portion of my life, I lived in Florida where there is the Four H seasons: hot, humid, hurricane, and hell. Now that I a little bit further North, I can actually experience seasons changing and a wardrobe that actually corresponds to the seasons.

I was never a big fan of tights or leggings when I lived in Florida. However, I now absolutely love them and after some trial and error, I found a brand that is fantastic for both. Perhaps you have heard of Hanes? Yes, they are affordable, fashionable, and actually make products that last for more than one use.

The Hanes Cotton Leggings come in a variety of colors and sizes, so no matter what you are wearing, there is a pair of leggings that you could wear with it to keep your legs warm and your legs looking good. My favorite is the black legging. It is basic, but it seriously goes with 99% of my wardrobe.

I’ve washed my Hanes Cotton Leggings a few times now, and they are in perfect condition each time. Just be sure to use a machine washer, on cold, with similar colors, and use non-chlorine bleach if needed. To dry them, I just threw them in the dryer on low.

Overall, I really like these leggings and definitely recommend them to everyone who wants to stay warm and look great this time of year.

Thank you to Hanes for providing me with leggings for review for purposes of this article. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own. 

October 22, 2014

How to Dress like a Viking for a Halloween or Cosplay Costume

One of my favorite TV shows is Vikings on the History Channel. If you are looking for an interesting Halloween or cosplay costume that shows your Viking spirit, this is definitely one you want to check out for costume inspiration!

October 11, 2014

Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul by Ralph K. Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott

Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul by Ralph K. Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott is a valuable tool for any Christian that is in a leadership role. You not only learn what is good to do as a leader, but also what is not good to do, which is just as valuable to learn as the authors also point out ideas and solutions to learn from the negative ways as well.

Book Description
Rise above mediocrity and become indispensable after working through ten timeless lessons from Scripture. Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul is a practical leadership guide that avoids abstract ideas and unproven steps. Instead, biblical studies professor and pastor Dr. Ralph Hawkins along with leadership expert and education professor Dr. Richard Parrott tell the stories of King Saul’s leadership missteps and connect those stories with the challenges facing leaders. In today’s climate of rapid change, intense competition, and moral relativism, find valuable advice that will give your leadership a firm foundation in sound biblical principles.

Features include:
·         References to ten sound biblical principles of leadership
·         Examples illustrate how to apply these lessons to your life
·         Action points give you concrete steps to improve your leadership skills
·         Checklists help church, business, and community leaders excel” – Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul

My Thoughts
Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul is a great book for leaders to read. I never really thought about King Saul with leader roles in today’s society until I read this, but it is a great lesson on how we can learn from the past to make our futures a better place to live in. King Saul failed miserably at many things, but his failures can prove to teach us, even today, and hopefully lead us to being more successful leaders. I definitely recommend this book for leaders or anyone in business to read.

* Thank you to the publisher of Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.