February 29, 2012

Leap Year Proposals?

Today is February 29th, which means that it is a Leap Year. It only happens one day every four years, so what is the big deal about it really? Well, it adds in an extra day to the shortest month of the year, and according to legend, it is also the day that women can propose to a man.

Way back in the day (5th Century) in Ireland, St. Bridget was complaining to St. Patrick about how unfair the inequalities of women were. She didn’t feel that it was right to have to wait around for the man to propose, and thought that women should be able to ask for marriage proposals of their men as well. Things weren’t quite equal (by any means) in this era, so St. Patrick only gave in a little bit. He said that on February 29th, a woman could indeed propose to her man.

It wasn’t until 1288 that Scotland passed the law allowing women to do the asking on the Leap Year Day. Another fun fact about this law is that if a man declined a woman’s proposal, he could face a fine for rejecting the woman!

Do you think this is something that we should do nowadays, or do you think it is okay to propose to a many anytime of the year now? I’m thinking it is okay anytime, but this would make for a more memorable day, wouldn’t it?

February 28, 2012

The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau is a historical fiction novel set during the time when King Henry VIII ruled. It is full of mystery, suspense, and is a truly well-written book that can be enjoyed by anyone. Of course, if you love this part of history, you’d enjoy it even more.

Book Description
An aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father—and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror. The year is 1537. . .

Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the sacred rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.

The ruthless Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, takes terrifying steps to force Joanna to agree to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may hold the ability to end the Reformation. Accompanied by two monks, Joanna returns home to Dartford Priory and searches in secret for this long-lost piece of history worn by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain.

But Dartford Priory has become a dangerous place, and when more than one dead body is uncovered, Joanna departs with a sensitive young monk, Brother Edmund, to search elsewhere for the legendary crown. From royal castles with tapestry-filled rooms to Stonehenge to Malmesbury Abbey, the final resting place of King Athelstan, Joanna and Brother Edmund must hurry to find the crown if they want to keep Joanna’s father alive. At Malmesbury, secrets of the crown are revealed that bring to light the fates of the Black Prince, Richard the Lionhearted, and Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, Arthur. The crown’s intensity and strength are beyond the earthly realm and it must not fall into the wrong hands.

With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must now decide who she can trust with the secret of the crown so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.” – The Crown

My Thoughts
The Crown’s main character, Joanna Stafford, is a very intriguing character. She is a nun, and yet she is quite opinionated, takes charge, and really fights for what she believes in. This is no stereotypical nun, so don’t think that a novel about a nun is necessarily boring, because this one sure isn’t!

Bilyeau is able to create the settings in such detail it really does make you feel like you are walking in this part of history through the story. Sometimes authors use of descriptions are boring and quite honestly, I just skim over it. Bilyeau’s text doesn’t make me want to skim over it. She is able to draw the reader in, and wants to read more, which is a true talent!

The Crown is an extremely well researched historical fictional novel. I don’t pretend to be overly knowledgeable on this part of history, but from what I remember from college history courses (and looking up things online that are in the book), it does remarkably well.

Overall, the text is a little drawn out in some places, but it is a very enjoyable read. The main character is fabulous, and is a very worthy read. I recommend it for all historical fiction fans to read, especially those who also enjoy watching The Tudors.

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

February 22, 2012

The Hidden Power of Your Past Lives by Sandra Anne Taylor

The Hidden Power of Your Past Lives by Sandra Anne Taylor is a book about reincarnation and how your past lives can make a huge impact on your current life. If there is something that you are having problems with, this might have something to do with a past life issue you had. Are you ready to uncover some possible past life influences in your life? If so, this book and CD set might be just the answer for you!

Book Description
Have you ever wondered why certain life patterns have been so hard to turn around? Well, the reasons may be encoded in your eternal history-in karmic sources that were set lifetimes ago. Perhaps you keep struggling with money problems, feel hopeless about finding true love, or have an addiction you can't seem to beat.

These current issues could be traced back to previous lives. Even psychological and physical ailments such as chronic pain, allergies, weight problems, and self-doubts could originate in unknown past events. Yet these past-life sources don't have to remain a mystery-or have any power over you anymore!

In this enlightening and truly liberating book, New York Times best-selling author Sandra Anne Taylor explores the energy of karma and reincarnation, revealing how your eternal consciousness can become encoded, influencing your destiny today.

When you learn how to release and rescript your karma, you can pave the way to joy and personal power-now and in years to come! ” – The Hidden Power of Your Past Lives

My Thoughts
The Hidden Power of Your Past Lives is a really remarkable book about reincarnation and the link that it has on our current lives. This book really helped me to realize that some problems in our lives are actually caused by experiences we had in our past lives. Just understanding that isn’t enough to actually make a change for the better though, and the author helps us to re-write those negative experiences so that we can break those negative effects on our current (and future) lives.

The author writes in a very readable and relatable manner that allows the reader to fully grasp and understand the material she is covering rather easily. I was so engrossed in to the book that I read it in a day. I then went back and re-read it and did the journaling and exercises that she outlined, which I have to say really helps the whole process!

The enclosed CD includes a safe and easy past life regression that can help you reveal your past life issues, and then how to rewrite your past to change your present. There are four tracks on the CD and when used properly can help you tremendously. I really enjoyed this part of the book/cd combo, and wish it had even more on the CD.

If you are open to reading this book and actually dealing with problems in your life that you want to change, this is a must read book that can make a change for the better in your life. I highly recommend it for everyone to read and use.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Hidden Power of Your Past Lives, Hay House, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

February 14, 2012

The Founder’s Key by Larry P. Arnn

The Founder’s Key by Larry P. Arnn is a book that makes American’s really look at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and see how influential they are even to this day. The words written in them aren’t as safe and secure for our freedoms as some may think though, and this book looks into why that is.

Book Description
“Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, reveals the integral unity of the Declaration and the Constitution, and warns us of the threat they are under from the modern Progressive movement.

The ringing words of the Declaration of Independence have a way of continuing to ring across the ages. The arrangements of the Constitution have a way of organizing our actions so as to produce certain results, and it has done this more reliably than any governing instrument in the history of man. Connect these arrangements to the beauty of the Declaration, and one has something both inspiring and commanding. The Declaration acquires a practical form and operation that do not seem to come from it alone. The Constitution soars to the elevation of the natural law, and its arrangements are reinforced with that strength.

FDR was the first president to sever the two documents. He embraced the Declaration but demoted the Constitution, claiming that the rights in it should be up for reinterpretation as society changed.

You see the same efforts to divide one mighty document from the other in the Progressive movement today. The result: both documents have been weakened, their influence diminished, their meaning obscured. The Founders' Key is a rousing call to rediscover the imporant connection and thereby restore our faith.” – The Founder’s Key

My Thoughts
The Founder’s Key is a very readable book, it isn’t as boring as a regular history or political book would be to most people. In fact, if you are an American, I would venture to suggest that you should read it. Most Americans today barely know the basics about the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, and some don’t even know that. They know we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, but for some, sadly that is all they really know. Oh, and we had a war to separate from Great Britain. Regardless of if you are a history buff or barely passed American History in high school, this is a book Americans should read.

The author does an excellent job of presenting us with the material from our country’s greatest documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Federalist Papers. These are included in the book, so you don’t even have to Google them or pull out an old textbook to read them. He also presents very timely and important issues that concern these documents and our country. It is in these chapters where you may get a real look, for perhaps the first time, at what our country has become.

I agree with mostly everything that the author is stating in this book. However, even if you don’t agree with it all, it is very much worth reading and actually thinking about (even better to discuss with others). We do still have freedom of speech, so why not use it?

* Thank you to the publisher of The Founder’s Key, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review as part of their Book Sneeze program. All opinions expressed are my own.

February 11, 2012

Legacy of the Gods by Freddy Silva

Legacy of the Gods by Freddy Silva is an exceptionally great book about sacred sites and how they may be very different than you were originally taught about them (if at all) in school. This book helps you to discover what sacred places are, where they possibly came from, their power, and much more. Pick up this book and go on a journey from Stonehenge to Tibet and everywhere in-between.

Book Description
Ancient texts throughout the world speak of sacred sites as living entities where people contact the invisible universe to discover the secret wisdom of the ages. Evidence shows that these places of power are built at magnetically sensitive locations and according to an ancient prescription that is capable of altering states of consciousness.

In Legacy of the Gods, leading expert on sacred sites Freddy Silva examines the origins of sacred places and takes readers to the most significant sites of the ancient world—from Stonehenge, Angkor Wat, and Kurwah Tahit in New Zealand, to Petra, the Vatican, and Tibet. He offers a wide-ranging exploration of the planning behind temple building, the spiritual technology employed by various groups of adepts, and the secret wisdom contained in these sites that has survived over thousands of years.

Legacy of the Gods is an engaging mix of archaeology, mythology, sacred geometry, history, and folklore. It’s the ultimate guide to the secret wisdom of sacred sites.” – Legacy of the Gods

My Thoughts
Legacy of the Gods is one of the better books about the topic that I’ve come across. It is written and explained in easy to read and understand ways, and for visual people – it even includes pictures. I am a bit biased on this whole topic of ancient civilizations, sacred places, and the ancient alien theory though. I am an avid Coast to Coast listener and I’ve watched all of the Ancient Aliens episodes on the History channel.

Taking my personal thoughts about the topic into consideration though, I’ve read quite a few books about it. Silva does what few others have done with the topic in Legacy of the Gods and makes it quite relatable to the everyday person reading this book. Nothing covered is very complex, and he ties it all together to give you that “ah-ha” moment numerous times while reading the text.

The sacred locations covered include a large range of places you have probably heard of, such as Stonehenge, Teotihuacan, the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings, and many more. There are also numerous other locations that you will read about that you may have not heard of before. The pictures included in the book are in black and white, but if you want to investigate the locations further, just type in the names in Google and you can see better detailed pictures of the places that pique your interest in color. I have done this with a few of the locations and found remarkable pictures for them in under a minute and also more details about the locations as well. That is one of my favorite things about books such as this – they make you want to research and find out more about these marvelous places too. If I could, I would go to the locations myself for even more of the experience, but for now, I can just do it with more books and internet searches.

If you are a fan of Ancient Aliens on the History channel, this is a book that is a must read. If you aren’t a fan, or perhaps never thought about ancient civilizations in this manner before, it could be something that would open your mind and at least challenge your old notions of the “truth” of things. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Legacy of the Gods, Hampton Roads, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

February 6, 2012

Feeling Crafty?

One of my New Year's goals was to be more crafty and do more fun projects. I've finished two so far, but they haven't been too extensive or involved. School takes up more time than I thought it would this semester, so I've only been able to write or do crafts on the weekend.

A cool program I came across called Craftsy helps hook people up with great deals on arts and crafts projects, and even gives some good tips and ideas on things they could do (or learn how to do). So, if you want to be more crafty too, sign up (it is FREE) and check this one out!

February 1, 2012

Jewel Mint

Jewel Mint for My Personal Style

Jewel Mint is a really cool website that does a style profile for your personal style. This shows which jewelry that you would most likely want. The website allows you to subscribe to it and then you can pick which piece you want for the month for a rather low price as far as jewelry goes. You don't have to get something each month though, so it is really quite cool if you ask me.

I first found out about it from a Polyvore contest I entered. Above is my entry. Sadly, it didn't win. Regardless though, it is a very cool website and even if you don't buy anything, you should check it out just to get an idea of new types of jewelry you could be on the lookout for that would fit your style. Sign up by clicking this link below:

Want clothes instead of jewels? Check out Style Mint: