Sunday, July 9, 2017

When God Made You -- book review

I love a good children’s book, and I especially love one that has great illustrations. This book hits both of those things. When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner is such a beautifully written book for children. There is a ton of rhyme in the book which makes it fun for kids. I read this book several times to my daughter, who is just under a year and a half, and she enjoyed listening as I read because of the fun rhyme to the words. She may not have understood a lot of what I was saying, but she still liked the book. More importantly though, this book has a beautiful message and one that I believe is important for children to learn early on. The message of the book is God created each person for a special purpose and he knows every part of them and they are loved by Him just as they are. Kids need to know this deep inside of them (well, adults do too.)

I also want to point out that the illustrations, by David Catrow, in this book are absolutely wonderful. It is full of bright colors and great drawings. The pictures tell a story of their own. The story of the pictures goes right along with the words of the book, they flow beautifully together. I enjoyed looking at these illustrations just as much as reading the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has kids. I think this book would also make a great gift. I’m sure that I will read this book to my daughter many more times in the coming years.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Private Selection -- Product Review

*This post contains affiliated links. I received these products for free in exchange for my honest review.

Summer is upon us, and with that comes summer food. Cookouts, salads, watermelon, ice cream, and the list goes on. Kroger has a line of products under the label Private Selection. I have tried many of the Private Selection items before as I am a regular Kroger shopper. With their #MyMagazineSharing program I was able to try two more products. I received full sized samples of their Green Chile Ranch Seasoning Rub and their Texas Inspired BBQ Kettle Potato Chips.

First, lets talk about he potato chips for a quick minute. I generally do not pick BBQ flavored chips if I am buying chips. I do really like kettle style potato chips though. These Texas Inspired BBQ Kettle Potato Chips were very tasty. There was a bit of tang to them. I don't know if that is generally true of Texan BBQ as I am not a Texan, not even close. I did eat my share of these chips, but my husband was the one who was really into them. He finished off the bag. (Please see the above picture of the crumpled bag that I dug out of the trash in order to get a picture of it.) So, these chips passed the taste test at our house and I would purchase them again.

Second, the Green Chile Ranch Seasoning Rub. Ok, I do not usually cook with a lot of spice mixes. I just use my general spices most of the time. Their is some convenience to spice mixes or rubs though. I actually tried this out two different ways. I first tried the rub on some chicken breasted that I just roasted in the oven. That turned out just ok. The second time that I tried the spice rub it 1 used it in my Southwest Chicken Salad. The flavor went great with the salad and was really good. Here is what I put into my salad, which is a quick summer favorite around this house.

Southwest Chicken Salad

  • chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 can of drained corn, can also use fresh of thawed frozen
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1 diced avocado
  •  2 chicken breasts grilled and sliced. Use whatever seasoning you would like. 
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Southwest ranch dressing
  • Optional things that you can add to the salad are croutons, green pepper, onion, tortilla strips, cilantro, salsa, sour cream

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Very Good Gospel -- book review

Let me begin this review by saying that when I chose this book I thought that is was written by a different Lisa Harper. The Lisa Harper that I assumed was the author of this book is a well known speaker at mostly Christian women’s events and an author as well. The Lisa Sharon Harper who is the actual author of this book is also an author and a speaker, but with a much different focus. I thought I was getting a book about God’s Word that may be somewhat light and an easy read. What I got instead, with The Very Good Gospel, was something much deeper and focused on justice through the light of God’s Word and works. With that said, this book was still an interesting read.

Lisa focuses on a few main things all wrapped up together; the brokenness of the world that we live in, what God intended for us and what He can do for us in this brokenness, and shalom. This isn’t a book of light, fluffy, feel good topics. Lisa addresses such issues as equality, race, brokenness, shame, hurt, hate, war, and more. Lisa addresses these topics from a very personal place with stories from her own life and real life examples. All of this helps to bring a tone of gentleness to what in reality are hard things. She also intertwines Scripture and deep theological studies of God’s Word that relate to whatever topic is being discussed.

We cannot deny that we live in a broken and hurting world. It is easy to see this, just read a newspaper, turn on the TV, look at social media, the brokenness is everywhere. The heart of The Very Good Gospel points us toward the fact that in the midst of all this junk, God wants to heal, restore, and be in relation. That right there is the gospel message; a God who wants to work in and through us to have shalom.

This book was not my typical read. I will say though that for the most part I got a lot out of it. There were parts where I had “ah-ha” moments. There were other parts that I just read through. There were parts where I thought, “Hmm, I’m not sure I agree with that.” An interesting part of this book, that adds to it, at the end of most chapters there are questions and activities for self reflection. In my opinion this book would be a great read for someone who wants to know more about social justice in the light of God’s Word. Although, many others could get a lot out of this book.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, June 9, 2017

NESTEA -- product review

*This post contains affiliated links. The opinions about the product are my own. I did receive this product for free in exchange for my review.

Kroger has a newish thing they are doing called My Magazine Sharing Network. Basically anyone can sign up for the program and this allows you to do missions to earn points. The missions are usually trying a new product, spreading the word about it on various social media, and giving them your opinion. The best part is that you get free products for your participation. I love free!

One of the products that I recently got to try out is the new NESTEA. (Actually I received three coupons to get this item for FREE. So, I received not one to try for free, but three.) By the way, if you follow this link to the NESTEA website, you can get a free bottle of tea for yourself.

This revamped version of NESTEA is available in three flavors: lemon, black tea slightly sweet, and peach. All are good. In my opinion the best part besides the fact that they taste good is that they removed a bunch of the not so good for you stuff. No more high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors. That right there would persuade me to choose this tea over other teas that may contain those things. I would most definitely drink this tea again, even if I have to pay for it.