Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Dare U 2 Open This Book Devotional

Press Sample. All opinions are my own.

Mister enjoys doing a daily devotional.  We recently received the Dare U 2 Open This Book Devotional for review from Zondervan.  Dare U 2 Open this Bookis a 90-day devotional, aimed at guys 8-12, that explored Bible truths in a way to help kids learn more bout themselves and their faith.  Each single page devotional includes a topic, a quote, a Scripture summary, plus doodles, journal prompts, lists, puzzles, quizzes, fill-in-the-blank prayers, and unique activities that help them explore Bible truths and ways to apply them to their own lives—everyday.  This devotional breaks it down and challenges young guys to have tangible faith follow Jesus.

Dare U 2 Open This Book Devotional

Mister is accustomed to devotionals that are not designed to be written in.  He was thrilled to realize that he would be allowed to write and draw in this one.  He’s working on another devotional right now, and wanted to know if he could “finish it off after he DARES 2 do this one.”  Of course, I don’t really care what order he does his devotionals in, as long as he does them and is learning something from them!  I have a feeling that the Dare U 2 Open This Book devotional is going to be a big hit!

Dare U 2 Open This Book is available from Zondervan and from Christian Book retailers nationwide.

Find more great products by liking Zondervan on Facebook and following @zondervan on Twitter.

***Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): As a member of the Z Blog Squad, I received the aforementioned product from Zondervan to facilitate this review.***

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Adventure Bible for Toddlers

Press Sample. All opinions are my own.

Little Miss is turning into a regular bibliophile just like Mister and Sister.  We recently received the Adventure Bible for Toddlers, from Zondervan, for review, and to say that she’s thrilled with it would be an understatement.  She loves to sit and look at the pictures, and will even let me read to her from time to time.  Right now she’s in the “MINE” phase, though, and when I pick up her Bible, she immediately reaches for it and says “MINE.”

Adventure Bible for Toddlers

The Adventure Bible for Toddlers is a board book that starts children on the journey of a lifetime, teaching them about the Bible’s great stories and themes.  It has a story per two pages, and is colorfully illustrated.  It is geared for children ages 2-5.  It uses stories and art from the  Adventure Bible Storybook. It has ten Bible stories from the Old and New Testament.  The covers are padded, and the boardbook pages are sturdy.  What a great way to inspire love for God an an early age!

You can purchase both the Avdventure Bible for Toddlers on Zondervan and from Barnes & Noble.

Find more great products by liking Zondervan on Facebook and following @zondervan on Twitter.

***Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): As a member of the Z Blog Squad, I received the aforementioned product from Zondervan to facilitate this review.***

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

9 Great Gift Books for Foodies

Finding the perfect gift for a Foodie can be challenging.  I mean, they likely already have all the nifty little tools in their kitchen that they want or need, and even if they don’t, getting the right gadget can be akin to finding a piece of hay in a needle stack… painful.  You can never go wrong with giving a Foodie a fresh new cook book.  Here’s nine great gift books for foodies, that are sure to put a smile on the face of the Foodie in your life…

9 Great Gift Books for Foodies


Healthy Slow Cooker

The Healthy Slow Cooker- 2nd Edition: Definitions of healthy eating have changed quite dramatically since The Healthy Slow Cooker was first published in 2006. In those days, it was one size fits all — low fat, low calorie and no saturated fat. Since then, there’s been a shift in thinking. Many leading experts now feel that many of our modern diseases are directly associated with the consumption of wheat and advocate reducing carbohydrates. Another significant development is that the evidence against saturated fat has been gradually diminishing.

All the recipes are delicious, nutrient-dense and have a balanced approach that will suit a wide variety of people. Incredibly healthy meals prepared in a slow cooker is an unbeatable combination.

Sensational Buttercream Decorating

Sensational Buttercream Decorating: Swiss-style buttercream is the lightest, fluffiest icing, and is the icing of choice for professional and novice bakers alike because its luscious consistency makes it perfect for decorating cakes and cupcakes.

Carey’s inspired cake decorating projects show off wholesome, delicious buttercream to its best effect. From start to finish, Carey shares her years of professional decorating experience, guiding you through everything you need to know about slicing and filling cakes, mixing colors, writing inscriptions, serving and displaying cakes, and storing and transporting the finished works of art.

Every delicious cake starts with an easy-to-follow recipe, and Carey provides several failsafe recipes for cakes, cupcakes, icings and fillings, including gluten- free and vegan options. And then the fun really starts, with her detailed, step-by-step explanations of icing techniques, decorating fundamentals and, best of all, 50 gorgeous cake decorating projects. Every step is accompanied by a color photo, ensuring that you’ll be able to duplicate Carey’s results and create a sensational cake for any occasion.

300 Best Homeade Candy Recipes

300 Best Homemade Candy Recipes: With hundreds of recipes for sumptuously mouthwatering candies, chocolates, pralines, crèmes, fudges, toffee, holiday treats and no-bake cookies, this candy bible covers everything from the traditional to the exotic.

Complete with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photos, it’s a treasure trove of information and inspiring recipes. Many of us are intimidated by the thought of making our own candies, but Jane shows us how to master a few basic principles that every candy-maker should know.

500 Best Healthy Recipes

500 Best Healthy Recipes: With so many recipes, there are hundreds of appetizing, healthy meals to choose from:

  • Chunky Artichoke Dip
  • Oriental Chicken Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Snow Peas and Asparagus
  • Leg of Lamb with Pesto and Wild Rice
  • Broccoli Pesto Fettuccine
  • Black Bean, Corn and Leek Frittata
  • Beef, Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
  • Blueberry Peach Cake
  • Glazed Espresso Chocolate Cake

175 Best BabyCakes Cake Pops

175 Best Babycakes Cake Pop Recipes: These delightful and creative recipes have been developed specifically for use in the maker. The book features chapters on cake pop classics; desserts and sweets; glazes, dips and fillings; doughnuts and ebelskivers (traditional Danish pancakes); muffins and biscuits; appetizers; savory nibbles; and show-stoppers that are ideal for parties and gifts and come with gorgeous presentation suggestions.

Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches

Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches: Nothing beats the marriage of crunchy cookies and luscious ice cream. Whether you’re hosting a birthday bash, dinner party or just indulging yourself on a hot summer’s day, homemade ice cream sandwiches are the perfect frozen treat.  This book offers endless combinations of cruelty-free, decadent recipes to please any palate.

Mason Jar Salads and More

Mason Jar Salads and More: Discover the coolest way to pack a tasty, healthy lunch! Mason Jar Salads and More shows how to prepare on-the-go meals that are packed with fresh produce and whole foods.  The tasty recipes and gorgeous full-color photos in this book will show you how to create amazing dishes!

100 Days of Real Food

100 Days of Real Food: Lisa Leake, author of, shares how her family cut out processed food, along with recipes your family will love.

Practical Paleo

Practical Paleo: Diane Sanfilippo, author of,  jam-packs Practical Paleo with over 120 easy recipes, all with special notes about common food allergens including nightshades and FODMAPs. Meal plans are also included.

I have all but the last two, and those are on my wishlist.  LOL.

Which one do you think you’d enjoy the most?


Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Passport Through Darkness – a book review

Press Sample.  All opinions are my own.

For over 60 years, [North] Sudan and South Sudan have experienced extreme levels of violence and human trafficking. Because of genocide and war, millions of widows and orphans are targets for slave raiders. Furthermore, little government infrastructure exists to provide for the care and education of these unadoptable orphans. In South Sudan, a 13-year-old girl is more likely to die in childbirth than to learn to read and write.  In 2003, Kimberly L. Smith co-founded Make Way Partners with her husband Dr. Milton Smith. Her book Passport Through Darkness chronicles her journey to save thousands from modern-day slavery, persecution, disease, and genocide.

My Review

I love this book!

Okay, maybe love is a strong word. But I was riveted by this book! It’s not for the faint of heart though. Kimberly doesn’t hold anything back in giving her account of the way God called her to work with the people of Sudan, or what happens to her as a consequence.  But, as an aspiring missionary, I felt God pull at my heart as it was broken for these people. It makes me just want to get on some planes and love on them! Callings like that comes with a price and require many sacrifices though, and Kimberly draws us into what her and her husband went through. I highly recommend this book. Some of it maybe hard to read for some, but if you have a heart for the lost and hurting, please  read it. It will change your life.

From the publisher (

Passport through Darkness
Author: Kimberly L. Smith

As she shares her extraordinary stories of fighting human trafficking as an ordinary mom, Kimberly Smith offers hope for readers who wonder if God is calling them to greater things.

Passport Through Darkness takes readers on Smith’s journey from normal family life and business, to Europe, to the deserts of Africa and ultimately, to the deserts of her own soul as she tries to live well as an imperfect American mom, crusade for justice for orphans around the world, and embrace God’s extraordinary dreams for her. When Kimberly and her husband risk everything to answer God’s call, they see God change and restore them-even amid exhaustion, marital struggles, and physical limitations.

This heartbreaking, heartlifting book is for anyone who longs to see God move their life from normal to one that matters. It is a call to readers to take one more step on their journey to know God’s heart.

I received this book from the publisher (David C Cook) in return for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Twice a Slave Book Review

Press Sample

One of my 2014 SMART Goals was to read a book a month just for fun, because my dear friend Abby teased me for reading a lot of books that are “good for me” and not enough just for fun.  While I haven’t stuck to the one a month goal, if twice a slaveyou switch that to twelve books for the year, I am on target to finish twelve books just for fun.  One that I just finished reading is Twice a Slave.  Twice a Slave is the story of a Cherokee slave, as told by one of his descendants.  The story illuminates a forbidden romance, and tragedies that build faith.

The story spans the nearly one hundred years between 1756 and 1852.  The real story begins, after the prologue, with the purchase of a young Cherokee slave named Ahyoka in the Dorchester, South Carolina by Agerton Willis.  His intent was to take her home to cook and clean.  As the story progressed, Agerton and Ahyoka (also known as Joy), fell in love and were married in a clandestine wedding.  They had one son, named Joseph Willis.

Joseph was raised as a slave, being of mix’t blood (a phrase that I personally despise, but was culturally acceptable during the time the book spans). When his father died, he included in his will that Joseph should be emancipated.  The law, however, required that Joseph remain a slave until his 21st birthday.  His uncle, Daniel, refused to honor the will and emancipate him.

The story follows Joseph throughout his live, as he changes the course of history in Louisiana.  Though he was born into slavery, Joseph was eventually granted his freedom when his cousin became a senator and introduced a bill to emancipate him.  Joseph is determined to find his purpose and discover his identity.  His mother was a woman of faith, and Joseph became the man most responsible for planting Baptist churches west of the Mississippi River.

He faced his own insecurities, prejudice from all sides, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Even though Joseph’s life was threatened because of his race and faith, he became the first Protestant to preach the gospel west of the Mississippi River and started the first Baptist church west of the Mississippi.

While much of the story can be substantiated through historical accounts, the author does state where creative liberties were taken.

I’ll be the first to admit that I picked this book up several times and put it down without opening it.  I didn’t want to read a depressing tale about a man that fought for his freedom, only to be captured and enslaved again.  Once I actually started reading it, though, I didn’t want to put it down.  Twice a Slave is a poignant tale of how faith can trump circumstance.  It is amazing how one man can overcome undeniable tragedy to leave such a lasting impact on a nation.  I would heartily recommend Twice a Slave.

Twice a Slave is one of the Jerry B. Jenkins Select Line of books.  It is available on Amazon or or on or wherever Christian novels are sold.  Learn more about Twice a Slave at

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own