Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Review: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
By Crystal Paine
Thomas Nelson, 2014
English, 256 pgs

Calling the super busy, the stressed out, the overtired.
You know you're made for a more fulfilling life. With this book, you’ll know where to start.
You wake up tired. Your to-do list is too long. The commitments—and the laundry—are piling up, but your energy keeps dwindling. You feel like you're simply making it through the days, not living or enjoying any part of them.

In Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, you'll find both practical ideas and big-picture perspective that will inspire you to live life on purpose. As a wife, mother of three, and founder of the wildly successful blog, Crystal Paine has walked the road from barely surviving to living with intention. With the warmth and candor of a dear friend, she shares what she's learned along the way, helping you:
  • feel healthier and more energetic by setting priorities and boundaries
  • eliminate stress with savvy management of your time, money, and home
  • get more done by setting realistic goals and embracing discipline
  • rediscover your passions—and the confidence to pursue them
Packed with straightforward solutions you'll use today and inspirational stories you'll remember for years, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is a must for any woman who's ever longed for the freedom to enjoy life, not just survive it.

Review: was one of the first blogs I found when I started our process of frugal living. I have enjoyed the site for a few years now and was really excited to get to read and review Crystal's new book. 

 I just finished the book literally 10 minutes ago and I'm already working on my plan for a budgeting meeting tomorrow. I have my top 3 goals written and posted on the fridge and I have been slowly working on a routine for housekeeping and upkeep. It's amazing how clearly I'm thinking now that these things are just automatic.

My personal issues are financial discipline (got away from the stockpiling and couponing in the past year...we're about to start again though, my friends!) and just a general lack of direction in my personal life. My youngest is starting school in a scant 8 months and I have NO IDEA what I'm going to do with myself at that time!

I think implementing strategies now will help to get me into a place where I have direction and goals at that time.

Best advice:
1. Get sleep (really...I went to bed merely one hour earlier last night and I'm feeling more alert today)
2. Make a personal priorities list
3. Wisely choose what you let yourself get involved in
4. Map out a routine for your day, week and month
5. Master your minutes (Candy Crush is not as important as Candy Land with the 4 year old)
6. Make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound)
7. Do something for at least 21 days before you give up on it
8. Don't compare yourself to anyone else
9. Make time for yourself

The book is available at Amazon and I highly recommend you check it out. There is a lot of good information in it and you will see a difference if you follow the advice in it.

I received a copy of the book from BookSneeze in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book Review: The Reason for My Hope

The Reason for My Hope: Salvation
By Billy Graham
Thomas Nelson, 2013
English, 224 pgs

America’s Evangelist presents his masterwork.

Who would refuse rescue? This is the question Billy Graham asks throughout this book. The answer is sometimes surprising because there are actually people who refuse to be saved, even if they are in a hopeless situation. Why? Each chapter draws the reader in by posing questions for contemplation using relevant illustrations about what the world thinks in contrast to what the Bible says.

As Mr. Graham has expressed for decades, his purpose is to engage the reader in considering his or her life in light of the here and now and the hereafter. Who would refuse rescue from a plane crash, a sinking boat, an automobile fire, or an assassin’s bullet? True accounts are given that cause readers to ask what they think and how they would respond to similar experiences and to ultimately bring them to life’s most important question.

In what could be his final book, Billy Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, Graham once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can. The book coincides with a massive campaign of the same name by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that will mobilize millions of people in the United States to invite friends and neighbors into their homes to hear the message of Jesus Christ through customized video and a new message from Mr. Graham.


Very few Americans are as readily recognized as respected as Billy Graham. An evangelist and author known around the world for decades of consistent ministry, the evangelism crusades he has hosted have seen the world’s largest sports stadiums and venues packed to capacity to hear Graham speak of his hope in salvation in Jesus Christ.
Any review of his writing at this point is almost obvious – it’s Billy Graham. His beliefs and consistency in them are well known by this time. This writing for this volume has a certain urgency that one might ascribe to his advanced age. But if one were to compare writings from decades past, the same urgency has always been present. Much of that is what has caused his ministry to be so effective. Graham confronts the central idea of the Christian faith-that salvation from the penalty and effect of sin is found in faith in the risen Jesus Christ alone. Graham reasonably attacks the underlying logic of the most common objections to the gospel and allows for the Holy Spirit to do his work in convicting hearts. Graham intuitively understands that the work of the evangelist is to be faithful to sharing the message of hope; the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict of its truth and lead to the cross.
The writing is easy to digest, the theology is sound and the book is a joy to read. One senses Graham’s cherished excitement in sharing the story of Jesus. The book is in the same theme as the “My Hope” television evangelism campaign and serves as a companion piece to it without directly repeating that production’s material. This book – likely Graham’s last – is a perfect statement of his belief, his purpose, and his greatest love. Highly recommended.

I received a copy of the book from BookSneeze for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Star Wars Costumes!

I have a 4 year old little boy who is costume crazy! He received his first, a fireman's outfit, a year ago and he loves them so much we're never sure who is going to be coming down the hall in the morning! He loves them so much, that's what he asked Santa for this past Christmas!

This same little boy is very much Star Wars (a fictional sci-fi movie) crazy! However, our local superstore only carried one style of Star Wars costume last Halloween and it wasn't a character he wanted. So, we abandoned the idea of costumes for these characters.

I was really happy to learn that carries a large range of costumes, including Star Wars! We looked through and finally agreed upon Jango Fett, a bounty hunter in Episodes 2 and 3 of the movies.

The costume comes with a molded plastic mask and the one piece jumpsuit. It's really easy for my 4 year old to put on by himself.

As you can tell, he's really excited about it. That's his best "bounty hunter pose". He even puts it on when we watch the Star Wars movies, so he can be in character too!

The mask is held on by a velcro strap:
And the jumpsuit has a velcro fastening on the back:
This is a small size. He typically wears little boys 4 or toddler 5T so it looks like he'll have this one to wear for a while.

My only issue is with the mask. It smashes his nose:
He doesn't wear the mask with a costume very much anyway. The costume was loved enough that it was chosen as one of his 3 toys to pack for Grandma's house at Christmas!

The website is really easy to navigate and has a larger selection of costumes than I can imagine. There are the typical character costumes that you see at Halloween, but there are also Thanksgiving and Christmas costumes. We're just excited that we have a large selection for him to choose from and that his imagination gets nurtured through this dress up play!

I received a costume from the site for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. All images are my own and are not to be used beyond this website.