Kutless Believer CD


I have had a long standing love for Kutless. As I mentioned certain cds become the soundtracks of my life, and every time I think of Kutless I’m always brought back to driving around in my little Neon, going to college, and hanging out with my cute boyfriend who introduced me to their music. I’ve been a fan ever since their very first self titled album Kutless–back when they were a lot grittier sounding. Although my now hubby (he was the cute boyfriend who told me about them!) misses their more hard core rock feel I love the band that they’ve grown and developed into and Believer is a great example of what they’ve become. Their lyrics have always been one of the things I really love about them and this album provides those on top of their great sound. The song “Even If” is now one of my new all time favorites–it is SO amazing! Here are just a few lyrics:

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A Good Girls Guide to Great Sex by Shelia Wray Gregoire

Oh yes…you DID read that title right….and yes–you are on MY blog. See if you know me very well you probably never expected to see the “S” Word (you know….sex) on my blog….ever.

Well to be honest I didn’t really think it ever would show up either! But especially after reading this book–I wonder why I thought that. But maybe I should back up a little and explain how exactly we arrived at this point….

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My Own Worst Enemy by Janet Davis

I’ve said it before, I’m sure I’ll say it again, oh how I hate to write a negative review! Especially about books–as a writer I know how awful it is to have people take what you’ve poured your heart into and rip it to shreds–so although I shall rip–I will *try* to do it gently.

My Own Worst Enemy: How to Stop Holding Yourself Back is written to help women stop self sabotaging themselves and learn to shine. While at it’s core and beginning I feel that Janet has some good and valid points I feel like there is some major disconnect somewhere along the way.  She uses Bible verses from The Message quite often which many people, teachers, and preachers are quick to point out is meant to be read as a paraphrase of the Bible and not a literal translation. She then proceeds to read between the lines even more by pulling out thoughts which she then treats like doctrine where I cannot see it to be.

While I agree that we should allow God to shine in and *through* us, the Bible as I read it says that we do this to ultimately glorify HIM. Yes it is our gifts that we should use–the ones that HE gives us. I felt that this was getting lost in this book. No matter how I tried I could never get into this book and felt severely disconnected from it while I was reading. Instead of sympathizing with the author I was like the people in the book who she described looking at her a bit askance. I guess I just don’t “get” it. To me it read much, much more as a fluffy “pull yourself up by your bootstraps by living the life YOU deserve” self help book than it was a Biblical based self image perspective book–which is what I was hoping for.

Based on the other Amazon reviews it seems to be a love it or hate it book–so be sure to hop over and read and decide for yourself!

 I received this book from Bethany House for my honest review–as you can see I gave it!

Preparing for Potty Training

As incredibly hard as it is for me to believe–in just 2 short months my “tiny baby” is going to turn 2. All of a sudden he’s past the baby stage and things like sleeping through the night, and feeding himself are milestones of the past and the preschool stage ones like ditching the paci and potty training once again loom large.

The fact that I feel that I just did this with Amber only increases my sense of bewilderment! But moving forward and growing up is just a part of this wonderful adventure–so instead of shaking my head I turn to strategy!

With Amber I found that preparing for potty training helped a lot when it actually came time to get serious about it. Buying a potty chair to get her used to seeing and sitting on it and using the Potty Tots video and book helped a lot with her so I knew that they were tricks I’d be using once again.

This time I have a new secret weapon as well! I mentioned with Amber a friend had told me about buying thicker panties so that when you were training and the inevitable accidents happened it didn’t make quite such a mess. This was good–but there still was lots of leakage involved! Antsy Pants Pull-Up Cloth Diapers are the perfect blend of cloth underwear and a diaper–like a cloth diaper but more along the lines of a Pull Up. They’re the perfect compromise for when you’re preparing or beginning Potty Training because they let the toddler feel that they’re wet or dirty–without all that gross mess everywhere!

We decided to give them a test run to make sure they stood up to their claims. One thing that I loved is that they’re super cute and Tyler was still able to do all of his crazy child maneuvers in them and they stayed put. Of course the stinker pooped in them shortly after I tried them the first time (go figure) but they are designed for that so although it re-enforced that my decision not to cloth diaper was the right one for me (lol) it was not a big deal either.

I can tell that they are going to be invaluable once we start potty training “for real”.

Mompact is running another awesome bundle giveaway where you can win products made by moms, for moms. This time it’s all about growing up and independence , here are the products you can win!

AqueDuck, Baby Dipper Bowl, 3R Cards Chore Chart, Antsy Pants, Thumbuddy $100 Value a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Means War Date Night #CouchCritics

At the beginning of this year I decided that every Friday night that Bob was home was going to be Date Night for us. Seven years into our marriage I feel that keeping the flirt and the spark in our marriage is super important! Since he’s in the military we’re thousands of miles away from both our families and move so often getting a babysitter for a “real” date only happens once in a blue moon.
So we just do the next best thing–an at home date night once the kiddos are in bed! I always make sure that on Friday’s I “get pretty” you know–actually doing my hair, my makeup, and putting on some cute clothes and my best perfume. Although sometimes we play Phase 10 or sit around chatting, our favorite at home dates are watching movies together snuggled on our amazing comfy couches.
Yesterday I decided to go on a trek to rent This Means War from Blockbuster Express and pick up some snacks for our weekly date night. 

Mmmm…..yeah. I *thought* that I could beat rush hour traffic by leaving at 2 p.m. There I go thinking again! If I ever have a *brilliant* idea like that again will someone please slap me? Repeat after me “Don’t go *anywhere* if it involves driving on the interstate on holiday weekends in Boston.

Here is me after 2 hours of stop and go traffic. I also spent the time bouncing up and down and dancing to some random British folk pop group (I took Bob’s vehicle and forgot to grab any cds) and listening to Piano Concerto #5,895 play in the minor chord of e. Amber decided to catch up on her beauty rest–can’t say as I blame her!

 But at long last we completed our trek to the  BlockBuster Express and got our movie with great success!

Then it was time to make some goodies–because what’s a date without a few treats right? I opted to go for my ultimate secret weapon….my world famous chocolate chip cookies! I’m *pretty* sure they’re why Bob married me in the first place! 😉

Can’t you just taste the melty chocolatey goodness??!!
Then finally it was date time!

Of course the most fun part of watching any movie is getting to be a couch critic–so here is my take on This Means War (rated PG-13)
The Goods:
  • I actually love action movies even more than “chick flick” kinds–so the fact that the movie combined the two was a lot of fun for me!
  • The main characters were awesome! I’ve been a huge fan of Chris Pine since the new Star Trek (oh yeah did I mention I’m a closet geek?) and you can’t help but adore Reese Witherspoon–she’s just so stinking adorable. And Tom Hardy…well….let’s just say that I have a thing for British accents 😉
  • The flow of the movie was great and had a nice mix of funny, serious, and action packed scenes.
  • Funny!!! I was giggling and giggling through the entire movie–and hubby laughed out loud several times too (despite turning up his nose at any “chick flicks”)

The Bads
  • Chelsea Handler plays Trish–the obnoxious older friend. She was supposed to bring an extra dose of funny to the movie but all I found her to be was annoying. Maybe it’s because I’m a little “uptight” but her crude remarks and jokes about sex and drinking constantly were just dumb and really didn’t add any value to the movie.
  • Umm…since when is cheating no big deal? Last time I checked if a girl was seriously dating two guys at once it was more skanky than cute
  • No realism–yes, I get that it’s a comedy so that is part of it–but as hubby said–shooting a predator out of the sky just because you don’t want it spying on you??? You realize that’s 4 million dollars right??!!!!!!!!
  •  The ending ~ though they did manage to pull it off the practical side of me shakes it head. I know (ahem…maybe from personal experience…..maybe more than once….anyways moving on) that anytime there is any kind of “love triangle” where two guys are interested in the same girl the result is a big blow to their friendship long term–and that’s when the girl doesn’t even choose or date either one of them in the end (again…possibly speaking from personal experience here, pleading the fifth though 😉 )
 The Verdict
Overall I would give this movie 3.5 out of 5 Couches
Oh–and the best part of at home date nights? Getting to watch a movie in my holey favorite sweat pants and barefoot!!!
If you’d like to check out the rest of my journey to BlockBuster Express and Wal*Mart for my goodies please check out my Google+ Album!

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All dancing, traffic jams, and references to former love triangles are my own.

Creative uses for Postcards

You might think that postcard printing is just for businesses–but that’s definitely not the case! Although it’s true that postcards are a great way to promote any business–from a big corporation to a small work from home business, there are many other uses as well!

 One of these is a high quality birth announcement! This is what Tyler’s looked like and we got it printed on postcards–they turned out beautifully! You can also use them for party invitations, thank you notes, decorations, flashcards for ABCs or numbers–pretty much they are only limited to your imagination!

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Beyond Hopes Valley by Tricia Goyer

So, just in case you somehow missed the Memo….I’m a bit of a book worm. Ok, ok….so more than a bit! I always have been and it still is the perfect way for me to de-stress, unwind, and get some much needed “me” time in at the end of each day. Lately I’ve been seeming to need it even more than normal…which means I have a great big ol’ stack of books to review this week!

Today’s book is Beyond Hope’s Valley by Tricia Goyer it’s the end of the Big Sky Novel’s and I have to admit I felt a little bit like the picture above–that I of course found on Pinterest! 😉

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My First Mamavation Monday

Me and my adorable 21 Month Old

This week I’m back on track after taking a few weeks off for my parents visit and the pre and post crazy that was my life because of it! This is also my very first week being part of the Mamavation Sistas and linking up with them–so if you’re hoping by *thank you and welcome*

I’ve been doing Not So Fat and Slim and Trim posts on my own since 2010. You can read about my weight gain and loss journey when I started and watch my first Slim & Trim Vlog of this year to get up to speed on me and my journey so far.

One thing that I realized that is awesome is that I was 20 lbs over my pre-baby weight when I started–which means that I was able to lose that weight–hurray!!!

The last 10 lbs has just STUCK on though. I keep bouncing up and down and up and down around 135. I’ll get down to 133 when I’m doing good and then slide back up to 138 when I’m not.

Which brings us to today when I weighed in at 138.2 after a few too many Pepsis and a bit too much cheesecake while my parents were here.

I’m still dedicated to getting down to my “skinny pretty” weight of 125 lbs though–and I know I could if I could just stick with it! My major pitfalls are loving to snack and night, especially the sweet stuff, and portion control.

This week I’ll be back on my regular workout plan (3 times a week) and really going to focus on not snacking at night (no food after 8 is my “rule” for myself this week) and keeping track of my food and being accountable through a picture food journal.

I’m really excited to have others to cheer me on and link up with! I look forward to getting to know you all and cheering for you in your health and wellness journeys as well!

The Black Shard by Victoria Simcox

Not too long ago I dished about the fact that I’m a closet nerd who loves to read Young Adult books–it’s true! And after reading The Magic Warble naturally I would want to read the next novel in the series The Black Shard. I just love series…I never feel like characters and story lines can grow the way they should if everything is wrapped up into a single book. In my mind the best stories always come in series!

It was fun getting reacquainted with an older Katrina in this book as well as the other characters like Werrien, and Hester and Davina of course too! Fun and easy to read I loved and was surprised at the crazy twist at the end of the book–for someone who prides herself on “calling” things I definitely didn’t see any of the twists coming! The book ends on a cliffhanger…so I’m definitely looking forward to the *next* book even more! This is the book I gave my sister for Christmas and she enjoyed as well. Although it does play off of the Magic Warble it serves well as a stand alone book also. The Black Shard was a very fun read–I’d recommend it for young adults (and slightly older adults…..like me hehe) as well! Be sure to hop on over to Amazon to read some more reviews–so far it has 5 stars!

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Armed Forces Day ~ Military Deals, Specials, and Tips to Save

A very happy Armed Forces Day!

To help celebrate I thought I’d share some *awesome* deals and specials that I’ve come across lately for military as well as some of our own money saving tips. Because I truly believe that everyone who serves their country are entirely underpaid, and I love it when businesses reach out with thank yous in the form of discounts or freebies!

Hotels: A great traveling tip is to always ask if the hotel provides a military discount. I think that in all our travels across the country we have only been told no once. This normally knocks off anywhere from $10 – $30 per night and that adds up fast!

Many cell phone carriers provide military discounts, we’ve been with both Verizon and Sprint and they both give military discounts.

Always ask if a car dealership gives a military discount-we were given one on my vehicle but not on hubbies–it never hurts to ask though. (be sure that you do it *after* any other prices have been knocked off though–or they’ll probably take that $500 off they were going to anyways under the name of a “military discount”)

Waves Of Honor: Free Admission and Discounts to the Busch Gardens and Sea World Parks

Military Families can also get a FREE Annual Pass to the Nation’s National Parks (reg. $80)  – the pass can be picked up at any National Park or Wildlife Refuge that charges an entrance fee, and an ID must be shown to obtain the pass.

Blue Star Museums : over 1600 museums nationwide that are offering free admission to military members this summer.

Veteran Tickets: Free tickets to major events for Veterans and Active Duty

Free One Year Membership to Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Free Custom Military Support T-Shirts (just pay shipping!)

Deployment Resources:

Free Deployment Photography: Photographers offer free sessions pre/ during/ post deployment.

 Free Welcome Home banners for military

Restaurants that provide military discounts

Do you have any great deals/specials/sites that I’ve missed? If so please comment and I’ll add them in!