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Monday, July 25, 2016

All Things Bright & Beautiful Giveaway & Review #flyby #AllThingsBrightandBeautiful

Hey y'all! Back with a quick review and a fun giveaway!

In case you can't tell from all my book giveaways - I love to read, and I adore books.  (I may even hoard books - I have SO many!)  I always enjoyed reading to my kids when they were little - the books were so sweet and fun to share with them.

Now I like to give children's books for shower gifts and such. I have several favorites, like Jamberry, Love you Forever, and A Bad Case of Stripes.  I had the opportunity earlier this month to review All Things Bright and Beautiful, a lovely new children's book that is based on the well-known hymn. After getting to read this book, I'm adding it to my list of faves!

I really enjoyed the sweet illustrations, and that this book would work equally well for a boy or a girl. It's just precious, and with Christmas coming, it would be a lovely gift for a child you love!

About the book:
First published by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848, this favorite hymn has become a mainstay of churches and Sunday school classes everywhere. Here artist Katy Hudson brings new joy to the words with her fresh and bright watercolor style. Readers can join in the fun as they follow two little girls and their brother on a day filled with the discovery of “all things bright and beautiful.”

About the artist:
Katy Hudson was raised in Middlesbrough, England, and started her career as a small child drawing on freshly painted walls. Her parents quickly encouraged drawing with pencil and paper instead. The idea stuck, and after earning a degree in illustration, Katy is now a freelance illustrator. Katy works at a desk in a studio within Old London Library and likes to tap dance in her spare time.

Jacketed hardcover
Page count: 32
Reading age: 4-7
Category: juvenile fiction/Christian
Retail price: $15.99

You can buy your copy here, or enter to win a copy below!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review & Giveaway: A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your Relationships

Last month I had the opportunity to review A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your Relationships by Gary Chapman.  Having an almost teen-aged son, it couldn't have come at a better time.

I read Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages® several years ago and took the inventory as well, so I knew my two highest love languages are Receiving Gifts and Acts of Service. This book gives your teen the chance to learn his/her love language by completing an easy profile.  Everyone has a primary love language, and knowing which is yours can really help improve your relationships!

This latest book teaches teens how to interact with others using their love language, and important skills like how to apologize sincerely, and how to become a better listener. It focuses on maintaining healthy relationships with family members and friends.  I consider it a must-read for any teen!  As a Mom, I enjoyed reading it too. David has just started reading it, so he hasn't taken the profile yet.  I can't wait to find out which of the love languages top his list.  I believe knowing his love language will help our relationship as we navigate the teen years!

Here is more information about this book and the author:

Chicago, IL – In a teenager’s world of hashtags and chat acronyms, where relationships
are measured by Facebook likes and Instagram followers, and where a long-term
friendship can be discarded with a click of the mouse, developing lasting, meaningful
relationships can be a challenge. But there is hope.

“Everyone has relationships at some level,” says Gary Chapman, author of A Teen’s
Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your
Relationships (Northfield Publishing, May 2016) with Paige Haley Drygas. “The question
is, “What is the quality of those relationships?” Maybe you have a thousand Facebook
friends but feel like nobody understands you. Or, maybe you feel you and your parents
are from different planets. The good news is it can get better. The secret is learning to
speak love and appreciation in a language the other person can receive.”

Chapman, a pastor, counselor, and author of the New York Times bestselling The 5 Love Languages®  (more than 10 million sold) brings his popular love language teaching for the first time to the lives of teens, helping them navigate the many relationships they face with family, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, teachers, teammates, coaches, and more.

“Our culture often dilutes the meaning of the word love,” says Chapman. “We tend to use the same word for how we feel about Belgian waffles or a football team that we use to describe our deepest bonds. And for many teens, the word “love” often conjures up images of romance. But, as we learn, love is much more than that and when we understand how to communicate love within all of our relationships, we’ll live a much richer life.”

In A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® , Chapman lays a foundation for what love really is (a choice) and how that translates into all relationships, and takes teens step-by-step through each of the individual love languages—words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and touch. He outlines the general characteristics of each love language, explains the various dialects within each language, and offers practical examples of how to communicate the love languages in the daily ups-and-downs of relationships. He also spends time focusing on helping teens navigate their relationship with their parents and siblings (it doesn’t have to be negative), shares how to handle anger and apologies, and encourages teens to focus on their “tribe.”

“Rather than having five hundred lame, half-hearted, Facebook-only relationships, you can cultivate five or ten thriving relationships in which the others really know you and feel known by you,” says Chapman.  While Chapman encourages teens to learn how to build relationships with others by speaking their love languages, he also spends time helping teens figure out their own love language by observing their own behavior, noticing what they ask others to do for them, listening to what they complain about, asking the right questions, and taking the included Love Languages Profile.
“Discovering your own love language helps you understand why you feel more loved by and connected to certain people,” says Chapman. “Once you know your own love language, you start to get your instincts—why you love others the way you do, why you’re drawn to specific people, what you’re looking for in a relationship. This self-knowledge can really help you in life.”

Gary Chapman, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and counselor who has a passion for people
and helping them form lasting relationships. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of
The 5 Love Languages® and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary
travels the world presenting seminars and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations.
For more information, visit

Want to get this book for your teen? Here's a link to it on Amazon (affiliate link).  I'm also including one for the original book - it's so good!

I have a copy of A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your Relationships to give away to one lucky reader.  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below - one mandatory entry and a couple extra easy-peasy entries! (Plus, you will find out your love language!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The best cookies at the Magic Kingdom! #WaltDisneyWorld #MagicKingdom #DisneyDiningPlan

We love, love, love Walt Disney World.  We've been several times over the past 8 years, and we're going again in December!  Today I wanted to share one of our favorite snacks at the Magic Kingdom. We always pick a few of these up when we are at Walt Disney World!

These Minnie's Bake Shop cookies are the best I've ever eaten!! The only one we've gotten is the Chocolate Chip Supreme and there is no reason (in my opinion) to try any other variety, as this one is heavenly!  (Actually, in December I'm going to try the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip - I will review it then)

These cookies are HUGE.  They are moist and delicious, with crunchy sugar crystals on top.   They are made to share, but we usually don't. We just eat half of the cookie, then save and enjoy the other half later!  

See how moist and dense they are on the inside? Perfect!

The sugar crystals on top add a delicious crunch to every bite! 

You can find these amazing treats at many of the shops and stands throughout the Disney parks, but we usually pick them up at Main Street Confectionary in the Magic Kingdom, or at Goofy's Candy Company in Disney Springs.  They cost $3.99 per cookie, and they are considered a snack option on the Dining Plan!

The bad news? They are not-so-good for your waist!! But since we only get these once a year or so, it's ok. You can check out the nutritional info below:

Next time you visit Walt Disney World, try one of these yummy cookies - you'll be glad you did!  For more about Disney, and other travel reviews, click the Travel link at the top of my blog.  Thanks for stopping by!