Monday, August 30, 2010


I love Deeanne Gist. She is without a doubt, one of my favorite fiction writers. And, I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I heard that she was doing a crime/romance novel with another writer (J. Mark Bertrand). I shouldn't have been! Beguiled was a great book! It was a quick read, and so very entertaining!

Per the back of the book:
"Rylee Monroe, a dogwalker in Charleston's wealthiest neighborhood, never feared the streets at night. But now a thief is terrorizing the area and worse, someone seems to be targeting her.
Reporter Logan Woods is following the break-ins with the hope of publishing his coverage as a true-crime book. The more he digs, the more he realizes this beguiling dogwalker seems to be at the center of everything.
As danger draws ever closer, Logan must choose; Chase the girl, the story, or plunge into the shadows after the villain who threatens everything?"

From the very first page, I was wrapped up in this story! It was fast paced and full of adventure and intrigue. But also had Deeanne's touch of romance and faith.  It was beautifully pieced together. 

Rylee has a fun job that she loves. She's working in her favorite part of Charleston, her hometown, caring for pets that she loves as her own family. To her, they are her only family, except for her aging grandmother who lives in a Senior Care Facility. While she doesn't have much money or time, she enjoys her solo life. Or so she thinks.
Logan is an up and coming journalist working on a true-crime novel on the side. He loves his home in Charleston and is seeking to find his way in the world of publishing while not forgetting his roots in church and family.
When the two of them are unexpectedly thrown together one night, it sparks the beginning of an adventure neither one was looking for!
You will definitely get wrapped up on their journey to seek the truth of the burglaries, their relationship, and their pasts. I look forward to future collaborations from these authors!

*I received a copy of Beguiled from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own!*

Look for a giveaway coming soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Freebie Friday!

Sign up here to get free Post-It Durable Tabs and Labels.
These looked pretty cool! You can also opt-in for other freebies and special offers at the bottom of the form.

This site looked interesting; it's Tomorrow's Harvest, a food storage site. They freeze dry/dehydrate food supplies for you stockpile. This is a neat concept, especially for those of us on the Gulf Coast, in the middle of hurricane season! I had a little trouble with the verification code, but when it finally goes through- the form should come up blank, with a "thank you!" at the top.  You do have to enter your phone number for this one.

Thanks to Hey, It's Free! for those two freebies.

Swagbucks is one of my favorite things online! I simply downloaded the toolbar and now my search engine is connected to the site. So, whenever I search online, I have the chance to win "swagbucks". These can be redeemed for many things-posters, gift cards, contest entries, and more...
I, personally, don't save them up alot for big items, I use mine to get gift cards for downloading music, or purchasing gifts. A $5 e-gift card is only 450 points, and it doesn't take much time at all to get that!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mobile Area Fall Consignment Sales

I love these kids consignment sales! I enjoy selling our outgrown clothes and toys and finding new items for my children! If you're in the Mobile/Baldwin county areas, here are a couple of the upcoming fall sales.

Baldwin County:
Fairhope Civic Center
open to the public August 26th-28th, 2010

Mobile County:
Abba Shrine
August 23rd-28th, 2010

Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the fall sales this year, so I'll be selling my items on my own.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Try It Tuesday...

Have you tried House Party yet? This is one of my favorite sites! It's so easy, and there's no catch.
You create a free account, search the upcoming parties, find one you like and then apply to host. The application only takes a few minutes and is very simple. They send you a confirmation email, you click to verify your submission, and then you wait!  In a few weeks, the site will notify you if you have been selected to host a party or not.  If selected, you will receive a box of goodies for your party, invite your friends, have fun and fill out a brief survey after the party.
I have hosted several parties in the past and had so much fun! I had a Juicy Juice party at a Bible study group - I brought the juice for everyone to taste and brought the goodie bags for all the "guests", it included a reusable bag, a water bottle, deck of cards, coloring book, growth chart and of course, coupons!

There are alot of great parties available right now-so go check it out!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Meal Time Monday

Our meals have been haphazard and unplanned lately.  My husband's been traveling again, so I don't cook many big meals for just me and the kids :). However, we're all home this week and I actually have meals planned!

Tonight we'll be having Mexican Chicken - a favorite here! This version will be slightly different, because I'm having to use tortilla chips instead of Doritos.

The rest of the week looks like this:
Steaks with baked potatoes and steamed broccoli
Dinner out for Leo's birthday
Spaghetti with green beans and garlic bread

Lunches will be a mix of leftovers, sandwiches, chicken salad and pizza
I don't really have a plan for breakfast, cause we usually have the same things

What are you having this week?

Friday, August 6, 2010


Well, I finally got my BlogFrog Community set up! This is a great site, that I've been enjoying for a few months now.  I just now figured out how to host my community though - I'm a little slow sometimes :). Anyway, it's a one stop shop for your blogging wants and needs - and it is addictive! So, click on the tab to the right and join me there!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

book review for Maid to Match

Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always so easy to read and very enjoyable! Her latest book didn't disappoint. Maid to Match is the story of Tillie Reese, a head parlor maid for the newly married Vanderbilts in 1898. She has been preparing her entire life to be a lady's maid and is so close to her goal. Until she meets Mack Danver. Tillie has been put in charge of training Mack for service before a large party comes to visit, and everything she has been preparing for suddenly seems to be in jeopardy. She's trying hard to stay on top of her responsibilities, follow God's call for ministering to those less fortunate, and not fall in love. It was a fun adventure from beginning to end, as always! Full of rich history, romance and wonderful writing. There did seem to be less of a faith theme in this book than some of her others, yet it was still a very clean and tasteful story. This will be on my bookshelf for awhile!

I received this book as part of the Bethany House blogger book review program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Homeschooler's Book of Lists

The Homeschooler's Book of Lists by Sonya Haskins is my new favorite book! There is literally a list for everything.  I will recommend this book to anyone, not just homeschool families. If you want to know the Presidential Election results for all past elections, there's a list for that.  If you want to know the names and descriptions of the Roman gods, there's a list for that. There are suggested reading lists for all age groups, lists for all school subjects, religion, etc. Seriously, if you want to know about it - it's in this book! She even includes a cd with all of the lists for you to print.
While it did surprise me that there wasn't a list (index) for all the included lists, the contents page does have the different categories. In turn, each category does have a list of lists. :-) 

I received this book as part of the Bethany House blogger review program, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


My baby girl's birthday is tomorrow. She'll be one. I'm still amazed...wasn't it just yesterday that I was waiting for her to arrive?! Time has flown by-and we've had highs (milestones and new memories) and lows (big brother adjustments and long, sleepless nights). However, as I reflect over this past year, I really wanted to take the time and tell my birth story again. Most of you who read this have probably heard it all before, but I'm going to tell you again-because it's important to me!

Ethan's delivery, three and a half years ago, was an amazing experience! He is my firstborn, my precious son. And while I am so happy to have him here with us, I wish I knew then (before his birth) what I know now.
We delivered him in a local hospital; I was induced and had your typical interventions. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't exactly what I wanted. I am so thankful that we had the assistance we did, when we needed it. But Leo and I both knew that next time around, we wanted the experience to be different.
Unfortunately, in Alabama, we are limited to what our birthing options are. We have a hospital birth or an unassisted home birth.  We, as parents, are not permitted to legally choose to have a midwife attend a homebirth and assist with our deliveries. So, we chose to drive to Mississippi.
I labored at home, all day, on August 2nd, 2009. It was so relaxing - I sat on our couch, took a shower in my bathroom, played games with Leo, ate whatever I wanted to, watched tv, took naps, and anticipated the arrival of our precious daughter!  When we realized it was time to go, we loaded up the car and started the drive to Mississippi. Thankfully, we live near the state line, so it was less than an hour's drive to our destination, but that was still a long time in a car with contractions every two minutes! We were at the cottage less than an hour before Lydia Jane made her grand entrance! I didn't even have time to enjoy all the things I had planned - like a nice warm lavender scented bath :). But even still, it was great! Just me, Leo and our midwife. Nothing we didn't want, and pretty much whatever we did want.  It was so amazing, such a different experience for us! The next morning, we were back at home with Ethan.

Now, there is most definitely a time and place for hospital births; and whether it's by an emergency or simply your preference to be there, you'll get no condemnation from me.  I've had both experiences.
What I've become so passionate about though, is our ability to choose that location. Personally, I would have much rather have been at home, than had to drive an hour simply to have my baby the way I desired.
Which brings me to my point - I have become very involved in raising awareness for midwives in Alabama. I want to be able to decide whether to go to a hospital or stay at home and legally have the assistance that I want and need, but we're not there yet.  I will be giving updates as we get closer, but mark your calendars for September 25th.  That will be the day for the Walk for Midwives! Groups all over the state of Alabama will be walking to raise support and awareness for midwives.  Here in Mobile, it will be at Cathedral Square, downtown, at 9:30am. The fee is $15 and will include a shirt, as well as some goodies! Feel free to send me a message for more info, and I will be posting updates as they come available.

Also, if you have any questions about midwives or homebirths in Alabama, please send me a message or visit the Alabama Birth Coalition for more info!