Simply Tuesday

I received this book to review as part of the Simply Tuesday launch team. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve been reading A LOT this summer, keeping books stashed by my bed and near the kitchen and in my purse so I’m never without something to read. And I’ve been reading some GOOD books, the kind I have to tell you about.

I have to start with Tuesday. Simply Tuesday to be exact. Because, well, it IS Tuesday.

Simply Tuesday blanket

I’ve always felt quite comfortable with Tuesdays. I don’t mind Mondays all that much because they are the start of a new week, a blank slate. But Mondays also come with some rough reentry from weekend fun and long to-do lists.

I couldn’t really put my finger on why Tuesdays appealed to me, but author Emily P. Freeman helped me identify those reasons and then led me on a journey of things not about Tuesday at all in her newest book, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World.

Tuesday holds the ordinary, the everyday, and the small.

Emily’s words spoke to me about motherhood and writing and faith and just about every area of my life. This idea of small wasn’t something I knew I wanted so much, but every page of Simply Tuesday had me longing for more small moments of sitting – sitting with my Jesus, my family, my friends, my work. I have always been a busy doer, but the idea of sitting in the small has become more appealing to me with each passing year.

Here, on our ordinary Tuesdays, is where we make our homes and learn to be human.

I found myself breathing deep with each page, finding words I needed about contentment, platform, home, and hurry. How did Emily know I needed all these things in one book? Well, God knew, and as I underlined words on almost every page, I knew I didn’t want those words to slip away.

I want to stay small in his presence, not because I’m scared, but because I’m his. I want this to be a relief rather than a frustration.

There are so many truths in this book I need to chew on daily. The prayers at the end of each chapter are both honestly raw and poetically beautiful.

May we chase the flashes of hope that visit us in ordinary time, gather all the light in your presence, and trust you to string it together for our good and for your glory.

Jesus has been calling me to dig in deeper with Him and in my home. Simply Tuesday drew me closer to both of these. It went everywhere with me this summer.

Simply Tuesday Sandals

The stack of books in my house is monumental and I’ve been trying to give more away as I finish them, but I’m not sure I can let go of this one quite yet. I need to soak in this message, sit on a bench with it a little longer.

Small is good. Small moments are valuable. Being small in the presence of Christ is the best place to be.

It’s Tuesday and this small Tuesday is simply wonderful.

Simply Tuesday was JUST released today and I want all of you to read it! The paperback is only $7.17 on Amazon right now! Grab your copy and while you’re at it, sign up for Emily’s free video series that encourages us to stop being held hostage by hustle!

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Longing for Paris

I received this book to review as part of the Longing for Paris launch team. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

I love to travel. I was fortunate enough to go to Europe for the first time when I was just 18 years old and I’ve been back twice since. I love getaways with my husband, road trips with my family, and traveling to conferences. New places and experiences are exciting to me.

Longing for Paris

When I heard the title and topic for my friend Sarah Mae’s new book, Longing for Paris, I knew I would relate. Because sometimes my soul just wants to wander to the newest place or experience or thing. I’m an ENFP who gets distracted by “bright, shiny things” and can sometimes miss what is right in front of me.

Long for Paris Architecture

Before I get to the book, I have a confession: the first time I visited Paris, I wasn’t really crazy about it. It was beautiful and interesting, but overwhelming as a new high school graduate. I wasn’t too excited about going back five years later. But the second time was different. I was with a similar type of group, but this time I was a chaperone and was with my husband. We were able to make our own plans. We wandered and visited some smaller, lesser-known places. We searched out a great loaf of bread. We sat outside of Notre Dame and watched Parisian life happen in front of us. And this time, I really loved Paris.

Longing for Paris Notre Dame

Had I not gone back to Paris the second time, I think I may have avoided this book. I wouldn’t have known the beauty of just sitting and watching and soaking in the culture. I would have only know the hustle and bustle of a whirlwind tourist visit. I would have felt no connection to Paris. But I’m so glad I picked this book up, because it’s really not about Paris, but about what Paris represents.

My longings are the reminder that there is more – another world, another place where I am meant to be.

Longing for Paris is about what our souls long for: beauty, passion, confidence, light. These are all things I witnessed firsthand in Paris, but as Sarah Mae points out, they are not only found in Paris. We can find the things we long for right here because they are all found in God. And when found in God, they will satisfy like nothing in this world.

Paris will leave me thirsting for more, and it will ultimately let me down, because I wasn’t made for Paris. I was made for all the things that I long for in Paris: beauty, art, culture, romance, light, and joy.

Sarah Mae talks about how our longings and reality meet. This can be a tricky place full of discontentment when we are not surrendered to God’s will.

I want to know how to not shut out my longings, while at the same time giving myself to the daily work of raising my children well and not being so divided to neglect them.

I was deeply impacted by the way she has searched for the beauty God has placed around her right where she is AND included her family in these discoveries. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but our longings do need to be directed and filled by our wonderful Creator.

Longing for Paris Courtyard

Longing for Paris touches on so many aspects of our life that I can’t possibly mention all of them in one post, but I know that it has helped me open my eyes to the wonders surrounding me in my home and community. God has given me an appreciation for beauty and discovery. I don’t have to travel far and wide all the time to fulfill this longing. I just need to look to Him, then look around.

WS 8-3 6

This weekend, I tried a salted caramel macaron from a French bakery in my hometown and I thought of God and beauty and Paris and Sarah Mae. This is where my life is happening and He is leading me to everything I need and long for in His perfect way. This is beautiful.

Today is release day for Longing for Paris! Hooray! The paperback is less than $8 on Amazon right now! Grab your copy today!

What are some things you long for more of in your life? What longings has God fulfilled in your life right where you are?

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Books for Kids: Jack Staples

I was given this book to review, but was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are 100% my own or my son’s! This post contains affiliate links.

My kids are voracious readers. They devour chapter books, asking for more reading time, carrying books they’re engrossed in with them wherever we go. I absolutely love it.

I’m always on the lookout for quality chapter books to throw their way next, so I was thrilled to learn of a new young adult series from author Mark Batterson, best known for writing The Circle Maker. When I read the plot summary, I knew our nine-year-old, Big J, would be all about the Jack Staples series and I was right!

Jack Staples Book 1

I interviewed Big J after he finished the first book in the series, Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, and here were a few of his answers:

What is the story about?
“It’s about Jack and his adventures as one of the Awakened who sees life with different eyes than the rest of the world.”

What did you like about this book?
“I really liked the sword-fighting! It was like our world, but there were no guns, only swords and other primary weapons. The story was exciting, scary, and intense!”

Who were your favorite characters?
“Jack Staples and Alexia Dreager are the main characters and I liked them best. Alexia was really cool because she has the gift of climbing. I also like that God is called the Author and Satan is called the Assassin.”

What were your favorite parts of the story?
“I like when Jack defeated the enemy and the lion helped save him!”

What lessons did you learn from this book?
“Mrs. Dumphry (a character in the book) said something I really liked: ‘A true leader does not need to be asked to do the right thing; he does it.’ I think that’s the most important lesson I learned.”

I loved his answers, but more than that, I loved his enthusiasm about this book and the series as a whole. Immediately after finishing the first Jack Staples book, he asked when we could order the second and third!

Jack Staples Reading

The first piece of good news is the second book in the series, Jack Staples and the City of Shadows, as well as the third, Jack Staples and the Poet’s Storm, are both available now. My bookworm is thrilled he doesn’t have to wait for them to be released. I totally know how he feels!

The second piece of good news is that I’m giving away a copy of Jack Staples and the Ring of Time for your child today, along with a copy of Mark Batterson’s book, Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children, just for you!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me who in your life would love to read the Jack Staples series! I will pick one random winner Wednesday night, July 15th at 9PM CST!

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Fight Back With Joy

I received this book to review from Worthy Publishing. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Sometimes a book just falls into your lap at just the right time and speaks right to what you are going through at that moment. That’s exactly what happened with Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg.


As you might recall, I chose the word JOY as my word of the year for 2015. I chose it reluctantly, but can see countless reasons in these first five months of the year why God led me to that word. When I heard about Fight Back With Joy, I knew I needed to read this perspective on joy – and I was overwhelmed by what God taught me through Margaret’s words.

I should tell you first that we’ve had a somewhat turbulent first half of 2015. Plans were made and then turned upside down and we were just along for the bumpy ride. I believe this is why God chose JOY as my word of the year. And it’s also why He had me pick up Margaret’s book.

From the very first words, as Margaret also describes reluctantly choosing the word joy, I knew I would relate and learn from this book. I wrote about what joy really is in my post earlier this year, but I stand by her assertion in the intro:

“Many people live joyless lives because they don’t understand what joy is, what joy does, how to discover joy, and what to do with it once they find it.”

Margaret’s experience with joy was so relatable to me, but our battles have been very different. Fight Back With Joy walks us as readers through her battle with cancer and how she used joy as a weapon to fight off everything negative that came her way. It is extremely poignant, vulnerable, raw…all pointing back to God, the source of all joy.

“Joy emanates from the abiding sense of God’s fierce love for us.”

I think I have half the book underlined because Margaret’s words spoke to me SO much, but there was one chapter in particular that jumped out and grabbed hold of my heart.

Earlier this year, I shared our Bible verse of the year and why I thought God had spoken this verse to me. I was so wrong, not about the verse, but about the meaning. Our change in plans this spring means we won’t be moving to the small town by the river. I couldn’t understand what God meant for that verse in our life, hanging in our living room, until I read Chapter 8 in Fight Back With Joy.

If you weren’t with us at the beginning of the year, our verse of the year as a family was:

“They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.” -Isaiah 49:10

In Chapter 8, Margaret shares a story from the Bible I didn’t know very well about Caleb’s daughter, Achsah. There comes a point where she is newly married and living in a desert – an actual, physical desert. Instead of wallowing about her dry, awful living conditions, she boldly approaches her father and asks that he give them springs of water. And he grants her request.

When I read those three words – “springs of water” – a chill went through my body and I perked up to see where God was leading this train of thought. Turns out the train was going right where I needed it to go, to this statement…

“In the desert of despair, springs of water unlock reservoirs of joy.”

Our springs of water are usually not physical water. They weren’t for Margaret and they weren’t for me. The springs of water she experienced and the ones I have found are so much more life-giving.

“Achsah’s story serves as a reminder that we can petition God for sweet water when circumstances make us feel like we’re sucking sand. In those moments, we can ask for special favor and expect God to work in powerful ways.”

This chapter prompted me to ask and I fully received new blessings from God in the midst of our desert. Springs of water – and joy – were found in new opportunities, deepening friendships, moments celebrated together.

“A prayer for springs in the desert is a request to discover the fullness of life even when facing trouble and difficulty.”

That fullness of life, when found in Christ, is what joy is all about. God used this book in powerful way to lead me to those springs of water, and they have been filling me with joy ever since.

No matter where life has you right now – in a season of drought or abundance – you will find inspiration in Margaret’s words.

I really want to give every single one of you a copy of Fight Back With Joy. I can’t quite afford that, but I am giving away three copies thanks to Worthy Publishing!

To enter, tell me something that has brought you joy in the past week! For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway and come back to tell me you did in a separate comment! This giveaway is open until Monday, June 1st at 9PM CDT!

[Tweet “I entered to win 1 of 3 copies of Fight Back with Joy by @mafeinberg from @WorthyPub!”]

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Hands-on-Prints Books: Engaging Kids in Reading!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hands-on-Prints books. I received books to facilitate my review. This post contains affiliate links.

We are a book-loving household. We have books of all kinds coming out of our ears. I’ve really tried to trim down our selection over the years, but I can’t seem to stop adding to our collection when I find something that looks good!

The introduction of Kindles in to our home has helped slow the rapid growth of our stacks and stacks of books, but there is still nothing like holding a physical book in your hands, especially when it comes to children’s books.

Hands On Prints All

I’m thrilled to introduce a new series to you that will really engage your children in books through great content, wonderful illustrations, and their senses!

Hands On Prints Books

Christinia Cheung earned a Masters in Early Childhood Education and established a Montessori school that celebrates differences in personality, learning preferences and cultural backgrounds. Through these experiences, she was compelled to write her Hands-on-Prints books.

Hands On Prints Boys

This series of five books inspires simple and complex learning about the world, especially incorporating sight and touch to create an interactive visual experience for children. Hands-On-Prints books really are a unique set that my children and I are greatly enjoying!

Our family favorite is Around the World from A to Z!

Hands On Prints AZ

Around the World from A to Z takes kids on a journey to explore the activities, famous landmarks, and cultures of countries. Rock climbing at Mt. Rushmore, martial arts at Mount Fuji, and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef are just a few of the fun adventures highlighted in Around the World. My boys loved seeing what activity would be on the next page and finding the location on the map in the upper right corner of each page!

Hands On Prints AZ Finger 2 Hands On Prints AZ Finger

Each page also features a raised, textured cursive letter of the alphabet for little hands to trace! Our oldest showed his younger brothers how to trace them correctly and I’ve caught them doing it over and over again. This book has so many things to get kids involved in learning! We are big fans!

Hands On Prints Chartres

Several years ago, The Hubby and I visited Europe and one of our stops along the way was in Chartres, France. We explored the gorgeous and incredibly unique cathedral in this town and were fascinated by the story of its construction. Because of that visit, this next book is a sentimental favorites. Geometry through Architecture: The Chartres Cathedral details all the ways shapes were used in the building, particularly as symbolism in the stained glass windows. I loved looking through this book with Big J and showing him our own pictures of the cathedral from our visit. He is his mother’s son – very interested in reading and history – so this was a great connection point for us!

Hands On Prints Coconuts

Other books in the Hands-On-Prints series include Nuts for Coconuts, A Persistent Vine, and Do I Have To? What If I Don’t Want To?

Hands-On-Prints books take children on adventures that develop their knowledge and a sense of discovery! I love how these books encourage kids to think outside of themselves and their normal circumstances. They truly do inspire the best in young learners!

Which Hands-On-Prints book would be most interesting to your child?

Leave a comment with your favorite to be entered to win! Giveaway ends Tuesday, May 26th at 9PM CST!

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The Hope Every Mom Needs

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I’m so excited! It’s like my friends are having a baby today, but instead it’s a book! And this new book is an important one for every mom.

Brooke McGlothlin {my MOB Society cofounder} and Stacey Thacker released Hope for the Weary Mom a few years ago as a self-published ebook, then in paperback. It was a powerful read for myself and for many other mamas. And a publisher took notice.

Today, Hope for the Weary Mom is releasing again, but this time with TONS of new, hope-filled content and coming from Harvest House Publishers! This calls for a happy dance!

Friends, I am the weary mom they wrote this book for {not specifically me, but you know what I mean} and I’m guessing many of you would say the same. It’s ok. Mothering is hard, holy work. Just because you’re weary doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Brooke and Stacey have written a powerful message to help you and I refocus and find the source of true hope in the middle of motherhood.


This isn’t one of those motherhood books that tells what you should and shouldn’t be doing. I can’t read those books. This book is like coffee date with two real moms who go through the same things as you. They have found a perspective and lifeline of hope in Jesus and they’re offering it to you with love.

One of my very favorite lines from the whole book is something I need to memorize and internalize…

“Our kids need moms who will get up, dust themselves off, and cast their nets one more time.”

That speaks right to where I am as a mom. Sometimes, after going several rounds with the kiddos, I just want to throw in the towel. But that is not what hope would do. Hope never gives up, just as Jesus never gives up on me.

“When you cling to the end of our rope, we pray you see him. He is your shelter. He will support you. He is the answer. He is Hope for the Weary Mom. ”

Please, dear mom friends, get this book for yourself today. Let the truth of it sink in to your hearts. Go through it with a small group. You are not alone in being weary, but together, we can find and CHOOSE hope!


For a very limited time, when you purchase your copy of Hope for the Weary Mom anywhere books are sold, you can get three free videos from Stacey and Brooke giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how they personally overcome weariness and choose to live a hope-filled life.

In the videos, they’re allowing you a look into their private lives, sharing specific examples of those weary moments all moms have and how to find hope in the midst of it.

It’s like having two friends walk along-side you as you figure out this motherhood thing…and I couldn’t have picked two better friends for this job!

Declare StaceyBrooke and I dotMOM
I highly recommend these videos, because Brooke and Stacey are full of honest wisdom and lots of grace. They speak from a place of vulnerability and every word has been bathed in prayer.They’re only available during launch week for the Hope for the Weary Mom book, so go grab your copy now, keep your receipt, and then visit this site to claim your free videos. Be sure to tell them I sent you!

Brooke and Stacey, THANK YOU for writing this book and spreading this life-giving, hope-filled message! I love you both dearly and I’m SO proud of you!

Oh, and I’m actually mentioned in the book! When you read the book, let me know when you find it!  A little book hide-and-seek for you!

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Great Gift Books for Your Guys!

I received some of these books to review. I was not compensated in any way for writing about them, and all opinions are 100% my own. I have also included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

As you know, I’m surrounded by guys. Add in grandpas and uncles and nephews…the number just keeps growing! I’m always looking for unique gifts to fit the interests and personalities of these guys and every year, books are a great option that don’t disappoint!

Gift Books

There are plenty of new great gift books for your guys this year and I wanted to share a few of my favorite with you! If you have Amazon Prime, you can order them today and still get them in time for Christmas with free two-day shipping! If you don’t have Amazon Prime, grab the free 30-day trial now and use it for your last-minute holiday shopping!  {Have I mentioned how much I adore Amazon Prime? So many reasons…}

And now for the books…

For the little guys


Diggit Saves the Day and Tipper Tells a Lie are part of the brand new Building God’s Kingdom board book series by Andy Holmes. The stories center around a crew of construction vehicles who learn lessons about character and godliness. My little guy loves the trucks and I love what he is learning! I can’t wait for more book sin this series to share with him.

For the school-age boys

Action Bible

The Action Bible is a favorite in our home because it tells the stories of the Bible in comic-book style and my boys are totally enthralled by it. I’ve seen it capture their attention and, after reading it, they want to look up more about each story in their own Bibles. This is a definite winner with visual learners and comic book lovers alike!

Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide is a brand new book about this new series on Disney XD. Our boys love the show, but they love reading about the characters and settings just as much as they do watching the show! They checked this book out at the library and were so sad when they had to return it, so I think they’ll be thrilled to find it under the tree this year!

Star Wars 100 Scenes

Star Wars in 100 Scenes is one of my favorite finds because it covers the whole Star Wars saga in one book. I’m a big fan of the original three movies and my guys like the new ones, so this is a book we can all enjoy!

For the comic book fan


Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art could be enjoyed by Marvel fans of any age thanks to the movies introducing a new generation to characters such as Captain America and Thor. I love that my guys can see the characters as they were originally imagined in this fabulous collection of cover art!

DC Comics

DC Comics: A Visual History is another great find along the same lines as the Marvel Comics book. Whether it’s a dad or uncle who has always loved Superman or your kids who are currently obsessed, this visual history is fascinating and a great gift!

For the athlete

Running & Being

Running & Being is known as the book that really got people running again. George Sheehan’s thoughts on running are applicable to newbies and veterans alike. The Hubby was so excited to receive this from his parents this year for Christmas!

For the traveler

Great Maps

Great Maps will captivate those who love to travel and those who have always dreamed of it. This book from the Smithsonian is not along informative, but also a fine work of art and a great conversation piece. The well-traveled man in your life would appreciate this handsome book.

What books do the guys in your life love? Are you gifting any books to the guys in your life this Christmas?


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Interrupted: Annoyed, Flustered, Blessed?

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson! I received a copy of this book to review, but was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are 100% my own!

I’ve treated many of the life changes in the course of our time as a family as interruptions. Job changes, moves – each has been a blessing, but I regret to say, at the actual time of each interruption, I treated them more as the world treats interruptions – annoyed, flustered, not thrilled.

Hatmaker_Jennifer_Author_photoI greatly enjoyed reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker, but it did ruffle my inner feathers a bit. I know that was her intention. Or His intention, actually. And when I saw the title of her book, Interrupted, I’ll admit that it got all up in my business…before I even read it.

Who wants to be interrupted? Interruptions mess with our current plan, the flow we’re in, our vision for life. Notice how I did not mention God in that previous sentence at all? Interruptions usually frustrate us because they aren’t part of the plan as we see it.

It’s been a struggle for me to see God in the interruptions as they happen. I pout and complain and lament the fact that I was comfortable and happy with the way things were. But I’ve learned God doesn’t want me to be comfortable. And I’m learning to see Him at work, even blessing me, through a change in plans I didn’t see coming.

“It dawned on me that Jesus was asking me not to do more of the same but to engage a different charge altogether.” (p. 18)

God had already begun the process of interrupting my life right now before I started reading Interrupted, but the book has definitely been a catalyst for rethinking the way He keeps us on our toes. I really thought one thing was the “next thing,” but He took that plan, shook it up, and something entirely different came out.

“The problem with Christian segregation is that God asked us to be on mission with Him, sent us to some group of people somewhere, and wants us to minister to them in a way that meets their needs by speaking their language.” (p. 202)

He has asked me to serve + minister to a certain people group. It looks nothing like Jen’s calling. But it is still uncomfortable for me to step out fully into this mission. I need Him to take on this interruption. He wants us to NEED Him to fulfill our calling.


Interrupted is actually the prequel to 7, which I read first. Jen has a way of tackling really hard, really important subjects with equal parts honesty, grace, and humor. The humor makes it all a little easier to swallow. Without it, I may have found her books too heavy, but as they stand, I have learned so much about loving Jesus and loving the world through Jen’s words.

And now I’ve learned how important interruptions are in my life. Interruptions are actually blessings because they are God showing me He loves me and has a specific plan for me He doesn’t want me to miss. I just need to be interrupted to see it.

I would love to hear about a blessed interruption in your life! Leave a comment telling me one and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Interrupted! Giveaway will close Wednesday August 20th at 9PM CST!

P.S. Have you been watching the Hatmakers on My Big Family Renovation on HGTV?! It is THE. BEST. New episodes: Thursdays, 10PM CST. Catch the reruns if you’re not caught up – trust me.


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Nourish: A New Cookbook + 2 Recipe Sneak Peeks!

I know you can find SO many recipes online these days, especially with Pinterest, but I still love a beautiful, hard copy cookbook, where I can flip through the pages and put tabs on the recipes I want to try. And I found a gorgeous new cookbook that appeals to both my food-lover and fitness-lover sides!

I received Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook by Lorna Jane Clarkson to review as part of the SweatPink Ambassador program. Lorna Jane is the founder of Lorna Jane Active Living, a super stylish fitness clothing line. Her approach to health involves an active lifestyle and well-rounded, healthy eating habits.

Nourish 5

Nourish is not just a cookbook. It is a beautiful book with fantastic photos of healthy foods and inspirational moments. It is a book that will help you focus on good eating habits and break several healthy eating myths. It is a book that shows you don’t have to eat bland food to eat healthy food.

I will admit that Lorna Jane uses quite a few ingredients I don’t usually keep around, so not everything in practical for me. But every recipe is well put-together and will keep your active body fueled well with lots of real food. Despite my initial hesitations about the uncommon ingredients, I did find several recipes I was excited to try. And I had to pick a summery one to get started.

The Chocolate, Banana, and Almond Yoghurt Pops were the first to draw me in! 

Nourish 2

I love the combo of chocolate, nut butter, and banana, and I’m always a fan of adding Greek yogurt to up the protein level.

Nourish 3

These pops were relatively easy to make and the maple syrup and banana added just the right amount of natural sweetness. And here is the recipe for you to try yourself!

Nourish 4

Chocolate, Banana, and Almond Yoghurt Pops


1 cup (280g) unsweetened greek-style yoghurt
2 tablespoons natural almond butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 small banana (130g), sliced thinly


1. Combine half the yoghurt, almond butter and half the maple syrup in a small bowl.
2. Combine the remaining yoghurt with the remaining maple syrup and sifted cacao powder in another small bowl.
3. Using the tip of your fingers, carefully press banana slices on the insides of 6 x ¼-cup (60ml) ice-block moulds. Layer almond mixture and cacao mixture into moulds, alternating which mixture you start with. Push in sticks.
4. Freeze 3 hours or overnight until firm.

prep + cook time 15 minutes (+ freezing)
makes 6
nutritional count per pop protein (4.6g), carbohydrate (13.1g), total fat (6.7g), fibre (0.4g).

There are also several breakfast recipes that sound delicious to me, especially this Quinoa, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata. I’m not always great about getting enough veggies in my day, but throwing some veggies in with eggs is the perfect way to start the day! Here is the recipe for you:

Quinoa, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata


1 teaspoon cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut oil
200g (6½ ounces) swiss brown mushrooms, halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup (50g) baby spinach leaves
¾ cup cooked white quinoa
6 organic free-range eggs
¼ cup (60ml) iced filtered water


1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
2. Heat coconut oil in a small frying pan (top measurement about 20cm/8 inches); cook mushrooms with garlic, stirring, until mushrooms are browned and tender.
3. Add spinach and quinoa to pan; toss gently. Whisk eggs and the water in a medium jug until frothy. Pour the egg mixture into pan; cook frittata over medium-low heat, about 10 minutes or until about halfway set. Place pan in oven; cook frittata about 15 minutes or until browned and set. Garnish with mushrooms and spinach leaves.

prep + cook time 40 minutes
serves 2
nutritional count per serving protein (25.7g), carbohydrate (14.9g), total fat (19.2g), fibre (4.5g).

Doesn’t that sound fabulous?! There are lots more wonderful recipes where these came from – dinners and lunches and desserts and snacks and even juices for all purposes! I also love the Lorna Jane includes information about super foods and her top healthy eating habits.

Are you excited about all of this healthy eating talk like I am? Join the movement with #LiveLoveNOURISH. You have the opportunity to be 1 of 10 winners that will get their own hard copy NOURISH cookbook. The most active participant will receive a cookbook AND a $200 Gift Card to Lorna Jane!

Show us how the NOURISH cookbook works for your lifestyle – in between work, play, sweat sessions, etc! Join the live Twitter Party tomorrow night (7/9) 6pm PDT/9pm EDT. Click here to tweet and enter to win —> Tweet: Join the #LiveLoveNOURISH initiative w/ @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach! Giveaway of: 10 NOURISH Cookbooks + $200 Gift Card to #lornajane!

Don’t forget to check out the Lorna Jane site for lots of awesome fitness clothing and read more about the Nourish cookbook!


I received this a digital copy of this cookbook to review plus a $50 gift card in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own!

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Summer Reading for the Kids!

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Summer is all about fresh air and adventure, but for me it has also always been about reading. From the days of my childhood, summer and reading have always gone hand in hand, as I would always {and still do} devour one book after another during my summer vacation. Reading the whole Anne of Green Gables series in one summer is one of my favorite memories and I’ve decided to journey with Anne again this year – I can’t wait!

I love that libraries and schools and other organizations have made summer reading a fun thing for kids with prizes and promotions. My boys are excited about meeting some big reading goals this summer and we’ve made a list of books to get us going! Some of these will be read-alouds and some will be read on their own. Big J is 8 and Little J is almost 6 and they are both very independent readers, but there is lots of fun in reading a book together as a family!

The books we are most thrilled about are the Growly series from Phil and Erin Ulrich…

For centuries the bears of Haven have lived quiet lives, high in the mountains at the edge of the great Precipice. That all changes for a young cub named Growly when he receives a mysterious message. With just his backpack and glider, Growly sets out on a desperate journey to find his grandfather’s long lost friend . . . and to find a way back home. Written for the 8-12 year old reading level, the series is also a captivating read aloud for younger children and will appeal to anyone who appreciates stories of adventure and friendship. 

Growly the adventurous bear made his way into our home with the first book of the series, Begin, and we have loved and followed him on his journey ever since. We are currently devouring the second book in the series, Widewater. The boys beg for more chapters every night! And part of the excitement may be that they know book three is being released TODAY!

Morning 3d White 500

Morning is the final installment of Growly’s tale and we are all on the edge of our seats following his every step! We can’t wait to see how everything turns out for Growly and his friends – I just KNOW it’s going to be amazing! And there is lots of fun to be had during this Growly launch week!



If your family hasn’t discovered Growly yet, NOW is the time! The first book, Begin, is FREE on Kindle for three days! Once you start the series, you won’t be able to stop!

All books purchased from The Growly Books Website Store this week {June 10-18} will be signed by the authors with the inscription personalized with the name of your choice! AND there are fun freebies over at the Growly site to celebrate all week!

Seriously, my boys and I agree that the Growly books are some of our very favorite we have ever read. They appeal to younger kids as a read-aloud and to older kids {8-12} for their own independent reading pleasure. The whole family will love these adventures! Let me know if you read them and what your kids think!

Here’s what else is on tap for summer reading for the kids…


The Growly Series by Phil and Erin Ulrich

Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime by Janet Benge

Independent Reading

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and other Roald Dahl books {Big J}

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster {Big J}

Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne {Little J}

Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey by Tim Tebow {at Big J’s request!}


What books are your kids reading this summer?


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