Thursday, May 24, 2018

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 123


I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 123.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

God paid a high price for you, so don't be enslaved by the world.
–1 Corinthians 7:23

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ZeroWater 7-cup Ready-Pour™ Pitcher - Review and Giveaway


College-bound kids get all sorts of things but why not give them something they will actually use!  Start their college years off right with clean water for healthy minds.  ZeroWater's 7-Cup Ready Pour has a sealed lid and reservoir, making it possible to pour water that has already been filtered without spilling water that is still filtering.  That way there is still some water in the pitcher even if your roommate takes the last drip. The pitcher even fits in a dorm fridge!  With a MSRP of $21.99, it makes an affordable graduation gift.  


I'll raise my hand up, I'm guilty of purchasing bottled water and not always drinking it out of the tap at home. That's because water from the tap has a metallic taste to it. I try my best to recycle plastic water bottles but it still gets expensive buying them all the time. 

Using an exclusive 5-stage Ion Exchange Filter to provide water that is 000 -- free of ANY contaminants.  ZeroWater has given my son, Logan, a solution to purifying tap water and reducing the purchase of bottled water.  Although he goes to college, he still lives at home.  Par for the look of  "dorm room" decor, he has a mini fridge and has been keeping the ZeroWater 7-cup Ready-Pour™ pitcher in it.

Enjoy pure-tasting water with the latest filter pitcher technology in just minutes. The ZeroWater filtration system combines sophisticated technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from your tap water, delivering you great tasting water. This 7-cup pitcher comes with one Ion Exchange filter and a laboratory-grade water testing meter.

ZeroWater’s primary layer of filtration, activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy, removes the chlorine taste you are accustom to with tap water. The Ion Exchange stage removes virtually all dissolved solids that may be left over from public water systems or even leached into your water from piping such as Aluminum, Lead, Zinc, Nitrate and more. Another three stages are included to ensure your water receives the appropriate amount of treatment time to deliver a “000ppm” reading on your laboratory-grade Total Dissolved Solids meter.

ZEROWATER READY-POUR™
BENEFITS: 

NSF Certified to REDUCE LEAD
Removes 99.6% of all dissolved solids
Purest tasting drinking water

ZEROWATER READY-POUR™
FEATURES: 

7-cup capacity = 6 cup pitcher + 1 cup in reservoir
Immediate pouring ability
Slim, space-saving design
Lightweight

ZEROWATER 5-STAGE
DUAL ION-EXCHANGE 
FILTER FEATURES: 
Certified to reduce Lead, Chromium, & Mercury
Premium 5-Stage Dual-Ion Exchange filtration system
Ion-Exchange system that removes virtually all dissolved solids in your water.
The FDA requires the TDS level in PURIFIED bottled water to reach 000-010ppm. ZeroWater is the only filter in its class to achieve this level.

Before using the ZeroWater Pitcher, there are a few prep and assembly steps. The first is to remove the lid and water reservoir from top of pitcher and remove filter from packaging. The pitcher, lid and reservoir then need to be hand washed and rinsed thoroughly with water. This is important to do because soap residue and leftover water may affect TDS meter readings. 

After you've twisted the filter into bottom of reservoir and filled it with cold tap water, you have to wait for all the water to pass through the filter before filling again. Once the reservoir has been emptied, you can pour the filtered water into a cup or glass. By using the TDS meter, you can ensure a 000 reading. At the point in time when the TDS meter measures around 006, it's important to change your filter.  You will need to purchase additional filters online or at Walmart.
the tap water reading of 146

Me and Jason tested the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) level of our tap water before using the ZeroWater Pitcher and was kind of scared to see the results were 146. Although it's not an absolutely horrible reading, it's still more than I'd like it to be. Most water in the USA falls into the 051-200 grouping, and that's where our number stands. Oh, and just for kicks and grins, we also tested the TDS level of a brand name bottled water. The reading was at 16.
Perfect reading of 000

After pouring water into the ZeroWater Pitcher and allowing it to filter, we tested the TDS level again. The proof was right in front of our eyes; The reading was 000! That's certainly an improvement in water quality! 

To say that we are impressed with the ZeroWater Pitcher is an understatement.  The TDS meter clearly proves that our water is now free of impurities.  I can confidently drink my tap water from the ZeroWater Pitcher and know that the only thing I'm drinking is H2O.  The pitcher itself is slim in design and has a pretty blue color to it.  The only downside we encountered is that it takes some time for the tap water to filter through.  It's a somewhat slow process filling the pitcher and waiting for the water to filter through.  After seeing the results of what the ZeroWater Pitcher can do, I can live with that downside. 

Like I mentioned, Logan's been keeping this pitcher in his dorm-size mini-fridge.  He drinks water quite often and is amazed with how well the ZeroWater 7-cup Ready-Pour™ filters impurities.  Luckily, he's nice enough to let me raid his fridge when I'm wanting some good ole' H2O.

Discount:  Receive 20% off a ZeroWater 7-cup Ready-Pour pitcher by using coupon code MC30 when making a ZeroWater purchase online.

Win It!

One person will win a ZeroWater 7-cup Ready-Pour™ pitcher.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Daphne & Velma - Blu-ray Review #spon

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray.  The opinions I share are my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  


Jinkies! Your favorite mystery solving teenagers are back in an all-new, live-action feature length movie!

State of the art robots and high-tech gadgets are common sights at Ridge Valley High, an innovative center of learning for some of the brightest minds in the country, including new transfer student, the bright & optimistic Daphne Blake (Sarah Jeffery) who is excited to finally go to school with her online bestie, the whip-smart & analytical Velma Dinkley (Sarah Gilman). But not everything is as innocent as it seems as mysterious disappearances begin to plague the top-performing students on campus. Once cheery and full of life, kids now appear in a “zombiefied” state - lifeless and shells of themselves. Can Daphne and Velma learn to work together and save the students or will they become the next victims? Get ready for thrills and laughs as we follow the first adventures of Mystery Inc.’s fierce female duo.

Daphne & Velma is available now on  on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on May 22, 2018.  The film stars Sarah Jeffery (Disney's "Descendants: Wicked World") and Sarah Gilman (ABC's “Last Man Standing”), and is produced by Ashley Tisdale and Jennifer Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Productions. Daphne & Velma carries a suggested retail price of $19.98 for the DVD and $24.98 for the Blu-ray.


My Review:

Daphne and Velma became friends before they became part of the Scooby-Doo gang.  This film shows how the two met and became pals.  Daphne becomes more than an online friend when she starts her education at the same school as Velma.  The school itself is very futuristic and boasts very bright students.  Weird things begin to happen, beginning with male student Spencer.  Soon, many of the pupils are acting strangely.  Daphne and Velma take it upon themselves to solve the mystery.

I enjoyed the acting skills of the two actresses who play Daphne and Velma.  The pair turn out to be a strong duo and show they can fend for themselves.  I think it would have been neat to see cameos or references of the other Scooby Doo gang members but this was still a delightful movie.  Although Daphne and Velma become involved in solving paranormal activity and strange happenings, the scenes aren't overly scary.  I think kids ages 9 to 15 would be most interested in this film.

Sale: Diamond Accent Stud Earrings - Only $24.99


Zales has been helping couples say 'I love you' for more than 85 years. As a leader in the jewelry industry, Zales provides fine jewelry and gifts at affordable prices.

Act quick to purchase a pair of Diamond Accent Stud Earrings in Sterling Silver for only $24.99 (regular $119).  That's a savings of over $90!

Details:  You'll adore the petite touch of shimmer these dainty fashion studs add to your attire. Crafted in sterling silver, each earring features a diamond accent artfully set to enhance size and sparkle. Concentric circles of beading around the centerpiece catch and reflect light for a dazzling look. Polished to a bright shine, these post earrings secure comfortably with friction backs.

Act quick!  Offer expires May 24, 2018.  Use code ZAFFDIASTUDS at checkout to receive this special price offer.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.*

Check It Out: Rock Salt Prints Star Wars Competition


Rock Salt Prints has set up an amazing competition. You can WIN three framed 16”x20” Star Wars artworks from their online collection.  Giveaway ends July 1, 2018. 

As an added bonus, by entering this competition, you will also have the chance to collect extra entry points and earn rewards along the way.

 You can earn the following REWARDS:

1. 15% OFF Discount Code

2. 30% OFF Discount Code

3. FREE A3 Print of your choice

4. FREE Star Wars T-shirt of your choice

Will you be entering the giveaway?
Who's your favorite Star Wars character?

This post contains a referral link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Wordful Wednesday - Juliann's Graduation

walking toward the stage

Five of our six kids have officially graduated high school.  This year it was Juliann.  That means we only have one left, and that event will be in two years.  It's so cliche to say that time flies, but it's the ever lovin' truth. 

Juliann attended her four years of high school at a private Catholic institution.  She's held down part-time jobs through it all.  She will be taking classes in the Fall at the local community college to become an EMT, then a paramedic.
Jason with Allyson and Emma at graduation

Juliann's graduation party is the first time in sixteen years that the two families have come together in one house to celebrate, rather than hold the events separately.  You learn after a while to put the crap aside and do what you can to make life better for the kids.  (It didn't take us 16 years to realize that but it took longer than it should've.)  Juliann's mom hosted the party at her home.



Emma, Jason, Juliann, me, Allyson

Can I just put this out there.....  Graduations are boring.  My kids alone have made up a fair share of them so I can say that.  They're always about memories, journeys, and life chapters.

BUT, I'll keep going to them as long as my kids keep on having them.  Because it means they've made another great achievement towards this process called life.


Four More May Winners


A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Welch's Fruit Rolls giveaway is #44, Kim Avery.

The winner of the GIANTmicrobes Heartfelt Box giveaway is #35, Judy Mitchell.

The winner of the Welch's Fruit Snacks giveaway is #23, Maryann D.

The winner of the I Can Only Imagine children's book giveaway is #20, Darlene.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to enter the currently active giveaways, listed at the top left hand side of the blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

YogaClub Clothing Subscription Box - 20% Off



YogaClub is your personal stylist for the yoga-inspired life. Delivering high quality, brand name yoga apparel at an affordable price, they are committed to empowering women to be active, confident and mindful in everything they take on — from yoga classes to traveling the world. All of YogaClub’s monthly subscription boxes are hand-curated and styled based on the member’s personal preferences including favorite colors, patterns, and workouts. Every box delivered donates a yoga class to a child in need.

The Guru ($79/month) — 3-Piece Outfit
The Karma ($69/month) — 2-Piece Outfit
The Mantra ($45/month)— 1 Pair of Leggings

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Wash Up this Season with Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap - Review


With the warmer weather looming, what better way to kick off the summer season than with a BBQ get-together with friends and family. While you may be cooking outdoors, make sure you are still practicing proper hand washing before and after meals. With four options from Softsoap that encourage healthy hands, rest assured that your family’s sinks are stocked with options that will gently wash away bacteria after enjoying the delicious BBQ meal.

Softsoap® Crisp Clean Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap: Dermatologist tested, and clinically proven to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria*. Its unique formula with moisturizers, leaves your hands feeling crisp clean and protected.

Softsoap® Fresh Citrus Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap: With fresh scents of citrus, this unique formula with moisturizers, leaves your skin feeling soft and protected. Dermatologist tested and clinically proven to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria*.

Softsoap® Aquarium Series® Liquid Hand Soap: Wash away bacteria** with this light, fresh scent featuring a design of your favorite fish. Just add water for a classic clean.

Softsoap® Clean SplashTM Liquid Hand Soap: Wash away dirt and bacteria**, while wowing your senses with this delightful fresh citrus scent.

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you're well aware I'm a fan of Softsoap.  I purchase their liquid hand soap often. It's a brand I know to work away dirt, leave hands smelling clean, and be cost efficient.  The liquid soap gets hands clean in all sorts of dirty and sloppy messes, and easily rinses away excess food ingredients from my hands.  Softsoap liquid hand soaps have a fair price point and can be found at mass retail, drug and grocery stores nationwide.

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Daphne & Velma - #DaphneVelma #spon Blu-ray Giveaway

Jinkies! Your favorite mystery solving teenagers are back in an all-new, live-action feature length movie!

State of the art robots and high-tech gadgets are common sights at Ridge Valley High, an innovative center of learning for some of the brightest minds in the country, including new transfer student, the bright & optimistic Daphne Blake (Sarah Jeffery) who is excited to finally go to school with her online bestie, the whip-smart & analytical Velma Dinkley (Sarah Gilman). But not everything is as innocent as it seems as mysterious disappearances begin to plague the top-performing students on campus. Once cheery and full of life, kids now appear in a “zombiefied” state - lifeless and shells of themselves. Can Daphne and Velma learn to work together and save the students or will they become the next victims? Get ready for thrills and laughs as we follow the first adventures of Mystery Inc.’s fierce female duo.



It’s an adorable film that the whole family will love!

But… Daphne and Velma, need your help! Use the embeddable Mystery Video Decryptor & Soundboard blog app to decrypt exclusive clips from the new hit film!

PLUS! Watch the Daphne & Velma Slime Lab Video and learn how to make four different kinds of Daphne & Velma slimes featuring Velma herself, Sarah Gilman. Kids of all ages will love the gooey slime fun!

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Daphne & Velma on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on May 22, 2018.



Daphne & Velma Mystery Video Decryptor & Soundboard Blog App:

• Help Daphne & Velma solve their latest case by helping them decrypt the footage! Dial the knob and meters to just the right position to unlock the footage and move to the next challenge.

• Trigger fun & spooky sounds right from the movie in this fun soundboard

The film stars Sarah Jeffery (Disney's "Descendants: Wicked World") and Sarah Gilman (ABC's “Last Man Standing”), and is produced by Ashley Tisdale and Jennifer Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Productions. Daphne & Velma will carry a suggested retail price of $19.98 for the DVD and $24.98 for the Blu-ray.



Win It!

One person will win Daphne & Velma on Blu-ray.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray.  The opinions I share are my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains embedded widgets.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 21, 2018

15% Off Sitewide at Precious Moments


In the spirit of spring, Precious Moments wants to shower you with spring savings on Precious Moments porcelain figurines, ornaments, and collectibles. For a limited time, they're offering 15% off all orders. 

Spring into action now to save 15% sitewide with code SPRINGSAVINGS at PreciousMoments.com.  Sale ends 5/31.

Do you own any Precious Moments collectibles?

This post contains an affiliate link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Magformers Paw Patrol 20Pc Ready for Action Set - #magformers Review and Giveaway


Construction toys have many benefits. They allow for creativity and imagination. Kids learn independence, and eye-hand coordination is gained. Throughout the years, my kids have created garages, monsters, cars, forts and more with different brands of construction and magnetic toys.  One brand in that toy category is Magformers.

Magformers use the strongest Rare-Earth Neodymium Magnets for guaranteed connectivity. When playtime is over, use the magnetic power to simply stack and store.  Magformers™ uses magnets to hold the pieces together while children exercise their imaginations. The company has gone to great lengths to ensure that the small magnets are encapsulated safely and will not come loose even with a reasonable level of abuse during play.

A fairly new set from the Magformers line is the Paw Patrol 20Pc Ready for Action Set.  Using 14 magnetic pieces and 6 insert character cards, kids can build and combine Magformers to create awesome paw-riffic builds.  Follow along the idea booklet and play mat for step-by-step building, or use the power of your own imagination to construct your own unique creations.

With this Magformers Paw Patrol construction set, kids can match their favorite characters from the show or even match the colors and shapes together.  Using imagination, kids can create and build a pup house, a cube, and other small concepts.  The Paw Patrol cards inside the Magformers Magnetic shapes are double-sided and can be removed or turned over for a different design to be shown.  The play mats feature Paw Patrol pups and gives kids ideas on what to create.  The pieces themselves are durable and come in assorted colors.  The pieces can also be used with other Magformers sets, and add-ons can be purchased separately.
Win It!

One person will win a Magformers Paw Patrol 20Pc Ready for Action Set.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Important: Please Read! - GDPR and Your Privacy with Heck Of A Bunch

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You may or may not have heard about the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And even though this is an EU thing, I have been tuned into the necessary actions to be compliant.  Whether you're from Europe or another country, I'd like to keep you informed about your privacy and consent.

I care about your privacy and want to be 100% transparent.  Here are the primary ways that your information may be connected to this site:

Mailing list: Heck Of A Bunch never adds people to the mailing list without their explicit consent. You are more than welcome to unsubscribe to my email list at any time (although I hope that isn't the case!  I like having you around.)

Comments: If you leave a comment on a blog post, you provide data (e.g., e-mail address) so I can respond directly if necessary. I receive e-mail notifications about comments but once I address the comment, the e-mails are deleted.

Direct e-mails: If you e-mail me directly or submit via a contact form, you are submitting your e-mail to me through that process. But as mentioned above, I never will add you to my newsletter because you e-mailed me about something else.

Google Analytics and other similar metrics: Heck Of A Bunch has a Google Analytics account. I only use it to analyze blog numbers and to determine which posts are working better than others.  When you use this website, Google Analytics will log your IP address, operating system type, browser type, referring website, pages you viewed, and the dates/times when you accessed the Website.

Cookies:  This Website uses cookies to store visitors’ preferences, record user-specific information on what pages users access or visit, ensure that visitors are not repeatedly sent the same banner ads, customize Website content based on visitors’ browser type or other information that the visitor sends. Cookies may also be used by third-party services, such as Google Analytics, as described herein.

Giveaways:  If you leave a comment on a blog post or enter your email via Rafflecopter to enter a giveaway, your personal identifiable information is not shared to companies or sponsors unless it is specifically posted as such.  If you are a giveaway winner, I do share your email and mailing address with the sponsor so your product can be sent out.
Affiliate Links:  This website may engage in affiliate marketing, which is done by embedding tracking links into the website. If you click on a link for an affiliate partnership, a cookie will be placed on your browser to track any sales for purposes of commissions.

In a nutshell, I won't be shady and sell your email to a foreign currency company in the hopes that they'll let me in on the cut.  Or any of that jazz....

Thanks for being a reader of my blog!  Each and every one of you matter.  And so does your privacy.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Purpose Driven Essentials - #pdemini Subscription Box Review

Subscription boxes are all the rage.  People seem to love the idea of receiving themed boxes in the mail every month.  One such company is Purpose Driven Essentials.  Its items are filled with items to help support faith and encourage daily devotion like Christian-inspired Books, devotionals, journaling tools and Christian music.

Purpose Driven Essentials was created with women in mind to help them bring their families closer together and closer to God. The company’s mission is to uplift and encourage by helping families spend quality time together: learning, worshiping and having faith-based fun. Ten of all proceeds go to help missions.

You can decide between individual or family boxes and whether you’d like to send a one-time gift or continue with a monthly subscription box, giving a gift that lasts all year through.  The PDE Mini Kits retail for $32.99 and the Purpose Driven Family Kits retail for $49.95.

I received a sample kit for review and was staggered by what was inside.  The items included in the box were of good quality. I didn't feel like I was getting cheated.  Although I do not Bible journal, I was still able to find good uses for the clear stamp and ink that was part of the box.  The Third Day CD really excited me because I'm a fan of contemporary Christian music and was able to become familiar with songs I hadn't heard from the band before.  The prayer journal is perfect for writing down my prayer requests and for writing sermon notes. 
stock photo of December Purpose Driven Family Kit

It doesn't end there...  Also included was a Mason Jar printable to cut out and make into bookmarks. Clear encouragement stickers and a hardback devotional book were uplifting.  A small handcrafted booklet with prompts, devotionals, and scriptures is a way to continue with my spiritual walk.  A sample bag of Cookies and Cream popcorn was a nice addition, and a cute mini burlap bag topped it off. 

I definitely recommend Purpose Driven Essentials for anyone who wants a fun and interesting box with remarkable items that are centered towards a walk with Christ.

stock photo of February PDE Mini kit

Are you a member of any subscription box services?
Is Purpose Driven Essentials something that interests you?

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away - Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

When you said, “I do,” you entered marriage with high hopes, dreaming it would be supremely happy.

You never intended it to be miserable.

Millions of couples are struggling in desperate marriages. But the story doesn’t have to end there. Dr. Gary Chapman writes, “I believe that in every troubled marriage, one or both partners can take positive steps that have the potential for changing the emotional climate in their marriage.”

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away, the revised and updated edition of the award-winning Desparate Marriages, teaches you how to:

Recognize and reject the myths that hold you captive
Better understand your spouse’s behavior
Take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions
Make choices that can have a lasting, positive impact on you and your spouse

An experienced marriage and family counselor, Gary Chapman speaks to those whose spouse is any of the following:

Irresponsible
A workaholic
Controlling
Uncommunicative
Verbally abusive
Physically abusive
Sexually abusive
Unfaithful
Addicted to alcohol or drugs
Depressed

Marriage has the same potential to be miserable as it does to be blissful. Read Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away to learn how you can turn things around.

About the Author:

GARY CHAPMAN--author, speaker, counselor--has a passion for people and for helping them form lasting relationships. He is the #1 bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages series and 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 his website at www.5lovelanguages.com.

My Review:

Jason and I have been married 15 years (together for sixteen).  The first ten were a ticking time bomb.  How we made it without getting divorced amazes me.  Our marriage isn't perfect now, but the last five years have been amazing, especially compared to the beginning.  I attribute it to putting God first in our lives, taking marriage classes, reading books, and putting into practice the things we've learned.

You can read a book or listen to a speaker all day long, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't apply what you've learned.  The same goes for Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away.  With practical advice and real-life examples, this book is a helpful resource concerning marriage.  For instance, the reader will learn strategies on how to approach a controlling spouse, with a couple of those being asserting your own freedom and not fighting or arguing with the controller.

This isn't a book that guarantees marital success, but it is a book that will help you learn how to deal with the kind of marriage your're in.  It will give tips on what you can do to try to make things work, without sacrificing your self-worth.  I personally think that are times a marriage should call it quits, but I also know first-hand that marriages can change for the better.  This book isn't laden with scientific terms and fancy prose; It's written in a tone that anyone can understand.

Win It!

One person will win a paperback copy of Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Celebrate National Cheese Souffle Day with Jarlsberg® Cheese

 Jarlsberg® Cheese, the nationally recognized premium brand of cheese, invites you and your family to whip up a gourmet meal that is simple, elegant and scrumptious. May 18 is National Souffle Day – so why not celebrate in style with this incredible, easy-to-use recipe from Jarlsberg® Cheese?

Depending on what ingredients you use, the Soufflé can be served both as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert. Here we’ve combined this French classic with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and a fresh tomato and watermelon salad which makes it perfect as an appetizer or main course, preferably enjoyed outdoors on one of those warm summer evenings.

JARLSBERG® CHEESE SOUFFLÉ

Ingredients

1 cup milk
2 dried bay leaves
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 small ramekins
Baking paper
1 cup butter
4 tbsp. plain flour
salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup grated Jarlsberg® cheese
5 eggs with the whites and yolks separated
Jarlsberg® cheese for the topping

WATER MELON SALAD

watermelon
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted
1 lime
1 orange
2 cups olive oil

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

TO MAKE THE SOUFFLE

Pre-heat the oven to 400 °F. In a pan, heat the milk, bay leaves and shallot until boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and let the contents rest for 20 minutes. Grease the inside of the ovenproof ramekins.

The soufflé mixture will rise quite high, so don’t overfill the ramekins. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour.

Cook, stirring, for 1 min.

Strain the rested milk mixture, and gradually whisk it into the butter and flour mixture.
Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat. Stir in mustard, salt, cayenne pepper and grated Jarlsberg® cheese. Then stir the egg yolks into the mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the mixture, a little at a time. Divide the mixture between the greased ramekins.

Sprinkle a little extra Jarlsberg® cheese on top, if desired. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the soufflés are golden and well risen. They should be slightly soft in the middle. Slice the tomatoes and melon.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking the juice of the lime and the orange together with the oil and mixing well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soufflés immediately after they are taken out of the oven.

Serve with the tomato and watermelon salad garnished with roasted hazelnuts and with the vinaigrette.


 I received products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 122


I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 122.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blog Tour and Giveaway for Love Inspired Series


Feel comforted and at peace when you read these uplifting romances of faith, forgiveness and hope from Love Inspired. There are 12 new books each month! Six from Love Inspired for those who love contemporary romance and six from Love Inspired Suspense who like some danger with their romance stories.


I received four books as part of the Love Inspired blog tour.  One I'm still in the middle of reading, and two others are on my TBR list.  A Love Inspired book that I did read and enjoy is The Wedding Quilt Bride by Marta Perry.

Book Synopsis:

Widowed single mom, Rebecca Mast, returns to her Amish community hoping to open a quilt shop. She accepts carpenter Daniel King's offer of assistance---but she isn't prepared for the bond he forms with her son. Will getting closer expose her secret---or reveal the love she has in her heart for her long-ago friend?


My Review:

Books, fiction or non-fiction, that involve the Amish always fascinate me.  In most of the books, the Amish have the same interest in love as we do, but they're more careful and guarded.  The Wedding Quilt Bride can be read as a stand-alone but is the second book in the Brides of Lost Creek series.  Knowing that, I will more than likely read that book as well.

The story tells of Rebecca who returns back to home after her husband passes away.  Her young son becomes quite introverted after the death.  Once home, Rebecca stumbles upon an old friend, Daniel.  He offers to help her but Rebecca is stubborn and is resolved that it's up to her to make it on her own and help her son.

Both Daniel and Rebecca have their own guilt and shame.  Her husband had been abusive and Daniel's brother left the Amish community.  Both live with those scars.  It takes humility and support for them to get past all of that.  Once they are able to, they focus on Rebecca's son.  Rebecca and Daniel are then able to discover new love with each other.

The story plot is somewhat predictable but that doesn't take away from the excellent writing style.  The characters were easy to imagine as being real and relatable.  I enjoyed this book and its overall frame of learning to love and trust again.




Love Inspired Blog Tour Sweepstakes!

I received books for review from Harlequin.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.