Thursday, 25 August 2016

Meet Sweet Sadie

One of the big differences between my husband and I is that he is a animal lover and I am well...not. We had pets growing up-golden retrievers and stray cats by the handful as well as my favorite, EB, our bunny.  However, they were outside pets. I could spend time with them if and when I wanted but they never really entered into my domain.

Since we've been married, my husband has really wanted a pet and I had been adamantly opposed. That's why, a few years ago, I made it my goal to adopt a pet that wasn't of the the rock genus. That's why we adopted our husky Mila. whose story I will tell later.

So it's been a while since we've had a pet and I could tell my hubby really missed having an animal around. While I've warmed up to the idea of having a pet, I really am 100% fine without ever being a pet owner again, and truthfully, I still feel like I could leave it. I enjoy them, but for me the payoff just isn't there but since it is there for my husband and he has agreed to do the majority of the messy work, we decided to adopt a pet from the Humane Society.

Enter Sadie:

She is a two year old golden retriever and basset hound mix.

She's a goober who likes to sleep with her head slightly under the pillow.

You can see her tail wagging in this picture. If someone is talking, her tail is wagging. It doesn't matter that you aren't talking to her.

She's tired after a long walk. 

Sadie had pretty bad separation anxiety that we are trying to ease with crate training but other that she is a pretty sweet dog. 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Book Review: JumpStart Your Priorites by John C. Maxwell

This book is broken down into 90 page segments. Each segment contains two pages. The first page contains an inspirational quote or verse and the second page consists of an assignment or exercise with space for writing or journaling. The topics fall in twelve different categorizes including attitude, health, family, faith and growth. The exercises range from self assessments to writing goals to writing declarations.

I really like that this book is broken down into bite-sized pieces. It makes making an improvement plan seem a lot more manageable. I think the premise of the book- that your success depends on your daily agenda- is very true. I also liked that the book has a workbook where you can apply the principles that Maxwell talks about.

However, a found the book to be a bit repetitive. I felt like it was more "90 days of advice on how to start getting serious about your priorities" than an "90-day improvement plan". But I guess, if the sole goal is after 90 days that you are more focused then it is an improvement. I guess from all the "hype" about Maxwell being a #1 author I expected a little more. All in all, it's not a bad book, but I wouldn't buy it for a friend.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Try Around The World Box 2: Sweden!

As, I mentioned in last month's post I signed up for Try the World on a promotional deal. I received a free box with purchase (take advantage of that deal HERE). My first box, was from Brazil.

My free box was the Sweden box. It contains a card explaining the Swedish traditions of fikka and smorgasbord. Fikka is basically a tea break. Smorgasbord, a more well know term, means having a variety of foods out. The card broke down the best ways to use the included ingredients as either fikka or smorgasbord.

In my Sweden box, I received:

A box of oatmeal chocolate sandwich cookies (they included a recipe for a cookie milkshake I can'r t wait to try!), flat bread crisps and a box of licorice 

A good sized bottle of elderflower syrup-a $13-$18 value!!(Any good baking recipes, anyone?)

Nordic fudge (yum!), Lingonberry jam-a $10-$12 value (also yum) and sweet and hot honey mustard
Not pictured: a bag of coffee

Again, I think Try the World hit it out out of the park on this one. I received 8 different items in different food categories (treats, ingredients and condiments). I wish the fudge bag was a little bigger but overall I think the value was definitely there! I am excited to see what my September box holds.

If you'd like to take advantage of the same free box with purchase promotion, use THIS LINK.

For other Try the World reviews, click HERE.

For other subscription box reviews, click HERE.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Book Review: Feisty and Feminine by Penny Young Nance

Penny Nance is the CEO and president of Concerned Women for America and her book inspired me to be just that-concerned-for America, along with those who do not share my faith.

Nance's book is a rallying cry of sorts, for concerned, conservative women who have stayed silent for far too long. We've remained silent for a variety of reasons including fear. Nance's book is filled with statistics and stories to motivate as well as useful strategies to help enact change. Her book covers topics ranging from the devaluation of women, marriage, abortion, women in foreign policy and life balance. Each chapter is broken into two sections, the facts about the topic and ways that Nance encourages conservative women to change the world around them. The book is also peppered with profiles of successful women who hold conservative values,

Many of Nance's arguments had me chanting "yes yes yes!" as I realized that she was articulating ideas, emotions and beliefs that I had but couldn't express. Other topics, I didn't know as much about going into her book but Nance managed to bring me quickly to speed and left me with a passion to know more and do more.

If you're a conservative woman who's sick of having her values and opinions pushed aside or even mocked, this is definitely for you. If you're a conservative woman whose been fueling a silent fire, this is the book for you. If you're informed or uninformed about the issues in today's world, this book is for you. If you're informed you're glean new strategies and if your're uninformed you'll be prepared and educated. I've already started texting my friends pictures of this book as a must read. It is educational, inspirational and confirmational all in one book.

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

ATM Favorite Thing: Try the World

After eyeing the subscription service Try the World for quite some time, I finally decided to take the plunge on a promotional deal for a free box with purchase.

So, I paid the monthly subscription fee of $39 and anxiously waited for the mail.

A little over a week after my purchase my two Try the World boxes arrived.

(These boxes are quite sturdy and could easily be re-purposed as gift boxes or to hold craft supplies)

After opening the boxes, I was so happy to have purchased a subscription.

I received eight items in each box. Here's what came in my Brazil box:

Churraso spice rub, Churrasco bbq sauce and  Jabuticaba jam
I tend to collect jams to use in fillings. I'm also excited about cooking some meat flavored with the Churrasco spices. 

Brazil nut cookies, Brazil nut spread and Pao de Quito mix
I can't wait to make the cheese bread for my husband's Brazilian coworker. 

Guava paste
Cupcake filling anyone?

Not pictured: A box of Brazilian coffee

All of the items were actually from Brazil, not Americanized versions. I looked up the price of the guava paste on Amazon. I couldn't find the the same brand but packages this size ranged from $8-$10. Overall, I think this subscription is a really good value and I am excited to see what I will receive next. If you'd like to try the world yourself, use THIS LINK and you'll get the same promotion I did-a free box!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Book Review: How Do I Love Thee?- Jennifer Flanders

I was so excited when I laid eyes on this cool journal.

It is filled with illustrations (great for those stricken with the color craze!), bible verses and quotes about marriage. There's prompts and plenty of space to write and doodle to your hearts content. I love spending a little bit of extra time thinking about my marriage and reminiscing about our dating days, engagement and wedding day.The illustrations are very cute-like a classy version of the popular ecards!

Here's a peek inside:

I really like that the pages don't have to be completed in any particular order. Depending on my mood, I can choose to color and reflect on a verse, research a topic in the Bible, write out my thoughts about marriage and God's plan or spend some time on memory lane.

I think this would be a great gift, especially for a newlywed, but really for any married lady.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Stitchfix! What were you thinking?!

In June, I decided to order a second Stitchfix box. I rated my first box as an 8/10. If I'd had a coupon referral or a few things fit just a little better I would have kept all of the items.

My second box? I gave it a 3/10. It had two items in it that I actually liked and one of them I'd requested. I kept the dress I requested but the shorts that I thought were cute were too big and too pricey.

I feel like Stitchfix pulled a bait and switch. My first box was great, but the box where I had a referral coupon to spend was pretty terrible. I'd really wanted a second box filled with summer styles and colors. I went in financially prepared to buy the whole box- I had the buy all 5 items discount, plus a coupon and was so excited. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way.

Here's what they sent:

These shoes were over $100! I'm not a fan of snakeskin, or the bendy flats- there's just not enough support. Also, my stylist mentioned something else she send would pair well with a kitten heel but sent me these.

I'm not a pink fan, but I didn't check the "avoid" box for this color because I do wear it sometimes. However, this shirt hung so awkwardly on me. 

I like these shorts. In fact, I used to have a similar pair but they were too big and if I remember correctly over or around $50.

I checked avoid purple and to me this dress looks pink, purple and blue. It was insanely comfortable but not very flattering. Also, I thought the print made it look like pajamas.

I kept this dress and I love it. But, I requested it so I already knew that I would like the print and cut, it was just a matter of fit and price.  My heads cut out in this picture because it had just finished storming and my head was soaked from the rain!