August Reads

Today I am bringing you my August Reads.  I have to say this month was rather slow with reading.  We were all over the place trying to get Trevor on a schedule and preparing the girls for back to school.  Needless to say, I haven’t had much down time to read but I did get 3 books in this month :).

  • Present over Perfect
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    I love, love, loved everything about this book.  I am definitely a huge fan of Shauna Niequest and her writing.  I own every single one of her books and true to order I couldn’t put this one down.  I love how she can take her life situations and make you feel welcome and invited to whatever is going on in your life.   These situations are not always fun or what we expect but we learn and grow from each of those situations. She takes her raw life and shows us that even her, a famous writer, has hard times.  She isn’t always 100% on board or gung-ho about what is going on in her life.  She like everyone else needs to take breaks and refocus on what is truly important in this life. She takes time when she needs it and focuses on her writing as she sees fit.  It is nice to see that we aren’t alone in this world and that priorities can slip from anyone in this world whatever you do, famous or not.

    **Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Uninvited
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    hmmm what can I say about this book.  I also love Lysa’s writing.  I love how she can captivate an audience with a few line starting her book out.  I love how down to Earth she seems and how she isn’t afraid to share what she has been through.  We have all had those moments where we haven’t been invited to something, been turned down for a job, been told no, etc. Those are all moments we have felt unwanted, unneeded, unappreciated, however, even in those moments God still needs us.  We are still a part of his plan and have a mission set in front of us.  Lysa turns her negatives into positives throughout this whole book.  She shows you how you can make the most of all those bad or negative situations in which we sometimes get put in.  She shows how to stay positive and not get down or turn away from those NOs. I now have a new outlook on how I will take those rejections, go with the flow, learn, and grow for next time.

    **Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • First Comes Love
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    ok so I love Emily Giffin and her writing.  I seriously can read her books from start to finish in one day if given enough alone time.  I love how she can draw me in right from the beginning.  I always feel like I am one of her characters or a part of this book and I am sitting at the table or in the store shopping with them side by side.  This book left me a little short and disappointed though.  I always love her writing and her books and this one was no different, however, I hated the ending.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for those of you who have not read the book but I wanted so much more.  I wanted to know more about the way things wound up with each sister.  The book is about a family who loses a son in a car accident, then his sisters who are complete opposites grow up and have to learn to cope and deal with things head on.  It has a great message on how love should always come first and how everything all boils down to love!  It was a great book I just wanted more.

Mel

Faith Fuel Box Review

Today I am bringing you the Faith Fuel Box Review

I love a good subscription box.  I think I have literally tried almost all of them out there at one time or another.  Stitch fix is amazing of course, I just recently tried Le Tote and Honest Beauty.  I wanted to find a subscription box that has meaning behind it or something that would send a lasting impression on me.

A few months back I won a giveaway with Chamel and fell in love with her products.  I immediately wanted to go to her store and buy everything she had to offer, I still use all the items I received from that giveaway.  When I saw that she had started a faith fuel box, I knew right away I was going to purchase one to see the amazing products she had lined up.

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I just love the box in general, you can tell that each piece has a unique quality to it and it is all so uplifting.  I have pieces from this box all over my house so I can find daily reminders that I am ENOUGH, that I am perfect in his eyes.  Each piece is hand-picked and has a purpose driven message behind it.

*** If you want to place an order use code: MELISSA and you will get an extra little happy in your box!!  WOOHOO!!!

I would highly recommend the Faith Fuel Box.  If you are looking for a new subscription box or even if you just want to try one month go check it out! If you are a business owner and want to get involved, reach out to Chamel via Twitter or Instagram.

Mel

 

 

Growing Fear

Fear … what is it?  Why do we have fear?  Everyone is afraid of something, whether they are willing to admit it or not.  I am here today to talk about growing fear, why does it change as we get older or is it just me?

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Growing up I wasn’t afraid of much.  I then got a little older and became afraid of things like spiders and clowns.  Yes, I said clowns, don’t ask why but I hate them. Now that I have kids my fears have gotten even bigger, with all the craziness in the world right now I am not entirely surprised by my fears but why do they grow?

Why are we so afraid of everything in this world? One of my biggest has always been someone breaking into my house.  Now that I have kids it gives me even more anxiety and fear.  How do I protect them from this thing we call life?  How do I make sure that if someone does break in that I step in front and I take the blows instead of them?  How can I be sure that even if I do step up they still wont hurt my babies.  There are so many unknowns and what ifs in this world and I can’t lie.  It SCARES the crap out of me.  I want my kids to grow up like I did (playing in the streets until dark, being kind to strangers, helping someone out in need). There are too many factors to consider today that makes everything in life more complicated.

I wish nothing but the best for my kids and I want them to grow up loving and wanting to help anyone and everyone they can, however, in the back of my mind there is always going to be that strong fear that my kids will get hurt.

How do we protect them when we have so much fear?

Mel

All About Breastfeeding

SO I am here today to talk all about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is hard y’all.  When we got pregnant with the girls the thought of breastfeeding never even crossed my mind until Matt’s mom asked me if I was going to.  UMMM no, I don’t really want to but I guess I will think about it.  I had ruled it out for sure and then at 26 weeks I went to have a steroid shot and then wound up going into labor which changed my mind 100%.  I was told it was the best option for the girls and if I really wanted to see them thrive that I should probably breastfeed because it was the better option for them.

I ultimately decided that I was going to breastfeed because when you see your child(ren) come out at one and two pounds you really don’t see any other option.  I worked so hard to pump and provide for my girls.  No one ever tells you anything about breastfeeding except that it is better for the baby.  No one tells you all the work and emotions you will go through while you are breastfeeding or trying to breastfeed.

I of course could not truly breastfeed the girls … I couldn’t even hold my babies.  Add all this to the mix and you have one depressed momma.  I pumped and pumped for about two whole months and if I am being brutally honest, I would say I maybe … maybe got 1 full ounce the whole two months I pumped.  I was discouraged and depressed and just sort of said this is why I didn’t want to do it in the first place.  I wound up formula feeding the girls and they thrived and grew just fine ;).

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Fast forward 7 years and I find myself pregnant again.  This time a single baby and full term.  I decided from the beginning of this pregnancy that I was going to breastfeed.  It was just all around what I needed and felt called to do.  Let me tell you its hard.  Brutally hard.  I never in a million years would bet that I would be pouring milk from one breast, while the other one is bleeding.  Trying to latch Trevor on to one side while the other is spraying like a sprinkler.  It’s raw, it’s hard, it takes time, it takes patience, it takes strength, and support.  I have cried numerous days while breastfeeding him because it hurts so bad and also had the biggest smile on my face because he latched so well and today it felt amazing and uplifting.  We are going on two months and starting to wean a little for several reasons but I am still pushing and trying to stay strong.

Breastfeeding is not easy.  It is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  You have to be patient because there are days when it will go smoothly and there are days where it will hurt like hell.  There are days when your nipples will be so raw and bloody but you keep pushing to get him the milk he needs.  There are days he will latch easily and look up at you and smile or try to hold your finger with their tiny little hands.  There are days he will just cry or gag and you just have to take your time and ease it little by little.   There are days where you will cry tears of joy because he is doing so well.  It is an emotional roller coaster.  I definitely wouldn’t trade it for the world but just remember that it isn’t easy by any means.

Mel

July Reads

Today I am bringing you my July Reads.

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Life is Better at the Beach

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I absolutely loved this book.  It was short and sweet but had such a strong, powerful meaning.  It had those inspirational quotes to really lift you up when you are feeling down or needing a little extra umph for the day.  It also had beautiful pictures throughout the book of life at the beach and let me tell you … I wish I lived at the beach sometimes.  It was definitely a book that I would leave out on the table top because you never know who it could impact, who needs that little extra push for the day/week/month.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Big Magic

I cannot say enough good things about this book.  I mean hello Melissa …. why did you not read this book way sooner.  I read this book in two days I believe because it was one of those books that you can’t put down.  I put off buying this book so many times and now I regret waiting so long to read it.  The book is about creativity, however, it had much more to it than that. It dug a little deeper and showed how things that happen in every day life can spark your creativity.  How each thing can be a stepping stone to something new and inventive.  How you can keep moving along even when things get in your way and try to knock you down.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that needs that little pick me up in life and how to get back on track with your creativity.

Anchored

Anchored is a book that definitely touched my heart.  If you have been on my blog for even a day, you know that I had twin girls at 26 weeks ….. super early and not ideal for any momma out there.  Anchored is about a mother’s journey through the NICU with her daughter.  It is about all those trying moments when you feel like hope is lost and you just have to keep trucking anyway.  It is about those raw, bare moments when you just can’t help but breakdown and cry because you honestly have no idea whether your child is going to make it or not.  If you never had the NICU experience with your children I recommend reading this book to get a little insight on what we as parents go through. If you have had a NICU experience then I recommend you reading this book to let you know that you are not alone. This was such a good book that really gave me peace in knowing that I was not alone in my journey …. not even a little bit.

The Color Code Bible

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This is another book that I would highly recommend no matter where you are in your Bible reading journey.  My girls are just now starting up. I have been on my faith journey for a few years now and this book is still good for me as well.  The color coding makes certain areas of the Bible a little simpler so you can better understand what exactly is going on in that section. There are many parts of the Bible that can be confusing and not sure where to go and with this book you can see defined lines that help guide and navigate you throughout the stories.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

OTHER BOOKS I READ:

  • The Training
  • The Enticement
  • Robyn Carr book in the Virgin River series

 

La Cle Refocus Bands

Hello ….

Today I am sharing with you information about La Cle Refocus Bands.  I have done a review in the past of this company for their keys, however, I received an email about these new refocus bands and knew I had to have some.

They are flexible bands that come two-sided.  One side has a pattern of some sort on it, while the other side has a positive message or phrase on it.

I immediately got on the site to see how much they cost and what the messages were.  I was getting ready to have the baby when I first found out about these and picked a few that I liked and ordered them right away.  Since I received my order I have been wearing the one that says, “It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.” This band could not fit into my life at a better time, as I am breastfeeding and all you mommas know out there we have our good days and our bad days (and if you only had good days … BRAVO).

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There are 10 different bands and 1o different messages. With all the negativity in the world today I want to share that positive message and give one lucky reader a band of their choice.

TO ENTER:  Leave a comment with your favorite positive or encouraging phrase as well as your email address.  **One lucky reader will be chosen at random to win a free refocus band of their choice :).

Grow Old with me the Best is Yet to be

Grow Old with me the Best is Yet to be …. I love this quote and couldn’t but it more perfectly for today’s topic.

Today Matt and I are celebrating 8 years of being married.  We have been together for 12 years and officially married for 8 years today.

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Matt, I am so thankful for everything you do for our family.  We of course like any other couple have had our shares of ups and downs but there is no one else in this world I would rather take this journey with.  There is no one else I would want to be the husband to me and father to our children.

I love seeing how far we have come over the years and seeing how we can turn our downs in to ups and learn from each mistake that we make.  We will continue to make mistakes but nothing will change the love I have for you and how my heart continues to grow for you each and every day.

Thank you for joining my in this thing called life and giving me the three best gifts in the world.  I love you Matt!!

Mel

 

June Reads

Welcome to all my readers.  Today I am posting about my June Reads.  I wasn’t quite sure that I was going to get anything read but maybe one book with having the baby and everything but turns out I got more read than I thought I would.  Mainly because when the baby is sleeping I am either sleeping or reading so it worked out rather well.

Here is what I read this month:

Wild and Free

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WOW!!  Where to start with this book.  I have been a long time follower of Jess Connolly and when I heard she was writing a book, I knew right away I had to check it out.  I kept putting it off and putting it off and then it came up on the website for review and I quickly grabbed my copy.

I love the way the girls wrote this book. Each doing a chapter talking about a major topic and then a prayer at the end, followed by a response from the other girl.  It lets you get a 2nd perspective from each chapter they wrote and I loved that about the book.

The book to me was about getting out of my rut or funk and living the way God wants me to live.  There are so many things that happen in our lives that we don’t realize is God talking to us and trying to show us the path that he wants us to take.  We need to be more open and live more wildly and freely.  The girls told of every day situations that could occur and did happen to them and how we can make the most of them.  It was very easy to relate to this book and put yourself in the situation so you could grow from every learning experience we are given.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

With My Eyes Wide Open

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Brian “Head” Welch was in the band Korn.  He wrote his first book Save me from Myself and it was all about his struggle with addiction and what eventually lead up to his quitting the band.  The story leaves off there.

In With my Eyes Wide Open it picks up right where it left off.  After reading the first book, I ASSUMED oh he quit the band to take care of his daughter and everything was smooth sailing from there.  BOY was I wrong.  That isn’t what happened at all.  He recounts the story of his struggle with starting his solo career, trusting the wrong people, not being very good at handling his money, and raising his daughter solo.  Basically the book is about what happened after he left Korn and how his life was not so easy in those times.

I absolutely loved this book.  I have a lot of respect for people who do things to benefit their families and ultimately make a huge sacrifice.  Brian left the band and found God and ultimately tried to turn his whole life around but it didn’t come without a few bumps along the way … just like every other person in the world.  After reading this book I admire the person that Brian has become and how he has stayed true to his faith and made the most of everything for his daughter and himself.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I am Second

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Love, love, love everything about this book.  I am second retells life stories of people hitting rock bottom and finding God.  It shows them getting out of the worst situations and turning their lives around completely.  Each story is a few pages long and tells you a little background of who they are or what they went through and how they ultimately wound up turning their lives over to God.  How they made the change and kept things going for the better.

It is really hard to read some of these stories and realize that it took people hitting rock bottom to find God but then I look at it from a different perspective and am so glad that they went to that place so they could find God and ultimately give their life to him.

If you are looking for a good short story type of book this is definitely it, I love reading personal stories and they are even better when they come from the heart and bring people toward God.

Find Your Brave

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This book was a fun read.  I wasn’t quite sure what exactly it was going to be about.  I figured it would be about being brave but I mean how do you actually teach being brave.  I feel like being brave is something you have or you don’t have.

The book takes every day life situations that we go through and lets you take a perspective from that situation and be brave pertaining to it.  For it example there is a chapter called Let it Go.  It is about letting things go and how in order to let things go we all need to be brave and figure out ways that we can do those things and be brave or put on our brave faces to ensure that we are making the most of our lives.

I really liked the way this book was laid out and how it took situations we have all been through and turned them into learning opportunities for being brave.  I love the phrase be brave and how I wish there were more people who could be brave on their own.

**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

 

What books did you read this month? Have you read any of these?

Mel

Our Little Garden

Today I am sharing our little garden the girls and I did. I received the garden in my FabFitFun box awhile back and I was pretty excited when I got it because it was something fun I could do with the girls.

When I told them we were going to make a little garden with three herbs in it they were so excited.  They wanted to do everything when it came to the garden and here is how it turned out:

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We had so much fun putting our little herb garden together and sadly we haven’t grown anything.  Unfortunately our house gets little to no natural sunlight and we don’t really have a great place or ledge to place something like this.  Plus …. I am not very good at remembering to water plants and now with a newborn YEAH forget it :).

What are some of your favorite things to grow?

Mel

Spring/Summer Box Swap Reveal

Hello friends … today I am blogging about the Spring/Summer Box Swap Reveal.

My partner was Catherine of Stars in a Dark World. I had so much fun getting to know Catherine.  I enjoy doing these swaps because I love getting to know new bloggers but I also love getting to see how similar and different I am from the blogger that I am getting to know.

Here is what my box contained:

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I am so thankful that I got a partner that I could talk to easily and really get to know.  I loved and enjoyed going through everything that came in my box.  I could really tell that Catherine took the time to read what I wrote and really paid attention to what we talked about and everything that I was given had some personal touch.  I absolutely loved everything that came in my box.

If you participated in the Spring/Summer Box Swap please leave a link below in the comments so we can see the goodies that you received!!

Mel