The Hounds

A little while ago my cousin told us about her brothers new company, The Hounds.  I was happy for Adam and excited to support him in any way that I could. I have always talked about how I have such a giving heart.  I feel that I am always trying to help someone, whether they be in need or just need a little extra love, I am always wanting to help anyone out.  Adam’s company is another way to help those in need. If you are interested in purchasing you can do so here.

“How It Works

That’s where you come in. For every shirt purchased, The Hounds will provide a school uniform to a child in need. The uniforms are distributed via local nonprofits already working in communities across the country. Our pilot partner is the organization, Inner City Impact (ICI). ICI was established over 40 years ago and maintains ties within the communities they serve. Located on the westside of Chicago, it provides kids across the city with tutoring, mentoring, after-school programs, and sleepaway camps just to name a few. Many families rely upon ICI to be a helping hand as they seek to raise their kids well.

Every shirt you purchase provides a child with a school uniform. The process is simple.

 

You SHOP for your size and color. Once you make a PURCHASE, The Hounds ships your order directly to you. Afterwards a uniform DONATION is made to local partner organizations so that a child receives a much needed uniform.”

 

 

 

“Our Story

The Hounds Ltd is a happy collision of founder Adam Muncy’s love of fashion and philanthropy. His background working with inner city youth birthed in him a desire to help the underserved. This time left an impression on him over the years. And he mulled over creative ways to walk alongside those breaking out of the poverty cycle. Out of these ruminations, The Hounds was created.

The Hounds combines Adam’s love of fashion with helping kids. Its mission is to provide school uniforms to underprivileged kids for every oxford shirt purchased. For the economically challenged, school uniforms can be a financial burden that’s hard to overcome. Education is a vital necessity in a child’s life. It provides a world of opportunity to a child seeking to break out of poverty. And many schools require uniforms for each student. When thinking of ways to help, Adam had conversations with nonprofits who consistently mentioned the need to help families with school uniforms. These uniforms have been shown to reduce bullying, help students focus on school and build school pride.”

I am so proud of Adam for pursuing his dreams and trying to make the world a better place, one shirt/uniform at a time.  I know he would appreciate all the support anyone would like to give him.

Mel

Favorite Signs

Today I would like to share some of my new favorite signs.  Matt thinks I am crazy because it seems like every time we or I go out shopping I come home with a new sign.  I believe we have officially run out of space on our walls to hang anything else.  Here are a few of my favorites.

I got this sign for Christmas and love it.  Each arrow is also a different color.

If you have been around my page for any amount of time you know that Matt and I love softball.  We have both played from a young age and love the game. We took a trip to Columbus to visit the zoo and my cousin, between the two we stopped at Target and found this gem.  It is a picture in the background and the stitches and handles  have nails and yarn adding dimension to the picture too.

I have a lot of saying that I love to live by.  Be Brave is becoming one of those phrases that seem to stand out and I feel I continue to tell my girls. I want them to know that no matter what happens in this world they need to be brave.  They need to stand tall and not be afraid to try.

My parents also got me this sign for Christmas and I fell in love with it as soon as I opened it.  Our kids are only little for so long (my girls will be 8 in May and Trevor will be 1 in June).  I want to hold them tight and tuck them in for as long as they let me.

What are some of your favorites signs or sayings you have displayed in your home.

Mel

March Reads

Today I am bringing you March reads.  I also have plans for some major blogging coming up as well.

50 Ways to Yay
What is not to love about this book.  I love doing self-help books or books that make me learn and grow as  a person.  50 Ways to Yay! did just that.  I sat down with this book and learned so much about myself and the things I need to work on that I am ready to put a plan in to action and better myself for the good. Whether that means weeding somethings out or to continue some positive things I do.  There were 50 things that I set out to accomplish and with each day I can truly say I grew as a person.

We Stood Upon Stars
Do you ever find a book that you just pick up to see what it’s about and then as you read it feel your whole life change?  That is what We Stood Upon Stars did.  I honestly had to pick a book and this was the one that appealed to me the most.  After starting to read it, I couldn’t out it down. I truly enjoyed it, cover to cover.  The book is written by a dad who takes his kids traveling or adventures that he has taken throughout his life.  These adventures he took not only were fun and adventurous for him but he learned life lessons along the way.  I was just talking with Matt the other day saying, I wish we had more money so we could travel with our kids more and let them explore and see other cities.  We decided that we could still do that just on a smaller scale.  We plan to start taking adventure and camping and see different parts of the world even if they are still in our home state.  The learning and love come from the adventure you take, being with friends or family, and just enjoying what God created for us.  This book was by far one of the best reads I have had in a long time.
**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

OTHER BOOKS I READ:

  • Winter Storms
  • Accidentally Engaged
  • Snow Country – you can see a full review here
  • What we Find
  • Open your Bible – Bible study
  • Magnolia Journal – spring edition

What did you read this month? Any book recommendations?

Mel

Snow Country

I love getting books to review for authors.  I was contacted by an author to review her book, Snow Country and immediately said yes to it.  I received the book awhile ago and with having the baby, I am just now getting around to posting a proper review for her.

Kristin definitely has a way with words.  When I am asked to review a book, I am always uneasy about it, especially if it is a book that I cannot just get into (which does happen).  That was definitely not the case with Kristin’s book.  I immediately fell in love with the characters and wanted to know more about their lives. While some parts of the book were predictable it didn’t turn me away from the book.  I was anxious for those parts to happen but when they did I was blown away by how.  It didn’t happen in a way that I would have ever seen coming.

The story has real life situations that people deal with. Snow storms, driving cross-country, taking care of sick family members, falling in love, past situations rearing their heads.  All these things happen to people on a daily basis and in this book it is no different.  You will feel all sorts of emotions throughout the whole book. In my opinion that is what makes a good book. When you fall in love with the characters, when you laugh when they do or cry when they do and mourn when characters leave the book.

The plot of the story was one that I could picture myself in, it made a little escape for the everyday life.  Kristin has a knack for story telling and when the book ended I was not disappointed.  I loved everything from start to finish, I couldn’t put the book down.  I am ready for the 2nd book coming out this summer.

If you are interested in purchasing the book you can do so here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely adore these little Thank You, God books.  We have several of them in our house and I love adding to them.  These books are simple yet show you a true love for the family members around you.  Our kids are very close to their grandmas and grandpas on both sides and they love reading these books and saying hey grandma/grandpa does do that for us.  It is amazing to see their eyes light up when they read this books and can honestly make a connection between the book and real life.  My girls love reading these books to their little brother!

**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.

Mel

January Reads

Hello ….

I am so excited to bring you the books I read this past month.  Things are starting to get back in a natural flow around the house so I am having set reading times while little man is sleeping.  I found a new series of books that I absolutely love, and if you are a Disney fan I think you will enjoy them as well!

God Made You Nose to Toes

This book was so cute.  I love getting new children’s books from Booklook Blogger, especially now that Trevor is little and just not enjoying when we read to him.  I love the way this book is laid out.  Each is a two page spread with a rhyme about a body part and what it is used for.  “God made many sounds that he wants you to hear, so on each side of your head he planted an ear.”  They are super cute and fun and easy to read as well.  I would definitely recommend this book. It is adorable.

**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.

After the Cheering Stops

This book was definitely a good read.  When you watch professional sports on the TV, their lives seem super easy.  We think they get paid big bucks to play a game and their life is super easy and rich.  This book gives you a totally different perspective of how the game is not always fun and games and as easy as we think.  They have hard times just as we do and things aren’t always a 10 on their end either.  Cyndy Feasel went through a lot in her time married to Grant Feasel and had to endure a lot of pain, however, she stood by his side and really worked at her life in general.  It was a nice break to see how things aren’t always what they seem and how even though they are professional athletes they go through trials and tribulations just as we do.

**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.

Bloom

Oh be still my heart.  What a lovely, heart-felt story that any and every one needs to read.  We always have a set plan, ways we want to do things, and then WHOOSH it doesn’t happen as planned.  As Kelle learned when she went to give birth to her second child that wound up having Down Syndrome.  This book and story is such a great one.  It shows you how you can learn and grow from everything you are given.  It shows that it is ok to be mad and upset and then get over yourself.  It shows how to love no matter what and how kids can really teach us the important things in life.  I highly recommend this book!!

Allegiant

Yes, it took me this long to finally finish the series and I can say that I was a little disappointed.  I thought this book started out very slow and although it picked up towards the end I was disappointed with the final book in general.

…. ok so this new series is one I found that I love.  I read both of these books in a day and have been hooked on them.  There are only 3 to the series right now but they are all well written.  The stories are about Disney villains and how they became the way they are in their respected movies/stories. I won’t go into detail of the stories because I am sure that you all know the general story of each of these characters.  I have read the Beast and Ursula’s story.  I still have Maleficent and will be reading it hopefully this month!

The Beast Within
Poor Unfortunate Soul
Fairest of All

Alright … that was it for the month. What did you read this month? Any good recommendations?

Mel

Devotional Review

SO this past few months have just been crazy busy.  I feel like I have had no time to sit down and just think, but that is what happens when you have a 6 month old at home who is eating every 2 hours still … geesh!

Anyway, I wanted to stop by today and share a new devotional that I started.

_240_360_book-2077-cover

The title of this devotional caught my eye and I knew I wanted to get the book and see where it takes me.  I have had this devotional for about a month now but wanted to start it in the new year.  We are on day 5 now and I couldn’t love this book anymore.  The entries vary with John sharing personal stories in his life and how he used leadership and the other days tying everyday leadership ideas with the Bible and how they used those same concepts.

I love seeing how it all ties to the Bible.  How we do certain things yet when we think about it David was the first person to ever to this leadership style, etc.  I am really enjoying this devotional and would highly recommend picking it up.

**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.

Mel

Parenting …

Parenting … is hard.  Don’t let anyone tell you any different.  There are so many stages of our lives that we feel are hard.  The older we get the more I feel like we realize those were the “easy” times and we should have enjoyed them a little more.

Since we had the girls I have been a stay at home mom and I have loved it.  Sure I have days when I feel like I don’t do enough for the family, or I feel there is more I could have done around the house.  Lately I have been feeling pretty down and out and struggling with being the stay at home parent.  I have been getting frustrated easily and not understanding why he wont take a nap, why he wont sleep in his bed, why he won’t play on the ground for more than 5 minutes, etc.  There are so many things that go through my mind and I have been struggling …. a lot. I start to put self-doubt in my mind and really feel I need a “break.”  Matt gets his break when he goes to work every day for 8-10 hours and he also coaches softball and has homework to do.  I feel he gets a lot of breaks while I am with the kids 24/7.  I of course get little breaks here and there but a lot of times I am taking the baby with me or the girls with me, so one way or another I still have a child with my more than just being by myself.

images

Last week my dad called and asked if I wanted to go to the book store with him.  We decided to go to the Lifeway Christian book store and while we were there, I decided on Emily ley’s book Grace not Prefection. The next day I sat down while Trevor was napping and starting reading.  I read the whole day and finished the book … oops!  Did chores not get done of course, did I not spend much time working with Trevor or course, but it was what I needed.  I needed this book in my life at this moment.  Her book is about slowing down and taking time to really appreciate what you are given and to simplify your life.

After reading this book I realized that I don’t need a break.  I need to slow down and cherish the time I am getting to spend with my kids.  Sure things get crazy at times and we all need a little break but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.  God placed these kids in my life for me to take care of and be a stay at home mom and that is what I am going to do.  I am going to slow down and appreciate every milestone we accomplish, every set back we have, every cuddle I get, etc.  There are so many little things that if I didn’t slow down I would never notice. I wouldn’t notice that when I feed Trevor he still likes to hold my hands.  Or that he likes to put one big toe between his other big two and second toe just like his daddy.  Or that he is starting to giggle and stick his tongue out at us. Or that he needs something to chew on because he is starting to get teeth.  Or that Brooke loves to see our reaction to the drawings she makes for us. Or that Kendall likes to trip over things and then blame whatever she tripped over.  There are so many moments that pass us by that we don’t cherish and realize that it is ok for us to just simplify life and live in the moment.  They grow up so fast and we can never get those moments back.

I am so grateful that Emily’s book spoke to me in the bookstore that day and that I decided to read it.  It made me stop and keep things simply. It made me want to just relax and soak up every moment that I have with my kids. If I have realized anything, it is that I don’t want Matt’s work break, I want to be home with my kids because ever in those 8-10 hours he is gone and most of the time Trevor is sleeping and the girls are at school he still misses out on so many little moments that I am grateful to see.

Cherish those moments with your babies.  Don’t take the time for granted, get off your phones, computers, etc. and spend the time with your kids.  Practice sports, teach them something new, simplify everything and just enjoy the time you get with your kids while they are young!

Mel

September Reads

This month has been crazy and went super fast in my opinion.  I wound up having another surgery and didn’t really get around to reading like I wanted to this month.

I read two books but am in the middle of two as well.

_240_360_book-1992-cover

 

This kids devotional Bible is pretty neat.  I originally chose the book to help the girls with harder, more intense reading of the Bible and concepts.  When I got the book it was perfect for what I was looking for.  You open the Bible and read a page or so of text and then it is followed by a devotional.  The girls are still doing toddler/preschool devotionals and they are getting older and starting to ask more questions so I thought it was time to amp up their reading and make it a little more “noteworthy.”  After receiving the book and going through it, I realized that I myself would love to work through the book as well.  It still is a little intense for them, so we are working through it little by little but I cannot wait to see what they do with the knowledge they will gain.

**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.

_240_360_book-1993-cover

 

OH Play with Fire how you speak to my heart.  I love a good read but what I love more about this book is Bianca’s heart.  I have followed Bianca and her twin sister Jasmine on social media for a while now.  When I heard that Bianca was writing a book I knew I wanted to grab it right away.  This book will speak to anyone’s heart.  It shows of a time and way to keep the faith.  Things didn’t always go the way Bianca wanted them to go, she went through easy times as well as rough times.  The one thing that never changed was her love for her family and the faith she had nestled inside her heart.  Even in the worst of times her parents showed her how to put faith first. They showed her that if she did this he would answer prayers and watch over them.

**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.

What did you read this month?

Mel

Day 7 … Joyful

Day 7 … Joyful

Today’s prompt is what brings you joy.  I could have taken the easy way out and just listed each person in my family including the pup but I didn’t. 🙂

joys

  • My family – of course they are my #1.  They are the ones I can’t live without and the one’s that bring a smile to my face each and every day.  Even Brutus who isn’t in the picture ;).
  • God – my faith always seems to be my saving grace.  If I am having a bad day or just need something uplifting I turn to the Bible or a Bible study.
  • Rain – I love the rain.  I love the smell of rain and could literally sit and watch ran for hours.
  • softball/baseball – my first love.  I have played the game since I was 4 and still play to this day.  It is my safe place
  • reading – I hated reading growing up, however, the older I have gotten the more I love to read.  I love being drawn into a good book and taken to a place I have never been before.

What brings you joy?

Mel

Day 6 … my playlist

Day 6 … My playlist

ok so day 5 I was out and about but looking at the topic, I can’t really remember a memorable birthday.  It was definitely not for a lack of having them, I just have a horrible memory and honestly can only remember about one of my birthdays growing up … and I was actually about 13. OOPS!!

Anyway … I haven’t been listening to music all that often but lately we have been listening to Blink 182 and Florida Georgia Line so Those two CDs would have to be my playlist right now.

download florida-georgia-line-dig-your-roots-album-cover

What are you listening to?

Mel