Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homeschool Freebie Alert!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give you a heads up for this great product that is FREE right now! Fine Art Pages from Classical Composers Monthly is a wonderful resource for teaching art. It has a $14.95 retail value and will only be available for a limited time. We love learning about art and artists, and this is a wonderful addition to our studies! 

Classical Composers Monthly is a great asset to our homeschool. They offer many composer studies, artist studies, as well as other historical units. 

Go HERE to download your FREE art study now!

Blessings and love. xo

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate/referral links. When you use my links to make a purchase, I make a small commission, which is a blessing to our family. Thank you for your kindness!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Wore

Hello and happy Wednesday! I have some super cute pieces to share with you today, so let's jump right in!

There are so many great choices in dresses available on right now. Check these out:

Even though I am thoroughly enjoying the warm, sunny weather we are having this week, I have started thinking a little bit about autumn and transitional pieces and boots. What do you think about these items (also on right now)?

And look at these fantastic Dark Leo Earrings from! They have so many choices, but these are some of my favourites.

I've also had my eye on this fun, lace tunic from

I'm linking up with the other girls for What I Wore on The Pleated Poppy. Hop on over for more fashion inspiration.

Blessings and love. xo

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate or referral links, which means that when you purchase items through my links, I make a small commission or earn store credit. Thank you for your kindness!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Holy Ghost Movie {Review and Giveaway}

Oh. My. Word. 

I was recently given the opportunity to review Holy Ghost by filmmaker Darren Wilson and FlyBy Promotions. I am thrilled to share this movie with you guys. Thrilled!

About the film:

Can the Holy Spirit Direct a Movie?

In this fast-paced documentary from the director of the popular films Finger of GodFurious Love, and Father of Lights, Darren Wilson sets out to make a movie that is completely led by the Holy Spirit. No plan, no script, no safety net — just go wherever he feels the Spirit leading him to try and discover the adventure God has for him. Whether it’s the riches of Monte Carlo, a heavy metal concert, or the oldest city in the world, the result is a film that not only challenges and excites, but also reveals a God who is far more alive and active than you ever imagined.

The movie features names such as Lenny Kravitz, Brian “Head” Welch, Bill Johnson, Michael W. Smith, Todd White, Meredith Andrews, DeVon Franklin, William P. Young, Phil Vischer, and many more!

My Thoughts:

I have seen Darren's other films and have wept and laughed and stared, mouth open, at my television screen as he has taken us on some crazy, God-journeys in those other DVDs. So I had high expectations for this film and yes, they were met and exceeded! 

I've written before about learning to live more according to God's Kingdom here on earth. I've asked the Father what that looks like and how to live it out. This movie is a fantastic example of where I want my life to go. To be completely led by the Holy Spirit. Not that I never have a plan or write down a schedule or get into a routine, but to be so open-handed with my own plan that when He speaks, I go where He says "go" or stay put when He says "stay" or reach out to someone when He says "reach" or drop what I'm doing to pray over someone when He says "now". And even better, to just give Him a blank page and say "please fill it according to Your plan and perspective. I'm Yours." That is how I want to live and how I want my family to operate in this life. Heaven on earth. Here and now.

Darren says: If love doesn't motivate you, there's really no point {see 1 Corinthians 13:1-3}. 
This is a beautiful theme in all of Darren's films. Without love, we are simply clanging cymbals. Holy Spirit is God. He is real. He is here on the earth now. And He wants to release His love AND power in us and through us. Miracles didn't just happen two thousand years ago. They are for now. Our family has seen them and we are asking 'more, please, Lord'. 

1 Corinthians 2:4 
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power . . .

1 Corinthians 4:20 
For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.

Check out the official website here: 

On September 6th, Wanderlust Productions will host the FREE worldwide premiere of the film at this site

Please, please don't miss this film! I think it is one of the most important movies you will ever watch.

Giveaway Details: 

This giveaway is now closed. 

We have a winner!!!!

Congratulations to commenter #10, Bonnie B.! I will contact you shortly, Bonnie. Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway. I'll have another giveaway up soon. 

Thanks to FlyBy Promotions, one of my readers will win a copy of Holy Ghost!!! All you need to do is comment (and PLEASE leave your email address) and tell me if you've seen any of Darren's other films OR you can tell me how you have seen or want to see Holy Spirit work in your life. Giveaway is open to anyone age 18 or older in the US or Canada. End date is September 9, 2014 11:59pm. 

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Blessings and love. xo

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {25 August}

Hello friends!

We have an exciting week here celebrating Emma's 18th birthday. Goodness, it's hard to believe I just wrote EIGHTEENTH! What? Time keeps marching on, doesn't it? 

We have added some new components to our schedule for the first time this week - Bob has new work hours and Ava starts soccer. Plus I'm still adjusting to Emma's new work schedule, as well. Isn't it a constant factor to keep schedules straight and plan accordingly?

Here's what I have planned for this week:

Monday - Steak bites on the grill, sweet potato fries, salad

Tuesday - Macaroni and cheese (Emma's night to cook)

Wednesday - Birthday dinner for Emma (one night early, due to her work schedule)!

Thursday - Asian Lettuce Wraps

Friday - Curried Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

Saturday - Thai Coconut Soup with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

Sunday - Snack-y supper

In case you missed it and would like help thinking of what to make for lunch, here is my post on Homemade Lunch Ideas!

Blessings and love. xo

Linking up: Menu Plan Monday and Good Tips Tuesday  

I Need You to Survive

The past couple of weeks have been heavy, eh? I haven't written anything about the tragedies our world has been experiencing, until now. I just needed time to process and pray. 

Honestly, the death of Robin Williams has been hard to accept. He was a man who became a part of so many families all over the world, ours included, even though we never actually met the man. How many times did he make us laugh? How many times did he touch our hearts? Bring us a little more joy? He was a brilliant comedian and actor. It's still hard to believe that he took his own life. Knowing that he was under such depression (as well as learning about the physical issues he was having) just breaks my heart. And watching the comments on social media has been eyeopening, as well. I knew there were hurting people everywhere. The past 14 days have shown me just how many. 

Add to that the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The Christians being killed in Iraq

The continuing attack on Israel and Jews around the world

The beheading of James Foley

The news is particularly distressing right now. It's almost too much to take in at times.

People are struggling. Life is difficult. Depression has taken hold. The devil is a liar and he's very crafty at getting us to believe him and agree with him. 

I just want to share, that as a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe there is HOPE. Even in the darkness, even in the storms, even in the sleepless night, even in the seasons of feeling completely alone, Jesus is our Salvation and Hope. His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead make it possible for me and for you to live a life of joy and hope and love and compassion and prosperity. We can flourish in our lives, because of Jesus! 

The enemy whispers lies - 'you are not important' - 'you are not good enough' - 'you don't deserve happiness' - 'you make too many mistakes' - 'you'll never get it right' - 'you're too tired to get out of bed' - 'life is too much to handle' - 'you should give up' - 'you're a burden'  and on and on and on. But guess what? His lies are just that and cannot stand against Truth. I just need to arm myself with the proper weapons to fight him and he cannot win. I'll be writing more on this soon. 

But for now, please know that God is for you and I am for you.

There is a song that has continued to play and replay in my mind these past two weeks. I first heard it a little over a year ago when our family joined the church to which we now belong. The song is titled "I Need You To Survive" by Hezekiah Walker and the lyrics are so touching. I wept and wept upon hearing it that first time. We sing it often and it has become a part of the songs I wake up singing in the night. 

If you are in a hard place right now, please listen and know that I need you to survive

And if you are in such darkness that you don't think you can pull out of it by yourself, call on Jesus AND call on a friend or loved one who can walk you through your pain. It's a good idea to get help. We are not meant to walk this road alone. 

And if you would like for me to pray for you, please let me know in the comments. 

Blessings and love. xo

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Wore

Hello, lovelies! How are you today? I am taking a quick break from trying to get my homeschool act together to post a few favourite fashion finds from around the web this week. I hope you enjoy them!

Check out this Gorgeous Rosette Necklace from! Only for a limited time.

And there are so many cute pieces on right now for fall. These will only last for a short time, so check them out today!

Happy shopping!

Blessings and love. xo

Linking up: The Pleated Poppy

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links, which means that when you use these links to purchase, I make a small commission. Thank you so much for your kindness!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {18 August}

Hello and happy Monday! How is your week starting out? Has school begun in your neck of the woods? I believe schools started here today, but we still have a couple of weeks before we have our first day. I am not ready, but I am working on things almost every day to get prepared. It will be so strange to only have four students instead of five this year. (I realise that I haven't posted about Emma's grad, but I plan to do so soon.)

Here is my tentative plan for this week's meals:

Monday - Taco Salad

Tuesday - Crock Pot BBQ Beef, potato casserole, salad

Wednesday - Leftover BBQ Beef on leftover baked potatoes (from last Sunday's meal)

Thursday - Bruschetta (Our neighbours shared some beautiful tomatoes from their garden, which will be perfect on bruschetta!)

Friday - Something on the grill

Saturday - Rustic Lasagna, sautéed spinach, veggie tray

Sunday - Snack-y supper

Enjoy your week!

Blessings and love. xo

Linking up: Menu Plan Monday and Good Tips Tuesday 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wherever the River Runs {Review and Giveaway}

I had been hoping for a good book to read this summer, and thanks to the folks at FlyBy Promotions, I was able to read and review Kelly Minter's new book, Wherever the River Runs

About the book:

In Wherever the River Runs, Kelly Minter invites us on a journey down a river teeming with piranhas and caimans, as well as machete-wielding mothers, heroic jungle pastors, faith-filled children, and miracles too seldom experienced in our part of the world. Kelly's honest and engaging narrative pulls back the curtain on one of the most captivating places on earth as well as on parts of the gospel we may be able to recite but have never fully believed.

On this beautiful adventure through the jungles of Brazil and the tangles of the soul, Kelly rediscovers Jesus among a forgotten people living well beyond the corners of her previously defined faith--a people who draw her back to their country, their pain, and their hope in Him, again and again.

My thoughts:

As I have mentioned in past book reviews, I absolutely love reading people's stories, especially those that include God's power and miracles. I think we can all learn from each other and be drawn to Jesus and His Kingdom in new or fresh ways by hearing and reading what others have experienced, how He's worked in their lives and the impact those experiences have had on that person, as well as the ripple-effects. This story is just that. 

If you're not familiar with Kelly, she is a Christian singer-songwriter and Bible author-teacher. She has authored quite a few books, but until this opportunity, I had only come across her name, and had not yet read any of her work. Through her record label and a man named John Paculabo, Kelly was introduced to a ministry to the Amazon and its people. And that ministry became near and dear to her as she took many trips down the Amazon River and its tributaries. Kelly not only met beautiful people who had a great impact on her life, she was also able to transfer some of the things she learned in Brazil back to her life in Nashville and new ministry the Father had for her there, as well.

I enjoyed Kelly's style of writing, as well as learning about a new place and people and her life-transforming experiences with them. I recommend Wherever the River Runs! Go here to purchase it now: 

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. 
John 9:4

You can connect with Kelly at

And now for the giveaway details!


This giveaway has ended and our winner, chosen by, #7!
Congratulations, Theresa you won!!! I will contact you to get your mailing address. Thank you to all who entered. 

And if you haven't seen it, I have another giveaway going on now. Click HERE.

Leave a comment telling me if you've ever read any of Kelly's books and if so, which one/s and please leave your email address so that I have a way of contacting you if you are the winnerGiveaway is open to anyone in the US or CAN, 18 years or older. Giveaway ends August 28, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. Winner chosen by

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Blessings and love. xo

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your kindness!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What I Wore

Hello! How is your week going? This summer has been, surprisingly, quite mild, and while I'm not one to rush the seasons in any way, I have pulled out my long leggings this week and have recently added this new Dolman top, which looks more fall-ish, to my wardrobe. Right now, I'm sitting by an open window and there is a cool breeze blowing through, which makes it hard to believe it's still August!

I've finally remembered to take a few photos of myself this week, so here are my two outfits . . .

Dolman top - Belk
Leggings - old
Flats - Payless
Earrings - TJ Maxx
"Refuse to Sink" Antiqued Anchor Bracelet - GroopDealz

This one I posted on IG, after actually ironing this skirt that had been sitting on my shelf for almost a year. Ha! Ironing is not my forte.

Top - Belk
Skirt - Hand-me down (Old Navy)
Espadrilles - Old Navy
Necklace/earrings - Target

Blessings and love. xo

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {11 August}

Hello! Happy new week! We have been under the radar a bit this past week due to enjoying our time with two lovely friends who were staying with us. I can't believe the week has already gone by and here we are to Monday again. I have so much to do before school starts. Have your kids already started back to school?

Here is my plan for meals for this week:

Monday - fast food (had a crazy schedule this afternoon and just didn't feel like pulling out the pots and pans!)

Tuesday - Crock Pot Tortellini with sausage and spinach, garlic bread

Wednesday - Taco Salad

Thursday - Artichoke Dip and crackers, fruit platter

Friday - Homemade Pizza

Saturday - Burgers on the grill, Caprese salad (in case you've never made one before, head over HERE to see how it's done!)

Sunday - Snack-y supper

Blessings and love! xo

Linking up: Menu Plan Monday

Friday, August 8, 2014

Smithfield Farm Bed and Breakfast

Bob and I had the brief opportunity to get away a few days ago, and I wanted to share our delightful destination with you. This beautiful and historic inn is located in the Shenandoah Valley near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Clarke County, Virginia. Smithfield Farm is on the verge of celebrating her 200th birthday (in 2016)! How amazing is that?! 

We found out about the inn on and were impressed with the copious amount of raving reviews, as well as the close proximity to our house. We love a getaway that is hours away from home, but this time we did not have much margin in our schedule. This location was perfect for us. It's far enough in the country that we sort of forgot we had not even left our county to get there.

We chose to stay in the Summer Kitchen Cottage (pictured below). It is a two-story building with two sitting areas, two fireplaces, a full kitchen, a bedroom with a queen-size bed and a washroom with a jacuzzi tub. The stairs are quite narrow, so if you have a concern about stairs, you would probably want to choose to stay in the main building. You can see those choices here.

We were the only guests that night (probably due to it being a Sunday), so we had free roam of the gardens and grounds. We enjoyed the beautiful blooms growing in the front and back sections of the inn, the goldfish pond, the bean bag toss game (otherwise known as "Corn Hole") and the coffee and snacks that were always available.

There was a creek running through the property and it just happened to have two chairs stationed right beside it. We took a leisurely stroll down the driveway and then sat in those chairs by the creek for a nice, long chat. There is just something about listening to running water, smelling it, watching it that is so very relaxing. There was a wonderful breeze flowing through the trees. Multiple butterflies fluttered about, and we spotted a pair American Goldfinches, which are some of my favourites. Ahhhhh.

Since we had read some reviews before we arrived, we had pretty high expectations of breakfast Monday morning. Our expectations were met and exceeded! Oh my, you guys, it was amazing. We were delighted to meet Betsy, the innkeeper and our hostess for breakfast. The farm has been in her family for seven generations, and we enjoyed learning more about her family and the farming they have done over the years. You can check out more about their products at Smith Meadows. They have a store located beside the B & B or you can check out their famers' market locations.

So, as you may be able to guess by now, we highly recommend Smithfield Farm Bed and Breakfast! If you are coming to Northern Virginia and need a place to stay, this is a wonderful choice. Or if you live in this area and just want a short get-away or are looking for a place to host a reception or party, Smithfield Farm would be a great setting for whatever you may be celebrating. We hope to go back again.

Blessings and love. xo

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just want my readers to know about places I have enjoyed and recommend, in case they are interested.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I Wore

Hello, hello! I have just a couple of fun things to share on this edition of What I Wore from around the inter webs.

I love these adorable Sailor Stripe Tees!

Check out this cute cardi from noVae (comes in two colours - I would love the plum)!

Have you seen these great "hello" sweatshirts?! I am such a sucker for red.

This Colorful Tassel Necklace is adorable!

Blessings and love! xo

Linking up: The Pleated Poppy

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you use my links to make a purchase, I will make a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your kindness!