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Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Archive for CWAHM Reviews

Aug
11

Review: Justified

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23168525Justified by Varina Denman
Radiant Lit Blog Tours
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release Date: June 1, 2015

In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

This book really surprised me.  I thought it would be such a heavy topic that it might be hard to get through, but it turned out to be such an encouraging book that I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It definitely covers tough topics, but Denman does so in such a way that you love the characters and love the story.

Fawn is easy to connect with. We’ve all done things wrong, things that made us feel unworthy of God’s love … or anyone else’s love for that matter. Fawn is convinced that she’ll never live down the shame or condemnation of the people living in her town.  She also knows that she has been guilty of being the one judging others, and believes she doesn’t deserve grace because of it.

Justified paints a beautiful portrait for us of how we can love others as Christ loved us – and how we often find His grace when and where we least expect it.

Varina Denman is a native Texan who spent her high school years in a small Texas town. Now she lives near Fort Worth with her husband and her five mostly-grown children.

 Justified is available for purchase here from Amazon.com.

 Note: I received this book as part of the Justified  blog tour from Radiant Lit.  I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Jul
16

Book Review: Five Days in Skye

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skyeFive Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
Reviewed by: Jill Hart
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: June 2015

Andrea Sullivan finally has life all figured out. She’s on track for a promotion to VP in her career as a hospitality consultant. She has a great apartment in New York and travels around the world helping her clients make their hotel properties better and more prosperous. She’s known as being the absolute best at what she does.

James MacDonald is the best in his field, too. He’s a celebrity chef with his own TV show and string of restaurants. Now he’s looking to open up a hotel near his hometown on the Isle of Skye. When his brother, Ian, brings in Andrea as a consultant to make sure everything is in order, James resents it at first. However, as he gets to know Andrea he realizes there is much more to her than meets the eye. Can he convince her to give him a chance? He only has five days with her on the island in order to do so.

This book has everything a reader could want. It will make you laugh, make you cry and make you think about your own life and what you hold most important. Laureano keeps the tension high throughout the book and the characters come alive as you learn more and more about thier pasts and what makes them tick.

I couldn’t put this book down – I sailed through it in a matter of hours. The writing flows smoothly and you’ll forget where you are, transported to Scotland through the detailed imagery. I loved this book and I can’t wait for the book two in this series!

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Aug
18

Review: Chloe & Isabel

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Enter to win a pair of Chloe and Isabel Crystal Stud Earrings! 

ci-logo3It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I’m given the opportunity to review the products of a home-based business here on CWAHM. I’m so excited to share with you my experiences with Chloe & Isabel recently.

When Shana contacted me, I’ll be honest, I hadn’t even heard of Chloe & Isabel. I soon learned that the company has been around for a while and offers gorgeous jewelry as well as a home-based business opportunity. When Shana offered me the chance to review a few pieces of the jewelry that I saw on the website, I jumped at the chance. Here are the pieces I chose:

necklace2

necklaceI LOVE this necklace. Not just because it’s gorgeous, but because it’s so versatile. You can wear it long (see the picture on the left) or take it apart – it comes in two pieces – and wear it short (see the picture on the right). You can even wear the short piece that you remove as a bracelet! Super cute and totally useful for us moms on the go.

I put it on with my outfit to wear to church this last Sunday only to discover that it was too long to go with the top I had chosen. I didn’t have time to go searching through my closet for another shirt, so I simply unclasped it, made it short and headed out the door.

Now THAT is my kind of jewelry!

 

ring2How beautiful is this ring?! And I can honestly say that it’s ten times prettier in real than in this picture. I put it on with a simple silver top and some silver earrings and wore it to a baby shower for my sister-in-law last weekend. Needless to say, my daughter (12 yo) didn’t even have to tell me to change clothes. I think she might have even been impressed, which is HARD TO DO with a twelve year old girl full of fashion sense. 🙂

 

 

 

earrings2And last, but definitely not least, are these awesome earrings. No, that’s not me in the picture, but those are the earrings I chose. They are simple and elegant and go with just about every outfit I own. They are lightweight and have a cool snap-clasp that makes them easy to put on and take off. It’s all about comfort as we get older, right? 😉

 

Enter to win a pair of Chloe and Isabel Crystal Stud Earrings! 

As you can see, I had a BALL choosing jewelry and reviewing it. I can’t say enough about the quality and beauty of these pieces. I like very simple, primarily silver pieces, but Chloe and Isabel has a ton of bright, colorful pieces as well. Here’s a sample (below) and you can find lots more at Shana’s website:  www.piedmontjewelbox.com

ci-logo4

 

Comments (2)
May
07

Review and Giveaway: WiseDecor Wall Decals

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I am so excited to share with you my thoughts on and experience with WiseDecor! This wonderful company offers Scripture and other quotes as wall decor that you can place anywhere in your house. Here is the one that I chose:

wall-decal

I LOVE it. It’s beautiful and was fairly easy to apply. Wisedecor offers many options of verses and other quotes and you can customize the size, color, font and layout of your design. What a great way to bring God’s Word into our homes!

And we get to give one away! Simply follow the prompts below to enter our WiseDecor giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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May
06

Review: Restless by Jennie Allen

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restlessAbout Restless
Restless explores the fact that God has called each of us to do great things in his name, and then helps us discover what that might mean for each of us individually. Jennie says, “We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

Jennie doesn’t suggest women add one more thing to their to-do list, but instead invites them to stop and listen where they are. She frees them to be themselves and to see themselves as valuable. In addition to this permission to dream she helps them get over themselves and their issues and then offers a simple process on highly designed journal pages to identify the raw materials—the unique threads—they’ve been given by digging into five areas:
–  Gifts
–  Suffering
–  Places
–  People
–  Passions

Using her own story and that of women with whom she has walked through this process as examples, Jennie weaves in the story of Joseph the dreamer and how God used his threads to fit into the greater story of God. Untangling the threads of our lives and assembling them together in one place reveals a beautiful plan designed by the Creator himself: God’s Agenda + my threads + the need + the Holy Spirit = my purpose

And since living out our purpose is often filled with uncertainties Jennie addresses the doubts, fears, and challenges that hold women back from what they’ve been called to do. This repositioning of their lives is not a promise that all things will be perfect, or will go perfectly, but a promise that it will be the start of the best part of life—the part that completes what we were made for.

Review
What a breathe of fresh air Jennie Allen provides in Restless. The kit that I received is actually a video-based small group Bible study, but I used it on my own. I know, I’m a real rebel. 🙂 Read More→

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Apr
25

Review: Highlights of Your Life: A Journal That Glows as Your Child Grows

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I have a new niece arriving this fall and I can’t tell you how excited I was to come across this sweet new type of childhood journal! I’ve never seen a journal like this one, it’s truly a first-of-its-kind keepsake journal that brings together the two things that modern parents’ love: their kids and their phones!

So, how does it work? When you slide your smartphone (in flashlight mode) into the straps on the back cover, the light aligns perfectly with a hole that goes all the way through the book. As you turn the pages of the journal, the light shines through and interacts with the illustrations on each page. For example, on the birthday page, the light illuminates the flame of a birthday candle.
Here’s a short video that will give you a better idea of what you’ll see as you look through the journal:

This journal is absolutely adorable and the perfect gift for any child in your life – or any parent! It’s available on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.
** Book provided by publicist/publisher in exchange for an honest review. **
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Apr
25

Review: Leonisa Shapewear

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Many of you have seen my posts about my weight loss over the last few months. So, when I was asked to review some shapewear products, I thought it would be fun to see how they fit my new, smaller figure. Maybe I could shave another inch off! 🙂

I chose the Invisible Control Tank and the Strapless Balconet Bra and was really pleased with them both. The Invisible Control Tank is just that – invisible. It fits tightly and helps keep on the jigglies from, well, jiggling. It’s lightweight and I really liked that it didn’t show through my clothes or pucker up like other shapewear tanks I’ve tried in the past.

The Strapless Balconet Bra was very different from anything I normally wear. It took me a little while to get used to it, but once I did I found that I really like the way it “shapes.” It goes down further than many bras and gives you a sleeker look, keeping things in the places where they should be. 🙂

Overall, I was very pleased with both of these items and will certainly be heading over to Leonisa.com for more shapewear products!

 

 

** Products provided by publicist/company in exchange for an objective review. **

Categories : CWAHM Reviews, Products
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Mar
11

Review: Marketing Banner from Build A Sign

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buildasign2One of the hardest parts of running your own business is marketing. Because I run a website, I don’t do a lot of in-person marketing, so I tend to struggle at times with knowing how to best present CWAHM.

I do quite a bit of speaking and usually have a table at the back of the room where I can sell my books. So, when I was contacted by Build A Sign about reviewing a banner created by them, I was thrilled.

I hopped on to their website, BuildASign.com, and easily uploaded my logo and created the banner. I knew that I also needed a way to hang the banner, so I added on some plastic hangers for the corners. Read More→

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Oct
29

Review: “Fifteen Minutes” by Bestselling Author Karen Kingsbury

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Fifteen Minutes by Karen KingsburyFifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
Reviewed by Pebbles Jacobo
Fiction Addict Blog Tours
Genre: Drama
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub Date: October 29, 2013

Karen Kingsbury’s new book asks the question:
What Would You Sacrifice For Fame?

(Synopsis from Amazon.com) Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.

At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

Karen Kingsbury has always done a great job with keeping her stories real, relateable and interesting. Fifteen Minutes is no different. I found that it moved along quite quickly and kept my attention. With some writers there seems to be a lull when they deliver the background information and that lull slows down the adventure, though it sheds light on the characters and their situation.

Definitely DO NOT START THIS BOOK LATE AT NIGHT! Oh my. I thought I’d get a started with a quick chapter before grabbing a some shuteye. The first part of that plan didn’t go as I had figured because this book grabbed me right from the beginning. We’ll just say I read more than a chapter or two before I could put it down to sleep for a few hours.

I thoroughly enjoyed Fifteen Minutes. I love the character interaction. Kingsbury did a great job thoroughly developing her characters, ratcheting up the heart-wrenching and emotional  tug of war. You feel like you KNOW these characters and like you are there experiencing their struggles with them. Of the three main characters, Zack, Reese and Chandra, I would have to say that I fell most in love with Chandra.

Excellent timing on the release as winter begins to set in here in the United States. This would be a great weekend read around the fire curled up with a blanket with a hot cup of tea near by.

Fifteen Minutes is available to purchase from Amazon.com.

Note: I received this book as part of the Fifteen Minutes blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Review copy provided by the publisher.

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Sep
13

Book Review: I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins and James MacDonald

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https://i0.wp.com/jillhart.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Jerry-Jenkins-I-SAUL.jpg?resize=206%2C300Synopsis (from Amazon.com): 

From multi-million copy best-selling novelist Jerry Jenkins comes a compelling international thriller that conveys you from present-day Texas to a dank Roman dungeon in A.D. 67, then down the dusty roads of ancient Israel, Asia, and back to Rome.

A young seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves and discovers a two- thousand-year old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one, transporting you between the stories of Augustine Knox and Saul of Tarsus.

Filled with political intrigue, romance, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is a thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart, told by a master storyteller.

Review:

Wow, what a read! I believe I just found my new favorite fiction author duo. A good author weaves a believable story with an enjoyable adventure while a great author truly transports the reader to another place, leaving the reader with a strong desire for the story to continue.  Jerry B. Jenkins and James MacDonald are a great author duo. The historical detail was so real that I felt like a fly on the wall through the entire book – actually in the scenes.

Throughout I, Saul authors Jenkins and MacDonald tell intertwining stories from different two separate millenia yet they do it in a way so as to keep the reader truly engaged. At the end of each chapter I couldn’t help myself but to start the next chapter – even in the wee hours of a weeknight.  I particularly enjoyed the story line about Saul.  They brought him to life to the point that now I can put a ‘voice’ to the letters he penned in the Bible.

Intrigue. Drama. Mystery. Romance. Adventure. This book has it all! I am thoroughly impressed with the richness of the detail without the story being overly wordy or dragging on. I have read tons and tons of books over the years.  Admittedly, it’s getting difficult to remember most of them, yet this one I think is going to stay with me for a long, long time.

Whether you are looking for a book to settle down with for a few hours or to casually read a chapter here or there, check out I, Saul.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to check out other books by these skilled story weavers.

 

I, Saul is available to purchase from Amazon.com.

 

Note: I received this book as part of the I, Saul blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no monetary compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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