Sep 092014

Free E-Book of Superfood Breakfast Recipes


Good morning, my wonderful Readers!  I opened my inbox this morning to find this wonderful deal, a FREE ebook containing 10 Superfood Breakfast Recipes.  As you know, I love trying new recipes.  Breakfast is not often a meal I try new recipes for, as we have gotten into a groove.  For Raspeberry Coconut Quinoa, though, I will probably make an exception.  🙂

  • Gluten-free
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Vegan-friendly

And delicious, too boot.  What more could you ask for?

To get these recipes, click 10 Superfood Breakfast Recipes and enter your email address.  That’s it. Simple and easy.

Have a great morning!


This post contains affiliate links.

Sep 032014

Storynory has a free audio story available –Aponibolinayen and the Healing Oranges

As hard as it might be to harvest or gather fruit, I am pretty sure it has never been this hard for me.  Flies, mosquitoes, cranky kids, balancing on the bed of a truck … it all looks easy compared to what this husband did for his wife.  Not sure I have come across fruit that would be worth this much trouble to attain.

Jun 182014

 library book sale

The Kindle is charging, the kitchen is filled with things to pack, one more load of laundry to go, and the kids are down for quiet time.  So, what am I doing?  Finding free ebooks to download and take with me on vacation.  Yes, the dishes haven’t been done yet but this is so much more fun.

We don’t leave for a few more days, but I chose today as the day to pack and get as much done as possible.

  • Tomorrow I am watching our little friend again (really need to give a name to this one), so I knew that four or five hours wouldn’t be available during my most productive part of the day.  Then we have a t-ball game, followed immediately by bedtime.
  • Friday I plan to wrap up all the last minute details and shopping needs.  I also want to do a good pick-up and basic cleaning of the house.  It is so nice to come home to a clean house.
  • Saturday morning I’ll pack up the food, get the kids to an early t-ball game, say goodbye to my parents who are swinging through just for the game (shhh, it’s a surprise), then head out for our vacation.  Actually, my parents aren’t swinging by so much as “well, we are going to be within an hour of you guys, so sure we can come by to see their game.”  Normally they are 4 or 5 hours away, so this is the equivalent of being close.

To help save on space in the car, I decided not to take any paper books.  There are several books on my Kindle already, though most are short and non-fiction.  I wanted some choice of fun reads to enjoy at night around camp.  Since I was downloading books anyway, I thought I would share with you some of my reading list potentials:

Disclaimer – I have not read these books so am in no way recommending them.  They are ones that caught my eye and I thought might be decent reads.  I’ll let you know after I read, or start to read, them.

As always, these were free when I downloaded them, but please check before you do the same.  Sometimes the prices change in between when I bought it and when you go to look.

Blog This

Stop Procrastination: 10 Power Habits To Earn Back 1,072 Hours A Year – How to Stop Being Lazy and Obliterate Your Goals in Life: Comprehensive Blueprint to Finally Stop Procrastination Today!

Wanderer’s Escape (Wanderer’s Odyssey)

The Naturally Bug-Free Garden: Controlling Pest Insects Without Chemicals (Permaculture Gardener Book 2)

Desserts in Jars

HearthLand: Two Steps Forward (Episode 1)

Georgia on Her Mind

Appalachian Serenade: A Novella (Appalachian Blessings)

Rekindled (Fountain Creek Chronicles Book #1)

Trees Tall as Mountains (The Journey Mama Writings: Book 1)

Baggage Claim: Book One (Tru Exceptions (Christian Romantic Suspense) 1)

Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Book #1): A Novel

Sky City (The Rise of an Orphan Book 1)

And here are some that are not necessarily for me, but for the kids.  I love that it will not add bulk to the amount of stuff we are already taking – I told them we could only take one book along to read.  The whining afterwards was tolerable because it showed me, yet again, how much they like books.

Some of these will be read-alouds, while a few were picked to let George practice his reading.  I am sure he would rather read about dogs (or almost any animal) rather than about Dick & Jane, or their equivalent.

The Ugly Duckling (Illustrated)

What The Fox Learnt (Illustrated) (Four Fables from Aesop)

Learn To Play Guitar Secrets Of The Guitar Ninja

Children’s Book: Lucky The Forgetful Puppy (bedtime stories collection) (Great Book For Kids) (Children’s Books Collection)

The raindrop

Math Candy (Candy School)

Lessons from the Lion, the Ox and their little friends (illustrated) (Four fables from Aesop)

Dogs – A Rhyming Children’s Picture Book (Fun Picture Books For Children)

Dog Jokes for Kids! Funny Dog Joke Book: Funny Jokes about Dogs! (Funny Animal Jokes eBook for Children)

Lars The Car – Kids Story Book for kids ages 4 to 8

Jun 122014

It isn’t always  possible to be outside in the garden.  The next best thing is looking at pictures of gardens or reading about them.  I find I can never learn enough about the things you love.  So, for those times when it is raining, you are stuck inside for a meeting or in a car going somewhere, here are a few books to add to your reading list.

These gardening ebooks are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.

Before I had a Kindle I was able to read these on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.

Backyard Chickens Guide For Beginners: Easy Steps To Starting A Chicken Coop, Raising And Feeding A Brood Right In Your Backyard (Choosing Coops, Chicken … Raising Chickens, Chicks, Chicken Coops)

Growing Organic – 2-Book Combo: Companion Planting And Pest Control In An Organic Vegetable Garden

The Complete Composting Guide for Beginners: Grow Your Own From Home!

Backyard Chickens Book Package: Beginner’s Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens & The Backyard Chickens Breed Guide (Modern Homesteading)

Growing Herbs, How To Grow Herbs in Beds, Containers, Pots, Baskets, Window Boxes

50 Popular Types of Herb (The Herb Books)

Gardening for Dummies: How to Protect Your Garden

Modern Homesteading – Self Sufficiency. 5 Books Bundle Beginners Guide: Canning & Food Preservation; Raised Bed Gardening; Raising Chickens; Growing Organic … Vermin Control (K.I.S.S Quick Bites)

Growing Herbs: Indoors, in Pots, in the Garden, Herb Recipes And a Medicinal List: Indoors, in Pots, in the Garden, Herb Recipes And a Medicinal List (Vegetable Gardening)

Lavender the Universal Herb (Herbal Amicus Book 2)

The Herb Garden (The Herb Books Book 4) 

Garden Design and Landscaping – The Beginner’s Guide to the Processes Involved with Successfully Landscaping a Garden (an overview) (‘How to Plan a Garden’ Series)

Organic Gardening: Your Guide to Growing Healthy Organic Produce

Backyard Bird Guide: Attracting Wild Birds to Your Yard

grow your own vegetables in small spaces

Apr 042014

Here are some ebooks that are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.

Before I had a Kindle I was able to read these on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.

How To Control Garden Pests Organically 

Organic Gardening: 7 Easy Steps to Freedom, Fun, and Fantastic Health By Growing Your Own Organic Food

Garden Design and Landscaping – The Beginner’s Guide to Successfully Landscaping a Garden (‘How to Plan a Garden’ Series)

Global Gastronomic Adventures Presents A Real Taste of Canning & Preserving ( canning & preserving Cookbook): Canning & Preserving Recipe Cookbook

Healthy Living From Your Own Back Yard: 9 valuable vitamins to grow at home

Survival Seeds: The Heirloom Seed Saving Handbook

Backyard Chickens: The Beginner’s Guide to Raising and Caring for Backyard Chickens (Homesteading Life)

Indoor Gardening Made Easy: How To Grow Herbs & Vegetables In Your House

The Ultimate Organic Gardening Guide: Gardening Basics from A to Z for Beginners with Organic Gardening Tips for a Healthy Garden (organic gardening, gardening, organic gardening how to)

Simple Gardening Tips

Survival Seeds: The Emergency Heirloom Seed Saving Guide

Container Gardening Made Easier: The Fun, Easy Way to Grow Vegetables, Flowers and Herbs: a Complete Guidebook

Organic Gardening Book Package: Organic Gardening: Your Guide to Growing Healthy Organic Produce & Seed Saving for the Organic Gardener

Retaining Walls – Plan Design and Build Allan Block Residential Landscape Walls up to 6 ft. High (1.8 m) – A Complete Installation Guide

AB Courtyard Collection Installation Guide – Create Outdoor Patio Walls, Ponds, Kitchens, BBQ’s and More

The Allure Of Chocolate

Vertical Gardening: What You Need to Know to Grow Organic Vegetables and Fruits for Your Family

Worm Farming: Everything You Need to Know To Setting up a Successful Worm Farm

Raised Bed Gardening – 5 Books bundle on Growing Vegetables In Raised Beds & Containers

How NOT to Kill Plants

Mar 052014

Mother Nature Is Trying To Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World by Dan Riskin was an eye opening read into the more unusual and darker side of nature; a side you don’t often hear talked about in polite company or around the dinner table.

Dr. Raskin starts the book off talking about a maggot living in his scalp, a souvenir from a visit to a bat cave.  That is only the beginning.  Through the rest of Mother Nature Is Trying To Kill You, Dr. Raskin will introduce you to a variety of animals with their own unique ways to maim, control and kill you using the Seven Deadly Sins as a road map through nature.

While working his way through the various sins of nature, Raskin describes his journey to find out if what drives us as humans is our DNA or something else.  This journey began with the birth of his son and the realization that he would do anything for the offspring he helped to create. Just when he thinks he has it figured out, something comes along to prove him wrong.

I very much enjoyed learning about a different facet of nature from what I’ve studied before.  My time spent reading about nature, and the animals and plants found therein, have resulted in a few discoveries of odd behaviors.  Until now I thought these were oddities, rare occurrences.  It seems I was wrong and that there are more disturbing and sometimes inventive ways to survive.

Take the roundworms, for example, that can hide out in your lymphatic ducts for up to thirty years without you ever knowing it.  It is only once they die and your immune system “sees” them that there is a problem.  Or how about the Toxoplasm parasite?  It can take control of a rat’s brain, changing its behavior so that the parasite can complete its life cycle even though it means the end of the rat’s life.  And just in case you think it is only small creatures doing all the evil deeds, Raskin talks about Snowy Owls who let their offspring kill each other in an effort to get the most food.  Also the Sand Tiger Sharks who eat their siblings while still in their mother’s uterus.  This is just a scratch on the surface of all the animals (and plants) Raskin talks about in Mother Nature Is Trying To Kill You.  He wasn’t kidding when he wrote that title.

One part of Mother Nature Is Trying To Kill You, and it is a major one, that I did not enjoy was the emphasis on evolution.  Dan Raskin is an evolutionary biologist and it is very evident in this book.  While I may not agree with the author on this, I thought it wouldn’t be much of an issue.  This isn’t the first book where the author brought evolution into the discussion.  However this was a bit over the top for me and something I think could have been emphasized a lot less.  The last chapter is purely a discussion of evolution and one that could be skipped for the most part if you are not in line with the author’s thinking.

The author did a great job of researching and explaining the darker side of nature.  If you are able to deal with the heavy emphasis on evolution I would recommend this book.


This post contains affiliate links.

Feb 142014

Small Space Garden IdeasMy past experience with garden idea books is that many of the projects they contain require one or more of the following: specialized materials, expensive materials, hard to find materials or things that I may need to special order.  The projects themselves are not always something I would have a place for in my garden.  Sometimes the projects are just not my style, or anyone else’s that I know for that matter. And other times I find that the projects contained are just variations along one theme.  None of those descriptions fit the 40 plus projects described by Philippa Pearson in Small Space Garden Ideas.

The first 5 chapters of the book (Micro Garden, Let It All Hang, Grow Up, Contain Yourself, and Go Wild) help divide the projects into categories.  The choices cover a wide range of skill levels, time requirements and are for both inside and outside locations.  Once you figure out the kind of project you are wanting, you will find that each project begins with a list of materials, including suggested plants.  Please note: the author is from the U.K.  If you are located elsewhere you may have to find comparable plants to those listed in the book.  Some will work well in various locations, while other may need to be substituted.  This in no way takes away from the book, if anything I enjoyed seeing the ideas from a gardener across the pond.  Variety is the spice of life after all.

Following the list of materials are the projects steps.  These are written very clearly and pictures shown, of which there is not a lack.  A section about Care Advice is given at the end of each project description to help maintain what you have just created.  This last section was something I greatly appreciated.  Taking care of what you have made is sometimes tricky, so knowing ahead of time what to do will help you continue to enjoy your creation.

Personally, I’m looking forward to decorating my terracotta pots with both paint and decoupage, two of the projects contained in Small Space Garden Ideas.  What a great solution for the random pots I have in my basement.  These will be used on my back deck this summer.

My kids would love to take on the portable Kid’s Miniature Barnyard Garden, complete with tiny plants, sown seeds, a pond, a fence and other features.  Philippa Pearson even describes how to make a scarecrow with twigs, hot glue and scraps of material.  The two items on list of materials I don’t have can easily be acquired at one of the local department stores.

The last chapter of Small Space Garden Ideas, Plant Practical, has no specific projects but does contain a lot of useful information.  The focus of this chapter is on small spaces and containers, which often present unique trials of their own. Watering, composting, plant selection, and tools needed are just a few of the things you have to consider.  I appreciated the thoroughness taken with this chapter.  Pearson touches on some of the unique challenges small space gardeners face, giving suggestions and idea of how to address or overcome them.

Remembering to water my pots is something I struggle with.  Often I remember to water when I realize the plants are on the verge of dying.  At that point either the plants can’t be brought back or if they do come back they are never reach their fullest potential of color or production.  This is one area of concern that she covers in the last chapter, including several solutions.  One of Pearson solutions is to make my own irrigation system, which should only take half an hour or so, after I have the supplies on hand.  The supplies themselves are things I already have around the house – an old hose and a bucket.  In seasons past, I have just over watered with a hose, hoping the plants would make it to the next watering.  Often the potting soil is so dry by then, the water would run between the pot and the dirt, not watering the plant at all.  Going with the suggestion Pearson gives, the pots should get a slower, more thorough watering.  My plants thank you.

If you are a gardener who is looking to spiff up your small space, or a gardener who has a small space they are looking to do something with I suggest checking out Small Space Garden Ideas by Philippa Pearson.

I received a copy of this book for review.  

This post contains affiliate links.


Feb 142014

10 Days Without by Daniel Ryan Day is not only a chronicle of 8 different 10-day challenges the author chose to experience, it is also a challenge to the reader to move beyond just talking, from a self-centered faith to an others-centered faith.

“I feel like my life is all about me and not about God.” – Daniel Ryan Day

‘Just talking’ is what got Daniel Ryan Day to consider his first 10-day challenge.  One simple question posed to his wife lead to a conversation about how it is easy to do lip service to the things God asks us to do.  It is harder to actually stop talking and do something.  This simple conversation started out light and ended with plans for the first challenge – not wear shoes for 10-days.  Seems like a simple enough challenge, though he found out through the course of those days that it was harder than he first imagined.

I loved how 10 Days Without by Daniel Ryan Day was laid out.  Each chapter talks about a different challenge, the purpose of that challenge, different ministries that support those with a particular need and end with a section to help you apply what you just read about.  The sections to help you apply to your life what you just read may talk about what you can pray for, how to use the challenge to fundraise for a the cause talked about, how to talk to others, and other such advice.  Some chapters share stories from others who have also done that particular challenge and shares what they have learned or struggled with during the 10 days. (You can read chapter one online.)

As I was reading I began to wonder if these challenges were actually making a difference to the larger picture of homelessness/hunger/poverty/disaster relief/orphans.  Was there really any difference being made or was it another activity to help us feel less guilty that we too weren’t having to face that struggle?  And if there really was a difference being made, what exactly could I, a mother with young kids living in a small town do to have an impact?  It was about this point in reading that the author himself addressed the same question.  His response was this –

If it makes the difference in just one person’s life, than it is worth it.  We can’t change the world but we can help one person.

That conclusion, the realization, helped me see I was making a difference.  The things I do everyday, that have over time become routine and habit, do make a difference.  Just because they are no longer new and shiny doesn’t make them any less important or significant.

What things?  Well, most obviously, I am a foster parent.  That fact alone means I am daily helping someone who was in a situation that was less than ideal, to put it lightly.  The kids we have in our home right now have been here so long I forget the fact that I didn’t birth them, though the monthly visits by caseworkers helps.  My hope is that when a child leaves my home they have felt loved, encouraged, and better off than they came.  Does that always happen?  It may depend on which day you ask which kid, but I pray it does.

Another thing I try to do, that really takes less than a few seconds, is to grab my cloth bags when I head to the grocery store in Small Town.  The store donates to the food pantry a certain amount for each reusable bag you use. While it isn’t much, it adds up and means a lot of the person receiving the extra help.

10 Days Without by Daniel Ryan Day would be a great book to work through as a family, if you are looking for something different than a devotional,or as a group.  While there is definitely a Christian focus, this book could also work in a secular setting.  The 10-day challenges bring into our realm of reality a small bit of what it is really like to live without something that seems basic and small in life.  Daniel Ryan Day shows how these small things, or lack thereof, can have a huge impact in one’s life, sometimes beyond what we might think.


300 x 250

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

This post contains affiliate links.  

Feb 022014

Here are some ebooks that are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.

If you do not own a Kindle it is still possible to read these on your computer.  Go here to download the free application that will allow you to do the same.

Garden Guide – A No Nonsense, No PhD, No Fuss Guide to Great Gardens with Hand-Holding How To’s for Beginners and Straightforward Instruction for Advanced Gardeners by Sarah Olver

The Kindle version of this book is free until February 4, 2013.


How to Compost: A Complete Guide to Home Composting

A Guide to Starting Seeds

Organic Gardening’s Growing Garlic: Grow your very own favorite garlic outside or indoors (Black Gold Organic Gardening)

How To Compost, Composting Guide With F.A.Q. includes Vermicomposting & Bokashi Compost: Composting Made Easy, Step By Step

Container Gardening Made Easy – How to Grow Vegetables, Flowers, Herbs and Even Trees in Containers

Raised Bed Gardening: How to Build a Raised Bed Garden

Cheating on a Chicken Coop: 8 Cheap Ideas to House Your Backyard Hens and Save Money


Jan 282014

The Explorer Gene: How Three Generations of One Family Went Higher, Deeper, and Further Than Any BeforeGrowing up in a family of Star Trek fans, the name Jean-Luc Picard was as well known.  The character on the Star Trek show was the captain of a ship that traveled through space exploring places humans had never been before.  He had a strong sense of right and wrong, as well as compassion.  It seem as if there was nothing that was beyond him knowing, but if there was he knew who to ask to find the answer.  I had always wondered where the name for this character had been chosen.  It didn’t take too long into reading The Explorer Gene for me to figure out, it was like the fictional character had come to life.

The real life Piccard family was just as adventurous and daring as the captain of the starship.  They too were a family focused on science for science sake, not explorers set out to break records and leave their name on history.  It is because of the accomplishments of generations of Piccards that we have been to the depths of the ocean and heights of the stratosphere.  It is thanks to this family that we have the ability to predict weather as well as we can today and still have an ocean untainted by nuclear waste.

Things I take for granted, the Piccard family questioned and set out to prove.  One of my favorite lines in the book makes the point that just because something hasn’t been done before doesn’t make it impossible.  This seemed to drive three generations of scientists – men who considered the smallest details on their journeys to explore the planet we live on and make their dreams a success.

The Explorer Gene: How Three Generations of One Family Went Higher, Deeper, and Further Than Any Before by Tom Cheshire told not only about the scientific discoveries of this family, but also about them as family men and what drove them to do what they did.  The paths they walked were not well traveled or straight, but they persisted and we are all the better for it today.

This post contains affiliate links.  I received a copy of this book for review.