Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Friday, April 21, 2017

How Moms Can Inspire Their Heart and Soul

Sometimes I think it was much easier to raise kids back in the day. I often wonder how less complicated it was to be a mother sans social media..Facebook and Pinterest to highlight. Before I had kids, I have a whole lot of things to say on how I will raise our perfect kids in a perfectly clean house. I've day dreamed about my now husband, coming home to a perfectly groomed , nicely dressed wife and a warm home cooked meal from scratch. I had a vision of me, always patient and kind to our kids. I was in a reverie of a perfect me.

Guess what? With one child , I was NOT perfect ( ugh..and will never be!) BUT I was still able to catch up with everything. I still have a whole lot of opinion on being a mom and a wife. Life is still good! It looked like I was cutout for motherhood. All I think about was how to baby proof our house, how can I be an advocate of breastfeeding ( without shoving it down people's throat), how can I make that project I just saw on Pinterest ( and even make it better) , how can I perfectly orchestrate my post on Facebook ( and thank goodness, I was not on Instagram yet at that time).



Life happens. Life can suck. We were financially challenged during those recession times  back in 2008. It took a while to recover. We had our second child. A lot of things happened in between too. We recovered and we were blessed in so many ways. I gave my life to Christ. While being faithful does not give you immunity to stress and problems.  Life also has a way of teaching you lessons. Though life can suck , it is not about how bad your situation is. It should be about how you will handle it. My walk with the Lord is not always splendid. Truthfully, there are Sundays that I was just too tired to go to service. I am not consistent with my devotional and bible reading...and the most challenging of all...is to walk the talk. It is hard to gracefully raise kids.

Carpools, work, appointments , school events/home works , community events, after school events/practices , meals , school lunches, bills , sickness , chores and making sure to raise a responsible and decent human being --- That is too much right? I am sure I have forgotten some responsibilities!  I am only a mother of two..two young girls and I was worn out. Lost sometimes, I would cry to my husband when I didn't know how to discipline my girls. I got so busy working on my own. I was too tired , depleted and I just know that heart is NOT in the right place. I have lost my drive on motherhood. I suddenly thought, "I am not cut for being a great mom".

I forgot that even if life can suck, I can choose to live life more abundantly. I have forgotten to ask my Heavenly Father for help! I am pulled into many different directions and I have forgotten to realize that I have a choice. I have neglected the fact that I can rest on God's love. I had let my soul dry up.




Here's 7 ways how moms can inspire their heart and soul.


1. Rest into Christ.

As moms, we are performance driven. I bet you do have one of those nice and fancy planners so we can always fill it up with our "To Do's" and check it off when we have successfully done the task. I sometimes do more planning than doing.  It feels like a hamster on a wheel. We need to rest in God. Fall in love with God. Whatever it is that the season of motherhood is calling you to, rest in His Word.

Read: Matthew 11:28



2. Be proactive in guarding your heart.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 that prayer will guard our hearts. Through praying and communicating with God , comes peace from God. Peace that comes from trusting God that He is in control. You got this mom because God is for YOU. Guard your heart from anger and criticism. Guard your heart from what is coming in. Our mind will always be a battlefield but our hearts can be our shield.

3. Unlpug

Unplug for a while. Set a specific day or time. The enemy has it's ways in our mind. When we scroll into our feeds looking into people's curated and staged posts/photos..we unconsciously and silently compare our lives to theirs. It can wear you down. Sometimes, instead of being happy for others we tend to forget what could be the story behind every photo.  

4. Use Social Media wisely.

While I suggested to unplug, I also like to add..following the right people. I do love Instagram! Most especially those IG accounts that proudly displays their mouthwatering healthy meal plans and meal preps. I honestly wonder how do they do it! BUT I love that part of Instagram because it gives me a whole lot of ideas and inspiration.

Follow , Christian and Godly women or account too. Here's a few of my favorite Inspiring Instagram accounts:

LifeWay Women ( @lifewaywomen)
Thrive Moms (@thrivemoms)
She Reads Truth ( @shereadstruth)
Focus On the Family (@focusonthefamily)
Women of Faith (@womenoffaith)
Women Living Well ( @womenlivingwell)

5. Read  the Bible.

So how do we rest and trust in the Lord if we do not know God. To know Him is to love Him. Know Him through the Bible. Set a specific time and a day to do Bible reading. I specifically love it in the morning while the girls are sleeping. If that does not happen in the morning, find a way to make it happen in that day. You can also journal and write Bible passages that you can memorize and know by heart. Reflect on those verses , not just on difficult days or when your soul needs feeding..reflect on good days too. Praise Him with awe!

6. Music

Quiet your mind too by listening to good and relaxing music. You can listen to yoga music , nature sounds or whatever hits your fancy. I personally love listening to yoga music, Enya , Etta James , some Indie music and worship songs!! See my favorite worship songs HERE.

 Berthold Auerbach
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life "


7. Find an activity that clears your mind.

Find that simple activity that lifts your mood. That activity that you certainly love to do. I love to read and journal. I also find coloring and doodling pleasing. I love to use gel highlighters on my Bible and I doodle and draw too using colored pencils. Keeps my mind off of unnecessary things. It quiets the mind.

I am a fan of Inkspirations Series:

The Most Inspiring Coloring Books



To purchase the coloring books: SEE HERE

Product Highlight :  

Inkspirations The Art of Grace 
Creative Coloring Designs to Inspire Christian Hearts 
Artist:  Erin Leigh 



As a Christian woman, the grace of God adds nuances to the portrait of who you are — be it a wife, a sister, a mom, or friend. A full life with meaningful relationships, supporting those you love and care for, can often leave you feeling depleted. With Inkspirations The Art of Grace, you can renew your heart and soul by spending quiet, creative time with yourself and with God.

Creative Coloring Design to Inspire Christian Moms
Artist: Lorrie Bennett



Guided by the Spirit, as a Christian mom, you strive to raise your children in a world of constant change, with God’s wisdom as your constant guidepost. But when you are pulled in many different directions, sometimes you feel depleted. With Inkspirations Fruit of the Spirit for Moms, you can restore and renew your spirit by spending creative, reflective time with God. With perforated pages for framing or sharing, this is a perfect way to relax and unwind as you create beautiful works of art while rejoicing in the blessings of the Holy Spirit.

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DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products/services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it in my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this is in accordance with FTC guidelines.









Friday, April 7, 2017

Top 6 Bible for Kids for Your Easter Baskets

Easter is just around the corner! Last year , we got home a day before Easter Sunday. We just came back from Philippines and we were exhausted. We always do something special for the kids on Easter, but coming home tired and not having enough time to put things together made it very challenging. My husband bought two ready made Easter Baskets for them. They are cute and full of candies! I don't mind the candies in moderation. I like to put variation on our Kid's baskets. We always make sure to remind them, what Easter Sunday is all about.

This year, I will be putting more books and DVDs in their baskets. This year, we started a really great Bible Devotional that we use every night. Lucy, our eldest also uses Everyday with God Devotional.
Aside from Easter related books and DVDs, adding Bibles to your kids Easter basket is a great way to introduce God's word or to strengthen their relationship with God. Here's my top 6 Bibles for both young and older kids.


 

Note:  A Bountiful Love is a participant of Amazon affiliate program , when you purchase through my links, I earn a small advertising fee. However, these books are available where books are sold.


1. Once Upon A Time Holy Bible

The NIrV Once Upon a Time Holy Bible highlights six great stories from the Bible on 24 full-color inserts. Each story is told on four pages in full-color, illustrated splendor, and contains the complete text of the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV).

Our girls loves Disney stories and princesses. Owning a Disneyland Annual pass, we are always at the happiest place on Earth. I am sure that even if your kids are not into Disney princesses , they will surely ask if they are real or if they are based on real life. That is why I absolutely love , Once Upon A Time Bible. Not only will it captivate young readers or young children because of the similar looking characters , graphics and colors..well..it is based on TRUTH. Real heroes and stories of faith directly from the Bible. 

Format: Hardcover
Size:8.50 H x 5.50



 

Pair this with Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible

The Bible is not a fairy tale, but every great story happened “once upon a time.” The Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible highlights powerful and inspiring stories from the Bible, beautifully illustrated with fantastical artwork by Omar Aranda. Each captivating story is told in a way that will get children excited about reading the tales of real heroes of the Bible.


Format: Hardcover
Size:11.13 H x 8.75 W

 2. Minecrafters Bible , NIrv

For Minecraft loving kids! This Bible takes advantage of the popularity of world-building games, to engage children with the Word of God. The Minecrafter’s Bible, NIrV includes 24 full-color pages plus the complete New International Reader's Version (NIrV) of the Bible, written at a third grade reading level.

Format: Hardcover
Size: 8.50 H x 5.0 W

3. The Beginners Bible

We started both of our girls with The Beginner’s Bible®. It has been a favorite with young children and their parents since its release in 1989 with over 25 million products sold. This version has been redesigned with fresh new art that will excite children for many more years to come.

You can read my full review of The Beginners Bible , HERE.

Format: Hardcover
Size: 7.80 H x 6.50 W



Pair this with  The Beginners Bible Activity Book , it provides young children with mazes, connect-the-dots, word puzzles, matching games, and more, all using beloved characters and stories from The Beginner’s Bible.

4. Under The Sea Holy Bible

The Under the Sea Holy Bible, NIrV is a perfect gift for children ages 6 to 10. Following the popular underwater theme, sparkling fish images will delight children as they learn of God’s love and all of creation. The NIrV is written for a third grade reading level and ideal for kids ready to explore the Bible for the first time on their own.

You can read my full reviews of Under The Sea Holy Bible , HERE.

Format: Hardcover
Size: 8.60 H x 15.40 W



5.Veggietales Bible

In the VeggieTales Bible, Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and all their VeggieTales friends invite children to join them and get to know the Bible. In this full-text New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) Bible, each feature is specially designed to help children understand and love God’s Word.

You can pair it with :  Everyday with God Devotional 
 Read my full review, HERE.

Format: Hardcover
Size: 8.88 H x 5.60 W


6.Love Letters From God, NIrv Holy Bible

The NIrV Love Letters from God Bible, with letters written by Glenys Nellist and illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, includes 80 love letters from God written especially for the reader and the full text of the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV). This translation is the perfect way to introduce children to the Bible and God's great love for them.

I was given the pleasure to review the book , Christmas Love Letters from God  it is also a great gift addition . Read my full review, HERE.

Format: Hardcover
Size: 8.50 H x 5.0 W **






Other great books that should be in your Easter baskets!

The Berenstain Books -Easter Sunday

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 3 yrs old



 The Berenstein Bears - Easter Fun sticker and Activity Book

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 3 yrs old




An Easter Gift For Me

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 3




Promises For You - Coloring Devotional

Age Range: 8 and up







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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Teaching Kids To Do the Right Thing and a Giveaway

The beginning of this school year was a little tough for our eldest daughter. She is in first grade and for me..it is her first real school experience. Real school experience because she is at school for a longer time ( as compared to being in T.K. or Kindergarten) , lessons are a bit harder and it is where the kids are in transition. A stage where they just moved on from early childhood but not quite on a big kid stage. It is also a period in child development in which they are still learning how to handle setbacks and self-regulation, and are exploring their boundaries and identities. They are more articulate and able to express their thoughts ( Hello talking back). It is also a stage where they may test their boundaries but at this stage , they do have some knowledge of the difference between right and wrong.

That being said, our daughter experienced this first hand. She had been telling us about a classmate of hers that was not being nice to her. In one instance, she was asked by her classmate to NOT finish her schoolwork. And if she does, she will not be her classmate's friend anymore. She cried and got stressed. Seven year olds are also people pleasers. They want friends to play with! So when she got home, she poured her heart out to me. She got hurt and stressed. having to choose between doing the right thing and having a friend ..even if it would get her in trouble with her teacher.

I asked her what did she do. She said " I did my school work, I did what was asked by my teacher".  Proud moment for me right there. She added , "but she didn't want to be my friend anymore" . With that teaching moment, I told her that being honest and doing the right thing may not gain you a whole lot of friends but it will certainly bring you good ones.



It was probably one of my most memorable talks with her. Now, with our 4 yr. old...teaching her how to do the right thing  is an everyday occurrence in this household. She is the youngest and sometimes unconsciously she gets away with things. One of the great ways we teach certain values to them is through the power of reading.

When I read these two cute books to our 4 yr old, her first thought was..the bunny is very cute. Mine was " wow, beautifully illustrated and sturdy for little hands".  We began reading the first book and her whole attention was on the book. After reading the books, she told me...If I can be like the bunny's mom because she never got mad with the small bunny. Honestly, I didn't know if I will laugh or be bothered by that comment. But just like any other parent, I used that as a teachable moment that telling the truth and doing the right thing is always the best.

This two book teach those values in a fun and engaging way.

About the Books:


In No, No, Bunny , Little Bunny has been taking things that don’t belong to him: pennies from Mama’s purse, a friend’s toy car, and a candy bar from the store. Taking everything seemed like a good decision at the time, but now Little Bunny feels sad. He confesses to his Mama and returns the items to their owners, learning that doing what’s right is always best.


In Uh-Oh, Bunny , finds Little Bunny being a bit careless: drawing on walls, knocking over a plant, tearing pages from a book. When Mama asks him about the messes, Little Bunny chooses to be honest, which makes Mama happy. With Mama’s help, Little Bunny cleans up each mess. Preschoolers will learn, in a gentle, non-didactic way, that telling the truth is always best.

Pages : 16 pages
Ages : 2 to 5 years old
Format : Board book

About the Author:

Pamela Kennedy loves writing for children and has authored more than thirty books of stories, prayers, and devotions. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, playing with her grandchildren, and exploring the beaches of Puget Sound. Pam and her husband currently live in Seattle, Washington. 

About the Illustrator:

Claire Keay lives in an ancient market town in the south of England where she works from her little home studio. After years working as a special education teacher for preschoolers, Keay decided to pursue her love of illustration. She now happily illustrates several children’s books each year, as well as children’s magazines, greeting cards, and stationery. In her spare time, Keay loves to garden, spend time with her teenage sons, and sing in her local community choir.

SOCIAL CORNER:

Worthy Publishing website, SEE HERE.




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DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products/services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it in my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this is in accordance with FTC guidelines.
  



 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

10 Worship Songs That Lifts Your Spirit

Every person you'll meet and  encounter have different stories. As they say, we all have our own different set of problems. We all handle it differently. We all view problems diversely. Sometimes, we fall into emptiness with reasons that we can't seem to point our fingers at. We all have been there.  Feeling low.  Some may even call it seasonal blues.

When feelings like that slowly creep in, it is hard to function. We loose track of what is important. We lose sight of our goals. If we are not careful we will fall into the deep pit of darkness and bitterness. Our brain is such a powerful part of our body. We become what we think. That is why it is important to not only feed our minds and body. Feeding our heart, mind, body and soul all together is so important.

So how can we feed these four important aspects? I have shared 10 Proven Ways To Be Happy, 
for the seasonal blues. You can read it HERE. One of the things too that I find very effective is listening to worship songs. Our girls love it too! Just watching and hearing them sing moving worship songs, makes my heart happy. In our car, with our daily commute we listen to the radio station 89.7 ksgn . I have about 3 worship playlists on Amazon Music and Spotify. It is a part of my life. Just like reading the Scriptures, with worship songs I often hear what I needed to hear at that moment or it makes me realize other blessings in my life.






It is so hard to just trim my favorite worship songs to just 10!  So I asked my husband and our girls for their opinion. Here's our 10 worship songs that will surely lift your spirit.

1.The Garden by Kari Jobe
2.Broken Vessel by Hillsong United
3.Lift Me Up by The Afters
4.Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson
5.Trust In You by Lauren Daigle
6.Mended by Matthew West
7.Speak Life by Toby Mac
8.Oceans by Hillsong United
9.Stronger By Mandisa
10.Chain Breaker by Zach Williams




“THE GARDEN” CD 

Grammy nominated Kari Jobe is the premiere female worship leader in Christian music. Coming off her last live album, Majestic, which featured the worship anthem “Forever” and radio hit “I Am Not Alone," Kari Jobe has returned to the studio to record her new album, The Garden, full of brand new worship anthems for the church and for personal reflection. Finding inspiration from life’s joys and hardships, Kari leans into the firm foundation of Christ through it all.



About Kari Jobe
 A trusted friend to listeners throughout a career that includes more than 1 million albums sold, a GRAMMY® nomination, multiple Dove Awards and praise from the New York Times. She’s amassed 173 million career streams and is the most-followed female CCM artist on social media with a following that exceeds 3.5 million. Beyond the stats, Jobe’s timeless songs have carried countless listeners to the feet of Christ over and over again. Her voice has become a soundtrack to people’s lives, and The Garden is well-equipped to bring healing in the midst of pain.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Have Fun at Medieval Times

We recently celebrated my mom's extra special birthday. Why extra special? It's been years since I was able to celebrate her birthday WITH HER. She is visiting from Philippines . While we were blessed to be able to go home last 2014 and then again last year , we weren't given the opportunity to celebrate her special day. Now that she will be spending a few months with us,her birthday is on the top of our list. To make it fun and memorable . Our girls are beyond excited to celebrate their Grandma's birthday.

My husband and I kept the secret of where we are all going to celebrate. What we told them was we were going to a new place that we have not gone before. A new experience for all of us! Rob and I are also thrilled. We have heard only good things about Medieval Times Dinner Tournament. Truth be told, I always wanted to visit and try ever since. Every time we are in Buena Park, we passed by Medieval Times , the eagerness to experience it builds up. So when I was given the chance to review and VISIT Medieval Times...I certainly did a happy dance.





I tweeted my excitement before our visit and Medieval Times people..do respond. They do make you feel that your visit is anticipated, just right there you know that the customer service will be great.  When we arrived, expect a line however, the lines moves pretty quickly. You will greeted with smiling and friendly staff wearing Medieval times costumes ( and  expect the cute accent) and be taken back to the Medieval period.

We wore paper King Hats to indicate color or "teams". You will also have a choice to have some photo opp with a Medieval period princess! My girls are excited to wear the crowns too.

Me and the Mr. How do you like our crowns?


Expect a crowd when you get inside. There is a large waiting/hanging out area and a bar area. There are plenty of tables and chairs. My mom uses a cane so having a whole lot of chairs and table is a plus. We were also approached by a guy who works there ( my bad, I forgot his name) he offered to take my mom in first when the doors open because of her cane. That folks is just awesome!!


While we were waiting for the show and dinner , we took a look around and got excited to show the horses to our kids. They are beautiful and I think that is cool because we were able to use it as a point of discussion and learning for our girls. All kids love animals! My husband bought flags too, totally optional. It will be a souvenir too.


Even if there is a waiting time , time quickly went by. We were there an hour before the dinner and tournament , the entertainment does not just start when the gates open.  There will be some announcements, reminders and laughs.


 As soon as the gates open, we were all impressed by how big the place is!  Inside those walls, you will travel back into Medieval Spain. We were seated according to color. I will not give you all the details just because it is a MUST VISIT place. I can assure you though that the 4 coarse meal is so good! A lot of food if you ask me BUT they do give out to go boxes.



My family totally enjoyed the show too!! You will cheer and will be impressed with the two hours of jousting-packed action as you watch the  resident knights fight for the honorable title of the King’s Champion.  Be prepared to get messy! You will eat with your hands from the delicious meal.


Here's a few pictures from our fun visit :


All of us with a happy belly. 


Right after the show, we picked up a souvenir for our fun experience. Our girls asked when can we go back again. Thankfully, Medieval Times offers discounts and promotions.

Here's a special offer for my readers, grab it now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Coffee Chili Rubbed Chicken

This post contains affiliate links, please read full disclosure HERE

I am a spice junkie. I have a drawer full of spices and herbs. Probably , a hoarder of spices. Last week I spent 45 minutes cleaning out our pantry and drawers. I am not surprise to find expired bottles of spices ( yikes! ). I also love to mix my own seasoning and spices. Homemade spices are awesome if you ask me. You can control the sodium content and it is budget friendly to boot. However , if you are not an "experimental" cook..like me, Rawspice Bar is an excellent way of getting superb flavor ANNND fresh spices and herbs.

Each monthly subscription includes recipes cards BUT you can always change it up to whatever is in your pantry already. That's also one of the many things I love about Rawspice Bar , the spices are not out of this world. I got fresh packets of flavorful spices and I was able to make 3 dishes out of it.

How does it work?

Sign up and receive 3 freshly ground, recipe-ready flavor kits, direct to your door each month. Add your own local, fresh ingredients to cook 3 globally inspired meals for 3-4 people. Plus, personalize your recipes with their Flavor Profile Quiz after you sign up!


 


 
Ingredients:

3 Boneless chicken breast
1 Rawspice Bar's Coffee-Chili Rubbed Steak Spice
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Directions:

Spread the olive oil on a 9x13 glass baking dish . Sprinkle the spice on top of it and mix.


 Pat the chicken dry and place it on top of the spices and oil mixture. Make sure that the marinade is spread all over the chicken. Cover and let it marinade for about an hour.


Bake on pre heated ( 350 degrees) oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until no longer pink.


Awesomely simple and full flavor!


Serve with Chipotle Salt Roasted Yams





Ingredients:

2 large yams
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 Rawspicebar Chipotle Smoke Salt Spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees . Cut them yams into cubes.


Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the cubed yams and pour olive oil, spreading the oil all over the yams. Sprinkle the spices all over the yams. 


Roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.


Right amount of sweetness and saltiness!



What are you waiting for?

SIGN UP, HERE.


Rawspice Bar - Spice Subscription




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