Stop Living a Pinterest Perfect Life {Inspiration}

“As it is written:  “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

-Romans 3:10

As any Christian knows, there is no one perfect in the world.  We just aren’t because of the sin that entered the world with Adam and Eve; it is impossible to be perfect.  However, with social media’s technology, there is a pressure to be perfect.  To have perfect, beachy hair.  To have perfect skin.  To have our kids be happy, smiley, and getting along all the time.  To have an airy, perfectly clean house without a crumb on the floor, kid’s toys in their own containers, and perfect lighting for photographing.  To have perfect girl’s night out, full of flawlessness. Read More

Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science Book Review & Giveaway!

I am always looking for new ways to incorporate God into everyday things for Lemon.  She’s really sensitive to God right now and frequently talks about Heaven. (Partly is because my dad just died and we want her to understand she won’t see him again until she gets to Heaven.)  She wants to go there so bad!  She also loves her “Babble” (Bible) time at bedtime.  Her favorite stories are Noah and the Ark and Daniel and the Lion’s Den.  When I had the opportunity to review this devotional book for kids called Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science by Louie Giglio (available for purchase here), I was so excited!  This way, we can spend our daily time in God’s word exploring about the world around is and learn how God is in everything.

Indescribable book Read More

Julie Elias “A Girl Like Me” CD Review & Giveaway!

I will have to admit that I had never heard of Julie Elias before I was given an opportunity to review her latest CD “A Girl Like Me”.  I do listen to KLove when I can, but I never heard of her.  However, when I heard her story, I was immediately intrigued!

Julie Elias CD

As  you probably know, my husband is in the Hollywood business, like Julie was.  (My husband has been an extra in 99 movies and TV shows.)  After college, Julie moved to LA to follow her dreams of working in the business.  She did various roles in theater, short films, and extra work on shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “CSI: NY”, but her heart wasn’t really into it.  She realized that God was calling her into music.  Her singing at her home church during Christmas season brought her to the attention of a few people in the Christian music industry.  She began to work with Dove-award winning producer Robert White Johnson to produce her debut album A Wild Rose and her Christmas album Holy Night.  She self-produced two albums Love Rain Down and Unbroken.  Her song “Home” was #1for multiple weeks on Christian Radio Charts in 2015.  Her transparency and humility connected with her audiences, especially teen girls.

Julie Elias

Even though she is still creating music, her focus is now empowering teen girls.  In 2014, Julie Elias founded Aurora Ministries, a 501c non-profit that creates Christian material and events especially for teens and tween girls.  Through music, booklets, blogging (, conferences, and girls’ events, Julie has been able to share God’s role in her life—even when she didn’t think He was there—and find common ground to inspire young women all around the world.

Her newest album, A Girl Like Me became available on all digital media outlets on October 27, 2017.  This album is meant to be a companion to her girls’ events with Aurora Ministries and conferences.  Every original song on the album has an intentional purpose and story behind it.  For instance, the song “Forgive Me” is about a conflict with a good friend.  “A Girl Like Me” is about her own feelings of unworthiness.  She even covers one of her favorite Christian songs when she was a teen with a cover of DC Talk’s “In the Light”.  Whether you are a young woman learning her way in life, or a young woman at heart, this album will remind you that, despite our failures and stubbornness, we need to “believe a girl like me could be worthy of a King.”

Julie Elias' CD available on iTunes

Her voice is not overworked and over-processed like a lot of music I have been hearing lately.  It is a breath of fresh air!  You can picture yourself in church listening to someone sing worship.  You can hear the love and admiration she has for God in everything she sings.  The CD itself isn’t showy, which is what I love best.

My favorite song on the CD is, ironically, A Girl Like Me. It’s a very sweet-sounding song, very simple and minimalistic, bringing out Julie Elias’ voice.  The lyrics she wrote will really speak to anyone who fails from time and again:

In the stillness, I sense you near me, Echoes in the blowing wind/A quiet voice within/Longing for something greater/I thought I understood/But don’t believe I could/I make the same mistakes/No matter what I say/Embarrassed by humanity/So afraid, afraid to let You see/But you still hold me/When I fall apart, you see my heart/Every weakness and shame/Yet you still love me/You still believe a girl like me could be worthy of a King/A girl like me/Despite the fanfare, You hear the real me./he deepest hurt unspoken./very cry of raw emotion/You see my beauty through my sadness/A little girl you know by name/design not done in vain/Oh it must make You sad/When I focus on what’s bad/What I don’t have and what I want/When you’re all, you’re all I really need/still believe a girl like me could be worthy of a King/A girl like me.

Back of Julie Elias CD

Interested in hearing more from this inspirational lady?  Please check out her website at  I am very impressed in what she is doing for God!

Would you like to win one of five of these CDs?  Click on the link below to enter to win!  You will love this CD, especially if you have young girls and teen girls in your house.  Julie Alias is a great example for your girls to follow.  (Contest ends on 12/10/2017.  If you win, you will be notified by email.)

Enter to Win Julie Elias CD

*FrontGate Media provided me a reader’s copy of this CD to review for Julie Elias.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you would like to enter another contest, see my other post, on winning a She Reads Truth Bible!


Artichoke Hearts Braised in Lemon {Recipe}

This is the final Thanksgiving recipe installment for this year.  Have you found anything that you liked yet?  I would love to know if you made anything I posted on here!

This recipe is surprisingly good!  If artichokes are done right, they are so tasty.

When I was younger, I lived in two places that were close to Washington, D.C.   I would go often as I loved exploring the Smithsonian museums (the American History one is my favorite), as well as swing dancing events.  On our way home one time from some kind of event (I can’t remember what), we stopped at a brick oven pizzeria in Chinatown.  Feeling daring, I ordered a pizza with artichokes on top of it.  I am not sure why I ordered that as I never had artichokes in my lifetime, maybe it was because it had black olives on it (I am a HUGE fan of black olives!  I have been known to eat a whole can of black olives…).  I am unsure what was else on the pizza as it was a long time ago, but those artichokes really stood out to me!  Once in a while, I still put artichokes on my pizza.  Eating that pizza started my love for artichokes.


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Garlic Parmesan Roasted Carrots {Recipe}

Here is another installment in what you could bring to Thanksgiving that will impress even the pickiest of eaters!  Do you need a last-minute side to add to your table but you’re unsure what to make?  Are you tired of the same-old recipes you’ve been making year after year and are looking for a new recipe to add a kick to your menu?  I made these roasted carrots when I had a huge influx of carrots from our garden last year.  I wanted to do something special with them, and I knew that roasting them was a huge hit in my house hold.  Carrots are one vegetable that my toddler does eat. (Hallelujah!  Something healthy my toddler likes to eat!)  Roasted does make it all that much better!  I mean, she does eat carrots raw, but I like to mix it up every once in a while.roasted carrots

Notice a pattern here?  We like roasting our vegetables here.  Oven roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, which is great for adults and children alike. Read More

7 Items to Buy at a Thrift Store {Lifestyle}

My husband has had a love for thrift stores for as long as he can remember.  He has always liked finding what was someone’s trash and made into treasure again.  (He also loves to save money—he’s very thrifty!)  I don’t remember going into a thrift store until I was in my senior year of college.  With limited funds, I couldn’t believe how far my money went there!  Now, when I need to find ways to be frugal, going to a thrift store is first on my list!  Over the years, I have learned some secrets to used stores. Read More

She Reads Truth Bible Review & Giveaway!

I got my first Bible for Christmas the year I was 14.  (Earlier that year, I became a born-again Christian at a Christian camp in NH.)  My second one was given to me by my first college boyfriend my freshman year, which I used all through my college career.  I have gotten a few Bibles since then, but nothing has come close to this Bible.  The She Reads Truth Bible is nothing but a work of art!

I have wanted this Bible since I have first heard about it, but I hesitated getting it.  I decided to wait for a special day like Christmas or my birthday to ask for it.  I mean, I have three Bible that haven’t totally fallen apart again, never mind the one on my phone that I read daily, so why do I need a new one?  But, am a visual learner, so anything pretty makes me drool. Read More

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar {Recipe}

Guess what?  American Thanksgiving is coming up!  Ah, I guess you knew that.  If you are food lover or a foodie, Thanksgiving is an amazing time.  All the food prep and cooking, it is a feast for the senses!  It’s the time to show off your skill!  For the next month, I am going to post some of my favorite recipes that would be great for you to make for your Thanksgiving meal.

Are you looking for something easy to make as a side for the fabulous meal you have planned, but wanted something that will be a party in everyone’s mouth?  This is the recipe of roasted Brussels sprouts is for you! Read More

Happy Halloween! {Lifestyle}

Happy Halloween!  This year, Lemon is going as a princess wearing an already-made dress, but last year, we did a quick photoshoot with her dressed as a black cat.  We had another costume bought and ready, but she insisted on being a cat.  Fine by me!

Here is the cutest kitty this side of the Mississippi!

I hope y’all have a fun night and don’t eat too much candy!

Apple Pie {Recipe}

What’s more American than apple pie?  (Please don’t say pumpkin spice-anything. Please.) Apple pie has been around since the birth of America.  It’s the best dessert ever!  The burst of apple flavor in your mouth as you bite into a slice of pie is enough to make you close your eyes in bliss.

My mom would make this recipe for us every fall time.  I remember always having it for Thanksgiving with my extended family at my grandma’s house in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.  Paired with my grandma’s homemade soup (that no one has been able to fully recreate), turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, this apple pie will always remember of my childhood.  My mom would make the pie crust from scratch, which is mentioned below, but if you wanted to make this using store-bought crust, it’s perfectly fine!  That is how I actually do it as I cannot seem to get homemade crust from scratch just right.  I got tired of trying and fighting the pie Read More

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