Browsing Tag


I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug … and a free book!

Hey there! It’s the mother-daughter team of children’s book reviewers here again. And this time we’re here with a keeper.

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!
Y’all. I die. This book is so stinkin’ cute.

Have you heard of it?

I hadn’t either. But I’m so glad it showed up in my mailbox. I’m a sucker for rhymes, so I was hooked after the first few pages. The author was creative in her ideas of the “type” of hugs to give (ex: bug hug, duck hug, cat hug, etc.) and how they relate to the animal. (Being the owner of a cat, I thought the cat hug was oh-so-accurate with its “don’t do more than that hug” jab at their fickle independence. Because CATS, man.)

Meda even pointed out to me how each of the animals that gave the hug had a matching aspect of the mom’s yellow and red polka dotted clothing, the illustrator’s hidden tie to the mother’s hugs. (“Mom! The bear’s feet look like the mama’s!”)

McKenna was a good sport and weighed in (again) with her own quick book review. And because McKenna did, Meda had to as well. *wink*

This book is so cute! I loved it so much. I felt like I was getting all the hugs as I read it. I liked how it described the animal or what you could do to it. Example: I’m going to give you a cat hug. A simple purr, stroke my fur, don’t do more than that hug. (In the horse part… I wouldn’t like to get a hug full of hoofs. Just saying, well that’s that for the horse.) Illustrations are amazing and perfect for kids.

~McKenna (age 7)

I love you book. I’m going to give you a bear hug.

~Meda (age 4)

Alright, so you want the chance to win this? Let’s give it away!

The giveaway ends Friday night, and I’ll be posting on my Instagram and Facebook the winner on Saturday.

To enter the giveaway:

  •  Subscribe to my emails. (Pst! You’ll also get a copy of my free ebook! #winning)

  • If you already receive my emails, simply leave a comment with the title of your favorite children’s book growing up below. (If you are just subscribing, you are welcome to leave a comment as well!)
  • Tweet, comment and share on social media for additional entries into the giveaway! Make sure to tag and follow me on Insta, FB or Twitter so I can know you shared!

Good luck, friends!

Click here to see the book on Amazon!

I’m Giving Away a Children’s Book! A Baby Believer Counting Primer: Review & Giveaway

I’ve got another book for one of you! Well, not you really … but a special kiddo in your life.

Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer arrived last week, and my girls were so excited!  We receive a new children’s book every month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (uh-maze-ing program! I sure hope your state has something similar!), so when an extra book came this month, they were pumped to open up their mail.

It’s not a secret how important reading for children’s development and success. The hardest part is deciding which books are best to read to them, right?

My answer to that dilemma?

There’s not one book or group of children’s book that are best. I say read ’em all … any you can get your hands on, read it to your kiddos. I especially like books that teach children about faith, trust, God or Jesus, love, identity in Christ, and so on. So today I’m giving one away! Just in time to toss into an Easter basket on April 16th!

Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer is a counting book that introduces some important concepts and facts from the Bible. I love the sturdiness of this little book. When you have a 15 month old that throws EVERYTHING (this includes phones, iPads, brushes, shoes … anything she can pick up, she will throw.), sturdiness is a must. The illustrations and colors are my favorite part of the book – they hold mine and the kids’ attention, and explain the written words well.


My only problem with this book is a few of the concepts counted seem slightly elevated in for children at the age where they are just learning numbers and how to count. However, on the flip side, I don’t think introducing Bible basics can ever be done too early. I just wouldn’t expect an extremely young child to fully grasp some of the words or concepts of each counted item. (Examples: 8 “Beatitudes” and 5 books in the “Pentateuch.”)

But who am I to judge, right? I’m a mere adult, and this is a children’s book. *wink*

So I had McKenna (7) read it to Meda (3) and then write her own quick review, as well. Below is what she said (verbatim) about it:

“I liked how you put the number of the chapter and it went with the words. Example: 10 Commandments. I loved the illustrations of this little book, especially the color choices. The colors really stand out. I love the sturdiness of this book. This book would give me an introduction of the “Bible” as a young child. The book is AMAZING! Seriously, it’s AMAZING!!! What stood out to me the most in this book was definitely the color. Sorry, I just can’t stop talking about the COLOR!!!! Oh, and Meda keeps asking me if you are done yet and then she says “I want to text NOW!!” Overall, I think that the book is outstanding. I think that’s all I have to say. I loved the book. Thank you.” ~McKenna (age 7)

So there you have it. According to McKenna, this book is “AMAZING!!” (By the way, McKenna was uber jazzed to “blog” with me and type on my computer. Maybe I’ll have her join me again soon.)

So, without further adieu, let’s give this sucker away! The giveaway ends Friday night, and I’ll be posting on my Instagram and Facebook the winner.

To enter the giveaway:

  •  Subscribe to my emails. (Pst! You’ll also get a copy of my free ebook! #winning)

  • If you already receive my emails, simply leave a comment with the title of your favorite children’s book growing up below. (If you are just subscribing, you are welcome to leave a comment as well!)
  • Tweet, comment and share on social media for additional entries into the giveaway! Make sure to tag and follow me on Insta, FB or Twitter so I can know you shared!

Good luck, friends!

What I Learned about Life From the Club

I’m a dancer. I danced and cheered most of my younger years and even taught some cheer and dance classes throughout college summers and after graduation. I just have always loved to dance. So naturally, that’s my inclination whenever I hear music. In fact, I’m sitting in Starbucks right now swaying to The Chainsmoker’s Closer in my earphones as I type this. (The corporate FedEx employee sitting next to me sipping his fancy latte is judging me like a champ. But whateves … 😉 )

Once I was old enough to frequent bars and clubs (Gasp! Yes, I did this often.), my main goal in going there wasn’t to drink, but to hang out with friends, listen to music and dance.

I remember one night a certain friend came with me, but refused to get on the dance floor. She was embarrassed because she didn’t consider herself to be a great dancer. So I shared with her my dance club wisdom, a golden nugget of information I learned almost immediately after reaching the appropriate age to frequent dance clubs.

Nobody is watching you.

They are too worried about themselves and their own moves to care about yours.

Now that I’m not visiting the club anymore, but instead am jumping around my living room to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (if I happen to have enough energy), I realize this rule still applies to everyday life.

People are too wrapped up in their own next move to worry about what your’s looks like.

This goes for most situations and scenarios.

Think about it … and think about yourself too. How often are you thinking about what others are doing more than your own actions or how those other people’s situation affects you?

I venture to say, probably not too often.

Okay, okay … to say that all behavior is self-directed would be mis-leading, however, even charitable acts and thoughts tend to have a self-altruistic motive. Personally, I know I receive emotional rewards when I help other people. I love the look on someone’s face and the feeling I get when I have been a help to someone. Even though something was done for someone else, there is most often a self-motivated reason behind it.

For the record, I think this is okay … it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I believe Jesus rewards us with these emotions when we help others.

The only person who truly loved selflessly was Jesus. He is the only one who authentically cares about what you are doing.

So why is this important and why is it a good thing?

Because we can finally let loose. We have nothing to prove, my friend.

Things you hear from others and things they do are almost always self-motivated and should not be taken personally. Things you worry about doing but hold back because they might think you’re crazy should be something you go for.

We can get off the sidelines, get on the floor and dance. We can stop hiding behind our perfectly organized homes, our perfectly-shot Instagram photos and our perfectly obedient kids.

Walk up to that other mom in the park and strike up a conversation about why your kiddo decided to eat dirt at the playground again. Invite her over for coffee despite the fact you’ve run out of cream and sugar, then post a picture or video of your kids on social media playing around the mountains of laundry on the couch and on the peanut-butter smeared floors.

We have to risk exposure before we can feel free and enjoy the music of life.

People crave authenticity, so do that for them. And above all, do it for yourself. Because it’s in the messy, non-perfect moments that we get to experience the authentic relationships He has perfected for us.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, (Psalm 30:11)

Jennie Allen’s new book, Nothing to Prove, released TODAY, and I have a copy to give away to one lucky winner!

All you have to do it follow the 3 SIMPLE steps below.

1) Comment below with your thoughts on this post or the idea of “Nothing to Prove.”
2) SHARE THIS POST on social media! The more shares, the better! Tag myself and Jennie Allen in your post, so we can find it! (Make sure it’s public, so we can view it!)
3) Join my email list by filling in the form below. If you already receive my emails – you are one step ahead and don’t need to again.

Good luck, everyone! A random winner will be picked on Friday!! (I’ll comment below with the winner and share on my Facebook page & Instagram.)


Simply Bliss: It’s time to Shop for Yourself!

Confession time … I’m a shopaholic. Like, for real.

I love shopping for clothes, books, purses, sunglasses, home decor, clothes, books, office supplies, books, home decor, and – of course –  clothes. *wink*

But since becoming a mom, I tend to purchase more items for my kids than myself. You too?

First of all, what money my family does have, I need to purchase clothes or shoes for my kids who will NOT STOP GROWING. (Meda went to school last week in pants that fit her a year ago … Notice I didn’t say they fit this year.) There are also fun toys, scholastic book orders, school supplies, field trips and OF COURSE all the EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITY FEES. (Not that I’m bitter about spending a gazillion dollars on gymnastics or anything…)

Secondly, and more importantly – it’s fun. I love the looks on my girls’ faces when they receive a new item of clothing or a toy.

But it’s also fun to buy and receive new stuff for ourselves. Maybe it’s selfish, but I love updating my home with the newest (on sale, please!) item from Pottery Barn or my wardrobe from a favorite store.

So when Blog About connected me with Simply Bliss Boutique, I was pretty pumped.

I hadn’t heard about Simply Bliss until recently, and y’all – I’m so glad I did.


In today’s culture there are a lot of young ladies trying to be noticed in the wrong way, by wearing revealing clothing. (I was one of them for a long time – eek!) The mission behind Simply Bliss is to show women – our daughters, specifically – they can be cute, trendy and modest at the same time.

Modesty is to be desired.

With 3 daughters of my own, I can’t tell you how much I love this and want this for my kids.

So I was happy to learn about this boutique.

I was even happier full-filling my recent yearning to shop. 😉 When I received the Simply Bliss Utility Vest in Olive in the mail, I squealed with delight! (If you follow my IG stories, you saw this excitement a couple weeks ago when it arrived!)

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Important to note: It is still hot as be-jezuz here in Memphis in the afternoons. So I may be forcing the fall fashion, but whatever. I’m over the shorts and t-shirts of summer. Bring on the cooler weather!

This vest is lightweight, but still warm and will go with a ton of other clothing. I normally wear somewhere between a small and medium, depending on the clothing item, but I ordered this in a medium, just to be safe. It fit perfectly.

I love this store so far, and I know you will too. Soooooo….


Simply Bliss has offered a $25 discount code

to one my OFs!!!

(That’s you, Online Friend!)

How awesome is this? This definitely helps out with wanting something new and cute for fall AND the budget – so it was meant to be!

Here’s the deal on how to enter the giveaway! Only 3 simple steps:

1) Comment below and answer the question, “When was the last time you bought yourself something and what was it?” (No shame in any answers here, ladies! … Or gents! 😉 )
2) SHARE THIS POST on social media! The more shares, the better! Tag myself and Simply Bliss in your post, so we can find your post!
3) Join my email list by filling in the form below. If you already receive my emails – you are one step ahead and don’t need to again.

Good luck, everyone! A random winner will be picked Friday at noon!! (I’ll comment below with the winner and share on my Facebook page & Instagram.)

Share this:

Breaking Up With Perfect — A Book Giveaway

I just finished Amy Carroll’s book, Breaking Up with Perfect, and have so many thoughts swirling now.

Breaking Up With Perfect is just what the doctor ordered.

Amy shares her concept of the Good Girl and Never Good Enough Girl who chase Prince Charming in disguise, Perfect. Perfection, especially in our day and age, is seductive and quite attractive, but a horrible friend who steals our joy.

Cover-669x1024By looking at everyday situations and her own personal stories, Amy shows how a life surrendered to Perfect verse a life surrendered to God, is a life never satisfied. She helps us learn to end the stress of chasing Perfect and embrace the joy God holds waiting for us.

Um, sooooooo….

When Amy wrote an ENTIRE CHAPTER on replacing tasks with people, I may have curled up into a little ball and wallowed for a bit. (Okay, that’s slightly dramatic, but you get the point…)

Amy’s wisdom tore through that concept (among others) for me. Because I love my lists. I mean, I love my people too… but I love my lists.

So I’m working on what she suggests in order to end my own personal pursuit of perfection. The lessons she teaches are hard and not easily learned, but she walks and talks you through the issues like a good friend sitting over a cup of coffee.

I can’t giveaway all her secrets and wisdom, so I recommend you go ahead and read it yourself. 🙂

(Hint! She has a rockin’ list of 50 Ways to Leave Your Perfect in the back of the book!)

Amy is hosting a free Online Book Study on her blog and Facebook page from August 1-September 5, and she’d love for you to join! CLICK HERE to read more about her book study!

Good news! I’m giving away a copy of her book!



The winner is listed BELOW in the comments!

(Click HERE to sign up for my newsletter to hear about more giveaways!)



With Amy (also my new speaker coach!) at She Speaks 2016

The Trouble with To-Dos & A FREE BOOK!

Whew – the past few weeks have been a WHIRLWIND for me. Not only have I gone back to work on the book proposal from last summer, but I’ve been writing/working for Terrian, Angel Street, and Memphis Moms Blog since Christmas. And I’m adding Moms at Hope back too!

A few highlights for me over the past month have been getting to know a few other writers. Last month, you read my conversation with Wendy Blight,  and now I want to introduce you to Becky Kopitske.

Becky-Kopitzke-headshot-1-2014-croppedYou all – Becky is fabulous. We met via an email introduction then continued our conversation over at Facebook. (Internet friends are the best, aren’t they??) After bonding over our children’s lack of sophistication in their culinary palates (can I get an AMEN on Cheezits for breakfast, lunch and dinner?), I invited her over here to my virtual home so y’all could meet her too.

So Becky has a book, The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press), out right now! As a writer, speaker, singer, dreamer, lunch packer, snowman builder and recovering perfectionist, Becky believes parenting is one of God’s greatest tools for building our faith, character, and strength—and it’s not always pretty. (AMEN, sister!) She lives with her husband and two daughters in northeast Wisconsin, where apparently a pink indoor trampoline fills half the once formal living room.

What Becky wrote below will give you a taste of her new book. And if you’re anything like me, you can Relate with a capital R to what she’s saying. 🙂

(Make sure to stick around to the end of her post, because I’m giving away her new book FOR FREE!!! You’ll get the fun details at the end!)


The Trouble with To-Dos

When my older daughter was four, she loved to play a game called “checklist.” I would write a series of tasks on her favorite monkey-face-shaped notebook, and she would draw a check mark next to each completed assignment.

  • Draw a flower.
  • Spell your name.
  • Hop five times.
  • Sing the ABCs.

She got this idea from her mother, of course. I’m a checklist addict. I keep lists for everything—groceries, housekeeping, Christmas gifts, party plans. My own trusty notebook sits on our kitchen countertop, catching random assignments for each day.

  • Wash the sheets.
  • Sign permission slip.
  • Thaw hamburger.
  • Call Mom.

What does this say about me? I’m organized. I’m methodical. Or, more likely, I’m flaky enough to forget things if I don’t write them down. Lists help me spew thoughts onto paper instead of cramming them inside my daydreaming, overanalytical brain. For me, checklists are a form of mental freedom.

But they’re also a crutch.

I like to cross things off the list. So I spend a lot of time chasing immediate to-dos instead of long-term, important stuff.

  • I did the laundry, but I let my child’s High Five magazines pile up, unread.
  • I scoured Pinterest for the perfect birthday cake, but I haven’t yet updated our photo books with last year’s party pictures.
  • I paid the bills, but I’ve been meaning for half a year now to create a chore chart designed to teach our children fiscal responsibility. They have yet to earn a single quarter—because I still haven’t made the chart.

Bills have a due date. Life lessons do not. So the urgent crowds out the important, day in and day out, until my menial tasks are accounted for but I’ve lost opportunities to train my children, to invest in my marriage, and to improve my own well-being.

What if my checklist looked like this?

  • Take a romantic weekend getaway to a log cabin.
  • Train for a 5K.
  • Read classic novels to my children at bedtime.

These are projects I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. But they get shoved to the bottom of the list because they’re not immediately attainable. The pots have to get scrubbed, the preschool snack has to be divided into baggies, and somebody has to run to the store to buy more milk. So those are the tasks I tackle first. Until they’re the only tasks I tackle at all.

God has a checklist, too. Did you know that?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. . .a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6–7).

  • Search
  • give up
  • keep
  • throw away
  • tear
  • mend
  • be silent
  • speak

Every pair of tasks seems at odds, but God gives them equal weight. Today, search. Tomorrow, give up. By all means, keep. But don’t neglect to throw away.

Do you see the beauty of the pattern? It’s not about choosing between this and that, urgent or important. There is time to do both. The Calendar Queen would convince us to tip our agenda too heavily to one side.

Don’t listen to her.

What can you postpone this week in order to focus some time on what matters for the long haul? There is a time for everything. Let’s give our calendars a chance to prove it.

  • Do not vacuum.
  • Hop on the treadmill.
  • Log off Facebook
  • Call an old friend.
  • Skip the casserole prep.
  • Order pizza and play board games with the kids.
  • See what God does!

This post contains an excerpt from The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press) by Becky Kopitzke. Used by permission.

# # #

SuperMomMyth_HIGHRezAbout Becky’s book!

Does your journey through motherhood look different from what you imagined?

Do you struggle to measure up to your own standards?

Do you sometimes wish you could be like that other mom who seems to have it all together?

You are not alone.

The Supermom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood, a new book by Christian mom blogger Becky Kopitzke, is designed to encourage imperfect moms to laugh at ourselves, forgive ourselves, and discover the beautiful moms God created within. Delivered with down-to-earth humor and carefully applied biblical insight, The SuperMom Myth explores eight personified “dirty villains” of motherhood, including The Grouch on the Couch (Anger), Worry Woman (Fear), The Calendar Queen (Busyness), and more. Throughout this delightful read for every mom, Kopitzke offers a gentle reminder to rest in the super power of our grace-filled God.

Visit for more information, including trailer videos, reviews, and details on where to buy copies for yourself and your mom friends.

About the author

Becky Kopitzke is the author of The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press). As a writer, speaker, singer, dreamer, lunch packer, snowman builder and recovering perfectionist, Becky believes parenting is one of God’s greatest tools for building our faith, character, and strength—and it’s not always pretty. On her devotional blog,, she offers weekly encouragement for fellow imperfect moms, pointing our weaknesses, blessings, and victories to God.

Connect with Becky on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Didn’t you say there was a FREE BOOK involved??

Why, yes… yes, I did. *wink* (If you are subscribed to my emails, you knew this was coming. Click here for to subscribe.)

Friends, just like Becky, this book is fabulous. So Becky has been kind enough to let me give away a copy to YOU for free! One lucky recipient will be chosen and announced on the blog March 1st!

So what do you need to do to enter the giveaway?

  • Comment below something on your “To-Do” this week that you can postpone to focus on what matters for the long haul. (Mine is to postpone laundry (WOOHOO!) so I can sit down and play, color, or read with my kiddos. Lord – please let the Honey Badger sit still long enough to let us get through one book.) 
  • Re-share my posts on Facebook, Instagram and/or tweet the quote below for additional entries!

Thanks again, Becky, for visiting!

“The Art of Work” Giveaway Winners!

Wow – thank you so much to everyone who entered my first giveaway! I’ve always been hesitant to host one (not to mention I didn’t have anything cool enough to giveaway), but not going to lie… this was fun!

I really did enjoy this book, and even if you aren’t a winner today, I suggest you grab a copy sometime! Jeff’s twist on the idea of our callings is unique and helpful in deciphering what it is we are really meant to do.

Again, thank you everyone! So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the randomly selected winners…

(Drum roll, please…)

Congratulations to Rhonda Monks and Stacey Thureen!

*Ladies, check your email to get the information regarding shipment and your books will be on their way in no time!

Thank you again everyone for subscribing, sharing, and commenting!

Now, I’m off to start planning my next giveaway… 😉

In the meantime, click here to check out my take on another great book, The Best Yes.

A Book Review and Giveaway!

So, you all know I’m a reader. A few months ago, I preordered Jeff Goins’s book, The Art of Work, because… well… he was running a great deal on it. 😉 <sheepish grin>

IMG_1601-300x300To be honest – the title is what originally struck me. And the fact that, as a writer (read: wanna-be Stephen King or Lysa TerKeurst), I knew Goins had some sound advice for writers, so I figured I’d order it to see what it was all about.

(Besides, another book would help me reach my reading challenge on Goodreads. And who doesn’t like a good challenge? #confessions)

When I first started reading, I was sort of hesitant. He was sharing a lot of stories about people following their “callings.” I thought it was turning out to be a book full of narratives. And to be honest – I didn’t care to read about other people’s work. If I wasn’t going to be entertained, I wanted hard, sound advice/enlightenment – not fluffy, feel good stories of people I didn’t know.

3492079b0dfc69c3da2796f45630f0e4But Jeff uses those stories for a purpose. He digs into and dissects them, enlightening his reader of his own twist on the idea of a “calling.”

For me, he changed the idea that our callings are “what we do” (our jobs, volunteering, etc.) but is actually a combination of those things PLUS who we are – how & where we grew up, our morals, families, interests, etc…

Then, it was easy to relate and apply his exercises to my own life.

(I especially like his idea of a portfolio life… because oh-em-gee… that’s me!! Thank you for finally giving my lifestyle a name, Jeff. It’s the little things in life, right? Like clarity. You are appreciated. 😉 )

Anyway, The Art of Work is a great read for anyone, but could especially be great for those who are in a stage of unsettlement and concern in their work (or just life).

So guess what??? I am giving away copies of his book!!

I have two… that’s right TWO… brand new copies of the Jeff’s book, The Art of Work, I am ready to give to YOU!

In order to win, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog via the space below! That’s it! You’ll be automatically entered to win a copy!

>>>Current Subscribers!<<< 
You are ALSO eligible to win, all you have to do is comment below about your thoughts on the topic/book or why you wish to win a copy! (If you are not a current subscriber, your comment is welcome, but you also must subscribe above!)

<This giveaway is CLOSED. But, you can still subscribe to the blog via the form.>

Winners will be announced via the blog June 1st!

Good luck!

*Feel free to share this lovely contest with your network! Just tweet the message above and/or share via the handy-dandy little social media buttons below!

**Winners will be emailed directly on June 1st!