Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ditching the Drive-Thru

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon): After an exhausting day at work, hitting the drive-thru or nuking a pre-fab meal is all too often the go-to decision for feeding a family. Cooking a meal from scratch using fresh ingredients can seem beyond the average person’s time, energy, or financial means. But with mounting evidence pointing to processed food and our industrial food system as the culprits behind many of our nation’s health problems—including obesity, diabetes, and cancer—it’s now more important than ever to be fully informed about what goes on your family’s dinner plates.

If you’re ready to take control of your food choices but don’t know the difference between grass-fed versus grain-fed, pastured versus free-range, or organic versus sustainable, read this book to discover:

• How to create your own thirty-month plan to convert your family from junk food to real food, without a revolt!

• Recipes and advice on planning and prepping meals so you can make homecooked a habit for your family

• Instructions for getting the most out of produce using techniques such as lacto-fermentation, dehydrating, and canning

•  introduction to the world of farm-direct sales, including tips on locating local farms, seeing through marketing buzzwords, and shopping with CSAs Ditching the Drive-Thru exposes the insidious hold the commercial food industry has taken over the fast-paced lives of the average American and the danger these processed foods and diet plans pose to our health, environment, and emotional wellbeing.

Learn how to break free from the grind and return to a simpler relationship with food from farmers, not factories, and home-cooked meals that are created in your kitchen, not on a conveyor belt.


One (or more) Sentence Summary: I am the first to admit that I love drive-thrus, I work a lot of long hours, have three very activity children with sporting events as late as 10 pm some evening.  Also, I absolutely HATE cooking and being in the kitchen.  Making dinner, let alone finding time to eat dinner is tough.  Do I make it a priority, no....should I, of course.  So, Ditching the Drive-Thru was a very interesting and eye opening book for me.  

Natalie Winch is also a very busy and active person, so I really can't use that as an excuse, can I? What I can say is this book taught me a lot about the food industry and made me more aware of what I am buying and feed my family. My favorite chapter was 10, Taking the First Step: Turning Theory Into Practice.  This chapter explained to me how to make it work. Appendix A is all about the 30 day challenge, which I plan on doing!  Appendix B is filled with recipes (that is so helpful for someone like me).

No more excuses - I an Ditching the Drive-Thru!


What Others Are Saying:  Check out what others are saying on the iReadBookTour


Nov 9 -   Reviews from the Heart - review
Nov 10 - This That and the Other Thing - review / giveaway
Nov 11 - Notes From Farrah - review / giveaway
Nov 13 - #redhead.with.book - review / giveaway
Nov 16 - Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
Nov 16 - One Frugal Girl - review / giveaway
Nov 17 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Nov 18 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 19 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
Nov 20 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
Nov 23 - Heidi's Wanderings - review
Nov 24 - The Editing Pen - review / giveaway
Nov 25 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - review
Nov 26 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Nov 27 - Maddie & Books - review / giveaway
Nov 30 - Readers' Muse - review
Dec 1 -   Genuine Jenn - review / giveaway
Dec 2 -   Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - author interview
Dec 3 -   I'd Rather Be At the Beach - review / giveaway
Dec 4 -   alwaysjoart - review / giveaway
Dec 8 -   misty103 @ HubPages - review
Dec 9 -   JBronder Book Reviews - review
Dec 9 -   Sahar's Reviews - review
Dec 10 - Seaside Book Nook - review / giveaway
Dec 11 - Create With Joy - review / giveaway


J. Natalie Winch lives in southern New Jersey, not far from where she grew up, with her husband, two children, and dogs. When she isn’t mothering, teaching, grading, or making lesson plans, Natalie runs the Hebrew School at her synagogue, coaches soccer, teaches lacto-fermentation classes, writes the occasional entry for her blog Food Empowerment (tradsnotfads.com), and fights the dust bunnies that threaten to take over her family room.

Connect with the author:   Website


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Friday, December 4, 2015

You'll Be Thinking of Me

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon):   A chance encounter with a celebrity, an impromptu video, and a shiny new espresso machine. It all added up to a juicy tale for 24-year-old Rachael Allen to share with friends. But when her best friend posts the video online, bizarre threats, home break-ins, and deadly gifts from an obsessed fan follow close behind.  Mick Sullivan, the star in her video, offers to help and in the process, Rachael discovers that despite his reputation as a player of Olympian caliber, he’s down-to-earth—and emotionally damaged. He has secrets; some he’s shared only with his pseudo best friend. Others he's shared with no one. But there's one secret he’s hidden from himself, washed away by too many beers.  Despite wildly divergent life paths, their shared southern upbringing (and a passion for good music) creates a common thread that draws them together. As the threats escalate, and their relationship deepens, Rachael struggles to accept Mick’s past—and his present. And she is forced to confront her own obsessive love to ultimately decide if being with Mick Sullivan is worth the collateral damage. 

 YOU'LL BE THINKING OF ME is the story of Rachael's serendipitous encounter with a celebrity, her brush with obsessive love, and the bittersweet gift left behind by the very person fixated on destroying her life. 


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  WOW!  What a crazy (and I mean crazy) good book.  One celebrity + one average chick + one cray-cray = one great book. I was lucky enough to listen to this via AudioBooks. I was so happy that I had a hockey trip to Michigan, which gave me a solid 4 hours plus an hour before each hockey game (4) that weekend to listen and enjoy!  

Favorite Character(s):  My favorite person in the book was Rachel.  I really like how she and Mick met and how their relationship grew throughout the book.  She also had a very level head, which is needed when dealing with the life of celebrity and being stalked by a crazy person!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes, I would absolutely, no doubt read other books by Densie.  


Densie Webb has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition, and has published several books and tons of articles on the topic over the years. She is a member of the Women's Fiction Writers Association and SheWrites. Soul Mate Publishing is releasing her debut novel titled, "You'll Be Thinking of Me," as an ebook. A paperback will be released later this year. She grew up in Louisiana, spent 13 years in New York, and settled in Austin, TX, where it's summer nine months out of the year. She is an avid walker (not of the dead variety, though she loves anything to do with zombies, vampires or post-apocalyptic worlds), drinks too much coffee and has a small "devil dog" that keeps her on her toes. She has arrested development in musical tastes and her two children provide her with musical recommendations on a regular basis.

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (424x600)



Synopsis (from Amazon):  Mitch Albom creates his most unforgettable character Frankie Presto, the greatest guitarist ever to walk the earth in this magical novel about the power of talent to change our lives.

In Mitch Albom's epic new novel, the voice of Music narrates the tale of its most beloved disciple, Frankie Presto, a Spanish war orphan raised by a blind music teacher. At nine years old, Frankie is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six magical strings.

But Frankie's talent is touched by the gods, and it weaves him through the musical landscape of the twentieth century, from classical to jazz to rock and roll. Along the way, Frankie influences many artists: he translates for Django Reinhardt, advises Little Richard, backs up Elvis Presley, and counsels Hank Williams.

Frankie elevates to a rock star himself, yet his gift becomes his burden, as he realizes that he can actually affect people's futures: his guitar strings turn blue whenever a life is altered. Overwhelmed by life, loss, and this power, he disappears for years, only to reemerge in a spectacular and mysterious farewell.

With its Forrest Gump like journey through the music world, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. A lifelong musician himself, Mitch Albom delivers an unforgettable story. "Everyone joins a band in this life," he observes, be it through music, family, friends, or lovers. And those connections change the world.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I LOVED THIS BOOK!  Previously, A Phone Call From Heaven was my favorite Mitch Albom book, however,....no longer.  I was pulled into the life of Frankie Presto from page one.  I couldn't believe how everything was connected from the very beginning.  The magic strings interwoven throughout the story was so amazingly clever.  My favorite time period was the 70's.  Frankie met so many amazing people during his journey.  

In my opinion, given Mitch's love for music and that he is in a band, this was the perfect book for him to write.  Best book ever, Mitch! I will be recommending The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto to EVERYONE!  Seriously, a MUST read and would make a fantastic gift this holiday season.

Favorite Character(s):  Who else but Frankie.  I just loved him.  From the very beginning in the church to the very end, I wanted to make Frankie all mine!  In his earlier years, I wanted to protect him and in the later years, I just wanted to be part of his life. He was one cool dude. 

Fast read/slow read:  I couldn't read it fast enough.

What Others Are Saying:  Make sure you check out what others are saying as part of the TLC Book Tour.

Monday, September 21st: Priscilla and Her Books
Wednesday, September 23rd: Lavish Bookshelf
Thursday, September 24th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Thursday, September 24th: Mom in Love With Fiction
Monday, September 28th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, September 30th: Dreams, Etc.
Thursday, October 1st: Raven Haired Girl
Monday, October 5th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, October 6th: Back Porchervations
Wednesday, October 7th: A Dream Within a Dream
Thursday, October 8th: Mama Vicky Says
Tuesday, October 13th: Book Loving Hippo
Wednesday, October 14th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Monday, October 19th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, October 20th: Curling Up by the Fire
Wednesday, October 21st: Book by Book
Tuesday, October 27th: The Novel Life
Wednesday, October 28th: Shelf Full of Books
Thursday, October 29th: Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, November 3rd: Lesa's Book Critiques
Wednesday, November 4th: The Book Wheel
Thursday, November 5th: Books and Bindings
Monday, November 9th: Suko's Notebook
Tuesday, November 10th: My Life in Books

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Absolutely.  I think Mitch's books get better and better.  I know Tuesdays with Morrie is a lot people's favorite book by Mitch Albom....I have to say with all due respect....Frankie is my favorite!

Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is a bestselling novelist, a screen-writer, a playwright, and an award-winning journalist. He is the author of six consecutive number-one New York Times bestsellers and has sold more than thirty-four million copies of his books in forty-two languages worldwide. Tuesdays with Morrie, which spent four years atop the New York Times list, is the bestselling memoir of all time. Albom has founded seven charities, including the first-ever full-time medical clinic for homeless children in America. He also operates an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife, Janine, in suburban Detroit. Find out more about Mitch at his website, connect with him on Facebook, follow him on†Twitter, and sign up for his newsletter.

Mitch is one of my favorite authors from Michigan.  I have always been a big fan!

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Countdown to Christmas; 24 Days of The Jesse Tree Tradition

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. 




Synopsis (from Amazon): During the weeks before Christmas, Christian families prepare to remember the birth of Jesus. As they do, family traditions fall into place, and children get very excited about the celebration to come. Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of the Jesse Tree Tradition allows your family to take time to know the people in the Bible and to see their connection to Jesus. To begin the tradition, set up a small 2' - 3' high tree in your home and read one story every night in the days before Christmas. After each story, hang an ornament to remember the biblical figures, starting with Adam and Eve and ending with Jesus. Night by night, children learn that Jesus had a family just like they do. This beautifully illustrated book will help you establish a cherished holiday tradition with your own family. Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of the Jesse Tree Tradition includes a complete set of Jesse Tree ornaments on heavy card stock paper. Each ornament features a color illustration to match individual stories in the book. Punch out the corresponding ornament after you read each story, add a ribbon or string, and hang it on a small Christmas tree.


One (or more) Sentence Summary: What a beautiful book.  Most of have Christmas traditions.  Several of mine were pasted down from many generations and others my husband and I have created for our kids.  We love them all.  I am so excited to add a new one this year.  Countdown to Christmas, 24 Days of The Jesse Tree Tradition is a book that will guide us through the new traditions.  

The book allows your family to take time to know the people in the Bible and to see their connection to Jesus.  Set up a small tree, 2 - 3 feet tall.  Before reading each story, sing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."  Read one story every night, starting on December 1st.  After each story, hang an ornament to remember the biblical figures in the story.  After the last story on December 24th, sing my favorite Christmas song, "Silent Night."


Start a new tradition with your family with Countdown to Christmas, 24 Days of The Jesse Tree Tradition.

Yes - the author of Countdown to Christmas 24 Days of The Jesse Tree Tradition is 10 years old.  All I can say is....Amazing.  
Do you remember when you first had the idea to write
Countdown to Christmas,
what inspired you?
I was 10 yrs old and my Dad kept trying to find kids story books for
Bible Stories that we were using for our
Jesse Tree. I started to write the story for us to use. I would re
ad them in the bible and then write the stories
for my Dad to use when we put the ornaments on the tree. One day we
started talking and thought
hey this
should be a book
Do you remember when you first had the idea to write
Countdown to Christmas,
what inspired you?
I was 10 yrs old and my Dad kept trying to find kids story books for
Bible Stories that we were using for our
Jesse Tree. I started to write the story for us to use. I would re
ad them in the bible and then write the stories
for my Dad to use when we put the ornaments on the tree. One day we
started talking and thought
hey this
should be a book

Do you remember when you first had the idea to write
Countdown to Christmas,
what inspired you?
I was 10 yrs old and my Dad kept trying to find kids story books for
Bible Stories that we were using for our
Jesse Tree. I started to write the story for us to use. I would re
ad them in the bible and then write the stories
for my Dad to use when we put the ornaments on the tree. One day we
started talking and thought
hey this
should be a book
Do you remember when you first had the idea to write
Countdown to Christmas,
what inspired you?
I was 10 yrs old and my Dad kept trying to find kids story books for
Bible Stories that we were using for our
Jesse Tree. I started to write the story for us to use. I would re
ad them in the bible and then write the stories
for my Dad to use when we put the ornaments on the tree. One day we
started talking and thought
hey this
should be a book
Do you remember when you first had the idea to write
Countdown to Christmas,
what inspired you?
I was 10 yrs old and my Dad kept trying to find kids story books for
Bible Stories that we were using for our
Jesse Tree. I started to write the story for us to use. I would re
ad them in the bible and then write the stories
for my Dad to use when we put the ornaments on the tree. One day we
started talking and thought
hey this
should be a book

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