Thursday, July 31, 2014

Week 3 recap of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution plus 2 FREE workout videos!!

Ended week 3 of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. Still loving it!!

Here's how my week looked:

Monday rest day

Jillian Michaels workout 3, day 18 & 19 squat challenge, 6 mins on my new ellipticall

10 mins on the elliptical, day 21 squat challenge, Jillian Michaels workout 4

Day 22 squat challenge, Jillian Michaels workout 3

Swimming for 3+ hours with the family at a water park. 

Jillian Michaels workout 4, day 23 squat challenge, 1 mile Leslie Sansone 

I messed up my schedule of 2 days weights, 1 day cardio when I took off on Monday, so I ended up aggravating my shoulder by doing weights on Tues, Wed and Thurs. :-(

note to self: don't do that again. 

Want to try a Jillian Michaels workout with me?
Here's 2 free full length videos!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Apple Crisp Recipe

This past weekend we had a family birthday party so I decided to make a gluten-free, dairy-free dessert to bring.

I found an awesome Apple Crisp recipe online from wesbite (posted link at the bottom of this post) and decided to tweak it a little bit for my personal use.

Here's the recipe and pictures:

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Apple Crisp:  
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease larger baking dish

8 small-medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I did not peel my apples-personal preference)
cap of lemon juice
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

In large bowl, combine the apples with the other ingredients to coat, then pour in baking dish and set aside.

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour mix or brown rice flour (I used brown rice flour)
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1/3 cup non-dairy butter melted (I used Earth Balance spread)

Combine first 5 ingredients into bowl and mix together. Melt butter and add to dry mix until it looks crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over the apples in baking dish and cook 45-60 minutes until apples are soft and golden brown.
Serve warm.  

Coated and placed into baking dish. 

I buy my Gluten Free mixes from Kroger and Big Lots. 

Love this spread!

Ready to bake!! 
I baked it for 45 mins let it sit for awhile until after dinner. 

It smelled SO GOOD!! It was eaten pretty fast too with no complaints. 

Of course putting vanilla ice cream on top doesn't make it dairy free any more. ;-) 

I will definitely be using this Apple Crisp recipe again.
However, I felt like it was too sweet so I'm going to cut back or eliminate all together the white sugar for the apple coating and see how it turns out. I'll post here after I try that and let you know how it turns out.  

Here's the original recipe that I used and changed a little: 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Six FREE Full length #JillianMichaels exercise workouts!

I'm on week 4 of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution and LOVING IT!!

Body Revolution is my first Jillian Michaels program/dvd that I've done. I've watched The Biggest Loser so of course I knew what kind of trainer she was, so frankly I was scared to even start the workout. It has been challenging but doable and the weeks have gone by really fast. I hate when I do workout programs and the weeks drag on like the program lasts forever. I'm excited that I'm seeing personal progress-not much-but it's still progress.

I found some FREE Full length Jillian Michaels workouts on youtube from the BEFIT channel that I wanted to share with my readers. I haven't done any of these yet, but I plan on trying them after Body Revolution. I'm sure there are more free videos on youtube, but I don't like to share videos unless they are from a person I know or a company.

Have you tried any of these Jillian Michaels videos before?

Let me know what you think!!

Day 30 #thedanielplan #danielstrong check in with 2 free workout videos!

It's time for our third check in for The Daniel Plan 40 day program.

Day 30 is today Tuesday July 29th so it's time to evaluate how we've done and what can be done better.

Have you been able to finish reading the whole The Daniel Plan book?
What did you like about it and how did it help you?

My goal is to go back thru it again this week and pick out some things to focus on in my every day life.

I have been TRYING to use The Daniel Plan journal every day because when I use it, it helps me be more mindful of what I'm eating and what I'm thankful for. Unfortunately I have gotten behind, so last week I decided to go back to logging my food and calories with MYFITNESSPAL app. I still look at the journal, but to be honest its hard to remember to use it, and post my food calories online, and keep track of things on my blog.

One of the five essentials to the program is Food! 

Have you been following The Daniel Plan nutrition guide or another food guide? I would encourage you to make one change-it doesn't have to be a big change-to your nutrition this week. I have been trying to be dairy and gluten free as well as little to no sugar. So far it's going great and overall I feel alot better!   

Remember to eat lots of veggies and fruits!! 

Another essential to the program is FITNESS. 

I used the hashtag #thedanielplan and #danielstrong on my fitness Instagram pictures, if you want to check out what I've been doing. I'm on week 4 of Jillian Michaels which I have been loving!! 

What workouts do you enjoy??

One of the things I like about my journal is that it asks me every day what I'm thankful for! 

Another element to The Daniel Plan is Friends. 
I hope my blog check in has been helpful to those of you following this plan and wanting support and motivation! 

We won't be having a giveaway for this third check-in like I had planned. Instead, I will be awarding the 3rd prize to Rayelle Williamson who has checked into my blog and made comments on day 10 and day 20, as well as followed The Daniel Plan 10 day detox from the book!! I'm so proud of her!

Need some fitness motivation?
Check out these two free workout videos by JessicaSmithTV below:

I hope you have had an awesome time living The Daniel Plan Lifestyle these past 30 days.
Our FINAL check in will be on day 40 so check back here for a chance to win the grand prize!

Monday, July 28, 2014

THE VIOLIN AND THE BUTTERFLY Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from @KCambronAuthor!

Welcome to the launch campaign for debut novelist Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin. Romantic Times had this to say: "Alternating points of view skillfully blend contemporary and historical fiction in this debut novel that is almost impossible to put down. Well-researched yet heartbreaking. . . ."

Kristy is celebrating the release of the first book in her series, A Hidden Masterpiece, with a fun Kindle Fire giveaway and meeting her readers during an August 7th Facebook author chat party.


 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 7th. Winner will be announced at The Butterfly and the Violin Author Chat Party. Kristy will be connecting with readers and answering questions, sharing some of the fascinating research behind the book, hosting a fun book chat, and giving away some GREAT prizes. She will also be giving an exclusive look at the next book in the series, A Sparrow in Terezin!

So grab your copy of The Butterfly and the Violin and join Kristy on the evening of August 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

I'm a blog book reviewer for LitFuse Publicity so I was given this book complimentary in exchange for an honest review on my blog and social media-all opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Family, Community, and a Free Episode of Adventures in Odyssey

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 4.54.28 PM 
 For a limited time, you can listen to a new episode of Adventures in Odyssey for FREE! Album 58, The Ties that Bind, will be available this fall for digital download and CD purchase, but if you join the Odyssey Adventures Club, you can listen to the full album now! Guess what? The $5 special held last month was extended through the end of July, too, so you can join in the fun for only $5! Here's what part one is about (which you can listen to for free HERE):
It’s a time of surprises as Wooton becomes the celebrity guest at Comic-Connellsville and Whit finds himself in conflict over the upcoming “Let’s Get Together Festival” in Odyssey. Plus, hear an interview with writer-director Paul McCusker about the entire 14-part series.
Album 58 was inspired by Focus on the Family’s The Family Project, a 12-session small group experience that explores the theological, philosophical, and cultural underpinnings of the traditional family, and combines that information with inspiring stories and practical tools to help 21st-century families thrive. One way families can carry out God's design for families is by serving their community—right where God has planted them, being His hands and feet together. Want to serve your community with your family, maybe make a day of out it? Here are some fantastic ideas from some Adventures in Odyssey bloggers and club members:
  • Make scarves through the year and deliver them to your local homeless shelter at the start of winter, or regularly donate food to your local food bank. —Shirley 
  • Our family likes to help with Meals on Wheels. We also do reenactments of the Civil War and WWII to help educate people on history. I like to show my kids that we should be servers and givers by taking meals to people who need them (i.e. baby just born, someone died, someone had surgery, etc.). —Erin 
  • We have been visiting a nursing home with friends once a month. The kids just sing and then we fellowship, but the ladies love it! —Lisa 
  • We make lap blankets for nursing home residents and take the time to visit with them. We also collect food for the local food pantry. —Donna 
  • We make blessing bags to give to the homeless when we encounter them. We also donate clothes and food to a local shelter. —Amy 
  • Our MOPs (Mothers of Prechoolers) group supports our local Pregnancy Support Services with donations, gifts, and notes. We also supports the Durham Rescue Mission, which helps people break free from addictions and restore families. —Melissa 
  • We live in a very rural area. Our church serves two of the poorest zip codes in the state, and about a decade ago, they started operating a food pantry out of a closet. It has expanded since then, so we now use the closet for storage, but the pantry is basically a classroom. The kids and I serve over there a lot. My 17-year-old and I go to Care & Share (50 miles away) to get food to bring back to the pantry. All of us help unload and stock shelves. On pantry days, everyone can get involved with helping people go through the line, playing with the kids, carrying boxes out to cars, etc. There are so many hungry folks, especially in the summer when school breakfasts and lunches aren't available, and helping a bit to put food on some tables is such a blessing for us all. —Debra 
  • We pack food bags each month for the homeless and needy through a thrift store that offers an outreach to the community. We also help clean our church and our Sunday school. —Michele 
  • We work through our AHG troop to do several service activities a year. My girls just recently made bracelets they are selling, which 100% of the profits goes to Hope House in Africa to help young girls. —Sarah 
  • Our church works with a homeless shelter in downtown Atlanta. We cook food ahead of time, and when our schedules allow we ride down with the group to serve the food. My son always reminds me when we haven't been for awhile, so it's something he looks forward to. —Maria 
  • We do lots of random acts of kindnesses within our community: pay for others' meals, leave change at a vending machine, hand out Gatorade/granola bars to people on the side of the road asking for food. We also love to support Mobile Loaves and Fishes. —Kathryn
Did that provide some ideas to give your family service activity the kick-start it needs? What other ideas do you have for serving your community? Share in the comments!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"When I Fall in Love" by Susan May Warren. A Christiansen Family novel book #3

"When I fall in Love" follows the story of Grace & Max and Raina & Casper; as well as mentions characters from the previous two books in this series. 

This can be read as a stand alone book or as book 3 of the Christiansen Family series. I haven't read the previous two books and was able to follow the family dynamics and story line just fine; although now I want to go back and read books 1 and 2 because I loved this book so much!

I loved reading about the personal struggles, family relationships, and faith building experiences that the characters went thru in this book. It felt very real and demonstrated the struggles that some of us go thru and how we can get thru those hard times by relying on our faith. There are references about having faith in God and the characters beliefs, but I did not find it too much or too preachy in this book. 

I love that most of the Grace and Max story is centered in Hawaii and during the 3 weeks they attend a cooking retreat. It was fun to read about the different Hawaiian recipes they made and it made me want to try some new things in my own kitchen. 

I really enjoyed reading this fun, romantic, clean christian book and would recommend!  
The next book-book 4 of this series called "Always on my mind" will be released in February. It will continue the Raina story, as well as others. I can't wait!!     

About the book: 

Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she'd vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled-or maybe yanked-away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.
Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.
Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace's faith will face its toughest test yet.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: 

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors.

Find Susan online: websiteMy Book TherapyTwitter,Facebook

Susan May Warren's newest book in the Christiansen Family Collection, When I Fall In Love,  has won over readers' and critics' hearts alike. With critical reviews like, ". . . an exquisite romance. Profoundly touching on the topic of facing fears, this book is a true gem," and more than 60 five-star reviews at Amazon, When I Fall in Love is sure to please.

Susan has teamed up with some amazing food bloggers for a fun food challenge and a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway!


  One grand prize winner will receive:
Grab your aprons and wire whisks and buzz on over to the When I Fall in Love website to learn more and enter the Hawaiian Chef Showdown! Susan is challenging you to make a Hawaiian-inspired dish using coconut, mango, or one of the other ingredients mentioned in the book. You’ll get extra points for creating your own recipe—plus she might share it on the When I Fall in Love site! Or if you're not up for an adventure in the kitchen just click one of the icons below for easy entry.

Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 10th. All winners will be announced August 13th at Susan's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Susan's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

I'm a blog book reviewer for LitFuse Publicity so I was given this book complimentary in exchange for an honest review on my blog and social media-all opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 2 #jillianmichaels #bodyrevolution exercise program

Finished up week 2 of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution last week and still loving it!!
(July 14-19)

Here is how my week went:

1 miles Leslie Sansone, Day 13 squat challenge, Workout #1 of Body Revolution. 

Workout #2 Body Revolution, JessicaSmith TV cardio workout. 

Day 14 & 15 Squat challenge, 1 mile Leslie Sansone with walk belt, Cardio 1 Body Revolution. 

rest day

Workout 1 and Workout 2 of Body Revolution. 

Cardio 1 Body Revolution, day 17 squat challenge, Leslie Sansone 1 mile walking, Leslie Sansone 15 mins with weights. 

This is how my kids feel after working out with mommy! LOL 

Some of my food this week: 

How did your week go? 

I tried to eat healthy and I'm still eating clean and following examples from The Daniel Plan and Natalie Jill Fitness. I think I'm going to go back to logging my calories next week though because I haven't been seeing a weight loss.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron-book review

I read this book in almost one night because I was so intrigued with the story line and the history of the war. 

The Butterfly and the Violin goes back and forth between two story lines-Sera in modern day time and Adele in the 1940s-both story lines merge by the end of the book. I would describe this book as being romantic, powerful and tragic. Both characters learned to rely on their faith of God and others around them to get them thru very hard times. 

I learned alot about the history of the concentration camps and liked reading the authors notes at the end of book about Holocaust art and women orchestras at concentration camps. 

This book was not something I typically read, but I was drawn into it early on and really enjoyed reading it! I would highly recommend it!    

About the book: A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz---and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl---a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.
A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.
As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: websiteFacebookTwitter

The Butterfly and the Violin

I'm a blog book reviewer for LitFuse Publicity so I was given this book complimentary in exchange for an honest review on my blog and social media-all opinions are my own.