Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pure Body Naturals 100% Pure & Natural Lemon Essential Oil Review

Disclosure of material connection. I received this product for review via Tomoson in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

I know that the last few years it has become really popular to use essential oils (I am so thrilled to see it, they are so very useful!) but I have been using some of the basic ones (lavender, peppermint, tea tree) for a good decade now and I am always experimenting with new ones and new ways to use them. I don't know why I have never thought to use lemon oil previously, but I was excited to give it a try. The first thought I had was that it would make a fantastic cleaner so I set out to find a great cleaning recipe on the internet. I very quickly found one using nothing more than water, vinegar and the lemon essential oil, mixed it all in a spray bottle and went to work on my kitchen table. The table I have is not that easy to clean. It is marble and it takes some elbow grease to get very clean. I normally use cleaner from The Honest Company and it works pretty well, but when I used this homemade cleaner, well let's just say I haven't seen my table as beautifully shiny since it first arrived in my house.  Needless to say I will continue to use this cleaning mix. 

Not only is lemon oil good for cleaning, it is a terrific oil to diffuse. it adds a fresh, clean scent that adds a great energy to your day. Other uses include adding a drop to your water to help aid digestion (I plan to start doing this asap), it can help with skin disorders, hair conditions and tiredness as well as many other ailments. Lemon essential oil is definitely one of the multi-purpose eo's you should have in your collection. 

You can purchase Pure Body Naturals 100% Pure and Natural Lemon Essential Oil on

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Plan Cookbook by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Cookbook Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book-

In her New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Plan, Lyn-Genet Recitas revealed what surprisingly "healthy" foods cause weight gain and a host of other health problems such as migraines, joint pain, and depression. Now all those who followThe Plan, and have learned which foods to eliminate from their diets, can support their new, healthier lifestyle with these delicious recipes. Recitas includes selections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, sides, and desserts, such as Panko Crusted Orange Chipotle Chicken, Brazilian Coconut Rice, Provencal Fish with Fennel, Lemon, and Herbs, Red Velvet Cupcakes, and many more. Who says a healthy diet can't be a tasty one?

My thoughts-

I hadn't previously heard of the book The Plan that the cookbook is a companion to, but as I read the cookbook's first few chapters it was clear to me that there was enough information in the cookbook to be able to follow the plan. Even without the plan the cookbook stands alone nicely as a book full of healthy recipes, however I definitely recommend reading through the beginning. There is some great information that you probably have not read about before, at least in great  detail, about how there are several foods that are known as healthy foods that may cause inflammation in certain people making it difficult for those people to lose weight and keep it off. There are also great testimonials sprinkled throughout the book telling you of the successes people have had following the plan.  There will probably be at least one testimonial you can relate to, there was one that sounds exactly like every problem I have and that makes me so excited to try out these recipes. I love that the plan is not a diet, but a way of life. It is really about finding out what works for your own body. I have every intention to give this plan a try and I have every bit of confidence that it will be helpful on my journey to getting to the optimal health for my body. I look forward to trying the tasty sounding recipes and look forward to seeing what my results are.  I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in health and wellness or who has had problems in the past trying to lose weight and keep it off.

The Plan Cookbook will be available on December 30th. You can pre-order it on

Connect with Lyn-Genet Recitas on Facebook
Connect with Lyn-Genet Recitas on Twitter
Connect with Lyn-Genet Recitas on Goodreads

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret--She's Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won't rest until they've taken the magic that keeps her alive....

In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess' malady, is the magic that might be able to save her...
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee's assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying.

My thoughts- 

I love books that are rooted in history and this book definitely had some historical aspects. In fact, I was unfamiliar with John Dee, Edward Kelley and Elisabeth Bathory so through reading this, I was introduced to a whole side of history I was unaware of and I love that. I definitely did some research after I was done to learn more about each of them. Besides the historical aspect of the book, there is also a modern day story interwoven which is another thing that makes me love this novel. I like having a novel having both a present day story and a story set in the passed and threaded together. It is like getting a two for one deal and it is always really cool to see how everything comes together in the end. It has been a while since I have read a story with supernatural elements so I was due for a nice fantasy like novel and this one didn't disappoint. For me, The Secrets of Life and Death was a page turner. Since I was unaware of the true to life magic and witchcraft stories (although the novel is loosely based on the acutal events in history) I was hooked on finding out exactly what happened to John Dee and Edward Kelley. The present day story about Jack and Felix and the girl that Jack is trying to save is also very intriguing. I spent the entire book wondering what would become of all of the present day players because it really could have went several ways. This is a quick and very interesting read. I would recommend it to anyone interested in historically based fiction or stories about witchcraft. 

You can get your copy of The Secrets of Life and Death on 

About the author-

Rebecca Alexander is a novelist and poet that lives in North Devon, England. The Secrets of Life and Death was her dissertation novel and was a runner up in the Mslexia 2011 novel writing competition. It is the first part in a trilogy!

Connect with Rebecca Alexander on Goodreads

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book-

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . .
The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.
This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances—and her dowry—Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.
As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks . . . or very real danger? 

My thoughts-

I have never met a Julie Klassen book that I haven't liked. Several years ago I joined an online book club. For whatever reason, it didn't last long, but I will forever be grateful for a book I discovered for the little while it was going called The Apothecary's Daughter. It started my love of all things Julie Klassen and several books later, I still feel the same way. I can not wait as each new book is being written and promoted and finally when it comes out, I will devour it in a short sitting, love it and then wait patiently (or not so much) for the next book to come out. So of course, I was stoked for The Secret of Pembrooke Park to come out. I have been waiting for months to read it. I loved that the plot sounded like there was a nice twist to the typical historical romance with  a bit of a mystery. It was a lot of fun reading about Abigail and her father moving into the big house and following along as Abigail tries to figure out why the house was abandoned and who is writing her letters about it. As always, I enjoyed the romantic aspect of things, and Abigail has no shortage of admirers. There is a terrific cast of characters that live on the grounds of the house that add a great deal to the story, especially Mac, Leah and William. This is really an action packed book full of great twists and turns. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Regency era historical fiction. 

The Secret of Pembrooke Park is available now at and other retailers nationwide.

About the author-

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards, Minnesota Book Awards, and ACFW’s Carol Awards. She blogs at
Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Connect with Julie Klassen on Facebook
Connect with Julie Klassen on Twitter
Connect with Julie Klassen on Goodreads

The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book-

From the author of the international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting, named one of the Best Books of Summer 2012 by Marie Claire magazine, comes a captivating novel about the struggle to overcome the past when our memories refuse to be forgotten.

In this richly told story where Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You, Kristin Harmel weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: what does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past?

After her husband’s sudden death over ten years ago, Kate Waithman never expected to be lucky enough to find another love of her life. But now she’s planning her second walk down the aisle to a perfectly nice man. So why isn’t she more excited?

At first, Kate blames her lack of sleep on stress. But when she starts seeing Patrick, her late husband, in her dreams, she begins to wonder if she’s really ready to move on. Is Patrick trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, Kate must uncover her husband’s hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined.

My thoughts-

I have been anxiously awaiting a new book from Kristin Harmel since I read The Sweetness of Forgetting a few years ago. It took a few years, but it was worth the wait. I was excited when I saw the beautiful cover and even more excited when I read the plot synopsis. I love books that deal with alternate realities, it is just interesting to me to imagine more than one possible outcome for a character (even if in this case the other reality was a series of dreams, this alternate reality felt very real to Kate). This book had many elements that I absolutely adored. I am a sucker for a romance so I was more than happy to follow Kate on her journey, but I also loved that this book explored the Deaf community. It is always great to read about a subject or group of people that don't always make appearances in novels. I loved seeing how the dreams with Patrick and the charity work with orphaned kids with special needs all tied together at the end. This was  a page turner that I absolutely couldn't put down and finished in a couple of days time.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Women's fiction, love stories, dramas or learning about new subjects. The Life Intended should definitely be on your to-read list!

The Life Intended will be available for purchase December 30th. You can pre-order your copy on 

Connect with Kristin Harmel-
On Facebook
On Twitter
On Goodreads
On Pinterest

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Lumo Project: Gospel of John- Now on Netflix!

Disclosure of material connection- I received early access to watch The Gospel of John via FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the film:

A ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels.
The Lumo Project is a ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels: redefining the standard of visual Biblical media. The Lumo Project presents four films – one for each Gospel account – that will revolutionize the way we all experience the story of Jesus and the world of First Century Palestine in which he lived.
The Gospel of John takes the story of Jesus from John’s gospel with its own unique characteristics. For John, Jesus is the Word of God made human. John is clear that that when encounter Jesus, we encounter God.  The gospel writer points to the miracles (the ‘Signs’) and teachings as evidence of Jesus’ special relationship as the divine Son of God.
This full-length feature film about the life of Jesus takes the actual Gospel text as its script, word for word, unedited. Five years in the making, this epic production has been critically acclaimed by leading religious scholars as a unique and highly authentic telling of the Jesus story. Narrated by leading British actor David Harewood (‘Homeland’, ‘Blood Diamond’, ‘Merchant of Venice’) it is based on the latest theological, historical and archaeological research. With specially constructed sets and the extraordinarily authentic villages and countryside of rural Morocco, it immerses the viewer in the world of first century Palestine.

My thoughts-

When I heard about the Lumo Project and that the Gospel of John was going to be available on Netflix, I was intrigued. I love that they have it in both the King James version and the New International version so you can hear it in the text you are used to or more comfortable with or even watch them both to better understand both versions. I thought it was a great idea to have a narration of the gospels playing as actors act out all of the verses and chapters. Sometimes it can be hard to sit down and continue to just read such long texts, especially when you have done it many times in the past, but to have it come alive right before your eyes as you hear the verses really helps all of the words and stories really sink in. It really is a great way to really learn the gospels word for word. I always love watching movies set in Biblical times because I find it fascinating to see and think about what people lived like then and how it might have been to live during the same time as Jesus was around. I thought that the Lumo Project did a very good job making me feel like I could be there and to help paint a beautiful picture of what that time period might look like. I also think it is brilliant to place these movies portraying the gospels on Netflix since they have billions of viewers. Our prayer should be that these movies will reach the hearts of the lost and I truly think they will. I enjoyed watching the Gospel of John and I will look forward to watching the other three when they are made available. You can watch the Gospel of John right now on Netflix. Be sure and pass along the word!

Connect with the Lumo Project on Facebook
Connect with the Lumo Project on Twitter