Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rosary Roses: A Review

 P. and I have had several conversations about how we want to pray with our kids and incorporate prayer into our daily lives with them-- like a beautiful monastic rhythm in some ways, where praying together is as normal to them as eating and playing together. However, we're still learning our own rhythm of praying together as a married couple, so any and all tips are always welcome!

Sweet Little Ones has great tips for praying as a family and it was on her blog that I first saw these Rosary Roses from Annery's Handmade, an etsy shop. I'm so excited to review them for you!

This beautiful set was mailed to me by the artisan, Annie Tillberg, from her etsy shop mentioned above. The roses are crocheted with 100% cotton yarn and are beautifully intricate, yet quite hardy for little hands. As a crocheter myself, I was impressed with the quality and workmanship! She has a great, tight stitch that keeps them from feeling flimsy or fragile! (Much better than me.) They're also washable (because again, little hands ;) and they come in 9 beautiful colors!

Aren't they pretty?

The idea of rosary roses is to give little ones a way to pray along with the older kids and parents as you pray the rosary as a family. They will enjoy the soft roses and counting along with the ten Hail Mary's as they lay the roses out. For fingers that are just too small for rosary beads--or too distracted-- these larger, softer "beads" are perfect for them to learn and participate in such a beautiful family devotion!

My adorable niece tried these out the other day and was very intrigued with them. She kept repeating "rosary roses" and enjoyed lining them up. Having just turned two, I think she was right on the border of using these. I'm not sure they would keep her attention for the whole rosary, but I think one decade is realistic for her age. I think a 3-5 year old would enjoy them even more and would learn the concept of praying with them quickly.




K. and I both give them a big thumbs up (or in her case below, a big smile) and I look forward to using them someday with our little one due in August. They would make a fabulous gift for Baptism or a toddler godchild's birthday. Annie also mentions that these roses can be used at the other end of the lifespan-- for the elderly and those who have trouble holding beads because of numbness or other difficulties. 




Make sure to check out Annie's etsy shop for these roses and more. I loved learning more about her shop as well as her inspiration for the roses. As she writes, "Prayer is for all of us, big and little."

And hey! One last thing! A coupon code for free shipping if you order by July 1! :) Just add code SHIPFREE16 with your checkout order at her etsy shop. Thanks, Annie!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Book Reviews!

I am devouring books this summer! Some years I find more time than others to read and this year has proved to be a year of the books. I've been on a fiction kick lately and working my way through some page-turning Christian fiction mysteries but here are a few different genres that I've also enjoyed.



This book has been beautiful. It's like sitting down with a lovely, feminine mentor for a cup of tea and some great marriage advice. The book itself is gorgeous with gold lettering on the cover and a white ribbon bookmark, but the words within are just as treasured. In the nine chapters, author Barbara Rainey compares marriage to things like dancing or a garden or architecture. These themes provide each chapter with relatable, solid advice, reassurance, and conviction for wives. With ways to better understand your husband and ways to be the wife God intended you to be. I definitely have benefited from the wisdom of the author and I've enjoyed the companionable, motherly way she writes-- both smiling with understanding of the things we as women/wives experience, yet also nudging me to continually strive to be a better wife for my husband and for God. Five stars for this one. It would make a great bridal shower gift!

[Thank you to Bethany House/Baker publishing for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review. This post contains my honest and original thoughts.]




Summertime brings out the southern cook wannabe in me. I think it's the idea of "grilled meats, potato salads and cole slaws, and sun tea" kind of meals. And then there are all the fruit pies...don't get me started. Mmmm...

So even though I do NOT like the whole 'redneck' trend, I'm a sucker for southern cooking. Don't let the title of this cookbook misrepresent it. These are not recipes cooked by a rebel with Confederate flag flying high...no, ma'am. These are just amazing, mouth-watering recipes you'd likely be served in any country kitchen, particularly down south. 

I love the layout of this cookbook. Cute type/print, easily numbered instructions, gorgeous photography, a little quip from the chef before each recipe. All the things in a cookbook that inspire me to try the recipes. The majority of recipes only have a handful of simple ingredients, which is further enticing. And to sweeten the deal, there's a whole chapter on desserts (as well as an additional chapter on holiday baked goods). So let's just summarize: not only do I love the layout, I just love this cookbook!! 

4.5 out of 5 stars (and this is only because my favorite country cookbook, Farms Chicks in the Kitchen, is the ultimate 5-star comparision). 

[Thank you to Blogging for Books for my complimentary copy in exchange for a review. This post contains my honest and original thoughts.]



And my bookshelf would not be complete without another children's book. Baby Wren and the Great Gift, by Sally Lloyd-Jones is a sweet story about a baby wren who sees all the other animals with their special talents and wonders what her talent might be. In the end, she sees a gorgeous sunset and the beauty makes her sing with all her might. The other animals love her song and she realizes each animal has a unique gift and hers is to sing. The illustrations by Jen Corace are gorgeous in this book and little ones would definitely enjoy seeing each colorful page and each new animal. I think the story would have been just a bit sweeter if it had mentioned God being the giver of the sunset and the giver of Baby Wren's gift. 3 out of 5 stars for this one.

[Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for my complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review. This post contains my honest and original thoughts.]

Tuesday Talk #38

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tuesday Talk #37: Staycation

I'm on my first-ever staycation for the next couple weeks.

I've always used my vacation time at work for trips or events...not just for staying at home. But this year I decided to take some time off to work on preparing for baby-- and just enjoying some extra time at home. I'm having some conflicting desires within me on my first few days off though!! Part of me has a GIANT list of things to get done in this time (I might even post it for some accountability) and the other part of me wants to just read and relax and pray and take a break from meal planning and cleaning and such. You can imagine those two parts of me are NOT getting along. ;)

This past day is a perfect example of it...last night I stayed up until past midnight reading a Christian fiction suspense novel...and then sat on the porch for most of the morning finishing it. haha. I felt like a teenager again! But then the Martha in me got to work and organized the baby's closet and put all the washed clothes away (so stinkin' cute to see the tiny outfits!). Yet now I'm left with zero energy and time to make dinner...good thing we have some leftover taco ingredients.

So. Here are my questions to you this week:

How do you deal with the Mary/Martha syndrome-- when part of you wants to relax and enjoy life and the other part of you realizes there's so much stuff to do?!

Have you ever taken a staycation? What was your favorite part about it-- or how would you spend a week off at home if you could?

Have a sunny day, sweet friends!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday Talk #36: Summer Adventures Have Begun

Normally I abide by the rules when it comes to seasons-- you know, spring begins March 21st, fall arrives September 21st, etc. But there's something about summer that just doesn't want to play by the rules. It can't wait for June 21st. So in my mind, it's already here! Let the summertime adventures begin! :)

P. and I are trying to get a lot of our traveling and visiting in this month since next month I'll be a little more limited to the area according to my doctor. This past weekend, we enjoyed a visit to my husband's brother and his family in central Ohio. Despite a short thunderstorm, it was a gorgeous sunny weekend and we loved exploring a local park, swimming in their backyard pool, and just catching up. My hubby and his brother are hilarious when they get together, so it's always a treat to watch their battles of quick wit. They're also dog people, so we brought the Little Dog along to play with his doggie cousins.

Here are a few pictures of our time. And here is a recipe that I made for dessert to share. (I LOVE fresh berry season!!) Give me some comment love, sweet friends. I'd be delighted to hear what you're up to this month-- any traveling adventures or summer treat recipes?! :)

Look at that blue sky!


They conquered Big Rock! 


Love this man.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Talk #35: Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day from our family to yours! Hope you had a wonderful weekend with friends and family, and that you paused to remember those past and present who have fought for our freedom and our country!

P.S. I'm the one that looks like a watermelon ;)




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Tuesday, May 24, 2016