Cookbook Review: 5 in 5 For Every Season

5 in 5 For Every Season
by
Michael Symon

In this follow up to his bestseller, 5 in 5, celebrity chef Michael Symon sticks with his simple formula of 5 ingredients + 5 minutes, adding a seasonal cooking component. In this new cookbook, Symon introduces 165 new recipes that use 5 main ingredients.  The cookbook is organized by season and includes a 5th section specifically devoted to making the holidays simple. Many of the recipes include pictures and each includes an introduction by Symon, some providing tips about substitutions that can be made.

Flipping through the book on an empty stomach is a bad idea! I can’t wait to try some of the recipes, especially the pasta dishes.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: The Wedding Chapel

The Wedding Chapel
by
Rachel Hauck

About the Book (from rachelhauck.com):

For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ‘49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.

When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.

When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

My Thoughts:

The Wedding Chapel is another great book by Rachel Hauck. The book follows two stories, one in the 1940’s and one in present time. The two stories are both beautifully told and intertwined in a way that engages the reader. The emotions of the characters are raw and relatable and add a richness to the story, drawing readers in and making them a part of the story. The way the wedding chapel itself is described allowed me to create a vivid picture of it in my head and made me wish that it really existed so I could visit.  This is another must read for fans of Rachel Hauck.

 

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Christmas Stocking Stuffer Cards AND Clubhouse Magazine Christmas Stories, Crafts, and Recipes

OAC-Gift-That-Lasts-All-Year-Facebook-Cover

Tired of the Christmas shopping, the baking and sugar overload, the Christmas festivities that keep you away from your family during the season? Take time special time to spend with your loved ones and invest in your community—with Focus on the Family’s help!

You can download a fun gift to give to your friends, family, and community! Each Christmas stocking stuffer card directs you to a special place to hear an Adventures in Odyssey Christmas episode. Plus, you’ll be able to read a special excerpt from Imagination Station #12, “Danger on a Silent Night.” Sign up here to download the free cards.

Plus stop by this page for a slew of crafts, recipes, and stories to share with your family during this special time of year!

Christmas_2015_Cards_Banner

If you’re still looking for one last gift to give your kids this year, give the gift of the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts, and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Gift Ideas for Kids and Some Stress Relief for Mom

Holiday to-do lists often become longer and longer as we get closer to Christmas. From holiday parties to host, Christmas pajamas to coordinate, family pictures, gifts to buy, travel plans to finalize, and more, the joy of the season can often be lost in the midst of the hustle and bustle.

OAC-Gift-That-Lasts-All-Year-Facebook-Cover

Adventures in Odyssey and Odyssey Adventure Club have you covered. Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer, authors of Everyday Confetti, share ideas and tips for simplifying and taking the stress out of the holidays. Pointing to the real reason for the season, they offer ideas to help you keep Christ at the center. Click here for a free broadcast download to learn how to simplify and de-stress your holiday season.

Speaking of de-stressing, let me help you out with your last-minute gift shopping. One of my top recommendations: the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) because it offers free content for everyone, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Check out these other gift ideas:

Zondervan Inspiring Words Coloring Book

Colored Pencils

Lego Crazy Contraptions Book

Book Review: An Endless Christmas

This review is part of a blog tour.  To see what others are saying about the book, click here.

An Endless Christmas
by
Cynthia Ruchti

On the first night of his family’s holiday gathering, Micah Binder asks his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him. When she says no she can’t imagine the awkwardness the week will hold, after all she’s just turned down Micah’s proposal in front of his whole family. What she finds instead is a family so full of love and understanding that she begins to see a brand new definition of love and family. Will it be enough to mend her brokenness and let her find life anew?

 After reading the first page, I was hooked.  I couldn’t wait to see where the story would go. As I turned the pages, I found myself falling in love with the Binder family.  The way the story unfolded kept me engaged and interested from cover to cover. Cynthia Ruchti does a great job of showing how love doesn’t always have to look like a fairy tale to be true love. Katie’s story is one that will resonate with many readers.

This was the perfect book to read to get into the holiday spirit.  It’s set in a winter wonderland and full of family holiday traditions.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Faith Builders Bible

Faith Builders Bible

This Bible is sure to be a hit with the Lego lover in your live.  Written in the easy reading New International Readers Version, the text is accompanied by some awesome additional features including tips on how to study the Bible and memorize scripture. What Lego lovers will love most are the 24 awesome pictures scattered throughout the book, each using building blocks to depict a scene from the Bible and captioned with the accompanying verse.

My 9 year old master builder’s eyes lit up when this book arrived and I barely got it out of his hands long enough to write this review. If you’ve got a little one in your life needing a new Bible, I’d definitely recommend giving this one a look.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

A Gift That Keeps on Giving (and a freebie!)

OAC-Gift-That-Lasts-All-Year-Facebook-Cover

What’s on your children’s Christmas wish list? As excited as they might be about that new toy, as every parent knows, the thrill of the gift will eventually wear off. Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey have created the perfect gift for those who want to give their children or grandchildren a present that will provide year-round fun with eternal impact.

The Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) offers families 24/7 access to 25 years’ worth of Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) episodes in a safe online environment where children can explore and learn. Christmas really is the perfect time to tap into your children’s imagination while infusing faith and fun into their day . . . and every day of the year.

To celebrate the holidays this year, the OAC is offering free content for everyone, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

In keeping with AIO’s rich heritage of teaching children about biblical principles — such as the importance of giving — a portion of each OAC membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations. Here are a couple of examples of what has been accomplished through Odyssey Adventure Club members:

The Odyssey Adventure Club wants to reach beyond fleeting entertainment this Christmas, partnering with parents in helping their kids grow deep in faith and find their place in God’s story.

talesadvent

Speaking of the holidays, you can prepare for Christmas with Thriving Family‘s 2015 Advent Activity Calendar — Tales of Christmas Past: 25 Inspiring true stories of the season. Assemble a beautifully designed Advent poster to help your kids focus on Christ this Christmas. Then read Scripture passages and stories that relate to individual flaps on the poster. You can also create easy-to-fold booklets for each story. Get more information about this year’s free Advent calendar at ThrivingFamily.com/Advent, or sign up to download it.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.