Book Review: Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert

Wildflowers from Winter About the book
Title: Wildflowers from Winter
Author: Katie Ganshert
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
Release date: May 8, 2012
Pages: 293
Where I got the book: Free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review


Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park. An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists? Continue reading

eMeals March Discount and Recipe

Emeals is a menu plan that will work for anyone. They have several different plans: Paleo, gluten-free, and clean-eating, just to name a few. (They do have a “regular” plan, if you don’t have any special requirements.) Emeals also offers breakfast and lunch plans. The plans are emailed right to your inbox every week, and they have an app that I just love! The app builds a shopping list, divided by category, based on the week’s menu. If you choose to “skip” a recipe, the ingredients are automatically removed from the shopping list! You can also add your own items to the list.

The recipes are easy to make, and you can also choose whether you need larger recipes or smaller ones, as the plans have a 1-2 people option or a 3-6 people option.

Emeals subscriptions are as low as $5/month, but right now, you can take advantage of this special:
15% Off Your Order at with Bonus Comfort Foods Brochure! Use code Dinner15

eMeals new Dessert Plan is available now for only $3 a month! Get inspired each week to make incredible desserts. With mouth-watering recipes like Chocolate Pretzel Slab Pie, Buttery Toasted Vanilla Clusters or Crunchy Streusel Pumpkin Loaf, this plan is perfect for the dessert lover in all of us. Receive 3 indulgent dessert ideas every week including a mix of Crowd Pleasers, Quick & Easy options, and Skinny Sweets. This variety of sweet endings will fit the bill for weeknight desserts, casual entertaining and healthy treats, too.


Buttery Toasted Vanilla Clusters
  • 3 oz package ramen noodles
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 12 oz package white chocolate chips
  1. Coarsely crush ramen noodles before opening package.
  2. Open package; discard flavor packet.
  3. Saute crushed noodles, pecans and almonds in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until toasted.
  4. Pour noodle mixture into a large bowl to cool.
  5. Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions; pour over noodle mixture in bowl, tossing gently to coat
  6. Drop candy mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto wax paper.
  7. Let stand until firm, about 1 hour; store in airtight container at room temperature. Makes 3 dozen.

I received a free subscription to the eMeals plan as part of the eMeals Blogger Network. All opinions are my own.

Book Review and Giveaway: Nate Rocks the City by Karen Pokras Toz

Nate Rocks the City

About the book:
Title: Nate Rocks the City
Author: Karen Pokras Toz
Release date: Feb 6, 2014
Pages: 95
Where I got the book: Free from the author in exchange for an honest review

Fifth grader Nathan Rockledge has been counting down the days—and meals—until his class trip to New York City. Now that the big event is finally here, he can barely stand the excitement. After all, isn’t this what being a fifth grader is all about? Oh sure, his Mom is one of the chaperones, his annoying sister Abby is tagging along, and that know-it-all classmate, Lisa, will be there as well. However, none of that matters. Not when he’ll be with his best friends, Tommy and Sam.

While seeing the sights, his teacher wants his class to take notes, but Nathan has other ideas. With paper and pencil in hand, Nathan prefers to doodle, transforming himself into Nate Rocks, boy hero. Amid ninja pigeons to fend off, aliens to attack, and the baseball game of the century to save, will Nate Rocks be able to save the day one more time?

My review:
In this final installment (noooooo!) of Nate Rocks, Nate, his friends, classmates, and family head to New York City for a whirlwind tour. Maybe it only seems quick because the four-day trip means only eleven safe-to-eat meals before Nate has to head back home to suffer his mom’s cooking.

This book (and series) are written for a middle-grade audience, but I love them as much as my twelve-year-old does. Nate Rocks the City is funny and full of imagination and adventure. The writing is great and the story never slows down as Nate goes from one imaginative adventure to another. In the end, he not only gets to be a real-life hero (again), but gets to have a once-in-a-lifetime real-life experience.

Some series kind of wind down as they get further along, but not Nate Rocks. Karen Pokras Toz did a fabulous job of finishing strong.


Follow the Tour:
For reviews, interviews, and more fun, click for the full tour schedule.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity event paid for by the author. Living, Learning, and Loving Life received no compensation for the post. The giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of the prize. 

Review and Giveaway: Studio C Seasons 1 & 2 DVD

studio c tour Tour Schedule


Studio C DVD


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Studio C

Seasons 1 and 2 of the hilarious BYUtv sketch comedy series, Studio C, featuring Whitney, Mallory, Jason, Matt, and the rest of the cast pulling out all the stops with two full seasons of enough rip-roaring hilarity to make you spit milk out of your nose. Travel back to the moment it all began and watch some of the very first Studio C sketches, plus two never-before-seen features! Continue reading

Review: Ozeri Precision Digital Bath Scale

Yes, I know this has nothing to do with books (so you think), but just hear me out. First, it’s just space-agey-looking, and cool, and second, it can multi-task. (Because my kids are the only thing around here allowed to do only one thing. They’re strictly here to entertain me.) Not only can you weigh yourself, but it goes up to 400 lbs, and my postal scale only goes to 10 lbs. So, now I have something to use when I’m mailing books! Have you ever tried to put a big box of books onto a little postal scale? Even if the weight is low enough to use it, the box is bigger than the scale, and blocks out all the light. A grown woman crawling around with a flashlight just to keep from standing in line at the post office is a sad, sad sight. Pretty sure that’s not what they intended when they sent it to me, but it works fabulously.

It’s skinny and fits anywhere, so you don’t have to keep stubbing your toe on that big bathroom scale that sits in the middle of your floor.

2013-11-09 21.10.53 Continue reading

Book Review: Letters from the Closet by Amy Hollingsworth

About the book:
Title: Letters from the Closet: Ten Years of Correspondence That Changed My Life
Author: Amy Hollingsworth
Publisher: Howard Books
Release date: May 7, 2013
Pages: 256
Where I got the book: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Book summary:

It’s Tuesdays with Morrie – if Morrie were young and gay and Mitch Albom were a woman.

As the years and letters passed between John and Amy, the layers fell off as they explored and unmasked themselves and each other.

“A teacher is like a book,” John wrote, “wasted until he’s read. The student has to do that. You’ve done that.” While going through a period of despair, he wrote, “I hope our relationship survives your growing up and my growing down.” Continue reading

TOS Book Review: The Martyr’s Victory ~ A Story of Danish England

Salem Ridge Press Logo photo salemridgelogo_zpsf36e1a99.gif

This review for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew is probably the easiest I’ve written thus far. Book reviews are what I do. 😉 This particular book is part of the Church History series from Salem Ridge Press. I read The Martyr’s Victory, but there are twelve titles in the series. All the books were written by Emma Leslie in the late 1800s. You can read more about the series (as opposed to the individual books) here.