Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Monthly Archives: March 2014

As I shared several months ago, one of my New Year’s Resolution was to complete a 1/2 marathon. I signed up for the Lincoln 1/2 marathon nervously and have been training now for two months. I’m pretty excited and nervous about completing it. My excitement lead me to sign up for a second 1/2 marathon just weeks after the Lincoln. This one closer to home. This one with a much stricter finish time- 3 hours and 15 mins. And I’m slow…very slow. I’m a bit nervous about whether I can finish it in the time limit. But, I’m going to try.

I’ve picked up a couple of new products during my training time. I’m planning to provide a review on them as I use them. Today I’m going to review the Camden Hydration Belt. This was one of the first products I purchased for my run. Since I have reactive airway, I always jog with my inhaler. Prior to ordering this product, I was just using a fanny pack. Which worked, it easily held everything I may or may not need. The downfall is it bounced around, a lot. At the end of my 10K last fall, I had a line of skin irritation on my back from the fanny pack. I knew there’d be no way I could jog over twice the distance with a fanny pack.

I did some research and found that if I was going to buy a new pack, I might as well get something that can carry water too. I read several blogs about how to prepare for a 1/2 and full marathon and several recommend some way to carry water. In my mind, it only made sense to have on item that could do both.

So, I found this hydration belt on Amazon. I ordered it around Christmas and the winter was pretty bad here, so I didn’t get a chance to try it out until a few weeks ago.

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The belt is very comfortable and doesn’t bounce. I’ve worn it on a 8 mile jog as well as several shorter jogs. I’ve had no skin irritation. The pocket is a snug fit for my phone, small set of keys, and GU. Since I have to carry an inhaler with me, I like have the attachment strings. My inhaler stays in place while jogging and with no fear of it falling. The water bottles are small and, in my opinion, a good size for carrying along.

The one downfall was one bottle had holes in it and leaked. I contacted the company and received excellent costumer service. Within 24 hours I had an email back apologizing for the leak and offering a more than adequate solution. This company certainly goes out of its way to help which is quite refreshing!

Overall, this belt is worth the investment. It’s priced well which is always a bonus. ūüôā

I do recommend this belt for anyone who is looking for a hydration belt with a pack. It’s a great belt and I’m looking forward to using it for many, many miles as my 1/2 marathon approaches!

Have you found in running or jogging products that you’d recommend? Have you tried the Camden hydration belt? I’d love to hear from you.

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I am a Christian. I believe in God and Jesus. I know I’m going to heaven.

Why is that belief so hard to defend sometimes? Why is it those who don’t believe in God are quick to tell everyone and quick to pull-up facts to prove their stance? I’ve gotten into conversations with others but have often felt that my stance is much more belief based instead of fact based. Have you been there?

The book I’m reviewing today helps provide some facts and some defense of Christianity.

Making the Case for Christianity

This book is a collection of essays that defend Christianity. It is written from the Lutheran perspective. The essays have different authors with different writing styles. Some of the topics discussed are the existence of God, the new testament as a reliable history, and several more. Each essay is based on facts and the authors have done a tremendous about of research.

This book was a well written apologetics in the defense of Christianity. I found it very informative and feel better able to explain my beliefs in a more factual manner. I do feel that so much information is given in this book that I would benefit from reading/reviewing it again. I can see myself using this book as a reference as sorts.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Christianity apologetics.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

I did receive this book from Netgallery.com for an honest review.


My church book club was looking for a book to read this month. I missed the meeting because we had a school board meeting the same night but the group decided to read this book. I’d also gotten the book from the publisher for review, so it work out really well!

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Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

Brenda was a woman who grew-up poor in a trailer transformed into owning multiple houses. She is what many would describe as a self-made wealthy woman. Unfortunately, her and her family became the focus of an investigation, one that could end in jail. At the moment, she made a promise that if God kept her from jail she would change her life and do something better. Well, she avoided jail time and found her passion. She began working with woman prisoners after their release.

This is a wonderful story about discovering your mission in life, faith, and true transformation. During the book you’re introduced to several of the first woman to stay at Miss Brenda’s Halfway house, or as she calls it her wholeway house. The women’s stories are heartbreaking but lined with hope as they begin to learn to live a life outside of jail and crime. They learn to forgive and to have confidence. It truly is a wonderful story.

This book does have details on the woman’s past and how it impacted their lives. There is discussion of abuse and drug use. It would not be a book I would recommend for any immature readers. The abuse is written very matter-of-fact and not described in detail. So, one could skim over those parts if it really bothered you.

If you’re looking for a book demonstrating self-growth and developing and how God can truly work wonders through one single person, this book is for you.

I give this book a 5 out 5 bookends.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review for an honest review.

Here is a link to the Loveladies Center if you’d like to find out more about what they do.

Have you read any good books recently? If so I’d love to hear about them.


I was very lucky to be selected by Random House to prior to release review The Here and Now. This was my first time getting to read a book prior to its release. I must say, it’s awesome to have a first glimpse at a book! The only downfall is, I have no one to talk to about this amazing book!

With out further delay, I present to you:

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

This is the story of Prenna a girl from the future and her friend Ethan. The two work together in physics class and have as close of a relationship that’s allowed. Until one day, the two are thrown into quite the adventure to save the future. They have a chance to change the future, for life to be better without the heartache that filled Prenna’s life. Can two young teenagers save the future?

This is a wonderfully written young adult book. The author brings the characters to life and pulls the reader quickly into the world of The Here and Now. I truly enjoyed the information on the future and how it intertwined into the current time. The story was very well thought out and I loved how little details from the entire story are all pulled together at the end. It’s a quick read but has a lot of depth. It would be a great book for a book club or class to read and discuss. Ann Brashares is a talented writer and has given her readers a certain best seller.

I highly recommend this book to highschoolers, young adults, or anyone looking for a fun and enjoyable read.

I give it 5 out 5 bookends.

I received this book free from Random House publishing through Netgallery.com.

You can pre-order this book from Amazon here.


My last post was all about how the family dinner seems to be quickly fading into the past. I have memories of eating as a family. Family dinners in my house are a priority. Highschool kids these days, I can’t imagine will have the same types of memories. Instead, they’ll have the grabbing McDonald’s on the way to the ball game or dinner waiting to be warmed up as each person has a moment memories. Dinner tables across the country are looking like this:

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Are you one who wants to add more family dinners in but am not really sure how to do it or feel it’s impossible? I’ve come up with some ideas that may make the transition easier.

Prepare for starting the family dinner by: 

1)¬†Ask¬†Why not?¬†Find out the root cause to why you’re currently not having family dinners. Are¬†there¬†too many activities? Do have time issues? What barriers do you have? Once you’ve figured out what’s holding back from having a family meal, you can find ways around those barriers. For example, your child has sport practice right after school until 5:30 with games on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or, you’re a full-time mom of a toddler who wants to eat right away when he gets home.

2)¬†Get Organized:¬†This will take a bit of work at first but once you’re organized it will be easy going forward. I recommend putting together a family or kitchen binder. Buy or make some dividers with tabs and buy some of those plastic page protectors. Label your tabs: Menu, Recipes, Want to try, Shopping List, Coupons. Add the page protectors behind each tab. Search online or create yourself some templates for Menu, Recipes, Shopping list. You may have some luck here:¬†Pinterest. Consider which days of the week have evening activities that will affect eating times. Consider that toddler’s rumbling tummy and have a small snack handy when you pick him up.

3)¬†Keep it Simple:¬†This is especially true if you’re trying to newly implement this. Every meal doesn’t have to be a fancy 8¬†course¬†meal. In fact, not every meal has to include¬†home-made dessert. If your family likes chicken nuggets and french fries, do chicken nuggets and french fries. Remember,¬†it’s the¬†experience of the family dinner that’s way more important than a gourmet meal.

4)¬†Plan ahead:¬†This is one of the essential steps to regular family dinners. Well, it at least is one that I feel takes the stress out of the family dinner. I highly recommend menu planning and shopping according to your menu. I always keep a few easily made items for those days that don’t go as planned. For us that is chicken, BBQ sauce and french fries. I also love my¬†crockpot¬†for days I know we’ll be busy in the evening. If you know you’ll be eating later because of an activity, put together snack bags and carry them with you. It will fight off the hunger and decrease the chances of grabbing food on the go.

5)¬†Try and Try again: ¬†If this is a life change for you, it will take time and practice. Don’t worry if this week was a fast food week and not one of menu plans actually worked out. There’s always tomorrow or next week. That’s one of the best things about life, you can make changes slowly and try again when it doesn’t work the first time.

Are there ideas you’d add to my list? Have you found something that works well for you? Please share I’d love to all about your family dinners.

You can read the first of these posts here.