Friday, May 9, 2014

Restless Bible Study: Review

Photo Credit: Christian

Are you Restless? Aren't we all a little Restless at times?
Desiring to be fulling our biggest potential? I know I am…

I was asked to review a new bible study from Jennie Allen called "Restless: because you were made for more". I was excited to give it a go, and see what this group study was all about. I called up my close bible study friends to see if they would be willing to do the study with me, and they were all very enthusiastic to join me when I told them about the study!

The format of Restless is similar to other bible studies that I had done before. However, there are some differences that I would say set Jennie Allen's apart from the rest!

The Restless Study kit comes with a  DVD, Leader book, Study Guide and Conversation Cards.

The Leader Guide is clear and simple to use. I've facilitated bible studies in the past where the leader guides gave over complicated, regimented instructions for each week. Which is fine for some, but I found that often the spirit of the Lord will direct the conversation in different ways. "Restless" is a perfect format for that.

The DVD has the weekly videos teachings on it, each video is about 20 minutes long. Jennie Allen speaks from her heart each week on the different topics, and you can feel her passion for the Lord. It's contagious!

The Study Guide is really unique too. In the past, the majority of bible studies I have done that are a DVD and work book format, have a "daily homework" feel to them. Which I have done, loved, and grown so much from. "Restless" has a Study Guide that is unlike any other I have done. It has a journal feel to it, with a creative side and gets you to think, dive deeper and write, doodle, journal, or whatever! The format is so open and creative! She breaks it out into a "study" portion and then a "project" portion. Which gets you thinking and processing through different and fun exercises. It's an exciting way to spend time with the Lord. I love the format, and wish more studies were like this!

The Conversation Cards are another favorite of mine. Jennie Allen allows for a lot of focus on discussion time. Which is another reason I love this bible study. With the videos being only 20 mins, she allows for 45-75 mins of discussion. The way the cards work is that each week there are a different set of cards with questions on them. Everyone in the group can grab a card and read their discussion question. It's a great way to get everyone talking! Which, with my ladies is NOT a problem, but it's a great way to discuss some great questions!

The content of the study parallel our spiritual journey with the Lord, with the story of Joseph. I have really enjoyed growing and learning with this study! I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for "more". :)

God Bless!

Monday, March 24, 2014

RedStar Shades & $500 Gift Card!!

This is a sponsored review by Red Star and Media Talent Agency

Red Star specializes in sport and fashion sunglasses, watches and accessories. They are also involved in promotiong and sponsoring many charity and sporting events.

Red Star let me select one of there many sunglasses to try out. It was a hard task to do, because there were so many choices to try from. I decided to go with a classic aviator. I love aviators sunglasses because they always fit my face shape pretty well. I was pretty impressed with the sunglasses when they arrived. They came with a nice case to keep them protected. You can also tell that they are quality sunglasses by just the feel of them. The pair I selected is also polarized, which offers additional protection from the sun. My eyes are very sensitive to the sun, so I always need a pair of quality sunglasses on hand whenever I go out.

Red Star is also offering a free promo code for up to $500 off their shades for a limited time, you only have to pay shipping & handling for each item you select. Pretty amazing deal!

To get your $500 gift card, visit their webpage here.

Enter promo code: MTA14 at check out.

Hope you enjoy your Red Star sunglasses!!

If you have any additional questions regarding the promo; Red Star has a very useful FAQ page you can visit here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper, Chickpea, Egg, and Feta Salad

For this delicious salad recipe, I was going to make a greek salad, but realized I didn't have tomatoes, and olives. So I began to add other ingredients that I had. Even though I wasn't too sure they would all go well together, the result was amazing! My husband loved the salad, we had it for dinner and it was more than enough food, and let us full and satisfied!

You will need:

  • Chopped lettuce (Romaine) (2 cups)
  • Cucumber, Chopped (1/2 cup)
  • Carrots, Shredded (1/4 cup)
  • Roasted Red Pepper (1/4 cup)
  • Feta Cheese Crumbles (1/4 cup)
  • Hard Boiled Egg, sliced
  • Chickpeas (1/2 can)
  • Red onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Grape Tomatoes (optional)

Drain and rinse chickpeas, add together ingredients at top with 2 tbsp of a vinaigrette dressing. Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why you should use Paraben Free Cosmetics

Why, yes. Yes I am…

I have offically joined the Arbonne team. I have known about their products for some time and have used them in the past, and was recently reintroduced to their products again. For me the timing was perfect!

About a year ago, I decided to make the switch to Paraben Free products. Which includes, make-up, lotions, face wash, etc… Do you know how hard it is to find Paraben Free products!? Parabens seem to be in everything these day!

But what are Parabens you ask, and why should we worry about them in our products? 

Parabens are 'an ester of parahydroxybenzoic acid' which are used as a very inexpensive way to extend the life of cosmetics. So they are in a lot of cosmetics! Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it only takes about 5 seconds for the chemicals we put on our skin to be absorbed into our blood stream (Completely bypassing our liver!). So much more potent and dangerous that way. Think of all the chemicals are a rubbing all over our body, and that is being absorbed into our system!

Ok, so they get into our system… but how do they affect us, you ask? Researchers have now found a link between Parabens and Breast Cancer. Yikes! A recent study in 2012 found at least one Paraben in 99% of the tissue samples from women who had breast cancer. 60% contained at least 5 parabens. There no denying that there is a link between breast cancer and parabens. Since, I have a family history of breast cancer, it's not worth the risk for me!

So besides just being Paraben Free, I love that Arbonne is held to a higher standard of quality that what we are used too!! You can see all the "stuff" that Arbonne leaves out of its products. "Stuff" I do not want rubbed on my skin and absorbed into my bloodstream!

What are the most common Parabens called, and what should we look out for? 

Most Common Parabens:
  • Methylparaben                          Methylparaben is one of the most common parabens
  • Butlyparaben                             has been linked to low sperm count, ocular/eye damage, 
  • Propylparaben                           breast cancer and skin damage! 
  • Ethylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben

If you are interested in Paraben Free products, such as Arbonne, or have any questions about why pure & safe products are a better choice, let me know!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tasty Tuna Salad and a Weekend Recap

This weekend was so nice, not only because the weather is slowly starting to warm up, but because I was able to have a well overdue date with my husband! Our Valentines plans got canceled, so a month later we finally got to go out! We went to this Foot Spa near our house we kept hearing about. One word: AMAZING! First of all it was only $30, which is amazing in itself, but you got a relaxing foot soak and an hour long full body massage. I can't believe we just found out about this place. It was so nice to do as a couple. Chuck and I had never done a "couples massage" before, and I liked this place because I was able to just wear loose clothing and keep them on. We also enjoyed a nice lunch together at Uncle Julio's Mexican Restaurant. Chuck loves to get the carne asada. It's pretty amazing, I will admit, but I am partial to the chicken enchiladas. It was great to get a few hours to ourself and have a date. So hard to find time once you have kids! Here's a great quick and easy way to spice up your typical Tuna Salad. I've been on the hunt for new lunch ideas, and I love this recipe!

Looking Relaxed (and a little oiled up) after our massage! 
Tasty Tuna Salad Sandwich

To make this easy and yummy lunch you'll need to mix the following ingredients:

1 can of white chunk tuna
1 tbsp of plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp of mayo
1 tbsp of chopped onion
1 sweet pepper, chopped
1 celery piece, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Add a slice of two of lettuce and thin bread. To make it gluten free, you can eat the tuna salad in lettuce wraps or on cucumber slices.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mom's "Famous" Meatloaf

My Mom has the best meatloaf recipe! It is so moist and delicious and always has you wanting more! The addition of the celery and carrots makes the meatloaf very moist and not dry (like some meat loafs are). Its one of my husbands new favorites (and my dad's too!)


1 Pound of Ground Turkey (or beef)
1 Stalk of celery
1/3 Bag of baby carrots (optional)
1 Onion
2 Tbsp of butter
1/4 Cup of breadcrumbs (gluten free are best)
1 Egg
3/4 Cup of ketchup
1 tsp of minced garlic
2 tsp of worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp of pepper
salt, a few dashes
turmeric, a few dashes (optional)
onion powder, a few dashes (optional)

To start get out that food processor you registered for your wedding. Add one onion and chop it finely in food processor. (will look a bit mushy- this is good!) Next, scoop it out and add it to a pan with a little butter. Cook the onion and when done, add to a mixing bowl and set aside.

While your onion is cooking, add your carrots and celery to your food processor and chop finely. Once your onion is done cooking, add your celery (and carrots) to the pan and cook with a little butter. You may need to drain some of the excess liquid from the pan before adding to the mixing bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl, using only 1/4 cup of the ketchup. Press into an 8x4" loaf pan. Spread the rest of the ketchup over the top using the back of a spoon.

Cook for an hour at 350 degrees. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Discerning The Voice of God" - A Review

Photo Credit:

My women's bible study at the church just wrapped up "Discerning the Voice of God" by Priscilla Shirer. If you're not familiar with Priscilla, get familiar! She's awesome. This is the second study of hers that I have done and I have loved both of them!

I was especially drawn to this study right off the bat, because right on the cover it says, "how to recognize with God speaks". Sign me up! I want to hear and know more of what God is saying to me!

Priscilla breaks down the six week study into four sections; " The Anticipation of God's Voice", "The Spirit of God's Voice", "The Nature of God's Voice", and "The Purpose of God's Voice".

The first section about anticipating God's voice spoke directly to me. If you think about it, it's so easy to anticipate something. We are in such a society of "we want it and we want it now". Everything is fast and quick! Our communication is faster than ever, with emails, cell phones and texting, and all within our own hands. Anticipating the voice of God, is waiting with expectancy for God to answer us, BUT, we must do so patiently.

Priscilla writes, "The process of waiting for a message from God, is just as important as the message itself." WOW! We should expect God to answer when we call him, and seek him through prayer, worship and meditation. We must spend time actively listening to God's still small voice.

The second section dives into the Spirit of God's voice, who is known as the Holy Spirit. When we become a confessing believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. It is the primary way that God speaks to us. When we surrender and listen to the Spirit, we are listening to voice of the Lord. Even when we are unsure if what we are hearing is our voice or the voice of God, He is merciful and gracious to give us confirmation when we need it. The voice of the Holy Spirit will always align with scriptures, no matter what.

The nature of God's voice reveals that He leads us perfectly, because He is loving and good. He draws us near to Him, so that we may be more intimate with Him. Through which He can reveal His plans in the "Purpose of God's Voice". We were created to do God's will, and He will not keep His will for our lives a mystery. He will not leave us empty handed either, when God calls us into His perfect will, we are not alone. God will have our back! But when He calls us, (I say when, and not if!) we must respond with obedience to His call. Priscilla gives many examples of how time and time again, we must respond with obedience to His call and the blessing in the obedience that follows! We must not hesitate when God speaks to us!

At the beginning of the study, Priscilla Shirer asked us to write a few "issues" we were seeking answers for from God in the back of our books. As I went through the last six weeks, I have come back to those topics from time to time and seen how several of them have been changing. Now, at the end of the study, I have seen major revelation on two of my "issues". One where God showed up and did a miracle that only HE could have the glory. The other, where God has completely changed my heart from where it was six weeks ago. The others are still on-going, but I am faithfully trusting in God's timing for his answers to those situations, while holding fast to the amazing revelations I have experienced thus far. Our God is so good, kind and patience. He desires that our hearts long for him, and more time we spend in the word, talking to him, he gently draws us closer to him. That we may understand and love him so much more. Isn't He the best?! I think so!