Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review - Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt

Book - Debt - Proof Living:  How to get out of debt and stay that way

Author - Mary Hunt

Publisher - Revell

Debt - Proof Living was first published in 1999.  This 2014 edition is revised and updated.  It includes the same premise - the same formula for living without debt, but also includes new information based on today's culture.

Mary gives you the tools to understand the thinking of modern consumers to help us realize why people today have accepted debt as normal. This dangerous problem has been slowly fed to us over many years.

Inside this book you will be given a clear formula to get out of debt and then how to "debt - proof" your life. 

There are 18 chapters, some of the titles are:

1. Debt- Proof Living.
2. Two Kinds of Debt.
3. Caught in the Debt Trap.
4. A Plan to Debt - Proof Your Life.
5. Where Does All the Money Go?
6. Step Away from the Edge.
7. Break Out of the Debt Trap.
8. Expect the Unexpected.
. . . .
18. Building Wealth on an Ordinary Income.

Mary does an excellent job teaching readers to get control of their financial lives.  This is her main book and one of the most important.

* Disclosure - I received this book for review purposes.*

Review - Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis

Book - Child of Mine

Authors - David and Beverly Lewis

Publisher - Bethany House

The beautiful cover misled me to think the book was about the Amish.  It is, in fact, about a modern family who happens to have a shunned Amish woman working for them.  The story is about an English (non-Amish) woman, Kelly, who is searching for her daughter. 

We meet two families as we go along. We get to know Kelly (the main character) and follow her difficult life.  We also get to know Jack and his family.  Jack is the one who has an Amish woman working for him.

The book is full of modern sayings, which I consider "slang" talk of the young.   It is not a pleasant escape from our current world, as many Amish - based books tend to be.  

However, it is very well written, and will hold your attention to the very end. 

*Disclosure - I received this book for review purposes.

Bake Well with Immaculate Baking

Immaculate Baking Company introduces 4 products for your kitchens:

1. Yellow Cake Mix - This "Scratch Baking Mix" contains a very small number of basic ingredients.

It is listed as "All Natural" and with "NO Artificial Flavors or Preservatives."

2. A Chocolate Cake Mix - with the same great features as the Yellow cake mix.

3. A "Gluten Free" Double Chocolate Cookie Mix.

4. A Brownie Mix.

Baking instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

These look like a great alternative for traditional made- from- scratch baked treats.

* Disclosure - I received these items for review purposes. *

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The World of Department Stores - Review

Book - The World of Department Stores

Author - Jan Whitaker

Publisher - Vendome Press

Hardcover, 264 pages.

This book is absolutely stunning! It is extra large at 12.9 x 9.8 inches.  It is packed with fascinating historical information concerning stores, malls, and shopping.  This book will give you an incredible look at social studies and a fantastic education in marketing!

Some of what you'll see inside:

1. Photographs of historic ads and sale posters.

2. Majestic pictures of beautiful architecture.  (Including a department store in Tokyo in the 1920's.)

3.  A Painting of customers shopping in a Paris store in the 1800's.

4.  Photograph of a Millinery salon in Mexico city in the 1920's.

5.  Both Modern and Historic photographs giving you an awe-inspiring look at shopping for necessities and the more modern shopping for entertainment.  You will be amazed at how marketing and creativity of the designers, and store owners, have created shopping to be a form of recreation.

6. On the inside sleeve of the cover, there are quotes by Oscar de la Renta, Leonard Lauder (from the Estee Lauder company) and Hubert de Givenchy.  All of these gentleman have read this book and briefly shared their inspiring thoughts!  What fun to read!

I have spent hours reading the text and looking at the pictures. I have shared it with guests in our home.  It is an incredible resource.

Those who would most enjoy the book:

1.  People who work in retail, or marketing of any kind.

2.  Students who want to study this type of history.  And also those who appreciate social studies and want to see how modern shopping and consumerism has changed us all.

The cost of the book is similar in price to a college textbook, and most certainly worth every penny.

* Disclosure - I received this book for review purposes. *

Review - The Backyard Homestead

Book - The Backyard Homestead (Produce all the food you need on j ust a quarter acre!)

Edited by - Carleen Madigan

Publisher - Storey

Paperback, 368 pages.

I found this book to be both incredibly instructive and inspiring.  Inside you will find many illustrations, drawings, and encyclopedia like facts. It is fascinating and informative.

You are encouraged to start your own homestead, even if you have a small yard.  You learn how much food you can produce, based on the amount of land, and your specific needs.

You will learn how to start a garden, how to take care of the garden, and the many different types of produce you can grow - fruits and vegetables. Also herbs, grains, etc.  There are many little recipes in here, to inspire you with useful ways of using your harvest.

You will also learn how to take care of poultry to have your own eggs. It is like having a mini-farm!

There are so many useful items in here!  There is even a section that tells you how to make your own ice cream.

Overall, it is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to start a small garden, or start a complete homestead style mini farm.  Very well done!

*Disclosure - I received this book for review purposes. *

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Love Dare for Parents

Book - The Love Dare for Parents

Authors - Stephen and Alex Kendrick

Publisher - B and H Publishing Group

256 pages, paperback

This book is a 40 day dare for parents.  Each day, in order, read one of the dares.  There is a devotional, a heartwarming message to help you complete the day's dare, and a section to mark that you completed the assignment.  There are also questions and space for your answers and thoughts.

A few samples from the book:

"Too often parents misunderstand and misguide.  Or they preplan too rigidly and then force and frustrate their child to become something God never intended.  If you tiny daughter thrives at the piano, don't pressure her to tackle the tuba." (page 23)

"Every day, with each new dare, always bear in mind this one pervasive, reorienting truth: you are handling a divine opportunity to experience and represent the love of God." (page 73)

At the end of the book there is an appendix with 8 articles on parenting.  These include such topics as "How to pray for your children" and "12 daring ideas to maximize family time."

Any parent who needs encouragement and a little extra help in Christian parenting will find this book helpful.

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.*

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Rebellious Heart


Book - Rebellious Heart

Author - Jody Hedlund

Publisher - Bethany House

384 pages, paperback

This is historic fiction, based in Massachusetts in the year 1763.  It is loosely based on the life of Abigail and John Adams.  I have to say, as I began reading the book, it was very intense. It was too intense and I couldn't continue.  The court scene was a bit graphic and scary for me.  It was overwhelming.  Jody does an excellent job writing, but the details in the story made it impossible for me to read the entire book.

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.*

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My Amish Boyfriend

Book - My Amish Boyfriend

Author - Melody Carlson

Publisher - Revell

 272 pages, paperback

This is an entertaining read by talented author Melody Carlson.  Teenager Shannon and her ill mother are sent off to live with Amish relatives.  Shannon had no idea she was related to Amish and goes through  major culture shock.  She stays with her grandparents and gets to experience an authentic Amish life.  Through her experiences, we see a stark contrast between modern living in the "world" and the traditional Amish way of life. 

I was shocked by the Amish teenagers' behavior through their "sowing their oats" phase of life.  This included some use of alcohol. It saddened me. But made me realize that whether Amish or not, people can suffer from destructive behavior.  I loved reading about Shannon's days living among the Amish and how her mother was able to recover from her illness. 

Overall, I think this book would most appeal to teenagers. They would be greatly entertained and would also enjoy the experiences and lessons in the story.

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.*

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The Manual to Manhood

Book - The Manual to Manhood: How to Cook the Perfect Steak, Change a tire, Impress a girl and 97 other skills you need to survive.

Author - Jonathan Catherman

Publisher - Revell

Pages - 288 pages, paperback

This is a book is geared to young men. It will teach them social manners along with practical skills.  Readers will learn how to tie a tie. This includes easy illustrations and instructions.  There are also tips on how to shake hands, how to introduce yourself to someone, how to ask a girl out, and how to meet a girl's parents.  You will also read about job interviews, how to shave, how to change a tire, do laundry, iron, cook, how to create a budget, how to live debt - free, how to read a tape measure, how to hang a picture, how to throw a football, and so much more.

There are 10 sections with subjects like: "Social Skills and Manners" and "Work and Ethics".  Each section contains several topics with instructions. 

The book is instructive with a sense of humor. It is entertaining and informative.  It will teach while holding your attention.  The instructions are short and to the point. There are tips throughout the book and each instruction includes an estimated time it will take to do the item explained.

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.*

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