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The Health Benefits of Maca Powder

I had never tried maca powder before tasting Viva Lab’s Organic Maca Powder. I add a tablespoon in my chocolate smoothies, and the chocolate helps balance out the strong maca taste. While maca is not the best tasting thing in the world, it is amazing how many benefits it boasts. The package says it helps energy and fatigue, and after I have my smoothie, I do feel less fatigue overall.

I made the mistake of using a heaping tablespoon (so closer to 2 tablespoons) and not enough Stevia in my first smoothie, and it was hard to get down. The taste isn’t horrible, just not my favorite. Since I am pregnant now, I have some issues with my taste buds. Adding less maca and more sweetener definitely helped!

I know that you can mix maca powder into your coffee, as well. However, many have suggested that it tastes better in cold drinks, such as blended smoothies. Others have said that peanut butter makes the taste easier to down too. I will stick with that and after my little one comes, I plan on adding maca powder to lactation cookies for hormone help.

If you still have issues with the taste, try putting the powder into pills to enjoy all the amazing health benefits, such as radiant skin, balanced hormones, and increased energy.

I love the Viva Labs Organic Maca Powder because it is one of the only maca powders to be gelatinized for better absorption.

I was given this product by the company in exchange for an honest review. I will definitely purchase this in the future!

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Best Party Book Ever! Review

I was the type of preteen and teen that would devour books like the Best Party Book Ever!: From invites to overnights and everything in between (Faithgirlz!). So it was a lot of fun to go down memory lane when looking through this book. I know I would have loved it many years ago, and I love it now.

What I love most about this book is the quality and quantity of pictures. I hate reading any type of recipe book or craft book that is lacking on pictures! This book is like the best of Pinterest for tweens and teens. The party ideas are super fun and many of them are Christ-centered, which is the cherry on top of the sundae! They even suggested having a party around Christmas where everyone brings a children’s book or toy so that they can donate it.

This book is also full of easy but cute crafts and delicious recipes. They would be fun to try, even if you weren’t throwing a party. It may seem superficial to give a tween or teen a book on throwing parties, but it really is a fundamental tool to develop leadership and good hosting skills – both essential later on in life.

I think this would be a fun gift for tweens and teens (between 8-14), and I also recommend it for moms with girls that age so that they have some clever ideas up their sleeves.

I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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My Thoughts on Simplify by Bill Hybels

I am really into simplifying. I have read several books on simplifying other areas of my life, such as motherhood and home organization. I have seen the immense benefits from getting the clutter out of my life, but I never considered to get the clutter out of my soul.

I love the topic of this book and Bill Hybel brings a lot of good points to the table. So many times we make our lives complex and hard because we are not following God’s will, and then we turn to God crying out, “Help! How come I can’t get a job/afford my bills”.

I am far from perfect, but one thing that I am glad my husband and I did was to follow God’s will for our current living situation. We were desperate to be in Arizona, but the doors were just very closed, and the doors in our current city were very open. We didn’t force our dreams and move to Arizona. I can only imagine that if we did, we would be crying out to the Lord asking, “Why can’t we find a job? Why can’t we find a house we can afford?” I appreciate the simplicity that following God’s will in this season has brought. Of course, sometimes following God’s will means running into a lot of grief too (I am well-versed with grief this year!).

Here are two of my favorite points from the book:

Aligning Your Passion: I enjoyed what Hybels said about aligning your passion with your job. I couldn’t agree more that a satisfying job can simplify your life and restore your energy. A bad job doesn’t just affect you, it affects everyone you come in contact with – including your children and people you minister too. I grew up with two parents who hated their jobs and it showed every single day. I appreciate that they worked hard to provide for me, but it was hard to deal with some times. A friend of mine is in a job that she is miserable with. The income is not essential to the family, but more of an extra cushion. How much simpler would her life be if she just quit! Sometimes we are the ones that make life harder than it needs to be!

Stupid Rubs Off: Many times we are taught as kids or teens to be careful of who we hang out with, but for some reason many of us do not take that advice as adults. Hybels warn against spending time with those who use profanity, are full of anger, gossipers and slanders, and prideful people, just to name a few. It is true that other people have a huge influence on you without even realizing it. When I am around negative people, I tend to be more negative. It is just a very wise for everyone, young and old, to remember and look out for.

I would definitely recommend this read if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or stretched. I know for myself my life feels a little too crazy when I don’t put my time with the Lord first. This book helps you get back to that point.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

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Together: Growing Appetites for God

Together: Growing Appetites for God (True Woman)is one of the first books I read when Ellie was a newborn (about 2 years ago now). It is one book that I cannot recommend enough for all moms. Carrie Ward basically shares her story and adventures of reading to her kids throughout the Bible. Nothing is dumbed down for them, and even the baby gets read to.

This book has shaped my thinking in two ways. For one, I am very picky about Biblical resources for kids that come into my home. Most of the God books or Bibles for kids are so dumbed down and made into something very cheesy. Carrie shows that kids do not need to see a goofy illustration with a watered down Bible story to get to know God. Instead, she would read her children a chapter or two out of Genesis and Exodus – big words and all. The amazing thing is that her kids grasped and understood a lot more than she expected. It just goes to show how powerful the Word can be. It also showed me not to underestimate my daughter’s intelligence and level of understanding in many other areas too.

The other important thing this book helped me see is that Bible time does not have to look like an Amish church service. Carrie shared that her kids would not always sit still or look like they were paying attention while she read, but it turned out that they were actually absorbing a lot of the material still.

I think the most important point that Carrie makes with her Bible reading experience is that as moms, we don’t need a substitute for the one true Word of God, we just have to dive-in every day. I love how she shared that one day her kids were sick and it just happened that the chapter they were reading that day dealt with comfort in sickness or afflictions. Coincidence? Never, God is way too intelligent and creative for any of these small miracles to ever be called a coincidence.

As far as reading the book goes, it is easy. When I became a mom, I think half my brain cells went packing. So while I would love to read theological texts, in truth, my mind can really only process the simple but God-glorifying stuff after a day spent pregnant and chasing a two-year old. This book is 100% practical and reading it felt like you were sitting down with Carrie for coffee.

Why this book doesn’t have hundreds of reviews is beyond me, because it is one of my favorite reads.

I was given this book by the publisher for review, but I had purchased a few months after it came out on Kindle back in 2012. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!

*Affiliate link

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My Thoughts on Defending the Line

I choose the Defending the Line: The David Luiz Story (ZonderKidz Biography) because I was interested in a good biography for older kids that also shows the faith and character of an individual. I had never heard of David Luiz before, and this book definitely taught me more.

The book is a very easy read, and I think it is a great read for boys ages 10-12. I think boys who enjoy sports and soccer, then they will find this biography interesting. I don’t know if it is because I am not a huge fan of soccer that made me a bit bored throughout reading the story.

Another thing I found disappointing was that the book did not focus that much on Luiz’s faith and character. Overall, I think it is a good read for boys into sports. If I had an older son, I would definitely want him to read this opposed to the other junk available. So while it is not as big of a faith lesson as I thought it would be, it is still a good clean read.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. Affiliate link used.

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