Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review -- Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Submerged is written by new author Dani Pettrey and is set in Alaska. At first I thought that this might be an *okay* book just judging by the back cover, but I did not expect to love it as much as I did! I tend to stick to romance or amish novels most of the time but I do enjoy a good suspense now and again. With this being a new author I was completely unsure what to expect, having no past books to compare this to.

Right away this book captures your attention, only three sentences into the book and the action is in full force.  Agnes seems to be one of the main characters as the story immediately revolves around her, yet there is so much left up in the air about her. Part of what I loved about the story was how the author kept you wondering about what exactly was going on. I enjoy trying to figure out the mystery that lies within the story. You will also meet Bailey, Cole, and all of Cole's family, not to mention the many other interesting characters that make the story complete.

The story takes place in a small town  - Yancey, Alaska.  It is a place where most of the characters have grown up together. One thing about small towns is that often everybody knows everyone else's business and the past is not often forgotten. In this story Bailey is having to re-live and work through many of the unpleasant things she did as a teenager. She is now a Christian and a new person, yet there are people from her past that have not forgotten who she was and still see her that way. She had no desire to return to Yancey and face her past, but she inherited her aunt's store and had to return to tie up loose ends.

The book is filled with action and intrigue, but also with lessons on forgiveness and acceptance. Bailey has to learn to receive forgiveness from people and from God. She learns to see herself through God's eyes, rather than through the fog of her past mistakes. This is something I personally still struggle with, seeing myself as God sees me (beautifully made in His image!) not as I see myself - tarnished by my past and the things I hold onto that God has long since forgotten.

Another neat aspect of this book is all the info on diving. I am not sure I will ever be brave enough to go diving, never mind for extended periods of time! The author has a way of writing that has you easily picturing what the characters are seeing and experiencing. I am incredibly excited to see more from Dani Pettrey!

I totally loved this book and I'm anxiously awaiting the next book in this series! This book is absolutely worth checking out!

I was given a copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers to review honestly. A positive review was not required and all of the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekly Goals - July 9 - 15

Oh boy, it has been TOO long since I have done my weekly goals! My house is showing it too, I am way behind on things. Silly me, I had thought with Summer here life would slow down for a bit. I could not have been more wrong! It is only a little over a month before school starts again!

I just sent G off to camp for another week, hard to believe he is old enough for Jr. High camp! I am a little worried he will come back an inch taller and have outgrown his shoes again. Back in April I posted hat G was wearing men's size 9 shoes, in June I had to buy him size 10! Ack! He is growing like crazy and I don't see a break from that anytime in the near future!

Weekly Goals July 9-15

Family/Mothering Goals

1. Put on the calendar fun things to do as a family once a week for the next month (then do this weeks!)

2.  Show Bill how much I appreciate him on a daily basis

Personal Goals
3. Read my Bible, work on a Study at least 20 minutes a day

Home Management
4. Go to bed with all dishes done and any laundry put away

5. Go through piles in living room and put things where they go

6. Menu plan for the next 2 weeks

Business Goals
7. Make a list of items I would like to have on hand

8. Work on Farmer's Market stuff for the 21st so I don't stress next week!

Garden Goals
9. Water & Weed every day, harvesting as needed!

10. Can apricot, peach and strawberry jam and hopefully some okra!

This feels like a good list that will really help me get back on track but still take care of the most important things! Have a blessed week!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chai Latte Ice Cream - My Moment of Brilliance!

A couple of weeks ago I  had this fabulous idea to make ice cream and flavor it with chai latte mix. I finally got around to doing it today! When I mentioned the idea to my husband he told me that if he wasn't already married to me he would definitely marry me! I would say that was a sign I needed to make it! I was using a Cuisinart 1 1/2 Quart Ice Cream maker, if you use a different kind you may need to adjust the quantities of the ingredients!


1/2 cup 2 % milk
6 Tablespoons Homemade Chai Mix (surprise, surprise I found it on Pinterest!)

1 can sweetened condensed milk (I keep mine in the fridge)
2 cups 2 % milk

I heated the 1/2 cup of milk enough to dissolve the Chai Mix and then put it in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.

I then combined the sweetened condensed milk, the 1/2 cup milk/chai and the 2 cups of milk and mixed it well.

I poured it into the Ice Cream maker and waited about 25 minutes and then we all enjoyed it's awesomeness!

I put the extra into a freezer safe container and stuck it in the freezer. A couple of hours later I pulled it out and it still had a great texture, nice & creamy! The only thing I may do different next time is use half & half instead of the 2 cups of milk, it would make it even creamier! I am interested to know if anyone tries it! Also, feel free to Pin It!

Photo by my fabulous husband and his camera that takes such great pictures!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

All dressed up and feeling fabulous!

I am *finally* getting around to posting a picture about the beautiful dress I won from CCB Custom Dresses! Being able to choose exactly what I wanted was so much fun and I love that it is unique! I chose an A-line skirt, short sleeves, and a v-neck. I do not often wear dresses anymore,  jeans (or capri's) & t-shirts are my go-to look. I have to admit I actually have really enjoyed wearing this dress. I feel beautiful wearing it and I love that it doesn't cling to my body, which would cause me to feel uncomfortable.

Here is a fabulous shot that my talented hubby took of me in my dress:

I am not crazy about pictures of me, but as I am learning to love myself (and my body) more - I am able to appreciate the photos! That isn't my favorite photo though, my sister in law had my hubby's picture and caught this one of us and I LOVE it!!

We've been married for 8 1/2 years and I am incredibly blessed to be married to this man! He loves me, he loves our boys, and above all he loves the Lord! I love that man so much and I'm thankful that he's mine! That has nothing to do with the dress - well, except that he thinks I look beautiful in it - but I think any time is a good time to tell the World how much I love my hubby!!

I would highly recommend browsing her site over at CCB Custom Dresses, it is not only maxi dresses there are many styles to choose from. The dresses are incredibly well made and the fit is amazing because it is made to fit your measurements! One of my favorite features is that it is machine washable, I do not like anything that requires extra care! I was not asked to give a review of the dress, I chose to because I think it is fantastic!