Category Archives: Books

Book Review: Day by Day Guided Journal

I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.

If you love journaling, here’s a new guided journal, Day by Day: 100 Ways to Capture Memories & Create Your Own Story by popular social media influencer Jess Conte (hardcover; Worthy Publishing). The creative and helpful prompts in this journal make it fun to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. And if you’re new to journaling, they’ll be especially helpful to you as you capture memories and events that make up your unique story.

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On Blessings and Gratitude

We tend to think about our blessings a little more this time of year, over the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that we’re grateful for, after all. Here’s something from a book by Max Lucado I read recently that seems fitting for this Thanksgiving weekend, as we relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

Gratitude is a mindful awareness of the benefits of life. It is the greatest of virtues. Studies have linked the emotion with a variety of positive effects. Grateful people tend to be more empathetic and forgiving of others. People who keep a gratitude journal are more likely to have a positive outlook on life. Grateful individuals demonstrate less envy, materialism, and self-centeredness. Gratitude improves self-esteem and enhances relationships, quality of sleep, and longevity. If it came in pill form, gratitude would be deemed the miracle cure. It’s no wonder, then, that God’s anxiety therapy includes a large, delightful dollop of gratitude.

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Book Review: Born to Shine

Kendra Scott, the CEO of her jewelry company with the same name, shares the story of her journey in her new memoir, Born to Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love (Worthy Books). It’s an inspiring story of her life experiences that shaped her into becoming the woman she is today. She shares both good things and hard things about her childhood, teen, and adult years as she continued to grow in her passion not only for fashion, design, and color, but in her gift for entrepreneurship as well.

Scott was raised in the midwest with her sisters by loving parents and learned the importance of strong family values and working hard: “As a kid, I learned that all work was meaningful,” she writes. Her caring and hardworking grandparents on both sides of the family also influenced her greatly, as well as an aunt who worked in the fashion industry—inspiring Scott’s love for fashion and accessories. While she had a strong family base in her younger years, she still dealt with some very difficult things growing up, including her parents’ divorce and being bullied at school. But Scott had a strong spirit—and she continued to carry that strength and wisdom from other life lessons with her to where she is now: a designer, founder of her own company, and philanthropist.

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Book Review: Crazy Joy

Life definitely has ups and downs and for many of us, our happiness tends to be dependent on if we’re in a good season or having a good day, or if we’re in a difficult season or having a bad day. Or we think we’ll be happier one day if we have this or that, or if certain things happen in our lives: getting that dream job, getting married, or moving to a city we love. In her new book Crazy Joy, (hardcover, Worthy Publishing) Mary Katherine Backstrom shares how you can find joy and contentment not only in the good times but right in the middle of your hardest, messiest times. If you’re not familiar with Backstrom (or MK, for short), she is known for her viral social media videos and her writings on family, faith, and mental illness. Her writing style is very candid and humorous, and you can’t help but laugh at many of the real-life situations she shares about herself and her family. So, just reading this book will bring you joy and lots of laughs!

MK’s writing style is also warm and personal, kind of like a friend talking to you over lunch or a cup of coffee. The hard (or embarrassing) but funny experiences she shares about her own life, along with the insights and wisdom she’s gained from going through them, are really easy to relate to. You can even picture yourself in some of these situations, which makes it such a fun read.

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Book Review: Where’s My Easter Basket?

I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.

If you’re wanting to add a fun gift to a little one’s Easter basket, the board book Where’s My Easter Basket? (Worthy Kids) by Bob Holt would be a great addition! It’s a fun, colorful, sturdy book that’s perfect for preschoolers and it’s filled with cute characters and colorful springtime scenes!

The story is about a little bluebird who is looking for an Easter basket…but he’s not sure what an Easter basket is, exactly. As he starts hunting for it, he meets and gets help from a little chick, some jelly beans, a chocolate bunny, and a colorful Easter Egg, They finally cross paths with a basket and when they jump into it, they realize that THEY are the Easter basket!

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