Monday, April 30, 2012

30 Day Challenge-Day 30

Well we have come to the last day of the challenge. I'm proud to say that I posted something for each day this month! Today's challenge is to name our favorite posts of the month. I had fun doing the majority of the challenges. Day 1 is my favorite though. It was list 15 things about myself. Check it out here: Day 1. I also thought I would share my favorite book of the month. That was:

It was the one book I gave 5 hearts to. I liked several other books that I read this month, but since this was the only 5 heart one it had to win out above the others.

What about you? Any favorite stand out this month?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

30 Day Challenge-Day 29

Today is supposed to be a book I am proud I read. Well, I don't know that I get proud when I read something. I read all kinds of literature. I am happy when I muddle through something that is difficult to read. So I thought I would make today favorite book covers from books I have read so far this year. In no particular order:

Every book cover in this series I love love love! In fact I got Waterfall on my Kindle but decided to go ahead and buy the paperback copies of the series because I loved the covers so much. If you haven't read them YOU MUST!

From the first time I saw this cover I was hooked! The book did not disappoint.

This is from the Winds of Change series by Julie Lessman. I love the 20's look on the girls from each cover!

While the book wasn't a big mystery, I thought the cover looked mysterious.

I don't know if it is the blue or what that caught my interest in this cover, but I knew I was going to read this book the minute I saw it!

To me this one looks fanciful, maybe fairytale-ish.

Any particular covers catch your eye here? How about anything that you have read so far? Anything you just had to read because the cover caught your eye?

My Beautiful Daughter: What it Means to be Loved by God by Tasha K. Douglas

From the Publisher:  

Sometimes you need a Father's Hug.

Tasha Douglas offers an inspirational message of hope and love for girls in a powerful new FaithGirlz book, MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER: What It Means to Be Loved by God(Zonderkidz; $8.99; April 2012).

Tasha Douglas, author of the acclaimed Sistershout! shares a special message with tween girls who yearn for the gentle embrace of a father. As the number of children growing up without fathers continues to increase, this book teaches girls that whether or not they have a father who lives with them, they can always count on their heavenly Father.

Having grown up without her father, Douglas remembers feelings of rejection and low self-worth as a child. Not until she was married did she realize, through her husband's relationships with their daughters, the beauty and strength of the father-daughter bond.

"I secretly wished that I could bottle up their experiences and give them to every fatherless girl in the world," Douglas reflects.

That's why she's made it her mission to remind young girls that Father God will always be there to give them unconditional adoration, support, guidance, and affection, who will help them pave their way through life. With journal prompts, prayer, praise, and scripture, MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER will show girls a Father who wants to know them and can help them realize how special they are.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tasha Douglas is the author of Sistershout! And she firmly believes in the transformative power of stories. She lives in Texas with her husband and four children.


Using different scenario's in the life of a young girl named Briana, Tasha Douglas uses these stories to help young girls see their worth in God's eyes. The book was just "okay" for me in that I had a hard time with the author stating that Jesus Christ was like our older brother. I understand her reasoning in that God is Christ's father and we are all God's children so therefore Christ would be like a brother. It just seemed that it demoted Christ's holiness to that of a brother to me.  I also found that the book got a bit wordy. What I mean is that I don't think that it would keep a young girls attention for very long, it got preachy and rambling in parts. What I liked about the book was that each chapter had a space for reflection with a prompt that would help a young girl apply what was learned in the chapter. Also I liked the prompts for praise and prayer at the end of each section. My recommendation for this book would be that as a parent go through it together with your daughter that way you can discuss it. Marketed as juvenile fiction, I would go more along the lines of non-fiction/devotional

Saturday, April 28, 2012

30 Day Challenge-Day 28

Today's challenge is to name a holiday I dislike. I most generally like all holidays.

My favorite? CHRISTMAS!!!

Weekend Report

The Weekend Report is hosted by Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Reviews head on over to her blog and check it out!


I'm almost halfway through this one. It's okay, I don't know that a middle school student would pick this up and muddle through it though.


 Both really good books!


 Both are books that I received from the publisher so they are next on my TBR shelf. I'm not normally a fan of non-fiction, but occasionally I will pick up a couple. I thought these were worth reading for review. We'll see.

How was your reading this week?

Friday, April 27, 2012

30 Day Challenge-Day 27

Today's challenge was to tell why we are doing this challenge. My answer: because it seemed fun! ha! So today on top of my wonderful answer I'm also adding What do I do when I'm not reading.

My answer is:

I cook. I bake, I try new recipe's. These are creamy chicken enchilada's from the new Pioneer Woman cookbook that I got. Honestly I like the old Pioneer Woman cookbook better. I've tried a few in the new and they have been okay, but not as fantastic as the first. These were okay, but I have a better recipe for chicken enchilada's that I will use in the future. Anyway, that is one thing I do when I'm not reading. I also:

CROCHET! This is an afghan I made for a friend of my daughter. I like to try new patterns in crochet. For Christmas a friend had sent me a picture of someone wearing a beard hat so I went online and found a pattern. Here's the result:

Here's my nephew with the one I made for him. I made my dad one and a friend and her husband one. They all love them. haha!

So these activities are usually what I am doing when I am not reading or blogging.

What are your favorite things to do when you aren't reading?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

America is in love with Aspen. But Aspen is a Six and America is a Five. It is not common for a person to marry someone in a caste lower than they are. Plus America's mother has her heart set on America trying out for the Selection. A lottery of 35 young girls who get to go to the palace to compete for Prince Maxon's hand in marriage.

Thinking that he is doing America a favor Aspen breaks up with her and insists she put her name in for the Selection. Never dreaming that she will be chosen, and heartbroken over Aspen breaking up with her America puts her name in.

Having been chosen as one of the 35, America arrives at the palace determined to stay in as long as possible in order to help her family out financially. When a bout of homesickness and panic causes America to be too outspoken to the prince she fears that she will be going home soon.

Maxon appreciates America's candor. They soon have an understanding between them to become friends and to share secrets with each other. Maxon vows to keep America to the very end of the Selection process so that she can continue to help her family out.

Still in love with Aspen, America becomes confused by her growing feelings for Maxon. If they are only friends why is she so jealous of the time that the other girls get to spend with him? When Aspen is drafted into service at the palace, America becomes even more confused. She has never stopped loving Aspen, yet she now has feelings for Maxon. When rebels attack the palace it forces Maxon to narrow the Selection down to just 6 girls. Will America be part of the Elite group or will she be sent home?

I really enjoyed The Selection. Set in a dystopian society of castes I am reminded of all the Disney princess movies that I used to watch with my daughters. Although in this story there are two Prince's to choose from. I have to say I am not a fan of the love triangle. There are things I like about both Aspen and Maxon, but I'm voting for Maxon to win out in the end. The Selection is set to be a trilogy so I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

I received and ARC copy at ALA in January.

30 Day Challenge-Day 26

Today's challenge is what do I think about my friends...I'm not liking that topic so I'm changing it to where you can find me on the internet. Then you can ALL be my friends! Oh, and by the way, I LOVE MY FRIENDS! So that's what I think of friends :)

Where you can find me on the internet:

Facebook: Did you know that My Favorite Pastime is on facebook? Yup! Check it out!
Goodreads: Look me up under Julie Graves
Shelfari: Look me up under Julie G
Edifying and Edgy: I'm the edifying half of this blog.
My Other Pastime: This is my crochet blog. I post pictures of the projects I complete.
Where Are Our Remotes?: Another blog that I co-host with my friend Karin. We post about the movies and shows we watch on TV. We aren't very consistent with it though sad to say.

There you go! All kinds of ways to keep in touch with me. Where can you be found on the internet? Or do you not want to be found?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

30 Day Challenge-Day 25

A Creative book picture that I took. I don't know exactly what that means so I decided to do a collage of the books I have read so far this year:

Monday, April 23, 2012

30 Day Challenge-Day 24

A list of 5 favorite classic authors:

My favorite all-time is Jane Austen of course! My favorite book of hers is:

My next favorite is Charlotte Bronte. She wrote Jane Eyre:

I'm not sure she is a classic author, but I loved this author when I was a teenager. Mary Stewart wrote mystery stories, this was my favorite:

I love anything written by Agatha Christie:

And last but not least Margaret Mitchell-I love Gone With the and book!

So there you have it! See any you like? Who are your favorite classic authors?

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

Emma Malloy escaped her abusive husband 11 years ago. She now has made a new life for herself. She is the head of her best friends department store, works long hours and has a generous loving heart.

Sean O'Connor is a confirmed bachelor. When he loses his job in the middle of a depression Charity, Sean's sister, offers him a job as co-manager at the store she owns.

Even though Emma has known Sean for years she has recently seen a side of him that causes her to be nervous working near him. Sean has some anger issues that he can usually keep a lid on. Only two times in his life has he ever lost control.

Emma and Sean develop a close friendship, but neither one is prepared when that friendship develops into something more.

This is the second book in the Winds of Change series. The first one being the story of Luke and Katie in A Hope Undaunted. Although this is Emma and Sean's story we do get to still hear about Luke and Katie newly married and Katie still as feisty as ever! Also we get to see more of Charity and her husband Mitch. At one point Mitch is so angry at Charity he quits speaking to her for a couple of weeks. At first I was rather irritated at this behavior. I wanted to smack him upside the head! I thought "who acts this way in a marriage?" and then upon further thought realized "oh wait, I remember a time when my husband and I didn't speak for a while" Wow! Julie Lessman captured the dynamics of a marriage pretty well in Charity and Mitch's relationship. I liked how each relationship had different struggles and in each case learned to rely on God to work through those struggles to love each other better and ultimately grow in relationship with Him. Looking forward to A Love Surrendered coming out in October.

30 Day Challenge-Day 23

Something I crave a lot at the moment:

Always Chocolate for me!

I had one of these the other day. It was so good! A Braum's brownie fudge sundae.

I love this cheesecake from Wal*Mart. When I am lazy and don't want to make anything homemade I buy one of these. My daughter and I usually eat all of it(not in one sitting )

If I have vanilla ice cream in the house and a chocolate craving comes upon me(which is often) I cook one of these up. Have you ever had a mug cake? mmmmmmm! I put together the ingredients for this and a mug for each of my Bible Study women for Christmas. The mug I use is big enough that I split the cake into 3rds and share with my husband and daughter. It is rich enough that that is all I need.

So yeah, when I have a craving it is almost always for something chocolate. What are you craving right now?