Monday, March 30, 2015

Rethink Inner Beauty with Barbara Roose’s ‘Enough Already’ #REVIEW & Weekend Getaway Giveaway

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

WOW!  What a book Barbara L. Roose has written for women!  Enough Already explores why women struggle with beauty.  This book is christian based and Roose identifies the real enemy in our life - the devil.  She explores different areas in our life and how our ideas of beauty and self-hate can sabotage healthy living.  She doesn't shy away from tough topics either! 

It was refreshing to read because Barbara has a voice that feels like we've been old friends and she is giving some much needed and wanted advice.  Not at all preachy, this book uses encouragement to help us tackle this tough subject.  Each chapter has two sets of questions at the end.  One intended for a group setting - which would make this great for book club!  The other is personal questions - which is what I used because I was reading it on my own. 

I felt challenged reading this and I will pour over the book again at a slower pace, when I'm not reviewing it!  I loved Roose shared that having a relationship with the Lord, will help you battle with this inner struggle. 

additional information:

Learn how to recognize your own outer and inner beauty as defined by God, not the media or others, in Barbara Roose's new book, Enough Already. What would it take for you to believe you are enough already? Most women know God loves them, but might he love them more if they finally lost that last ten pounds, or got their hair to lay right, or finally found a pair of jeans that looked good and let them breathe? Well, maybe God doesn’t care about jeans, but women do, and all the talk about inner beauty hasn’t kept all of us from staring into a mirror and taking an inventory that never quite measures up.

Barbara is celebrating the release with a giveaway! One reader will receive a cash card and writing supplies for her own inner-beauty weekend getaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $75 cash card for your own inner-beauty weekend getaway
  • A notepad/pencil set for your inner-beauty quiet time
  • A copy of Enough Already
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 12th. Winner will be announced April 13th on Barbara's blog.



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice DVD #review

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

I have a great DVD to share with you today, as part of Master Books Moms.   Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice from Awesome Science,  takes us on a wonderful adventure learning all about creation and dinosaur fossils!


In 1909, a huge deposit of dinosaur bones were found on the western side of the Rockies, in a vast area of western Colorado and eastern Utah of which 200,000 acres have been set aside as the Dinosaur National Monument. Explore this mysterious area and learn:
  • Which are the most common dinosaur fossils found at this huge site
  • What are the various rock layers in which the fossils have been discovered
  • The significance of fossil Unio clam shells, Native American petroglyphs, & more!
This series is produced by Kyle Justice, whose work has appeared on such networks as National Geographic, ESPN, and the Outdoor Channel, along with his creative homeschool-family team. Teen host Noah Justice serves as your guide to truth on the ground at national parks and other geologic locations, bringing you an educational and entertaining adventure!

Our Thoughts:

I loved how this DVD took us to Dinosaur National Monument.  I had never heard of this place, probably because I'm on the east coast!  Noah Justice does a beautiful job telling about how the dinosaurs and earth really came about - through God's creation.  Justice compares what people will learn at the monument, while showing the amazing site and finds, and gives the direct scripture to tell the truth.  This DVD would be essential if visiting this site as a bible believing family.

We learned a lot about the dinosaurs and where they were found.  As well as a strong break down of evolution theories.  Noah Justice gives a clear salvation plan at the end of the DVD which is priceless.  Hands down that was the most important part of the DVD and I'm so thankful that it is on there.  There are many Christian movies out there that miss the opportunity to give the plan of salvation.

You can see what other Moms of Masterbooks are saying about this DVD by visiting this page. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Random 5 on Friday!

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

1.  I'm expecting baby #4!

2.  I have a tubal so it is quite a surprise & miracle! 

3.  Morning sickness is 24/7!  All. The. Time!  UGH it is awful!

4. I'll have had two kids in my 20s and two in my 30s!

5.  The first thing everyone says when they find out we are having a baby is "maybe you'll get your girl"  - I'm honestly happy with just getting a baby at the end of the pregnancy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Promise of Palm Grove by Shelley Shepard Gray Book Review & Giveaway #WIN

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

 The weather here is NJ has been has been crazy.  One day is is almost 60 degrees but then the next it is 35!  In fact this weekend they are calling for more snow!!  It was nice to read a book about the warm, sunny Florida weather.  The Promise of Palm Grove is book one in the new Amish Brides of Pinecraft.  I had never heard of an Amish community in Florida, so it was neat to see a new location.  (I live about an hour and a half from Lancaster, PA which is an Amish community.)

First of I love how Gray weaves a tale.  You don't meet just one character in her books, she introduces you to a whole community.  There might be one main love story but by the last page you are intrigued about several other possibilities.  This story was centered around an Inn in Pinecraft.  We meet a group of girlfriends on a vacation away from their home, Ohio.  During that time one of the girls finds her life turning upside down.  Sweet Leona has to see where God is leading her and if she is willing to make some radical changes. 

I loved this book from page one until the end.  The characters are sweet and the romance is gentle.  I'm thoroughly looking forward to the rest of the series!

About the book:

A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she's pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love---the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author's new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.

Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she's happy because she's away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona's real joy is in being away from her fiancé.

Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her---and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona's faced with two vastly different futures.

You can purchase your copy of The Promise of Palm Grove at your local book retailer or online at stores like Amazon

Enter to win a copy of The Promise of Palm Grove—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced March 30 on Shelley's blog!

Hard Candy Eyeshadow Palette #REVIEW

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

As you know I love makeup!  I especially love eyeshadow.  The beautiful color combinations always draw me in!  I love the way you can dress up a look or make it more casual with a swish of a brush.  That is why I was so excited to review Hard Candy's New Top Ten Classics Collection! 


Hard Candy Top Ten Classics, $6.00
An eye shadow collection offering ten vivacious shades to create the picture perfect look
Collections offer either a soft natural glow or a bold fun finish
Each palette has a customized chic lace cover including a mirror and two applicators to touch up anytime, anywhere
Available in Naturally Gorgeous, Smoke Out, Green with Envy, Feelin’ Blue, Pinking of You, Rated X, Raining Men and Guilty Pleasure

The Hard Candy collection is available only at Walmart and

My Thoughts:

I was sent the Green with Envy palette.  First let me talk about the packaging.  It is gorgeous!  Outside features green fabric with a black lace.  Then when you open it there is a wonderful mirror - which I think it so important!  The colors in the green with envy collection are all shimmers.  They feature greens and browns.  It was very easy to come up with a day look and a night look with the collection.  I was impressed at how well they held up over the course of the day, too.  I always use a eyeshadow primer and I did with these shadows and it was a perfect combination. 

I didn't have any greens in my collection so this palette really filled a need for me.  I plan on picking up the Feelin' Blue palette next time I'm at Walmart!  That is another great thing, this is a beautiful set of shadows, and it is affordable!  Who know Walmart had such hidden gems!! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How To Become A Blogger: Part 2 #bloggingtips

Part 2:  Necessities

The first things you will need to blog is a working  computer and reliable internet.  If you don't have those - you really can't write consistently.  It is a hassle to run to the library when your internet goes down.  (I have been known to go out and get a new computer as soon as one is unrepairable!)

The next thing you need is a good blog name.  That was hard for me.  I ended up taking a play on my last name with the "Rup".  You want to pick this before you move forward because it is the first thing you will need when signing up.  I also suggest having some backups.  Google search your name and see if someone else has claimed it. 

Last you will need to pick your format.  Two free sites are Blogger and Wordpress.  Both have pluses and minuses to me.  I've used them both and I'm comfortable on blogger.  Wordpress is recommended if you plan on going to business level (a paid wordpress account).  I know many bloggers make the switch from blogger to wordpress and from wordpress back to blogger. 

For this choice I suggest you do some research.  Think about what you want in a blog and see which will fit your needs.  I've heard that you can not have affiliates on a free wordpress but you can on a free blogger site. 

We will talk more about blogging next week. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Online Homeschool Planning with Lord Heritage #REVIEW

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *Additional disclosure at the end of the post*

HomeSchool Office Review

I've been working on a new review product from  Lord Heritage .   Their product HomeSchool Office is an online homeschool planning software.  All the work is done online and stored online so you don't have to worry about computer memory or computer crashing to use this program.

For this review I was given a one year membership access.

Let me describe the program: 

When you log in and get started on HomeSchool Office you will find that there is a quote from the bible : "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.  I think this sums up the purpose or mission of the program because they want you to plan and prosper.  I love that this company has a Godly mission.

There are six areas you can work in and they are all linked at the top of the screen and look like this screen shot:

Team is where you put your homeschool information.  There are places to fill in your homeschool name, students and so much more.

Plan is where you fill in your students classes.  There is a place to fill in credits, hours and more.

Order and Work have spaces for calendars and To do lists:

Evaluate is where you plug in attendance and grades.
Report is where you plug in your semester dates.

How I used it:

We typically start our school year in September.  That means almost all of my planning is done in August to prepare for the new year.  That said, I'm also a Crew Reviewer and we get new products in all year long.  So I decided since it was February when I received this product that I would use one of the upcoming reviews as a new subject to get a feel for the program.

I first plugged in our school information, mostly name and my two oldest students.  (Our youngest is in preschool.)  Then I worked with my 9th grader's  new Greek course plugging in assignments for a few weeks. 

My Thoughts:

I'm really not much of a planner overall.  I tend to just have my kids plug away either by the manufacturer's schedule  in my teacher's manual or they work for a set amount of time.  Typically my planning for two kids, 10+ subjects only takes me about 2 hours each year.  Mostly that is because, I  live in a state that doesn't require attendance records or any type of reporting.  So for me a program like this is fine and fun but not something I would really need.  That said I can see the appeal for those who have to have very detailed records and do a lot of reporting to school districts.  This program would have everything plugged in and ready to report.  The ability to print off information when needed is a wonderful feature. 

My favorite parts were the to do lists and the ability to save them and print them off.  I also like the part where you put your semester dates.  The one thing I think would really really be a great addition to this program is if you could import work schedules from major curriculum companies.  This way you wouldn't have to manually enter each subject's assignments. 

Click on the Image Below to see what the rest of the Crew has to say about this Review:

HomeSchool Office Review

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, March 23, 2015

Easter Stories Review & Giveaway #WIN

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

 Easter is one of my favorite times of year.  Not only do we get to celebrate the fact that Jesus lives, but my family gets together for a reunion every Easter Sunday.  I look forward to that special time with family every year!

I received Easter Stores,  which features many short stories, for review.  This book is perfect for the upcoming season. 


 Everyone who believes Easter is about more than Easter egg hunts will be grateful for this new anthology of short stories that illumine the true meaning of the season. Selected for their spiritual value and literary quality, these classic tales capture the spirit of Holy Week and Easter in a way that will captivate readers of all ages. Parents and grandparents will find that children love to hear these stories read aloud, year after year.

Easter Stories includes time-honored favorites from world-famous storytellers such as C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Selma Lagerlof, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Goudge, Maxim Gorky, Ruth Sawyer, Anton Chekhov, and Walter Wangerin – as well as many you’ve never heard before. Illustrated with original woodcuts.

Find out more HERE!

My Thoughts:

We have been using this book as a read aloud in our home.  So far we've only read a handful but it has been a great conversation piece.  The first story The White Lily was a sweet tale with a deeper meaning of how Christ can change ones life.  I love using stories like this with my bigger kids, because it is really neat to see them grasp an idea and apply it to our faith.

One lucky reader will win a copy of Easter Stories!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

New from Rachel Hauck | ‘How to Catch a Prince’ Review and Royal Giveaway #WIN

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

Who doesn't love a princess story?  Especially when we get to take that journey with the character becoming a princess!  How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck is just that kind of story!

We meet Corina Del Ray, an American heiress.  She is a journalist in the states.  Corina is dealing with the terrible loss of her brother and trying to put the pieces back in her life without her twin.  When her former love,  Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom, shows up on her doorstep things get a little nuts.  To make matters worse Corina's boss sends her back to Brighton for a hot story. Secrets keep these two lovers apart.  The question is can they overcome the hurts of the past and find their way back to each other?  

I loved this story!  I read it in like 4 hours!  It was a delightful love story with just enough twists and turns to keep my attention from start to finish.  Every character was likable which also made it a nice tale.  This one is for the romantics out there looking for a great fantasy love story!  

You can purchase your copy at your local book retailer or online at stores like Amazon!

Additional Information:

An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever? Find out in Rachel Hauck's new book, How to Catch a Prince. True love has a destiny all its own. With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again?

Enter to win a "royal" prize pack! 


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A royal-themed Brighton charm bracelet
  • 2 tickets to see the new Cinderella movie
  • The Royal Wedding series (Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, and How to Catch a Prince)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on Rachel's blog.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

VeggieTales Noah's Ark

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

I don't know about you but I love to put some fun things in the kid's Easter basket's.  VeggieTales have been stars for many years!  I think this latest release - Noah's Ark - would be a perfect addition.  We watched it as a family a few nights ago and it was another great movie!

Noah and his family along with a zoo full of animals take an adventure aboard an orange slice ark. After 40 days and nights of rain, everyone’s faith has been tested, and they’re ready to jump ship. Will they chart a new course, or will they remember to trust God’s promises? Grab your umbrellas and find out in this VeggieTales re-telling of the beloved Bible story, Noah’s Ark!

Our Thoughts:

I've always loved VeggieTales.  My older boys will still watch with my youngest (4).  This movie was about Trusting in God.  The story of Noah's Ark told by the veggies is not the exact bible story - but it is a cute interpretation for kids.   I loved how the character's professed their faith on screen.  It is wonderful for children to see that.  This video featured the new look of the veggies - I thought I would be distracted or disappointed but honestly it wasn't that big of a deal.  Other than the first minute or so of noticing the change, I completely forgot that they had changed their look.   I love that they tackled a big bible story - like they used to.  Reminded me of the days of Dave and the Giant Pickle - a classic and favorite! 

Visit for additional information including activity sheets, coloring sheets and discussion guide.  While your there you can purchase your copy of the DVD.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Become A Blogger: Part 1 #bloggingtips

Part 1

The first thing I want you to ask yourself is WHY?  Why do you want to become a blogger.  Is it to make money?  Get some writing experience?  Share a passion?

If it is just to make money or get free products - then blogging is probably not the best hobby for you.


Blogging takes up time.  It is time consuming to write original content.  Each post you see from me can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours to perfect.

There is lots of background stuff you don't see.  You need a basic internet knowledge.  

I've made almost no money blogging - there I've admitted it!  I've spent some!  It cost me a yearly fee to own my domain name.  I also pay for a premium membership to PicMonkey to help create great images. 

So this week I want you to ask yourself - what are your passions?  Do you like to cook?  Talk about homeschooling?  Are you a crafty-queen?

Are you willing to commit a few hours a week to get the blogging hobby going?  This is the minimum time commitment you will need to start a blog that will receive some following.

If your willing to set aside some time each week then your homework is to think of a theme for your blog.  Mine is family.  I share our life on these pages.  Whether it is with a new product we are using or a craft we did. 

See you next week for the next installment!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Critical Thinking Co. Pattern Explorer #REVIEW

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *Additional disclosure is at the end of this post*

 The Critical Thinking Co. is known for their curriculum for Math, Science, Reading, Writing, and Social Studies - all with a focus on problem solving.  We were first introduced to this company by a friend who recommended starting our day with Mind Benders. Which we have been using for the last three years. For this review we were sent Pattern Explorer Level 1.

Critical Thinking Company Review
About the book:

Pattern Explorer Level 1 is a soft bound workbook.  It is intended for grades 5-7.  According to the book introduction the student uses math and science to work through the patterns on each worksheet page.  The book contains 40 exercises.  It also has  hint pages and a solution section.

How we used this book:

My 12 year old 7th grader was the main person using this book.  When we first got it I worked through the first couple of exercises with him so he would know what he was supposed to be doing.  Even Dad helped a little.  I found this to be fun working on it together and if we had time to do that everyday I would totally have liked to do that.  It would have been neat to compete a bit with the two older kids (that is how we do the Mind Benders.)

Critical Thinking Company Review

However, at this time in the school year, I needed him to do independent work so I sent him up to work this book that way.  I scheduled him to work on this book three times a week. Typically Monday- Wednesday, as those are our fullest days for schooling in the house.  (Thursday/Friday we do music lessons and speech for our youngest in the afternoons so our school days are shorter.)  It took him about ten minutes each day to complete the exercise.  This wasn't time consuming at all.  With this pace we will finish the book fairly soon.  You could easily break the worksheets up to stretch the book out for a whole year or finish it fairly quickly and work on another book from The Critical Thinking Co. each semester. 

Our Thoughts:

I personally love these type of books.  Workbooks are easy to add in to our current curriculum  and they are portable for on the go learning.  While some may say it is busy work, I think it is motivational work. Busy work implies it isn't needed but I think using logic, math, reasoning and science helps keep the mind shartp.  Exactly the kind of thing I like in our home.

 My son enjoys activities like this.  He finds the challenge to be worth the few minutes it takes to work through the worksheet.  He also feels a great sense of accomplishment when completing his work.  I love that an unintended benefit to this book is building confidence.  He had a good time with this review. 

As for the worksheets, themselves, the patterns can be tricky.  You  do have to think outside the box sometimes to figure them out.  Math is definitely used often during this book.  I like how each page switched things up.  You couldn't just rely on what you did the day before to answer today's pattern.  There are several types of patterns you work on through out the book and they do increase in difficulty.  For the short amount of time you are working, your brain sure does get a nice workout!

 You can connect with The Critical Thinking Co. on Facebook and Twitter.  Click on the image below to see what the rest of the crew is saying about this company!

Critical Thinking Company Review

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, March 16, 2015

Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3 #REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *Additional disclaimer at the end of the post*

I have an exciting book series to share with you today!  This one was a little out of my usual because I don't usually read suspense but wow was it worth it!  Texas K-9 Unit is a series of books from three wonderful authors. Each book features a police officer with their canine help.  These are clean books that feature romance but don't go to deep (you won't blush with these!).  I appreciated that aspect. 

So far I've read through the book 1 in the series and it was great from page one.  I had to read it pretty fast because there was a good amount of suspense and I needed to know how it would end. Like I stated earlier the romance was just enough to spark interest without revealing too much.  I can't wait to finish the series!

You can purchase your copy of Texas K-9 Unit E-Book Bundle on Amazon.  {Scroll to the end of the post for a fantastic giveaway!}


Love Inspired Suspense authors Shirlee McCoy, Margaret Daley and Sharon Dunn will get your pulse racing with tales of Texas cops and their loyal K-9 dogs tracking down a crime ring. Enjoy three action-packed Texas K-9 Unit romantic suspense novels in one box set! When a boy goes missing from his bedroom, a police detective must assure a desperate single mother that he and his trusty bloodhound will find her son. A woman with amnesia has to rely on an officer and his border collie to stay alive when she can't remember who tried to kill her. An FBI agent is called in to protect a single mother when the rookie K-9 officer witnesses a murder and becomes the killer's target.

About the authors:
Shirlee McCoy
Shirlee McCoy has always loved making up stories. As a child she daydreamed elaborate tales in which she was the heroine — gutsy, strong and invincible. Though she soon grew out of her superhero fantasies, her love for storytelling never diminished. Shirlee knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book. Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.

Margaret Daley
Margaret has been writing for over 35 years. She started writing in the late 1970s because she wanted to see if she could put a whole story down on paper. That book is still in the drawer and will never see the light of day. But she was able to finish a book, which was her goal. She loved teaching and working with students with special needs, and recently retired from teaching to write full-time. When she isn't working, she loves to read, travel, and go to lunch and a movie with a friend. She and her husband, Mike, to whom she has been married for over 40 years live in Tulsa. Besides teaching and writing, she is also a mother of one. Her son, Shaun, is married with four daughters.

Sharon Dunn
Sharon Dunn first fell in love with mystery and suspense about the time she read Nancy Drew mysteries in the fifth grade. Her first book in the Ruby Taylor mysteries Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves was a finalist for the Romantic Times Inspirational Book of the Year. The second book in that series Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. Her hobbies include reading, working out, hiking, trying to find things around the house and making pets out of the dust bunnies under the furniture. Before she started writing, she used to sew. Now she just collects fabric and patterns and fantasizes about projects. After nearly twenty seven years of marriage, Sharon lost her beloved husband in 2014. She lives with her three nearly grown children, two cats and a nervous border collie named Bart.

One lucky reader will win a physical copy of  the latest book by Shirlee McCoy (author of Book1 in the series), Protection Detail.”


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Ground Cafe by Max Lucado #REVIEW

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.  

 In Max Lucado's new fiction release, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, he asks, If you could ask God anything, what would you ask—and how would he answer?

I recently read my first Max  Lucado book!  I have to tell you I've been missing out!  This tale centers around the recently seperated Chelsea, who is trying to rebuild her life.  She ends up running her mother's coffee shop and is really struggling.  Enter in her guardian angel Manny and things start shaking up.

I loved the way Lucado wrote about spiritual warfare within the context of a contempory fiction/romance novel.  It was so unexpected and wonderfully done.  I had just myself finished reading in Daniel about this very thing - when the Angel wasn't able to come to Daniel for 21 days until Michael came to help.  I think often times we forget that angels are fighting a spiritual battle that goes unseen by human eyes.  This was a reminder of that.

I also loved how Lucado had the character's heart change through the course of the book.  They came to know God and that changed their whole lives for the better.  I really enjoyed this one and will read more from him.

You can purchase your copy of Miracle at the  Higher Grounds Cafe at your local book retailer or online at places like Amazon

About the book:

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way. 

Additional Information:

Join Max in celebrating the release of his new fiction book by entering his iPad giveaway and RSVPing to his Coffee with Max webcast!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A copy of Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on the Litfuse blog. Then tune in later on the 24th for his Coffee with Max webcast. RSVP here!



Friday, March 13, 2015

Random 5 on Friday

 1.  I hate Spring Forward (Daylight Savings Time.)  I'm dragging and so are my kids.  This has been a hard week. The little guy had meltdowns - which he never does!

2.  I have been on an ice-T kick for the past two weeks.  I can't get enough of it!  I want some right now!  The good kind too - the southern brewed ala' Chick fila ice tea.

3.  The weather in NJ is finally warming up.  I haven't worn a coat all week.  50 degrees FEELS like summer to me.

4.  Frozen 2?  Why?  Seriously why?

5.  Tomorrow is my step-mom's birthday - Happy Birthday!!!  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

New Series: How To Become A Blogger! #bloggingtips

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

I would say that I get asked one question more than anything when meeting new people or with friends/family.  That is:  How do I become a blogger.  Most people want a quick answer - and frankly, there isn't one.  So I've decided to do a weekly series talking about how, giving tips and explaining what it takes to become a steady blogger.

I am by no means a super successful blogger - no one is paying me for this gig!  However it is something I enjoy tremendously.  It is an outlet to share my thoughts and sometimes knowledge on topics.  It is a chance to interact with the cyber community and I hope be a blessing to someone.

If you have any specific questions you would like to have addressed, please send me an email (

I'm not sure how long this series will last but I do think it will be fun sharing what I've learned!

Look for the first official 'tip' on Wednesday, March 18th. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Foxbrim Organic Rosehip Seed Oil #rosehip

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

Rosehip oil has become a staple in my beauty routine.  It has a ton of uses and is a great natural way to treat several skin conditions.  Foxbrim sent me their  Certified Organic 100% Rosehip Seed Oil to review and share with you all.


Organic Rosehip Seed Oil from Foxbrim. 100% Pure, Cold Pressed and Unrefined. Sourced directly from Chile.

With Foxbrim's Organic Rosehip Seed Oil you can:
- Slow and reduce visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines
- Fade age spots, skin discoloration and hyper-pigmentation
- Reduce appearance of burns and blemishes
- Heal scarring and diminish photo-aging
- Create even and beautiful skin tone

Foxbrim's Organic Rosehip Seed Oil includes:

+ Vitamin A
+ Vitamin C
+ Linoleic Acid (Omega-6)
+ Linolenic Acid (Omega-3)
+ Lycopene (antioxidant)
+ Beta-carotene (antioxidant)

Treat your skin to the best nature has to offer.

My Thoughts:

If you have never used rosehip oil there are some things you should know about it.  It is a dark amber colored oil.  It has a earthy almost nutty smell and is recommended to be kept in the refrigerator to prolong the life of the product. 

My favorite for Foxbrim's Rosehip Oil is on scars, specifically acne scars.  It handles redness like no other.  I apply my regular moisturizer than dab on the rosehip oil on the spots.  I've found for me it shortens the duration of the break out as well.  I have really come to love it for this use and although I don't have many break outs I like having a great, natural product to help with those issues.

You can purchase your Foxbrim Organic Rosehip Seed Oil at Amazon.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"See The Light" with Egglo #review

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *Additional disclosure listed at the end of this post*

It has been some crazy weather this year in New Jersey.  We've had so much snow it seems like spring will never come.  That said Easter is just around the corner, even if it is hard to believe looking at the 9 inches of snow we have outside.  In the spirit of the upcoming season we had the opportunity to review  some wonderful products from Egglo Entertainment.

What we received:

 Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs
- 12 glow in the dark Easter Eggs.  You 'charge' them either by placing out side in the sun or by placing under an indoor light.  Each egg is two pieced so you can fill it with candy, stickers or scrolls. 

The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure book
- a  story featuring three kids and their adventure with the Eggs. 

Egglo Treasures Scripture Scrolls
- 12 scripture inspired scrolls that fit nicely inside the eggs.

Egglo Bible Verse Stickers
- 12 stickers, that contain scripture inspired verses.

The Egglo Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt Event Curriculum
- a PDF curriculum that gives you ideas on how to use the product.  There are printable decorations, coloring sheets and even recipes.  This will help you if you wanted to use Egglo with a larger group or if you just want to use at home with your children.

Egglo Entertainment Review
How we used the products:

At four years old my youngest is in the perfect age for a product like this.  (I think it is great for 3 and up, anyone who would enjoy an egg hunt.)  Why I think it is perfect is because he is just starting to really understand who Jesus is and what that means in our life.  See faith is a huge part of our day.  We teach our babies from a young age to pray and talk about Jesus daily.

Over the past few weeks we've been reading the book - The Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure - to Jace.  It is a little long to keep a 4 year old's attention so we've been reading a few pages at at time.  

Egglo Entertainment Review
I had intended to have an egg hunt outside, however the weather really did not cooperate for me.  So we 'charged' our eggs by sitting them under a light inside the house.  Then I hid them in the house for my little guy to find.  He of course was over the top excited to do this.

As for the extras - each egg had a sticker, scroll and some had a piece of easter candy.  I think this was fun for him to find special surprises. Now the egg hunt is a fun aspect of this whole thing but of course there is a bigger picture!  The eggs are symbolic!  They are to show Jesus is the light in the world.

So after we hunted the eggs I took one and I told Jace about how Jesus is the light of the world - quoting:

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. - John 8:12

Then I explained that verse to him.  I told him if we know Jesus in our hearts, then we too are the light of this world. Next, taking a blanket I covered one of the eggs - and I asked him if he could see the 'glow' - of course he couldn't.  Next I uncovered it and talked about how bright it shined.  I told him how we need to be sure our light is shining for the people that don't know Jesus - so that we might share Jesus with others.  

Of course this was all a bit over his head, but that is okay.  He is only 4 and if we bring out the Egglo stuff each year then he will get the idea with reinforcement.  The last thing I did was print off some of the coloring sheets (from the curriculum) for him to color.  He loves coloring so that was something I knew he would like to do as an additional activity.

Our Thoughts:

This is a really cute idea.  Egg hunts are always a fun seasonal activity and I love how this steps it up a notch by including a true Easter/faith meaning. The eggs are durable and will last for many years.  I found that sunlight helped them to charge a bit better so that is something you should consider.  It was best when we let them charge outside for a couple hours.  Then I just gave them a quick boost inside before the hunt by putting them near a light.  My only complaint is the stickers/scrolls are not true bible verses.  Each say 'based on' and the verse they are referencing.  I would have liked the opportunity to have a true bible verse and the option to purchase King James Version - which is the bible we use.  If that had been an option we would have probably included some bible memory with the stickers and scrolls. 

Egglo Entertainment Review

Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Pure Body Naturals Fractionated Coconut Oil #coconutoilfractionated

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

I love Essential Oils but one thing you have to remember is that you are supposed to dilute them in a carrier oil when applying topically.  An easy way to do this is with coconut oil.  I received Pure Body Naturals Fractionated Coconut Oil for review.

About the Product:

  • 100% Pure - Base and Carrier Oil for Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Massage Use and Therapeutic Recipes.
Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) is an all-natural carrier oil that readily absorbs into the skin, making it ideal oil for topical therapies. Its feather-light emollient effect provides a soothing barrier without clogging pores and is excellent for dry or troubled skin. It leaves skin feeling silky smooth, not greasy like other vegetable carrier oils. It is completely soluble with all essential oils and is colorless, odorless, and will not stain or go rancid.

  • ·         Leaves skin feeling smooth with no greasy feeling
·         Does not clog pores – a natural skin and hair moisturizer, softener and non-irritant lubricator
·         Can be mixed with Carrier Oils and Essential Oil as a base oil
·         Odorless and Colorless – does not stain and easily washes out of clothing and sheets
·         Fractionated Coconut Oil is a carrier that never goes rancid (stored cool out of direct sunlight)

My Thoughts:

Fractionated coconut oil is awesome for dilution of essential oils because it remains in liquid form regardless of temperature.   This oil is not a greasy feeling oil.  It blends seamlessly into the skin when applied.  This product is scent free and hypoallergenic.  My favorite use is to mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with a tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil and apply it.  This scent is very relaxing and great for nighttime.  (I use it on my 4 year old too!)

The oil itself is a great moisturizer.  With the never ending winter we are having in NJ - this has been a great relief to my dry skin.  It is great to apply right after showering.  I've been so pleased with this product and it is a staple when using essential oils.  I plan on buying some roll-on bottles to make my own essential oil blends in the near future. 

You can order this product at Amazon

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast *Available Now* &Extras!

A Rup Life received press to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

I know there are lots of little girls out there that are anticipating Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast! Since Tink happens to be my favorite Disney character - I just had to share the extras!

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is available at your local retailers or online at stores like Amazon!

Download Sweet & Crafty Fairy Creations

Random 5 on Friday ~ 3/6/15

1.  I hated my white stove.  It didn't heat properly, the oven door was stuck open.  It was beyond frustrating to use it.

2.  My fridge decided to die last Thursday...

3.  Here are the old appliances:

 4.  Here are my shiny new appliances - which I LOVE:

5.  I need to replace the white microwave very, very soon!  I love the new set!  They are from Frigidaire.  I have had zero problems with fingerprints! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Essential Oils Won't Heal A Gallbladder Attack... #oiladventure

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Last week my dear husband came home from work early, unexpectedly.  He never leaves work like that.  He had text me in the morning telling me he had some stomach pains - but I thought nothing of it.  So there he was home and in pain.  A LOT of pain.  Eventually around 3pm after slathering him with my favorite go to oils for tummy trouble and pain, I realized he needed to go to the ER.  I finally convinced him and off we went.

I didn't get home until about 4 am!  He didn't get a room until about 5 am.  In fact he spent half that time in the waiting room, pale and in excruciating pain.  Then the other other half of the time in a hallway of the ER.  I read a whole book in that time!  It took forever for diagnosis.

Finally.... infected gallbladder and stones.  It is a very common thing in his family and I suppose it was just his 'time' that Monday.  

Tuesday they fit him in for surgery and Wednesday he came home.  (Just for the sake of showing how crazy last week was - our FRIDGE decided to quit on Thursday - Essential Oils didn't help with that either!)

He is mostly healed up today, a week and a day later.  So thankful for our family and friend's help and prayers.  Wowsers it was a nutso week!

By the way if your wondering what oils I subjected the hubby to before taking him to the ER, here is the list.  They are wonderful but just won't work when you need surgery!