Saturday, November 10, 2018

THE KITCHEN MARRIAGE - Review & Giveaway!

Today I have a fun book to share with you. I've always loved a mail-order-bride story and this one comes with a nice twist with the women being originally from France! I like that the main character Zoe decides to take a risk with her future and travel to Montana. Her independence makes her a likable character. There are some twist and turns through the book which also makes for an interesting read.

About the Book

Book: The Kitchen Marriage  
Author: Gina Welborn & Beccan Whitham  
Publisher: Kensington Publishers  
Genre: Inspirational romance/Historical America set in the old west  
Release Date: September 25, 2018  

A bright future awaits the women of courage and faith who boldly chase their dreams across the wide-open Montana Territory, prepared to embrace adventure and forge their own destinies . . .

When French immigrant Zoe de Fleur is forced out of her position as household cook for a high society New Yorker, the pretty and talented chef seizes an unexpected chance to head west for a new beginning. She pursues what she thinks is a prestigious job in the frontier’s “finest kitchen,” but instead finds herself in a matchmaker’s agency . . . Isaak Gunderson is one of Helena, Montana’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s too focused on running for mayor and his family’s business to think about a wife and family. His twin brother, Jakob, is supposed to be too busy as well, yet sends for a mail-order bride anyway. Isaak doesn’t want to fuel an ongoing rivalry with his twin, but this tempting newcomer can’t be ignored. If only she’d come to Helena a different way and loving her wasn’t a betrayal . . .

Click here to purchase your copy!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Celebrate National STEM day with Itty Bitty Buggy!

 Today, November 8th is National STEM day. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math . I'm sure you've heard about the buzz word STEM within your child's education. It is a growing idea to focus on these areas because of advanced careers and how computers have exploded kids are being exposed to technology earlier and excelling. Microduino sent us their Itty Bitty Buggy STEM kit to test out. 

My eight year old had a blast playing with Itty Bitty Buggy. This is a great starter kit because the app has many projects that you can build (it shows you piece by piece.) We had even more fun when I just gave my son the pieces and little him build. This kit was very user friendly and skys the limit with your imagination! 

The kit comes with everything you need to get started, the only thing you have to do is download the app on a smart phone. I have an iphone so this was no problem. Everything linked up and we were successful with our first project. This was a big deal to me because I'm not very tech savvy. 

 Product Details:

 ·         Hardware based on mCookie series: No need for messy wiring, Microduino’s mCookie series makes electronics easily connectable with magnetic stackable modules
·         Endless design possibilities: Compatible with more than 50 Microduino modules and sensors, as well as LEGO® pieces
·         Four modes of play: Intelligent line-tracing, musical color recognition, and other tasks can be performed in Ranger, Cruiser, Voice Control, and Musician mode using the free app for Android and iOs devices
·         Three coding languages: More exciting opportunities for skilled users to practice programming skills using Scratch, Python, and Arduino
·         More projects to come: Expansion kits will launch later this year with cool features such as artificial intelligence (AI) application that can be added to the core hardware platform

 Visit Microduino to learn more! 

Check Out These Post:

Book Review: Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd 

Strong Is The New Pretty Journal - Review received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Duck and Hippos Give Thanks! Book Review & Giveaway!

 I love pulling out special books to learn about the holidays we celebrate. I'm slowly gathering quite a collection for each of the major holidays and Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. This year we added Duck and Hippo Give Thanks. This is a sweet book about friendship and how each person likes to celebrate. Hippo wants a traditional feast while his friends like their own dishes - if you have ever hosted Thanksgiving you know that this is exactly what happens. In our house I make two kinds of bread because my husband likes one kind of rolls and I like another! For years his father made two kinds of stuffing to please our group. Learning to compromise and enjoy the reason for the fellowship is the lesson here. It comes with some laughter along the journey. I love the added use of onomatopoeia across the pages as an added lesson (hey, we are homeschoolers!) This is a great addition to our home library!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Book Review: Thanksgiving Graces

My husband loves Christmas. He starts with the music in September and shortly after is watching all his favorite movies. I get it Christmas is wonderful it brings a light to the cold weather. That is his favorite but my favorite time of year is Fall. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Book Review: Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd #WIN

 When I agreed to review this book - Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd - it was mostly out of curiosity. See it is a secular history book and we are pretty devout Christians. I do teach my kids about evolution and other religions so I knew this book would have a place on our shelf and I agreed to review it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Strong Is The New Pretty Journal - Review & Giveaway!

Being a boy mom I don't really have a lot of girly products come my way. I mean occasionally I do. However most of it is fluffy unicorn stuff. While that has its place I often wonder about the other side of raising girls. See as a boy mom I made it my goal to raise strong, independent, intelligent boys. I want them to own their lives and live to the fullest. I'm pretty sure girl-moms want the same thing for their girls.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide: OZ Naturals Olive & Jojoba Oil Nourishing Soufflé

The weather is getting cold here in NJ and I've already noticed my skin is parched for moisture. It was time to switch out my summer skin care for fall. I like to start exfoliating my face and body more at this time with sugar scrubs because removing those dead skin cells is key to make the moisturizers be able to penetrate. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Star Wars Art Studio Review & Giveaway!

 To say we are Star Wars fans is pretty much an understatement. Every single member of my family is into it. We have a whole room in our house devoted to it! I've seen every movie multiple times. I don't think there has been a Halloween that hasn't had a star wars costume. We even had a Star Wars Themed Graduation Party for my oldest son. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Duck On A Disco Ball Review & Giveaway

 I grew up with two older brothers who got to stay up much later than me. I remember waking up and finding out that my parents had gone to McDonald's after I had fallen asleep one night and being so upset about being left out. It is a memory I still have today. I asked my dad about it once after I had been married and living in my own house for many years and he chuckled. Then he told me it was a weekly thing they did. That my mom and him would go get McDonald's as a treat for themselves. They would wait until all the kids went to bed because they couldn't afford to buy for all of us and it was their special date treat. As an adult I can relate to this and I find it so sweet. However, as a kid I was so jealous!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fall Traditions You Will Love!

 Do you feel like you want to fit it all in each season. I know I do. It is hard because there is honestly not enough time in the day to do it all. The best solution I've found is to make a list of the top things that are important and then do those. There are some things we do annually like apple picking and pumpkin picking. Then we always try to do something new - like the haunted event at Sahara Sam's. Remember it is not to late to start new traditions!

Sunday, October 21, 2018


 We are getting excited for the new Disney's Wreck It Ralph movie! It is only a month away. We already have plans to meet with friends to see this one. My 2 year old say the trailer and said, " I love that show!" I think it is going to be a hit with all my kids since they are all excited about this one! We've watched the original in anticipation to the release. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide: Real Shades Review & Giveaway!

 We went apple picking a few weeks ago at a local farm. It is one of my favorite activities to do during the fall season. Getting to go outdoors and and ride in a wagon to a field. Then pick fresh apples that haven't spent months traveling to the store - it is a wonderful thing. We picked a wide variety of apples but our favorites are golden delicious and red delicious. The kids had a blast running through the fields and filling our buckets.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

NCircle Entertainment Halloween DVD Giveaway!

 We love NCircle Entertainment and all the great programing the produce! Octonauts and The Cat and The Hat Knows A Lot About That are some of our absolute favorites. Just the other day someone posted a meme on facebook that asked how old you were when you learned there was a horned whale (Narwhal) well immediately I thought of the Octonauts episode and how my little kids were young when they realized they existed. See there is something to be said about quality educational television. It can expand your mind just like a book! Both have their place in our home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Gods and Heroes: Mythology Around the World Review & Giveaway!

 I love mythology! When I was growing up I didn't get to study it in school or at home - in fact I knew next to nothing about it until I read the Percy Jackson series. So naturally I took the time to expand my children's universe. Many years ago when my older kids were little we did a whole study on different beast, gods and lore. We had such a fun time studying the different myths. Now as Christians we used that time to talk about how these ideas were created in relation to the Real God. It was a great learning experience.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


 I was introduced to Sukey Molloy years ago with her dvds Sukey's Circle. They are amazing dvds and just like having a preschool teacher in your home. I've always loved the sweet way that Sukey talks to children and this cd - Five Little Oysters! - brings that same sweetness to classic children songs. Introducing my children to music has always been some thing I've really enjoyed. We sing often in our home and the CD player is always playing. I get so much joy when we are driving in the car and I hear my little one singing on his own in the back seat. I love hearing my favorite songs from him.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall Board Books Giveaway with Abrams Appleseed!

abrams appleseed board book giveaway

 Fall is the perfect time for cuddling up to new books. The weather turns crisp and getting under the covers is the perfect way to spend a cool morning. I am really trying to foster a true love of reading with my littles. This really means putting in some quality reading time each day. By making it a routine to pull books out in the morning this has really helped. I keep a bin with books I rotate with new books accessible so that my two year old will be able to get them himself. He loves getting to pick out books for us to read.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Q&A with Dillon T. Thornton author of Give Them Jesus

 When I first became a parent 18 years I had only been saved about 6 years. I did not grow up in a saved home although we did believe in Jesus. My parents got saved around the time I did but there wasn't much growth there with my mom being so sick with cancer. My father didn't really grow in the Lord until I was out of the house. Thankfully my step-mom used those few years of me living at home to model many wonderful behaviors. I knew she read her bible and studied. However I was still at a loss of how to teach my own children. I think it is sad that I'm not alone in this area. Many times the church fails us because they don't help us to teach our own kids. They tell us that church is not enough. So while we prayed, sang and read books - in our home practicing our religion I don't think I really started teaching theology until we started homeschooling and I made it a class for the kids.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide 2018!

holiday christmas gift

 Christmas is right around the corner. There are only 10 Fridays until the big day! Time to get busy! I've already started shopping because I have to do it slowly to get it all done. I'm not one of those shop all day and get it all done at one time kind of people. I like to plan each present and do a little research. I also like to deal shop so I hit target when they have a great coupon or cartwheel. The main stores I usually go to are target, walmart, kohls, and the mall. It used to be ToysRus - which I will truly miss!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Changing Faces Book Giveaway! Don't Wake the Tiger! & Happy Halloween!!

 We started our changing faces book collection with Meet Happy Bear which went through emotions. Our next books was Don't Wake The Tiger! This book is so much fun! As you read the story prompts you to turn the page and then wake up the animals. My little one giggled through the whole book. Our newest addition is Happy Halloween! This time a spider scares each of the halloween characters. This is a great read for the season and we enjoyed it so much. I love this series and can't wait to see more books added.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Two New Titles From NCircle Entertainment! #giveaway

 Today was cold. Well it was cold for most of the day. There was a big rainstorm in the afternoon and then some muggy weather but now it is evening and it is cold again. For me cold weather means cuddling on the couch and watching television with the kiddos at night. It is the perfect way to unwind. This month we have two new titles to share from NCircle Entertainment. Floogals - Project Birthday Catke! where the Floogals learn all about birthdays. In The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! Season 2 Volume 2 we cover 20 full episodes. I love this show and often there is an episode that aligns with what we are teaching in our homeschool which is awesome!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Blog Tour: Gathering of Sisters

 Gathering of Sisters: A Year with My Old Order Mennonite Family by Darla Weaver has been one of my favorite books I've read this year. I love the simple story of a group of sisters spending time with their Momma each Tuesday. The children playing with their cousins having a blast is wonderful but the real treasure is that the adult sisters enjoy their time together sharing a meal and time just as much. I just love that. It reminds me of when I was growing up and how we went to Sunday dinners  with my mother's family. While the tradition was typically at my one aunts house family came to spend time together with my grandmother. We typically shared the same meal - spaghetti with some sort of meat while Darla Weavers family eat a lunch (they call it dinner) together and the meal varies. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Disney Villians The Evilest Of Them All Book Review & Giveaway!

 I love all things Disney and I was super excited to receive Villains The Evilest Of Them All Book to review. This is sort of a scrapbook with movie pictures, stats of the villains and even pull out pages. The Villains all hold a sort of conversations with their evil associates talking about their stories. This book is so much fun! Reading from the other side's perspective is so very entertaining. We all know a well written bad guy makes the story so much better and it is nice to have something that features these amazing characters. It is too hard to pick my favorite villain but it really cool to see them all included in this gem of a book!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Greatest-Dot-to-Dot Books Review & Giveaway!

 We were recently sent a set of The Greatest-Dot-to-Dot Books. These are a step up from the puzzles you did in your school books because you are not just connecting 1-20. The idea is that you connect the dots in a smooth fashion then after revealing the picture you can take colored pencils and color in the picture. The books are for ages 8-109 so basically all ages will enjoy working on these books.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Blog Tour: Summer Plans and Other Disasters by Karin Beery

 I know summer is over but this book did not disappoint. Summer Plans and Other Disasters is a story of finding God's will for your life and jumping all in letting God lead. I love this theme. Often times we tend to just go through the motions of life. Predictable and safe but I have to wonder how many opportunities we miss out on by not listening to God's leading.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Halloween Horror at Sahara Sam's! #hosted

Last weekend we had a blast attending Halloween Horror at Sahara Sam's in Berlin, New Jersey. This event runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings in September and October. The doors open at 5pm and it ends at 10:30pm. We took our four kids ages 2, 7, 16 and 18. This event is included with your day pass and 2019 Season Passes. If you don't plan on swimming tickets are $13.99 for Halloween Horror.

Friday, September 28, 2018


In our prep for Halloween we like to make a playlist of tunes to play when the trick-or-treators come knocking. I like to keep it fun with some classics like Monster Mash, Thriller and The One-eyed Giant Purple People Eater while adding new songs to the mix. We received Happy Haunted Halloween by Mr. Singer & The Sharp Cookies to review I knew we'd be adding new songs to the night's activities. This cd has a good mix of different styles of music all with that spooky feel.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ghoulia - Halloween Chapter Book Review #WIN

I don't always read chapter books myself before sharing with my kids but the cover of Ghoulia: Making New Friends Can Be Scary by Barbara Cantini drew me in. The black and white picture with spots of bright orange are stunning but so is every illustration in the book. The story is pretty sharp too. The tale is one of Ghoulia a zombie who doesn't have any human friends. She wants desperately to make friends and Halloween provides the perfect cover for her. This is an adorable book, perfectly themed for the holiday and it has a great happy ending. The best part it is book 1 in the new series! I can't wait to see more!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Does Frankenstein Get Hungry? Review & Giveaway!

Halloween is almost here and it is time to talk about all the things that go bump in the night! Ghost, Frankenstein, witches, werewolves and so many more are featured in this adorable themed rhyming book. In Does Frankenstein Get Hungry? each creature gets their own spread with wonderful illustrations perfect for this season! My son loves the scary and he loved this book. He is 8 and doesn't scare easy but honestly this book light and sweet and talks about fearing the things in the night. This one was a hit for us!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Zombie Cross-Stitch Giveaway! #HALLOWEEN

Halloween season is just around the corner. Time to think about your costume and decorate your front yards. I honestly have no idea what our kids will dress up as. They have been Star Wars themed for the last 6 years so I will be surprised if they venture out of that. (Stay tuned to Instagram on Halloween to see!)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Movie Review: Little Women: A Modern Retelling #LittleWomenL3

Little Women

Being a blogger can have some really neat perks! I recently had the opportunity to preview the new Little Women movie. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this movie. I have read the book but that was at least thirty-five years ago so I'm not a purist with that. I don't remember much about the book except I cried and their were sisters. Then there was the Winona Ryder movie adaptation which I also watched but remember vaguely.

Why am I telling you this? So you understand where my review comes from. I knew the basic story - a group of sisters with their Momma. Sisters who faced hardships and had amazing bonds. What my review isn't is a huge fan of the original book (or movie) who can critic each aspect and how this version handled plot twist with the fresh new version. I don't want anyone in that category to be disappointed with my thoughts because I loved this movie. and while it features the March Family I think it stands on its own.

**Possible Spoilers**