Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Review: Brave Beauty

When the publisher offered me the chance to review Brave Beauty, Finding the FearlessYou 
by Lynn Cowell, I jumped. 

This is a lovely hard backed devotional for girls. Each devotional is just a few pages long, and ends with reflective questions, quizzes and prayers. I love the modeling of confident real prayers in the section they call Courageous Call. The devotions use engaging real life stories, Bible verses and Bible stories to help our girls grow into brave, courageous young women. 

There are three main sections: I am Loved, I am Brave and I am Confident. Those are broken up as well with four devotions in every subsection. There is a regular topical index in the back, but I love that the Table of Contents was also written so clearly with the themes of each devotional so that it becomes quick guide to finding something to speak to a specific struggle. 

I'm excited to hand this over to my (almost) ten year old daughter. I remember being excited for a new devotional as a young girl that would speak to my needs in that stage of life and I think this will definitely do that for her. I'd recommend it to young girls entering the Tween phase. 

I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review: the NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible

I was lucky enough to be offerered a review copy of a the NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible.  This is a beautiful Bible I can't wait to pass on to one of my children.  

This is a beautiful hardcover book with an attached ribbon bookmark and beautiful colorful pages.  The Bible text is in one column per page and along the outside edge of each page, is a colorful strip where extra notes are found near the relevant verses.  I love this part, they are so easy for the young readers to find more information on the culture. There are maps, photos, illustrations and explanations. Each book begins with a simple, easy to read chart explaining information such as author, why it was written, what happpens, what we learn about God, key people, etc.  These are simple 1 to 2 sentence descriptions, not long overwhelming paragraphs like some Bibles. Perfect for young readers. There is a simple table of context, alphabetical list of books and a short preface (aimed more at the adult reader detailing the translation) in the front, and then it jumps right into the book of Genesis. In the back are colorful maps and a simple index. 

Here's the publishers description: 
The NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible, for ages 8-12, brings the Bible to life in four-color illustrated splendor. This study Bible includes a spectacular full-color interior featuring over 700 illustrations, photos, infographics, and maps on every page that visually represent key Bible information. Each page also features important facts located near the relevant verse. Intriguing facts; colorful, engaging maps; photographs; and illustrations make this a Bible they'll want to explore.

Features:: Over 700 four-color photographs, illustrations, infographics, and maps throughout:: Full-color design:: Book introductions, including important facts and an image to orient the reader:: One-column format with side bar study notes for ease of reading:: The complete text of the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible:: Beautiful cover featuring gloss 
I would recommend this Bible to any young reader.  It's a perfect first full Bible.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pattern testing and RELEASE! Escapade by 5 out of 4

I had the chance to test again for one of my favorite pattern companies, 5 out of 4 Patterns. I love these patterns so much, Jessica designs patterns that are excellent for active moms to wear everyday or to dress up!

This pattern is an excellent staple for summer, the Escapade Top and Dress. It can be a bra, bikini, top, summer dress, swim top, swim dress... So many things!

I tested the dress and the top options. 5 out of 4 patterns are always easy to follow, with great links to help you hop right to the options you need. You can print only the sizes you need and my favorite part, NO TRIMMING necessary!! They go together so quickly and easily.

My dress is super comfortable for summer heat, I'm anxious for it to warm up!  I prefer skirts and dresses in the summer (rather than shorts) so this is perfect!

I also was able to test a swim top. A swim dress has always been at the top of my list for swimsuits, so I was planning to try one out for my final test. As I was rummaging through my swim stash I found a swim bottom I had never made a top for!  This is a perfect swim top pattern.

I will say that this suit is a perfect example of why the tutorial says DO NOT STRETCH YOUR FABRIC! You can see how it ripples below the bust. Lesson learned.

This is a very comfortable top and dress and I look forward to wearing it this summer! I may even wear it around when I'm not swimming!

Straps are another area that is versatile with this pattern. My suit I left as a halter, the dress I took down into a V (sorry, no pics...). You can also take them straight like traditional spaghetti straps or cross them.

I'm looking forward to playing more with this pattern! I have not tried using the optional bra cups, though I think I'll try those soon!  I'd love to sew my own bras!

(Links included in this pattern are my afiliate links!)