Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Book Review - The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh

 Publisher's blurb:
For John and Laura Foster, what began as a fairytale honeymoon in 1857 aboard the steamship SS Vandervere soon becomes a nightmare. A terrible hurricane strikes and the grand ship is lost in the murky depths of the Atlantic. Laura finds herself rescued with the other women and children, but how can she feel anything but despondent without her groom? Suspecting her John is gone but still daring to hope for a miracle, Laura must face the possibility of life alone.

Talented author Dan Walsh skillfully tells an epic story of hope, faith, and love through an intimate lens. Inspired by real events, this emotional and honest story will capture your heart as you sail through its pages.

My Review: I enjoyed reading this book. It was engaging although somewhat gloomy. It was predictable in places but had some surprising twists as well. The difference of class of the various characters and how they overcame those differences was enjoyable. Overall a good story and I would recommend it to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Book Review: Stars Collide by Janice Thompson

Publisher's Blurb:
Kat Jennings and Scott Murphy don't just play two people who are secretly in love on a television sitcom--they are actually head over heels for each other in real life. When the lines between reality and TV land blur, they hope they can keep their relationship under wraps. But when Kat's grandmother, an eccentric star from Hollywood's golden age, mistakes their on-screen wedding proposal for the real deal, things begin to spiral out of control. Will their secret be front-page news in the tabloids? And can their budding romance survive the onslaught of paparazzi, wedding preparations, and misinformed family members?
From the soundstage to a Beverly Hills mansion to the gleaming Pacific Ocean, Stars Collide takes you on a roller-coaster tour of Hollywood, packing both comedic punch and tender emotion.

My Review: I didn't much care for this book. It was pretty contrived and predictable. Every one was always upbeat and happy. Always praising God yadda yadda. I know several Christians and they don't throw around so much God praising as this book does. It was all too staged. It was very much removed from reality. If you view the world through rosed-coloured glasses you may enjoy this book, otherwise give it a pass.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Poo Chi - Hilarious!

Book review - Angel Sister by Ann H. Gabhart

Publisher Blurb:
It is 1936 and Kate Merritt is trying hard to keep her family together. Her father has slipped into alcoholism, her mother tries to come to grips with their dire financial situation, and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to all of it. Kate could never have imagined that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what her family needs.

In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer.

My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It takes place in the middle of the depression and really emphasizes the hard times people were going through. Although a Christian book with a lot of Bible references, it never felt overly "preachy" to me.  I think the overall message of the book, was simply to have faith. Whether faith in God or yourself, just have faith.

I also enjoyed reading about a simpler time. Even throughout the hardships that plagued the family, they managed to love each other and find joy in simple pleasures. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Monday, 14 March 2011

Comments made in the year 1955!

My sister sent this in an email to me - makes you think.

Only 56 years ago...

"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are,

it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $10.00."


"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year?  It won't
be long before $1, 000.00 will only buy a used one."

"If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit; 20 cents
a pack is ridiculous. "

"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 7 cents
just to mail a letter."

"If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to
hire outside help at the store."

"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would
someday cost 25 cents a gallon.
Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."

"I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more.  Ever since they
let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in "GONE WITH THE WIND",
it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it."

"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put
a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some
fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in

"Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for
$50,000 a year just to play ball?
It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the
President. "

"I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would
be electric.  They are even making electric typewriters now. "

"It's too bad things are so tough nowadays.  I see where a few
married women are having to work to make ends meet. "

"It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire
someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

"I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a
whole lot of foreign business."

"Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government
takes half our income in taxes.  I sometimes wonder if we are
electing the best people to government."

"The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather,
but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."


"There is no sense going on short trips anymore for a weekend.  It
costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a hotel."

"No one can afford to be sick anymore.  At $15.00 a day in
the hospital, it’s too rich for my blood."


"If they think I'll pay 30 cents for a hair cut, forget it."

Book Review - A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell

Publisher Blurb: The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy read that flowed smoothly. Equal importance is given to each of the three main characters. They are all believable and likable. It delved into the Italian tradition a fair bit but over simplified things in some parts. It was detailed where it needed to be (describing the beautiful gowns they created) but didn't bore you with unnecessary explanations All in all, an enjoyable Sunday afternoon read. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Kefir, low carb, sugar substitutes & rashes

I read about kefir, a probiotic milk drink several years ago but never really looked into it any further.
I recently read about it again on a blog I read. I was able to find free kefir grains in my neighbourhood. I have been making and drinking about a cup of kefir a day for approximately 6 weeks now.

About 2 weeks after starting the kefir, I also decided to start eating a low carb diet. I don't remember if it happened before or after going low carb, but I developed a rash on my stomach. I had it for a couple weeks before it dawned on me that it could be a candida die-off rash.

Candidia is an internal yeast over-growth. It is believed that many people have candida without even knowing it. Being on antibiotics kills off good bactieria and allows normal amounts of yeast in the body to grow unchecked. Candida can cause inflammation which can lead to a myriad of problems and diseases.

Kefir is known to kill off candida yeast. Eating a lot less sugars and carbs also causes candida to die as it is a yeast and feeds off sugars. It may be a combination of the two, the kefir and the low carb diet that contributed to the rash. Soon the rash also appeared on the inside of my left arm, wrist to elbow. It is EXTREMELY itchy. I am using anti-itch cream, Bach rescue remedy cream and GoldBond anti-itch lotion. None completely help.

I have not been 100% on the low carb diet - I have lost 10lbs but some days I am good, some days not so much. The rash is not getting any better and I am scratching my skin off! The on and off cycle I am doing could also be contributing to the rash, as the die-off symptoms should subside after a fee weeks. if I had been 100% with the low carb.

Since I am doing low carb, I have not been eating sugar. I use Stevia (powder & liquid) in my coffee and tea. Today I read that some people are allergic to stevia and get rashes. Great!
I have used stevia before but never for this length of time. I don't know if I am allergic to stevia or if the rash really is a die-off symptom.

I can go to my Dr but she will probably just give me an antibiotic cream which, if I do have candida, could make the problem worse. Most regular Drs do not believe in candida as it is very hard to diagnose.

This sucks! If I can't use stevia, what other low carb sweetener is there? I will NOT use Splenda - I get lightheaded within minutes of using it. I don't like any of the other sweeteners and I don't believe them to be safe either.

Does anyone know of something safe? I don't know whether to just give up the lowcarb and go back to eating sugar or not. Stop the kefir? I don't know. All I know is this rash is not going away and it is driving me nuts!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

My day at the salon/spa

Have you heard of If not, you should definitely check it out - there are tons of deals there, some may be right for you.

A month or so back, I came accross a deal for a salon/spa.
The deal included:
  • 1 hour customized facial with scalp massage
  • full hair colour
  • partial (top only) highlights
  • wash, cut & style
  • makeup application
All this for $75. Since I haven't had my hair cut let alone, styled or any of the rest, in about a year and a half, I jumped at buying this deal.

Once I recieved my voucher via email, I called to set up my appt. Since they had sold so many of these, I had to wait approx. 3.5 weeks. I asked how long to allocate for the appt, I was told 4 hours!

Yesterday was my appt. I arrived at about 11:15am, my appt was for 11:30am.

I was taken up TWO flights of stairs to the facial room.
I was told to disrobe the top half of me and put on a wrap-around underarm robe. I asked if it would fit me - I am NOT a small person and many of these "one-size-fits-all" type things do not. She said yes and then left me to change and get on the table.

The robe did not fit - I did the best I could. I had a hard time getting on the table, it was high, I am short. It moved a lot and I have heavy. I managed to get up and then pulled the blanket up to cover what the robe did not.

She knocked then came back in the room. She dimmed the lights, played soft celtic music and did a myriad of things to my face, all of them enjoyable. She also massaged my shoulders and neck. After awhile she put a facial mask on me and left for 15 mins - I almost fell alseep. When she came back, she cleansed the mask off and gave me a face and head massage. It was all very lovely and relaxing.

The downer was when I had to get dressed and then feeling very loose and relaxed, had to walk carefully down the 2 flights of steep stairs.

Back on the 1st floor, I got my hair coloured and highlights applied to the top of my head by a different woman. Just before that was finished, a woman came into the salon with a little girl of about 4. The girl had gorgeous long blond hair that she had decided to cut herself. She had a huge chunk taken out of one side - very short. The mother asked if it could be fixed without cutting all the hair short as the father wanted it left as long as possible. While my colour was working, my stylist went and fixed the girl's hair. She did a stellar job at hiding the missing chunk.

Next it was up one flight of stairs to get the colour washed out and then to get my hair cut & styled.
I chose to cut my hair to shoulder length. I had several inches cut off. Once my hair was complete, she started on my make up. Again this was all very relaxing. I liked the final look, but thought is slightly heavy for my liking.

I was looking good and feeling very relaxed and happy. Then I left and walked into a blizzard to go meet my husband. By the time he got there, my hair was flat from the rain/snow. Oh well.

When I got home, I looked at the brochure they gave me. If I had just walked in and had all those treatments done without the voucher, it would have cost me $240. I don't think I would ever pay that. I guess I won't be getting all that done again any time soon.

So since I know you would all want to see the results, here are my before and after photos. Although you can't really see in the photos, my hair is much lighter than it was and not as reddish as it shows in the pics.

For those of you with keen eyesight, I am wearing different glasses in the before and after, because just before I left for my appt, I was cleaning my glasses when they snapped right in the middle of the nose bridge. Luckily, I happened to have an old (ugly) pair laying around.

And finally me and my kiddo - who is now as tall as I am (not that that is difficult at 5'1")

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Regular posting will continue...

once I can kick this dang cold in the butt! Right now, it is still kicking mine :(