5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Kemi from Homemaking Organized

I only have a couple more blogging friends to introduce you as I begin to wrap up the FINCHNWREN summer series (now fall series) of 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…  Today, I’m featuring my friend Kemi from Homemaking Organized!

 

 

In 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…, I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite friends from the blogging world.  Each of them will tell you a little about themselves, how they recharge, what they’ve read and done over the summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

Now, meet Kemi from Homemaking Organized!

 

 

1. Favorite summer activity:  This may sound crazy but just hanging out in my backyard. We get a nice breeze and I love to just sit back there on a quiet day and read. Of course if my daughter and her friends join me it’s no longer quiet!

2. Best book you’ve read this summer:  Ooh this is so hard! When it comes to books I think I have a problem. I just devour them. I normally like fiction because it’s like an escape but a few months ago I really enjoyed reading the story Bessie’s Pillow. Bessie’s Pillow is the story of a young Jewish Immigrant woman coming to America at the turn of the century and what her life was like in this new world. It’s really written for teens but I really enjoyed it. I have a review on the blog if you’re interested. https://www.homemakingorganized.com/homeschool-2/homeschool-reviews/bessies-pillow-a-young-immigrants-story-homeschool-book-review/

3. How do you renew your spirit/recharge your batteries? I’ve been needing to recharge for some time. We’ve been so busy and there is no let up. I’m many things to many people and I think I just need to run away. Happily, God blessed me with a neighbor who has become a close friend and sometimes I can just drop by and debrief with her. She’s also super busy so sometimes we just whine. In practical application sometimes I need to step back, make out a to do list, and start with prayer at the top.

4. Something cool God has taught you lately, or a favorite meaningful quote:
God has really taught me this year to extend Grace to those around me. This is a lesson I should have learned just from watching my husband but I’m a little hard headed so it’s taken a bit longer. God has really shown me that nobody is perfect and instead of casting so much judgement to have more grace.

5. This year, you’re looking forward to:   Our first camping trip as a family (I’m not really a camper and I’m just doing this because I love my family). Okay it wasn’t really a camping, out by ourselves in the woods type camping but it was church camp for the kids and that’s about as rustic as I go! It was a lot of fun. Like we’re still talking about it 2 months later fun. My daughter has grown out of that age group camp now so I have to figure out how to finagle an invitation to next year’s camp as a helper of some sort.

 

Hasn’t it been fun to get a peek inside Kemi’s life?  Please be sure to hop over to Homemaking Organized and visit some more with Kemi!  She has awesome posts on beautiful homemaking and home keeping, homeschooling, great reviews and giveaways too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Enjoy!  –Wren

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Get a FREE Week of Freezer Meal Recipes & Helps in this Fall’s “Make One Freeze One” Challenge from MyFreezEasy!

**Affiliate links included.**

I know that y’all have heard me brag about MyFreezEasy and their incredible freezer meals plans.  And I have an amazing surprise for you!

This week is the Fall 2017 Make One Freeze One Challenge and you can get one week’s amazing freezer meal recipes from MyFreezEasy…..FREE!!

 

 

 

The fabulous MyFreezEasy

Have you ever wished that either meal planning or daily meal prep weren’t so complicated?  Or that you had healthy, delicious meals on hand that were quick and easy to prepare, or to throw into the crockpot in the mornings?

I certainly have.  That’s why I was seriously ecstatic to be introduced to MyFreezEasy last fall.  You see, I am often pretty tired at the end of the day…or else I’m not feeling creative when it comes to putting something on the dinner table for myself and my family.  But when I learned how to prepare 5-10 meals in a couple of hours by adding the recipes’ ingredients together in different freezer ziploc bags and popping them into the freezer, our family’s evening mealtimes were truly revolutionized.  All I had to do each evening (or morning, if it was a crockpot recipe) was thaw, heat and serve.  Everything that I needed was right there in bags in my freezer!

And this week, you can try MyFreezEasy absolutely free of charge (!) in the Fall 2017 Make One Freeze One Challenge.   It starts today, October 16, and you can get a week’s worth of 5 meals that you can make and freeze or even double so that you’re making 10.

What is the Make One Freeze One Challenge?

Fall 2017 Make One Freeze One Challenge is your opportunity to get a week’s worth of freezer meal recipes, shopping lists, and labels.  You can select from these different meal plans:

  • Traditional Freezer Meal Plan
  • Freezer to Slow Cooker Meal Plan
  • Freezer to Instant Pot Meal Plan

Each of these contains 5 meals plans which can be doubled to give you 10 freezer meals.  Each plan also has shopping lists for each recipe, complete instructions for the freezer meal prep, and printable labels that you can stick on the outsides of your freezer bags.

 

What kinds of recipes will you find in the meal plans?

Yummy, easy-to-prepare, family-friendly, delicious ones!  The recipes include a huge variety of meal types (stove-top prep, oven-baked, even foil packs) and different protein types.  Do these whet your appetite?

  • Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Street Tacos
  • Instant Pot Beef and Black Bean Chili
  • Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Hawaiian Meatloaf
  • Basil Balsamic Chicken
  • and many more!

 

 

How do you join in the Challenge and get your free meal plans?

Simply click on the link to Fall 2017 Make One Freeze One Challenge or the banners above.  They’ll take you to the MyFreezEasy page where you can sign up.  You’ll enter your first name and email address, select the free plan you’re interested in, and MyFreezEasy will send you a zip file which includes all the recipes, the shopping list and the labels.

All you have to do at that point is go shopping, then come home and prepare your meals!  (Of course if you like, you can also prepare them day by day as you need them.  Either way works.)

I seriously adore MyFreezEasy.com….

and I definitely want to hear about your experiences!  So come back and comment on this post after you’ve given it a try.  Let me know what you think!

Lots of love…and enjoy!  –Wren

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Cassandra from A Glimpse of Normal

Welcome back to our 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… series!  Today, we’re featuring Cassandra from the A Glimpse of Normal blog!

 

 

Even though fall has begun, I have some more amazing women to connect you with.  In 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…, I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite friends from the blogging world.  Each of them will tell you a little about themselves, how they recharge, what they’ve read and done over the summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

Today, meet Cassandra from A Glimpse of Normal!

  1. Favorite summer activity:

I really love anything to do with water in the summer, it can be the beach, sitting by a pool, a day at the waterpark, or hanging out at the lake. I love being around the water when it is hot out.

 

  1. Best book you’ve read this summer:

I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down and read too much yet, but I did recently finish Unsinkable Faith by Tracie Miles. If you ever struggle with negativity, this book is a MUST read. I am looking forward to reading some fiction books this summer.

 

  1. How do you renew your spirit/recharge your batteries?

I try to take at least 30 minutes every day to work on my crafts. I currently am working on a couple of different crochet projects and a cross stitch that I hope to finish before the end of summer.

 

  1. Something cool God has taught you lately, or a favorite meaningful quote:

God has had us on a faith journey this year (actually it started late last year when we began the process of buying a new house and selling our old one). He has just made it very clear to us that if we let him take the lead, He will show us which doors to walk through and which doors He is closing. It has been a very neat journey and God continues to blow our minds with the ways He has blessed us.

 

  1. This year, you’re looking forward to….

I am looking forward to camping with friends, going to Family Church Camp, working on more house projects, and seeing how God will provide.

 

Cassandra blogs over at A Glimpse of Normal. She blogs about their life, their dream home, their adventures, and she reviews homeschool products with the Homeschool Review Crew. Check out her blog to read more.

Thanks for stopping by to meet Cassandra!  Be sure to hop over to her blog.  Her family has had some amazing adventures with their new barn home this summer…and you’ll be amazed at her crochet projects!

Enjoy!  –Wren

“When We Last Spoke” Free on Amazon thru 10/6!

Hi everyone!

You might remember a book review I did back in January for a charming book called When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna.

 

Such an interesting book about sisters, family, and life.  You can click on When We Last Spoke to read the review I wrote and to learn more about this book.

And this week, you can get an ebook copy free on Amazon!  Just click on Grab your free copy of When We Last Spoke to obtain your own copy, free through 10/6/17!  (It’s only the Kindle version that is free, by the way.)

Don’t miss this fun freebie!

Enjoy!  –Wren

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams

Welcome back to our 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… series; today, featuring Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams.  I’m so happy to introduce you to her!

 

 

I’m continuing our summer series just a little bit into the fall; I have some more amazing bloggers to connect you with, even though the leaves are now starting to change and the wind has begun to blow.  In 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…, I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite friends from the blogging world.  Each of them will tell you a little about themselves, how they recharge, what they’ve read and done over the summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

Today–meet Wendy!

  1.  Favorite summer activity:

Sitting in the air conditioned house. Just kidding 🙂 I really like going swimming with my kids. I also like doing Aqua Zumba workouts, although my local pool canceled them due to lack of participation (sad face).

 

In September, we take our kids to the state fair. My husband has been invited to be a speaker on “Author Day” for the past two years, so he takes our oldest son on that day, and we bring the whole family out a few days later – I think I would be overwhelmed with the kids (all boys, ages 13, almost 11, 5, and 21 months) all by myself in someplace as unfamiliar and big as the state fair.

 

  1.  Best book you’ve read this summer:

I do a virtual book club on my blog that with another blogger, Lori (whose blog is called At Home: where life happens). We read the same book (one per month) and then find traditional “digging deeper” type questions that we answer on our respective blogs. Doing this with another blogger pushes me to read books that I might otherwise not know about – or pick up at all. Lori and I have such different tastes that my book club would be very different without her. All that said, I think the best book I’ve read this summer is one that Lori picked: Women Heroes of WWII by Kathryn J. Atwood.

 

  1.  How do you renew your spirit/recharge your batteries?

My quiet time is mostly spent knitting. It’s my favorite hobby, and I find it so relaxing that it’s a wonderful time to just listen to the needles click-click-click and pray.

 

  1.  Something cool God has taught you lately, or a favorite meaningful quote:

Patience.

 

We’re living with my in-laws at the moment, and it’s quite different (and slightly more difficult) than I expected. It’s taking us a lot longer to get everything ready to move out than I’d hoped, so I’m being continually pushed in the patience department on a regular basis. Plus, the town that they live in is a lot farther away from our normal “stomping ground” than our old house was, so there’s a lot more travel time, which further requires patience while we’re getting to where we need to go.

 

  1.  This year, you’re looking forward to….

Buying our first home! Paying off a few debts and saving up a down payment is why we’re living with the in-laws, so I really hope we’re able to make that happen sooner rather than later.

 

Wendy is wife to a cartoonist and homeschooling mom to 4 boys, ages 13, 10, 5, and 1. Her favorite hobby is knitting. She blogs at Ladybug Daydreams, writing about homeschooling (particularly curriculum reviews), knitting, and general life with boys.

Thank you for stopping by to meet Wendy!  Be sure to check out her author husband by clicking on the “cartoonist” link, and visit her blog!  I know you’ll love getting to know her better!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Brave Beauty ~ A Girls’ Devotional Review & Giveaway

I have a fantastic giveaway for you all today!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network kindly sent me a copy of Lynn Cowell’s Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You to review–as well as a copy to give away to a reader!

 

What is Brave Beauty?

Authored by Proverbs 31 Ministries author and speaker Lynn Cowell, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You offers devotional writings that are perfect for young women.  Lynn Cowell has raised three teens herself and is committed to help young women learn who they are in God and build confidence in themselves and in Him.  Although Cowell wrote this book for girls aged 8-12, I think that older teens (and even adult women!) will find the thoughts and encouragement both rich and absolutely on track for questions of value, love, and identity.

 

 

Cowell discovered that 70% of girls do not feel they measure up.  Given our culture’s focus on external beauty, the perfect selfie, and having been a teen girl myself at one time, I don’t find that surprising at all.  Although it is sad!  But I do think that it’s honest and truthful.  We all, whether we’re female or male, want to know that we are of value; that we matter; that we measure up.  So Cowell has written a fantastic book (full of 100  short devotional chapters) that address those issues, in the following categories:

  • Section 1:  I Am Loved
  • Section 2:  I Am Brave
  • Section 3:  I Am Confident

Each of these has subsections, where you’ll find titles like “I Can Redefine Beautiful,” “You Are With Me,” “I Can Do the Scary Things,” “My Purpose,” “I’m Beautiful,” and much more.  Each of these subsections has four devotionals (comprising the 100 contained in the book) which develop those titles more and more.

Cowell’s writing is in a kind, friendly, and confident voice that is easy to read and enjoy.  It’s clear that encouraging young women and enabling them to see the truth on what God says about them is the author’s passion.  Each chapter talks about a particular issue and includes a Bible verse (or sometimes even a Bible story) that shares the truth that God would want a young woman to know and dwell on.  The chapters are just long enough to develop a thought or idea; enough to encourage the reader but not overwhelm.

 

So what did I think of Brave Beauty?

I.  Loved.  It!

I actually wish that Lynn Cowell had written a version of this book for young men as well as young women!  The ideas and truths that she shares are so vital for healthy thinking and healthy living with God and with others.  As a matter of fact, I’ve read different chapters out loud to my husband and son in family worship or devotional times, because what she has shared has been so impactful to us.

Here are some words from several of my favorite readings:

  • “God knows you because He has taken the time to search you.” (p. 37)
  • “It takes bravery to be a girl who thinks people are more important than things.”  (p. 40)
  • “Knowing Jesus’ words can give us peace even when trouble is coming.  When we learn what the Bible says about us, we can speak these words to our heart when it is hurting.”  (p.46)
  • “Finally, Leah changes the person she is looking to for the acceptance she wants so badly.  “This time I will praise the LORD,” Genesis 29:35 (NIV) she says…..Leah was brave and beautiful.  Brave because she never quit believing God would help her.”  (p. 49)

And the rest of the book is full of more wonderful, loving, truths.  This book would be an incredible gift for any young woman who’d like to know how God really feels about her…and the truths He speaks over her!  It would be perfect quiet time or before-bed reading for girls.

And yes, I admit it; even as an adult mom I have found these readings incredibly helpful and a blessing to ME!

 

 

And I have one copy to bless a reader with!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You
for one reader of the FINCHNWREN blog.  Just click on the pink “Enter Here” link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools form where you can enter to win!  Giveaway closes October 4, 2017.

Enter here!

 

Best wishes, and enjoy!  –Wren

DISCLOSURE:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

Faithgirlz’ Backpack Bible ~ Review & Giveaway

I have another lovely giveaway for you all!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network has sent me a fabulous, compact Bible for young women called the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible…plus one to give away to a reader!

 

 

So what is the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible?

Have you…or has a young girl you know…ever wished for a compact Bible that could be easily carried in a purse, messenger bag or backpack?  I know that Bible apps are widely available these days on phones and devices and I use those myself.  But I always go back to my actual Bible each day during devotional times or Bible study.  Or when I just need to find a particular verse for myself or to share with others.  So I really do appreciate an actual Bible that I can hold in my hands.  And one that’s compact yet not too heavy to bring along with me?  Perfect!

And this one, the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible, truly is the perfect size to hold, use, and carry.  It measures at almost 4 1/2″ x 6 3/4″ and just over 1 1/2″ thick.  It’s a leathersoft, opens and lays flat, and colored in a soft pink with an embroidered message on the cover that reads “Follow your heart.” The Bible version is NIV and the text, while compact, is still highly readable.  (Jesus’ words are even lettered in red!)  There are 12 brightly colored pages containing encouraging messages, Scriptures that are perfect for a young girl’s heart, and even an invitation to begin a relationship with Jesus.  This Bible is designed for girls aged 8 and up.  There’s also a pink ribbon bookmark attached.  It retails for $24.99.  Though it’s beautiful and very girly, it’s also very sturdy and should last for years to come.

 

Who would enjoy the Faithgirlz Backpack Bible?

Any girl, really–whether she’s 8 years old or an adult!  Anyone who’s interested in a Bible that can be easily carried around in daily life, or even on trips or vacations.  Or, a mom or youth leader who wants to bless a special young woman with her own Bible that’s designed especially for her.  Or maybe you know a young girl who has just given her heart to Jesus.  This would be a wonderful gift!

Because it’s a lay-flat Bible, it’s perfect to just open up and use during Bible study, during Bible sharing times with others, or simply during Bible reading.  (Sometimes small softcover books won’t stay open if you’re trying to keep them open to a certain page.  Not this one, though!)

 

 

Why should young women (or any women) read the Bible?

I know that, even as an adult, I need the truths of God’s Word to remind me of what is really important.  There are so many reasons to read the Bible.  Here are just a few!

Our culture, with its focus on physical beauty, acquisition, and the here and now is pretty forceful.  Yet God’s still small voice still beckons us with real truth and real beauty:

  • “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (from 1 Samuel 16:7)
  • “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
  • “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  (1 Peter 3:4)

In addition, my relationship with God is a relationship with a Person.  And reading His Word helps me to get to know Him:

  • “The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.”  (Psalm 145:13)
  • “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (John 1:5
  • “And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…”” (Exodus 34:6)

And what about help in my relationships with others?

  • “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26, NLT)
  • “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  (Proverbs 18:24)
  • “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father Who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  (Mark 11:25)

I could go on and on…these are just three categories that one can discover from God’s Word.  But they’re a great place to start for any woman!

And now…I have an opportunity for someone to win!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of Faithgirlz Backpack Bible
to bless one special reader with.  All you have to do to enter is click on the pink “Enter here” link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form, where you can enter to win!  Giveaway ends October 1, 2017.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.