Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Online Daybook & #7QT (8/15/16): A Call to Love, High School Ventures and Current Faves

Happy feast of the Assumption! I have been on a blogging break but I’ve popped in to catch you up on the latest. Enjoy. πŸ™‚

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • That the last two days have been smoke free and that the local fire is now 60% contained.
  • A productive weekend, even though I am tired from it.
  • A few moments to myself to write and catch my breath before the busy schedule takes over again.
  • Food on our table, warm beds to sleep in and family to love.
  • Another year of life.

Praying for..

  • My mom’s continued health.
  • Numerous friends who are carrying heavy crosses.
  • The Olympians.
  • Our nation.
  • Kids (and their teachers) as they return to school this month.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

It seems like lately God has been telling me over and over that I need to increase my love for those around me. In Saturday’s Blessed Is She devotion, Brigid talked about the anxiety her heart feelt over the turmoils of the world and she wondered how she could go from prayer to action. She said:

“I want to fill my heart up with love. I want to carry love with me as I move through the world. I want to respond in love to the people I meet. Sometimes the love will be a love of justice, to be sure, but I will move and live in love.”

Those words have stuck with me.

Then yesterday at Mass the visiting priest said:

“It’s our capacity to love that will bring others to Christ.”

It makes me think about the people God has placed in my hands – my husband, my children, my family, my friends, members of my community, even you as you read this. It is not mere chance that they are in my life and I in their lives. I have a role to play and a mission to fulfill. But that requires me let go of my instinct to be selfish. It means thinking of others and how my actions (or lack of action) affects them. It means taking a few extra minutes on my knees to pray for you or for a struggling friend or making a meal for a mom who is having a rough time. Or not losing it when one of my kids breaks something in the house again. It means tuning off the phone and talking with my teen or reading to my sons. There are so many ways God wants me to share his love with others. I just have to decided if I will listen and act or turn a blind eye.

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Around the House…

The house has been neglected these last few weeks because I have been helping Brian with a work project. All my free time has been going to helping him so besides the basics, the house will have to wait!

 

Family Chit Chat…

For those who were asking, my mom is doing well in her recovery. In fact, she asked to relay this message: “My mom wanted me to let you know that this week when the therapist/nurse checked her they said she was doing great and healing remarkably well. Mom told the therapist that she credits it to the power of prayer because there has been countless people praying for her recovery. The therapist said that he find those who have prayer in their life do heal faster. My Mom also wanted me to send a big thanks to you again for all your prayers and support. She was in tears telling me how much it has meant to her. So a big thanks!”

With that in mind, this month I have my pap smear and a mammogram scheduled. They are not the most pleasant experiences but a definite must for my health!

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In family news, my sweet little Bella started high school this week! High school!!Β  How did 14 years pass by so quickly!!!

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Taking care of the kids when they were babies and toddlers was its own kind of crazy stress but now I’ve entered into another kind of crazy mental stress, having mama-worry about Bella’s physical, emotional and spiritual well being! Sigh. I need a piece of chocolate. πŸ˜‰

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The boys have been busy with swimming and attending their first VBS (Vacation Bible School) this month.

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They had so much fun and I was so impressed with how well it was organized! We will definitely be attending (and volunteering to help) next year.

In other news, on Thursday it is my birthday! That is both bad – another year older – and good – another year of being alive! Brian wants to know what I want for my b-day but seriously, I have everything I want (well, unless you can instantly make me a few jean sizes smaller. Hmm… maybe I should pass on that chocolate.) πŸ˜‰ Seriously, in all the things that matter, I already have them. <3

 

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In the Kitchen…

Monday: Roasted Chicken with potatoes/carrots/celery and salad.

Tuesday: Ravioli, Italian chicken sausage and green beans.

Wednesday: Breakfast dinner.

Thursday: I’ll be at a baby shower so an easy dinner but not sure what!

Friday: Date night. (Kids get pizza.)

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: (John-Paul’s birthday choice.) Spaghetti and Meatballs with sparkly juice. (Sparkling apple cider in plastic wine glasses.)

 

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Reading…

The Summer Before the War

I’ve read Section 2 of The Summer Before the War. The next podcast for the #pnsbookclub should be up soon over at Planned But Not Scripted. Their blog post for Part 1 is already up.

Persuasion

For fun I re-read Persuasion, my favorite Jane Austen book. πŸ™‚

 

 

Watching…

(ON TV)

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During the day I’ve been enjoying the Olympics with the boys. Matthew is particularly enamored with Micheal Phelps. I was touched to read Micheal’s story about his struggle with substance abuse, and feelings of no self esteem and no self worth to the point of thinking about suicide.Β  Thankfully, his friend, NFL star (and Christian) Ray Lewis stepped in and challenged Michael to re-evaluate his life and turn to God. Eventually Michael did and by the grace of God he was able to heal broken relationships and turn his life around. It’s such a powerful testimony to the fact that all these amazing successes mean nothing when your heart is lost. (You can read the whole story here.)

 

As I mentioned, Brian and I love British detective shows. Now that Inspector Lewis has started again, we are watching that.

 

We have two episodes left of The Tunnel until we find out of the killer is caught. (Parental note: Rated MA. Not for kids.)

 

— Brian and I finished the BBC mystery/thriller Thirteen about a young girl who escaped after 13 years of captivity. I really enjoyed the show but the ending seemed a little rushed and anti-climatic. (Parental note: Rated MA. Not for kids.)

 

— Meanwhile, I finished the BBC show The Crimson Field. I enjoyed it but there was no season two and that left a lot of questions unanswered. Boo.Β  It is available for free on Amazon Prime Video. (Parental note: Rated TV-14. Adult situations, language and non-sexual rear-end nudity.)

 

(AT THE MOVIES)

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Some of the movies I’ve watched this summer.

The Conjuring 2 – I’m not usually a fan of horror movies but loved the first Conjuring and this one was scary good too. PG-13

Finding Dory – I’m not sure if I liked it as much as the first one but there were some cute and funny moments. The kids enjoyed it. PG

Tarzan – Enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. The thought of a hubby doing anything to save the woman he loves made my heart swoon and run home to my own hubby. πŸ˜‰ PG-13

Beyond – I wanted to love it but I didn’t. I really liked the first one and the second (Hello? Benedict Cumberbatch!) but this third one was enjoyable but not great. PG-13

Suicide Squad – My expectations were so low that I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. (The soundtrack would have been more enjoyable if there weren’t so many bleep words in many of the songs. ) PG-13

 

Listening to …

The newest songs added to my playlist – Red Flag by The Moth & The Flame and Heathen by 21 Pilots.

 

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The other thing I have been listening to is the latest Blessed Is She Workshop – Raising a Holy Family: From Toddler to Teen by Kathryn Whitaker. She had so many excellent points, I had four pages of notes in my journal. I also loved being able to chat with the others and ask questions as we watched. Plus the fact that I could attend without leaving home, was the icing on the cake.

You can purchase the workshops individually or subscribe for the year and get at least one workshop a month (some months have two). Plus the much loved BIS Advent and Lent journals are auto shipped to you. If you buy these items anyway, it saves a lot to buy a membership. Just click here and go to the BIS shop.

The next workshop is scheduled for Aug 23. It is a prayer journaling workshop given byΒ  Ashley Woleben, a blogger and homeschooling mama who uses commonplacing and prayer journaling in her daily life. I hope to see you there!

 

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Recent Posts:

I have been taking a blogging break so this is my first post in a few weeks!

 

From the Archives:

Revolution of Love - Saturday Spotlight (logo_saturday_spotlight_3)August 2015 – Saturday Spotlight: Erica of Be A Heart

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August 2014 – Daily Planner Goal Sheet (Free Printable)

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August 2013 – Theme Thursday: Shadow & {pretty, happy, funny, real} vol 74: Bubble Play

 

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Pinned…

paleoparents1.jpg-866x1300Lemon Rosemary Chicken by Bravo for Paleo.com

 

Around the blogosphere…

— A Very Real Way You Can Help Our Country by Better than Eden

— {bits & pieces} and a matchbox makeover by Like Mother, Like Daughter

— [podcast] Kids & Chores #033 by Danielle Bean

— Audio Stories Recommended by Age by Whole Parenting Family

— Liturgical Crafting for the Non-Crafty Moms by A Knotted Life

— freedom…it’s what God wants for ALL of us… by Passionate Perseverance

 

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Taken yesterday after Mass. I love the color!

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book or movie recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com 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 Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo πŸ™‚

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The New “Blessed Is She” Catholic Planner

To many people, the start of the new year is on January 1st but for many (including moms with kids in school) the new year is more likely from Aug/Sept to the end of summer vacation. That means that in August and September we are looking for new planners or updating our old ones. Well, if you are looking for a beautiful, functional and Catholic planner, look no further! The new Blessed Is She Liturgical Planner is now ready for pre-order and let me tell you, it is gorgeous!! Take a look!

(UPDATE: This planner has sold out! A new planner is being made to start Jan 2017. I’ll update this post with the link once it is available. for pre-order.)Β 

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The Blessed is She Liturgical Planner runs through September 1, 2016 – September 3, 2017.

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The inside cover.

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Artwork and handlettering by the lovely artist Erica of Be a Heart. (I interviewed her for Saturday Spotlight here.)

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Weekly layout with sections for: To Do, Groceries, Meal Planning, Prayer Intentions, Notes, Goals and more.

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Daily hourly layout.

Other features:

  • reminder to start specific novenas
  • liturgical colors for the entire year
  • handlettered bible verses for inspiration / memorization
  • Saints of the day andΒ month
  • helpful prayer reminders

There is also a prayer section with favorite Catholic prayers of the Blessed Is She writers. (Including yours truly.) πŸ™‚

The planner is normally $60 but there is a pre-sale price of $54.99. (The price may seem high but it comparable to other name brand planners and unlike some less expensive ones, this was Made in the USA!) Planner will be shipped out the week of August 8th.

I love my bullet journal and don’t plan on changing but I am purchasing this one to use as a blogging planner. (Although, to be perfectly honest with you, this planner is so beautiful and inspirational, I am seriously considering keeping my bullet journal for all my lists and goal tracking and using this for my day to day planning. I’ll keep you posted!) In the meantime, place your order before they run out!

Lastly, if you use the links on this post, they are affiliate links, meaning I get a small percentage of the sales. Any proceeds made from this blog post will be donated to the St. Bryce Missions. πŸ™‚

Happy planning!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

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Online Daybook/ 7QT (7/19/16): Growing Boys, Fave Shows, and Counting Calories & Pennies

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • The fog rolling out and the sun shining.
  • The sounds of the kids’ laughter as they play outside.
  • A few moments to myself to write.
  • Our little home that is a haven from the turmoils of the world.

Praying for..

  • My mom and her fight against cancer.
  • For Brian’s CT results and his upcoming appointment to see if he is still cancer free.
  • All those suffering from illness, especially those with terminal a disease.
  • For peace in the hearts of men and an end the senseless violence.
  • All those who have asked for my prayers.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

The other day I was balancing my checkbook and when I was done I went out for my walk to keep on top of my #rol100milesin100days challenge. As I was walking I was thinking, why is it that I am walking every day but not losing any weight? And why is it that we’ve made a little extra money lately but I barely have enough to pay the bills? I had a sneaky suspicion that my guesstimating about how much I was spending and how much I was eating may be a little off from reality.

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So this week I updated my monthly spending log. Then I started writing down everything that I put into my mouth. Suddenly it became apparent why mama was losing money and gaining weight. All those “insignificant” purchases here and there were adding up just as all those little nibbles here and there were. Sooo, that meant I had to get back to keeping track of what I eat and what I spend since both seem to be trigger marks that I love to indulge in. Ugh.

I was reading a blog post about a woman who was trying to curb her spending habit by making a wish list in her bullet journal. When she had the impulse to buy something she wrote it down and let a few days pass and a few dollars save up. Then when she had some extra money, she looked at her list to see if she really wanted an item on there or if the urge to buy had passed. I like that idea and may do the same. As for food, I am noticing that I always seem to screw up around 4 pm when I get the munchies. I started making sure I have baby carrots, red pepper slices or grapes on a plate in the kitchen counter to munch on. It’s not as tasty as chips and guacamole but such is life. πŸ˜‰ Do you have any tips on eating and spending less??

 

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Around the House…

Summer life is still busy but I have pockets of time to work on projects. I have been taking one small cleaning project a week. Last week I put up a new book shelf and filled it with books that were overflowing our current shelves. The week before I tackled the corner of my bedroom that still held a baby table and random junk. I cleared that out and made a large pile to donate to charity. This week I will tackle the kids’ bathroom.

 

Family Chit Chat…

For those who were asking, my mom’s surgery went well and she is recovering nicely. She has an appointment later this week with her oncologist to figure out the next step in her cancer fight.

Meanwhile, Brian had a CT scan on Friday to make sure his cancer has not returned. We haven’t gotten the results yet but he has an appointment with his oncologist on Thursday so we’ll know by then. I appreciate the prayers! I always dread these appointments and worry a little about “what if.” I’m trying not to think about it!

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The other day I was looking at a photo of the boys from four years ago. They look so young! Especially, since I feel like they have gotten so much older this summer!

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See what I mean? Big boys! I don’t know how I will feel when they are teens. (I’m still in shocked that Bella starts high school in a couple weeks!) Anyway, this month the boys have been busy with swimming and next week they’ll attend Vacation Bible School.

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In between there is a lot of playing outside, visiting the library and of course playing Pokemon Go! We went to Target to get school supplies but we were delayed in the parking lot as we tried to get two critters in our car. The bottom two pictures were taken in Monterey where the boys were excited to find their first Pikachu. At least it has gotten us outdoors more. I’m sure the excitement will last for another week or so then the novelty will wear off. πŸ˜‰

 

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In the Kitchen…

Monday: Roasted Chicken, artichoke pasta salad and green beans.

Tuesday: Kale ravioli, chicken sausage and asparagus.

Wednesday: Fajitas, pinto beans, 5 minute salsa and salad.

Thursday: Leftovers.

Friday: Minestrone soup and grilled cheese.

Saturday: Meatball sandwiches and salad.

Sunday: Eat out.

 

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Reading…

The Summer Before the War

I’ve read Chapters 1-9 of The Summer Before the War. I stopped and waited for the book discussion over at Planned But Not Scripted. Are you it reading too? If so, add your comments on their blog post. I just did!

This week I will read the next section (and maybe just finish it ahead of schedule.) πŸ˜‰

East of Eden

In the meantime, I started (and finished all 600 pages, woohoo!) East of Eden. I’ll share more about it at the end of the month when I review my July reads.

Next I am reading…

The Bronte Plot

What are you reading?

 

Watching…

(ON TV)

One of our favorite British detective shows in Endeavor. I think we have one more episode left in our DVR.

Brian and I have been watching the BBC mystery/thriller Thirteen about a young girl who escaped after 13 years of captivity. The last episode is next week and we can’t wait to see how everything is wrapped up. (Parental note: This is rated MA. Language and adult situations.)

I am also two episodes into the BBC show The Crimson Field. I’m really enjoying it so far and there are so many familiar faces. It is available for free on Amazon Prime Video. (Parental note: I think this is rated TV-14. Adult situations and some battle field gore.)

 

Listening to …

I never get tired of this one – All We Ever Knew by The Head and the Heart.

 

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Recent Posts:

I haven’t posted much except for a week of book posts!

 

From the Archives:

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Β July 2015 –Homemade Coconut Granola (One of my favorite things to make!!)

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July 2014 – The Top Ten Theme Songs of My Life

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July 2013 – When He Wants to Fix It and You Just Want A Hug

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July 2012 – Making It Count (Vol 2): Mama & Me Journal

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July 2011 – Catholic Baby Shower Ideas

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Pinned…

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Photo Credit: Productive & Pretty

 

Around the blogosphere…

-> Dear Lonely Mom; You Are Not Alone by Real Catholic Mom mom.com

-> Read this, not that: Books about marriage by Like Mother, Like Daughter

-> Your Rights During a Miscarriage by Elizabeth Ministry/ Better than Eden

-> MOVIES: “THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS” by Hell Burns

-> Pray for Peace with me by Positively Imperfect

-> Bullet Journal for Busy Families with Candace Madera by Boho Berry

 

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We get a lot of fog in July but the walks are still pretty.

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The summer fruit is amazing!

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book or movie recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com 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 Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo πŸ™‚

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Making A Reading Bullet Journal (& A Chance to Win A MMD Journal)

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This week I have been celebrating the love of summer reading!

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On Wednesday, I posted my Summer Reading List. On Thursday, I posted reviews of the books I read in June.

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On Friday, I joined Cristina and Tiffany over at Planned Not Scripted for the Late Summer Reading Club where we are reading The Summer Before the War.

Today I am sharing with you by new reading journal!

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am in love with my bullet journal. I like having all my To Do’s and various lists all in one place. However, Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy (who recently started using a bullet journal) talked about having a journal just for reading. In previous years, that would have been off my radar since I wasn’t reading much. However, this year one of my goals was to read more. As a result, my love of reading has been reignited and I am reading whenever I get the chance. Sooo, a book journal is making a lot more sense to me now.

I’ll admit that I’m a fangirl of MMD and when she came out with her own lined reading journal I picked one up. It is lovely! (Although, I have to be honest and say that it did have a chemical smell when it came out of the package. I aired it out before using it.) Here is how I set it up.

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My opening page.

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I numbered the pages and made an index of the content. I left space for future lists.

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Next I added my challenges such as my Goodreads Reading Challenge and Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge.

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Next I have my book log where I keep track of the books I read. Here is January to March.

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April to June.

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I left a few pages for the upcoming months and then started a Lists section. I lined the edges with washi tape for easier reference. I left ample room for various lists – books I want to read. Authors I want to check out. Books friends recommended to me, etc.

On page 31, I started a Quotes and Notes section, which are pretty self-explanatory.

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A sample page of books to read.

Having all this in one place makes it easier when I am at the library or browsing the Overdrive app or looking for something on Amazon. There are plenty of ideas in one place. Because I had so much fun setting this up and using it, I want to share the fun with you. I bought an extra copy of the MMD journal and would love to give it to one of my online friends. πŸ™‚

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To enter the contest, just use the rafflecopter below. Have fun and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UPDATE: Congrats to the winner of the contest – Mary Ann of NY. πŸ™‚

Oh, and I always get emails asking where I bought my supplies, so here is the info in advance.

Staedtler Color Pen Set, Set of 36 Assorted Colors

Pilot FriXion Pencil, 0.7mm Ballpoint Pen, 12 Colors Set (Erasable)

Weapons of Mass Creation Pouch

Luke’s Diner Mug

Have a great weekend!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com 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 Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo πŸ™‚

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Book Reviews for 2016 – Part 3: June

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I shared with you my Summer Reading List and now that June is almost over, here are reviews of the four books I read this month.

 

When Breath Becomes Air

  • Author: Paul Kalanithi
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (January 12, 2016)

For the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge, I chose this for the “book that intimidates you” category. My husband has already battled cancer and I just found out my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I wasn’t sure if I was emotionally strong enough to read a book about a man that dies of cancer but I added it to the list despite my reservations.

The intro on Amazon said, “At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live.” I remembered Paul’s story in the news last year and it hit close to home. I wanted to hear what Paul had to say about his journey.

Reading Paul’s words helped me to understand about him as a man and doctor. He was more than a man of science but had a heart for literature and writing. He thought it was important to to develop “human relationality” with his patients, to see them as a whole person and not just their medical ailments.

In the middle of the book Paul shared a lot about his medical practice and the patients he treated and it helped to give insight to his mind and work ethic. It was heartbreaking to “watch” as the cancer spread and his life plans were drastically altered, particularly when his daughter was born as he approached his last year of life. Yet, Paul was able to find a balance in his attitude, never being overly optimistic nor morosely depressed about about his imminent death. Instead, there was a quiet strength that drove him to face his death and live his days as best as he could.Β  He said,

“I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own morality had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”

The novel was moving and had me shedding a few tears but by the last chapter, which was written by his wife, I was full on sobbing. Knowing that Paul could no longer write and hearing about his last days on earth were both heart rending and uplifting. Here was a man that did not try to escape his death. He did not see the need to hasten it nor prolong it. He faced the natural end of his life with dignity and courage. In doing so he dispelled a small bit of fear we all have at the prospect of our own death.

His courage in death inspired me to be a little more brave in life. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: The book contains brief language and the topic of cancer and death.)

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The Nightingale

  • Author: Kristin Hannah
  • Length: 440 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; 1st edition (February 3, 2015)

I read a number of great reviews about this book and decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did! The book was amazing and so far it is my favorite book that I’ve read this year.

The story takes place in France, 1939 and revolves around the lives of two estranged sisters. The sensible Vianne was married with a young daughter. The younger Isabelle was spirited and sometimes reckless. The story goes back and forth between both their point of views as they dealt with the outbreak of the war. Vianne’s husband went off to war and in his place A Nazi soldier was billeted in her home. Isabelle could not remain idle and joined the Resistance in hopes to make a difference in the war.

The historical aspect of the story was fascinating, particularly from a woman’s point of view, but just as strong was the complicated emotional relationship between the sisters as they dealt with childhood tragedies as well as the growing tragedies of the war. I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner and by the last chapters I was sitting up into the wee hours of the night to finish the book. I rate it a hearty 5 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: The book contains adult situations, themes of war and some language.)

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The One-in-a-Million Boy

  • Author: Monica Wood
  • Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 5, 2016)

This book definitely didn’t seem like a book I would be interested in but Modern Mrs. Darcy chose it as one of her 5 books in her Summer Reading Club and recommend it in her 2016 Reading Guide under the “Engrossing Books” category so I thought I’d give it a try and I am glad I did.

The story revolved around a young (and I suspect autistic) boy who was obsessed with the Guinness Book of World Records. The boy was charged with helping a 104-year old woman named Ona on Saturdays. Together they developed a special relationship. However, when the boy unexpectedly dies (early in the story) his estranged father fills in for him and helps out Ona. Although the boy was gone, his life continued to touch the lives of those around him and they came to peace with their own demons and hurts of the past.

The story was interesting and unlike any other book I’ve read. It lagged a little in the middle but picked up again and by the last chapter I was captivated to find out how it would end. I was listening to the book on Audible on our drive up to Lake Tahoe and Brian looked over to me and asked, “Are you crying??” I dabbed my eyes and confessed that I was because the ending was so beautiful. (Why does this surprise him? I tear up at Hallmark commercials.) πŸ˜‰ It was an enjoyable read and I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Some language.)

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Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined

 

  • Author: Rachel Anderson
  • Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: HEA Publishing (December 15, 2014)

After these heavier books, I needed something lighthearted to breeze through and have fun. Since Rachel Anderson is one of my favorite (clean) romance authors, I wanted to read one of her books. I had already read When Prejudice Meets Pride, which I enjoyed, so I decided to read the second in the series –Β  Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined.

The main characters are Noah, a handsome widower with two daughters and Cassie, a young widower. Cassie’s deceased husband was abusive and she slowly lost her true self as she lived her life to please her demanding husband. Now that he was gone, the last thing she wanted to do was get involved with another man. She had finally tasted freedom to be her own person. Noah, thought Cassie was attractive but a little stuck up and our of his league. However, a mutual friend believed they would be good for each other and able to help each other grow and heal so she does all she can to bring them together. When they do, they learn about themselves as well as each other.

This was a pleasing book. If you enjoy Hallmark love stories (which I do) then you’d probably enjoy this. The content is clean and sweet. If I were to rate this book comparing it to all the books I’ve read, it would be a 3 out of 4 stars but comparing it to the romance books I’ve read, it would be 4 out of 5 stars. πŸ™‚

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That’s it for now. What have you been reading?

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