Monday, January 28, 2013

Frumps to Pumps Challenge (Sign Up Today) and Stitch Fix

I have had NO fashion sense ever since I became a Stay At Home Mom. I usually wear jeans and a shirt (and neither fit too well after pregnancy). I rarely fix my hair (used to curl to perfection) and I just started wearing a little bit of makeup again. Basically I feel like a FRUMP!! Can anyone relate??

One of my greatest challenges is getting dressed in the morning before my kids get up.  I am an early riser, but I also like to have quiet time, clean, get on computer and workout without interruption.  Where does taking a shower and getting dressed fit in?  Sometimes it doesn't.  It takes a back burner.  Oh, I do get my shower in, but I'm rushed and I definitely don't fix my hair.

My goal this month is to streamline my morning to include the things I like to do, but also take a good shower, put on makeup and wear clothes that say I'm not a FRUMP!

This little book Frumps to Pumps is a 20 day motivotional by Sarah Mae that is very inspiring.  Every day there is a short devotion with a challenge. I am under no illusion that I will become a fashion queen by the end of 20 days, but my goal is to make getting dressed at a proper time in the morning a habit as well as taking time to think about my appearance and make choices to reflect the beauty of the Lord that I have in my heart.

Are you interested in joining me?  We will start February 4 and end March 1.  We will only do weekdays (M-F).

Here is what to expect from this little challenge: Read the daily motivotionals, follow the challenges and check in here weekly!  I'd like some accountability and every Monday so I will blog my progress.  I will also have a link up if you want to share as well.

Prize:  Anyone who completes the 20 Day challenge using Frumps to Pumps will be entered into a drawing for $20!  You must check in EVERY week on the form I provide to be considered for the prize.

Sign up for the challenge HERE

I will send a short newsletter with all the information that you need.  Be sure to pick up your ebook for this challenge- Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae.

Oh, and one more thing...since I am such a fashion no-how, I found this great little site where I can hire my own personal fashion consultant.  Check out Stitch Fix and see if this is something you are interested in.  My prize to myself for completing the 20 Day challenge is to try out Stitch Fix!

Here is how it works:
  1. Sign Up and Complete Your Style Profile After signing up you can start immediately on your Style Profile. We need to know your size, shape, style, price preferences, and lifestyle to get your Fix right. It’ll take about 10 minutes.
  2. Schedule a Stitch Fix Pick a date, and we’ll send you a box of 5 clothing and accessory items we’ve hand-picked just for you. Schedule monthly, or as often as you like—it’s your call. You pay a $20 styling fee up front, which serves as credit toward anything in your Stitch Fix shipment.
  3. Try it all on Try on everything we send you—you never know what you’ll like until you see it on. Pair it with items already in your closet. Each item includes style cards with ideas and inspiration on how to wear it.
  4. Decide Take 3 days to decide what you’ll keep. Pay for just what you want to keep, return the rest in our pre-paid mailing bag at any USPS mailbox. Keep all 5 items and you save 25% off the entire shipment.
  5. Check Out Give us feedback on your Stitch Fix shipment—our secret (styling) sauce gets better over time if we know what did and didn’t work for you. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Abel's Field DVD Review and Giveaway

My Review:
Seth is a high school student who is forced to care for his two younger sisters while attending school, playing on the football team and holding at least two jobs.  After a fight with another player, his coach saddles him to another after school job to make up for his inappropriate behavior.  Seth is forced to work with a quiet, yet patient groundskeeper who has his own share of struggles. 

This movie was a wonderful story about forgiveness and perseverance.  Seth had a lot of rough situations to face and with the help of Abel he learned how to come to God and forgive the past and move forward.  It was very encouraging to see a young kid turn over his troubles to the Lord and I like how Abel was honest with him about the forgiveness that he had to accept from God for all the things he had done wrong.  A great family film with many lessons.

About Abel's Field
Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) faces enormous pressure as he strives to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. But fighting back only finds him singled out for punishment and assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of the reserved groundskeeper, Abel (SOUL SURFER’S Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that Abel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth toward desperate measures, the reluctant Abel may be the one person who can point him back toward the light.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Win it:  I will be giving one copy of this DVD!  Giveaway ends Wednesday, January 30!  US only.
To enter: Be sure to click on all the links before filling out the entry form.

1.(NEW)  Make a comment letting me why you would like this movie or another Christian video that you recommend in the comment section below. (you must then fill out the entry form for your entry to be counted!)(required)

2. Be a follower on my blog (The More the Merrier- side bar on blog)
4. Subscribe to my blog by email (link on blog)
Enter your email address:

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5."Like" The Knowlton Nest on Facebook (link on my blog). 
6. Post about this giveaway on another site (your blog, facebook, twitter, etc) (1 entry for every site- see share buttons below) 

DON'T FORGET- fill out the entry form after making a comment!  Comments only count if you have filled out the entry form.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Better Than a Box Ebook SALE!!! (Jan 22-24- $1.99)

It's HERE!!!  Better Than a Box: How to Transform Processed Food Recipes into Whole Food Favorites is a book you will want to have!  I have been trying to not use canned foods, but rather make healthier choices by substituting canned food for homemade.  It takes a lot of thought and effort, but Katie has taken all the hard work and done it for me.  You will love all the delicious recipes in this ebook that will accomplish what you want to achieve- good food made in a healthier way!

Recipes include:
Casseroles, pot pies, enchiladas, stocks, soups, breads and more!

Cook from scratch without finding new recipes!

Hear Katie tell you why she created this new ebook:

Check out this free recipe: PS. I made this and it's awesome!!  My husband said YUM!
{Free Download} Recipe: Creamy Stovetop Stuffing Chicken Casserole with No Stovetop!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassan Book Review (RSVP to FB party & enter to win a Downton Abbey prize pack)

Julie is celebrating by giving away one of the new Paperwhite Kindles, Downton Abbey (season 3) and hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. (January 31st)


One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Paperwhite

  • Downton Abbey, Season 3

  • A Julie Klassen library (The Tutor’s Daughter, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 30th. Winner will be announced at "The Tutor's Daughter Author Chat Party on January 31st. Connect with Julie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be great giveaways - gift certificates, books and season 3 of Downton Abbey!

So grab your copy of The Tutor's Daughter and join Julie on the evening of the January 31st for a chance to connect with Julie and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

My Review:
Mystery, romance, and hidden family secrets make The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen a page turning drama with plenty of action, adventure and questionable activities.  Emma Smallwood and her father are summoned away from their own academy to tutor the two younger sons of former students, Henry and Phillip Weston.  Emma's fondness for Phillip and disdain for Henry who treated her rudely while at the academy filled her with trepidation at the prospect of living in close quarters in the large estate.  Emma meets many new people who she learns that she cannot trust especially when strange things start happening to her.  She eventually confides in Henry although she can't comprehend why she starts to grow attached to him.  Will Emma be able to prove that she is valuable member of society while holding dreams in her heart and feel loved by a man who might never be able to marry her?

Julie is a master at character description.  There were many players in this book, but each had particular qualities and the author knew how to use them in the varied situations to make the plot move forward and also to entice the reader to be drawn further into the story.  I was completely in love with the building romance through the story between the main characters.  This is beautiful story filled with romance, mystery and history.  The writing is excellent as the plots twists and turns and I was kept in suspense the entire time.  I would love to see this a movie someday!

*This book was provided to me free of charge for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Better Than a Box: How to Transform Processed Food Recipes into Whole Food Favorites by Katie at Kitchen Stewardship (FREE recipe download)

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship has awesome recipe books and this new one will be sure to be pleasing to you! Better Than A Box gives you tips and tricks to make whole foods taste better than the processed foods.  She explains all the different ways to plan, prepare and substitute so all you have to do is follow the recipe.  She is thorough and uses real ingredients that you probably already have.

Next week from January 22-24, Katie is having a sale for this new ebook (PDF) for $1.99.

**You can get a freebie recipe today:
{Free Download} Recipe: Creamy Stovetop Stuffing Chicken Casserole with No Stovetop!

Be looking for the sale next week right here on my blog!  You don't want to miss this.  Have a great weekend!

And check out Katie's awesome rundown of other recipe ebooks that I use:
Everything Beans BookBuy Healthy Snacks to Go eBook Recipes OnlineSmart Sweets Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods: Family Camping Handbook

Monday, January 14, 2013

Become the Confident Mom You've Always Wanted to Be by Susan Heid Ebook Review


Become the Confident Mom You've Always Wanted to Be - 31 strategies to improve your confidence as a woman, mother, and family manager by Susan Heid

This book gave me the confidence I need in my role and calling as a mother. So much of the time I feel like I am not able to do this job, but with Susan's positive coaching and practical ideas I feel that I can be a godly mother when I rely on God for all my needs. I plan to take my time to implement these 31 strategies to give me the foundation to build a pleasant and productive family life.

Get it today for only 99 cents on Kindle.  Price goes up to $2.99 on Thursday!

And if you haven't checked out Susan's awesome Weekly Household Planner, you need to!  I use it everyday and it keeps me on track. (Click on picture)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Texas Wildflowers (4-in-1 Novella) by Anita Higman Book Review and Giveaway!

Join Anita Higman as she shares the love stories of four sisters in Texas Wildflowers: Four-in-One Collection (Romancing America).  Rose, Lily, Violet and Heather have all been wary of love, but long for it with all their hearts.  Rose gets stood up on her wedding day, but will old family friend, Lars, be able to capture her heart again?  Lily is a counselor who is a friend to all, but will her new handsome client, Rubin ask for more?  Violet is a secluded adventure girl who is visited by a fan of her blog.  Will she see the potential for love in this honest and quirky fellow, Morgan?  And Heather's next door neighbor is a motivational speaker who is followed by many women, but Evan only has eyes for Heather.  Will she open her own eyes and misgivings to enjoy the love he offers?  Four stories wrapped in one book make a sweet, romantic package!

It was interesting to see the different writing styles of Anita in each of these four stories.  I honestly wasn't drawn to the first story line, but as I read through each mini novella, I started enjoying how Anita crafted each character with differences and great humor.  I do admit that my favorite love story and overall writing style was Forget Me Not Lily.  This book was a fun read and the stories were short, but sweet.

*This book was provided to me free of charge for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

GIVEAWAY:  The author has agreed to extend a giveaway for this book if I have TEN reader comments!!  Giveaway ends Thursday, January 17.  Make comments right here on this post!  Don't forget to add your email address.  Thanks, Shonda

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hiding Psalm 71 in my Heart with Do Not Depart

Last year I was so grateful to memorize Romans 8 and John 1:1-14 with Do Not Depart in an easy, low-key way. I was part of the Facebook group where we encouraged each other and were inspired by Lisa to keep memorizing.

Why is memorizing God's Word important?  Here are 3 reasons I want to memorize Psalm 71:

1. When I put God's Word in my heart, I draw closer to Him.  I feel like I can talk more freely, listen better and come to a deeper understanding of who He is.

2. I am able to use my downtime more productively like repeating verses while putting on makeup or changing my daughter's diaper or sharing with my children at breakfast.  There are endless moments of the day to fill my mind with positive things like the words of God.

3.  And last, I want to memorize Psalm 71 because I know in my heart, that the more I memorize, the sharper my mind will be and this Psalm is an excellent confidence booster.

Do you want to memorize too?  We do about 2 verses a week!  There is encouragement, fun and lots of extra ways to boost your memorizing skills.  Join today at Do Not Depart.  We begin on January 13.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson Book Review

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson is a lifeline for a young mom like me.  Both Sarah Mae and Sally share their experience and what they have learned in honest and encouraging dialogue.  Sarah Mae was a mom drowning in young motherhood with three little children very close in age.  Her letters at the beginning of each chapter echo the hearts of desperate mothers.  And Sally, the seasoned mentor, offers hope and love in her wisdom filled words.  Each author explores many topics that moms need answers for: how to ask for help, sin issues, selfishness, the housework beast and how to live in victory despite feeling desperate.  Each chapter ends with a few Bible verses, questions for reflection and a section to encourage journaling and action steps.  There is also a link to a short video from Sarah Mae and Sally.  This book is for Desperate Moms who want to breathe and give life to their families.  It is for moms who want to protect themselves from drowning and rise above with hope and peace.

I am sure that I thought I knew everything about being a mom before I had kids.  Then I had my second child and my first child turned 2.5 years old.  I was unprepared for the desperation I felt and the helplessness I experienced.  At the time I could not think beyond the moment and even now that my kids are 1 and 4 I still have many days where I feel overwhelmed.  I appreciate Sarah Mae's authenticity and honest confessions that could have been written by me.  I absolutely adore Sally's motherly wisdom and long range perspective as well as her direct challenges and her belief in me as a mom.  This is a MUST HAVE for every mom because we want the help ourselves not have those hopeless feelings, but rest in the power that God gives us to be moms with vision.  It takes daily work, but it is worth it.  Join the movement of no more desperate moms!

Movement -

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Texas Wildflowers (4-in-1 Novella) by Anita Higman Sneak Preview

Texas Wildflowers
"A romance assortment of petits fours, and as dreamy sweet."
—Harold Wolf
From the Back of the Book:
The four McBride sisters risk their hearts for love in the islands, canyons, mountains and bayous of Texas.
Deserted at the altar, a devastated Rosy McBride heads back to Galveston Island and begins working at her mother’s scrapbooking business. Will spending time with Larson Brookfield help mend her broken heart, or will she merely wind up pasting away?
Christian counselor Lily McBride relies on her quirky common sense and God’s wisdom to help her clients. Will she be successful at her new career or break the most solemn of counselor/patient vows by falling for the handsome, eccentric, and impossibly irresistible Rubin McCall while hiking the Palo Dura Canyon?
In the mountain town of Alpine, Violet McBride owns Romantic Images, a business that teaches people how to live romantically. Will Morgan Jones, a geek she meets online, show her the real meaning of romance and the art of love?
Heather McBride’s picture-perfect life has unraveled in the bayou. Will the free-spirited Evan Finch not only reawaken her artistic passion but also give her the courage to fall in love—without her day-planner?
Will God help give these women the pluck to love the least likely of soul mates?
Read Chapter One at:

An Interview with Anita:
Tell us a bit about Texas Wildflowers.
Texas Wildflowers is a 4-in-1 novella collection through Barbour Publishing. Each novella is set in an exotic location in Texas. They are lighthearted romances, and they’re all tied together with the four McBride sisters.
Which of the four novellas was the most fun to write?
They were each fun to write in their own way, but my favorite character was Lily, the counselor, in Forget Me Not Lily. She was quirky and fun, relatable and loveable. At least that’s what I hope readers will feel.
All these novellas are set in Texas. Are the towns and parks real?
Yes, in fact one of the novellas is set in Big Bend National Park, where my husband and I went on vacation. So, when you read about the characters on certain trails, they’re real, and we hiked them!
Did you have a favorite book when you were a child?
I loved fairytales. Cinderella was my favorite.
Do you have a vacation spot you’d love to visit?
I’m dreaming of Ireland. My husband and I plan to travel there next summer. Can’t wait! Then I’m going to use the emerald isle as a setting in one of my novels.
What are 5 things that your readers might not know about you?
  1. While I was in college I tried working in a pillow factory. I was terrible at it. I got so weary with the repetition I started yakking with the woman next to me. We got reprimanded over and over until I quit. I discovered one thing from that college job—talking is something I excel at.
  2. I once won a hog-calling contest at a banquet. I was not embarrassed, but I should have been.
  3. I have a bird phobia, and yet I love birds! (That is, from a distance.) My house is filled with the fake kind—prints on the walls, statues, and general bird doodads. Go figure.
  4. I keep some interesting treasures near me when I write—a wooden jewelry box my son made me when he was in school, a candle from the 1960s, a hat once owned by a famous mystery writer, the inner parts of a music box, a birthday card that plays The Twilight Zone theme song, and an old family toy helicopter that says, “Going up.”
  5. Thirty-four years ago I rappelled off a cliff alongside the man I was dating. We kissed in mid-air while dangling off that cliff. I ended up marrying that man, and we've celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary!
What awards have you won?
I’ve won two book awards. One of my co-authored books entitled, A Tribute to Early Texas, won a San Antonio Conservation Society Citation as well as a Westerners International Book Award. Also, I was given three honors by readers: I was a Favorite New Author in the 15th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards, and my co-authored novel, Castles in the Air, was a Favorite Contemporary Romance in the 16th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards. My most recent award is a 2011 RWA Readers Choice Award (first place) for my novella, Once Upon a Christmas Eve.
When readers finish the last page of Texas Wildflowers, what do you want them to come away with?
I would love for them to be inspired, challenged, and entertained. If I accomplished even one of those things I would feel my writing time wasn’t wasted.
Where can your readers connect with you online?
Please drop by my website at, or visit my Reader Page on Facebook and chat with me there at!/AuthorAnitaHigman.

Author Photo
Anita Higman
Author & Speaker

About the Author:
Bestselling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has thirty-two books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends. Please visit her online at
Every blog that gets comments from at least 10 different commenters (besides the author and the blog tour host) will offer a free book to one of the commenters. Be sure to tell your friends to come read this blog and leave a comment! Share on facebook, twitter, linked-in or wherever you hang out!

Come back later this week to The Knowlton Nest for the Review/Giveaway!  You will love this sweet little book!  -Shonda

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spiritual Journey 2012

This year I took on many challenges that helped me grow closer to God and to others.  Here are a few Bible studies and other spiritual growth opportunities that I took part in this year.

*Good Morning Girls-
Proverbs 31 Woman

*Memorizing Scripture with Do Not Depart
Romans 8
John 1:1-14
Proverbs 31: 10-31 (with my GMG Bible study)


*Read the Bible
I read the Bible in 90 Days with Mom's Toolbox.

*Hello Mornings
Accountability group for mornings- God, Move, Plan
Register for the Winter Challenge on January 16th.  The challenge is from Jan 28- Apr 26.
If you are someone who wants to better plan your mornings, have quiet time with God, exercise and make a good plan for the day, this is for you!

What I plan to do for 2013:

This year I will continue to do Bible study with Good Morning Girls.  This winter we are studying Luke 1-8.  I am excited to memorize more Scripture with Do Not Depart starting this January: Psalm 71.  I will continue to connect with  my Hello Mornings group and I am going to read through the New Testament from the calendar on my Weekly Household Planner.

I also participate in Warrior Prayers and 31 Days of Prayers for Girls.  I honestly want to spend more time with God in prayer and I will earnestly seek God during my SOAP studies as I want to follow God with my whole heart!

What Bible studies and Spiritual growth opportunities do you participate in?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Pictures of the Kids

I want share these pictures that I will start making a yearly tradition with you!  Love my kiddos!

2011- Jessna 7 months, Shrade 3 years

2012- Jessna 19 months, Shrade 4 years