EllieClaire Art Journals Review

artjournals

I love journals, if you ever saw my bookshelves you wouldn’t believe the amount and types of journals that I have. I am always looking for something new and different and these journals are all amazing and I love how they look.

The Illustrated Word: An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal
This journal is beautiful, it is a perfect weight, and ideal for the journaler/doodler, each page has beautiful illustrations, there are also pages that have a bible verse on each and illustrations for you to color.
I love how thick this journal is and the amount of pages it has, this journal also opens very nicely without having to break it in or force it to stay open.

Faith and Lettering Journal
Another beautiful journal, this may be my favorite one of the set. This journal comes with a pen/pencil holder. On top of the regular lined journal pages, there are practice pages and activities to learn hand-lettering and designs to add to your journaling experience. This includes, phrases, images such as arrows and ribbons and the letters of the alphabet. Anything you may need to add to make your journals that much more special.
This journal is a great size and weight, and isn’t just your normal journal, it includes regular ruled pages, graph pages, dotted pages, and pages with larger margins to add your learned skills to your pages. There are Bible verses interspersed throughout the entire journal.

Illuminate your Story Journal
This journal is similar to the previous one however it focuses more on lettering and making it your own. This journal includes a pen/pencil holder, a keepsake pocket, bookmark, and elastic to keep the book closed.
This journal goes through the entire alphabet and adding decoration to each letter. There are also simple images to add to your journal. There are also quotes on the journal pages. This journal is a little smaller than the others but is a great carrying size.

I love all of these journals and the different aspects of each, these are definitely worth adding to your collection, can’t wait for you to embrace your journaling journey with these latest additions.

FAITH & LETTERING
Amazon: http://amzn.to/FaithAndLettering-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/FaithAndLettering-BN

THE ILLUSTRATED WORD
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-BN

ILLUMINATE YOUR STORY
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-BN

I received these journals complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Love+Blessed Box Review and Giveaway

loveblessed

We’ve all seen how popular subscription boxes have become in the last year, boxes for your pet, for shaving, for shopping, for all your nerdy needs (I’m referring to me on that one!) this box is similar to those subscriptions but at the same time very different. The Love+Blessed Subscription boxes allow you to receive a box a month, each themed and fully of items to inspire, encourage and help you on your walk with God.

The box theme I received was Beauty, in it there was a mini poster, reminder sticker, scripture card (with one of my favorite verses, 1 Peter 3:3-4), a theme sticker, bracelet, compact mirror, and a prayer journal. Also attached to the lid is a bit of encouragement that reminds you that you are beautiful.

This box is like any other, with a new theme they are sure to encourage and inspire each month, these boxes also make an awesome gift, if you are curious about what other boxes contain you can do what I did and check them out on Instagram! These are a great idea and an awesome way to encourage you each month!

GIVEAWAY

Love+Blessed is giving away an entire year of encouragement! That is 12 free boxes! Enter here: http://bit.ly/lovedandblessed.

 

 

For more information:

 

www.lovedandblessed.com

https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/shop/all/

Join Now – https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/subscribe/35840163_Box+of+Encouragement

Give A Gift – https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/subscribe/gift/35840163_Box+of+Encouragement

 

-Elle

I received the Love+Blessed Box complimentary in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Glimmer Girls By: Natalie Grant

  

Glimmer Girls:
London Art Chase and A Dolphin Wish

The Glimmer Girls series is an adorable series written by the singer Natalie Grant for young girls. The Glimmer Girls are three sisters that travel the world with their famous singer mother, Gloria Glimmer and their slightly off-kilter nanny Julia. Each book follows the girls on a new adventure. Through each adventure the girls learn valuable lessons about prayer, telling the truth, being a good friend and so much more.

This series is a great to add to any young girls reading collection, they are fun stories with valuable lessons, I highly recommend this series and they would make a great addition to any Easter basket.

From the author:
Glimmer Girls is a fiction series that I have created with my daughters.  The storyline is about three girls who go on tour with their singing mom.  I have no idea where I came up with that plot!  It’s fun for my little girls to help with the content because they actually live that life.  Glimmer is the last name of the family, but it also has a special meaning.  It is a light that is never extinguished.  Sometimes it may glimmer a little bit brighter, sometimes it may glimmer a little bit dimmer, but it never goes out.  I felt like that was such a perfect description for all of us.  We all have a light on the inside and depending on the day, sometimes it’s bright and sometimes it’s dim.  That is the message I wanted girls to get from this book.  You don’t always have to be shining bright, some days are going to be more difficult than others, but Jesus has put a light in you that will never go out.”

-Elle

I received these books complimentary through FlyBy Promotions in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Enter the Cold Shot by: @DaniPettrey sweepstakes!

Enter the COLD SHOT Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

Summary:

In COLD SHOT, the first book of author Dani Pettrey’s brand new Chesapeake Valor series, park ranger Griffin McCray and forensic anthropologist Finley Scott uncover buried remains near the Civil War battleground of Little Round Top. There’s only one problem: the bones aren’t Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but when Finley discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper, the case connects them with FBI agent Declan Grey, and crime scene investigator Parker Mitchell, friends from a past Griffin’s tried to leave behind.

Soon the reunited friends realize they’ll need to confront the darkest days in their shared history if they–and those they care about–are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

See my review here!

To celebrate the launch of this exciting new series, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the COLD SHOT SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

This giveaway starts February 16, 2016 and ends March 7, 2016 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday, March 8, 2016, and announced at DaniPettrey.com.

About the Prizes

GRAND PRIZE:
Cold Shot Sweepstakes Grand Prize

ROAD TRIP REUNION GETAWAY

In COLD SHOT, Griffin reunites with friends after they’ve drifted apart over the years. Do you have a friend you want to reconnect with? Here’s your chance to hit the road with them for a friend getaway!

Our Grand Prize winner will receive: A $250 gift certificate to BedandBreakfast.com, good for reservations at lodges across the Continental US, plus a $50 Darden restaurants gift card, and a Chesapeake Bay tote bag, to pack your road trip essentials.

SECOND PRIZE:

FINLEY’S FAVORITES PACK

Cold Shot Sweepstakes Second Prize
Finley has a lifelong love of travel and exploration, something captured in her cozy home decor, right down to her steamer trunk coffee table. This prize gives you a chance to have a steamer trunk just like Finley’s, and a coffee table book from the Chesapeake Bay to go with it.

Our Second Prize winner will receive: A $150 value cedar wood steamer trunk and vivid Maryland coffee table photo book.

TASTE OF MARYLAND KIT

THIRD PRIZE:
COLD SHOT is sure to leave you with a craving for the mouth-watering snacks Griffin, Finley, and the rest of the crew enjoy in the story. If you wish you could sample Chesapeake’s one-of-a-kind local fare too, this prize is for you.

Our Third Prize winner will receive: The beautifully lithographed, $50 value Taste of Maryland Tin, including the Chesapeake Bay Cookbook and famed local treats such as Old Bay Seasoning, Maple Syrup, Maryland crab soup mix, specialty dip, and Goetze’s Caramel Creams.

How to Enter:

Go to: http://www.danipettrey.com/cold-shot-sweepstakes/ and complete the entry box, anytime between February 16 – March 7, 2016.

Trusting God

Trusting God: A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure

By: Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith and Mary Southerland

Trusting God is a 12 week adventure into changing your attitude and learning what it truly means to trust God. We all have told ourselves that we trust God, and that we will rely on Him for everything, but many times in our culture it is much easier to say that we trust God rather than actually trusting Him. Do we really know what it means to trust God fully? That if something were to happen we could give Him every piece of our lives and know that He will take care of us.

In Trusting God the Girlfriends in God team have created a devotional that can be done individually or with a group, each week has six short lessons packed with stories, scriptures and prayers to help us take the steps to trusting God more, at the end of each week there is a section that is for reflection on what was learned this week, questions to help you grow and scripture to study as well as an area to journal about what you’ve learned this week.

The Girlfriends in God team have shared themselves and the lessons they have learned along the way, with life stories and examples, full of scripture and resources this book will help you to take the steps from saying you trust in God to living a life knowing that your trust is in God.

-Elle

I received this book complimentary from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Direction

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,

who gives generously to all without finding fault,

and it will be given to you.”

James 1:5

Direction. I feel that ever season we are in has us searching for some form a direction. The friends we choose, the church we go to, what college will we attend, where will we live, what will we major in, what job will be choose.

No matter what season we are in, there is something that has us searching for direction. The book Deeply Loved: 40 ways in 40 days to experience the heart of Jesus has a day that is all about looking for direction, lately I have been seeking direction, praying for guidance and what to do, where to go from here. Recently I have been wondering if moving to Oklahoma had been the right thing to do, lately it has felt like my life is at a standstill, that I have no direction to go in, that I am waiting at a fork in the road with no clue on which path to take or where to step next. While I stand here and wait, and pray, and consider the past three years I wonder back to the day I made the decision to move from Colorado to Oklahoma. I had told myself and others that the move was a God thing, that I really felt like this is where God wanted me to be, that He had big plans for me in Oklahoma, but now as I look back I wonder if I was just kidding myself. That quite possibly that God was not calling me to Oklahoma and instead I had selfishly chosen that this is where God wanted me to be.

In Deeply Loved Keri Wyatt Kent points out that maybe there isn’t one right answer and the rest are wrong, that maybe God doesn’t have only have one option for us to choose and everything else is wrong. That quite possibly Oklahoma wasn’t the exact direction that God had in mind for me, but by making that choice it doesn’t stop my life, it doesn’t bring it to a standstill. Even though we choose paths that might not always be correct God is still in control and can take our choices and turn them into something that will glorify Him.

Praying for wisdom, guidance and direction is difficult, and it gets frustrating, but as long as we are seeking God and staying in His word and keeping Him at the center of I life, whatever decisions we make and paths we follow as long as we keep God at the center than we are heading it the right direction.

Always remember that we are deeply loved by God.

-Elle

What is Christmas all about?

Merry Christmas Everyone! Today is the day! The day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior, our Lord, the one who came as an infant and would one day redeem us all.

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we quickly forget what this season is all about. We get caught up with the busy-ness of planning the perfect meal, figuring out how to keep family drama to a minimal, keeping everyone schedule coordinated, rushing through the crowds at the local mall. We often forget what Christmas means and exchange it for consumerism and focusing on material things.

Every Christmas A Charlie Brown Christmas plays on TV  and there is one section of the movie where Linus shares the meaning of Christmas by reading from Luke chapter 2, but there is a moment in this clip that I had never noticed until about a month ago while at the KLove Acoustic Christmas Tour, Dave, from Sidewalk Prophets pointed it out. Take a moment to watch this clip.

Did you notice it? Did you see what happened? Linus, the very smart, loveable character, who is known for always carrying his blue blanket, a blanket he keeps with him at all times, it is his safety, his protection. Notice at the moment he reads the word ‘Fear not’ he drops his blanket. Linus drops the thing he has clung to for most of his life, the thing that he feels safest with, that brings him peace.

In that moment Linus leaves his blanket behind, reading the remainder of the passage without it, he speaks of the hope and joy and peace that the birth of Jesus will bring.

What are you clinging to this holiday season? Do you hold onto a safety blanket like Linus? It may not be a literal blanket, you may cling to your career, your plans for the future, your money, you may cling to the people around you, to worldly possessions. What are the things we put our trust in? What do we use as a safety net in the everyday?

Today let us be like Linus, let us drop the safety net we build around us, to let go of the things we cling to and instead cling to Jesus and the hope that He brings. So ‘fear not’ and remember what today means. Christmas means hope, it means love and most importantly it means the birth of our Savior!

Merry Christmas everyone!

-Elle

The High Calling Newsletter

Today we have a different type of a review, instead of a book or audio book (which will be coming in the near future) today’s review is of a newsletter called The High Calling.

The High Calling

 

The High Calling is an online community about “everyday conversations about work, life, and God.” Each week the High Calling sends out a newsletter featuring articles ranging in topics from Faith, Family, Leadership, Work, and Culture. Each newsletter gives you a snippet of the article along with a link to the full article. The newsletter also includes articles from the online community and community post.

This newsletter is set up in a format that is easy to read with a clear title, summary, and information to what each article contains. Each section of the newsletter is set up under a heading whether it is an article, something from the community, or an audio piece.

This newsletter as well as the articles have a lot of information that is informative and gives you things to think on, also with the addition of the High Calling community it is easy for conversation to continue after the articles are read. I believe that this is a great way to learn more and grow in faith.

I was compensated for this review but the opinions are honest and all my own. I encourage you to check out the High Calling website.

-Elle

Where has the summer gone?

Can anyone else believe that it is already September? The Summer is almost behind us and we are already seeing the changes of the season. Not necessarily in the weather (Oklahoma is still holding onto its 100 degree heat) but take a look around, pumpkin flavored everything is back, soon it will be time to put away our shorts and pull out our extra blankets, feel the chill in the air as Jack Frost prepares us for the next season.

I love the fall. It is hands down my favorite season, not so much in Oklahoma, it seems to be skipped completely but nothing beats a good North-Eastern Autumn, all the colors and the dropping of temperatures that remind us to grab our favorite hoodie to wrap up in. I love it. Although I am no longer in school, and the Fall no longer means the start of another year, it is the start of another season, a time to let of the Summer and prepare for what God has in store for us next. It’s a fresh step to refocus after a summer full of time off and breaks. Autumn brings with it a sense of freshness. It’s the point of the year where we start to over-commit ourselves, skip over the days to focus on holidays and being able to simply survive.

With this Autumn soon approaching us lets take the time to remember to praise God in each day, for the beautiful weather, our families and friends, the opportunities that each day will bring instead of skipping over the days waiting for the next football game or holiday. This year lets embrace the day-to-day, the time we have to spend with one another and set aside more time to devote to God and being in His presence. He has big plans for us this season! For each and every one of us! I don’t know what those plans are for you, I don’t know what those plans are for me, but with God in control His plans cannot be wrong!

-Elle

Can You Hear What is in My Heart?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7

I have a love-hate relationship with this verse. I love that we were not created with a spirit of fear and timidity, we are created with power, love and self-discipline. Those are some strong words, words I can take to heart and remember in those times. It’s understandable why so many keep this verse close to heart.

But than there is the other side. The side that I don’t like. The side that I don’t always want to speak about. Having a spirit of fear and timidity. Something that God has not given us, which means that our fears and timidity. My fears and timidity come from something not of God, something of evil. Every time I read this verse I am reminded and question myself, if God did not give me a spirit of fear and timidity, why am I so afraid? why am I so timid? Why does the idea of speaking up make me want to go hide under the bed until I can figure a way out of it. Why does my fear control me? Fear of failing, of not living up to everyone’s standards, of not living up to my own standards.

I’ve always been shy, it is not as bad as when I was a child, I was church-mouse quiet, easily lost amongst the crowds. My participation grades were non-existent, and when I knew I had to participate to pass it took everything for me to speak up and say something. Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to say what was really on my mind, to speak up, to share the good news that I know! To declare that Jesus is Lord! To be able to lead a Bible Study or discussion! But the idea makes me anxious, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about standing in front of a crowd and saying anything.

I love this verse. I hold on to this verse, and yet I have not found a way to speak up, to share what’s on my mind. My silence controls me, it makes me feel as if I cannot connect with anyone, cannot make friends, it makes me feel as if people look past me, never getting the chance to know the real me, because in a crowd I don’t know how to be the real me. Many times, even in church, I feel as if I am standing in the middle of a room and everyone is passing me by, walking around me, never really seeing who I am. I feel that when I attempt to speak up, if someone else comes along I am quickly forgotten and I just want to scream. I want to yell at the top of my voice and cry out for people to notice me, that I am not who they think I am, that there is so much more to the quiet girl standing alone.

I don’t have the answers of how to change this, sure I’ve heard plenty of times that I’ve got to speak up, that I need to push myself  out of my comfort zone, but that is so much easier said than done. I tell myself daily sometimes hourly that today will be the day that I reach out, and slowly the days add up to weeks and months and I still haven’t spoken up. I don’t know if there is an answer to change this. Sometimes I wonder if this makes me a bad Christian because I don’t know how to speak about my faith, to share the words that echo in my heart that I want others to hear but cannot speak. I wonder in those moments that I do speak up if I am making any sense at all. If people realize there is so much inside of me that I want to share, to get out I just don’t know how too. In some ways I’ve found alternatives to be able to share who I am. But, I do not want to be silent. I want to speak up, I want to take hold of that power and share what is on my heart, and I’ve prepared amazing conversations only they all sit inside, waiting for the day that I can find the courage to speak out.

-Elle