Beyond the Castle by Jodi Jean Dreyer | Review

Jodi Jean Dreyer is a Disney veteran, having worked for the company for 30 years in 22 different positions. This book is a collection of some of her fondest Disney memories, and her advice for finding your own happily ever after.

This book is all about how to live your life the best way that you can. Dreyer shares her experience on how to live a life full of hope, joy, and magic. She shared fun Disney facts, such as the official criteria for a Disney princess. It is very obvious how much Dreyer loves Disney.
I though Dreyer had great advice for how to live a more happy and fulfilling life. However, I had expected and wanted more of an inside look at Disney. What I got in this book was a self-help book told in Disney metaphors.
Overall, I gave this 3/5 stars. I'd recommend this book if you're looking for a fun book to teach you how to live a happier life.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers as a part of their review program. All opinio…

NIV Reader's Bible Review

The NIV Reader's Bible from Zondervan is a large, sturdy, hardcover Bible. It comes in a cardboard sleeve for protection. The cover is that soft, almost fabric material. There is also a ribbon attached to mark your place.
What really stood out to me in this Bible is that there are no columns, just text organized like any other book. There are also no verse numbers. It is intended for easy, uninterrupted reading. Besides the table of contents, an introduction to NIV, and the standard table of weights and measures, there is no informational or study materials.
I really enjoy how it is formatted into a single column of text, however I am not sure how I feel about the fact that there are no verse numbers throughout the text.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Answering the Toughest Questions about Suffering and Evil

I think that it is safe to say that we all have struggled with understanding God's role in the suffering and evil in our fallen world. It is something that can turn us away from God. It's something we struggle to explain to non-believers. 
Answering the Toughest Questions about Suffering and Evil was written by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz in order to answer some of the questions we have all asked ourselves. If God created everything, did He also create evil? Why doesn't God eliminate suffering and evil? The authors collected and answered ten of the most popular questions they are asked on the subject.
I don't like not knowing or understanding things. So when I picked up this book, I wanted something along the lines of "God allows evil because blank as stated in the Bible here." I want simple, straightforward answers so I can fully understand. However, that is not the case here, and that is not the fault of the authors. It is due to the nature of the topic its…

NIV Color Code Bible REVIEW

I received a lovely copy of the NIV Color Code Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

This is a gorgeous, sturdy, hardcover Bible aimed toward kids in order to teach them important key verses. Verses within each chapter are highlighted in different colors based on the topic the verse is about. Included topics are God, sin/evil, Jesus, new life, spiritual growth, prayer/praise, heaven, love, family/children, love, and animals. I feel like this would be really helpful for a kid reading the Bible through the first time. 
Like I said, this is just a gorgeous book. I love the colors on the cover, and there is a ribbon attached to mark your place. The pages are thin, as is typical for a Bible, but are a little bit thicker and stronger than in most Bibles (perfect for kids, who tend to be a little rough on things).
I would recommend this Bible to a parent looking for their kid's first real Bible. A good step up from children's Bibles.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publ…

Matchbox 20: A Brief History of Everything

A few weeks ago, I went to a Matchbox 20 concert with my mom and my sister! Though it was a ton of fun, it ended up being a pretty big ordeal.
We had to drive a few hours to get to the venue. Since I live kind of in the middle of nowhere, I pretty much have to drive a few hours for any kind of concert or event. Good thing I love road trips! On the way to the venue, we stopped at A&W to satisfy and root beer float craving, and found an adorable Disney-themed little free library along the way.

So, I should mention that pretty heavy storms were predicted for the night of the concert. And it was an outdoor concert. 
Shortly after we arrived at the venue, it started sprinkling. Not too hard, so it was fine waiting outside.

However, after Counting Crows (the opener) played for literally hours, it starting storming heavily right on top of us! We were told we had to take shelter immediately, since the lightning was coming down right around us. It was a long walk to the nearest buildings …

365 Devotions for Living Joyfully by Victoria York | Review

I recently read 365 Devotions for Living Joyfully by Victoria York.

This devotion shares a verse for each day along with a couple of short paragraphs encouraging the reader to take on life with a more positive perspective in order to live with more joy. There is also a short prayer at the end of each devotion. 
It is ideal to start reading this on January 1st, since the date is printed on the top of each page. You would read one page every day for a year. Also, this is definitely geared toward women. 
The book itself is a beautiful, small hardcover. It is very sturdy. The pages are shiny and glossy, and there is a pretty ribbon bookmark (though it was stuck to the pages and left a mark when it arrived).
Overall, I really enjoyed this devotional. I thought that the material was really well written and stood out to me in a new way. I would recommend this to someone, and I gave it 4/5 stars.
xx Heidi
*I received a free copy of this for review from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers as …

Included In Christ by Heather Holleman | Review

Included In Christ by Heather Holleman is an 8-week study of Ephesians geared toward women, with a focus on individual verbs in the verses that influence our lives and our perception of ourselves. While this can be done individually, it is geared toward a group.

As I mentioned earlier, each chapter focuses on a verb for the week. This was a really cool and interesting concept, and was done very well. Focusing on individual words really brought the verses into a new light for me and gave me new things to consider. 
What you need to do this Bible study is your Bible and a journal. There are a ton of journaling prompts each day in the study. Holleman asks the reader to do lots of journaling, reflection, and imagining. She includes space for journaling, but I would recommend having your own journal. I would also recommend leaving yourself plenty of time to journal and really think about your responses. This way, you're able to give it enough thought.
She also includes resources for wr…