Nourished {Book Review & Giveaway}

Nourished Book Review & Giveaway

Let’s be honest, life can be messy. And life can also be hard and stressful at times. In the midst of these feelings and circumstances we need to find nourishment for our worn out and tired lives.

Nourished is a book about finding nourishment in your everyday (messy, crazy and a little out-of sorts) life. In the book, authors Becky and Rachel dive into the realm of “stressors” that women deal with on a regular basis. Like-

*Cluttered surroundings

*Exhaustion of parenting

*Crowded schedules

*Time-starved marriages

*Negative body image

*Feeling like a spiritual slacker

Becky and Rachel both tackle each one (and more) of these very real and truthfully stressful things that women of all ages struggle with.

I just loved this little excerpt from the book-

“Even though most people don’t change until a crisis hits or the misery mounts to unbearable levels, the good news is that you and I do not have to be “most people.” We can make a choice to change without going through a crisis or meltdown. We really can proactively choose to live a more nourishing life and make small adjustments that yield happier dividends, without years of misery or sudden crisis. In truth, the wisest, happiest women pause to consider their life on a regular basis. They interrupt the nonstop flow of activity now and again to ask, “What can I tweak in my life to experience less stress and more joy?” They don’t see life as dictated by fate; they see it as a series of choices and actions. They see options and open windows with new vistas, where others see slammed, locked doors.” Becky Johnson (Ch. 3, pg. 35)

Is it time for you to make a change; to find more joy and peace in your life? To the woman who is stressed, overwhelmed and feels like her home and soul are in disarray, this book is for you. Wherever you are, whether single, married; have 1 child or 8, this book is for you too. You will find great tips and insight from 2 women who are just like you and me. Let’s live this life together and help each other along the way to a more nourished life.

 

Want to connect with Becky and Rachel?

Becky Johnson & Rachel Randolph – We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook

Thank you for reading and entering, friends! (Giveaway info below)

AshleySignature


” Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

-click the link below to enter in the giveaway-

(you can enter once a day)

Nourished Book Giveaway


Giveaway Policy

Giveaway begins Friday February 6th 2015 at 12am & ends Friday February 13th at 12am.

Legal Residents (18 and older) of the US and Canada ONLY may enter.

Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter.com and will be notified by me, by email.

You must respond within 48hours or another winner will be chosen.

Propeller Consulting LLC. is providing the prize for this giveaway and will also be mailing you the prize.

Upon emailing you about winning, I will also ask for your address to forward onto Propeller Consulting LLC., so they can send you your gift.

The product(s) I have received for reviewing were given to me free of charge.

The offered product(s) are free of charge to you and NO purchase is necessary.

This review is completely MY own opinion and nothing more.

Also by providing your information, you are giving it to ONLY me.

I DO NOT sell or share anyone’s info and will ONLY use info given for contacting the winner of the giveaway.

The Hardest Peace {Book Review & Giveaway} CLOSED

The Hardest Peace Book Review and Giveaway

The Hardest Peace {Book Review & Giveaway}

In The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippetts shares her journey with cancer, but it doesn’t stop there. She also shares about her childhood, meeting her husband and some stories in between. I couldn’t help but be amazed and inspired by her strength in these times of her life. Kara doesn’t just give a sneak peak of her life, but a story that is raw, messy and absolutely beautiful. Cancer is not a pretty thing, like all sicknesses, but Kara reminds us that we can find God’s goodness and love through it.

While reading through this book, I began to feel convicted of how I live my life. We sometimes wait for a disease, injury or failure, to live  our lives in a different way, when we could be making them count right now. That’s a wonderful reminder that Kara touches on- “The naming of the graces, the gifts I don’t deserve. is new to me. But I do not believe you need to face cancer to see the value of looking for and naming the graces in your own moments, days, weeks, lifetime. To capture this beauty in your weariness, even if your story doesn’t look like mine, will enrich your moments, give you a new perspective, and help you lift your head in the impossibility and pain in living.”

After finishing The Hardest Peace, all I could do was cry. I don’t get emotional over books, but this book seriously challenged me, my heart and my faith. I don’t want to live my life like it’s just another day- I want to truly live everyday and make it count.

Kara’s words will touch you and the way she allows the Lord to speak through her life is breathtaking. I encourage you to go out and get this book! It’s so worth the time and money. And it’s worth the faith.

Thank you for reading and entering, friends!

AshleySignature

Check out these links to connect with Kara-

Kara’s Blog: mundanefaithfulness.com

Follow Kara on Instagram: http://instagram.com/tippets

Follow Kara on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mother_to_many


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

-click the link below to enter in the giveaway-

(You can enter once a day)

The Hardest Peace Book Giveaway


Giveaway Policy

Giveaway begins Friday October 10th 2014 at 12am & ends Friday October 17th at 12am.

Legal Residents (18 and older) of the US and Canada ONLY may enter.

Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter.com and will be notified by me, by email.

You must respond within 48hours or another winner will be chosen.

Propeller Consulting LLC. is providing the prize for this giveaway and will also be mailing you the prize.

Upon emailing you about winning, I will also ask for your address to forward onto Propeller Consulting LLC., so they can send you your gift.

The product(s) I have received for reviewing were given to me free of charge.

The offered product(s) are free of charge to you and NO purchase is necessary.

This review is completely MY own opinion and nothing more.

Also by providing your information, you are giving it to ONLY me.

I DO NOT sell or share anyone’s info and will ONLY use info given for contacting the winner of the giveaway.

Time for Change

Time for Change

Hi there, dear friends! I know it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me. It’s been almost a month…WOAH! I didn’t plan on staying away this long, but I guess that’s what happens sometimes. I’ve been working on some things while I’ve been on a little bit of a break. I’m super excited to share with you what I’ve been up to.

I love blogging, writing, creating and being able to connect with you all through this blog. But I have felt for sometime, that this blog has kind of felt impersonal. Like you haven’t seen the real me or that I’ve even felt not like myself. After writing my last blog post about fear, I realized for the first time that I was actually being me. And that’s how I want you to feel when you land here- that you know me and I know you.

So starting on October 1st, I will be adding Ashley Morgan, Inspiration for a Lovely Life to my blog title. By adding my name to the title I feel that this will be better for me (the writer) and you (the reader). I want this space to be personal (why I’m using my name), inviting and a place where I can share my thoughts with you without a niche or anything else attached. I figured that I would make this change now, since this blog is pretty new.

Does this make sense? I hope you understand where I’m coming from and continue to read my blog. My hope and prayer is that you (as both my friends and readers) will feel as you read my blog, that I’m speaking directly to you just across the café table. I pray the words that the Lord places on my heart will encourage, inspire and draw you closer to Him.

This is certainly no goodbye, but a welcoming hello to all the future holds. It’s going to be beautiful friends!

AshleySignature

Would you like to see my new blog header? Here it is-

New Blog Header

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Conquering Your Fear

 

Conquering Your Fear | A Lovely Life Blog

I’m tired of the overwhelming pit in my stomach that rises to meet my throat. I’m tired of being on an up and down emotional roller coaster that makes me question who I am, what I’m doing and who I’m going to be. I’m SO tired of feeling paralyzed in my own skin. I’m just plain tired of fear having a grip on my life.

What about you? Are you tired? Tired enough to be free?

I’ve  dealt with fear for a long time. Honestly, it has been a part of everything I do. Most decisions, moments and life altering plans were made with fear in my mind. Sad, huh? You know what’s scary about it though? I don’t even know fear has raised it’s ugly head most times. For me, fear has disguised its self as protection, understanding, power, control, etc., but what’s really saddening about this is: I rarely remember the things that fear is not- peaceful, joy-filled, forgiving, loving, unafraid of the future, adventuress, etc. So truthfully, I’ve been living life without most of these life giving attributes and that breaks my heart.

I’m just wondering if there is anyone else out there who might also be living in this place of fear? Would you journey with me?

Have you ever thought “why am I always living in fear?”? Yep, me too!

Personally, I think a lot of it has to do with the feeling of being bound by fear in our lives. I know I’m not the only one who has felt like “this must be how my life will always be, so I just need to suffer through it”. The word bound means: something that limits or restrains (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). That’s exactly what fear does to us- it limits our faith and hope and even restrains our God-given dreams. And you know what? The enemy wants us to live like that and he loves it when we squirm under the pressure of fear. But that doesn’t have to be the end!

2 Timothy 1:7 says- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)

See right there, God did not give us a spirit of fear. How awesome is that?! We were never meant to live in fear, but live a life of power, love and soundness of mind.

I don’t know about you, but I want to live a life that is fearless! Do you know what that kind of life requires of you and I? It requires us to do things that makes us afraid; to face our fears. I’m ready to face my fears, are you?


Welcome to the No Fear Challenge!

What this challenge will require you to do-

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Now, write out every fear you might have. Then do them!

If your schedule allows- conquer 1 fear a week.

Take the challenge a step further– Journal about it and tell someone, so they can keep you accountable.

(No Fear Challenge Printable)

Through this challenge, you will see that the things that once struck fear in your heart, were just little obstacles keeping you from living the fearless life God intended you to live.

Psalm 34:4 says- I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (NIV). So, dear friend, take this challenge with me and see for yourself that He is faithful and will deliver you from all your fears.

AshleySignature

Comment below: How are you going to conquer your fears? You can email me as well at- alovelylifeblog@yahoo.com

Photo Credit: Unsplash

An ironing fail & 4 t-shirt scarf tutorials

Let me tell you a little story

 I don’t know if anyone has told you, but vacationing at a hotel is supposed to be simple, relaxing and most of all easy. Ha, tell that to the iron I met! You know that dreaded feeling when you know you’ve ruined something, but you just don’t want to look? Oh, but I looked. While ironing my beloved pink shirt on vacation a couple summers ago, I ironed (or burned) a hole into it.Ironing Fail!

Let’s just say I wasn’t happy. I loved that shirt and then it tragically met that awful iron and it’s doom. Thankfully this story ends well, because I was able to find the exact same shirt at Target not long after. And it was on clearance too! Score!

 

You might be thinking “what does this story have to do with a DIY project?”. Well it has everything to do with that burnt pink shirt and the scarf I made out of it. Keep reading!

 

What you will need for any scarf tutorial-

DIY T-Shirt Scarf

2-3 shirts, scissors, (not pictured) a ruler, needle and thread (or a sewing machine)

-4 awesome tutorials for t-shirt scarf making-

Braided scarf from Ann Le {Anneorshine} on YouTube

T-shirt scarf from My Third True Love

3 t-shirt scarf ideas from Studio 5

Infinity necklace from Better Homes and Gardens

I followed the infinity necklace tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens and below is the finished project.

DIY T-Shirt Scarf

  I hope you enjoy some creative time while making your old t-shirts like new.

 Happy crafting!

AshleySignature

-I would love to see your creations when you’re finished! You can post to my Facebook page- A Lovely Life or tag me on Instagram- @alovelylifeblog. Can’t wait to see what you make!

Wherever the River Runs {Book Review & Giveaway} CLOSED

Whever the River Runs--Book Review & Giveaway

Wherever the River Runs: how a forgotten people restored my hope in the gospel- by Kelly Minter

Beauty comes in all forms; sunsets and summer storms; mountains and lowly valleys; and even an old boat named the Discovery, easing down the Amazon.

Kelly Minter has a beautiful way with words and she describes the Amazon in a way I have never read or heard before. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought the Amazon was known for it’s massive amount of water, but Kelly reveals what makes the Amazon truly known- it’s people. I don’t know of any book that has truly challenged me just from reading others testimonies. All the hurt, pain, brokenness and even death, never keep these people from loving God even more than they did yesterday. Their joy far out weighs their pain and I couldn’t help but think “I want to live a life like that too.” You will laugh at Kelly’s humor and relate with her raw transparency as she pours her heart out into this book. You won’t want to miss out on reading a beautiful story that will touch your heart and faith.

“I could feel my skin get prickly all over as I envisioned that church choir member gathering Lazaro in his arms, calling his family Lazaro’s family. I think we all long for the bride of Christ, His church, to enfold us this way. So many have been hurt by the church, but in her fullness, in her glory, when she is opening her arms wide the way Christ intends, she is the hope of the world.” -Kelly Minter (from chapter 12, page 170)

My dear friends, this book will change the way you think about your life, challenge your faith and open your eyes to a whole other world along the Amazon.

Thank you for reading and entering, friends!

AshleySignature

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

-click the link below to enter in the giveaway-

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6df31ddb2/

-Giveaway Policy-

****Giveaway begins Friday August 1st 2014 at 12am & ends Friday August 8th 2014 at 12am.****
Legal Residents (18 and older) of the US and Canada **ONLY** may enter.
Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter.com and will be notified by email.
**Winner:** You must respond within 48hours or another winner will be chosen.
Propeller Consulting, LLC is providing the prize for this giveaway and will be mailing it to you directly.
Upon emailing you about winning, I will also ask for your address to forward onto Propeller Consulting, LLC so they can send you your prize.
The offered product(s) are free of charge to you and **NO** purchase is necessary.
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are not associated with this giveaway.
Also by providing your information you are giving it to me only.
I **DO NOT** sell or share information and will only use information given for contacting (you) the winner.

The BEST…Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

The BEST Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

You will be amazed at how easy and delicious these muffins are. They’re moist, packed with banana flavor and kind of addictive, so make a double batch. And they freeze well too!

*Recipe found in the Future Christian Homemakers Handbook–original recipe is from Betty Crocker

chocolatechipmuffiningredients

Makes 12 muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 4oo degrees. Use a 12 cup muffin pan and grease each cup.

2. Measure the baking mix into a bowl. Add the sugar and stir.

3. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl.

4. Beat the egg slightly in a small bowl, then add it to the bananas. Add the oil to the banana mixture as well.

5. Stir banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix!

6. Gently fold the chocolate chips into the mix.

7. Distribute batter into muffin cups evenly. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

And that’s it! I hope you enjoy this recipe for the BEST chocolate chip banana muffins you will ever have. :)

Happy baking!

AshleySignature

Restless: Book Review

Restless Book Review

You know that moment in your life where your purpose is unclear and the plans of your life are just a distant memory? Are you stuck, frustrated and restless?

I was in that same place a month ago. You see, for so long I was filling my life with plans that were not my purpose; trying to make things work or stick. And truthfully, I knew at one point what my purpose was, I was just running from it. You can run away from your purpose, but your purpose won’t run away from you. Your purpose is as unique to you as your DNA and you have been made to do something that no one else can do, but YOU.

Through the book Restless, Jennie Allen uses the word threads as she talks about gifts, suffering, places, people and passions. And each one of those areas has a special part of your purpose. I just loved how Jennie’s passion and love for God’s will for our lives came out in this book. A love of surrender and purpose. She also brings up the topic of dreaming in Chapter 4. Not day dreaming, but REALLY dreaming about your life. Dreaming about the life you could live if you surrendered it all to God.

Jennie will take you to a place where in order for you to move forward, you have to look back. And it’s such a beautiful thing to see how everything in your life- your likes and dislikes; your pain and joy; and the good and bad can all be used for a greater purpose here and now.

I just love what Jennie says at the end of Chapter 1-

“What if? What if the things you love to do collided with the plans God has laid out for you from before the foundations of the earth? What if the random relationships and activities in your life all of a sudden had a focus and felt intentional and meaningful? What if the things that have caused the most hurt in your life became the birthplaces of your deepest passions? What if you could get past your fears and insecurities and spend the rest of your life running your guts out after his purposes for you?” -Jennie Allen

I encourage you, friend, take this leap of faith. Get your Bible, journal and a pen- and dig into this book. It’s going to take some work and it’s going to take you deep, but the outcome will be beautiful.

So go out there and do what God has destined you to do, friend! And enjoy every minute of it!

AshleySignature

 -I also recommend watching the Restless Live Book Club YouTube videos. Jennie and her friend Jamie did these videos a few months ago so they’re not “live”, but they’re still really great and helpful while reading the book.

 *You can buy this book where books are sold- Christian book stores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

My Favorite Things for {May}

My Favorite Things for May

Today, I want to share with you some of my favorite things for the month of May. Now this list might seem a little random, but trust me I really do enjoy each of these things and I used them a lot last month. So let’s get started-

1. & 2. I love these adorable pearly white earrings & the beautiful necklace that matches from Premier Designs. When I bought them, I was afraid I wouldn’t wear them much but let me tell you, I wear them all the time and have found that they go with a lot of my outfits. YAY!

You can find similar earrings here

3. I am a HUGE fan of the chubby lip balm/stain trend that has come on the market in the last year or 2. They’re compact and easy to apply (even without a mirror). I bought the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm stain in Honey and also in Smitten (not pictured). Honey is definitely my favorite of the 2 though. It has this beautiful mauve tint to it that I feel is perfect for anytime of the year. (swatch below)

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in- Honey

4. My Gap sunglasses are my favorite. They cost me a good $25, but they were worth it. They’re fun, made well and they make you feel like a million bucks. I think that’s a win-win.

Comment below:What were your favorite things for May?

Take some time and enjoy your favorite things this month, friend! You won’t regret it!

 AshleySignature

Homemade Trail Mix

{A Lovely Life Blog} Homemade Trail Mix

Today, I wanted to share with you a yummy and healthy trail mix recipe. Trail mix is one of those snacks that can be somewhat healthy or it can be really bad for you with all the added sugar and candy. So this is my version of a healthier trail mix, with lots of protein and a little bit of sweetness. Hope you enjoy it!

*Note- this recipe contains no refined sugar–and I didn’t use any exact measurements, so just add as much of the ingredients as you want. It’s your trail mix. :)

The ingredients

{A Lovely Life Blog} Trail Mix Ingredients

Mix all ingredients together and store them in a Ziploc bag or a fun mason jar. Enjoy!

{A Lovely Life Blog} Homemade Trail Mix

Comment below: What simple and easy snack do you like to take on the go?

Make the most of the day that God has given you, friends! And enjoy your life!

 AshleySignature