TRUE ~ Five Minute Friday #fmfparty

One Word Prompt ~ Five Minutes of Writing ~ No Editing

Today's Prompt: TRUE

True: Consistent with fact or reality; not false or erroneous.

Being a mom I get caught up in daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, wiping bottoms, and basically holding down the fort while hubby works hard for us. While doing these tasks I often lose sight of what is true. Or even what is true about me and who I am.

I start to believe lies over what is true. I become inconsistent and restless. This usually happens after a week that was difficult. Then I start to think I cannot do this. I battle myself and wonder what happened and then God sits me down and I stop and realized I have lost sight of what is true.

Quick story, just the other day I was having a busy rush around day where I had put what is true aside and concentrated on tasks. Nothing else mattered but completing these tasks, I was in the car with the boys running errands when a radio program mentioned this wife who was trying to get her husband out of jail in Iran. She went on to tell how her husband was a Christian and was trying to start an orphanage and then was thrown in jail and it has now been a year. I was heartbroken and began praying and made a mental note to look up this man Saeed Abedini.

I got out of the car and my 4 yr. old asked me what I was thinking at first I was like hurry up we need to get you new shoes and then I stopped and realized how will he know what is true if I never tell him so I told him about a daddy being in prison and how I was praying for him. My son then said oh I will pray now for him. Right then I felt like God was saying this is what is true. This moment when you teach my child to pray for those suffering that is what is true. New shoes are not a life skill but knowing to pray for was is true and having empathy towards others is.

When I listen to what is true, what is good I can be everything God intended me to be, I am consistent, content, and at ease with where I am in life. When I listen to what is true I am surprised that I ever fell for the lies. The only way to be happy is to be true to who you are. Who has God called you to be? For me it is being a teacher of what is true.


I would rather know the truth than be happy in ignorance. If I can't have both truth and happiness, give me truth. I can be happy in heaven.

~ A. W. Tozer

Book Review ~ Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins

About the book:

If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twenty-seven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

My thoughts:

Have you ever made a snap decision that wound up changing everything? That is exactly what happens to Hannah Shire. The series of unfolding events began when she decided to take the scenic route home. She and her mother came upon a car accident and stopped to help just like anyone else would. Little did they know that their world, along with everyone else's, was about to be turned upside down. 

This book completely stressed me out! Of course when you are talking about a suspense book, being stressed out is a very good thing. The tension kept mounting with each page that was turned. With each new incident you begin to wonder just who you can trust. If you are like me you will begin to think about what you would do in the situation. Where would you go? Who are the good guys? How would you prepare for the impending doom? 

In the preface of the story Ms. Collins gives you the background on the idea for the story. What if terrorists decided to sabotage our power grid? What would happen? The ensuing story was riveting. The details and facts felt very real and plausible. The amount of thorough research that must have gone into this book shines through. If you are looking for a novel that will leave you anxiously pondering what if . . . pick up a copy of Dark Justice!

Connect with the author:

Book Review ~ Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge

Rene Gutteridge

About the book:

Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me.

Filled with grief, Jules Belleno rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world.

But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.

And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith.

Read The First Chapter

My thoughts:

Authors don't kidnap fans because of bad reviews . . . or do they?

If you liked Stephen King's Misery that was made into a movie starring James Caan and Kathy Bates, you are going to love Misery Loves Company. The story isn't the same but it provokes the same feelings of terror and apprehension.

Throughout the entire book I kept vacillating between thinking Patrick Reagan was truly crazy to having feelings of empathy for him. He is portrayed as having a brilliant mind but as soon as you start thinking he is out to help Jules he does something that makes you think he really has gone mad.

The heart pumping pace of the story made it a very fast read. It is one of those books that you wind up speaking out loud to the characters, giving them warnings, telling them to be careful, etc. I refuse to give away the ending, but I will say that it will leave you pondering different scenarios for days.

This is a fabulous read that I recommend to anyone that loves a good spine tingling thrill ride.

Connect with the author:


Twitter ~ @ReneGutteridge

Rene's Blog

Tasty Tuesday ~ Frieda's Organic Heirloom Apples

  *I was sent apples for this recipe from Freida's Produce; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing Frieda's Heirloom Apples, you can visit their website to find a grocery store near you that carries them. If your store does not carry them, you can always request them from your produce manager.*

Happy Fall Y'all!

Welcome to the first official fall Tasty Tuesdays on Rambles of a SAHM. What do you immediately think of when you think of fall? For me, it's apples. Apples are one of the most quintessential parts of fall.

Whether you pick your own, go to the farmer's market, or shop for the best at your local grocery store, they are everywhere. I love to have them around as snacks, put them in oatmeal, make apple sauce or make a crisp with them.

In general, I stick to the varieties I know, red delicious, jonathan, granny smith and honey crisp. Did you know, though, there are dozens of varieties of apples out there? Many I have never heard of. Frieda's Produce offered to send me some of their organic heirloom apples to try.


 I of course accepted, eager to see what I might be missing.

Each of these had a distinct flavor apart from other apples I've tried. It never ceases to amaze me the variety and robustness of fruit, even if they are all just "apples." I wanted to do something fun with these apples and felt they needed something beyond just a crisp or pie. After wracking my brain, I came up with apple chips. I really like throwing them in a salad or just snacking on them. They tend to be expensive and full of sugar though, and homemade is usually better anyways :)

Head on over to Food Snob St. Louis for the full recipe!

Take it OR Leave it ~ Lands' End Fall Fashion

We are back with the Take it OR Leave it series! Here is a recap for the newcomers.

When I enter a store my eye is immediately drawn to the displays. I rarely just got to the racks and start digging through. I like to take the easy way out and just buy the outfit. Unfortunately for me it doesn't always work out the way I would like. After all what size are those mannequins anyway?!!

My mother tends to shop the same way so for years we have been playing this game we call “Take It Or Leave It”. Here’s how it works . . . grab a shopping buddy and head to your favorite store. Find a display you love then recreate the look in your size. Turn to your shopping buddy and simply say, “take it or leave it”. Then trust their judgment!

This week we are at Lands' End which ours happens to be located in Sears. They have a lot of looks for fall fashion and we thought we would start with colored jeans. Now I’m inviting you to be my shopping buddy! Here’s this week’s selection:

Lands' End

What do you think…Should I take it or leave it???

Child Passenger Safety with Advance 70 Air + from Safety 1st + Giveaway

The Advance 70 Air + Convertible Car Seat features our new Air Protect + to keep children from 5-70 pounds safer in the car. Air Protect + combines the advanced protection of our Air Protect® cushion system with patentedGCell HX™ foam designed with hexagonal shapes for superior protection around the torso. TOGETHER they provide full bodyside impact protection.

In addition to Air Protect +, the Advance 70 Air + uses a steel-reinforced metal frame for extra stability and includes a 4-position recline for an optimal fit to your vehicle. We’ve also included color-coded belt paths and installation labels to help you install it quickly and correctly, which means less time getting it into your car and more time to enjoy the ride.


  • Super-extended weight range
  • Rear-facing 5-40 pounds
  • Forward-facing 22-70 pounds
  • Featuring AirProtect +
  • AirProtect® advanced cushion system protects your child’s head, where it’s needed most
  • GCellHX™ patented foam with hexagonal shapes inside the seat provides superior body protection
  • TOGETHER they provide full body side impact protection
  • Easy to identify color-coded belt paths and installation labels
  • Steel reinforced metal frame
  • 10-position headrest grows with your child
  • No re-thread harness
  • 4-position recline for optimal fit to your car
  • LATCH equipped
  • Integrated cup holder

We are wrapping up the Child Passenger Safety Week with the new Advance 70 Air + Convertible Car Seat! There is so much to love about this car seat.  Safety 1st has built an incredibly safe, affordable, and user friendly car seat that can be used from birth 5 lbs to 70 lbs! One car seat that does it all!

I am going to be honest and just admit that I can get overwhelmed with installing car seats so I usually get hubby to do it for me. Honestly before the kids came along I had no idea how frustrating it could be to install a car seat. I have seriously spent years thinking there has got to be a better way!

Well, there is with the Advance 70 Air + Convertible Car Seat! That is because the instructions are labeled right on the car seat and they are color coded too. This car seat is fool proof. For once it is easy to install your car seat anywhere. You literally take it out of the box and can install it right into your car.

Also, there is no re- threading the harness so I can switch my boys in and out of this car seat by just squeezing the harness button and readjusting! Car seat safety is important and can save a child’s life but only if it is done correctly. Safety 1st has made this car seat very easy to keep your child safe.

Now we know that it is safe, but are my kids comfortable? The simple answer is yes. Both of my boys want to sit in this car seat. The fabric is soft and plush but firm. When I got this seat I was surprised how heavy it was and that is because it has a steel-reinforced metal frame and is built for stability.

Bottom line I take comfort in knowing my children are safe and that if I take this car seat to grandma she could install it too. I love that this car seat is so safe but I don’t have to speed a fortune for it. I love that it is made in the USA.  I highly recommend this car seat and if you happen to be looking for convertible car seats at Target I urge you to check out the Advance 70 Air + Convertible Car Seat.

Safety 1st goal is to keep every child safe and for Child Passenger Safety Week they are letting you have a chance to win an Advance 70 Air + Convertible Car Seat! Thank you Safety 1st!  Don't forget that this Saturday is Car Seat Check Saturday! You can go to or to find your nearest location.


One reader will win the Safety 1st Advance 70 Air+ Convertible Car Seat!  Open to US only 18+ Giveaway ends on 10/03/2013 at 12:00 am EST. Fill out the Rafflecopter form to be entered! 

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VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels™ TrainStation Playset ~ Review + Giveaway

Go! Go! Smart Wheels™ Train Station Playset

·         Go! Go! Smart Wheels enhance one of the most popular play patterns while teaching important learning skills, boosting imaginative play through cause and effect, encouraging interactivity and providing an outlet for good old-fashioned role play.

·         All aboard on the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset! 32 interchangeable track pieces can combine into many different configurations as the included motorized train engine and cargo car chug on by.

·         The included vehicle and other Go! Go! Smart Wheels™ SmartPoint™ vehicles (each sold separately) respond to 10 SmartPoint locations with different phrases, music or fun sound effects. 

·         Featuring a train station, conveyor-belt hill, bridge, tunnel, spiral ramp, track gates and track switcher, this set provides hours of cargo fun and imitative play.

·         The tracks also connect to other Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets (each sold separately) to encourage children’s creativity.

·         Ages1-5 years, MSRP: $49.99

Having both a 1 year old and 4 year old it can be challenging to find toys that both boys can play with together. I also prefer toys that let them be creative while playing. I like toys that have several different levels of play and that will grow with the boys. 

I have always been impressed with the quality of Vtech toys and the Go! Go! Smart Wheels™ Train Station Playset did not disappoint.  When the box arrived the boys wanted to play with it right away and I was not so sure since hubby was not there to put it together however the boys were not going to wait for dad. I started pulling out all the parts and setting them on the train table when I noticed the boys working together and building it themselves. Literally all I had to do was put batteries in the tower and train, the boys did the rest.

They played with the Go! Go! Smart Wheels™ Train Station until it was bedtime and then the next day it was the first toy they played with as well. Did you notice I said THEY? Yes, they both love this toy and it is big enough for them to play it together without fighting. My oldest loves to be in charge and he comes up with ways to rearrange the tracks and my 1 year old feels big since he can help snap the tracks together. My 1 year old also loves all the interactive parts and buttons to push while my oldest loves the crank you turn to make the train go down the hill.

Overall I have been impressed with the quality of materials, how it engages both of my boys, and it is a toy they keep coming back to! I also love the creativity it brings out in both boys. My oldest has already asked for more Go! Go! Smart Wheels which is great since grandparents are always wanting to know what to buy for birthdays and Christmas. I am so excited that VTech is giving a reader a chance to win one too!


One reader will win their own Go! Go! Smart Wheels™ TrainStation Playset from VTech! Open to US only 18+ Giveaway will end on 9/25/2013 at 12:00 am EST! Good luck and fill out the rafflecopter form to be entered!

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Book Review ~ The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis

Home to Hickory Hollow, Book 4
Contemporary Fiction/Amish

Back of the book:

Jennifer Burns shocks everyone when she bids farewell to her modern life in favor of the Old Order Amish world, settling in with Samuel and Rebecca Lapp.

The people of Hickory Hollow are curious about the beautiful young seeker among them--one handsome Amishman in particular--and Jenny faces many challenges in the Proving time the brethren set for her . . . challenges of the heart, as well as the spirit.

My thoughts:

If you think that you've grown weary of Amish fiction you should give it one more try and pick up the Home to Hickory Hollow series by Beverly Lewis. I've been reading Beverly's work from the beginning and I am thrilled with this new series and particularly this fourth book.

This series explores different aspects of the Amish life than what is typically covered in a book of this genre. The main character, Jenny Burns, is a seeker from the English world and is determined to become a devout Amishwoman. I've often wondered what it would entail for someone to become an Amish convert. The story is detailed about the requirements and the hardships someone would face as they try to assimilate to this new lifestyle. I enjoyed the honest way Jenny's struggles were portrayed and also the realistic way the brethren struggled to accept her.

While this is considered a stand-alone novel, several of the characters from previous books in the series make appearances. We are treated to more of the Wise Woman's compassionate yet feisty opinions of the goings on around her. Katie and Dan are still under the Bann but that hasn't stopped them from reaching out to the ones they love the most.

As I said earlier I think this is Beverly's best work yet. The series just continues to surprise me with the different situations that have been introduced. Beverly has definitely earned the status of queen of Amish fiction. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Connect with the author:

Photo Credit: Gene Photography


Child Passenger Safety Week ~ Booster Safety with Maxi-Cosi

Here are some quick tips from Maxi-Cosi on car seat safety with boosters. Do you know your state laws? How long should you keep kids in a booster seat? Learn these tips and it can save a kids life! Also, later on we will be highlighting the 2014 Maxi Cosi RodiFix. How long do you keep your kids in a booster?

Tasty Tuesday ~ Good Bye Summer with Quinoa Caprese Salad

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays everyone! I'm Laura from Food Snob St. Louis with an end-of-summer salad recipe for you. Although I am very ready for fall, I love summer. The reasons I love summer, are the very reasons I miss it so much once it's gone:

1. Losing track of time at the pool and staying all day long.

2. BLTs.

3. Finding refuge in the air conditioning at the library and picking out books to read on a trip (or books I intend to read).

4. Sunsets at 8 p.m.

5. Babies living in onesies.

6. Fresh produce everywhere.

7. Tomatoes.

Really, my list could be tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. It's a simple pleasure of life to be able to slice a fresh, homegrown tomato, sprinkle it with a little salt and just enjoy in its perfect, sweet, juicy state. Even though I enjoyed sipping coffee in my sweats (hello 50 degrees in the a.m.), I mourned the passing of summer a little bit this week. I comforted myself a little bit with my twist on a traditional caprese salad with the last of the seasons fresh tomatoes.

I'm slowly working my way through our 5 pound bag of quinoa, so naturally it was a needed ingredient!


Head on over to Food Snob St. Louis for the entire recipe. *Also, forget to check out my review and enter to win a Summer Infant Prodigy Infant car seat! Click here to enter.*

Taming of the Brows ~ Threading is Better!

If you have been to your local mall recently you have probably seen the kiosk for shaping your eyebrows. I have to admit that I have totally shunned the place because it just did not appeal to me in the least. Who wants to be lying in a chair having your eyebrows plucked while strangers wander by?!!
 Ain’t nobody needin to see that!

The other day I was at the mall with my mom and as we were browsing and trying to resist the draw of the cookie place my mom spotted the brow booth. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

Mom: Oh my goodness! When did they put that in? We need to go do that.
Me: There is no way I’m going to try that. It’s in the middle of the mall in front of everyone.
Mom: Who cares? Trust me it will be totally worth it. Besides it is across from Victoria’s Secret, they’ll be distracted.
Me: (Don’t you just hate it when your mom says trust me? You know she’s probably going to be right . . . but at what cost to my dignity?) I’ll watch you do it and then I’ll think about it.
Mom: Nope! You’re doing it. Those brows of yours have been needing some work. (Gee thanks mom!)

So being the good daughter that I am, I took a chance on it. (I should admit that I did make her go first!) I watched very carefully to see if she cringed or even flinched. Nope, not a twitch!

If you are wanting to try threading check Brow Art for a location near you! I also came across this little YouTube video that shows the difference between threading and waxing. It might help you decide which to try!

Which do you prefer threading or waxing?

Child Passenger Safety with Julie Vallese

As a mom of two I know the importance of car seat safety. When car seats are installed correctly it can save a life! This week is Child Passenger Safety Week and we wanted to share this video with you on behalf of Safety 1st. Watch the video and make sure your baby is safe. It is also a good reminder for those who have several kiddos as well!!!

Summer Prodigy® Infant Car Seat ~ Review + Giveaway

Hi Rambles of a SAHM, it's Laura from Food Snob St. Louis. You might remember me from Tasty Tuesdays. I'm excited to be here today to talk to you about car seats!

One of the most stressful things I remember about preparing for our first baby was getting the car seat installed. It's a vital part of being ready to bring home your bundle of joy, yet it was one of the most confusing things I've had to do. Let's just say it ended with lots a tears and a trip to get some ice cream to make me feel better about my potential parenting abilities.

We are now expecting our second child, and the car seat installation has been looming over my head yet again. With a little less than 2 months to go, I knew it just needed to get done. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to review the Summer Prodigy Infant Car Seat, which boasts being one of the easiest and quickest seats to install with the latches in your car. I was beyond excited to try this out! As you can see from the photo, there is a display screen on the base, easy tightening and loosening crank, as well as the 3-step instructions printed right there for easy reference.


Seemed easy enough, so I went out to the car to see how quickly I could actually put it in. The first step was clipping in to the latches.


Once the latches are clicked, the display screen tells you if it is level.


 And then tighten with the crank until you get the green smiley face.


This literally took 5 minutes. 5 MINUTES! Keep in mind I am 8 months pregnant as well. It was seriously SO easy and hassle free. Plus, with the display screen, you don't have to worry about or question if it is installed correctly. You might notice there is also a "test" button. This lets you test the car seat base periodically to make sure no adjustments are needed.


The infant carrier seat itself is also top-of-the-line.


 Our new little girl will be supported and safe with these plush infant inserts and the 5-point safety harness.


The straps for the seat are very easy to adjust as well, and overall, this car seat is incredibly user-friendly. I should also mention that the carrier and base were not heavy, and I believe I'll be able to easily lift the baby in and out of the car. The bottom line is this car seat made my life easier and helped me worry less for multiple reasons: 1. I know it meets all the safety standards. 2. It took 5 minutes to install. 3. #2 means I can easily move this seat from one car to another or travel with it. 4. With the display screen there is no guessing if the base is installed correctly. Thank you Summer for giving me the opportunity to try out this car seat. I can't wait to use it with our new baby in a few short weeks!

Connect with Summer Infant on Facebook & Twitter!


How would you like to try out the Summer Prodigy Infant Car Seat for your family? Summer is giving away a car seat to one lucky reader! Just enter the Rafflecopter below. Open to US 18+ Giveaway ends 9/30/2013 at 12:00 am EST!

 *I was given a Summer Prodigy Infant Car Seat by Summer Infant
All opinions and statements are my own.*

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Chasing Hope Giveaway from Kathryn Cushman

Chasing Hope
Kathryn Cushman
Contemporary Fiction

About the book:

A Touching Story of Two Unlikely Friends.
The Power of Trust.
The Struggle of Pain.
And How, Sometimes, Following God Can Lead You to the Most Unexpected Places.

A talented runner determined to make the Olympics, Sabrina Rice had her dreams shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she's forged a new vision for her future that has nothing to do with running, which she's buried deep, intent on forgetting...

Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world class potential, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a troublemaking teen. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina realizes she's Brandy's best hope to salvage a life about to spiral out of control forever.

In author Kathryn Cushman’s newest novel, Chasing Hope, Sabrina Rice is a gifted runner and Olympic hopeful who’s had her dreams shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she’s focused on building new dreams. Dreams that have nothing to do with running.

Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it’s all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist.

When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina gets the uncomfortable feeling her life plans are about to be toppled…again. And that God may be asking her to help this troubled but talented girl see her dreams past the starting block.

To celebrate the story, author Katie Cushman and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present theCHASING HOPE Giveaway, and your chance to win one of three fabulous prizes connected with the story!

This giveaway starts September 16, 2013 and ends October 3, 2013 @ 11:59 pm (PST). Winners will be selected Friday, October 4, 2013, and announced at


Nike’s motto is: Just Do It, and Sabrina Rice of Chasing Hope lives out this attitude despite tremendous obstacles. But chasing dreams is hard work, and every champion needs fuel for their journey.

To celebrate everyday champions like Sabrina, we’re offering our Grand Prize winner the chance to fuel up, and have some fun as they chase their dreams.

The winner of this package will receive a $200 shopping spree to the Nike Online Store, and a 1-Year subscription to Runner’s World Magazine.


In Chasing Hope, Brandy Philip has world-class talent, but she needs a fresh start, and a little extra help to get her on the right path. Just like Brandy, we all need a boost now and then, especially when it comes to our health and fitness goals!

While we can’t all have a personal trainer like Sabrina to help us meet those goals, our Second Prize winner will receive the next best thing: This prize includes a $175 value Nike + FuelBand accelerometer, which tracks each step taken and calories burned (and tells the time of day), andThe Courage To Start running book, written by popular life coach and former self-proclaimed “couch potato”, John Bingham.


In Chasing Hope, Sabrina and Brandy find that even the strongest runners also need time to rest.

Whether you run marathons, a carpool, or just weekly trips to the grocery store, you can always use a little you-time, and a chance to recharge!

Our third prize winner will get that chance with a $50 gift card to, plus an inside look at the life of Eric Liddell, (Sabrina’s hero and inspiration), through the ‘Complete Surrender’ biography book, and the Chariots of Fire DVD, featuring Ben Cross.

How to Enter:

Click on the following image and complete the entry box, anytime between September 16 and October 3.

Enter the CHASING HOPE Giveaway from Author Katie Cushman

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