Dressed for Death: a book review


 Sometimes we homeschool moms just need to slow down and take some time for ourselves. One thing I enjoy doing is reading.  Mystery,  justice, and romance are elements I love to see in a novel when I am reading for pleasure. Julianna Deering truly met these expectations with her fourth book, Dressed for Death. With many suspicious characters and several twists and turns throughout the telling of this tale, I was held in suspense until the very end. I look forward to reading more cases from Ms. Derring about her sleuth, Drew Fathering, and his encouraging and fearless newly wed helpmeet, Madeline. I believe you will enjoy this book as much as I did. 

If you would like to have a sneak peek about the book, read on… A Regency-era event turns out to be deadly when one of the guests dies from an apparent overdose of cocaine. Nothing seems to be as it appears as several guests are caught up in the web of death and suspicion. Drew Fathering, one of the guests and amateur detective, is in a race against the killer as one by one guests from the hosting house are being murdered.  


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.”


Midwest Home School Convention


The Midwest Homeschool Convention will be here soon! If you have never been, plan on going because you can investigate, peruse, handle, and shop for curriculum you have read about, attend workshops on a variety of homeschool topics, and hang out with several thousand homeschoolers. 🙂 There is a Teen Track as well that my sons attended and found helpful.

Date: March 31- April 2, 2016

Location: Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

Cost: Prices range from $45.00-$60.00

Here is a description from the website: With hundreds of information-packed workshops that are presented by a truly unparalleled group of featured speakers, attendees are able to choose sessions that are most applicable to their own homeschooling efforts.

These sessions will include topics such as Math, Reading, Science, Spelling, Writing, Classical Home Education, Charlotte Mason Methods, Unit Studies, Beginning Homeschooling, Homeschooling through High School, Special Needs, Homeschool Transcripts, Homeschool Legal Questions, Gifted Homeschooling, Successful Parenting, Christian Worldview, Creation Apologetics, and much more!

In addition to an outstanding featured speaker line-up, you will have access to a huge exhibit hall filled with hundreds of booths that offer a great variety of homeschooling products and services.

For More Information: CLICK HERE



The Skinny Gut Diet


I recently read this book, called The Skinny Gut Diet for Blogging for Books. Can you tell what I am trying to do this summer? 🙂

This book gives you a good overall view of why we gain weight. Primarily, it is the bacteria in our stomachs and Dr. Brenda Watson helps you to change your diet, and thus, get rid of your spare tire. There are recipes and tips to help you with your diet and stay on the right course.

Berries and Citrus Smoothie

The school topic of health is one that seems to take place naturally as we go about our daily routines. We discuss the importance of covering your mouth when sneezing (disease prevention), establishing a bedtime routine and getting the rest needed, playing outdoors and participating in community sports programs. But, it’s hard sometimes to get your children to eat “healthy” foods. There isn’t much appeal for children in eating a spinach salad or nibbling on broccoli and cauliflower. If you have a child who enjoys that, it is a blessing.

I was an awful eater beginning in childhood and continuing through early adulthood. One of my favorite things to eat as a child was a Wonder Bread potato chip sandwich. I’d put the potato chips in between the slices of white bread, pressing and squishing until it was paper-thin. Wow, enough said!  When we first married, my husband and I ate a pepperoni double topper nearly every Thursday evening!

Realizing  we couldn’t continue to eat that way by putting all those bad things into the bodies, I had to change our diet. I introduced whole grain bread, plus more green vegetables into our diet.  But, I have continued to search better foods for us to eat and be more purposeful in dietary selections. Searching has led me to discover superfoods nearly two years ago.

What are superfoods? Well, they are not foods that Clark Kent and Peter Parker noshed on before dashing off to fight villains, but they would have helped them! Superfoods are nuts, berries, and foods that are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrition to help your body fight off disease (like a super hero), and give you energy. They also help you to feel full longer and thus, helping you eat less.

I know it can be expensive to eat this way, but it is expensive to go to the doctor.  It also takes time out of your life to be sick. Who wants that? I had to go to the doctor recently for a sports injury and the nurse said,”You  haven’t been to see us in a long time.”  I call that a good thing!

A fairly inexpensive way to begin to make changes and improvements to your family’s diet without it costing a hunk of your grocery budget is to add a smoothie to your menu. Instead of providing a sugar-laden snack, how about a fruity one? You can add some a superfood such as chia or hemp seeds and the family won’t even notice!

Personally, I use smoothies as a snack or a substitute for a meal. I visited a friend the other day during her lunch break and instead of us grabbing a burger and fries, I took her this smoothie. She thought it was so delicious that she asked for the recipe. I think this would be a good introduction if you are wanting to give smoothies a try. The smoothie looks seedy, but it isn’t. Those are the skins of the blueberries, but you can blend it longer to make them disappear. I just thought it added something visually for the photo. Enjoy!


Berries and Citrus Smoothie

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen pineapple (substitute fresh if available)

1 cup orange juice

1 cup mango or peach kefir (you can use vanilla yogurt instead)

2 tablespoons hemp or chia seeds(superfood)

2 teaspoons honey (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Makes 2 servings.


* Hemp seeds are one of the best sources for protein and include all eight amino acids, omega-3 and can help balance hormones.  Chia seeds are best known for their healthy fats, higher fiber content, and antioxidants. They have eight times more omega 3’s than salmon (Yippee! I detest most fish.), five times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach, and three times more antioxidants than blueberries.  source: Superfood Smoothies, Julie Morris

I am sorry I don’t know the exact number of calories for the smoothie, but I would estimate the number to be 225.



Mental Fitness


I like to help “the little grey cells” as much as possible. After all, that is part of being physically fit, right? 🙂 Here is an article from Lumosity  that gives you four ideas to stimulate your brain. I especially like the last idea of going on an adventure! I have italicized the sentences that explain what area of the brain is helped with that particular activity.

New things to try 
  •  Learn a new language

Learning a new language may do much more than make your travels easier. Bilingualism requires the flexibility to switch between languages, and a 2010 study published in Language and Cognition found that bilinguals were also faster at switching between other types of tasks. This study adds to other research suggesting that bilinguals have better executive control, a combination of cognitive processes that help you make decisions, control impulses, and plan thoughtfully.

  •  Pick up an instrument

You don’t need to become a rock star, but spending even a small amount of time practicing music may help keep you sharp. In a study by researchers at the University of St. Andrews, amateur musicians performed better than non-musicians on simple mental tests. The amateurs tended to respond faster while staying just as accurate. Pick up a guitar, flute, or harmonica this year.

  •  Do a good deed for someone else

The more altruistic you are, the healthier you may be. In a 2013 study, teens who volunteered with children for 10 weeks had lower cholesterol and inflammation levels than their peers who didn’t volunteer. It didn’t seem to matter whether the volunteer work was sedentary or active, but the teens who reported greater changes in altruistic behavior after the study ended also experienced the biggest health benefits. So do something for others this year — oddly enough, you might also be helping yourself.

  •  Go on an adventure

Going on an adventure may physically change your brain. In a recent study, mice who boldly went forth and explored their environment grew more new neurons than their less adventurous companions — even though all the mice were genetically identical.

While this study only examined mice, it shows a direct link between individual behavior and neuroplasticity, and may begin to explain how we develop individual personalities. Whether you travel to a country on your bucket list or find a spot in your city that you’ve never explored, take an adventure of your own.