Wednesday, November 30, 2011

tweet of the week

"One of my Pre-K kiddos was dancing to the Michael Jackson music playing in his head during breakfast. Made my day :)" - one of my tweets when I was working with a Pre-K class.

Monday, November 28, 2011

busy bee

So life is a little busy right now. I'm not complaining because I'm excited about everything that's going on but it's definitely causing me to be creative with my time as I try to fit it all in. Blogging would fall under the "trying to fit it all in" category. I have some ideas for upcoming posts and want to get back to sharing from my heart - it's just a matter of making time for it. I'm hoping that when the Christmas program at my church is over I'll have some extra time to play around with. I have some fun blogs I want to share as well as recipes and book reviews. I'm looking forward to what's to come next year with Snidbits. Thanks so much for sticking with me and being a part of it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

saturday spotlight: kate with "centsational girl"

I've only recently discovered Centsational Girl (thanks to Sugarbelle) and really like her site! She has some really, really cool ideas and I'm super excited to try some of them!

For example, her recent post on recycling sweaters into amazing pillows!
Please take a few minutes to look around her site and you can also subscribe to have new posts emailed to you. I noticed she's had some giveaways lately so hey, you might win something fun :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy turkey day!

I hope everyone has an absolutely wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

book review: "forbidden" by ted dekker & tosca lee

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:


Center Street (September 13, 2011)

***Special thanks to Sarah Reck, Web Publicist | FaithWords & Center Street | Hachette Book Group, for sending me a review copy.***


TED DEKKER is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels with a total of more than 5 million books in print. He is known for thrillers that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil.

Visit the author's website.

TOSCA LEE left her position working with Fortune 500 Companies as a Senior Consultant for the Gallup Organization to pursue her first love: writing. She is the critically-acclaimed author of Demon and Havah and is best known for her humanizing portraits of maligned characters. She makes her home in the Midwest.

Visit the author's website.

Check out the Forbidden Facebook!


Many years have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace... and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride.

Product Details:

List Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Center Street (September 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599953544
ISBN-13: 978-1599953540


My review: I've only read one Ted Dekker book but have read several by Tosca Lee so I was excited for the opportunity to read a collaborative effort by the two of them.

I liked this book! I read Immanuel's Veins by Dekker last year and wasn't overly crazy about it. I could see some similarities between that book and this one but I could also see Lee's influence (mainly from her book Demon) and thought they balanced each other out very well. The book had the whole good vs. evil and a strong emphasis on blood (as was the case in the other Dekker book I've read) but there was also a sprinkle of romance and lots of action. I found myself pulled into the story and eagerly turning each page, wondering what would happen next. Forbidden is the first in the The Books of Mortals series and I'm looking forward to the next book, due to come out next year.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

saturday spotlight: "the sweet adventures of sugarbelle"

I was looking through my un-read emails today and found this post that has had me excited all day! For me, presentation is just as important as the baking itself so knowing I can make my own cake and cookie stands is just the best news! She got the idea from Centsational Girl. I love Sugarbelle's ideas for cookies - they're amazing! She is super creative with how she makes cookies - they're all absolutely adorable.

Friday, November 18, 2011

tweet of the week

"The enemy is more sneaky than the guy at church who sits by the girl he likes because he knows the pastor will say, "join hands."' - Matthew Barnett

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

book review: "the story of your life" by matthew west & angela thomas

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:
Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Matthew West is a recording artist whose singles have topped the charts and been named Billboard’s Most Played Christian Songs in 2004, 2009, and 2010. “The Motions” also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Song in 2010. His albums have sold more than 275,000 copies.

Visit the Matthew's website.

Angela Thomas is a sought-after speaker, teacher, and bestselling author of Do You Think I’m Beautiful, My Single Mom Life, Prayers for My Baby Boy, and Prayers for My Baby Girl. She inspires thousands at national conferences, workshops, and through video studies that she filmed and wrote including When Wallflowers Dance.

Visit the author's website.


When Grammy-nominated recording artist Matthew West started writing his top-selling new album, The Story of Your Life (Sparrow, 2010) he asked fans to submit personal experiences. More than 10,000 tales of hope, perseverance, and redemption poured in. With friend and author Angela Thomas, West presents some of these powerful stories paired with meaningful devotions they inspired.

Wendy gave birth to her daughter in jail. When all seemed hopeless, she found God and her life transformed into something beautiful.

Cory, a married youth pastor, had an affair and his life fell apart. With God’s mercy, he and his wife gathered the broken pieces and started again.

Sheila always struggled with severe insecurity. Now she lives confidently in the purpose God has for her.

This unforgettable devotional journey inspires readers to discover God as the author of their unique lives and to share the power of their story.

Also available this season—a companion DVD of the same title and an interactive standalone guide Experiencing the Story of Your Life, which allows readers to personalize and explore more deeply the messages of God’s hope and redemption in their stories.

Before Grammy-nominated recording artist Matthew West wrote his top-selling new album, The Story of Your Life, he asked fans to submit their faith stories. Thousands of powerful tales of hope and redemption poured in. Now West and author Angela Thomas share these amazing stories and the meaningful devotions they inspired.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736943986
ISBN-13: 978-0736943987


Who is the Author
of Your Story?

From Lajos   …

I grew up in Communist Hungary and escaped in 1987 at age 21. I went to a refugee camp as an atheist who mocked Christians, and 18 months later I came out of it turning my life over to Christ. It was a trying, dramatic, and sometimes traumatic experience. But in the middle of what should have been my most hopeless days and nights, I could not deny the overwhelming feeling that I was not alone and the peace that came along with it.

I went to Canada in 1988. Starting a new life in a new country as a 23-year-old was truly challenging. Without my newly found faith, I probably could not have done it. Now I am following Christ and serving Him by going on mission trips. I want the world to know there is a God, a God who is with us in our darkest moments.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands (Psalm 19:1).

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers of rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:15-17).

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…(Hebrews 12:2 nasb).

Matthew Responds   …

Who is the author of your story? How did you get here? Do you see the world as nothing more than one big coincidence after another? Did the oceans just tell themselves they could go only so far? Did the sun just appear out of nowhere? What about all the billions of stars in the galaxies or the intricate design of a human life? Is there an answer for all these questions?

When your eyes see a majestic snowcapped mountain climbing a mile high in the Rockies, does the experience leave you awestruck and amazed? When you hold a newborn baby in your arms, are you filled with wonder as you touch the tiny hands and toes and ears? When you witness a great big world with billions of people moving in billions of directions, does your heart scream, “This can’t be mere coincidence! This could not be the work of human hands! There’s no way this all just happened!”

Even the English astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle concluded, “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that ‘a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.’ ”

Sadly, more and more people are choosing the former way of thinking. In fact, many studies and polls report that atheism is on the rise both in America and around the world. This really should come as no surprise in a society that places so much emphasis on self-sufficiency. Nike prompted us, “Just Do It.” Burger King invited us, “Have It Your Way.” Apple Computers promised their products would give us “The Power to Be Your Best.”

In our world, all signs point to the notion that you and I are the ones who write the stories of our lives. And so people are choosing to believe there is nothing to believe in. Atheists believe there is no God. And to believe there is no God is to believe we are the authors of our own stories. Yet how can we be the authors of a story we never created? You were not the one who came up with the idea to create you. The decision of whether to believe in God is the foundation that every soul will build its story upon. The story of your life is being written every moment of every day, even as you read this right now. The question you must ask is, who is holding the pen?

In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren begins his very first chapter by establishing where we must first look if we are to find a story with true purpose.

You must begin with God, your Creator. You exist only because God wills that you exist. You were made by God and for God—and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end.

Warren goes on to tell the story of Russian novelist, Andrei Bitov who had a similar experience to our story of Lajos.

Andrei…grew up under an atheistic Communist regime. But God got his attention one dreary day. He recalls, “In my twenty-seventh year, while riding the metro in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) I was overcome with a despair so great that life seemed to stop at once, preempting the future entirely, let alone any meaning. Suddenly, all by itself, a phrase appeared: Without God life makes no sense. Repeating it in astonishment, I rode the phrase up like a moving staircase, got out of the metro and walked into God’s light.”

There it is. Without God life makes no sense. Without God our stories have no meaning, no purpose. We live, we die, and that’s it. Our stories end when we die. Oh, what a sad existence if this is true. I once wrote a lyric in a song called “The World Needs a Savior” that reads, “Atheists, there are no atheists when the plane’s going down and you’re crying out for one more chance.” I wrote that line thinking about the reality that when people face crisis, they reach out for help. When our nation, which fights for separation of church and state, fell victim to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, we came together to pray.

I remember something my mom often did when I was a kid and we were in the car. Anytime she was forced to slam on her brakes or swerve out of the way to avoid an accident, her knee-jerk reaction was to stretch her arm out across whoever was sitting in the front seat, either my brother or me, and shout a prayer: “Jesus, help us!” My mom is a praying woman. She always has been, both in times of triumph and times of crisis. She knows whom she can call upon. She knows the all-knowing and all-powerful God. She knows that God hears us when we call out to Him in a whisper of praise or a cry for help.

Whom do you call out to in times of crisis? Lajos was once convinced God did not exist. But in the middle of his loneliest, most desperate hour, this “atheist who mocked Christians” cried out to Jesus. “I could not deny the overwhelming feeling that I was not alone and the peace that came along with it,” he said as the undeniable presence of our Creator turned this atheist into a believer. Lajos handed over the pen right then and there, choosing to make God the author of his story.

Maybe you are thinking, “This doesn’t apply to me. I believe in God. I’m no atheist.” Well, let me leave you with this one question. Who is really holding the pen? It is possible to believe in God, go to church, tithe, and do all the things Christians do without fully submitting the story of your life to the true “author and finisher” of our faith. It is a daily struggle to determine who holds the pen, but surrendering our stories to the One who “holds all things together” is the only true way for the stories of our lives to be filled with meaning and purpose.

My thoughts: I didn't realize this was a devotional but liked that about it. It's broken down into 52 stories where people wrote to Matthew as he was preparing for his "Something to Say" album and shared from their own lives. Both he and Angela Thomas take turns responding to the stories. There's one line Angela shares that I highlighted. "All God asks is that we live today for His glory, that we spend this day beautifully relying on Him, trusting what we cannot understand, believing that the heart of God is for us." I really like that, especially as I'm going through a time of having to heavily trust God and not give in to worry. It's a great book and one to read more than once.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

book review: "a lasting impression" by tamera alexander

About the book: "Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.

Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they truly are."

I really liked this book! This is the first book I've read by Tamara Alexander and I enjoyed the story. It was a bit of a longer read than most books but it all came together to tell the story of Claire and Sutton. I liked them as a couple but I also liked the character of Sutton. I laughed out loud when he told Claire she could call him Willister whenever she didn't expect a response and then stuck to that. The banter between them was fun to read as well. I'll admit I couldn't help but "aww" when he asked if she'd forgotten about her next appointment and it was a picnic lunch with him. I also liked the story taking place in the South - since that's my home. It was just an overall really good read and I will definitely be adding Tamara's other books to my ever growing "to read" list.

You can learn more about Tamera from her blog and website.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for my honest review.

Friday, November 11, 2011

tweet of the week

"Sometimes when you are the closest to your breakthrough the pressure is the greatest. You have come too far to give up now!" - Joyce Meyer

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

me too

I'm in a book study of Beth Moore's book, So Long Insecurity, with some other women from my church. We watched some of the DVD the other night and one part really stuck with me. She was telling a story about a woman who had went through an especially difficult season in her life. The woman wanted her kids to not lose faith in God even though she was struggling with that very thing. She said she would rock her smallest child, singing "Jesus Loves Me." She finally realized that for God to love her baby meant He loved her too. It was through tears she sang as that truth took hold.

I can easily encourage others that God has a plan for them and He'll work everything out but I need to tell myself that as well. I have no problem believing God answers the prayers of those around me but when I'm still waiting on a response, I might forget that truth. It all comes back to the fact that everything I undoubtedly believe for's for me, too.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Yesterday my pastor talked about the genius that resides in all of us though not all of us tap into it. He said we're all created to do different things and it's when we find that place where we know He's called us that our genius is able to come out. It was a really great message and one I want to listen to again. I've been fighting the feeling of being overwhelmed as I try to keep several spinning plates from crashing to the floor. I want to fulfill the plans He has for me and experience the fullness of my genius. But I know I won't get there without effort on my part. I have to make it a priority to work on the dreams He's placed inside of me and not let that I'm tired or have a lot going on get in the way. There's a book a friend of mine told me about titled The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's on my "to read" list and the author talks about overcoming the things that can stand in our way as we go after our dreams. I'm not content to live a life that's anything less than what God has for me.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

saturday flashback

Today is normally the day I post Saturday Spotlight's but I decided to do something a little bit different this time. Today we're having a women's luncheon at my church and the guest speaker is Kellie Copeland-Swisher. I best know her from the Commander Kellie and the Superkids videos. Not to brag or anything, but I wrote her and she sent me photos of her and the Superkids on set - I was very excited about it back then. So as I listen to her now that I'm adult, I also want to remember her from when I was little :)

Friday, November 4, 2011


John Bevere was at my church this past Sunday and it was such a great service! He's very energetic when he speaks and I love when people are excited about what they're talking about! He was only able to cover a small portion of the material in his newest book Extraordinary but it was enough to make me want to read the rest and tap into the empowerment we have through God's grace.

You can learn more about the book from Amazon and from John's website.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

book review: "letters to a young youth pastor" by calvin miller

About the book: "Letters to a Young Pastor offers every young pastor an invaluable mentor with a heart for sharing his hard-won insights with those who enjoy the victories and carry the burdens of the pastorate. Dr. Miller’s appeal to young pastors lies not in his overwhelming successes, but simply in the fact that he’s been there and done that. As Dr. Miller says, “The all-time great reason that you should listen to me is that much of what I write about in this book is written from the edge. Ministry is not for sissies, and the requirement of the tough times brings us to the edge of our commitment.”

One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is because I work in youth ministry at my church. Even though I'm not a pastor I thought I could still learn from the book. I liked the way it was broken down into different topics - some serious and some humorous. I think one of my favorites was Letter 25: Grumpy Homiletics. He talks about the same child having to go to the bathroom every Sunday: "Not children randomly going to the bathroom. The same child week after week! Slamming the door as if to punctuate her Fifth Amendment rights to protest your freedom of speech. Her parents always sat there smiling, never correcting her, always dressing her in Easter frillery so her performance would be tasteful...You can't actually see any more than her little back when she exits, but I always imagined that on her face was a grin that would chill the nerve of a Vatican exorcist." Overall a good read!

I received a copy of this book from The B&B Media Group for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

with sprinkles on top

Bakerella is one of my favorite blogs on sweets. She did a post last week on the different ways you can use Halloween sprinkles...beyond Halloween. I plan on stocking up once everything is marked down - I'm always in the mood for a good buy :) So please click on the picture to read her post and look at her cute ideas!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

giveaway: "never let you go" by erin healy

I'm starting a new thing on my blog by giving away some books that I've read but want to pass along to someone else. So just to clarify, giveaways with the above logo are books that aren't new but still in really good condition.

Congratulations to Margaret for winning my copy of Running Blind by Shirlee McCoy!

This month I'm giving away Never Let You Go by Erin Healy. To enter, just leave comment with your email address. Contest ends Wednesday, November 30 at 8:00 p.m. (which is a change from midnight on prior giveaways).

For bonus entries:
- tell me how you heard about my giveaway
- become a follower of my blog