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What’s True About You? A Giveaway

This book is what God
says is true about 

God speaks blessing over each of us. The best gift we can give to our children is to teach them to listen to His truth about them!

The Story of “What’s True About You? 

What do you tell your children when they say that someone has said shaming or negative things about them? 
Well, I asked my sister Angie this question one day and found an answer
that has taught me the most vital thing I know as a parent.  My sister said, “I always ask my children, ‘Is that true about you?'”  That phrase stuck and I started telling all my friends.  
One friend in particular, Mindy McNeiece said, “You should write a book
called, What’s True About You, Kennedy Sue?”  Well, that is my daughter’s name and it was a great idea.  Mindy illustrated the book with beautiful watercolor that brought the words to life.  
Once it was written I realized all my friends and all their children need to
hear these words so I made generic versions for girls and boys, and added the option for a personalized version.
I pray it is a blessing to your whole family, too.

-Kristan Farley, Author of What’s True About You?

{girl version}

This book is really precious.  The watercolor illustration is soft, sweet and draws you in.  The message is priceless.  I love that you can personalize the book with a child’s gender & name, and that is just what I did!  A certain little someone in my life is going to get it for Christmas, and I know he is going to think it is pretty neat to see his name in a book!


I’m excited to be giving away 3 copies of this book, one being a personalized copy!  Just follow the easy steps below & GOOD LUCK!


Seriously God? + A Giveaway

Last spring, I read the book Seriously God? I’m Doing Everything I Know To Do and It’s Not Working, and it changed me.  I wrote about it here, and I have not forgotten how the author, Jenny Smith, acknowledged the “nothing’s working” reality by taking us directly to what and WHO makes all things work together.  She does this by walking through 7 statements Jesus made about Himself, that start with the words “I Am.”

These “I Am” statements are what stuck with me and changed me. (I wrote my own thoughts under each statement.)

I am the Bread of Life

He knows what we need and meets them. “There is a huge difference in coming to Jesus to have our needs met, and coming to him because He is the only thing we need.” 

am the Light of the World
“Light always brings security where darkness brought fear.”

I am the Door of the Sheep
His focus is on us.  He cares deeply & is aware of our needs and situation.  Our path.

I am the Good Shepherd
He will lead, guide & protect.

I am the Resurrection & the Life
He is both Divine & Human.  He gets it.  He gets us.  He knows our human emotions, & He also has the power to raise the dead & raise from the dead.

I am the Way the Truth and the Life
He doesn’t just teach truth, He is the Truth..He doesn’t represent life, He is Life.

I am the True Vine
Simply abiding, believing & obeying has the power to transform our lives. Will we become people who act on what they know or not.

I so appreciated this book, and I’m super excited that the author, Jenny Smith, has agreed to visit us here at New Nostalgia.  What an honor to have her written thoughts with us today!

From Author Jenny Smith~

As Christmas approached last year, I was in the midst of writing Seriously God? I’m Doing Everything I Know To Do and It’s Not Working. It had been an incredible hard couple of years, not months, but years. I know some of you are in the midst of the same kinds of struggles. I asked Amy if I could share a little of what happened as the knowledge of the ‘I Am’ statements of Jesus sank into my heart.

During the months of writing I started letting those ‘I Am’ statements shape my thinking instead of what the culture says, and my heart started changing. They are small baby steps, but they are change. I started having this desire to devote my life to Jesus instead of a life devoted to Jenny. My reality didn’t change. I knew Christmas last year was going to be tight—more than likely the smallest Christmas our family has had—but it was different. I wasn’t crying. I didn’t feel abandoned. I knew Jesus was watching over us and making sure we will have what we need to celebrate his birth. He is the Good Shepherd.

In addition to the financial stress, we had the normal family tensions over extended schedules, and all the other stresses of the Christmas season. Normally, I find myself at one of two extremes-crying or in a rage. Last year, though, was different. Even though the family didn’t change and we didn’t inherit a windfall, I knew Jesus was watching me closely as I walked out into the world every day. He knew my feelings would get hurt. He knew I would be walking around the mall with a firm budget and a list for the girls’ gifts, trying to make them match. Knowing he’s the Good Shepherd caused me to be able to not let those things fester but to bring them to him and let him tend them quickly. On Christmas night, Chad, my husband and I said this was the best Christmas we have had in a long time—a very long time. The only real difference was my heart. I’m began to see how winning the conflict raging in our hearts, has a very real impact on my daily life. In ways I could have never anticipated.

If you are approaching Christmas and feeling abandoned, or maybe you already are feeling your emotions take over, it doesn’t have to be that way this year! If we can get our hearts focused on Jesus
regardless of our circumstances, we will celebrate with joy the birth of our Savior!


So  good, but the goodness does not stop there.  Jenny is offering a free copy of her book to 2 of New Nostalgia’s readers.  We have had a giveaway of her book once before back in May, and it was one of our most popular giveaways! Good Luck!!

Books/ Kids/Family

Library Loot

 {my library stack of books}

Lil’ one and I took a trip to the library.  She has been showing me that she is old enough and responsible enough for her own library card.

She has always been my very capable girl, some of her first words were “I DO IT!!” followed quickly by “I do it MYSELF!” She lived for keeping up with her older sisters to show that she was a big girl just like them.  This caused drama many times when she was little, she really could not do everything her older sisters were doing.  But now, she is impressively responsible for her age.  She has learned to take that will of hers and apply it to just about everything she does, which makes her a very hard worker and a ‘get it done’ type of child.  It is quite a gift to see this, it feels like all that hard parenting work we did when she was a toddler paid off!  I love my strong, capable little girl.

{signing up for her very own library card}

We share a love for the library.  I have not been there in awhile.  Now that I own a Nook I have been busy reading on that.  I must admit, there is something about going to the library, feeling the paper of books, and walking away with reading material that is free and returnable, that is irreplaceable.  Love that.

Here are the books that caught my eye & came home with me:

by Benjamin Busch
A Memoir by a decorated U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer who served two combat tours in Iraq.  He uses elemental-themed chapters–water, metal, bone blood.  
by Scott Jurek
“My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness.”  This book caught my eye because he became a vegetarian in the middle of his story, and I have been running lately so I will take the inspiration that I know will come with reading this book!
by Drew Manning
I skimmed this guys blog recently and was intrigued with his story.  He purposefully got fat and then got fit again, documenting his story, to show people how he did it.  That is crazy!  I like a little crazy.
by Jorge E. Rodriguez, MD
“A cookbook and lifestyle guide for healing heartburn naturally.”  I got this book because my mom suffers from chronic acid reflux.  I’m hoping to find some solutions for her.
by Alex Mitchell
The cover of this book got me.  Then I thumbed through and the whole book is as beautiful as the cover. Plus, I love gardening books.
by David D. Burns, MD
“The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work.  We all have someone we can’t get along with, whether it is a friend or colleague who complains constantly or a relentlessly critical boss, an obnoxious neighbor, a teenager who pouts an slams doors…”  This books claims to present an entirely new theory of why we have so much trouble getting along with each other and how to overcome it.
by Scott Barnes
“Amazing transformations using the secrets of the top celebrity makeup artist.”  I’m a licensed cosmetologist, so this book is right up my alley.  Great photography & practical, usable tips!
Do any of these books catch your eye? What have you been reading??
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you purchase anything on Amazon using these links, I will receive a small percentage without any cost to you.  

Books/ Spiritual

Saturday Giveaway//Seriously God? Book

For today’s giveaway, one reader will receive a copy of Jen Smith’s Seriously God? book.

Seriously God?  
I’m Doing Everything I Know to Do and It’s Not Working!

I was sitting having coffee with a friend, Leila and she pushed a book across the table to me.  The title of it caught my eye.  Seriously God? I’m Doing Everything I Know to Do and It’s Not Working.  Now that my friends, is a title and tagline, wouldn’t you say?  Who hasn’t felt this way?

My friend Lelia has all kinds of great connections and knows the author, Jen Smith, personally.  As I was thumbing through the book, I said “Boy, I would love to read this and I think my readers would love it, too!”  That is all I had to say and Leila was on her phone texting Jen.  Before I knew it, I had my own copy of this beautiful book and was spending time in my favorite coffee shops with highlighter in hand, eagerly eating up every word Jen wrote.

This book was a huge encouragement to me.  Jen takes you right to the Words of God.  Right to the words that He uses to describe Himself! She talks about what it means to live life “in the name of Jesus” & in order to do that, she explains how we need to have a firm grasp on who He claims to be. She walks through 7 statements that Jesus made about Himself that start with the words “I Am.”  This intrigued me.  I was intrigued that in order to acknowledge the “nothing’s working” statement, Jen takes us directly to what and WHO makes all things work together.  

She does not give pat answers, but takes us to these amazing statements and stories that God tells of himself, and also shares her own struggles and story, which gives the book a wonderful personal feel.  

Below are the 7 “I Am” Statements.  I added some of my own thoughts and highlights that I marked throughout the book to give you a glimpse of what I learned from this great read.


I am the Bread of Life
He knows what we need and meets them. “There is a huge difference in coming to Jesus to have our needs met, and coming to him because He is the only thing we need.” 

am the Light of the World
“Light always brings security where darkness brought fear.”

I am the Door of the Sheep
His focus is on us.  He cares deeply & is aware of our needs and situation.  Our path.

I am the Good Shepherd
He will lead, guide & protect.

I am the Resurrection & the Life
He is both Divine & Human.  He gets it.  He gets us.  He knows our human emotions, & He also has the power to raise the dead & raise from the dead.

I am the Way the Truth and the Life
He doesn’t just teach truth, He is the Truth..He doesn’t represent life, He is Life.

I am the True Vine
Simply abiding, believing & obeying has the power to transform our lives. Will we become people who act on what they know or not?


Because of this book, I feel like I know my Savior more intimately and deeply.  When life throws its curves, I can remember these statements–that He is good, that He is all I need, that He is Life & Light!  I can live life in His name, empowered to believe, obey and walk forward.  

Thank you, Jen, for sharing yourself and this great book with me and my readers!

Books/ FUN/DIY/ Kids/Family

A Perfect Friday Night & “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

OR, eat chocolate, drink red wine and sit curled up with a GREAT book!
It has been a great Friday night here at our home.  It started as every other Friday night does around here. Dad takes 3 little girls to the local drug store to let them pick out a sweet treat, and then brings home take-out so I don’t have to cook!  We eat while watching recorded TV, tonight it was ‘Survivor.’  
I didn’t want to miss out on a sweet treat, so I made my favorite Oatmeal Peanut Butter No Bake Chocolate bars, one of my most popular recipes here at New Nostalgia. The ingredients are very healthful, but you would never know it by tasting these.  They are luxurious!  This time I put dried cherries in them instead of dried cranberries, and THAT my friends, was an awesome decision!
I also poured myself a glass of red wine.  My favorite wine guy from Trader Joes pointed me to this particular kind.  I told him I wanted the sweetest red wine he had and he pointed me toward Joseph Handler Sweet Red.  It like it very much, it is mellow with hints of cherry and plum. It is a nice change from my usually bubbly Moscato.  I only indulge in a glass wine every few weeks, as I am too cheap and health conscience to do it more often!
To top the awesome night off, I sat with my Nook reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.  It is an amazing story, one that is very hard to put down.  But, as I was sitting there finishing up my Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar and sipping on my glass of wine, I thought “this is the perfect night and I must go share with my readers.”  So yes, I tore myself away from my Nook book just to come tell you about it!  Here is more about the book about the author:

The Story of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
“Eight years ago, an old man told me a story that took my breath away. His name was Louie Zamperini, and from the day I first spoke to him, his almost incomprehensibly dramatic life was my obsession.

It was a horse–the subject of my first book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend–who led me to Louie. As I researched the Depression-era racehorse, I kept coming across stories about Louie, a 1930s track star who endured an amazing odyssey in World War II. I knew only a little about him then, but I couldn’t shake him from my mind. After I finished Seabiscuit, I tracked Louie down, called him and asked about his life. For the next hour, he had me transfixed.

Growing up in California in the 1920s, Louie was a hellraiser, stealing everything edible that he could carry, staging elaborate pranks, getting in fistfights, and bedeviling the local police. But as a teenager, he emerged as one of the greatest runners America had ever seen, competing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he put on a sensational performance, crossed paths with Hitler, and stole a German flag right off the Reich Chancellery. He was preparing for the 1940 Olympics, and closing in on the fabled four-minute mile, when World War II began. Louie joined the Army Air Corps, becoming a bombardier. Stationed on Oahu, he survived harrowing combat, including an epic air battle that ended when his plane crash-landed, some six hundred holes in its fuselage and half the crew seriously wounded.

On a May afternoon in 1943, Louie took off on a search mission for a lost plane. Somewhere over the Pacific, the engines on his bomber failed. The plane plummeted into the sea, leaving Louie and two other men stranded on a tiny raft. Drifting for weeks and thousands of miles, they endured starvation and desperate thirst, sharks that leapt aboard the raft, trying to drag them off, a machine-gun attack from a Japanese bomber, and a typhoon with waves some forty feet high. At last, they spotted an island. As they rowed toward it, unbeknownst to them, a Japanese military boat was lurking nearby. Louie’s journey had only just begun.

That first conversation with Louie was a pivot point in my life. Fascinated by his experiences, and the mystery of how a man could overcome so much, I began a seven-year journey through his story. I found it in diaries, letters and unpublished memoirs; in the memories of his family and friends, fellow Olympians, former American airmen and Japanese veterans; in forgotten papers in archives as far-flung as Oslo and Canberra. Along the way, there were staggering surprises, and Louie’s unlikely, inspiring story came alive for me. It is a tale of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken.

The culmination of my journey is my new book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I hope you are as spellbound by Louie’s life as I am.”

Rumor has it that they are going to make it into a Universal film.  That would be awesomesauce!
What are you doing this Friday evening?

Books/ Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Love/ Spiritual

Quiet Closing Moments of 2011

{Elaine & I, during our fight with breast cancer}

I am so excited to introduce you to one of my favorite writers and people, Elaine Olsen of “Peace For The Journey.”  I have never met her in person, but our hearts are entwined despite.  We both were diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 2011.  She was a gift to me, walked with me and is still by my side with her words. Her words got me through and lifted my head so many times during the fight.  Her mouth speaks truth, the type that shoots straight to the heart.  This post she wrote did exactly that, I am so thankful to have her words (despite her lack of voice, as you will see,}here at New Nostalgia!

{from Elaine}
My voice has been silenced in the last twenty-four hours. Literally. Sickness has claimed my vocal cords. This has never happened to me before, not completely in the way it has happened for me this time around.

My whispered shouts for the attention of others are met only by their silence. Not because they don’t care about me, but rather because they can’t hear me. Their listening isn’t prone to my whispering, so mostly… I’m ignored. Probably a relief to most of those in my household, but to a woman who’s used to being heard… a great frustration indeed. 

And I’m thinking…

About my voice. About my words. About needing to be heard. About what I will say when I am, again, able to say. 

And I’m thinking…

About quietness. About the value of forced silence. About going inward with my thoughts instead of outwardly displaying every single one of them. 

And I’m thinking…

About God. About his voice. About his needing to be heard. About his willingness to keep company with silence… with his thoughts, instead of outwardly displaying every single one of them. 

And I’m thinking…

About how very connected I feel to Him in all of this. About how my inability to speak amplifies the volume of God’s witness. 

How many times has the Father whispered my name in the midst of my chaos, only to be ignored because of the noise surrounding my life? My hearing isn’t prone to his whispering. But in silence—in this period of fewer, personal words—I more clearly hear the phrases from heaven.

Beautiful, peace-filled, stilled expressions of understanding from God’s heart.

My ninth grade English teacher once wrote in my yearbook, “Elaine, if silence is golden you can forget it.” Apparently, I was destined for poverty. Thirty years ago, I hadn’t a clue what she’d meant, and I couldn’t have cared less.

Today, I have a clue. Today I care more, exceedingly more. Today, silence really is golden, because silence has given me access to the whispers of home. And whenever that happens, friends, I’m the richest person alive. 

I’m so glad I know Jesus. I’m so glad he knows me. And I’m exceedingly glad for those moments when I am able to clearly hear his voice. What tender grace is mine as a daughter of the King! I pray that you know him, hear him, worship and celebrate him in the quiet, closing moments of 2011. I believe that God has something vital and important to whisper to each one of us. I’ll be anxious to hear from you in coming days. As always…

Peace for the journey,
post signature
Elaine is also author of the book: Peace for the Journey.  You can learn more about this amazing guide book to peace below.

I’m so pleased to be able finally tell you that “peace for the journey: in the pleasure of his company” is now available in an e-book format through:

Winepress (DRM free version, allowing you to read it on all popular readers)


In addition, “peace for the journey” is available in paperback from many online retailers, including:

Barnes and Noble


Books I Am Reading

Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen
by Heidi Swanson
Well-Loved Recipes From My Natural Kitchen
{Heidi is the author of 101 Cookbooks, I have always loved her recipe blog and her new cookbook is beautiful and full of simple goodness}

Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm
by Beth A. Grosshans, PhD
From Chaos To Calm
{According to this book there are parenting styles.  Are you a Pleaser, A Pushover, A Forcer or An Outlier?  I am a mixture of 2.  This book has been so eye-opening for me, and I am only halfway through it!  It is a breath of fresh air, reminding me that I am the parent and my kids benefit from me taking back the power that belongs to a loving parent.  I think parents have unknowingly given kids too much power, and it is not kind.  It is too much for them…they need parents to be parents!  Love this book.}

Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home
by Laura Ling and Lisa Ling
One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home
{have not started this one, finished this in 3 hours…I just love reading how others have overcome hardship!}
by Portia H. Masterson
Riding To Improve Your Wellness
{I am now officially a biker.  I love my new bike, especially the water bottle holder:)}
Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!
by Kris Carr
Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It
{Kris Carr is a cancer survivor who should not be here.  She has lived the last 8 years with cancer spots hanging out on her liver, and controls their growth with her all vegan diet.  She is author of Crazy Sexy Cancer and I have eagerly waited for this new book of hers!}

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes
by Mark Bittman
A guide To Conscious Eating
{I’ve read this on a couple years ago.  I want to re-read it now that my thoughts on food are a bit more “sorted out”}
Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes
by Isa Chandra Moskovitz
125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes
{I have been on a Vegan diet for almost 2 weeks now. I am experimenting with a diet that I believe will cut my cancer reoccurance risk.  This fun looking cookbook caught my eye and is full of easy, vegan recipes.}

What are you reading?
How many books do you usually have going at one time?

Got any you think I’d love?