Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review: The Jesus Code

About the Book:
Jesus gets attention not with exclamation marks, but with question marks.

Jesus was always asking questions. Whether with a small group or large crowd, Jesus opened hearts and minds by asking questions that grasped attention and made one think. In The Jesus Code, author O. S. Hawkins poses fifty-two thought-provoking questions found throughout the Bible that believers should be able to answer as they grow in their faith and share their faith with others. Each question features a devotional thought to help readers find answers and promote further reflection.

Sample questions include:
What does the Lord require of you?
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Who is my neighbor?
What is your life? A vapor that appears and vanishes away?
Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Will a man rob God?

My Review:
The Jesus Code is the newest resource I've added to my Bible study repertoire. This book is beautifully bound and engraved with filigree pattern on the front cover, making it visually appealing. It's content is just as appealing as it's exterior. I have so enjoyed my study time while using this book, reading the given questions and answers and jotting down portions that have been a blessing for me. 

I really appreciate O.S. Hawkins approach to scripture and study questions. Each question's answer is broken up into sections that help the reader gradually come to the Bible based answer. I also like how Hawkins draws out the story behind each question and explains how to live out these answers in everyday life.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: Get To Know Apostle Paul

Book Description:
Apostle Paul - part of the Get to Know series - is a unique biography about Paul. Focusing on the life and character of this Biblical hero, using color photographs, maps, and other visual resources to tell the whole story, young biography fans will come to learn more about this man of the God, his writings, his impact on the early church, and the role he plays in history. Featuring a bibliography and scriptural references throughout, this is sure to become a favorite for young readers and for first book reports.

My Review:
My younger sister Genesis loves colorful books; she is always drawn to them and can read and re-read her favorites several times a day! When I saw this book, I knew that, even though she's in the earlier stages of reading, she would enjoy the facts and pictures.

Get To Know Apostle Paul is a full-color biography for kids complete with easy to understand text portions, fun facts titled Did You Know? and a dictionary of sorts that define words such as resurrection and false witnesses to give kids a better understanding of Bible terms. I found all of these resources within the book to be helpful and insightful. Not only is Get To Know Apostle Paul an easy read, it's also an entertaining read. Any curious child with an appetite for learning will find this read enjoyable. I think my favorite part are the full-color photos; they're just like the ones found in "grown-up" Bible dictionaries and concordances. The overall look of this book, I think, also encourages young children in their own study of scripture because it's easy to use but bits of it resemble study books parents use.

So, if you're looking for fun Bible study resource for your children (or younger siblings) I highly recommend the Get To Know series including the Get To Know Apostle Paul title.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review: Gods At War

About the Book:
The next step in becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus. False gods war within each and every one of us, fighting for a place of glory and control in our lives. In this student edition of gods at war, Kyle Idleman, bestselling author of Not a Fan, demonstrates how the desire for things like popularity, acceptance, and success can become modern-day idols that keep us from truly following Jesus Christ. Behind the everyday pressures, fears, and lack of purpose is a false god who too often is winning the war in our hearts. By asking insightful questions and looking at the issues from a teen's point of view, Idleman reveals which false gods most often take the place of the one true God. Then, using powerful and honest testimonies of people like you who have struggled in each area, gods at war student edition illustrates a clear path away from the heartache of 21st-century idolatry back to the heart of God.

My Review:
gods at war is an inspiring devotional that motivates it's readers to examine their spiritual lives and identify those gods that are trying to, and in fact are taking the place of God. Kyle offered such insightful views on the whole topic of idolatry and the root of every issue: selfishness. Reading through this book opened my eyes to the fact that everyday things, objects of our everyday lives can easily become idols and strongholds in our lives. Kyle Idleman address the struggles that come our way as young adults, adults, and tweens. There was also humor peppered all through this read, which made it even more enjoyable to read.

One highlights of this book is the fact that younger audineces can easily relate to and understand the topics. Also, its humor, it's straightforwardness, and most importantly, the fact that is it Bible based and heavily scriptural is also a highlight. Unlike many other spiritual books out today, gods at war was very honest about idolatry. It wasn't a watered down sugar-coated version of what the Bible says. 

I think that anyone who reads gods at war will definitely benefit from it's insight and message.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

BFF Tag! With Alicia

Alicia is such a gem. She and I are cousins who grew up like sisters. We are only three weeks apart. She said, (and I totally agree!) that she is my prima hmna, crib-mate, babysitting buddy, crime fighting, make believe playmate, long time confidant, and sister-in-Christ. I love her so much and have truly been blessed by her! 

A while back, she and I collaborated in filming a BFF Tag. You can watch part 1 on her blog here and enjoy part 2 + funny bloopers on mine :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Tomorrow Is A Really Big Day + Giveaway Winner

If you follow me on Instagram (@kianna_rose) then you might know that tomorrow I take my SATs! I'll admit, I am pretty excited for this test! When I attended public school, I was a great test taker. I paced myself well, I was never one to have nervous breakdowns and I always scored high (so I hope that those good test taking skills will be present)! Tomorrow, though, I will be confronted with a much longer test, one whose score can very well determine my college education! 

Since the beginning of 11th grade, I have been prepping and studying for this test. I've worked on my vocabulary and I've watched YouTube videos to sharpen my math skills. I spent much of this week in my room taking practice tests, so I believe that mentally, I am prepared. All of this prepping got me thinking: What if I don't score well? Several times I simply brushed these thoughts aside, but this week, I addressed those creeping fears. So, what if, for some reason, I don't score well? I am continually reminded of my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11 
If I don't score well, I know that HE was in control. I know that HE has my life in His hands and HE knows what is best for me! Maybe I won't go to college or pursue a profession. Maybe that isn't God's will for my life. BUT, I want to leave the results up to HIM and be content with whatever happens!

I was telling my mom today that I am excited for this test. I told her that it excites me to know that this it's the first step in my plan to attending college, it's the first step to a future that HE has mapped out for me. I look forward to a wonderful future and all that awaits me. I know that there will be challenges and struggles ahead but I also know that there will be victories!


Now, onto the winner! Thank you ladies for sharing your favorite apps and entering my April giveaway. The winner is: Karen!!! Congratulations! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite Things || April + A Giveaway

Ah… April has been a lovely month. Many days were warm and sunny and just made me excited for spring and summer! Who is ready for more favorites? Oh, and before I forget, I purchased a new something special that I hope to talk about in next month's installment of A Few Of My Favorite Things so sty tuned!

1. Okay! I just had to try the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer! I had such a good experience with their Baby Lips lip balms (did I mention that I bought another one?) that I had a pretty good feeling that this pore eraser/primer would be amazing. For a while, I had been on the hunt for a product that would blur my pores and give me a more even looking face. I'm telling you, the first time I applied the product, I was astonished at how well it worked! Now, it didn't completely erase my pores, but I noticed that they were indeed visibly blurred and that I had an almost airbrushed look. Something else I noticed about this product was its velvety feel and finish on my skin, just like baby skin! This product does not have color so it isn't for concealing but it work very well on pores!

2. My second favorite item this month was the e.l.f Zit Zapper. Both Liza and Elina shared how well it worked so I thought I'd give it a try. Plus, it was only a dollar at Target! #TargetDoesItAgain! This roll-on product worked well for me. Over a period of a few days I noticed that it helped to reduce redness and swelling caused by my *wonderfully* acne-prone skin. It smells minty, like menthol and that is due to the Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel and Camphor in it. It's now definitely a staple in my skin care routine!

3. If you read my last A Few Of My Favorite Things post, you know I'm a lip balm lover! I can now proudly say that since my last post, I have nearly finished two lip products, and one of which was my EOS lip balm in Summer Fruit. I first got "into" the evolution of smooth (EOS) when my mom purchased an EOS lip balm several years ago. She had a couple of them in our stock pile so I asked for one. I've used this lip balm almost daily and I can say that it definitely moisturizes. I've also noticed that this lip balm is long lasting which I think could be attributed to the thickness of the product. I even bought three more! I got the Strawberry Sorbet, the limited edition Passion Fruit and the Blueberry Acai. 

4. I don't always have time sign on to blogger to check my favorite blogs (can you tell?) and read the latest posts, so I decided to download the Bloglovin' app. Now, if you know me, then you know how picky I am when it comes to having apps on my phone! I don't like to take up my phone's memory if I don't need whatever's on there and that includes pictures, notes, and apps! Basically, if there's an app on my phone, then you know I like it! I like that I can easily see when a favorite blog has a new post and I like that I can "heart" posts. The cool part is that the "hearts" are saved so I can look back to any post I want to re-read or reference.

I hope you enjoyed this month's installment of A Few Of My Favorite Things! For this month's giveaway, one lady willwin an EOS lip balm in Summer Fruit! All you have to do to enter is tell me what are some of your favorite apps? If you don't have apps, then share some of your favorite things (movies, music, products, etc.) (Giveaway open until 4/2. Must live in the USA)

(Disclaimer: The items in this post were not selected or mentioned for review)

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Black + White + A Bold Aztec Print

    How did you all spend your resurrection Sunday? Mine was such a blessing! At our church, all of the children and youth shared words of gratitude or praised with a song. Celebrating the resurrection of our Savior is such a special time each year for us and our church. Aside from the spiritual preparation of Resurrection Sunday, there's also a bit of fashion preparation that goes into the day too :) 

    This past Sunday I wore all black and white, which is something I don't typically do. I love color… A LOT, so even a pop of color is a must with for every one of my outfits! 

    My top is actually two tops. The solid print one is a black tank style shirt with a flow-y criss cross in the front. In the back, there's a "train" or tail. This shirt was so fun and the "train" was a little bit unexpected. I think I like that!
    Then, because it's still a bit chilly outside, I paired the dressy tank with a lace turtle neck. I love this shirt for so many reasons! It's so versatile in style.
    In my opinion, I think that this aztec/geometric is the star of the outfit! The silhouette, length and of course the print bring together the other pieces of my look. Isn't it fun? 
    And finally, I chose my little cutout oxford style shoes to complete my outfit. I was toying with the idea of wearing a new pair of black heels, but these shoes seemed to coordinate with the look. Overall, I felt that this little ensemble I put together was just right for spring. The dressier pieces like the tank and lace turtle neck were toned down a bit by the oxfords. It was effortless (and by effortless I mean easy to wear) and still fashionable. 

    What do you think? Also, do you think I should post more of my outfits? And, I couldn't forget about my lovely photographers, Alicia and Aizess.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    A Few Of My Favorite Things || March Giveaway Winner

    I know… I know. I was supposed to have the winner information up for A Few Of My Favorite Things || March + A Giveaway on Friday, but some unforeseen and wonderfully unexpected things came up like a sleepover at grandma's and an ice skating party the next day. I apologize ladies for leaving you in the dark but now into the good news!

    Congratulations Chloe! You said, "Hi Kianna, I try to wash my face every day... And sometimes I put a natural face cream on, but otherwise I keep it natural. :) I'd love to win the lip balm! ~Chloe" You can email me here to claim your prize. Winner have 48 hours to redeem prize of another winner will be chosen. 

    Thank you all for entering and sharing what skin products you love! 

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    A Few Of My Favorite Things || March + A Giveaway

    Can you believe that the month of March is nearly over? It feels like just a short while ago I posted my February favorites and it's already time for another post! Did you enjoy last month's post? Did you try anything from that post? I'd love to hear you thoughts :)

    1. Like I told a friend of mine, I am guilty of opening new lip products (balms, tints, etc) without finishing the ones I've already started. As a result, I now have 6 or 7 lip products open that I'm rotating and/or combining in an effort to finish them off! This month, I've used my CoverGirl Lipslicks Smoochies Lip Balm in #235 Tru Luv. Can I just point out how ca-ute the packaging is?!? No, but seriously, I really enjoyed this lipslick :) I usually get nude to lightly tinted lip balms and this particular color was a winner for me. It's sheer but has a slight pink-ish hint which I personally love. It's also glossy but not oily looking. I've worn this lipslick almost everyday this month (and have reapplied!) and something I've come to love is the smell! #IsThatWeird? It smells fruity! I'm actually wearing this as I write this post :) 

    2. This month, I've also focused on taking better care of my skin. I've washed my face everyday, several times a day and after each wash, I now apply my Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner. Initially, I was worried that a new product, though it was all-natural, would irritate my already sensitive, acne-prone face. I was pleasantly surprised that that wasn't the case! I feel like this toner hydrates my skin while leaving it feeling fresh and truly brightened!

    3. During a recent trip to Costco, we picked up a variety box of Special K Cracker Chips. The box came with three different flavors - Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion and Southwest Ranch- but my personal favorite was Sour Cream & Onion. I like a snack ever so often, but since the New Year, I am trying to limit my snacks and make all around smarter choices. These chips are under 100 calories (not that I'm counting!) and taste great! 

    4. I've been a fan of TOMS shoes for a long time! I liked the popular canvas slip-ons, but recently, I looked at the other styles and I am loving their Correa Sandals. I haven't ordered a pair yet, but I love the effortless style of these sandals. They're dressy and casual at the same time! My favorite fun prints would be the Navy Geometric or the Multi Geometric. They remind me of spring and boy, oh boy, am I ready for spring!

    5. Last month I talked about the VSCOcam app but this month, a new fave is the Afterlight app. It's $0.99 but to me, its totally worth it! I started using my Afterlight app more frequently because for some strange reason, my VSCOcam wasn't working. Every cloud has a silver lining, huh! There are a ton of filters that are just gorgeous! Another cool thing about this app is the shape overlay tool. You can overlay your pictures with regular shapes (circles, triangles, hexagons) but also with letters! My favorite is obviously "K" :)

    I hope you enjoyed this month's installment of A Few Of My Favorite Things! For this month's giveaway, one lady will win either a Cover Girl Lipslicks Smoochies Lip Balm in #235 Tru Luv OR Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner! She gets to choose! All you have to do to enter is tell me what skin products you love? What keeps your face looking lovely and clear? (Giveaway open until 3/28. Must live in the USA)
    (Disclaimer: The items in this post were not selected or mentioned for review)

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    Winter Days + Giveaway Winner

    It's been winter for a really long time. I'm honestly already looking forward to spring and summer weather. Yes, when the snow first fell, I was enamored by the beauty of it, but now, after several embarrassing slips, trips, and terrible tumbles, I'm ready for ice and snow free roads. One good thing about winter snowfalls: Lovely winter photos.

    And, because I know you're all waiting for me to announce the winner of the A Few Of My Favorite Things || February giveawayAlicia!

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    A Few Of My Favorite Things || February + A Giveaway

    I thought that it'd be a fun idea to start a monthly roundup of things I'm loving lately, as an add on to my A Few Of MY Favorite Things series. Some of the things I share will be beauty products while others will be books, a favorite article/blog/blog post, or some piece of clothing I'm swooning over at present. Basically, I want to share what I'm loving in monthly increments.

    1. MY CAMERA! This purchase has been years in the making and it was so worth the wait! What do I love about my camera? Everything!!! It's a Canon T3i and it's been in my hand every minute since I got it in the mail… Well, not EVERY minute, but you know what I mean… like almost every minute :)

    2. I don't know if you've tried these Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms, but they are wonderful! I love it in Peach Kiss! This particular color is not too pigmented so that it looks chalky or orangey (because of the shade) but not too sheer where it looks like you have nothing on. In my opinion, it's the perfect lip balm nude shade with just the right amount of gloss.

    3. I received this Vera Bradley All-In-One Wristlet from Liza in a mail swap we hosted a few months ago. I love it so much and I can prove it: I take it with me everywhere! I love everything Vera Bradley but this wristlet is a favorite because it's so super functional for me! I can fit my ID in the window on the front, my debit card, library card, metro card in the slots on the side, loose change in the zipper pocket and small miscellaneous doodads in the inner and back pockets. On most days, I don't leave home without it! Oh, and mine is in the pattern Cupcakes Green.

    4. I love sharing photos on Instagram (@kianna_rose) but sometimes I like editing them a bit before posting them. I use a few different apps, but one of my new favorites is the VSCOcam app. They have amazing filters and you can easily edit their intensity too! The VSCO filters give my photos an ethereal look to them. I've been using this app to edit most of this month's IG photos.

    Now onto something fun: I found some products this month that I really love and I want to give one of you ladies a chance to try the Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss! Yes, all you have to do is comment below and tell me what are some of your favorite products. (Giveaway open until 2/27. Must live in the USA)

    Also, stay tuned for next months edition (which I promise will have many more favorites)… and you guessed it, another giveaway!

    (Disclaimer: The items in this post were not selected or mentioned for review)

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Five On Five : February

    The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.
    -William C. Bryant

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Two Thousand Fourteen || Making Goals and Sticking With Them

    Every year I make a list of New Years Resolutions. Some years the goals I've set for myself are reasonable and I complete them but other years, I just don't get around to them. You know how it is… school, chores, and a bunch of other things claim hold of my attention at present. This year, 2014, I've thought long and hard about which goals I want to make my resolutions. Not only that, but I've also taken broad goals like "Get Fit" and described exactly what I hope to achieve. 

    1. Read the whole Bible in a year
    • Stay on track each day.
    • Write down at least one verse that ministered me from that day's portion.
    For several years, I had done a plan where I read the whole Bible in 90 days! It was a blessing but also a testing time for me. Each day I had to read 16+ chapters (I'd finish the book of Genesis in about 3 days) so I would constantly fall behind and feel a bit overwhelmed. There wasn't time for in-depth study or even putting much thought into what I was reading. I've decided to take a more manageable approach and read the whole Bible in a year. This way, I have time to study and write down any questions I may have.

    2. Get fit
    • Eat better, healthier foods.
    • Drink  much more water, 4+ cups a day.
    • Exercise daily.
    I like junk food. I do. It's just so good but not good for me. I've decided that it's about time to eat better food and do exercises more often. I get winded walking up a flight of stairs… but that's going to change!

    3. Get Organized
    • Straighten up my room once a week and put away what ever didn't get put away before.
    • Keep up with my pen pal letters.
    • Keep my journal and chore calendar updated.
    I've lost way to many papers, sent out way to many letters later than I intended and quit writing in way to many journals this year! 

    4. Manage my finances
    • Track my deposits and withdrawals.
    • Set a monthly budget and not exceed it!
    Last year I spent money and didn't always write down my deposits or withdrawals. I want to be a good steward of what the Lord has blessed me with and that means managing my money properly and knowing how much needs to go to tithe and offering.

    5. Work on my character
    • Exercise and live out the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) even when it seems impossible.
    • Be more patient and forgiving.
    • Be more disciplined.
    I realized that this past year, I wasn't fully living out the purpose and calling God had for my life. I want to walk in love more and in turn, reflect God's love.

    6. Work on the things that make me happy
    • Photography: Buy my camera! (This is definitely {hopefully} going to happen!)
    • Web and print design: I've had a passion for this creative outlet and I think I'll pursue it further.
    I really enjoy being creative and sometimes, that creativity pulls me in so many directions. I want to hone in on certain skills I think God had blessed me with, and perfect them for His glory. He has given me so many ideas and I can't wait to see where they take me!

    Like I siad before, I haven't always stuck with every one of my New Years Resolutions, but I have learned how to keep those that are really important to my heart.

    1. Decide.
    Which goals are most important to you? Why are they important? When you decide on what you want to accomplish this year, you are giving yourself purpose and direction, which is the first step to persevering throughout the year

    2. Write it down + break it down.
    Like I did above, I wrote down my goals and broke them down into smaller pieces. I was specific in what I wanted to accomplish with each goal. In this step, you can begin planning your first step. In the instance of buying my camera (which I REALLY want) I can start with doing research and comparing models. 

    3. Keep going.
    I know that around February, we can start to forget about our goals and the passion we had at the beginning of the year starts to dwindle down to almost nothing. When this happens, the best thing to do is to remember why you started that particular goal in the first place. Even if you give up (which, in the name of Jesus won't happen!) you can always start up again! A year from now, you'll be glad you started today!

    4. Celebrate!
    After you've made sacrifices to fulfill your dreams and goals, you have to celebrate. Maybe you can buy yourself something pretty or indulge in something fun, like a spa day? In the instance of my goal "Get fit", I plan on setting apart a jar that I'll put a dollar into each time I exercise. Then, at the end of the year, I'll have, what I hope will be a good wad of cash and treat myself to something. 

    What are some of your New Years Resolutions? What are some methods that help you stay on track? I"d love to learn your secrets :)

    Finally, remember that no matter what happened last year, no matter the failures, this is a new year and a new slate to write down your goals and dreams.

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; 
    behold, all things have become new.
    2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

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