Monday, April 11, 2011

We've Moved

Hands and Home has MOVED! Thats right please update your links and follow me over to my new home at

I'm going to be quiet for the next few days while Hands and Home gets a major face lift! New theme colours, new web address and I am moving to Wordpress (beebee buttercup and Bumps to Babies are also getting a new website... Its just crazy around here)!

Please be patient with me while I get it all worked out. Once everything is complete and moved over to the new platform I will resume with regular posting, and once I'm all settled I guess we are just going to have to have a giveaway wont we?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Follow Friday

 Q. Do you judge a book by it's cover?

In a word... Absa-freaking-loutely. I should amend this answer by saying that I always read the summary and then make a judgement call. But if a book has an absolutely stunning cover chances are I will read it, and if a book has an awful cover than its going to take a little more convincing me to move it up on my TBR pile!

Also, make sure to jump over to Parajunkee (click the image above) to see this weeks featured blogger!

The Storyteller by Sharon Tillotson

The StorytellerFrom Goodreads: Sarah is a Soul who is trying to guide Suzy along her path of rediscovering herself... Or is it redefining? Reinventing? Sarah thinks it might be better defined as remembering, but it’s only Suzy who is concerned about the semantics. Sarah just wishes Suz would get on with it. A rather spirited Spirit, Sarah often finds herself rolling her eyes at Suzy’s antics and the walls she has built up following the death of her husband. Sarah knows the body/mind/spirit energy who is currently housed in the human called Suzy has faced far more difficult challenges than the one she chose for this reincarnation.

Storyteller is the most common role this body/mind/spirit has chosen for its human lives and Sarah chooses to tell the story of Suzy’s spiritual awakening as it unfolds, interweaving compelling stories of past lives and how these individual energies accomplished their shifts in awareness.

Suzy’s journey takes the reader from the lush shores of Seattle to the deepest heart of Africa where humanity is said to have made its first appearance.

My Thoughts: The story begins after Suzy’s husband dies and she finds herself on the verge of losing everything including the business she and her late husband built together, as well as a sense of who she is. The reader is taken on Suzy’s journey to rediscover herself and this includes flashbacks of her soul’s past experiences and lessons learned.

The Storyteller was a bit of a difficult read for me, at times I loved it (usually when I was reading about the flashbacks of Suzy’s soul) and at other times I felt as though I really had to work to get through each page.

The transitions between the present the Suzy’s “souls” past were awkward at best. The narration of her soul seemed so out of place and read rather amateurish. Had a little more time been spent making more of a connection between Suzy’s present and the lessons learned in her past I’m sure this voice could have been eliminated all together (at least I would have preferred to read it this way).

I just could not get pulled into this story. I found the flashbacks to be quite interesting and well written. Tillotson painted a vivid picture of these ancient times and the lessons Suzy’s soul learned but they came at what felt time random times in the story. While I enjoyed reading about the flackbacks the way they were interspersed into the story of Suzy’ present made the whole story feel disjointed. I could absolutely see where the author was going with this but it didn’t work for me.

I really wanted to love this book, the concept grabbed me instantly but the rest of the book didn’t hold my attention the same way. That being said it was still an interesting and thought provoking read and I would recommend this book to someone looking for a slower paced novel about self discovery and reinvention.

I received this book free from the author in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts are my own.

Release Date: July 30, 2010
Publisher: Two Moons
Source: Free Review Copy From Author
Find the Author:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2 Years and Counting

Two years ago today, at exactly this moment, our little Ladybug entered the world quickly and with lots of excitement. We woke up to an unexpected blizzard and a few feet of snow on the driveway... and the beginning signs of labour.

Ladybug at 1
Ladybug has been making life exciting ever since and I am blessed to have witnessed her journey over the last two years and look forward to watching her grow more and more every day!

An almost 2 year old Ladybug doing what she does best... being a goof!
Happy birthday sweet baby girl. You are loved... oh how you are loved!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston

From Goodreads: Rebecca Kauffman’s tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica’s rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God.

My Thoughts: A Gift of Grace was an interesting read. At the beginning of the book Clipston prefaces her story with the warning that just as Amish culture varies from community to community some of the language and behaviors in the book might surprise readers who are used to a specific picture of Amish life. There were a few places in this book where I had to re-read and thought to myself "did that really just happen". This wasn’t necessarily bad but it did challenge the view that I had in my head of the ‘typical’ Amish man or woman.

Above all A Gift of Grace was a sweet story about two teenage girls struggling to find their place in the world. There was definitely an underlying theme of truly listening to God and following His plan instead of one’s own. This is something that most every character struggled with at some point and it was interesting to see how each character reacted to the obstacles placed in their path.

Clipston did a great job of portraying her characters for who they were. I got a sense of actually knowing them, and I found myself really becoming invested in them especially with Rebecca. Her struggles really pulled at my heart.

This is the first in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I am very interested to see what happens next as A Gift of Grace closed with a bit of a cliff hanger and certainly didn’t end the way I expected it to.

Release Date: April 20, 2009
Publisher: Zondervan
Series: Kauffman Amish Bakery Series Book #1
Source: Library
Find the Author:

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

The Storyteller
The Storytelle - Sharon Tillotson Hmm... this one is hard. I am reading it for a rewview and found the first 150 pages really hard to get into. Its getting a bit better but its still a little slow going. I really hope to finish it soon.

Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas (Fox Women's Books)
Bearing Witness: Chilbirth Stories Told by Doulas - Lisa Doran and Lisa Caron I have been looking forward to this book for a while but have been on a waiting list from my library.

The Union Quilters: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
The Union Quilters - Jennifer Chiaverini I hope to start this book this week, I haven't read Jennifer Chiaverini for a while but always enjoy her books. Quilting and Historical Fiction together - how could I go wrong!

Reviews finished this week

Left Neglected

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Friday and the Blog Hops

Book Blogger Hop

Crazy For Books Hop Question:

"Since today is April Fool's Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?"
Um... I honestly can't remember playing an April Fool's Day prank... there was something in grade 1 involving something from the medicine cabinet on my class room door, but I think that is about it. Lame. I know!

And of course  Follow My Blog Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View

Hmm... Do I have another 5 random book facts about myself:

1. I am addicted to adding items to my library hold list and then get stressed when they all become available at once.
2. I read everywhere, when I'm eating, waiting in line for 2 minutes, I listen to audio books when I'm driving, cooking, cleaning etc. etc. etc.
3. I buy far more books than I have time to read
4. My kids are turning into book-a-holics and I couldn't be happier!
5. I get really excited when I find out my friends also love my favourite authors!

And please don't forget to leave your link and please let me know in the comments if you are a new follower!