Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: Thai Food Made Easy

Thai-Made-Easy-blog-tour2About the book:
Stop spending a fortune on takeout and bring the delicious flavors of Thai food into your own kitchen. With a tantalizing variety of curries, pad thai, and all your other favorites to try, this book takes the mystery out of Thai food preparation so you can enjoy those fresh and exotic flavors any day of the week.

About the author:
June V. Williamson was born in a little northeastern town of Udorn, Thailand. When she was 7 years old, her mother met, fell in love, and married an American Air Force officer. This was the beginning of her military life of living back and forth from America to Thailand being exposed to the native Thai life for 9 years. However, those years were deliciously profound. Thai food had been infused into her by Thai street vendors and her Thai mother. She is now back to living in another beautiful little town, but in Utah with her husband and 5 children.

From Reidhead Randomness:

This was my first venture into Thai cooking!  The recipes were quick, and pretty easy to prepare.  There were several ingredients that you find in an Asian store.  (A few of them I wasn't familiar with at all).  Each recipe has a shopping list  at the bottom!  Love it!!! I also liked that many of the recipes had 2 names...the authentic name, and the 'layman's terms' name.

The pictures....OH the pictures!  My goodness!  If you weren't hungry before looking through this, you will be rushing out to the store for ingredients to make them...PRONTO!  There is a picture for each recipe, which will entice you.....each saying "Pick me, Pick me!!" 

Inside, there is a helpful chart explaining the different types of curry.  WHO KNEW!!  Not me!  Followed by many different recipes for curry.  The Khao Pad Moo (Ham Fried Rice) was a big hit!  There were wonderful stir fry recipes...Pad Priew Wan (Sweet & sour chicken), and Asparagus Chicken being the favorites!

This is a fun vacation for your tastebuds!

I received a copy of this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review: The Assassination of Joseph Smith

Assassination of Joseph Smith blog tourAbout the book:
The Assassination of Joseph Smith is the story of the first president-prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This story begins with Joseph Smith on the plains of northern Missouri in late October 1838. He is thirty-two-years-old and has less than six years to live. This story is written in present-tense form to help the reader feel more engaged with the events and the people who surrounded this distinctive Nineteenth Century figure. There are no fictional characters placed into the story.
The man you will read about in this book is heralded as a prophet by some and held in contempt by others. His name is had for both good and evil. Loyal members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, varied historians, and his most vehement critics, then and now, can at least agree on one thing: Joseph Smith was murdered in cold blood.

About the author:
Ryan C. Jenkins has been a student of the life and teachings of Joseph Smith for nearly 25 years. After obtaining his Master of Education from Weber State University in 2004, Ryan began writing opinion pieces for Northern Utah newspapers on family, freedom, politics, and religion. He was a blogger on the subject of faith for two years; many of his posts were featured on He was also an associate editor for Great American Documents for Latter-Day Saint Families (2012). Professionally, he has experience in business, public relations, and religious education. He has been teaching and writing for 18 years. Ryan and his wife Melissa have six children. They reside in Columbia, Missouri.

From Reidhead Randomness:

Many stories in LDS church history are so well known, the little children can recount them.  There are many famous stories, and some that are not as well known.  In The Assassination of Joseph Smith, we are lead through a journey of Joseph Smiths last 6 years of life.  It is written in chronological order, and filled with stories of persecution and trials that the early Mormons, but most specifically, Joseph Smith and those close to him, had to endure.  It also shares some background information and pictures of some of the main persecutors.

It was interesting to read about the many events that transpired throughout the early church history, and surrounding Joseph Smith.  There was quite a bit of new information that I had either learned, but forgot, or never heard before.  I had no idea that he was poisoned, and threw up so violently that it dislocated his jaw...and that he put it back in himself.  There are lots of stories and tidbits that made my appreciation for Joseph Smith grow.

Whether a member of the LDS faith, or not, this offers interesting insight to this period of time in the 1800's.

I received a copy of the book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Review: Callahan Crossroads

Callahan Crossroads blog tourAbout the book:
Twelve-year-old George’s family won’t take him seriously. He’s ready to fight like a man on the front lines of the Great War, but instead he gets stuck on the home front, with nothing more exciting to do than look out for his younger sisters and elderly neighbor, Mrs. Schmitt.
But with no sign of victory in Europe, things are getting more and more tense at home, especially after George’s older brother makes a startling announcement.
Set in 1918 Kansas City, this old-fashioned family drama brings you to the heart of the World War I home front. Issue-drive and entertaining, it’s a coming-of-age story that will still resonate with readers today.
About the author:
Anola Pickett is a Kansas City native, and although she’s lived in Chicago, St. Louis and Massachusetts, she’s always come back home. The oldest of six children, she grew up in a family that emphasized the importance of reading and education. She began writing stories in the third grade and went on to become a teacher and school librarian. Now retired from the classroom, she devotes a big part of her day to writing and research for historical novels for young readers. She especially prizes the stories her parents and grandmother told about their growing-up years in Kansas City.
Pickett enjoys school and library visits to talk about her books and about the craft of writing. She and her husband Peter Doyle enjoy traveling, especially to Hong Kong, where they visit their son and daughter-in-law and a beautiful red-haired granddaughter!

From Reidhead Randomness (Guest post from my 12 year old):
In Callahan Crossroads George takes you on a first person adventure through the time when a world war was raging on but that wasn't the only war. 
There is some one picking on George's neighbor and he is the only one to figure it out with every one worrying about the war.  George is doing all that the priests and nuns are telling the women and children to eat less sugar to give to the solders, eat tons of corn, give old metal to stores to give to the solders but is it actually helping the war?

George would rather be on the the battle field than babysitting his two annoying sisters.
How will George survive?
This book kept me on edge the whole time!
I was curious to know what happened next. Really good to see how people coped with the war.

I received a copy of this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: A Splash of Kindness

About the book:
Great things begin with the smallest acts of goodness. These incredible, true stories began with a simple thought or action from another and became so much more. Be inspired by dedicated teachers, encouraging friends, and random acts of kindness. You don’t need a high-powered title to make a profound impact. This book is guaranteed to remind you how your own compassion, courage, and character can change the world!

About the author:
John Starley Allen is the author of the holiday classic, “Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices.” Besides writing inspirational books and stories, he is also a gold record award-winning songwriter. He has performed his music at Nashville’s iconic Bluebird CafĂ© and the Country Music Hall of Fame. He has lived in Sweden, Nashville, and Moab, Utah. He currently resides in Holladay, Utah. He and his wife, JoAnn, are the parents of four beautiful daughters.

Reidhead Randomness:

An encouraging collection of short stories that will get you thinking about your own life and the influences you have on others!

The book begins with a reminder and short story about how small stones thrown into a pond create ripples.  Then, we are asked to relate that to our life through the stories.  It was a great experience to ponder and reflect how different events might have turned out, without the ripple effect.  It is a great reminder how all of our actions, words, lives, and examples have an effect on others.

There are so many WONDERFUL stories, it is hard to choose a favorite!  I really liked the story about Mr. Farnsworth, the inventor of TV....especially being a resident of Utah!

Each story is  though provoking and inspires you to do better, and think about the influence you can have on others too.

I received a copy of the book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own. 

Book Review: Missionary Possible

Missionary Possible blog tour

About the book:
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, starts with you and the scriptures. Learn how ordinary people became extraordinary and how their stories can build your testimony and prepare you for serving the Lord. Funny and full of practical ideas you can use, this book is perfect for teens and young adults as it leads them through the scriptures and solidifies their testimonies and preparedness.

About the author:
Eric Rigby finished his first book in the second grade. It was called “The Holey Street” and centered on the attempts of each student in his class as they tried to cross a street pockmarked with supernatural sinkholes (none survived). He has made great strides in storytelling since then. He and his wife are the proud parents of two sons and currently live in Utah.

From Reidhead Randomness:

What better missionary guide could you ask for, than the scriptures!  This book offers so many wonderful insights into teaching and sharing the gospel, and missionary life.  Best of is funny!

I love that the author shares the "pattern question"....some form of "what should I do?"  This is a great guideline to use in our scripture study. (At the end of the chapters, there is a section of lined pages to write your own thoughts and experiences.)

There is a funny section titled "The church is basically a giant nursery" that is a must read!  Another section, called "Get out of jail free?" gives inspiration in tough times.

There are great tips for scripture study, testimony building, recognizing the spirit, fasting, prayer, honesty/ choosing the right, obedience, and having a positive attitude.

I love all the scripture stories and examples that are shared.  The stories have had new life breathed into them, and they are shared in a current and relatable style!

This is a great read for any youth that is looking to build a testimony, or prepare for a mission.  It is also a great read for teacher, leaders, and parents!

I received a copy of this book in order to write a review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Our NEW house!!!