Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Review :: Say & Pray Bible: First Words, Stories, and Prayers by Diane Stortz, illustrated by Sarah Ward

The Say & Pray Bible is a cute choice for a first Bible book for your little one. The Say & Pray Bible is a padded hardcover board book, with cute illustrations in a gentle color palette. There are 20 page openings (for a total of 40 pages) that each have: a title, a very short "story" (about 2-3 sentences), a verse (from either ESV, ICB, or NLT), a short prayer, and several first words.
I love the combination of the Bible stories, simple prayers, and words in the Say & Pray Bible. It brings all the main things you would want in a children's book together in one place. I think it is a great option for your little one's bookshelf. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hope your day is a HOOT! {Unity Stamp Company}

I am thrilled to be able to sneak into this week's Unity blog hop!
Although I am not technically a part of the Unity Design Team, I am one of Unity's Artists...so I was able to squeeze my way in. :o)

I am excited to share my tags with you today! To create them, I used two new stamp kits (You are a HOOT and Hoot Hoot Hooray) with some little owls and sentiments that I created for Unity Stamp Company:


I hope you love these little owls! I had fun creating them!

Don't forget: for today's blog hop, Unity is giving away two great prize packages! Be sure to leave a comment on each blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) to be entered to win. (The winners will be announced on the Unity blog.)

Continue hopping on through to the Unity blog, and then go shopping!



Thanks for stopping by today!
Supplies: 
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (You are a HOOT, Hoot Hoot Hooray); 
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (The Sweetest Thing - Lavender 6x6); Studio Calico (Brighton Pier 6x6);
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Strawberry, Solid Caribbean); 

Colored Pencils: Prang (various colors);
Pen: Sakura (Jelly Roll Medium- White);
Tags: (13 Point Cardstock Shipping Tags - Manila: 4 3/4" x 2 3/8");
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors); Tim Holtz (Tiny Attacher);

Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review :: NIV Bible for Teen Girls: Growing in Faith, Hope, and Love

The NIV Bible for Teen Girls is a new Bible from Zondervan, specially designed for teen girls. (I received a hardcover Bible to review, but it also comes in a beautiful imitation leather/softcover.) The hardcover is printed with the image you see - there is no dust jacket.

The pages in the NIV Bible for Teen Girls are appealing and very easy on the eyes. It has all black text (including the words of Christ) with various pink accents (headings, chapter numbers, etc.), laid out in two columns. This is the NIV version of the Bible (© 1973, 1978, 1984, & 2011). The text is standard size - not large, but not extra small. It does contain some basic footnotes. There is a pretty presentation page (on glossy paper), printed with an image similar to what you see on the cover.

Some verses throughout are highlighted in pink. I could not find any explanation as to why these particular verses were highlighted. (They do not correspond with the "Verses You Might Recognize" in the book introductions, the verses to read from the devotions, or the verses to read from the "Women of the Bible" pages.)

There is a brief, single-page introduction for each book of the Bible. Each introduction covers a few basic things about the book ("When Did This Happen?", "Who Is In This Book?", "Verses You Might Recognize", and "What's It About?").

There are 366 devotions in the NIV Bible for Teen Girls - so you could easily use this for a yearly devotional. 

I do think it is important to point out that there is a reason this Bible is marked for "teen girls" and not just "girls" - the topics in a few of the devotions reference dating, breakups, sex, pornography, smoking, dark arts/occult etc. Whether or not you decide your girl (teen or otherwise) is ready to take on these topics is up to you, but I wanted to be sure to make it clear that these topics are addressed so that you can make an informed decision.

The devotions are placed throughout the Bible, and you can also find the devotions by looking at two indexes at the back of the Bible - one listed by topic ("Topical Index") and one listed in order of appearance ("Index of Devotions for Growing in Faith, Hope, and Love"). The topical index is a helpful resource and will reference a devotion multiple times if it fits into multiple categories. Some of the devotions are excerpts from other books, but some appear to be exclusive to this Bible.

In addition to the devotions, there are pages devoted to certain women of the Bible - 50 in all. These are placed throughout the Bible, and you can also find them by looking at the index at the back of the Bible ("Women of the Bible Index").

There is also a Concordance (approx. 80 pages) at the back of the NIV Bible for Teen Girls. There are no maps like you might find in the back of some Bibles. 

All in all, I think that the NIV Bible for Teen Girls is a good choice for a Bible for teen girls. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the publisher and/or the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review :: NIV Zondervan Study Bible

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible is a new study Bible from Zondervan. The first thing I noticed about this study Bible is that it is THICK. (2 1/2" thick.) 

The dust jacket is the cover shown here, and underneath is a more subtle hardcover - gray/black linen-look with the words "HOLY BIBLE" on the front. 

The interior is laid out with black text (single column) and various green accents (headings, chapter numbers, etc.) - it is very easy on the eyes. The words of Jesus are in black text, the same as the rest of the Bible text. This is the NIV version of the Bible (© 1973, 1978, 1984, & 2011). The text is standard size - not large, but not extra small. There are cross references in the margins.

For the most part, the study notes at the bottom of each page take up around 1/3 of the page, but there are many places where the study notes take up about 1/2 of the page (even more in some places). The study notes are double-column, as opposed to the Scripture which is single-column. The study notes flow from page to page, so you will see some notes that are continued from a previous page.

Each book in the NIV Zondervan Study Bible begins with an introduction (several pages long) that may include information about: the author, date of writing, place of writing (or of where it was sent, if applicable), purpose, genre, particular challenges, literary features, themes, theology, etc.. Not all introductions have the same topics, but cover what is relevant to that particular book. (The introductions are single-column.) Each introduction includes an outline of the book. (Exception: Psalms does not have an outline.)

In addition to the introductions for each book, there are several introductions/looks on a larger scale. (These are done in a tri-column format.)

These are:
- Introduction to the OT
- Introduction to the Pentateuch
- Introduction to the Historical Books
- Introduction to the Wisdom and Lyrical Books
- Introduction to the Prophetic Books
- From Malachi to Christ
- The Time Between the Testaments
- NT Chronology
- Introduction to the NT
- Introduction to the Gospels and Acts
- Introduction to the Letters and Revelation

Before both the Old Testament and the New Testament are full-color timelines showing the chronology of the history, people, and events relevant to that Testament. I found the Old Testament Chronology to be particularly well done, with a large amount of information (including both World History and Biblical History) in a very well laid-out and readable timeline. The New Testament Chronology does not cover as much information, but is equally well done.

Throughout each book you will find a variety of full-color images: maps, charts, illustrations, artifacts, photographs, etc. After the Table of Contents, you can find a listing (with page numbers) of each of the maps, charts, and illustrations that are found throughout the text. (Photographs are not listed.)

At the end of the Scripture, there are 28 articles (by several different authors). You can find a listing (with page numbers) of these articles both after the Table of Contents and at the beginning of the Articles section.

Here is a list of the article titles:
- The Story of the Bible: How the Good News About Jesus Is Central
- The Bible and Theology
- A Biblical-Theological Overview of the Bible
- The Glory of God
- Creation
- Sin
- Covenant
- Law
- Temple
- Priest
- Sacrifice
- Exile and Exodus
- The Kingdom of God
- Sonship
- The City of God
- Prophets and Prophecy
- Death and Resurrection
- People of God
- Wisdom
- Holiness
- Justice
- Wrath
- Love and Grace
- The Gospel
- Worship
- Mission
- Shalom
- The Consummation

In general, most readers (high school and above) should be able to follow along and understand the articles. The concepts in the articles may be new to you, but in general it seems that the authors have done a good job explaining and defining the concepts and ideas that they are presenting.

Additionally, at the back of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible you will find a few helpful resources like a Table of Weights and Measures (1 page), a Concordance (150+ pages), Maps (there are 14) , and an Index to Maps (referencing specific towns, landmarks, etc. that can be found on the maps). The Index to Maps is a very helpful feature that I don't recall seeing in other Bibles.

In addition to everything included in the Bible itself, the NIV Zondervan Study Bible includes a code for free digital access (a $19.99 value) through Bible Gateway (for your web browser) or through Olive Tree (for your mobile device). You cannot redeem the code for both services - you must choose either Bible Gateway or Olive Tree. I have not used the digital access yet, but according to the insert, you can use the digital version to highlight passages, take notes, look up verses/words/phrases, and access exclusive material.

If I was going to suggest a Bible purely for reading Scripture, I probably would not suggest the NIV Zondervan Study Bible simply because there are so many resources that it can sometimes spread the Scripture out over many pages, when it might be able to be read more easily without the distraction of the extra resources. Also, because of the pure bulk of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible (5 pounds and 2 1/2" thick), I probably would not recommend this if you are looking for something to take with you on the go. (The mobile access would be great for on-the-go, though.)

All in all, I think this is a fantastic all-in-one study Bible and would definitely suggest it for anyone who wants to dig deeper. It has a lot to offer without being overwhelming. I think this is a great choice for a study tool for any family.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review :: Sorry I'm Not Sorry by Nancy Rue

Sorry I'm Not Sorry is book #3 in the Mean Girl Makeover Series by Nancy Rue. I have not read the other two books in the series, so I can't comment on those. (For reference, the other two books in the series are So Not Okay and You Can't Sit With Us.)
The concept for the Mean Girl Makeover Series is fantastic. Each book in the series focuses on the problem of bullying from a different perspective - the victim, the bystander, and the bully. Sorry I'm Not Sorry shows the perspective of the bully. Before reading Sorry I'm Not Sorry I was wondering if having three books about the same situation would be too redundant, but after reading it, that is no longer a concern. I think the author did a wonderful job and both my daughter (age 11 1/2) and I are hoping to read the other two books. 

In Sorry I'm Not Sorry, we are taken behind the scenes as Kylie (the bully) is forced to comply with the consequences of her actions. I don't want to give too much away, so I will just say that it is interesting to follow along on Kylie's journey and see how her attitude morphs over time.

One thing I didn't care for in the book was the harsh nicknames and descriptions that were given to some of the characters in the book, but I do understand that it was done in a fairly realistic way taking into consideration the topic at hand. I hope that anyone who would be reading these books would understand that we should be kind and loving to others (even in our thoughts), and realize that the harshness that is shown is not something that we should emulate. 

Overall, I thought Sorry I'm Not Sorry was very well done and an interesting read. I hope to be able to read the other two books in the Mean Girl Makeover Series, even if I am reading them out of order.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Stamps! {Unity Stamp Company}

I am so excited to share that I have more new stamps out with Unity Stamp Company!
For these new sets, I have expanded on the recently released "Little Lads" and "Little Ladies" kits.

The new sets feature Fall and Halloween themes. Here they are:

{Sweet Little Halloween}

And here are two tags and a (non-Halloween) card I created with the new "Little Fall" and "Sweet Little Halloween" stamp sets: 
I've got a project coming soon (hopefully!) using the "Little Tricks Halloween" stamp set.
Stay tuned!
Supplies:
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (
Sweet Little HalloweenLittle Fall); 
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (Lime Twist - Life of the Party 6x6);
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Caribbean, Solid Strawberry, Solid Lilac); 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 110#); 
Colored Pencils: Prang (various colors);
Tags: (13 Point Cardstock Shipping Tags - Manila: 4 3/4" x 2 3/8"); 
Other: Recollections (Mini Clothespin); Snug Hug (seam binding); (mini doily); (washi tape);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors); 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

WINNER :: The Beginner's Bible Giveaway

Thanks to all who stopped by and commented on my recent giveaway...and a very special thanks to each of you who are followers of this blog.
Congratulations!

Please send me an e-mail with your US street mailing address so I can get your information to Zondervan.
{You can find my e-mail address in my blog header or on my Blogger profile.}

Also - stay tuned! Zondervan has allowed me to host monthly giveaways...so there is a lot more to come!

Note: Zondervan will ship the giveaway book(s) directly to the winner. Winner(s) can expect to receive their prize within 10 to 14 business days from when they submit their address information to me.

Zonderkidz/Zondervan's rules for giveaways:
Winner must be a US resident.
Winner must be able to provide a street mailing address (no PO Box, please) for UPS delivery.
Zondervan does not store, use, or sell the winners’ contact information or address(es).
The winner will have 72 hours to contact me with their information.

Winner chosen by True Random Number Generator at Random.org

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Little Lads and Little Ladies Tags {Unity Stamp Company}


Looking for my current giveaway? Find it HERE.

I am thrilled to be able to sneak into this week's Unity blog hop!
Although I am not technically a part of the Unity Design Team, I am one of Unity's Artists...so I was able to squeeze my way in. :o)

I am so excited to share my projects with you today! To create them, I used two new stamp kits (Little Ladies and Little Lads) that I created for Unity Stamp Company:

These sets were created to be interchangeable with each other, and also with some of my previous sets: Meow. Purr. Baa. and Roar. Grr. Eek.

Here are the tags I created:

(The speech bubble and heart here are from the Meow. Purr. Baa. kit.)

I hope you love these new stamp kits! I loved creating them!

Don't forget: for today's blog hop, Unity is giving away two great prize packages! Be sure to leave a comment on each blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) to be entered to win. (The winners will be announced Monday night on the Unity blog.)

Continue hopping on through to the Unity blog, and then go shopping!





Thanks for stopping by today!


Supplies: 
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (Little Lads, Little Ladies, and Meow. Purr. Baa.); 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 110#);
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (Cut & Paste: Adorbs 6x6); Studio Calico (Brighton Pier 6x6);
Twine: The Twinery (Spring Blossom, Shore, Cantaloupe, Solid Pink Sorbet, Solid Stone, Buttercream); 

Colored Pencils: Prang (50 Warm Gray, 19 Lake Red, 20 Tan, 60 Spanish Orange, 10 Brown, 7 Light Blue, 16 Yellow Green, 18 Pink);
Markers: Tombow;
Other: (washi tape);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors);

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Twine Bombed Twig Tree Display {The Twinery :: Blog Hop}

{Looking for my current giveaway? Look HERE.}

The Introduction:
If you are hopping along with us today: You should have come here from The Twinery blog. If you did, you are in the right place! Welcome!
If you aren't already a follower, I'd love to have you follow my blog!
If you are on Facebook, please "like" Ink Blots by TRD.

If you are one of my regular readers: Thanks for coming back! I love having you! Please feel free to join along in the hop - you can start at the The Twinery blog.

The Hop Order:
I was inspired by a display I saw at a library and the popular art of yarn bombing to do this "twine bombing" (twine wrapped) twig display for my daughter's room. I used the Twinery's Solid Caribbean twine for this, but any of The Twinery's solid or striped twines would work just as well.
My daughter LOVES color and can never have enough. For her, being in a rather neutral colored house is a tragedy. I've got a few projects in mind to add some color to her room (stay tuned to see more!), and this Caribbean twine tree was a fairly quick and easy way to add some color to the top of her bookcase. 

I started by gathering a few twigs from our backyard. I coated them with Mod Podge for a little extra stability and to seal them, but I am not sure this step was necessary. From here on out, all I needed was twine and a strong adhesive. (I added in some washi tape, too.)
Once I had my supplies together, I just needed to start wrapping the tree branches. I used some washi tape to cover the ends, then adhered the end of my twine down about an inch from the tip. I brought the twine back up to the tip from there and started wrapping (just so that the end was not exposed). Then I wrapped, wrapped, and wrapped some more. Where there was a fork in the branch, it took a a little extra patience to get it covered, but was still rather easy.
I combined a few twine wrapped branches and a few washi tape wrapped branches in a mason jar, tied a Caribbean twine bow around the neck of the jar, and my project was complete! 
Thanks for stopping by today!

The Next Stop:
Supplies: 
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Caribbean); 
Other: (washi tape);
Adhesive: Ranger (Glossy Accents); Plaid (Mod Podge);
Tools: Fiskars (Scissors);

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Beginner's Bible - Party Ideas & a GIVEAWAY

Today, my love of crafting and my love of books (and book reviews) comes together - with another fun addition...a giveaway!

Zondervan has always been very generous with my blog readers, and this is no exception. Zondervan/Zonderkidz is allowing me to give away a HUGE package of The Beginner's Bible books to celebrate 25 years! The prize package is valued at over $90!
To celebrate this great giveaway, I wanted to share with you a couple quick and easy ideas for a party using The Beginner's Bible Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Activity Book

Just to be clear - I did check to make sure my projects would not violate the copyright of The Beginner's Bible Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Activity Book...and I even double checked with the publisher, just to be safe.  

I made a bookmark and mini coloring book for the "goodie bags" and a banner for decoration: 
My six year old donated his coloring skills for the colored bookmark shown above. :o)

The bookmarks and mini coloring book were made in a similar fashion. I simply copied a coloring page from The Beginner's Bible Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Activity Book and scaled it down to fit 4 on a sheet. I copied the scaled down version onto cardstock (which I cut up into bookmarks) and onto regular copy paper (which I cut to create the mini coloring book). The mini coloring book was completed with the addition of a cardstock cover. 
For the banner, I used full-size copies of a few of the coloring pages from The Beginner's Bible Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Activity Book, which I copied onto cardstock and trimmed to size. I then punched holes in the top corners of each banner piece and threaded it with twine to hang.
Because I kept the banner pieces in simple black and white, I wanted to add pops of color with the twine.  I used strands of four different colors of twine to get the duo-tone bows.
The bookmarks, mini coloring books, and banner would be great for any party...just add crayons!

Now - about that amazing giveaway...
To enter the giveaway:
  • Leave a comment on this blog post. That's it!
If you would like additional chances to win you can do so in one (or all) of the following ways:
  • Follow this blog. {Please let me know you are a follower by leaving an additional comment.} 
  • "Like" InkBlotsbyTRD on Facebook. {Please let me know you are a follower by leaving an additional comment.}
  • Comment on any of my giveaway posts (associated with this particular giveaway) on Facebook
  • Share about this giveaway on your own blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or anywhere else. {Please let me know where you've shared by leaving one additional comment.}
Blog comments for the giveaway will close Friday, July 31st @ 11:59pm (Eastern) and the winner will be announced Tuesday, August 4th here on my blog.
Please remember to check back to see if you've won.

Note: Zondervan will ship the giveaway book(s) directly to the winner. Winner(s) can expect to receive their prize within 10 to 14 business days from when they submit their address information to me.

Zonderkidz/Zondervan's rules for giveaways:
Winner must be a US resident.
Winner must be able to provide a street mailing address (no PO Box, please) for UPS delivery.
Zondervan does not store, use, or sell the winners’ contact information or address(es).

Good luck!

Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Supplies:
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Maraschino, Solid Marigold, Solid Peapod, Solid Denim); 

Other: The Beginner's Bible (Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Activity Book);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors);