100 Pound Loser

“Food does not have any real power over us. Food cannot actually control us. We give food that power. We give it freely, and grossly underestimate the strength we have to take it back.”
-Jessica Heights in 100 Pound Loser

100 Pound Loser (review of @JessicaHeights new eBook)

It was the morning after ugly tears about my weight and my wardrobe’s ability to cover it that I saw the post.  Jessica Heights was writing an eBook about that time she lost 100 pounds.

Just being reminded that other women have been there brought hope to the puffy-eyed Monday morning (because we all know Sundays are the most difficult day of the week when it comes to a mom and her closet).  But actually reading Jessica’s eBook 100 Pound Loser took such a weight off my heart that I feel like I’ve already lost at least 5 pounds.

100 Pound Loser is cheaper than any month’s gym membership and can be read in less time than it takes to do an exercise routine.  Jessica’s style is positive, upbeat, and oh so very real.

“You have to make time. If you wait to exercise until you have time, it may never happen.”
-Jessica Heights in 100 Pound Loser

Jessica Heights is not only a busy mother of four, blogger, speaker, and wife of a small business owner; Jessica also deals with fibromyalgia on a daily basis.  When Jessica talks about exercise, she knows how hard it is.  And when Jessica talks about weight loss, she’s been there, done that.

After the birth of her first child, Jessica found herself standing in front of her closet weighing 100 pounds more than she had when she’d walked down the aisle.  And that was when she knew things had to change.

Jessica doesn’t try to give you a one-size-fits-all prescription for weight loss.  But she does tell you how she did it, and points you to the tools she used. But more importantly, 100 Pound Loser gets to the heart of the matter: it doesn’t matter how I look, but it is important, and only I can change it.

“I know God isn’t paying attention to what I see in the mirror . . . but He is paying attention to my heart.”
-Jessica Heights in 100 Pound Loser

Small steps, little goals—Jessica is practical about ways to actually make weight loss happen as a busy mom who doesn’t go to the gym. Portion control, intake and output—Jessica explains why math may be necessary and the dreaded “e” word (exercise) can’t be escaped entirely.  100 Pound Loser is written from the heart of one woman to another. It feels like a big hug and a “you can do it” high five all wrapped up in one little eBook.

Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of 100 Pound Loser.

It’s a giveaway…for a few of my favorite things!

I blog along with an amazing and beautiful group of women. We brainstorm together. We go to conferences together.  We pray for each other.  And this week, we’re giving things away together!  Twelve of us have collected some of our favorite things that we’d like to share with you our blog readers.  You’re invited to drop by each of our blogs, enter our giveaways, and stay for a visit if you’d like…

I have 3 gift certificates from 3 favorite small businesses to share with you…and copies of 5 must-read eBooks, too!  Read on to find out about my favorite things, enter my giveaways, and then scroll down to find links to the rest of the giveaways.

3 favorite companies

Cowgirl Dirt
Cowgirl Dirt

I love Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics.  I wear them every day…or rather, every day I put on makeup!  Not only is it all natural mineral makeup that’s safe for my skin (and the skin of the little faces I kiss and hug all day!), but the color names make me smile — who wouldn’t love to wear “Alfalfa” or “Farmer’s Daughter” eye shadow?  (Click here for my full review of Cowgirl Dirt.)  Cowgirl Dirt is giving one of you a $25 gift certificate!

Nature’s Love Etsy Shop

Nature's Love Body Butter

…is owned by my friend Kristen.  She has so many fun things to choose from — hair bows, lip balm, and more.  Naturally, I love the John Deere Christmas Stocking but I’ve tried the Body Butter, too, and it smells good enough to eat!  Kristen has graciously offered a $20 gift certificate for you to try a thing or two from her shop — and I know you’ll be coming back for more.

Lilla Rose FlexiClipLilla Rose Flexi Clips

…are one of the most amazing creations ever.  I’d wanted one ever since my friend Christin Slade started talking about them, and when I began growing my hair out, I decided I had to get one.  Now I have two, and wear them constantly.  I’ve given them as gifts and have my mom and sister wearing them daily, too.   They make it quick and easy to twist your hair up and out of the way — and still look elegant!   There are all sizes of clips, hair sticks, hair bands, and more.  Lilla Rose Consultant Jasmine Mansfield is giving away a $15 gift certificate to one of you so that you can try Lilla Rose or add to your Flexi Clip collection!

5 favorite eBooks

Pain Redeemed: when our deepest sorrows meet God 

As heartbreaking as it is powerful, this is the raw and real story of my friend Natasha’s struggle with infertility.  But it’s not just for those who have faced infertility, it’s for anyone who seeks to find God in the midst of pain. And no matter your story, Natasha’s will make you long for more of Him.  (Click here for my full review.)

Hula Hoop Girl: finding your center while keeping your momentum 

A must-read for every woman. September McCarthy shares her heart about busyness and priorities, and guides you through the process of identifying which hula hoops you may need to set aside.  Memorable illustration and powerful reminders.  (Click here for my full review.)

The No Brainer Wardrobe: get dressed with more confidence and less fuss

This book has been revolutionary to my closet and to many of my friends’ as well.  Written by Hayley Morgan, it’s your guide to identifying and simplifying your style…even if you’re fashion-challenged like I am!

reach: how to use your social media influence for the glory of God 

A little eBook with a big vision: spreading the Gospel via the internet.  You’ll be both inspired and convicted about how God can use every little thing you post on Facebook to bring glory to Him.  (Click here to read my full review.)

The No Brainer Blog: casting your vision, defining your voice, and refining your space 

A must-read for every blogger, Hayley Morgan brings her less-fuss mentality to the internet and social media in this brand new eBook.  With goal worksheets and illustrated design tips, this book will be a helpful tool whether you’ve just begun to blog or you’ve been doing it forever.  (Click here for my full review.)

My giveaways have been separated into two Rafflecopter entry forms — one for the eBooks, one for the gift certificates! (Subscribers, come visit to enter.)  

But that’s just the beginning.  When you’re done entering here, be sure to scroll down for links to all the rest of the Favorite Things giveaways from my friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 more giveaways

11 of my friends and fellow bloggers are giving away some of their favorite things, too, for more than 25 prizes total!  Come along and visit each of their blogs to enter their giveaways…

Giveaways will be open until midnight, Monday, December 3, EST. Winners will be announced on each individual blog.

Ladder Bloggers: mastermind group

This giveaway is hosted by a group of friends who call themselves the Ladder Bloggers. We are a mastermind group, seeking to go deeper with our readers even as we “climb higher” with our writing and blogging skills. We believe no blogger should blog alone! For more info about how our group works, tips for starting your own, and to meet the rest of our group, please visit this page.

P.S. Don’t miss out on some of the other giveaways going on this week:

(If you’d like, you can join my email list so I can let you know of future fun features and giveaways!)

reach: social media for the glory of God

reachbigbuttonreach is a little book with a big vision: spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ online.

Laura and Angi share powerful stories about using social media in campus ministry and worldwide missions.  Just the story of the way they met and came to be writing a book together is a testimony to how God can use Facebook to bring people into His kingdom!

The first part of the book shows the huge opportunity we have; the second half gives practical suggestions for ministering on everything from Facebook to Instagram.  Then come the appendixes with conversation starter questions for every personality.  I really appreciated the honesty and clarity with which Angi and Laura discussed the potential pitfalls and the recommended safeguards of online ministry.

No matter your comfort level with the internet, reach will give you a glimpse of the potential we have to use the world wide web to fulfill the Great Commission.  The authors’ passion is contagious.  Maybe you won’t feel comfortable searching Facebook for random conversations to join, but perhaps you will consider filling your Pinterest boards with Scripture.  Maybe you aren’t the type to ask provoking questions, but you might post a Bible verse to your Facebook wall a bit more often when you are reminded that God’s Word does not return void.

reachreach is the Conversational Evangelism for the internet.  reach shows believers that they don’t have to get on a plane to be a missionary—they have only to go online.

Angi and Laura are giving away copy of reach to one of you! 

Enter below via Rafflecopter.  (Prize is a .mobi eReader copy.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy Now

P.S. If you’re interested in using the social media of blogging for God’s glory, you’ll want to check out The No Brainer Blog a fabulous book to help you make the most of your blog!

Disclaimer: I purchased my own copy of reach but the authors provided the giveaway copy.

The No Brainer Blog

The No Brainer Blog by @thetinytwigIn her inimitable “less-fuss” style, Hayley Morgan has created a “No Brainer” eBook that will do for your blog what her first eBook did for your wardrobeThe No Brainer Blog is practical and realistic, and truly a must-read for anyone who blogs or has ever thought about blogging.

Hayley’s approach to blogging is the same as it is to life: keep it simple, re-evaluate often, and if it doesn’t work, throw it out or do it differently.  That approach makes for an easy to read 43-page eBook jam-packed with information that applies to all different styles of blogs.

First, Hayley explores “Casting Your Vision”. Whether you’re just beginning to plan a blog or have been blogging “forever”, Hayley’s book will provide food for thought about your blog’s vision and purpose.  Should you monetize?  How often should you post?  How much time can you invest?  Hayley guides you through each question with a view towards sustainability and worth:

“It is important to think about how to make blogging sustainable for you.”
(The No Brainer Blogpage 6)

When it comes to finding your niche, Hayley says it can be confusing, and even if you do think you’ve found it, hold it loosely.  She encourages bloggers instead to focus on “Defining Your Voice”:

“A topic might draw a reader to your blog, but your voice will be what keeps them coming back.” (The No Brainer Blogpage 7)

No blogging eBook would be complete without a section on writer’s block, and Hayley doesn’t disappoint.  But she puts her finger on the pulse of the problem, arguing that when you lose your voice or your words you may have been spending too much time consuming rather than creating.

Finally comes the graphic-rich section of The No Brainer Blog: “Refining Your Space.”  From sans serif fonts to graphic elements, from matching typefaces to coordinating color palettes, Hayley focuses more on the design aspect of your blog and brand than any other eBook I’ve read on blogging, but I found it to be incredibly helpful.  Not only will The No Brainer Blog be worth every penny of $7.99 to those who need some expert tips as they endeavor to design their own blog, but it will be a key tool for those who hire and work with a designer as well, to make sure their design will be up to par.

“Think of your blog as your small home on the internet. It can be decorated any way you like and it can evoke all kinds of feelings from your reader.”  (The No Brainer Blogpage 25)

There’s even a short section on photography as well as thoughts on doing a blog redesign, with some helpful points to consider.  The eBook closes with some how-tos on everything from sponsorship to growing your readership, and best practices for social media.

For Hayley’s followers (who know her as “The Tiny Twig”), it’s obvious that she has long practiced what she preaches in The No Brainer Blog.  Hayley doesn’t just blog: she blogs to inspire women to live out their passion with less fuss.  She’s taken the time to find out what works, and she’s sharing her best “less-fuss” blogging practices in The No Brainer Blog

Hayley is giving away a copy of The No Brainer Blog eBook to two of my readers!

Enter below via Rafflecopter, or buy a copy now if you can’t wait!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of The No Brainer Blog.  Opinions expressed are my own.

Hula Hoop Girl

Learning and knowing WHAT you can handle and WHEN is an integral part of becoming a woman of balance and direction.
-September McCarthy in Hula Hoop Girl

Hula Hoop Girl by September McCarthyAre you trying to balance too many hula hoops on your hips? Read September McCarthy’s new eBook. Hula Hoop Girl does for your heart what Tell Your Time does for your schedule.

September’s hula hoop illustration is as unforgettable as it is powerful.  I’m the type of girl who thinks I can do it all.  I say yes way too easily.  And suddenly, I’m balancing more and more hula hoops, each going at a faster rate than I can sustain long-term.

When you lose sight of who you are—what you were created for—you lose your momentum.
-September McCarthy in Hula Hoop Girl

In Hula Hoop Girl: Finding Your Center While Keeping Your Momentum, September lets each of us know we’re not alone in trying to do it all.  She’s a homeschool mom of 10 kids; she’s not only been there, she is there right now.

…there were so many days when the daily grind would seep into my pores and everything I saw was monotony.  I had confused my identity with my responsibilities…
-September McCarthy in Hula Hoop Girl

But then she walks us through examining our true priorities, and helps identify the hula hoops each of us need to set aside, to pick up later or maybe not at all.  And most importantly, September reminds us that we need to find our “center,” because without Him, we can’t balance any hula hoops for very long, no matter how important they are.

Your dreams and passions are worth pursuing, but with boundaries
you can keep life in perspective…  Once your identity is your center, and your hula hoops are in balance—dare to dream.
-September McCarthy in Hula Hoop Girl