Monday, June 23, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

Were you taught how to handle money either by your parents or in school?  Me neither.  So as a parent, the thought of helping my children learn about money and how to be good stewards of their finances really appealed to me.

"Smart Money Smart Kids", written by money guru Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze, covers so much more than money management.  They teach about strong work ethic, that money is a finite thing, the joy of saving for something you want, as well as realizing that money is also meant to be given away.

This book includes so many great ideas (like my favorite section on a teen saving for their first car) as well as some basic, common sense information that we all "should" know but don't or don't practice.  The Ramseys even taught their teens how to budget and also the joy of living contentedly within their means.

I am so glad that I read this book!  My children are 13 and 11 and I wish I'd had this book sooner, but I also believe this information is valuable no matter what age they are.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Dukan Diet Made Easy by Dr. Pierre Dukan

Like most women, I would not be opposed to losing some weight, so when I had the opportunity to review "The Dukan Diet Made Easy" by Dr. Pierre Dukan, I was intrigued.

Now I must tell you, I have not tried the Dukan Diet, so the review I am giving is on the content of the information vs. my own personal testimonial.

With that said, below are some things I have identified as pro's and con's.  This is my personal opinion.  You may or may not agree with me.

  • This is the first eating plan I have seen that actually addresses challenges some may have in reducing weight due to thyroid issues as well as menopause.
  • The plan is uncomplicated and does not require specialty foods.
  • Dr. Dukan addresses the need to allow the body to get used to it's new weight (Phase 3: Consolidation) to avoid rebounding to your former weight.
  • Recipes and sample menus are included.
  • The importance of exercise (walking) is stressed.
  • You can eat as much as you need to of "approved" foods.

  • Dr. Dukan allows the use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.  I believe that aspartame and other non-natural sweeteners are poison and have no place in any food program.
  • For some, this eating plan is very restrictive.  If you love, love, love meat... than no problems.  Being so restrictive, though, may be challenging.  (I think that after the pure protein Attack Phase, the days you can have meat AND vegetables would certainly be more doable.)
I think the premise of this plan is good, yet for me, being restricted so heavily would be my biggest challenge.  I guess, like anything, it's all in how badly you want the results.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke is a fascinating fictional story about eugenics, the oppression of the German people, and those that fought to protect innocent people from those that chose to harm them.

The story begins in 1939 Germany, just days before Hitler invades Poland and is so riveting, I could not put the book down.  There were so many twists and turns, it was like being on an emotional roller coaster where you are cheering the "good guys" along every step of the way, all while questioning how could people really allow these atrocities to happen in their country?

In summary?  A great story, well told.  I'm a new fan of Cathy Gohlke.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.