Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Never Despairing and Being a Balm to the Soul

The other night I wasn’t feeling well and I was awake at 3 AM dealing with a stomach bug. As I rested in bed in the wee hours of the night, unable to sleep, my mind kept thinking about the message I received that evening.

A number of people we know have been dealing with big crosses – serious health issues, miscarriage, job loss, marital problems – but when we found out that our friends Teresa and Nathan lost their four month old baby boy, who died in his sleep, I was shocked. This cannot be. I re-read the message thinking I got it wrong but before my eyes blurred with tears, I saw that it was true.

I had no words. I wanted to help ease their pain but there’s wasn’t much I could do at 3 in morning so I grabbed my rosary and started to pray. I knew they had a they had a strong faith in God but this would test them like nothing else ever has.

As I prayed for them, my mind went to this Scripture:

“But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God’s and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

I finally drifted off to sleep but that Scripture stayed with me the following day.

Well, imagine my surprise when I realized that not only was that Scripture in today’s reading, but I also happened to write today’s Blessed Is She devotion (a month ago) about this Scripture and it echoed the very thoughts I was having. I wrote in part:

“To someone outside the faith, this [trusting in God] must look ridiculous. When they [Christians] are put into situations that should cause them despair, they have hope. The First Reading speaks of this beautifully. . .  Of course, it is easy to say that these words are beautiful and poetic when things are going well in life, but when you are in the thick of a storm, the last thing you want to do is feel hopeful.

However, this is where all our talk of faith, hope and trust are put to the test. When everything is falling apart, and we’re dealing with an array of mixed emotions—from anger to anguish—that’s when we need to throw ourselves into the Father’s arms and rely on His grace to pull us through. . . ” 

(Read the rest of the devotion over at Blessed Is She.)

Praying for Teresa and Nathan during our family rosary.

I went on to speak about how the physical and spiritual support we give to those carrying a heavy cross can be “a balm to the soul.”

I think God is trying to drive that point home to me because I just read Nathan and Teresa’s latest update.  They thanked the people who helped pay for Timmy’s funeral and who offered physical, emotional and spiritual support to them. They say in part:

“Words cannot express our gratitude. I have tried over and over again to find some way to say how much your gifts mean to us, but I just can’t. Beyond caring for us in a material way, the show of love has been a balm for our aching souls.”

Please remember Teresa and Nathan, especially tomorrow (Wed) when they will bury their baby boy. Lift them up in your prayers and help them get through this unimaginably sorrowful time.

Then look around your own life. Is there someone who is struggling? Is there a way you can reach out and help? Let the Spirit move you. Or perhaps, you are carrying a heavy cross yourself. Feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Facebook or Instagram with your prayer intention. I will pray for you this week that God will give you strength, peace, healing and resolution.

In the love of Christ,

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

 


How to Use Instagram’s Stories

Instagram has been a favorite of mine ever since I joined in 2012. Unlike other forms of social media, there is no (or very little) negativity on my feed or in the comments. There are just lovely photos of nature, home life and cute kid shots that make me smile.

When Snapchat started I gave that a try and it was fun to have a less formal outlet to share funny moments and random thoughts that would disappear from my feed in 24 hours. However, very few of my friends were active on Snapchat. So when Instagram started something similar (okay, exactly like it) with Instastories, I was eager to participate in hope that more friends would also.

I am pleased to say that Stories is a hit and many of my friends are active on it. However, there are still those who are reluctant because they feel intimidated and aren’t sure how to use it. I’m hoping this primer on how to use Instagram’s Stories will help ease them into it so I can see their lovely faces on my feed soon. 🙂

The Basics of How to Make a Story

  1. Tap on the camera icon located at the top left hand of the home screen. OR Swipe right from the main screen.
  2. In normal mode, tap the circle record/shoot button at the bottom of the screen to take a photo. Hold the circle button down to record a 15 seconds video. Keep an eye on your timing by watching the circle button. A red ring will surround it. Once the ring circles around the button, your time is up. Didn’t get it done in 15 seconds? Don’t worry. Just post a second, third and even fourth video continuing with your thought. No need to repeat what you already said. When a viewer watches your Stories, the videos will stream together.
  3. To switch the camera to take a selfie, tap the flip camera icon (double circular arrow.)  This will switch the camera to forward facing.
  4. To adjust the lighting, click the flash icon.
  5. You can also record with Live video, Boomerang, Rewind and Hands free. (More on that below.)
  6. You can edit your photo or video with filters, text, stickers and drawings. (More on that below.)
  7. When you are done, tape the + sign in a circle. This will add the story to your feed. You also have the option to Save to your camera roll or to tap “Next” to send to specific friends with or without adding it to your feed.
  8. Once you’ve made your first story, it will appear in your friends Stories feed.

Other Recording Options

  1. Live video – Use this option to record a live video broadcast. Tap “Live.” Your phone may say “testing connection.” Then it will countdown 3, 2, 1 and you are live. When you are done broadcasting, tap the share button to add the live video to your your story feed for 24 hours.  Your friends/followers will know you have a live feed available with the Play button under your photo icon in the stories feed.
  2. Boomerang – This mode shoots a short burst of photos and repeats the burst when played.
  3. Rewind – Use this mode to post a video that plays backwards.
  4. Handsfree – Use this to record a video without having to keep your finger on the record button. Again, the red ring with be your 15 seconds timer.

Using Face Filters

  1. In camera mode, tap the flip camera icon if the camera is not facing you.
  2. Tap the smiley face icon.
  3. Scroll the options at the bottom of the screen to choose a filter. (Note: Face filters will appear on the faces closest to the camera.)
  4. Once you find a filter you like, press/hold the record button. Post.

Tagging Someone in Your photo

To tag someone in your photo, simply type the @ symbol and their user name. If you follow that person or company, their icon will pop up. Tap on it to tag them. Now your viewers can click their tag to go to their profile.

Viewing Other People’s Stories Feed

  1. Your Stories feed is at the top of the home page. Swipe left to scroll through everyone in your Stories feed.
  2. Tap the person you want to watch or tap “Watch All.”
  3. When watching a story you can skip to the their next story by tapping the right of the screen. You can re-watch their story by tapping the left of the screen.
  4. To keep a story from moving to the next one (ie. so you can read a long text) hold your finger on the screen.
  5. To comment on a person’s story, type in the “write a message” box. To send a photo or video response to their story, click the camera icon.
  6. To skip to the next person on your feed, swipe left.

How to Make a Story Using Your Photo Library

I frequently wait to make a Story until later. This way I can enjoy the moment without having to constantly stop and edit and post a photo. Instead, I’ll snap photos or record video (keeping an eye on the camera timer to only record 15 seconds) and then later I’ll piece them all together for my Stories. Here’s how.

  1. Open your Stories camera. Tap the lower left hand photo library icon. Here you will find your saved photos and video from the last 24 hours.  Choose the one you want to post. (Note: the IG camera will crop a little off the left and right hand side of the photo.)

TIP: If you want to use a photo that was taken more than 24 hours ago, just take a screenshot of it. Open the screenshot (not the original) and crop out the parts you don’t want. Save. It will now be listed in your 24 hour library. Edit photo as usual and post.

How to Save, Delete and Change the Settings

  1. Tap your photo icon in the Stories feed at the top of the home page. When your story comes up, tap the 3 dots icon on the bottom right corner. Here you have a choice to Delete, Save, Share a post (to your regular IG photo feed) or change your Story Settings (ie. who can see your stories and whether you want your stories automatically saved to your camera roll.)
  2. When you save a story you have the option to save a single story or all the available stories as one video. I like to save my day’s stories in the evening before I go to bed.

How to Check Your Stats

  1. You can also check to see how many and who has watched your stories. When viewing your story, click on the bottom of the feed where it ways “so and so and 50 others…” A screen will pop up and list all the people who viewed your story.
  2. If you have a public feed and someone sketchy is watching your story, you can hide your Story from them by tapping the X. Or you can block them completely by clicking on their name and their profile will pop up. Tap the 3 dot icon at the top right corner. You’ll have various options, including blocking them completely.

Now that you know the basics, here are more details on how to edit your photos and videos.

How to Edit a Photo

  • Using Filters
  1. Swipe (left or right) across your photo or video to change the filters such as color tone and black & white.

  • Using Stickers
  1. Tap the sticker icon and scroll down to view your sticker options. IG frequently adds new stickers, especially for the holidays.
  2. To view your recently used stickers, swipe right
  3. Some stickers such as the day of the week and the time have different versions. It will say “tap for more” above those stickers.
  4. The hashtag sticker can be customized by tapping it and adding your own hashtag. Options will pop up as you type. Viewers can tap the hashtag sticker and view other IG photos with the same hashtag. (Note: this also works with texted hashtags.)
  5. Some stickers, such as the location and temperature, need to have the location services turned on. Location stickers will act like a hashtag. A viewer can tap on them and see a feed of IG photos taken at the same location.
  6. If you want a sticker to stay on a certain spot of your photo, video or boomerang, you can pin it. Place the sticker where you want it then tap and hold. A pop up will ask of you want to pin it. Tap “pin.” Viola.

Adding Text

  1. To add text to your photo or video, tap the text button (Aa) at the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. The text will automatically be in white. Tap a color to change it. Swipe left on the color palette to view more color options.
  3. To add your text in a box, tap the A in a box icon at the top middle of the screen. Tap it once for a solid box. Tap it again for a transparent box.
  4. To change the color of the text box, click a color on the color palette.
  5. To change the size of your text, tap the resize button to the left of the color pallet. Slide the lever up for larger text and down for smaller.
  6. To change the alignment, tap the alignment icon at the lop left hand of the screen. Choose left, right or center.

* * *

Using the Drawing Tools

  1. To add drawings or writing to your photo or video, tap the pen icon.
  2. Choose a color on the color palette.
  3. Change the size of the brush stroke by clicking the size icon to the left of the color palette. Toggle up for a broad line and down for a narrow line.
  4. Choose your pen options at the top of your screen. Your options are paintbrush, marker, glowing highlighter, eraser and rainbow.
  5. Tap the undo button (back arrow) at the top left of the screen to undo a drawing or stroke.
  6. Once you are done, tap the check icon.

Using a canvas background

Sometimes you may want to add a text to a solid background and not a photo. Here’s how to make a blank canvas.

  1. Take a photo of anything.
  2. Tap the drawing icon.
  3. Chose a color and tap it.
  4. Place your finger on the photo and hold it there until it is filled with your chosen color.
  5. Use text, stickers or drawing on your canvas.

6. You can use the erase button to reveal part of the photo behind the canvas color.

 

Well, I think that covers all the basics. Was there something I forgot? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list. 🙂

You can find me on Instagram @bobbi_rol. I hope to see you there too! Happy Instagramming. 🙂

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂

 

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Book Reviews for 2017 (Part 2): April – June

I am doing the 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge (the “reading for fun” version) this year and I pledged on Goodreads to read 24 books in 2017. I am ahead of schedule with 20 books read so far. Here are the books I’ve read in April, May and June.

Lilac Girls

  • Author: Martha Hall Kelly
  • Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 28, 2017)

Amazon Summary:

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France. An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences. For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power. The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

My Thoughts:

I have a love for novels set during WWII and I have to admit that sometimes the various storylines are very similar. I found Lilac Girls to be unique because it told the story from three different points of view. Kasia Kuzmerick is a Polish teenager working in the underground resistance movement. Herta Oberheuser is a young doctor that unexpectedly finds herself working in a secret medical project at Ravenport, a Nazi concentration camp for women. Caroline Ferriday is an actress and socialite who does what she can to help the people affects by the horrors of the war. Eventually their lives intertwine as the story unfolds.

The book was based on a true story. Caroline and Herta are real people, as well as the Ravenport staff named in the book. Kasia and her sister are based on two sisters who lived through the experiments conducted at Ravensbruck. I was vaguely familiar with the story behind this concentration camp but the book brought the details to life and I was shocked once again by the strength of the human spirit and it’s drive to survive. I also found Herta’s story fascinating because I don’t often read a story from the opposing point of view. I wish the author would have demonstrated how Herta’s attitude changed over the course of time – from being shocked by the duties she was expected to perform to believing that the medical experiments were for the greater good of Germany.  That aside, I enjoyed Lilac Girls, even though it was not always an easy read. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. (Parental warning: Some adult content but nothing graphic.)

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Farleigh Field

  • Author: Rhys Bowen
  • Length: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 1, 2017)

Amazon Summary:

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility. As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls? Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.

My Thoughts:

This book was recently offered in the Kindle First program (which I love) so I was eager to read it. There was the drama of the war, a German spy, Downtonesque estates and a love triangle. All the things you want in a summer novel.

As I mentioned above, I love WWII novels and I usually place them in three categories. The “wow, that was amazing and  I could not put that down!!” category (ie. The Nightingale) and the “that was a different take, I liked it!” category (ie. All the Light We Cannot See) and the “that was enjoyable; I’m glad I read it.” category. (ie. The Summer Before the War.) This book was the third category. It was fun and enjoyable. A pleasant read but not earth shattering.  I give it 3 stars out of 5. (Parental warning: Some adult subject matter regarding sex but brief and not explicit.)

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The Fall of Lord Drayson

  • Author: Rachael Anderson
  • Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: HEA Publishing (August 29, 2016)

Amazon Summary:

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they’ve called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience? Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact.  And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

My Thoughts:

Rachel Anderson is one of my favorite authors when I am in the mood for a lighthearted, clean romance (such as the Meet Your Match series.) I was eager to read her newer book The Fall of Lord Drayson. Although the book was enjoyable, I didn’t love it as much as her other books only because I really dislike plots where a character is keeping a secret from another character. All through the book I was stressing out because Lucy was keeping up this charade and the longer she kept lying, the more damage it caused. In the end it all worked out but I would have preferred a different route to the happy ending. That said, I did add her second book from this Tanglewood Series to my reading list – The Rise of Miss Notley. 🙂 I rate this 3 out of 5 stars.

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Everything, Everything

  • Author: Nicola Yoon
  • Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (March 7, 2017); Originally published by Delacorte Press (September 1, 2015)

Amazon Summary:

What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. 

My Thoughts:

I broke one of my movie rules by watching this movie before I had the chance to read the book. However, I made up for it by reading the book afterwards. The visuals in the book – the graphics and mini book reviews definitely added to the story. As YA books go, I really enjoyed this one and did not guess what the plot twist was. I am always a little bummed that the youth in these books can’t enjoy the innocence of young love without sleeping together but at least in this story she is an adult of 18 and not a 14 years old. As I mentioned in my movie review, parts of the Hawaiian trip seemed a little far fetched but it served its purpose in the story and helped Maddy find out the truth. All together it was a sweet story and I was rooting for both Maddy and Ollie. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars. (Parental warning: The book touches on topics such as serious illness, alcoholism, abuse and premarital sex but there is nothing graphic.)

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Talking As Fast As I Can

  • Author: Lauren Graham
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 29, 2016)

Amazon Summary:

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her. Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

My Thoughts:

Although I own the book (which is great for viewing the accompanying photos), I also purchased the audio version because I really love listening to memoirs read by the author. Being a big fan of Gilmore Girls, this book was especially fun to read. There seems to be a lot of Lorelai in Lauren Graham and it makes me like her all the more. She is smart, funny and never short on stories to tell. The tone of the book may be a little quirky, part  memoir, part tongue in check humor and part life lessons but I loved it all, especially her chapters about the Gilmore Girls as well as Old Lady Jackson. If you are a fan of Lauren or Gilmore Girls, I really recommend reading this book. The chapters on GG alone are worth this heart warming and fun read.  I rate this 4 out of 5 stars.

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The Bridge Across the Ocean

  • Author: Susan Meissner
  • Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 14, 2017)


Amazon Summary:

February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Résistance spy. Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark… Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.

My Thoughts:

One of the categories of Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge is to choose a book by its cover. I saw this book on the bookshelf at Target and I knew this would be my pick. I loved the blues, the dress, the flowers and the ship. I was also intrigued by the Queen Mary aspect of the story since I remember visiting the ship as a little girl and being a little afraid that it was haunted. Imagine my surprise when I found out that this book dealt with the Queen Mary being haunted, literally. As in one of the main characters saw ghosts. At first I was a little turned off by this but I was so intrigued by the lives of the war brides, I couldn’t put the book down until I found out what happened to them. That part of the story I really loved. The ghostly apparitions were less enjoyable, mostly because the final explanation had me thinking, “Oooooookay.”  So some parts I loved and some parts I could have skipped.  I rate this 3 out of 5 stars. 

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My Cousin Rachel

  • Author: Daphne De Maurier
  • Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Mti edition (April 18, 2017); Originally published in 1951.

Amazon Summary:

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries – and there he dies suddenly. In almost no time at all, the new widow – Philip’s cousin Rachel – turns up in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious woman like a moth to the flame. And yet . . . might she have had a hand in Ambrose’s death?

My Thoughts:

I read this book at least two decades ago and the current movie made me want to read it again. Luckily, I did not remember most of it so it still seemed new to me. I loved De Maurier’s book Rebecca and this book has the same dark and mysterious intrigue where you aren’t quite sure who to trust. However, as much as I enjoyed the build up, I don’t think it was as good as Rebecca and the ending left me feeling a little underwhelmed.  I rated it 3.75 stars out of 5. (Parental warning: There is some adult subject matter such as murder and obsession but nothing explicit.)

Note: When purchasing from Amazon, make sure you buy the unabridged version.

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Other books I read from the library include:

  • Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella  (Kind of fun. Kind of not. Interesting, but improbable premise but I had to finish it to find out how it ended. Had language and secular worldview. 3 out of 5)
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella (I tried another book available in my library from Kinsella. I was hoping it would be better than the previous one I read. I was wrong. I could barely get through it. 2 out of 5 stars.)
  • The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (I actually saw the movie first and enjoyed it more than the book, which was unusual for me.)

There are twelve categories in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge so I’ve tried to read one category a month, along with my other reads. I have six categories down and six more to go!

What are you reading? What do you recommend?

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PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂

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Online Daybook and 7QT: May 2017 Review of Happenings, Movies and Fave Links

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • The coming of summer vacation.
  • The teachers who taught and cared for my kids these past 10 months.
  • Family time.
  • That Brian’s cancer check testing came out clear.
  • All the little things in life that I usually take for granted.

Praying for..

  • Many special intentions from family and friends.
  • Those fighting cancer, illness and mental health issues.
  • Those living in violence.
  • For peace in the heart of all men/women.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friends and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about the Holy Spirit and how often I neglect Him. Yet, when He makes his presence known, there is no ignoring Him. I don’t want my encounters with the Holy Spirit to be sporadic. I want to be open to the Spirit and go where He leads me without fear. I want my life to reflect the fruits of the Spirit and to do my small bit to bring love and mercy into my corner of the world.

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Around the House…

It is the end of the year mayhem with paper bags filled with artwork and schoolwork coming home. Just beyond that are the suitcase waiting to be packed for our annual trip to Lake Tahoe. We leave a day after the boys get out of school which means next week will be filled with end of the school activities (the boys get out late compared to the public schools) in between packing for the family. I will try hard to make it as stress free as I can but don’t hold your breath. 😉

 

Family Chit Chat…

Last year in May, Bella and I drove to So Cal to attend my sister’s baby shower. It was out first mother/daughter road trip and we had so much fun, we decided to do it again this year!

We are both love Disneyland so a day spent there together was mandatory. 😉 Then we headed to my family’s house where I had some one on one time with mi familia. (I needed it!) Unfortunatley, my parents weren’t there (they were in VA visiting my sister) but that’s okay since I’ll see them in 10 days when we go to Lake Tahoe together. Woohoo!

Here are some of the things we did this month besides the Rol girls road trip… I enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day (John-Paul’s poem was a favorite), we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Famita, I took lots of beach walks, played with these three handsome fellas, went on a date with my Sweetie (who also was clear at his 3-month cancer check), attended a May Crowning, missed Brian while he was away for a conference and virtually connected with my Blessed is She sisters for a team meeting. (Having all of us online at once was crazy! I loved it!) 🙂

 

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In the Kitchen…

This week I have been trying to clean out the freezer so don’t be surprised if I am serving Lenten fish sticks with Cinco de Mayo tortillas. 😉

 

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Reading…

Later this (or next) week I’ll post a review of the books I read in April and May, which includes the latest one I finished.

In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen (Read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited)

 

Watching…

(MOVIES)

 

Wonder Woman – Everyone had high expectations for this movie and when it came out I cautiously looked at the Rotten Tomatoes rating to see if the critics panned it. Remarkably, it got rave reviews. I went to watch it on opening night to see if I agreed. So did I? Oh, yeah! I loooved it. Gal Gadot is a wonder to behold. Not only is she remarkably gorgeous, but she plays the character itself beautifully. She can be both strong and powerful yet (at times) naive and thoroughly empathetic. Her empathy does not hinder her but rather empowers her to be a fierce warrior for those in need. At one point, when a painful truth rocks Diana’s worldview and almost topples her, she is able to overcome as she sees the good and positive effects of sacrificial love.

The movie has it’s share of violence, being set in WWI, but I thought it less violent than some of the darker Marvel movies. I thought Chris Pine was great as the male lead and the banter added some nice touches of humor. (Next time, let’s have a little more of the secretary Edna. I loved her.) I would also have liked a little more backstory to connect better with the three friends in the story but they were lovable none the less. All in all, I loved the movie and hope to see it again soon!

I rate this  4 1/2 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content. / My note: Usual war violence but nothing graphic. There’s a shot of Chris Pine naked but he covers his man parts with his hands. A conversation about sex and marriage with lots of double meaning but may go over kids’ head. Wonder Woman and Chris Pine kiss alone in a bedroom and the camera pans away to the bedroom window so you don’t see them (or know if they) do anything more.)

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Everything, Everything – I admit that I am the age of the parents in these stories but I enjoy YA books and movies. I’ve had this book on my shelf and planned to read it first before I watched the movie. However, one evening Brian told me I should take the night off and catch a show (you don’t have to tell me twice!) and the only two movies starting at the current hour was this or Bay Watch (which I heard was raunchy and bombed at the box office) so I went to see Everything, Everything instead.

The movie is reminiscent of Fault in Our Stars, having one of the characters living with a serious illness. Basically, Maddy has a rare disease and she must live 24/7 within the confines of her hyper sterile home. In moves Olly, a sweet, misunderstood boy next door. It has all the elements of young love and themes of love conquering all, including the risk of death. Now, I’ll admit that I love sappy, romantic movies as much as the next romantic and I did enjoy the movie (and the surprise twist) but I also can’t help but watch them through a “mom lens” as well. On the one hand, I love the sweet innocence of young love blooming. On the other hand, I hate how each movie must propel the young couple into sleeping together, although at least they were 18 and not 14. It gives such a skewed one sided look at love, sex and marriage. Besides that, I found some of the details a bit beyond belief – Maddy didn’t know how to swim yet she was snorkeling and jumping off of cliffs? Um, hello? So the story was sweet and there were some funny and touching moments but there definitely should be some deeper discussions afterwards if your teen is watching it too. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief sensuality.)

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Guardians for the Galaxy, Vol 2  – When Bella and I went on our road trip, one of our nights in SoCal, we went to watch this movie with my sister in a huge movie theater and it was quite the experience. I have to be honest and say I did not love it as much as I did the first one but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. There was plenty of action and humor but there were also some tender moments when characters opened up and were vulnerable about issues they were dealing with. That said, Guardians is a little more dicey than some of the other super hero movies I let the kids watch. (Granted, I watch it with them and mute out a few cuss words.) While Guardians is basically as violent as other super hero movies, it also has more sexual undertones and more language. There are a few harder cuss word here and there but there are lots of “lesser” cuss words like – a-hole, douche bag, bastard, crap, jackass – throughout along with a few scenes (like the robot hookers) that give the movie a more mature vibe. It was okay for Bella to watch but the younger boys will have to be older to see this one. Rated 4 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content.)

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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie – When the boys were younger, we avoided “potty humor” shows and books but let’s face it, there is a natural draw towards boys and potty humor. We basically can’t get through a dinner conversation without someone laughing over some ridiculous body function. Thankfully, they do not act like this with company but in the confines of our family, they feel more at ease. I’ve also eased up on my ban of Captain Underpants and allowed the boys to read some of the books. When the movie came out and they begged us to take them, I saw little harm in it but gave the job to Brian for some male bonding. Surprisingly, the boys wanted me to take them. (Was this the result of my participating in their “who can burp the loudest” contest?)  Whatever the reason, Brian laughed as he closed the door behind us on our way to the theater.

Once there, I sat down with my carefully rationed raw almonds and contraband peanut M&M’s prepared to be bored silly. Fast forward an hour into it and I was actually enjoying the story. I loved watching the brother like bond between George and Harold with their pranks that reminded me faintly of Ferris Bueller’s ability to outsmart adults and rally the people. With that said, there was plenty of potty humor – from the aptly named Professor Poopypants to the scene of the fart symphony, which had my boys in such laughing hysterics that I couldn’t stop laughing just listening to them. (Seriously, I cried off my eye makeup.) So if you are looking for an hour and a half of ridiculous low brow humor to share with your kids, this may be the ticket. (Warning, I am also the kid who used to get in trouble for burping out loud and grossing out my mom with TMI stories so my opinion may be challenged.)  I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout.)

 

(TV)

Our usual shows are on hiatus until Fall so it’s time to catch up on a few shows that have been on our watch list but we haven’t tried yet.

I am thinking of trying Breaking Bad. Any other suggestions?

We finally finished Netflix’s Ironfist and although there was a lull in the middle of the show it did pick up at the end. It’s our least favorite of the four superhero shows but we are still excitedly awaiting The Defenders, which arrives on my bday August 18th. Yeah, baby!

 

Listening to …

Don’t Take the Money by The Bleachers. Perfect music for a road trip along the coast. 😉

This is also on heavy rotation on my playlist…

Feels Like Summer by Weezer (The first time I heard this song I thought it was 21 Pilots.) 😉

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Recent Posts:

Blogging has been light these days.

The New Blessed Is She 2017-2018 Liturgical Academic Planner

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RevolutionofLove.com - 100 Miles in 100 Days(logo_100_miles)2nd Annual Summer Walking Challenge 2017: 100 Miles in 100 Days

You can follow along by following my Instastories and the hashtag #rol100milesin100days

It is not too late to join and adapt the challenge to your life. A big thanks to the ladies joining me! 🙂

 

 

From the Archives

ss_jenna_1Saturday Spotlight: Jenna at Call Her Happy (May 2015)

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Operation Clean & Organize (vol 19): Weekly Menu Board (Revised)  (May 2014)

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Pinterest Party & Link-up, Vol 4: Pineapple Mango Salsa (May 2013)

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Pinned…

Photot credit: Oh Sweet Basil.com

With summer weather here, I want to try this one – Easy Greek Pasta Salad.

 

Around the blogosphere…

Here are some posts I’ve been reading…

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I’ve been participating in the Dogwood Photography 52 Week Challenge and these are my photos from May so far. (I am a bit behind.)

Week 17

Technical: Loop Lighting. I was only allowed three shots before Matthew ran away to play. This was the best of the three.

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Week 18

Artistic: Purple

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Week 19


Story: Back Yard. I’m blessed to live in a place where I’m surrounded by the beauty of the ocean, mountains and forests. God is a master Creator.

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Week 20

Technical: Sky Overlay. This is the original photo.

 I replaced the foggy sky with a clear one.

You can see my other photo challenge entries here – #rolphotochallenges.

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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book, movie or TV show recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – * Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂

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2nd Annual Summer Walking Challenge 2017: 100 Miles in 100 Days

RevolutionofLove.com - 100 Miles in 100 Days(logo_100_miles)

It’s time for our second annual Summer Walking Challenge 2017!

Last year I completed my Summer Walking Challenge and it went so well I wanted to make it an annual thing. I have made it a habit to take my morning walk after I drop the kids off at school but once summer starts and the kids are home I can’t just put on my earphones and take off. It takes more planning and I am more prone to just skip my walk altogether.

As an incentive to keep moving each day, I made the 100 miles in 100 days challenge. This will motivate me to at least walk a mile a day, or if I do skip a day, walk 2 miles the next day. If I can’t do my usual beach walk then I’ll have to improvise and walk up and down our long deck, the driveway or around the park while the kids play.

Only committing to one mile a day may not seem like much to the fit and moving chicas out there but for me, it’s an accomplishment. 😉

I made a progress chart in my bullet journal to keep track of my miles. Plus my Fitbit Blaze has been a huge help in motivating me to walk more!

Okay, let’s pause for a commercial break…

Speaking of Fitbit, someone asked me where I got my pink Fitbit band. I bought a regular Fitbit Blaze but didn’t like the black, manly band and couldn’t afford a fancy replacement band. However, I found this pink/rose gold band (there are lots of colors available) with a regular watch closure (not the circular push clasp) for only $32. I’ve had it since January and so far it is working great.

Second, I’ve gotten messages on my instastories asking about my Blessed Is She water bottle and rosary. You can find them in the Blessed Is She shop!

Okay, back to the challenge. It starts June 1 and runs until September 7th. And if you don’t start on June 1st, no worries! Jump in whenever you can! Every little bit counts!

Want to join me? Snap a photo of your walk and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #rol100milesin100days. You can follow me at @bobbi_rol.  🙂

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PinterestGoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂

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