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Book Review: The Captive Heart


The Captive Heart – By: Dale Cramer

Bestselling author of Paradise Valley, Dale Cramer, has done it again!  I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing another one of his enjoyable works!  If you haven’t read Paradise Valley, I encourage you to do so before reading Cramer’s The Captive Heart, because this 2nd book picks up right where Book 1 leaves off.

Book Description:

Ravaged by disease, preyed upon by ruthless bandits, the Bender family’s second year in Mexico has taken a grievous turn.  Faced with impossible choices, the expatriate Amish discover, more than ever before, what it means to live by faith and not by sight.

But it’s Miriam who must make the hardest choice as her heart takes her on a new and dangerous course.  Domingo.  “He is gentle,” his sister said, “until someone he loves is threatened.”  Is Miriam that someone?

“Cualnezqui,” he often calls her – The Nahuatl word for Beautiful one.  The chiseled native has proven himself a man of principle, grace, and power.  Yet is he the pearl of great price for whom Miriam would sacrifice everything, or is he merely a friend?  Tormented by conflicting emotions, she’s haunted by vivid dreams: Dressed in the coarse cotton pants and shirt of a peasant, she stands on the precipice of a sun-washed ridge searching desperately for Domingo.  Domingo the fierce.  Domingo the protector.

Domingo the forbidden.

This book definitely kept me reading, even more so than Book 1 in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series.  Many suspenseful events occur that keep the story moving and the reader intrigued – illness, a kidnapping, and a rescue in the shadow of a loss of loved ones.  Even though the main story line focuses on the events that involve Miriam and Domingo, Cramer does not forget the perils also faced by Caleb and the rest of the growing Amish community.  His characters are  just as captivating as they were in the first book – each one with their own personality, strength and struggles depicted in ways that forces the reader to want to learn more about them.  Caleb’s faith is pushed harder,  Domingo learns more of the ways of the Amish, and Ada becomes a hero in her own right. This book is another good example of how Faith, Love and Forgiveness can change the lives of others.  There is also the question of whether or not it would be wise to give up the Amish way to follow another way.

If you read this book, let me know how you like it.  I know I am now anxiously waiting to read Book 3!!

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 2551


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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Time Away Can Be Such a Blessing!

It’s been a while, and I’m happy to say that I am back in action!

I recently have returned with the rest of my family from a road trip to Colorado for my brother’s wedding! It was such a great retreat, driving across the country from PA to CO with the hubby, our 2 little ones, and our pop-up camper in tow!

Now that I’m back at home, I am eager to get back into blogging, sharing, and making more crafty creations for you to enjoy via my etsy shop!

On a less positive note, my Heartfelt Home Creations email has been rendered inaccessible due to a “hacker”. If you would like me to share my email with you, you may leave me a comment on here, or you can message me at Heartfelt Home Creations on Facebook at
As I bring this brief post to a close, let me share with you one of the pictures from our stay in Colorado. Enjoy!


Mountains in Colorado

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized



Friday Featured Product! ~ “A Heart Like His” ~ book by Beth Moore


“A Heart Like His” by Beth Moore

The Bible talks of a man who is often identified as being “a man after God’s own heart” — King David.  Ever want to learn more about this man’s life journey and walk with God?  If so, may I recommend reading A Heart Like His, by Beth Moore. 


Here is a brief summary:

We all go through times when we feel insignificant or times when we feel certain that we have experienced a degree of failure from which there is no return. This is not a reality we experience alone, but is one that a man after God’s heart experienced as well. 

In “A Heart Like His,” Beth Moore looks at this bond of mutual love and admiration between a man who was not unlike any of us and the one true God who is all good and all powerful. The book is an exploration of David’s incredible life, drawing spiritual insights from a man who boldly fulfilled his divine destiny not merely by what he did, but who he loved and served. 

Bringing lessons from David’s life to bear on your own, this picture of a man who loved and followed God will help you to serve with a heart focused on Him no matter the circumstance.


This biography is not like any other I’ve read.  Moore put a lot of research and time into putting together this reflection on David’s life.  Everything from sighting Scripture, to lists and outlines that help the reader connect with and better understand the different significant points that made King David the great man so many believe him to be.  Moore also keeps the reader engage by asking questions throughout the book that require the reader to reflect on the reading, relative scripture excerpt, or even their own lives in comparison to what is going on during the different events in David’s journey.


If you are looking for a book that will help you better understand the life of King David without the boring and textbook-like jargon, then this book is for you.  I would also recommend it for anyone looking for a companion to summer scripture reading. In fact, Moore also wrote a Bible study on King David, from which some excerpts are incorporated into this book.


Disclaimer: Thank you Shelton Interactive for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I was given this product in exchange for a review that reflected my own thoughts and opinions. I was in no way influenced, the opinions given in this posting are my own.


If you would like a copy of this book, it is currently available for purchase (here) on, and other sites where Christian books are sold.



Friday Featured Product! ~ Peacock Pottery ~

Today’s “Friday Featured Product” comes from one of my favorite online businesses, Peacock Pottery

Peacock Pottery

 If you are a Polish pottery fan or know someone who is, Peacock Pottery is definitely the place to shop!  I recently received a Polish pottery bubble mug from Leah Derewicz, owner of Peacock Pottery, and after falling in love with it, decided to ask Leah if I could write a little review on the bubble mug and do a feature about her business.  To my excitement she accepted (she’s such a great gal to work with too, might I add!), which brings me to today’s post.


First, let me start off by sharing with you a little about Leah Derewicz and how Peacock Pottery came about. Leah is a wife and a mother to two amazing boys, ages 2 and 7.  She and her husband lived in Warsaw, Poland for 2 years.  When her oldest son turned 2, Leah decided that she wanted to start her own business that she could run from home while still being a stay-at-home mom with their son.  She always wanted to have her own boutique, being a fan of retail, and so decided to do some research to see what kind of business opportunities were out there.  After looking at numerous direct sales opportunities and franchises, Leah came up empty-handed, finding nothing that could spark her passion.  Her husband suggested starting a Polish Pottery business, since they had purchased a set while living in Poland and LOVED it.  Leah did some research and discovered that there wasn’t anyone selling Polish Pottery in Arizona — and thus Peacock Pottery was born!

My Peacock Pottery Bubble Mug

So what exactly is Peacock Pottery all about?  At Peacock Pottery you can find BEAUTIFUL hand-crafted, hand-painted Polish pottery direct from Boleslawiec, Poland!!  You can find so many wonderful things ranging from bakeware, bubble mugs and dishes, to ornaments, wall-hangings, and more.  The bubble mug is Leah’s best seller and it’s no wonder that it is!  I absolutely LOVE mine and even though I am not a fan of coffee (I’m a tea drinker), I couldn’t agree with Leah more when she says that her morning coffee just tastes better out of her Polish Pottery Bubble Mug!  I just love the beautiful flower and other designs that are painted on each mug!  I look forward to using mine for my tea every morning!!

Another wonderful product is the loaf baker – a great addition to anyone’s kitchen!  Leah’s family loves to eat sweet breads, so her loaf baker is used on a weekly basis.  The one in the picture provided contains banana bread, one of my favorite recipes that Leah has listed on her Peacock Pottery blog site!

Peacock Pottery - Loaf Baker

With that being said, I encourage you to check out Peacock Pottery!!  AND as an added bonus, Leah has graciously offered to my Heartfelt Home Creations blog readers a 20% off discount!!  ** All you need to do is enter the word BLOG for the 20% discount (no minimum purchase required!). **

If you would like to connect with Leah and Peacock Pottery in other ways, you can connect with her at:

Blog:– Tips on using your Polish Pottery, Stories from my time in Warsaw and recipes! 


Oh, and by the way, Leah considers herself a sports nut too, so if you would like to chat with her about some of her favorite teams (the Phoenix Suns,  AZ Cardinals, MN Vikings, AZ Diamondbacks, and MN Twins) I’m sure she wouldn’t mind!  If she lived closer you’d probably find me joining her in a round of golf  as well! Haha!


Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Uncategorized


Book Review: The Jesus Inquest

Recently I was given a copy of the book, The Jesus Inquest: The Case For and Against the Resurrection of the Christ, for review. This book, written by Charles Foster, presents the arguments for and against the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

The Jesus Inquest by Charles Foster

Foster explores various topics that have been researched by historians and theologians alike through the years in a debate-like format.  In each chapter, Foster gives responses to the topics and questions in a Christian (presented by Y) and a non-Christian (presented by X) view.  The format resembles a debate you may encounter if this was presented in a court room setting.  Based on the information and references presented in this book, it appears as though this Christian author “did his homework” before writing this book.

Due to the format/layout of this book, I found it rather difficult to stay focused and interested in it.  As a Christian, it was interesting to see what ways some might try to prove that the resurrection never happened or why it might be considered by some people to be “made up”.   However, for a person like myself who enjoys reading for pleasure, I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, overall I thought the book was well-written! However, I felt like I was reading the book so that I could join in on a discussion at a college course on Christian theological topics or controversial topics found in religion.  I do commend Foster for keeping an unbiased position when presenting facts and theories for or against the topics mentioned in the book, but I was also “turned off” by the textbook-like format it was given in.  For me, it was a hard book to read cover-to-cover. 

If you are looking for a book that gives information you can use in order to argue for or against that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ did indeed happen, then this is a book I would suggest referring to.  If you are not a text-book kind of reader, as I am not as far as reading for pleasure goes, then I would recommend choosing another book to read. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


If you would like to see more book reviews that I have posted, please visit the Book Nook page on my Heartfelt Home Creations blog.


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Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It’s that time of year again!! The temperatures are dropping. It’s time to dig out the warm sweaters and winterizing our houses! (At least that’s’ what we’re doing in my house!) But I’m not complaining! Aside from the icy road conditions, and the cold and windy days that are to come, I LOVE winter for one reason — SNOW!!!!!!

While watching the forecast last night before drifting off to sleep, I was excited and nearly squealed with delight (if my husband wasn’t already asleep) with the sight of SNOW in the 7 day forecast on our local news channel. I love watching the snowflakes fall, and taking pictures of the trees and the rest of the winter world around us when they are covered with their pretty white blankets of  “the white stuff”.  We will not have a significant amount of snow this week, but it’s a start!

I’m especially looking forward to the fluffy white snows! The kind that fall so peacefully in huge flakes, that leave us with layers a couple of feet high. They’re just perfect for curling up under blankets on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and watching the snowfall from the window next to our Christmas tree. Yes, I’ll be “dreaming of a white Christmas”, that’s for sure!  I’m also hoping to try making snow ice cream this year, if we can manage it (hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you in a future post!!). 

If you are in an area that has already experienced the first snow fall of the season, or have some favorite snow and/or winter memories to share, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a link to your blog post (if you happen to write one about it), or just leave a little message in the comment section of this post.

And for all of you who love the snow as much as I do, I hope this winter will fulfill your snow wants and needs. Haha!

Let It *S*N*O*W* !!



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Friday Featured Product! (and GIVEAWAY!) ~ Ficklets ~



Congratulations to Belinda for winning the Ficklets Giveaway!!!


Do you have a child that wears glasses?  Do you sometimes struggle to convince your children to wear their glasses on a daily basis? Boost your child’s self-esteem and help them go from “geeky” to “cool” with Ficklets!  These awesome little eyewear charm huggers are interchangeable and come in all different colors, shapes, and styles – so you’re sure to find AT LEAST one set that your child will love!!!

These wonderful eyewear creations were developed and turned into a business by Ros Guerrero, a delightful gal I’ve had the priviledge to become acquainted with over the past year.  Not only are her Ficklets great, but her heartfelt story behind them is one that needs sharing! Who knew that such a simple idea invented for her special needs daughter would grow to help build confidence and self-esteem of so many other children across the United States and beyond! I encourage you to read Ros’ story found here.

A few months ago, I had was the lucky winner of 2 pairs of Ficklets of my choice (see pictures).  I received them in no time at all and let me tell you, I would have loved to own a pair (or 2 or 3) of Ficklets myself as I was growing up — having been a wearer of glasses since the age of 4.  They are just the cutest pieces of what I like to call “eyewear jewelry” that I’ve ever seen. I had a very hard time picking out the sets that I wanted! 🙂  

And now, I am really excited to share some great news with you!!

Not only is Ros giving a 25% OFF discount on any purchases (use coupon code wwmag ) at ,

but she is ALSO giving away 2 SETS of Ficklets (winner’s choice) to one lucky reader of my Heartfelt Home Creations blog!!!   🙂

~* Here’s how to enter the Ficklets GIVEAWAY!!  *~

(** This Giveaway is now Closed**)

* Required: Visit and browse all of the wonderful Ficklets that Ros has to offer. Then, come back here and leave a comment on this blog post telling us which 2 sets of Ficklets you would love to win, along with an email address so that we have a way of contacting you if you win this great giveaway. That’s it!


The Ficklets Giveaway will run until Friday, December 3rd at 10:00 p.m. (EST ).  The winner will be chosen via and will be contacted via the email address provided to us.  The announcement will also be posted here on this blog post. 

I would like to end this post with a Thank You to Ros Guerrero of FICKLETS for allowing me to review her products and providing us with a great DISCOUNT and GIVEAWAY!  ~ And to all of my Heartfelt Home Creations blog readers: Thank You for helping support a small business, and Good Luck with the giveaway!

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