Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

A Cooking Extravaganza {Review}

Doesn’t that title sound like what we are all going to be doing over the next month? At least that’s what it’s usually like for me! I like to cook and bake; but from Thanksgiving until the end of January; I’m doing a lot more! Why January? In my immediate family, we have three birthdays during the month; with a week between each. It’s a very busy ten weeks!

So, when I got this month’s Gabby Moms review package from Lorrie Flem at Eternal Encouragement, it was perfect timing. And now you can get the same package for yourself and your holiday needs; or as a Christmas gift for that special cook in your life.  This set includes seven ebooks and a signed, printed copy of What’s for Dinner, Mom? (If you recall, I got to review that one a few months ago & loved it!)

Here are the ebooks you will get with this package:

  • Bulk Cooking Tips and Tricks
  • Fill Em Up
  • Healthy Sanity Saving Breakfasts
  • Lorrie’s Favorite Recipes from 2011
  • Pizza Primer
  • Sensational Salads
  • The Secrets of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Don’t those sound inviting? They did to me. With a few simple recipes in basic categories anyone can be a successful cook! Then add in the print copy of What’s for Dinner, Mom? and you’re armed with an amazing arsenal of skills.

I love the Healthy Breakfasts ebook – only 10 pages, but jam-packed with a variety of morning ideas (though, truth-be-told I’d serve some of them for dinner too!). I had to chuckle at the last recipe though that’s called “Not So Healthy Granola Bars.”

The Fill Em Up ebook is full of great ideas to help keep those bellies feeling full, while stretching the budget.

I love the photographs in Lorrie’s Favorite recipes! They are very helpful when making a new recipe. I think my daughter would absolutely love the Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake!

These books are short, but sweet. They are approximately 7-13 pages each – the perfect size for someone who’s just starting out – or even for seasoned veterans!

Lorrie’s having a giveaway over at her blog – one lucky winner will receive this entire package! But if you can’t wait or don’t win this giveaway, you can purchase this set here.  If you are considering this recipe package as a Christmas gift, please place your order by December 12 to ensure timely delivery of the print book (the ebooks will be an instant download).

Disclaimer: I was provided with electronic copies of all of these ebooks in exchange for my honest review – all opinions are solely mine.

New Audio Series {Review}

For this month’s Gabby Moms post, we were blessed with the opportunity to review a brand new audio series that Mrs. Lorrie Flem is producing through her Eternal Encouragement site. I received a collection of audio recordings (mp3s) and a great pdf file that serves as a companion to them.

I loved having the companion. I used it as a way to reinforce what I was hearing through the audios. But I also thought that it would be something great to come back to after listening to the audios to make sure I had absorbed what I heard. I have found that I am a more visual person; listening to an audio, for me, doesn’t always cement the information into my brain. So I liked having the visual reminder of the pdf file to reinforce what I heard. For those people who are more auditory, using the pdf later can also serve as a great reminder.

Now on to the audios themselves… I liked hearing Lorrie’s voice on the audios. It made her more real; more like a friend offering advice and wisdom from personal experience. The titles I got to hear are titled: Centered and Sane (NEED that one!), Growing Gratitude, and How-Tos of Growing Gratitude. Before even listening to these I liked the fact that not only was Lorrie going to talk to me of the importance of gratitude; she was going to tell me how to do it. That’s important for me. I know that I sometimes read articles that tell me how to improve or enrich my life; and I like what they have to say, but they don’t tell me how to do it or how to get there.

Lorrie reminded me of the saying “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Motherhood can be like a carousel ride – up and down; around and around. We need sanity and gratitude in our lives in order to get the craziness and chaos to stop.

I loved that these audios are short and succinct. They didn’t take up a lot of this busy mom’s time, but really delivered. Lorrie spoke in such a loving and conversational tone, I felt like I was sitting across the table from her. She gave many practical tips on how to attain sanity as well as an attitude of gratitude. That’s what I needed – this ‘old dog’ needs someone to say “try it this way and see what happens.”

These audios were really relevant to my life right now. The life of a single parent is never easy. There is a lot of chaos in my life; I sometimes find it difficult to be grateful because so much seems to be going wrong.  Lorrie reminded me that this time could be a lot less difficult if I focused on that which is good in my life andremembered from Whom those blessings came.

The above picture illustrates a few of the blessings in my life:

  • Two beautiful children
  • The ability to homeschool
  • A place to live
  • Dishes in the dish drainer reminding me that we had food to eat
  • Books and games in the background reminding me that we have fun together

These wonderful audios will be available, starting November 1, 2010, at

* I received an advanced copy of both the pdf file and the audios for this collection in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

Managing My Minutes – A Review

This month’s Gabby Mom’s review was for Mrs. Lorrie Flem’s Managing My Minutes. Boy, this is something that hits home! I know this is an area of my life where I need some definite improvement!

There are days I end up at dinner time and wonder, “What did I get done today?” Now that doesn’t happen every day – thank goodness – but every once in a while is still too often. I need to learn how to better manage my time. Managing My Minutes just may help me to improve this part of my life – and maybe yours too!

Two things I loved about this was ‘asking for help’ and ‘giving God the glory’ – here’s where my sinful nature comes into play. I don’t like asking for help. I am getting better at asking for prayers; but asking for ~ and accepting ~ help is still very difficult for me. As for giving God the glory, I don’t have a problem with that; however, I am forgetful. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing that I forget where my help comes from in the first place; and then I forget to give credit where credit is due. I’m getting better, but Lorrie’s reminder is what I need sometimes.

I love how she weaves the story of Nehemiah through her book. It really helps to know that there’s someone else who’s traveled this road. I do not need to reinvent the wheel!  Being reminded of what Nehemiah did, and of his methods, helps to remind me that I am not alone in this – now that’s a good feeling!

Lorrie makes a really good case for implementing a schedule – even though it’s something I balk at using! I do have a basic home maintenance schedule; and I began making weekly schedules for the children’s schoolwork last year. Both are helpful. Perhaps it’s time to take the plunge and create a working schedule for the whole family.

How does your family plan or schedule its time?

“Managing My Minutes” is available here.

I was given an advanced copy as a member of the Gabby Moms team in exchange for my honest review.

AUTHORS & Artists {Review and Giveaway}

It’s that time of the month again – the time when I review another great product from Mrs. Lorrie Flem at Eternal Encouragement!

This month it’s a neat little book called AUTHORS & Artists: Learning Character Through Writing. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my package – inside was a beautifully wrapped little book. This book was loving wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper and a simple tulle bow. I wish I had thought to take a picture because it was just such a sweet way to send a purchase.

But the other surprise was the size. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but inside that beautiful wrapping was a spiral-bound book that’s about 4″ x 5″ x 1″. This is a great size! It fits in your purse for Character Training On-the-Go. It’s also small enough to bring to the dinner table. This is great for anywhere, anytime!

As I looked through this book, I found all sorts of wonderful teaching and encouragement. I know this book was written for children, but I can also see benefits for adults too! Included are pages on Biblical Character Traits, The Commandments, and The Fruits of the Spirit. She also added pages for the holidays and the “author’s” birthday. There’s a space for the date at the bottom of each page, so this would make a great keepsake.

How does it work? Well, there’s a title at the top; such as Tattling or Listening, followed by several blank lines. To the right is a description of the trait, with some simple questions designed to stimulate the child’s thought process. The space for the date is at the bottom. I would recommend this book for stronger readers and writers; so perhaps ages 10 and up.

The only problem I had with this wonderful little book was that some of the descriptions were kind of long and the spiral holes went right through the text. It’s pretty simple to figure out; however, this could have been spaced a little better.

You can win a copy of this book, AUTHORS & Artists, as well as a copy of ARTISTS & Authors by going to the following posts on Lorrie’s blog:

AUTHORS & Artists

ARTISTS & Authors

Don’t forget to tell them you came from Behind the Scenes!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Authors & Artists book in exchange for my honest review as a part of the Gabby Moms program. All opinions are my own.

Exciting News!

Awhile back I wrote a review of Lorrie Flem’s (of Eternal Encouragement) ebook entitled Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure. It was something I had to review as my ‘audition’ for the Gabby Moms. Little did I know, not only how helpful this book would be, but also what an adventure the Gabby Moms would be!

Well, this book is back! When I reviewed it in December, I had just come out of a very angering experience, and it was very timely. Ironically, I am going through an even more frustrating experience now. You can read more about it here. There have been times during this past year that my nerves have been completely fried. I’ve hit rock bottom. There have been times I’ve yelled at my children; which does nothing but make things worse.

Even though I haven’t been perfect, I have been able to apply some of Lorrie’s tips and techniques to help both my children and me during this time. In addition, I am definitely praying more. That’s one of the things I really like about Lorrie’s book – it’s not something you read once and never revisit. “Yelling”  is a book that you can turn to again and again.

It’s more of a resource than a book.

Ok, the title of this post is “Exciting News” – Do you want to know what that means? I thought so. First, there’s going to be a party on facebook! Yay!

But wait ~ there’s more! The party is to celebrate the fact that “Yelling” is Lorrie’s first book available on Kindle!!! You can go ahead and purchase the book now (by clicking on the title or image) for $4.99 OR, and here’s the best part, you can get it for FREE on July 24th, 2012! For one day only, the 24th, Amazon will have the kindle version of “Yelling” for free! Isn’t that awesome?

So, pick up the ebook and join us for a party on Tuesday, July 24th – and, yes, you can YELL about it!

* I received a copy of “Yelling” in exchange for my honest review as part of the Gabby Moms program.

What’s For Dinner Mom?

Here on the East Coast, we are on the tail end of a two day heat wave, with temps hovering around 100 degrees. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do when the thermometer reads 90+ is turn on the oven and/or cook on the stove. I live in an old house that does not have central air and we rely on window units to cool the house on these hot days. We have one large unit for the main living area; however, there’s a large corner wall separating the living area from the kitchen. Translation: no cooling in the kitchen. Sigh.

Tonight I was lucky to have some leftovers, vegetables, and a microwave. But what if I had had something else? What if I had something already prepared and just waiting in my freezer? And what if this something was already cooked so that all I had to do was defrost it and re-heat it in the microwave? Then the children and I could have had a regular meal without heating up the kitchen. Now don’t get misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with leftovers; we all have to eat them once in a while. It just would have been nice to have the option.

This week I got to read a book called “What’s For Dinner, Mom? Practical and Easy Ideas to Encourage Moms to Minister From Their Kitchens” by Mrs. Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement. I’ll be honest, when I first found out that this book was about bulk cooking, I didn’t think I was going to like it. I never thought I’d ever consider cooking more than one meal at once. It seemed like too much work.

But, like many things, I discounted the idea before getting all the facts. Yes. I. am. guilty. I wish I could say that this is the first time…

So, I read the book.

I was pleasantly surprised – I’m even considering giving it a try. Lorrie includes so much helpful information in her book – different methods of bulk cooking, suggested helpful items, and tons of recipes. After reading through Lorrie’s wisdom and experience, I can now see how I can make her system work for my family. It’s not your typical bulk cooking. In fact, take what you think bulk cooking is and throw it out the window. Then get a copy of “What’s For Dinner, Mom?” and learn a new way to do it.

In light of yesterday’s post, I really think this will provide me a way to both teach Diva about cooking as well as allowing our family to have more time each day to spend together outside of the kitchen. I’m looking forward to giving Lorrie’s method a try.

Now, guess what? There are a few of us Gabby Moms posting reviews of “What’s For Dinner, Mom?” and The Head Mama of us all is going to select one blogger to receive a hard copy of her own! But that’s not all… one commenter on the winning blog will also receive their own copy. So, please leave a comment, because if I win, so could you! Let me know if you have ever tried bulk cooking, what method you tried, and how it worked for you.

* I received a pdf copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the Gabby Moms program.

Many Hands Review and Giveaway

I’ve heard it said that the more hands you have the lighter the work. Sometimes with children, it’s easy to doubt that statement. I know that there are times when my children ‘help’ me and I end up with more work to do; or everything seems to take longer. I’m sure moms of young children know exactly what I mean!

As a member of the Gabby Moms team, I received a bundle this month called “Many Hands Make Light the Work” from Eternal Encouragement, and it was helpful in giving me a new perspective.  This bundle of six ebooks and four audios is a treasure trove of helpful information! I especially appreciated the specific tips and the reasons behind cleaning and organization. In fact, those ‘whys’ are powerful motivators in facilitating change. If we don’t own why we do what we do, then we are not as likely to do it for the glory of God.

Chores: Many Hands Make Light the Work

As I went through this whole bundle, I found so much that I could use! Mrs. Lorrie Flem included practical tips for getting organized, getting the children involved, having a cheerful attitude, and even getting hubby’s input! I really appreciated the lists of age-appropriate chores for the children and the all-natural cleaning product recipes. Then there’s the audios! All four audios are full-length ~ around 60 minutes each.

This is a set I will come back to multiple times!  Would you like to have your own set? Well, you can buy it here OR you can enter to win a copy of your own by filling out this form. It will ask the name of this blog – please enter Behind the Scenes.

Good luck!

* As a member of the Gabby Moms team, I received this bundle in exchange for my review.

Facebook Party

Have you had the chance to attend a facebook party? I had the opportunity a couple of times and really enjoyed myself.

What is a facebook party? Simple. A person or company decides on a time and invites people to their facebook page. There are posts, encouragement, and sometimes prizes or other freebies!

Well, it just so happens that there’s a new facebook party coming up from Eternal Encouragement. Check out the information below and I hope to ‘see’ you there on Monday!

Eternal Encouragement – The Magazine

I apologize that I haven’t been posting in the last month, but I’ve been really busy working on the Presidential Campaign. Now that the primary is over here, I get to take a little breather and get my house in order – both my physical and spiritual house. Things just haven’t been getting done on my schedule as I would have liked. So what’s a super busy mom to do?

Well, it so happens that my first issue of Eternal Encouragement Magazine from Lorrie Flem of Eternal arrived a couple of weeks ago. I had put it aside as there was much I had to do for the campaign, but I knew I wanted to sit down with it. I got my chance last week when Diva went to her jump rope class. She got to jump rope for an hour and a half and I got to relax a little and read my magazine!


The first thing that made this magazine appealing to me was its size – it’s about 6×9! This made it really easy to carry with me; which is great for a busy mom like me!  So I started reading…

Once inside, the first page was decidedly different – it was an article, not an ad. Gotta love that! The Table of Contents showed me that there were two basic themes running through this issue: Hospitality and Chaos. Boy was the chaos theme right on time for me! It truly has been chaos for the last month. Reading these articles gave me a sense of encouragement after everything I’d been experiencing over the past few weeks. I’m not alone. The only thing that was confusing was that the the articles were listed alphabetically instead of in page order.

While I enjoyed the articles on hospitality, they weren’t applicable for the moment. But that’s the great things about a small magazine like this: I can easily store it away for when my life calms down – perhaps after the first week in November – and I’m able to focus more on hospitality. But there was one  point made in one of the articles that really resonated with me: my house does not need to be perfectly clean and decorated in order to extend hospitality to my neighbor. That encourages me.

Over all, I really enjoyed Eternal Encouragement Magazine. I loved its compact size and portability; I enjoyed that the issue had two central themes, one of which was very timely. The ads were minimal and did not intrude on the articles. It’s a great little magazine that a busy mom can either read in a rare free afternoon, or one article at a time over a week or so. If I had to pick something to improve, it would be the graphics. The pages’ backgrounds were all white with minimal images and they weren’t as visually appealing as they could have been.

Could you use some encouragement? Check out Eternal Encouragement Magazine (Lorrie Flem, Publisher) and give it a try. You can take a look and subscribe here! Subscriptions come in either physical or digital format; and each subscription comes with a digital bonus! All subscribers get EE Etc. Web magazine that is published 8 times a year – now that’s a nice bonus! It contains full articles and is only available to Eternal Encouragement subscribers.

Note: I was provided with a free copy of Eternal Encouragement Magazine in exchange for my honest review.


Just Say No

Tell the truth: Did you think this post was about drugs when you saw the title? Ironically when I first saw the title of the audio I just listened to, that’s exactly what I thought too. “Just Say No” was a popular phrase in the ‘war on drugs’ many years ago led by First Lady Nancy Reagan. What a class act she is!

But this talk by Lorri Flem of Eternal Encouragement was about something a little different. No matter what season of life you’re experiencing, or what your vocation is, this talk is for all women. You know ladies, we like to do everything! I don’t know about you, but I was raised that you help others wherever you can. I think I must have stopped listening at the words ‘help others’ and completely ignored the rest. Helping others is important. Helping others is one of the things God wants from us. BUT, the other important part is ‘wherever you can.’

There are legitimate times to ‘just say no.’ What I like about Lorri’s talk is that she uses real life examples; she lets us know that she has difficulties in this area just like the rest of us do. I know that I just can’t get on board with someone’s ideas if they don’t live them out or struggle just like I do. Lorri’s talks are real enough that I feel like she’s sitting across the table from me and we’re sipping lemonade.

While I don’t want to give everything away, I did want to talk about one part of “Just Say No” that really hit home. You see, I’m in a situation where I said ‘yes’ to a commitment and now I have to turn around and tell the person ‘no.’ Now the reasons behind my new answer are not entirely under my control. but Lorri reminded me that God and family come first. I can’t give what I don’t have. Then, not only does my family suffer, but the person I said ‘yes’ to suffers as well because I can’t keep my end of the bargain. In the end, everyone loses.

So… If you are over-burdened, if your schedule is constantly full, if you’re too tired to be fully present to your spouse and children; then you just may need to hear Lorri Flem’s “Just Say No” audio talk. It’s easily downloadable right to your computer or mp3 player (you can also get it as an actual CD, too). If you give it a listen, please come back and let me know how it helped you say ‘no’ to over-commitment and ‘yes’ to God and family.

* Note to Lorri: You and your children would be welcome in our home any time! Any time you’re willing to travel completely across the country, that is!

As a Gabby Mom, I was provided with an audio copy of “Just Say No” by Lorri Flem in exchange for my honest review.

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