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About 180 Encouragements

Posted by Julie on August 6, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

I hate problems. Trials. Adversity. Hardships. When I go to a meeting I’m the one blurting, “Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem.”

And that echoed through my mind most of my daughter’s 7th grade experience.

Let’s face it, middle school sucks. Yes, that’s a strong word. But it’s accurate, and I’m not taking it back. The academics are challenging. Self esteem and security are like the pennies at the mall that you place in that circle and it spins down the drain for charity. Friendships revolve like the doors, triple time if you are a girl. I’m not even talking about hard home lives, but that’s a reality as well.

I watched our daughter transform from a confident girl with a mega-watt smile to someone with her head down and eyes forecasting a vacant look. It is the age, I understand. But there was bullying that left even me speechless. She has health issues that have manifested into learning and the first half of her year was an uphill climb that felt just when she got momentum, someone took a shovel to her and knocked her down the hill.

It was devastating as a parent.

I have been praying for something that would make 8th grade a happier experience. We implemented a specific prayer that has already seen success.

  • We prayed for people who were not being a positive influence in her atmosphere to prosper somewhere else. And God answered pretty fast.

She has been praying for YEARS for a best friend. She knows that I have a friend that I have known since kindergarten. She has seen me through everything and was the one that told me about Jesus. We still see each other and close down restaurants when I am back in my hometown. And my daughter yearns for a friendship like that.

This month I’m pressing in to believe God for her prayers. To take things deeper and believe Him for things that to my eyes, seem impossible. If you have an impossible prayer, leave a comment or email me at and I will pray.

But I felt like something was missing. Something hands on that wouldn’t just encourage our daughter, but others who need a lift and a smile. Enter 180 Encouragements.

This is a total God thing, because I’m not that smart and it popped in my head. There are around 180 days in a school year. It’s also a number that is about change. When someone has a change, you’ll hear that they did an 180. So let’s see some positive change with 180 encouragements.

I’m looking for 180 people to join the 180 Encouragements page. Our school year starts in late August, so I’m hoping each person would write ONE kind message that I can print out/copy/write out. She is going to decorate a box and we’ll put the messages in the box. Then, each school day she reads a message. I believe hearing from all of you, cheering her on, will make a difference.

But I’m not done.

I also want anyone on the page to feel free to take any of the messages for themselves. If they know someone who needs a boost, share it with them. Put it in a lunch box, book bag, bulletin board, bathroom mirror. Maybe YOU need the encouragement. Let’s all experience change.

I don’t know what this school year holds for us, but I know this,  God knows, and I’m going to be cheering her every step of the way.





PRODUCT REVIEW: #BusyBeauty Showerless Shave Gel

Posted by Julie on August 4, 2017 in Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

#BusyBeauty Showerless Shave Gel

A Shaving Gel for Shaving Quickly and Safely Without Water.
A shower takes a lot of effort and time. Shaving is a pain. Make it easier with Busy Beauty.
Yes ladies! Its official… you can shave any part of your body without jumping in shower or awkwardly maneuvering your legs into a sink! Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel allows for you to shave anytime, anywhere, in under 2 minutes. Our product can be used just like any regular shaving cream, but there is no need to wash it off after! Simply apply the gel, shave as you normally would with a razor, and rub any excess gel into your skin as a moisturizer. If you are in a hairy situation, we got your back.

Prevents razor burn, irritation, ingrown hairs and moisturizes! No more dry shave nightmares.
Shave without water! Yes, I’m serious. You could even shave in bed if you wanted!
Take me on a trip! Showerless Shave is TSA approved travel size.
You are a natural beauty. That’s why we use the natural essential oils of clove, ginger eucalyptus and oat to protect and sooth your skin.
Vegan, paraben free, cruelty free and alcohol free.

When the ladies behind #BusyBeauty contacted me to ask if I would review their product, I wasn’t sure what to think. Most of my reviews are books or music. Then, I’m a shaving hot mess. I miss areas. I’ll put cream on and my skin still gets irritated. I cut myself and leave the shower looking like a scene from CSI.

But I was intrigued. Showerless shave gel? NO water needed?

I had my doubts.

Ladies, this is the real deal. I decided to give it a try after I dried off from a swim. I decided to use a little amount to really test an area because my skin irritates so easily. I figured it would never work, that I’d need most of the provided bottle just to cover a small area.


Even a think area provided what I needed to shave, not a drop of water needed, and not only did it give a great shave, no irritation. My legs are as soft as they have ever been, and I’ve spent countless dollars on shaving creams and moisturizers.

You do have to rinse your razor as it collects hair, but for me, it’s a small price to pay. Busy Beauty gives me the flexibility to shave outside of the shower without a lot of fanfare or work. What is a bonus for me is our daughter is of shaving age but has some physical delays. I’ve been dreading her shaving for fear in the shower without me watching, she would cut herself. With Busy Beauty, she can shave in the bathroom with shorts on and I can make sure she is okay.

The only thing I can think of to improve on it is offering different scents. But that isn’t even a complaint, just a suggestion. I am beyond impressed with Busy Beauty, and I think you will be, too.

To learn more, click HERE and HERE

I received a sample product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own of my free will.

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A Mother for Leah by Rachel L. Miller

Posted by Julie on August 3, 2017 in Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

A Mother for Leah by Rachel L. Miller

Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident? 

Could love soften her heart so that she is able to see her answered prayers in Naomi Yoder or will she drive a wedge between her father and the only woman he has shown interest in since Elisabeth Fisher’s death?

Leah Fisher lost her mother ten years ago. She is rapidly approaching womanhood and the lack is becoming more difficult every day.

Will she be able to recognize love when it’s right in front of her?

Could love be the key to Leah opening her heart, making room for the woman her father intends to marry… or will she stubbornly cling to the memory of her own mother?

Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time?


Rachel L Miller writes sweet Amish romance with a focus on faith, family and friendship.

She feels very strongly that God has led her to live a simpler lifestyle ñ thus her deep kinship with the plain people. She enjoys spending time with her family and doing fun, simple things like swimming, making sun tea, sitting outside watching the sunrise or listening to rain fall on the tin roof.

Rachel enjoys writing Amish fiction and hopes that the purity of her stories will allow God’s message to shine through more clearly.†She also writes Contemporary Inspirational Romance – and with all of her stories she focuses on presenting romance the way God intended it to be.

Readers can connect with Rachel on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and her website:


Purchase links:



Engaged is now available!

Purchase on Amazon

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Answered Prayers by Darlene Franklin

Posted by Julie on August 2, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Prayer. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Prayer is our means of communication with God and God’s given requirement to watch him work. We read stories of men and women of prayer who pray(ed) 2 hours a day and feel like the disciples who couldn’t spend an hour in prayer with Jesus in the garden.

All my life I’ve felt like such a stumbling fool when it comes to prayer. I struggle to fill a single page in mu prayer journal. And I use a prayer journal because it forces me to focus, unlike closing my eyes to daydream—or fall asleep.

I offer all this background so you understand why this—thing­—has me shocked, surprised, delighted.

God is answering my prayers. When asked. As asked. In very demonstrable ways.

I started to notice it a few months ago. I prayed that my granddaughter would either leave her live-in boyfriend—or get married. She moved out. (and back in—but she did move out!)

At our weekly Bible study, our leader asked us to requested that we pray for his voice and his health. We prayed that because God had given him the lesson to share, that He would give him the strength to finish the lesson. And he did.

Later, a phlebotomist showed up for a blood draw. I selfishly prayed it would go easily. At a recent hospital visit, they had needed three-plus attempts every time they drew blood or put in an IV.

I didn’t even feel the needle go in.

A week ago, my vision was so blurry, I couldn’t see the music to play hymns at Bible study. I asked for prayer—vision restored.

Of course I’ve always known God answered prayer. And I haven’t had any significant “deposits” in the prayer bank. But I have never ever experienced this kind of clear, immediate answer. This feeling of—power?—had given me wings, a freedom to pray and actively expect an answer.

When I first starting writing devotionals, I found prayers the most difficult element to

Answered Prayer: A Guest Post by Darlene Franklin

write. But recently, I completed 48 prayers to accompany the upcoming 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women (TBR 2/1/18).  Here’s the first one:

Lord God, the story of prayer might be the story of great achievements, but my personal journey reads more like a survival tale, lurching from one day’s emergency to the next. Not everyone can be like Esther, who fasted, prayed, and wrested victory for her people from the hands of her enemy. I’m more like Hannah, who asked You for a son, and the Phoenician woman who beseeched Jesus to heal her child. I may not be like Lydia who offered her house as a place of worship, but I have often wept before You, like the woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her tears. As I rehearse Your gracious response to my prayers, open my eyes to the grandeur of Your achievements in my life. Amen.

I guess I absorbed the lessons as I wrote them!  Praise God for a very welcome transformation.



Bio: Darlene has been preparing to write devotionals all her life. She enjoyed the teaching of verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible three times a week in addition to her own private study all the way through school. At Northeastern Bible College, she majored in Bible and theology, and then attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary, where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Religious Education. When she began writing after her divorce, she started with a devotional project focused in about the lessons God had taught her, and her first ever published piece was a devotional in The Secret Place. Since then, Darlene has published over 300 devotionals in various publications as well as three stand-alone titles with Winged Publications.


Website and blog


Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin


Book blurb about 12 Months to Better Prayer:

Learn the art of prayer from the hearts of giants of the faith.

Prayer is simply talking with God—yet even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Since then, godly men and women of the faith have given us guidance to a deeper prayer life—and their most insightful comments are included in A 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women.

Featuring the words of giants of the faith such as Andrew Murray, E. M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon, and Hannah Whitall Smith, it’s arranged into 12 key topics.

Ideal for use on a year-long prayer journey, this book also includes prayer starters that will set you on a course of deeper, more personal times of conversations with God.

Book blurb about my fiftieth book, Mermaid’s Song:

At last, the much anticipated 50th book by Darlene Franklin!

Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail.

Thus begins this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.

Justine Battineaux, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.

Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.

How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?


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Don’t Miss This: ALL SAINTS Movie Releasing August 25+ #GIVEAWAY

Posted by Julie on July 31, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

 ALL SAINTS is based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

This PG rated drama runs 1:48:00 and is recommended for ages 10+. It’s from Sony AFFIRM/Sony Pictures.

I love knowing the story behind a story, so I had fun watching the videos below. The real Michael Spurlock talks about his years as pastor of a small church on the verge of being shut down. it was his first pastorate out of school and he had to decide what to do about the church and the refugees. His answer makes for an interesting movie with John Corbett portraying him.

I also liked hearing what John Corbett thought. He wasn’t so sure about taking the role, and I wondered if the faith aspect was an issue. He admitted it was because he has played so many nice guy parts, he was ready for a challenge more in the villain area. Someone read the script and told him he’d regret not taking the part. Corbett read the script again and saw the merits in taking the part.

I have TWO Fandago tickets to give away to ONE USA winner. Tell me what your favorite John Corbett role has been and why. I’ll pick a winner August 7. Don’t forget to leave your email so I can contact you in case you win.


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Watch All Saints trailer here

Behind the Scenes: 

The Heart of the Movie

All Saints: John Corbett Decisions

The Pastors of All Saints

The Miracles of All Saints

Web Url

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CD REVIEW: Every Mile Mattered by Nichole Nordeman

Posted by Julie on July 28, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Nichole Nordeman’s newest CD, EVERY MILE MATTERED, carries the theme that no experience is wasted. God uses everything, even the mistakes.

She explained that our life is full of mile markers, and those thoughts make for a reflective and encouraging CD.

Her hope is that listeners are encouraged and no longer carry regret. With Dear Me, a letter she wrote her younger self, or Hush, Hush, when we want to know the why behind things or what’s next, I don’t think it will take much for listeners to be moved.

This is a perfect CD to play while reading or having quiet time with God. If you loved last year’s hit, Slow Down, it is also on this CD with an additional voice.

Even the cover is thoughtful and muted. Nothing showy is needed, it would distract from the message. I really enjoyed this CD and believe Nichole Nordeman hit the mark in her hopes to encourage and give hope.



Official website –

Buy links – ITunes




She has a book “SLOW DOWN” coming out in August, pre-order here: .

I received a CD in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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