Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ellie Claire Devotional Journals

The beginning of a new year is when we all think about adding new routines to our lives and keeping a regular Bible and devotional reading time is on the New Year's resolution list for many of us. Over the past few years, I've found Bible journaling to be a meaningful practice. I love reading scripture and recording my thoughts and prayers in the margins. Before I had a journaling Bible, I used a separate journal. These  Ellie Claire Devotional Journals are a variation on quiet time journaling, with a dated devotional book and journal in one. I was able to review three of these journals.

 Each of these lovely devotional journals features a beautiful cover, decorated pages, a ribbon bookmark, and an elastic band closure. The 7x9" size is larger than the typical devotional book, allowing plenty of room for my own journaling. The 365 readings are dated for each day of the year, offering a bit of motivation to keep up the daily habit to keep up with the schedule! The readings for each book are focused on a single theme, but are written by various authors. Each includes a Bible verse, a short prayer, and some include related quotes from other authors or from songs and hymns. The daily reading fills half the page, with the rest of the page lined for responding to the devotional thoughts, writing out prayers, or whatever else comes to mind that day. I plan to use this as a daily "thankful" list as well journaling my thoughts and prayers.

Peace Begins With Me has an aqua, marble-look cover and page borders. Just opening the book gives me a peaceful feeling. Who isn't craving more peace in this stressful society? This volume points the reader toward God's Word and praising him as a means of finding peace in her heart and relationships.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus begins each day with a quote from a hymn or song and the devotional passages encourage the reader to turn toward Jesus, trusting him with our lives each and every day. The pink borders and flowery decor are very girly. I think this is the one that I will be using in 2019!

The Earth is the Lord's and Everything in It focuses on God's wonderful creation. This is perfect for nature and animal lovers (like my daughter), who will love the reminders that God's hand can be seen all around us in the wonders of the natural world. Peacocks and flowers embellish each page.

Just opening these devotional journals makes me happy! I love pretty things and the beauty and exceptional quality of these books will make my devotional time even more special. I'm looking forward to adding this to my morning quiet time. One or two of these books will be given as Christmas gifts, and I'm sure the recipients will love them as well.

I received these devotional journals in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Ellie Claire Art Journals (Review)

I'm excited to share with you some absolutely beautiful journals by Ellie Claire that I was recently sent to review. All three exude quality and elegance, featuring textured cloth-bound covers with pages for journaling, coloring, lettering, and doodling. The paper is heavy weight enough to allow use with markers or even paint. (I can't use these mediums on my thin Bible pages.)

The Illustrated Word is an illuminated Bible coloring journal that features both color reproductions and coloring pages reproduced from medieval illuminated manuscripts. This one is perfect for people who love intricate coloring designs. I've found that I enjoy praying and meditating while coloring.

Illuminate Your Story Journal has a ribbon bookmark, a keepsake pocket inside the back cover, an elastic pen holder on the spine, and an elastic closure. This book has step by step directions for drawing an entire alphabet of illuminated letters just like those found in ancient manuscripts. The step-by step instructions are fool-proof! Blank journal pages with inspiring quotes are interspersed with the instructional drawing pages.

Faith and Lettering Journal is my very favorite of the three. I've been using a journaling Bible for the past year, but don't have much skill or confidence in my lettering skills. This journal is an instructional manual for letters, flourishes, banners, and other doodles with plenty of blank, lined, and grid pages for practicing. It is also a traditional journal that includes both blank pages and pages with small inspirational quotes like "Fear not, I am with you." There are several completed decorative quotes for tracing and copying--a great way to develop confidence before actually drawing in a Bible.

I really love the "pro tips" that are scattered through the book. I learned that ovals are more pleasing to the eye than circles, so calligraphic letters and flourishes should use ovals. Another pro tip offers the suggestion to draw containers to hold large quotes, titles, or lists. I know that my artistic confidence will grow as I use this journal.

Any one of these art journals would make an awesome creative outlet, quiet time journal, or Christmas gift!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Lots of changes in our home in the past months! Emily graduated in May. Our cover school had a lovely ceremony planned by the students and held at "Burritt on the Mountain," a historical home and park with views overlooking the city. She spent much of her summer doing an FBI internship. She was thrilled to have this opportunity, since she's hoping to have a career in the FBI eventually.

In August, she moved off to the University of North Alabama. She's loving college life, making many new friends, and doing well with her classes so far. She started with plans to major in psychology, but will probably change her major to criminal justice. Since she's only an hour from home, she has been back about every other weekend.

I'm finding myself tutoring every morning for three different homeschooling families, so I haven't left the teaching/homeschooling life behind yet!