What I’m Into {April 2014}



The only book that I finished in April was A Renaissance Redneck in a Mega-Church Pulpit by Randy Elrod. {Read my short review on GoodReads by click the title link. Follow me, while you’re there!}


I am loving Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show! If I can’t make it until 11:30 pm, I watch it on hulu.com. The following lip sync battle with Emma Stone the other night is pure awesomeness …

I am also enjoying The Mindy Project! Mindy’s one-liners are super funny. You have to be listening when she adds things like, “I zero out my fridge every night before I go to bed” at the most hilarious times.


I saw Noah. {meh!} I clearly missed a lot of what actually happened in my Bible readings, but I have confidence that Hollywood would not make anything up! {winky face}


This is my latest favorite:

Other Things I loving…

Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day challenge – I have been following along since January. I upload my photo to the free Collect App on my iPhone and then add it to my Instagram (amyconcafe) feed with the tag #fmsphotoaday. Join us, it makes each day exciting!

— Instagram – amyconcafe

– Subscription boxes – Wow, this could become an obsession! Are you into this?

– Jimmy Fallon {oh really, I already mentioned him?}

-The library – I added all my future reads to my library wish list. Here is the problem, when I go in to pick up my pile of desired reads there are also other books at the library. I know! AND, all the new books are close to the check out section, so I usually have to grab a few of those too. It is a lot of reading stress!

-ALSO, the library has a little sale room where they sell donated books and magazines.The magazines run from 25 – 50 cents and some are the brand new! In other words, I will not be buying any full price anymore! Sorry, Target!

What about you? What are you into these days?


Amy Con Café {The Restart}

March 2014 259
Learning to take a selfie!

So, my life has taken a few unexpected changes in the last six months. I went from living a missional life overseas to the normal settling in of life stateside. With that in mind, it seemed a good time to restart the blog moving to WordPress, as I have been meaning to do.

These past months have not only unfolded painful challenges and changes but poked at lifelong hurts, learning to own my journey, and realizing what authenticity really looks like and how I move forward as a whole person. I am still processing and weeding and hoping to share parts of my story as the days go on.

My blogging goal is to work out how to review items and books from this side of the world and to write about what I enjoy. I want to help women become whole in ways that include eating for health, mental clarity, spiritual disciplines, physical activity, self-care, serving others, great causes, as well as fashion and beauty. Helping each of us become whole women living real lives in authentic and healthy ways.

Presently, my life and passions include: decorating, settling into, and simplifying my condo; helping my children transition from homeschooling to traditional school; looking for meaningful employment; reading; journaling; nutrition; working out; subscription boxes (a new found obsession); jewelry; fashion; beauty products; and catching up on the changes that have occurred in the USA since we left four years ago, plus restarting this new blog.

Welcome or welcome back!

The 11 Secrets to Getting Published {Book Review}

The 11 Secrets of Getting Published

by Mary E. DeMuth


See how easily you can learn the secrets of getting published!

Frustrated by how much there is to learn to finally see your name in print by a big publisher? Mired in confusion about your next steps? An accomplished nonfiction freelancer and novelist, Mary DeMuth understands the twists and turns of the publishing industry. She answers the question, “How can I be published?” by pulling 11 Secrets from her popular blog, Wannabepublished.

In this book, I teach you how to:

• Craft the kind of query letter that gets you noticed by industry professionals.
• Write stronger, powerful prose.
• Create effective writing routines to meet your daily and weekly goals.
• Navigate a writing conference with confidence.
• Find and woo an agent.

{Taken from author, Mary DeMuth’s web site.}

My Thoughts:

The title, The 11 Secrets of Getting Published, is a little misleading. It suggests that you will learn just over one dozen ideas to help you as a writer when, in reality, there are loads of other ideas, suggestions, and resources within the 11 main points. This is actually a handbook to inspire writers in practical ways towards getting published. 

Mary E. DeMuth has managed a nuts and bolts writing workshop in her book. The beginning writer will benefit from the straight forward approach to things like learning about the industry, writing query letters, writer’s conferences, and answering your inner critic. DeMuth has shared an insiders view of what to do and when. All of this practical advise is clearly presented in a easy-to-read manual that contains many bullet points and lists. It will quickly become a the place writers will look first when wondering how to move forward with their writing. I’m glad to have a copy on my virtual shelf although now you can also purchase a physical copy if you prefer!

I was given a copy of The 11 Secrets of Getting Published in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Journaling with Your Computer: The Journal 5 Review and Giveaway

I was invited to join Rafflecopter and because there were no entries in my giveaway yet, I decided to add Rafflecopter and extend the giveaway by one day!

After clicking The Journal 5 button on my desktop and typing in the secret password, the following is what shows up….


If you like keeping a daily journal on your computer, this is the one for you. I like the simplicity and the ease of this platform.  I also like that fact that it is offline and saved on my computer, although you can back it up online as well if you want and if you don’t like green that is easy to change too.

My goal was to write a token from each day. Sometimes I have just one line to write and other days a picture with story or conversation.  If  a day is missed, I freed myself from going back and filling it in so that it does not become a chore but a welcomed way of closing out my day.  Keep in mind, that if you have trouble coming up with something you can add a simple daily journal template that is quick and easy to help you along.

When you purchase The Journal 5, it comes with easy to follow and clear directions. Plus it allows you to add tabs, lists, and things that interest you. For example, I have a Happiness Project Tab where I list some things that I wanted to remember from the book by that name. The Happiness Project has a place where you can keep these lists online, but I prefer mine to be private and so I am keeping them in my journal.

9-22-2011 9-42-37 AM

My favorite thing about The Journal 5 is the Memory grabber add on.  I highly recommend this as it allows you to keep a running timeline of your life along with memory questions to remind you of key events you won’t want to forget.  The timeline (pictured above) has room to add your age to each year as well as monumental events. The space expands if you have a year that warrants more writing. I plan to list births, weddings, graduations, big moves, significant current events, and major life happenings. The memory questions include family, childhood, work, favorites, talents, and many more.

I highly recommend the Journal 5 for people looking to keep a simple desktop journal. You can purchase a download now or on CD in various bundles and packages. Head over to The Journal’s website to see more page views and insights to the program.
You can also win The Journal 5 with the Memorygrabber (a $59.95 value)

RafflecopterSettings = { raffleID: ‘OTgwOGUzM2Y3ODYwMzNkNzkwZTBlYjZmYzhmYTVkOjE=’ }; You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.I received a download of The Journal 5 in exchange for this review which is my own opinion.

The Student Whisperer Review

SWSmallCoverAfter having read The Thomas Jefferson Education,  I was enthralled with the idea of a leadership education for my family. I found that I agreed with the premise of this educational theory which allows our children to become scholars after they work through the stages of learning. The stages are set up for the kids to grab hold of the desire to learn and focus energies to that end, doing much more then the minimum to get by. Don’t we all want that for our children? The kind of students who are set on the path of lifelong learning, who read for information and whose work is internally motivated much of the time.

The first section or “Book One” of The Student Whisper follows excerpts of journal entries from Tiffany Earl. You get a glimpse into when she was mentored and her mentoring beginnings. You see a little of what her education was like and a how she changes and grows. It was inspiring to read! I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and find a mentor for myself and more then that, I wanted to be that kind of mentor to my children. Plus, I started my own Commonplace Book and started reading with a goal of education and lining new ideas up with my core book, the Bible.

SWBackCover-224x300The second part of The Student Whisperer, “Book Two”, shares the nuts and bolts of mentoring toward a great individualized education. These pages are packed with ideas and journaling prompts that will help each aspiring mentor with the students they are walking beside.

I shut The Student Whisperer with insights and ideas, ready to move ahead. I now desire more then ever to be a good mentor to my children and any other students that may cross my path. I want my students to get an education that is well-rounded, where they learn to be thinkers, where they chose to do the work from within, where they love learning. I also want to stay on the journey of continued education for myself. The book itself did what it hopes to inspire us to do, it was a good mentor!

May I encourage you to check out The Student Whisperer, The Thomas Jefferson Education, The Home Companion, and Leadership Education as well as the Thomas Jefferson Education site where you can find out more about leadership education. If you are not familiar with this way of education, I think it is worth your time and energy to do the research!

Have you read any of the Leadership Education books?

I was given a copy of The Student Whisperer in exchange for this review which is my honest opinion.