Blessed Chaos by Ashley Wells

chaos Being foster parents is the simultaneously the best and the most difficult thing Jesse and I have done together. In total, we have loved and cared for eighteen children. Some only stayed one night and some stayed months. We have learned so much from each one of the children we’ve had in our home.

Even though we went through foster parent training with a fantastic instructor, it’s hard to ever really be prepared for how much “blessed chaos” can arrive in your home instantly. In her book, Ashley Wells, does a great job describing what day to day life can look like when you are involved in the foster care system. My husband and I could so easily relate to many of the situations she shared about in her story. I love how open and honest she is with her struggles and how she and her family had to work through them.

Back when we were dreaming of our first foster child placement we were busy decorating bedrooms and buying clothes and toys. We were thinking about how we would do as first-time parents to the child who happened to need our care and home. And although we learned about trauma and the behaviors that we might expect with a child coming from a traumatic background, that wasn’t in the front of our minds as we accepted the call for our first little boy.

On top of the parenting aspect of foster care, which every new parent deals with, we were also trying to figure out what was normal kid behavior and what was traumatized kid behavior. Then we also had to learn to deal with the constant flow of licensing workers, case managers, guardians, and therapists coming to our home… sometimes unannounced, as required. And then there are also extra appointments, family visits, staffings, and court dates to attend.

I appreciate and was encouraged by the honesty in Ashley’s writing about just how crazy this foster care life is. At times I felt like I could have reading my own story. I would highly recommend Blessed Chaos to those involved in foster-adoption or those considering or just starting out on their foster care journey. It would be a great read for friends and family wondering what it’s really like to have children brought to your door and have to suddenly learn how to best care for them.

I’m honored to have received a copy of this book and to be able to recommend it as a great read. Get your copy of Blessed Chaos today!

Enjoy Life Foods: Decadent Bars

Enjoy Life Foods has added another delicious snack to their product line. If you haven’t yet tried their decadent soft baked bars, you must! Enjoy Life sent me a full sample of all the flavors of the decadent bars. These really satisfy a craving when you “need” some chocolate, or anytime you need a snack.

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As always, I know that I can trust the Enjoy Life brand to find recipes that will be free from all the most common allergens. I was really curious to read the ingredients on these bars when I saw the icing drizzled over each bar, but sure enough they were still allergy safe.

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The first flavor I couldn’t wait to try was cinnamon bun… and it did not disappoint. After trying all the flavors this one was still my favorite. It really does taste like a cinnamon bun. The best addition to this recipe is the orange peel flavor, it just makes it perfect.

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The next one I had to try was the cherry cobbler. I have to say, this one didn’t appeal to me all that much. It’s still tasty, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. There was just something about the cherry that didn’t quite make it for me.

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The s’mores flavor definitely did appeal to me. It’s super chocolatey! This one makes a great treat. It’s the perfect amount of chocolate.

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Lastly, the chocolate sunbutter is my second favorite flavor. This one is tastes somewhere between fudge and a brownie. It almost reminds me of eating a peanut butter cup, which used to be my favorite candy before food allergies.

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I would recommend giving any (or ALL) of the decadent bars a try. I’ve brought these along with me several times now when I know we’ll be somewhere that dessert will be served. I feel like I can enjoy my own dessert along with everyone else. Pick up a box to try and let me know what you think!

Enjoy Life Foods: Plentils

Enjoy Life Foods has a new product… Plentils!! What is a Plentil? It’s almost like a potato chip only it’s made from healthy, high protein lentils.


These crunchy lentil chips, like all of Enjoy Life Foods snacks, are still allergy-safe and free from the eight most common food allergens. They come in four delicious flavors that are sure to satisfy.

Enjoy Life Foods sent me a bag of each of the yummy flavors to try and I enjoyed them all. My only disappointment was the saltiness of the sea salt flavor. I expected more salt taste since that was only flavor so they may have been a little more plain than I would have liked, but each of the other flavors had plenty of seasonings. They are the perfect late-night television watching snack or great to take along to the beach when others have their own non-allergy-friendly chips to munch on.

I was slightly concerned about the presence of corn after reading the ingredients label on some of the flavors since I am corn-allergic. I checked with Enjoy Life Foods and they assured me that although there are ingredients that are derived from corn, all of the corn protein had been removed from the end product. Sure enough, I was able to enjoy this Enjoy Life Foods snack with no allergy problems… as usual.

And just yesterday I was shopping at my local Nutrition S’mart and noticed Plentils on the shelf for the first time! Now I can pick up a bag and enjoy them again anytime. Why not give them a try and let me know what you think?!