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By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
I am a New Year’s Resolutions kind of gal. I am that crazy, somewhat OCD person that makes a goal list every year and does her best to get ‘er done. At the beginning of 2017 I realized that my goal sheet needed some sprucing up…it was BORING! I renamed categories and just added a healthy dose of fun into the titles and the goals themselves. Today, I’d like to share one of those goals about books I wanted to read in 2017 with you.
I created a stack of 10 books to read throughout the year. That was it. Boring. Snore. Probably not going to happen even though they are staring me in the face every. single. day. And then I remembered something. When I was in 3rd grade my teacher held a contest. She created a bookworm for each of us and for every book we read (think Golden Books back then) we added another segment to our bookworm. I adore reading and my bookworm went around at least two of the walls in our classroom.
So that’s what I did! This year I created a bookworm and named her Ms Penelope Pickwick and she is beautiful! I’m not a crafty person, but I AM creative. I cut out circles on pretty paper and every time I finish a book I add a segment to Ms Pickwick which now goes along an entire wall and started onto the next wall here in my studio.
In honor of it being November and I’m down to my last few books for the year, I’d like to list the books I’ve read here for the year and give you a little rating (solely my opinion, of course) from 1-5 stars and why. Enjoy and happy Reading! If you have any comments on any of the books listed here please feel free to let us know so that everyone can decide which one to buy next! (Links to buy included below and the order is in what I read first, second, etc.)
Books I’ve Read in 2017 (So far…)
This was the first steampunk proper romance I had ever read and devoured it with ease. Mystery, fantasy, love, women who kick-ass and take names. This is an incredible read!
The Love Dare for Parents – 2 Stars!
I am a HUGE fan of the movie, Fireproof and the workbook available called The Love Dare so when I started having some trouble with my teenager it seemed like a good fit, but while I am Christian this book seemed a little too fire and brimstone for me. There was some good advice, but I would not recommend this book.
My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!
After I read Beauty and The Clockwork Beast, I wanted more Nancy Campbell Allen (you can listen to her podcast interview with me here) and this was the next one. While not a steampunk romance, it is a play on My Fair Lady and devoured this one in 24 hours flat. Yep, it was that good.
Dr. Julie Hanks was a guest on the podcast (listen here) and her method is pretty much foolproof. Loved her interview, loved this book, and believe it can help you learn more about yourself and finding the strength to be assertive in your life.
This year I completed my collection of novels by Louis L’amour via second hand stores, thrift stores, used book stores, and finally some on Amazon. He is one of my favorites and I never tire of the good guy winning! Glad I didn’t live in that era of old western towns, but can’t get enough of these!
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron – 5 Stars!
My husband bought this book for me Christmas 2015 and it took to the end of 2016 to crack it open. I was really interested, but other books came first What I didn’t know is that it was a workbook and would take weeks to complete. I learned more about myself during those weeks than I have over the last decade. It is a MUST READ and is phenomenal in its content. It was through this book that I got the idea for #PlayDates and #Recess and was a influence in me finding my creativity and learning that I was actually creative! Who knew?
The Mismatched Nativity by Merrilee Boyack – 5 Stars!
This is truly a children’s book, but because I had Merrilee on the podcast (listen here) and we talked about this very book, I had to get it and read it for sure. I highly recommend it for your young’uns!
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – 5 Stars!
“A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea” is so good that I still have the 5 steps of business on my dry-erase board in my studio. Want a teaser? The first one says, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”. Get it, read it, enjoy it, implement it!
Kissing A Frog by Sharlene Hawkes – 5 Stars!
This was recommended to me by my best friend, Elizabeth and not only did I read it, enjoy it, and implement parts of it – I then asked Sharlene to be on the podcast and you can LISTEN HERE! Miss America 1985 and the first foreign-born Miss America ever – you will love her! There are only 95 copies of her book left in print and if you click here you will be directed to my website where you can get an autographed copy just for yourself!
The Conference of The Birds by Peter Sis – 3 Stars!
Given to me by a friend, it is beautifully illustrated and hard to understand. Maybe I am just too simple to get all of it’s deeper meaning, but it is now my coffee table book because the artwork adds beauty to my home.
Josi stole my heart long ago with her recipe/mystery novels featuring Sadie Hoffmiller and I’ve never looked back. I was so deeply honored (and am a crazy huge fan!) that I asked her to be on the podcast and she accepted! (Listen Here!) These three are some of her best proper romance books to date and I fall in love with her all over again every time I read them. I went on a bender here obviously and read three in a row! Highly recommend all three, but would read A Heart Revealed before Lord Fenton’s Folly – interconnected just a bit, but still can be read as stand alone books so pick your favorite!
This is an insightful book on how you can fit meditation (even four minutes) into your daily schedule. It is definitely a way to do that, but found myself only giving four stars because I’m not very woo-woo…sorry ladies! I loved the stories and indeed love Rebekah “Bex” Borucki so much that I had her on the podcast and had an incredible interview! (Listen Here!)
If you need a Christmas present or birthday present or graduation present for any girl or woman in your life, look no further…this is it! There are not a lot of words, but little there are makes an impact. Even more impactful are the images. Kate’s photography in this work is worthy of any bookshelf or wall. I found myself going from laughing to crying to being all out contemplative as I consumed the photos that fill it’s pages. A must have for you and anyone else you can think of. Want to learn more about Kate? Listen to her podcast here!
Another guest on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand The Positivity Podcast for Women (Listen Here!) Kelsey has empathy down to an art and in fact teaches it to other via her workshops. In all honesty, I didn’t read the book before our interview. Then this happened: One of my closest friends started going through a divorce that still isn’t over as I write this and I felt like I could be a better friend. I then devoured the book within a couple of weeks and started using its wisdom immediately. It’s worth every penny – get it!
Don’t need to say another word more than what I did on her first two books listed above other than I can’t wait for her next steampunk romance coming out in 2018!!
Ladies, this book is tailored just for you and your dirty money secrets you might be hiding. Don’t hide under the covers about your finances any longer…Kate take you through her own experiences and what you can start doing right now today to make a difference in your personal finances. True eye-opener and guess what? She tells much, much more during our LLS Podcast interview (Listen Here!).
Choose Yourself by James Altucher – 5 Stars!
This book is all about possibilities. Believing in possibilities. Coming up with new possibilities. It was so fun (even hysterical in some parts) to read and chock full of knowledge about how to Choose Yourself in this world in the best possible way. Implementing even one part of this book could seriously change your life. Try it out!
Books I’m reading right now (Unfinished)
What’s on your bookshelf?
Would love to hear recommendations on new books, give me your two cents on any of the books written above and let me know if you purchase any of these based on the above reviews. I would love to hear from you!
By Lauri Mackey — 4 years agoI was asked to speak at a small women’s event and thought I would share my thoughts on this most important subject. Start by watching this amazing YouTube video about The Jewel by clicking on this link:My birthday is right close to Valentine’s Day. What that means is as I was growing up my seven brothers and one sister would be taken to the store to buy gifts for me and that the selection at Thrifty’s was mostly focused around the this holiday. I would receive an extra large Hershey Kiss, teddy bears with hearts on them, heart-shaped pillows, you get the idea. Some brothers would go in and buy something together, but one particular year, my older brother bought me something just from him. He then proceeded to wrap that gift in a brown paper grocery bag. No wrapping paper, no ribbon or bows, no card, a brown paper bag.At first I was disappointed at the lack of time taken for my special day and was even a bit taken aback by this notion of not having my present wrapped properly. This thought quickly left as I opened the gift to see what was inside. The moment I removed the “wrapping paper”, I was blessed with a beautiful gift and promptly forgot about the ugly brown paper bag it had come in.Why are we so critical of the gift wrap when we know that something beautiful is inside?I have seen even little girls be critical of each other. As teenagers it’s worse. You might have a great sense of self and high self-esteem and then someone says something critical to you and the doubt easily sets in. We then move into our 20’s and 30’s and for some of us that means child-bearing years. Bearing a child is a beautiful endeavor, but it can leave rips and tears in our gift wrap that we forget to see as beautiful battle scars of the least selfish act in the universe. If we are lucky enough to live through our 40’s and longer, gravity becomes your enemy and your metabolism goes in the toilet. A bitter pill to swallow.My gift wrap has changed over the years. I came into this world with the biggest chubby cheeks you can imagine. I didn’t like the dirt and when I crawled would literally stop and brush my hand off each “step”, which is ironic considering I mountain bike in the dirt all the time now. I’ve broken bones, had a million different haircuts and lots of crazy clothes as I was a product of the 80’s. I have given birth to three kids, been overweight and underweight, been in shape and out of shape, have worn make-up and haven’t worn make-up, got a tattoo, and have finally embraced my gray as I’m now a full-fledged Gram with 2 beautiful grandkids. My gift wrap has seen some serious travels.I recently have been studying and pondering women and positivity. I’m so dedicated to this cause that I quit my full time position in a business my husband and I own to pursue a way to help women be more positive by taking practical steps in their lives. I created a this blog to put my thoughts out into the world. I created Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, A Positivity Podcast for Women to bring help into the women adventuring into the next chapter of their lives. I wrote a book last year called Positivity Happens – all in the name of trying to uplift, inspire and bring hope to women. I sometimes just look for things to laugh about because a good belly laugh is always a good thing. In this pursuit I have learned a few things about myself.Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:
We are all in a different stage of life and have diverse types and colors and patterns of gift wrap. It would be rather dull and boring if all of our gift wrap was the same, wouldn’t it? Let me propose that whatever gift wrap you are currently wearing that it is perfect and unique to you. Wherever you are is exactly where we are supposed to be. What if you don’t like the situation you are currently in? I give you the words ofJeffrey R Holland:Don’t give up, don’t you quit.You keep walking, you keep trying.There is help and happiness ahead.It will all be all right in the end.Trust God and believe in good things to come.There is a jewel in each of you. Jewels are only made through some sort of adversity. Did you know that diamonds are formed at a crazy high temperature and pressure 87 to 118 miles down in the earth’s mantle? The growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3 billion years! Amethyst is formed in gas cavities of lava! Lava! Rubies are formed only when there is a small impurity of chemicals in just the right atmosphere. Emeralds are created when exposed to extreme hot water, cooled down and then passed through hot water again. LAVA HOT WATER from what my studies found. Pearls are formed only when a grain of sand is embedded into a mollusk. Then in self defense, the mollusk creates layer after layer of mother-of-pearl until the iridescent gem is formed.Now I am not suggesting that we need to seek out tough times to cultivate our jewel within. What I am saying is that nobody’s life or gift wrap is perfect, but that our jewel within is being created for the eternities. We are not earthly beings have a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. Be proud of your gift wrap, be patient with your adversities and challenges, be happy knowing that God knows you personally and has always seen the jewel within. Cultivate your jewel by seeing the good in yourself. Try to be more cheerful and positive. Have hope that things will be all right in the end because they will. Trust in God and in the good things to come. Be happy and then share your happiness with others so that their jewels can also be cultivated.Would love to hear from you about this article! Please leave a comment – I read every single one!
- My soul is young and eternal. My inside doesn’t feel old. I feel young as a puppy playing with a new toy.
- I am the only one who can do my job here on earth. There is no one else like me. I am as unique as a snowflake and the world needs me.
- My experiences have refined who I am. I have laughed, cried, been vexed in love, worried, fretted, been cheerful and full of happiness. Not all of my choices have been good ones, but even the poor choices have helped mold me into who I am today.
- I can change my attitude and outlook on life. I can gain new perspectives, learn new tricks, and change the things I want to change to create a better me. Being happy is a learned trait.
- If I am ever in doubt of my divine nature, I simply need to say a prayer and my Heavenly Father assures me of my infinite worth with his sweet spirit. He knows my fears, he knows my dreams, he knows who I am and who I am becoming. He has been forced to be a patient teacher with me as his student.
By Lauri Mackey — 3 years ago25 Kinds of Journals to KeepIn a recent podcast interview with Laurie Blackwell (Episode 27), we talked the inside out and sideways of journal writing. Upon finding out our mutual passion of the subject, Laurie created this amazing list that includes 25 different kinds of journals you could create.Laurie also teaches online journaling classes at www.laurieblackwell.com.Check out the podcast interview here. Enjoy and get journaling!25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
- A Diary :: a fictional pen-pal to write to about all of your happenings and feelings
- Historical Record of Days :: think Lewis and Clark, complete with weather reports and sketches of objects encountered
- Art :: filled with pages of color, collage, drawings
- Travel :: a reflection on and memories concerning a trip away from home
- Pen-Pal :: You complete a page, send it to a friend who makes a page and sends it back to you
- Grief :: a way to remember and honor someone you loved and now miss
- Positivity :: a book to keep all happy thoughts and good happenings in so you can remember how wonderful life really is
- Wish :: a place to keep all those things (thoughts, clippings, pictures) of the things your heart desires
- Dream :: record the subconscious happenings in your mind while you sleep (upon waking up, of course)
- Family :: a place where everyone in the household can express themselves whenever they like (such a keepsake!)
- Letters :: where you write all the letters you will never send but have to put out there
- Book :: a record of all the books you read – when, what, and your own personal review
- Bullet :: the ultimate “get it done” way to organize
- Relationship :: a place to store mementos, dates, and details about your life together
- Wonderful Words :: put all the words that sound beautiful or mean something special to you in this book, including their definitions
- Poetry :: write down all your favorite poems, the ones that really move you, all in one journal
- A Place to Vent :: All the stuff you’d like to get off your chest; write it down here and when the journal is full, throw it away!
- Things I Never Want to Forget :: memories throughout your life that you want to treasure forever
- My Favorites :: a place to record all those things you love the most, like your favorite restaurant, movie, song, scent, season…
- Recipes :: all the tried and true yummy food and the ones you’d like to make
- Patterns :: patterns you love – pieces cut from cloth, magazines, catalogs, and drawings of patterns that you’ve seen or from your imagination
- Healthy Me :: what you eat each day, goals for being healthier, an exercise log, etc.
- Doodles :: a place to draw to your heart’s content
- Money :: where you record all the money that comes into your life and how you spend it; a pretty and concise way to watch your pennies
- Reflections :: an account of things you do and how they could be improved in the future; this is a game-changer