There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book. – Josh Jameson
It seems a bit funny to me to be writing an article on reading, expecting you to read it, because I love to read and want to inspire you to read more.
I am addicted to books and love to read. I will admit however that I’m as picky about what I read as I am with just about everything else in my life. I like certain books, certain types of writing, certain authors. I devour Louis L’amour, Nancy Campbell Allen, Josi Kilpack all of which write novels. (Western, Steampunk Romance, and Proper Romance respectively) But I also like Kristi Ling’s, Operation Happiness and Sharlene Hawkes, Kissing A Frog, or Dr. Julie Hanks, The Assertive Guide for Women just to improve myself.
If you’ve been following me on Facebook you’ve heard me talk about Ms. Penelope Pickwick and my weekly bookworm report that’s on FB Live on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand. My goal was to read 10 particular books this year and it needed to have an element of fun. Ms. Pickwick is my bookworm. Made out of colorful circles and each time I finish a book, she grows by another circle. She is beautiful and growing at an alarming rate! I most definitely love to read!
This love of reading has brought me to loving libraries more, learning about book events and the best part? Finding out about organizations like “Books on The Underground” in London, “Books On The Subway” in New York, and “I Believe in Book Fairies” which is now worldwide and will be featured later this summer on the podcast.
Do you like to read? It’s time for summer reading picks and I would love to hear about yours! Share your favorites and some that you might be interested in grabbing for those days on the beach or if you aren’t close to the beach, by the pool, or to my Arizona or Texas friends…inside a lovely air-conditioned home. Enjoy your summer reading!
Hint: If you click on the authors above it will take you directly to their links to buy those books! Happy reading!
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By Lauri Mackey — 1 year ago
We Rise By Lifting Others
“1 A Week” is an honest to goodness force of nature out there challenging everyone to to reach out. Together, we can make a difference. We have to. And kindness is the answer…simple, yet profound.
“If someone had smiled and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I know I would have begged them to help me. I would have told them everything and asked for help. I would not have jumped. I just was unable to ask for help myself.” These are the words of suicide survivor, Kevin Hines.
Hines, like many people who attempt suicide, feel as though they are alone in this world. With no sense of purpose and a feeling of loneliness, it can be hard for anyone to believe that their life is important. When hitting this point, a simple smile or, “hello,” could be enough to make someone feel like life is worth living.
What if you were to do even more than smile? What if you could do something that not only helped someone else, but made you feel good about yourself too? Even get reciprocated for your good deeds?
“1 a Week,” is an organization that raises mental health awareness and spreads positivity, through random acts of kindness. Encouraging everyone to share their acts, with a participant receiving a gift for their gesture each week.
The name, “1 a Week,” came about with the thought that while one good deed a week is very manageable to complete, you can still have a positive impact on many lives. It all starts with just one! The ripple effect that can occur starting with just one person, one random act of kindness, is limitless. Say you complete your 52 acts throughout the year, for 52 different people. Of those people, twenty of them take on the challenge themselves and complete another 52 deeds. Each of those twenty people, get another twenty, and so on, and so on. Do you know how many people that is, spreading the love? A whole lot, thats how many!
“But I don’t have a lot of spare money to perform any acts of kindness! I don’t have much spare time either and to top it all off, I don’t have any good ideas of what to do.”
These are some of the most common reasons people have for not getting in on the fun of giving. Here is the thing, to be kind doesn’t have to take any money, much time, or a lot of creativity. You can leave encouraging notes around town, give up your seat on a bus, pick up litter, shovel your neighbors walkway. There are endless possibilities! You do what you are capable of and as Kevin Hines pointed out, the impact doesn’t necessarily correlate with how big you go.
So how about those gifts you can receive?
“1 a Week,” teamed up with a few sponsor companies that want to do their part in spreading positivity giving. A month of online personal training? Top quality t-shirt or hat? Positive social interaction card game? A watch?? All gifts that are being sent out to the participants of the challenge.
So let’s get to the details of how to participate. There are two ways to share your acts. You can share it to the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/1aweekchallenge, and if you wish to remain anonymous, just send a private message, and it will be shared for you. You can also post it to your Instagram, tag @_1aweek in the post, and/or use the hashtag #1aweek. A recipient for that weeks gift is selected every Sunday night, announced on Monday.
There are plenty of statistics you can find throughout the internet about the positive mental effect an act of kindness has on the person performing it, not just the one on the receiving end. So if for no other reason, do it for your own health!
THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION! This is your call to help make a change in not only your life, but the life of many others. Check out the, “1 a Week,” pages, get inspired, and get going!
By Lauri Mackey — 3 years agoWho I AmLearning to Sleep in the Bed that I MadeNo TV. Ok, well I do own a TV and am honestly a huge movie buff with lots of movies and some sitcoms, but I do not have a cable network of any kind. No channels. No commercials. Been that way for over 20 years now. I still get hooked on sitcoms! I owned every season of Gilmore Girls and if Agents of Shield has a season on DVD, I’ve bought it and watched it in marathon order over a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long).My current addiction is Arrow. In a recent episode I learned the origins of the character, Felicity Smoak. (Third Season in case any of you are Arrow buffs, too) While it wasn’t anything too horrific…think Bimbo mom and illegal computer hacking stuff, it was something that she was embarrassed and ashamed of.One of the point’s I’d like to make is that we all have things in our past that we are both embarrassed or ashamed of. The first of those are the decisions that we have no control over. Felicity did not choose her mom or her circumstances growing up. The second are decisions we make that may cause shame as we see them as mistakes or just plain ugly bad choices. In Felicity’s example it was creating a super crazy computer virus from her college hacker days and nearly spending her life in prison.But where is she now? Working for a millionaire dude (who’s handsome and sexy by the way) and The Arrow as a computer genius who is calm under pressure, knows her stuff inside and out, and has made herself indispensable. She is also friendly and is loved by just about everyone who meets her (except the bad guys, of course).Which brings me to my second point. Her upbringing and her so-called “mistakes” brought her to this part of her life. Her life is not without mistakes now and it’s not perfect, but those life experiences made her who she is today. They shaped her into the woman she has become.Your life up to this point has made you who you are today. Right now in this present moment. Who are you? Where did you come from and where are you going? I’ve been pondering a lot about this lately in my own life.
This is WHO I WAS:I believe my upbringing was pretty darn good. My mom taught me to choose the right and how to be strong. She showed me that she was human and made mistakes like everyone else. I learned to ride horses, ride a bike, and do good in school. I loved to read and compete in spelling bees! In unfortunate typical fashion, my parents were divorced when I was 11 and my mom re-married a wonderful man with 5 boys. As per usual in most divorced families, it’s just tough. Tough to figure out your identity, tough to reconcile your mom and dad not being together. Tough to adjust to doubling your family size and learning to get along with not only 2 brothers, but 7! (It’s just a flat out miracle that mom was never committed to a looney bin. She gets huge props for that.).Imagine 9 kids; 7 boys and 2 girls all under the age of 11. I know I had it tough, but my mom and step-dad are down-right saints in my book. We were all on the local swim team and all of us did some kind of sports. I remember doing basketball for 6 years, soccer for 3 and swim team for 3. I was also in the band with a killer marching ensemble for parades and half-time shows. My parents did the best they could and honestly, even though I might not have agreed with my mom and dad’s “parenting skills” (what child does??) if I had followed their advice, my life would have turned out better than the decisions I made for myself.The rest is all me. I made my bed and I laid in it. Every good and bad decision was up to me. It still is. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I love to work outside the home. I love the challenge of new opportunities. I’ve been a property manager, an Ombudsman to a Naval Ship during the 9/11 conflict, worked for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, made burgers as the Drive-Thru Queen of Burger King (age 18, cut me some slack for that one), lasted one whole week at Taco Bell, sold MaryKay and Pampered Chef, and yes, even the dreaded Amway for a spell. I’ve owned my own business for a lot of years and was even a stay-at-home mom 9 years straight which was the hardest “job” I’ve ever had in my life.I’ve been married more than a few times with the common denominator of failure always being me in those relationships. My two older kids are no doubtedly scarred for life due to my inability to have, find, and keep good marriage relationships. While it is not an easy thing to talk about or simply admit, it is most definitely part of my past that made me who I am today.
This is WHO I AM:I am in a beautiful marriage relationship with my best friend and hero, Eddy. He has given me a safe place to grow and learn about myself and who I have the potential to become. I will forever be indebted to him.I love to sing. I like to knit and hate to scrapbook. I love riding my mountain bike and I love to cook. I like making my house feel like a home where anyone that comes in will feel comfortable and at ease. I stink at keeping green things alive. Many a plant has died at my hands over the years. I love to read Louis L’amour and I love to watch action movies and chick flicks. I love to speak with people and connect with them. I love the mountains, but don’t much care for the beach.I believe in God and love my church family because they show love to me unconditionally. I am a WFPB health crusader (yes, I eat plants and yes, I get enough protein). I have two dogs that are sweet as pie. They are both black and both boys. It seemed only fair as I have three daughters and my hubby was the only testosterone representative in the house. I love making goals and then checking them off my list. Did I mention I was a list-maker? I LOVE LISTS! The best part of my lists is marking the things off I’ve accomplished.Some of my favorite things are freshly cleaned sheets, new pillows, the sound of the dishwasher or dryer running, Kelly Rae Roberts, my courtyard fountain, the smell of jasmine in full bloom, Brooks Cascadia trail-running shoes, and getting packages in the mail.
This is WHO I AM BECOMING:First and foremost, I am always working on being more kind and being of service. First to my husband and children, then my neighbors and then my community and ultimately the world. I’m also working on being more cheerful and not complaining so much about bad drivers. 🙂I’ve recently started collecting pull-over hoodies…don’t know if that trend will stick, but it seemed worth mentioning.I want to learn how to pop a wheelie on my mountain bike. I want to replace the rest of my VHS tapes with DVD’s. I want to take a trip to Whistler and ride some killer trails up there. I want to find out who my Gram’s biological parents were as she was adopted at age 5.I want to write a book, public speak to women who need a confidence boost and power uplift in their lives. I want to do a weekly podcast starting in February of 2016 to support these same women to help them believe they are capable of more than they think.I just had to highlight this last paragraph in orange because I’ve accomplished it since I wrote this post in October of 2015. My book came out in 2018 and the podcast is now over 2 years old – go me! I would like to do more speaking to women, but I have done that as well. Setting goals is oh so important! Party in the house right now after reading this again!!!Oh, and I want to own a Model X Tesla…
Please comment below and tell me some things you already know about yourself. Be proud!
By Lauri Mackey — 1 year 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!