Lauri Mackey

#Recess #PlayDateIdeas #SelfLove

5 #Recess Ideas for Self-Dates!

It wasn’t until I read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron that I truly embraced self-dates.  And to tell you the honest truth, the first one stunk.  It was supposed to be for 2 hours and I don’t know why, but I chose to go to the beach and people-watch.  I don’t even like the beach.  I live 15 minutes away, but I’m more of a mountain girl.  I sat on that beach for 2 hours! Doing absolutely nothing!  Lame, but lesson learned.

I was so mad about my first date going so horribly wrong that I was determined to make the 2nd one more fun.  I planned a trip to Ojai which is about 30 minutes from my home.  I went on line and picked two new stores to check out and then had lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant called Hip (highly recommend it!).  The first store turned out to be closed, but the second one was an open air bookstore – really!  An outdoor bookstore and I bought more Louis L’amour books – it was fabulous!

As of this writing, my 19-year old has now taken herself on her first self-date.  She got treats for the movies  at the Dollar Store and took herself!  Go Mug! Dollar treats, bargain day at our local theater – perfect for the teenage budget!

I truly recommend self-dates!  The ultimate would be once a week, but if you can pull off once every two weeks or even once a month consider it a huge accomplishment as you will have gone from zero to something!  Here are 5 Self-Date Ideas to get you started.  Re-instate #Recess for Adults!

5 #Recess Self-Dates

The 5 Senses Date

#1  One of my favorite self-dates was last month when I decided to enlist the 5 senses and create a date around it.  Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight, and Hearing.  Start by making a list of your 3 favorite in each category and then pick your favorite from each one.  Here is how mine played out:  Touch – my favorite comfy afghan my oldest daughter made for me while dressed in my night shirt and slippers.  Smell – wild orange essential oil in a diffuser to remind me of the orange blossoms in the local orange groves.  Taste – what else?  Sweet Potato Fries from Veggie Grill, of course!  Sight – sat in my favorite room of the house and grabbed my favorite book by Josi S Kilpack, The Vicar’s Daughter.  Hearing – gonna love this one…I ran the dishwasher. Weird?  It is a childhood sound that I love because whenever we went to bed, my mom or dad would start the dishwasher – love that sound!  Best date ever!

Traveling Exhibit

#2  This one was simple.  I live on a University Campus with a beautiful library.  There was a traveling exhibit featuring this area’s local agriculture history.  Other than the one gentleman who talked my ear off for about 30 minutes, it was fascinating and I even toured the library for the first time after living here for the last 6 years!  Check your local library or museums to see what’s on exhibit now or coming soon.

Something Old, Something New

#3  When I went up to Ojai, I picked my favorite restaurant Hip because I was familiar with it and then coupled it with something new in visiting the outdoor bookstore.  The restaurant made me feel warm and comfy and the bookstore made me feel adventurous.  Is there something you can couple with something old and familiar and still taste some adventure?

It’s Elementary, My Dear

#4  This one seems silly at first blush, but it is oh so fun once you’re into it. Collect at least 10 magazines and grab your scissors and a piece of poster paper from Michael’s or Target.  Cut out anything that you like or strikes your fancy and then paste them with a glue stick on to the poster paper. Proudly hang it up in a prominent place in your home for as long as you can!

Sacred Space

#5  Sometimes you just need a solid time-out #Recess.  What is your sacred space?  A temple, synagogue or church?  Perhaps the library or a special place on your favorite hike?  There is a choice of a couple of things you can do.  One is that you just go sit and be.  Take this time to simply be still, quiet, and savor the silence.  Two is that before you head out to your sacred space, write down a burning question to take with you.  Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket.  Once in your sacred space, open it up and lay it beside you.  Don’t overthink this.  Don’t make yourself think about it, just knowing it’s there will help.  Is there a solution or at least a next step that comes to mind?  I will tell you that the times I’ve done this, I either think of a solution or a next step OR I get a feeling of peace that I just need to be patient and that the answer will come in time.  Either way, I feel immensely better for having taken this time for myself.

Calendar It!

Pick a date, set the #Recess time on your calendar, fulfill the date, then come back here and comment to let me know what you’ve done.  Others will appreciate hearing back from you and get more ideas – remember, we are all out to help each other!

Random Thoughts on Taking Out the Trash

Taking Out the Trash

For Real This Time…

I don’t know how many of you are Mac Users (I’m a Mac, not a PC), but there is a little to-do item that I sometimes forget about.  It’s very important to do, especially on my laptop where I do all my work where there isn’t a lot of disk space to mess around with.  It’s a little chore called, “Empty Trash”.

I delete stuff all the time on my computer!  From emails to tossing out documents or photos or videos.  Memes I’ve downloaded and used and then no longer need.  Photos of items I’ve put on Craigslist and sold…months ago. Screenshots I’ve taken for a specific purpose and now that purpose has passed.  I created a word document for a to-do list and now that chore has passed so I toss it out.  I put it all in the trash.  Out of sight, out of mind.

But just like the trash we throw into our trash cans outside for the garbage man to take away, it’s not like that stuff just disappears.  In the case of our household trash, it ends up in a landfill doing damage to our planet earth. And the files in my computer?  They sit in the trash until I go take one more step and EMPTY THE TRASH!

I’m not sure why we have to throw out the trash twice, but we do.  Of course, in the case of our household trash, I try to limit what goes into the landfill.  I try to reduce, re-use, and recycle as best I can so the impact I have is less.  And on my computer, I try to make a habit of regularly taking out the trash so that stuff is not just out of sight, but permanently gone.

Sometimes we need to mentally take out the trash.

First, IT IS a good idea to simply reduce, re-use, and recycle the mental garbage.  Trying to put better things into our creative and mental space is definitely the first line of defense.  Does watching scary movies give you nightmares that keep you up at night?  STOP WATCHING THEM in the first place!  Stuck in a bad habit or need to simply create a new one like flossing twice a day?  Take the first step towards either one.  Remember that it takes baby steps…moving forward, however small, is the key.

Second, we may think that we have taken out the trash but just like my EMPTY TRASH button you may need to permanently take it out.  Setting it aside is not enough.  Sometimes we need to take that extra step and permanently let it go.  Here are a few examples:

  • You’ve quit coffee, but still own a coffeemaker and coffee is still in the cupboard.
  • You’ve forgiven a friend, but are still hanging on to hurt feelings that we can’t quite release.
  • You were in a horrible relationship, got out of it, then are still mentally bashing that other person or worse, ourselves for being in the relationship in the first place.
  • How much mental space are you taking up by not permanently deleting the trash?  By taking that extra step to let go for real this time?

I’m not saying it’s easy, but this blog is just about awareness.  If you are in a situation where you haven’t permanently deleted your trash – you are the only one who truly knows.  If you read this blog and instantly thought of something in your life that this applies to – then this article is for you.

Do some mental decluttering, some soul-searching, some meditation, whatever does it for you to start taking baby steps towards healing – and EMPTYING THE TRASH.

Would love to hear from you!  Please comment below and let’s start some chatter!

The Boring Bliss of Routine

Is your routine answer “Life is busy.”?  It’s the unmistakably counted on answer when you ask someone the dreaded socially correct question now known as a greeting in our fair culture of “How are you?”.  Is  your response different?  A “fine, how are you?” perhaps?  I’m just as guilty as the next person and it has become habit to say either “fine, how are you?” or if I know them a bit better, “I’m busy”.  And if I hesitate (usually trying to think of how I really am so I can answer honestly) the person asking the question immediately thinks that something must be wrong in my life and jumps to conclusions that who knows what that has formed in their minds from sour milk to my dog dying.

Now that I’ve formed this little rant on the “how are you” question…I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Haha!  I can honestly answer that my life has been busy.  You have to understand that I am crazy OCD and an organizational freakazoid who has dialed in my “to-do list” and my “must-do” list so I’m practically scheduled out every day of the week.  Throw in a trip to Oakland for a family affair, my women’s conference where I was in charge of the almost 50 women volunteers, a couple of relatives popping in to say hello for a few days, and a planned trip coming up for four days the end of this week, and I pretty much throw my perfectly laid out plan out the window.  Well, not all of it…but it does get a bit more stressful and trying to shove 6 days of work into 3 days of available time.

BUSY VS ROUTINE

After some recuperating and catching up I realized that sometimes I consider my life boring.  Not bad boring, but routine boring.  The same old things week after week.  The same chores, the same workouts, the same type of work.  Wearing my retainers every night, praying, meditating, daily reading, meals…all of it!  And then I remember my younger adult self.  Scattered, not settled into a career or a happy marriage.  When the dust settled on the last two weeks and as I look forward to this coming weekend trip, I realize that I LOVE the BORING BLISS OF MY ROUTINE.

I love that I’m the first one up every morning because my hubby and puppies are not morning beings.  I love going downstairs and getting a glass of water first thing and putting away the dishes from the night before and laying out my breakfast utensils.  I love saying my morning prayers, and doing my daily reading and journaling all before the rest of my household awakes.  I absolutely LOVE everything about Lauri’s Lemonade Stand…from the podcast, to the blog, to Ms Penelope Pickwick (My Bookworm).  I love the routine of cooking dinner or just going out if it’s been a long day and that I watch movies most weeknights with my hubby (If you haven’t seen the movie Embrace…or I Feel Pretty…I highly recommend them!).

In today’s blog I just want to publicly acknowledge the boring bliss of my routine.  I absolutely love it.  I love the busy moments and the quiet moments.  I love the growth moments and the bliss moments that happen after the growth moments and I realize that I’ve learned something new.  I love the boring bliss of my routine!  The next time someone asks “how are you?”  I will answer “Really Good, and you?”  What will you say?

“The Big Fat Fail” – My Stab at Poetry

Poetry can be inspiring, motivating, heart-wrenching, powerful, but it always inflicts emotion.  It can pull at my heartstrings or just make me laugh.  Writing poetry is a hobby for me and I have decided to keep a notebook in my backpack just for this purpose.  While sitting at the car wash a couple of weeks ago (why does it take them so long?) I penned this one I call The Big Fat Fail.

Enjoy and let me know what emotions you feel when reading it by commenting below.  Feel free to share your stories of taking your “sucking lemons” failing moments and how you turned them into “sweet lemonade”!

Fail Rubber Stamp

The Big Fat Fail

Fail forward, they say!  And I can’t disagree,

but it’s hard to focus while nursing skinned knees.

Bumps, bruises, scrapes, the inevitable aches,

the road rash of crashing, but that’s what it takes.

To live is to fail, that’s the lesson I’ve learned,

through age and experience, or just getting burned.

20/20 vision for me has ALWAYS revealed,

every fail that I’ve suffered has earned me more steel.

Failure = Opportunity! To this I confess,

I love who I am now, having passed or “failed” each test.

Be sad in the moment, scream, cry or kick,

but look for the good, and lickety-split,

you’ll find your opportunity, practice!  Give it a whirl!

The Big Fat Fail can turn (I promise) into your pearl.

Want to read more poetry?

Check out Mary Oliver’s biography here and buy one of her books, House of Light here.

Student 4 Life

One of the things I talk about pretty often is not believing in Happy Endings.  While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking and why I’ve chosen to be a Student 4 Life.

I don’t believe in happy endings.

First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all.  All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point.  It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending.  Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background.  Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle, after all.

Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending.  I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now.  If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point?  This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might never come.

Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving.  I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending.  I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination.  Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement.  He wants to enjoy life in the here and now.  I like that idea.

If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us?

TODAY!!

If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point?  There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about. (Yes, I’m pretty sure that was a PollyAnna moment right there.)

Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life.  I always want to be striving for and learning new things.  I want to be in a constant state of becoming.  At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and have become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there.

I want to add more color to my wings.

Goal Posts 4 of 4 -Accountability

Accountability

Hello, Lemonader’s!  

This is the last post of my Goal Post Series and I am grateful you have taken this journey with me!  I’ve liked having a theme for the month.  Do you?  If so, let me know in the comments so I can plan more themed parties for us!

The last piece of the puzzle is Accountability.  This is a new one for me, but I have so many goals that I wanted to report to someone so my goals wouldn’t get lost in the melee of my big, beautiful life.  At the end of my list of Promises I added one more new category:  Giddy-Up Goal Celebrations.

I wanted to be able to celebrate all of my small wins and be encouraged in my journey.  I ended up with 4 accountabilities (of course, you can have as many or as little as you like).  I have a Podcast Accountability group with two other awesome women that keep me on track with my podcasting goals.  We meet via Skype every Tuesday.  I have a Book-Writing Accountability team member who we simply email each other every Wednesday on our progress and encourage each other.  I have a Speech accountability that I do every Thursday with guess who?  Myself!  And last, but definitely not least, I “hired” my best friend, Lizzie to check in with me monthly and then quarterly on my entire goal list.

And guess what?  She is making me a gold star chart!  How cool is that?  She is most definitely a mom and wanted to make some sort of chart to show my progress and we giggled about gold stars, but then thought…why the heck not?  It will be fun and you can bet I’ll be fighting for each of those earned gold stars!!

Goals are great.  Goals written down are in a much higher percentile to actually happen and get accomplished.  Goals that you have to report back to someone??  Over 90%, baby!  I’m adding this element to rock my Promises this year!

And there you have it…4 blog posts on Dreaming Big, Reflection, Bite-Size Chunks, and Accountability.  Now get out there and get ‘er done!  I believe in you!

Goal Posts 3 of 4 – Bite Size Chunks

Bite Size Chunks

Now that you’ve Dreamed Big and had some time to Reflect, it’s time to set your actual goals by breaking them down into Bite Size Chunks.  This year I decided I wanted to make my goals more fun instead of stodgy.  I changed my goal title from Lauri’s Goals to Lauri’s Promises.  I changed the Relationships category to Family Focus, Physical to Physical Well-being and Playtime, Financial to Abundant Wealth Prowess, Education to Cultivating Enlightenment, Spiritual to Soul Solutions.  I even added two new categories this year:  Creativity and my favorite?  Recess!

Not only am I adding in more fun this year, but I have two pages of promises and this might help you, too.  One set is a Promises Summary where it states my goals.  The second set (and this is where the bite-size chunks come in) breaks down those promises into actual action steps.  How will I accomplish my goals?

Let me share one with you so you get the idea.

Under my Recess Category I have a goal for a Weekly Date with guess who?  Me!  One my first set of Promises where it is a summary, it simply says, Weekly Dates with Myself.  On the second set I have it broken out to say that not only will I have a weekly date with myself, but I will alternate each week from an evening to a daytime date.  I have ideas written of a few dates I’ve done in the past and enjoyed and some I think might be fun.  Not all of my dates have been a hit, by the way.  Some felt as a downright waste of my time by the end, but consistency keeps me moving forward in the right direction so that I keep taking time for myself.  Last week I simply set a date to pull out all of my stamp collection, see how much they were worth right now and make a list of a couple of collections I’d like to complete and added it to my wishlist for friends and family for my birthday and Christmas (yes, I’m the OCD one when it comes to lists and preparation…I always have a wishlist going! You should to!)

Now is time for YOUR action step.

You’ve Dreamed Big, you’ve Reflected on past goals that have and haven’t worked for you and where you are now.  You are ready to make your Promises, but more importantly, ready to break them down into Bite Size Chunks so that you can actually see yourself accomplishing your goals.

Next week?  The last piece of the puzzle to help you accomplish your goals or promises – Accountability.  I’ll tell you that I’ve never taken this step before until this year and what I’ve done to make it happen for me.

Please leave a comment below and share one of your promises for this year.  I love hearing from you!

Goal Posts 2 of 4 – Reflection

Reflection

One of the funnest things I did before actually writing my goals down was reflect on my past years of goal-setting.  I have been printing out and posting my yearly goals on my bulletin board since 2010.  I kept them in a tidy little file folder tucked away in one of my office drawers and hadn’t thought much about them other than to put the old ones in at the end of each year. 

Not this time.

It was so great to reflect on some of my goals and what I was into at that particular time.  How my physical goals have changed from running a half marathon and now I’m racing mountain bikes.  Saving for Boobs had been on my list, but 2 years later decided they would be a “BIG” pain and get in the way of my physical fitness goals.  How many classes I wanted to finish to gain my high school diploma and how that goal came true in it’s entirety in 2012 when I graduated!

From knitting a blanket (yes, it’s still on there after three years) to completing a Shutterfly book.  From spiritual goals that were met to eating right.  It has been wonderful to reflect and introspect and ruminate over goals accomplished, goals that turned out not as important as I had thought in the moment and just how I’ve grown over the last 8 years while navigating my 40’s.  A crazy, mixed-up, wonderful, growth of a ride for sure.

Now it’s your turn:

    • What are some goals that were important to you at the time, but turned out less important as years passed?
    • What did you spend time on and wished you hadn’t?  Now vice versa…wish you had spent more time on, but didn’t?
    • Accomplished any bucket list items lately?  Can you add one this year?
    • Are your goals attainable within a specific time frame?

Now that you’ve Dreamed Big, and done a little Reflection, tune in next week to figure out how you can attain your goals by getting them into Bite-Size Chunks.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know all about your goals and how your reflection of past goals have been for you. 

Love hearing from you!

Goal Posts 1 of 4 – Dream Big

 

Dream Big

What does it take to be focused on setting goals or what I have termed “Promises”?  This year I decided to shake things up a bit and use different description words and generally make my goals a lot more FUN!  I wanted to use my creativity and playfulness – we can sometimes be so stodgy, strict, and stick-in-the-muddy when it comes to making our serious goals. 

Why?

I decided that while I am serious about reaching my goals there wasn’t a reason on earth not to make them fun, playful, creative and attractive. 

The next Four Blogs will be entitled:

Dream Big, Reflections, Bite Size Chunks, and Accountability

For today, let’s focus on DREAMING BIG.  How would you complete the following sentences?

    • If money were not an option, I would______________________________________________.
    • If I could set my fear aside, I would______________________________________________.
    • My dream job would be____________________________.
    • If I had extra money to donate to any philanthropic organization I would pick__________________________.
    • 3 Things I would add to my bucket list__________________________________.
    • 3 Movies I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t taken the time are_____________________________________.
    • If I had an entire day to myself I would spend it doing__________________________________.
    • If I had more time to workout I would do_____________________________________.
    • My Secret Destination Dream vacation would be_____________________________________.
    • Something purely fun I want to learn___________________________________.
    • I want to retire at age__________________.
    • If I wrote a book it would be titled___________________________________.
    • 2 Projects I’ve put off for entirely too long____________________________________.
    • 1 House Project that I would love to finish this year____________________________________.

You get the idea here, right?  Allow yourself to dream big.  The goal of this exercise isn’t to necessarily see them ALL happen this year, but to realize or work on them throughout the year.  Is Paris your dream vacation?  Start a savings account specifically for that purpose, play a French film with subtitles while eating a crescent to keep your dream alive.  Have a nagging house project?  Write down what it would take to accomplish that goal. 

For example, last year I wanted to get new carpet upstairs so long before that became a reality I started saving for the carpet, picked out the carpet and pad as well as got quotes for installation.  Want to donate to a philanthropic organization but don’t have the money you would really like to donate?  So what!  They appreciate all donations.  I donate $10/month to PCRM and this year my husband picked 4 different charities he wanted to support at $5/month each.  Do something…not nothing.

And just as a side note…I do have on my promises list for something purely fun.  My hubby and I are going to learn to pop wheelies on our mountain bikes!  Yes!

After filling out your DREAMING BIG categories, it’s time to make them fun.  Please tune in next week for the Reflections topic where I look at my goals that I started printing out in 2010 and how this year I changed them from stodgy to playful.

If this was helpful, please leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!

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Ms Penelope Pickwick’s Books 2017 – What Books are on your bookshelf?

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…)

Beauty and The Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

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.

The Assertiveness Guide for Women by Dr. Julie Hanks – 5 Stars!

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.

Louis L’amour Favorites: Bendigo Shafter, Borden Shantry, Brionne, The Broken Gun, The Californios, Callaghen, Catlow – All 5 Stars!

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.

The Vicar’s Daughter, A Heart Revealed, Lord Fenton’s Folly – all by Josi S Kilpack – All 5 Stars!

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!

You Have 4-Minutes to Change Your Life by Rebekah Borucki – 4 Stars!

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!)

Strong Is The New Pretty by Kate T Parker – 5 Stars!

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!

There Is No Good Card For This by Kelsey Crowe, PhD – 5 Stars!

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!

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

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!!

Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup – 5 Stars!

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)

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown

Maybe It’s You by Lauren Handel Zander

Bragg’s Healthy Lifestyle by Paul C Bragg, ND PhD and Patricia Bragg, ND PhD

Better Each Day by Jessica Cassity

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!

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